Sunday, August 21, 2016

Brickwork Complete and Stained Floors

Our new house is really starting to come together.  This past week, the wood floors were installed and stained and the brick and stonework was completed. We hated to say "goodbye" to the masons as they have been working on our home for almost a month and J has enjoyed chatting with them.  Everyday, he would come home with several interesting tidbits they shared.  They have done a beautiful job, too, and we just love the exterior of our home!

You've seen the front but here it is again.
The walk-out basement was covered in stone veneer.
We like this look better than leaving the concrete exposed or painting it.  The masons had to attach a wire mesh into the concrete wall, then mortar the stones in place.  It took a few extra days but, in the end, I think we will really be glad we chose this option.  I can't wait until we get some landscaping in!

This shows the rear of the house.  You can see our grilling area on the left with the outdoor fireplace.  J is really excited about this space!
J will build a new mantle for this fireplace.  The one in our current home is too long.  He has plans to cook in this fireplace, as well as use it to warm the area on cool nights.
The masons helped him set this fir beam.  The pine boards we stained several weeks ago 
will be used to create the ceiling for this outdoor patio.  We hope the gutter/soffit/fascia guy comes this week to finish this up.  We still need the have the rest of the concrete poured.

The other milestone completed this week was the staining of the wood floors!  I am so pleased with the color!!  It's a warm brown and will be a good contrast for our golden oak dining room furniture.  I just can't part with it.  :)
This is the great room
and this is the kitchen.

On Monday, the flooring guys will be back to install the vinyl in the bathrooms, laundry and the finished rooms in the basement.  We are having LVT (luxury vinyl tiles).  Vinyl flooring has come a LONG way in 25 years!  And then Thursday the cabinet maker will deliver and install the cabinetry!!  Stay tuned!!

Thanks so much for joining us on our journey!  I appreciate your comments and encouragement.  It's a long process but slowly, steadily, we are getting there!  I'll post again at the end of the week and hopefully have some more goodies to share.


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Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Garage Door and New Floors

Progress continues on our new home.  Late last week, the garage door installer did his thing and here's the finished product!
The picture below was taken later in the afternoon and it's a bit brighter in the sunshine.
It's so nice to be able to close the door at night and not worry about the rain damaging anything that's being stored there.

Also, the wood floors went in this week!
These pictures were taken after the first day of installation.  

The brick layers have finished bricking the exterior, too!  
The large Douglas fir beam wwill set into place in the patio grilling area.  J plans to use some of his heavy equipment as the men steady the beam onto it's supports.  The masons will then brick the beam into place.  They plan to finish this area this week. Finally, they will add stone veneer to the walkout side of the basement.  Those guys have been here so long, we've gotten to know them pretty well. We'll really miss them when they're done!

J did have a mishap Friday afternoon. He stepped off the front porch and twisted his ankle. He was lucky it wasn't worse but his ankle has bothered him a bit.  It's hard to keep a good man down!
Finally, J and I worked in his 'lodge' area this weekend putting up the particle board that his barn siding will be attached to.  He is pretty good at measuring and cutting and the boards went together perfectly!  I hope the siding goes up as well!  We still need to clean the boards before we bring them in but that will be a project for later on.  

This weekend is Precious Daughter's first wedding shower.  Her Mother-in-law-to-be will be coming in so we plan to spend time doing fun things other than working on the house!!  

Thanks for visiting and I hope you are enjoying these last weeks of summer!

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Leak?!

Last week started with a driving rain storm.  It hit in the wee hours of Monday morning and sent Wonderful Hubby to the new house making sure the doors were secure.  While there, he noticed a small amount of water in one of the craft room corners.  He called the roofing man (yes, at 2:30 in the morning!).  Roofing Man came right out and they figured the water must have come in through an unsecured piece of flashing.  He came later in the morning (when it was light and not raining!) to add more flashing.  We are so fortunate to be working with good people who stand behind their work!  There was no damage to the drywall or paint and, thankfully, the wood floors won't be installed until next week (August 8).  

The exterior work continues.  The brick layers had to move to another job briefly but have returned and are working on the back of the house now. The Gutter Guy will come and add the gutters and soffits when the brick layers finish, hopefully next week.  This addition will also help keep the rain out. 

We met with our finish carpentry men.  We discussed my vision for the built-in bookshelves in the great room.  It was decided to have our cabinet maker build the base cabinets and the finish carpenters would build the shelves above.  Our cabinet maker is pretty booked up but thought they could get them finished (unpainted) by the installation target date of August 25th. This is what I'd like them to look like.

Another milestone that happen last week was that the air conditioning was turned on...and it works beautifully!  Our system also has a humidifier/dehumidifier attached.  We can set the temperature we want AND the humidity level and the system takes care of it!  This is especially helpful for the installation of our wood floors.  Missouri summers are quite hot and humid and this summer has been especially humid.  This July was the fourth wettest on record in our area. Our installers had a humidity goal for us to work toward before they would begin putting the wood floors in.  

