Progress – 5/4/2017

Long time, no progress report! I am sorry, but it seems like time passes by so fast and at the time it doesn’t seem like a lot gets done until I go back and look at the photos. We will be SO glad when we can finally move in! And no, we have no idea when that will be! We just have to keep plugging along and eventually we’ll get there. We’ve been at this for over a year and it will be nice when we can finally enjoy all the hard work we’ve put in.

Photo of our house during the last snow from the neighbors (thanks Jen).
Early Spring photo at the top of the driveway.
Completed the last of the pine ceiling in the loft area. We made a temporary platform so that it was easier to work on it.
Cole’s completed shower surround before grouting. Love the glass mosaic he picked for the accent tile.
Close up of the tile after 1 side grouted. Sorry for the rough photos, but most of these were taken in the evening after I finished for the day.
Carrick’s shower. He chose 4 x 16 subway tiles and a dark border of slate and glass mosaic tiles. We’ll have to build out the side wall a bit to made it smaller so the glass doors will fit.
The laundry/pantry off of the kitchen and mudroom. The drywall has been completed and painted here! Now the cabinets are being installed.
Side view of the pantry. These cabinets aren’t as wide (only 15″) so that I will still have storage, and still be able to open the washer on the opposite side.
The kitchen is almost ready for final painting. The primer coat is on and there are just a few touch up spots to fix. I highly recommend this Kilz PVA primer.
The other side of the kitchen. After painting, we’ll install the cabinets (Sektion from IKEA). The grey cement board section will be where the stove is located. There will also be a center island.
The dining room and great room. I have also primed this area, but didn’t take a photo yet. This was just before I started. This room is almost completed too.
Some of the color choices I had a hard time deciding over. I went with Pergo flooring because we needed so much and I really liked it! Originally I chose the 2nd from the left, but when I tried to place the order it had been discontinued. Lucky for me, Lowe’s had some new options that I liked even better.
Here’s what we went with: 8″ wide Pergo London Oak.
Pantry cabinets almost done. Just need the final topcoat for protection.
I’ve narrowed down my cabinet pull choices to these at Home Depot.

So the next month will be busy. Hopefully our siding and gutters/facia will all be installed, and the septic will too. On the inside, we’ll be finishing up drywall, painting, installing the floor, tiling and then moving on to the fun stuff: all the finishing touches, like fixtures and lighting! Wish us luck, just thinking about it makes me want to take a nap!


Progress 2/23/2016

Beautiful sunset from the hill. The weather this winter hasn’t been that bad. The only problem has been with the freeze/thaw cycle and making the whole work site a sticky mudhole. The past week has dried it out though, thank goodness!
We moved on the the tower ceiling after the drywall on the 1st floor. We built a platform up in the tower to be able to reach the ceiling without being on ladders. Made life a whole lot easier! The plan is to put reclaimed barnwood on the walls in the tower after the drywall is done elsewhere.
The completed Master Bath waiting for the next phase of drywall mud and tiling.
After the tower and bath, we moved on the ceiling in the Mast Bedroom. This was a little easier because we had more straight shots and not as many angles.
Each piece was cut to fit in the cavity between the beams, so that it could slide in. Some cuts had to be made for lags that hold the heavy timbers up and lights and vents.
And here is the completed ceiling!
Next we moved up to the second floor and the boys’ bedrooms. This took about a week of nights and weekend to complete. It went pretty quick once we got the hang of it. The only hang ups here were the cuts for wiring, lags and pipes.
Now we’ve moved on the dry walling the 2nd floor. It can be tricky trying to get the long sheets of drywall up the stairs!
Cole’s bedroom
Cade’s bedroom.

For now, we’ll be finishing up the drywall on the second floor. That will take a little more figuring because Mark has to build little walls at the top of the big walls so that they touch the ceiling and we can attach the drywall.

Since the weather has been so nice, we even started working on the outside —installing some of the soffit and siding.

Most of the electrical work is done. We even have some switches and outlets so that we don’t have to run so many extension cords!

I will most likely start the tiling soon. I’ve ordered a lot of the tile and there is a lot to do!

Progress 1/20/2017

This week’s progress has been slow-going. The mud is back (it’s been warm) and it is hard to get up to the house. We’re also finishing up the tedious work in the Master bedroom and bath where the walls and ceilings meet with the difficult cuts and additions where the heavy timbers go through the walls/ceilings. That involves a lot of figuring and dry-fitting.

Now the drywall is up in the bedroom and going up in the bath (the special purple kind). We added a small wall in the shower like I found in one of my inspiration photos:


Carrick putting up drywall in the shower. Note the new wall in the opening.
Mark doing his figuring to get the spaces right in between the beams and walls.


Drywall up in the Master.
The view out the Master windows. This is facing down Blacks Woods Road if you are familiar with our area.
Built-in ironing board in the Master closet. I got the idea for this from Hometime.