We also had another reason to get the AC up and going.  After the last rain, we noticed a lot of moisture on the basement walls.  Since the drywall has just been finished, it was very important to get that extra moisture out!  We purchased a portable dehumidifier to help speed up the process and it is so much nicer in the house now!  

This weekend, J decided we could stain the wood planks that will be on the ceiling of the grilling patio.  So, that's what we did.  We just finished this morning and I must say, they look pretty good!  
The Garage Door Man comes tomorrow so hopefully, I'll share that next post!  I'll be placing the order for our lights this afternoon.  

We continue to have our home on the market and have had a few showings.  Several have come back for a second showing but no offers as of yet.  

August will be a busy month for the interior.  I'll try to find time to keep up with my posts.  Thanks to those of you who visit and leave a comment.  

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Building Update and How We Stay Organized

The drywall men have been working hard the past week and a half and are just about finished.  The paint was delivered yesterday afternoon and they will start painting the walls later this week!

Here are a some pictures of the house with WALLS.  You'll see piles of drywall scraps in the first two pictures.  Hubby and yours truly cleared that out.  We consider it our aerobic workout!
Great Room
Master Bedroom

Standing in the kitchen, looking into the dining area.  
The great room is to the left.

We're pleased about how much light there is in the two basement bedrooms.  The first one will be 'Favorite Son's
and this one will be Precious Daughter's and Handsome Son-in-Law's when they visit.
J's Lodge area is roomy and filled with lights.  No 'man cave' in our house!
He will be adding the reclaimed barnsiding from an old building on the property to the unfinished walls.  A more sturdy wall board will be added prior to installation.  
(That's why there is no drywall on those walls.)
Even the lower level bathroom is coming along!

Once the sanding from the drywall process is completed, the HVAC guys will come to hook up the air conditioning/heating unit and we'll see how the geo-thermal experiment works. Keep your fingers crossed!!  The wood floor installers need the air conditioning on to remove the humidity from the house.  We live in Missouri and we have TONS of humidity in the summertime. 

I've made some more decisions this past week.  They include the garage door, shelving for all of the closets and pantry and railings and banisters.  We've also ordered the hard wood flooring.  I've also set up a schedule for flooring installation, cabinet delivery and installation and the finish carpentry work.  J's done a wonderful job on his responsibilities (gravel, concrete, framing, brickwork, etc.).  I want to make my part run almost as smoothly.

Before we began this new home building project, I was worried we might be overwhelmed with the bid process and keeping everything organized and easy to find.  
When I taught school, one of the best organizational tools I used was a simple binder. I still have a bunch of them so I got out the biggest one I could find and set up an organization system that made sense to me. 
I made tabs for all the different types of contractors we would be needing (i.e. concrete, framing, plumbing, HVAC, painting, etc.) and added plastic page protectors. As each bid came in, I printed it off and slipped it in one of the protectors.  
 I also created an Excel-type sheet on Google Docs with pertinent information for the contractors we contacted including phone numbers, addresses, emails, amount of bid, if they were given a set of plans or sent them via email, etc. This was updated each time we received a bid and was a handy way to see them at a glance.  The binder allowed J to compare each bid, analyzing each component.  

Once each contractor was chosen, both he and the other contractors were notified. That way, they knew if they were hired for the job or not.  I discarded the unused bids which, at this point, was a good thing.  Our beloved binder was starting to fall apart!  We took it everywhere from the STL Home Show to the lumberyard to order material.  The lumberyard manager attends our church and ask to look at our 'well-used' binder.  He teased me about being too organized but had to admit it was quite helpful.  There was a concern that a specific truss hadn't been ordered and I had the (ten page printout!!) truss bid and, yes, it had been ordered! 

Once the binder contained only bids for hired contractors, I placed signed contracts, specific orders like faucets, appliances, light fixtures, etc. with that particular contractor. When the plumber asked if I had different faucet choices than his included in the bid, I simple found his section, pulled out the updated order and made him a copy.  When our appliances are delivered, I will double check each is the exact model I ordered.  The receipt is stored in the binder.

I've also included a few other things here, too.  As I mentioned in another post, I'm not very good at using vision boards so if I see something I like in a magazine, I tear it out and slip it in the binder for future reference.  

Earlier this year, before we actually started building, I took the plans and tried to envision how each room might look with furniture.
It's been fun to rework the rooms in different configurations with different pieces of furniture.

That's the update for now.  I hope to show you beautiful painted walls next.  Right now, I'm off to start sweeping up drywall dust.  I can't wait until the air conditioning is turned on!!  Thanks for stopping by!  

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Decision, Decisions

It's starting to become crunch time as far as decisions are concerned.  All of the 'Pins,' notes, discussions, etc. are all adding up to final decisions!  Here's a picture of my dining room table as I write.
I've tried using online idea boards to put all of my options together but nothing works quite as well for me as actually having the components right in front of me.  Here are most of them.

The drywallers have started working today.  They plan to have the wallboard hung this week and begin taping, too.  This company also does painting.  They will use Sherwin Williams paint and right now am leaning toward a "greige" color for most of the interior walls.  I originally thought about "Useful Gray," which you see below, second from the bottom.  After looking at it in different lights, I decided it has too much green in it.  My new choice is "Agreeable Gray."  You will see it a few pictures down. 
The two quartz examples are from Vicostone.  The dark is called Royal Grey, which will be on the island and the marble-looking one is called Statuario and it will be on the cabinets that are along the walls.  I'm considering either a plain white matte subway tile or a lightly veined matte subway tile for the back splash. 
I'm leaning toward the white as I don't really like the look of the two patterns competing.  Either way, both options will be easy to clean (no marble here!).  This girl likes to cook and can really make a mess when she does!
The cabinet color I've chosen is close to SW Marshmallow (#7001).  The cabinet maker uses a different type of paint but his color was close to this color.   I'm feeling better about the new wall color choice, Agreeable Gray, and hope SW still mixes it.  My paint fan is a few years old (from my SIL) but I'm sure they can still find the recipe.  There won't be much wall space around the cabinets as they will go to the ceiling but most of the house will have this color.
The two upstairs bathrooms will have this for the flooring with dark wood vanities.  Since they will have limited natural light, I think I'll go with the lighter shade in this color family, "Incredible White."  I'm really liking the new luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring.  This stuff is sturdy, yet beautiful!  It will also be in our mudroom, laundry room and master closet.  The rest of the flooring on the main floor will be site-finished hardwood in a medium brown tone.  The wood floors at our current house are the 1980's orangy color.  I love my real hardwood, just not in love with the color anymore.
The finished basement rooms will have this LVT in a rustic wood look.  J's lodge area (no caves in my house!) will have some old barn siding on a couple of walls and this flooring looks good with that.  
The only carpet will be on the stairs leading to the basement.  We've chosen the Berber carpet next to the LVT sample.  It's called "Cornhusk."

The drywall was delivered late last week.  Here, J's giving a tour to our future son-in-law.  This is the dining area.
The great room
J's lodge room
Brickwork on the front is complete!  The bricklayers have moved to the garage now.  They will probably be here another two weeks.

That's our building project update for now.  I can't wait to show you more when we actually have SOLID walls!  Thanks for stopping by.  

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Friday, June 24, 2016

I Was the Give-A-Way Winner!!

I had a wonderful surprise last week when I heard I was the winner of Barbara Woods' give-a-way from her blog Wont-to-be Quilter!!  I received my package earlier this week and what a beautiful assortment of fabric she sent!
The BLUE theme is perfect for two of the first projects I'll be undertaking when we get moved into our new home.  Our niece just had twin boys about a month ago.  I'll be making each a baby quilt for Christmas and Barbara's fabric will be perfect with the other fabric I've been considering!

The quilts I'm thinking of making will be in a bow tie pattern similar to this in blue and gray or agua and gray,

or maybe a pinwheel pattern (no pink, of course!)
or perhaps a pennant quilt.
A chevron pattern would be cute, too.  
Oh, so many choices!  I can't wait to get in my new craft 'studio' and start creating!!  Which ever two patterns I choose, I have to thank to Barbara for pointing me in the right color direction!  

Check out her blog,, to see the projects she's been working on.  Her tumbler quilt is gorgeous and her tutorial on making a quilt wreath is informative and easy to follow.  

Thanks again, Barbara!!  

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

June Gardens at Two Homes

As many of you know, we are building a new home this summer.  It's an exciting time of anticipation but also one that's bittersweet.  We have made many happy memories in our current home and will hate to leave the only home our children have known.  
I've also worked hard over the years to create flower gardens that make me smile.  I shared some of those spring blooms here and now, that they have passed, it's the early summer flowers' turn.  
Day lilies along the back of the house.

The lilies along the border between the yard and woods will be about a week later.
Tiger lilies in the peony beds, 
along with wild geranium
and two kinds of monarda or bees balm.  This brilliant red
and this delicate lavender color.

I've tried to plan ahead and moved some of my plants like the hostas and lilies to holding beds at my mother-in-law's house but some I've just potted up and hope to keep healthy until the move.  Here are some viburnums, (one actually bloomed!) a multicolored pepper and a miniature rose J gave me years ago.  The little rose is in the butterfly garden outside my kitchen. I decided to try to repot it for the move and it actually divided.  I didn't know I could divide it (and I'm not sure if it should have. ??)  However, the new section has thrived in it's pot and even bloomed!  
I also have some cone flowers ready to go to the new house.  
I may take them over as soon as we have a nice rain.  As I was leaving the home site this morning I saw some wild cone flowers in our new front yard along with some rudbeckia!
I took these shots as I was driving down the driveway!  J planted these wildflowers last year as part of a soil conservation/prairie project.  Won't this area be gorgeous in a few years?!
And here are a couple of shots around the pond near our new home.

Thanks for stopping by to visit.  I hope you have a happy week!


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