I watch A LOT of HGTV, Hometime, and This Old House, along with reading magazines, blogs, Instagram and Pinterest to cull down what I wanted in this house. I keep lots of boards on Pinterest if you are interested in my thought process. It helps me a lot to be able to see everything visually in one place and to keep track of where I found items online and their prices. I also keep binders with inspiration from magazines and other sources, along with another binder of the actual items I have already purchased for the house, so that I have instructions, measurements and other important information all in one place.

The foyer. The first door on the left is a small closet, the next door is the powder room, and the next is the way down to the basement.
The Pantry/Laundry room. All the cabinet cases are put together.

I had to move a few cabinets around to fit the area that changed from the original plans. One of the 15″ deep cabinets on the right will be moved to our Master closet and replaced with a 15″ x 24″ to fit in the space. So I did pretty good, only have to replace one and the extras were used somewhere else!

I got into a rhythm on putting these together, so as I went along it got easier and quicker. I love how sturdy they are and how I could easily change them to what I wanted. I have them in my current kitchen and they have help up very well!

The tall cabinet goes in the Pantry to hold all my cleaning supplies, vacuums, and other stuff. The other cabinets are put together with the exception of the island.

I have to wait because Mark wants to tape and mud the seams now before I put them in. So we have to move them around a bit. I will be working on painting the doors and putting down the backboard on the floor for the tiles.

This weekend will be warm, but with the chance of rain. I think the plan is to do some facia work and maybe even start some of the siding on the front if the weather cooperates! If not, we have plenty to do on the inside!

Progress 01/09/2017

Even though the weather has been really cold, we’ve gotten a lot done over Christmas break. A lot of drywall has gone in and most of the first floor is almost ready for taping and mudding. Thank goodness for heat. We keep it around 55 degrees most of the time.

I’m glad that it has been cold for a while, because when it warms up the driveway turns to very slippery, greasy mud. I think that we are in store for that again this week. Can’t have everything!

The well is hooked up. We had some issues there, but hopefully they are all resolved.
The Master shower is ready for tiling. The floor pan is done by hand in 2 steps. I know the shower is huge, but the space would have been tiny and wasted in the Master closet, so I added it to the shower. Most likely it will be done in large format subway tile with accents and honed marble floor.


Carrick’s shower is also complete and ready for tiling. Cade’s is almost identical, but Cole asked for a bathtub in his.
The kitchen part way through dry walling.
The kitchen even further along. The area that has the grey backerboard is where the range will be. That area will be tiled and a hood will be installed.


Here is Mark working on the pocket door between the Laundry/Pantry room and Kitchen.


Mark installing drywall in the Dining Room.


View from the Great Room into the Dining Room and Kitchen.


View of the Kitchen with all the drywall complete.


Another view of the Kitchen with a view of the pocket door hardware installed. The door beside the opening is the one that will be installed there. The other area to the right is the Mudroom. The flooring throughout this area will be a dark gray slate. This area, along with the Dining Room and part of the Foyer will have drywall ceilings for a change over the pine board that will be in the other parts of the house.
And now I am working on putting all the cabinets together that I purchased at IKEA almost 2 years ago! Who knew it would take so long to get this far! It has been a little difficult because the final room sizes didn’t end up being the exact same as the plans. That means I have to make some adjustments and move some around. All of the cabinet doors will be painted. The cabinets around the perimeter of the Kitchen will be Linen from Amy Howard Paints. The Island in the Kitchen will be painted Eulalie’s Sky and the Pantry will be Luckett’s Green from Miss Mustard Seed.
Miss Mustard Seed Paints – Eulalie’s Sky (Island) and Luckett’s Green (Pantry).
Amy Howard Paints


Next up is

  • Finishing cabinet construction. Pantry is almost done and Kitchen is partly done.
  • Install cabinets.
  • Finish drywall in the Master Bedroom and Foyer.
  • Start taping and mudding and sanding (I HATE this part).
  • Begin tile work.
  • Decide on tile for all the boys’ baths (that ought to be interesting).
  • Decide on flooring. This has been a real struggle for me.
  • Get the other heating system installed upstairs when our HVAC guy isn’t on Emergency Call! This weather has kept him busy, but we aren’t in a hurry.
  • Finish the wood staining in the Great Room (windows) and seal.




Progress 12/7/2016

As you can see, we’ve made some progress since the last time I posted. To us it seems things drag along, never going as fast as we’d like. We had hoped to be done by now, but that is not even close to happening! Shooting for early Spring now.

All the exterior doors are installed and the chimneys have been framed in.
Rear view with all the doors and windows installed. All those shavings are from the beams that had to be planed because of mold.
All the siding waiting patiently to be installed.
These are some of the colors/textures that will be on the outside/inside of the house. Includes cement siding from James Hardie (both here are painted BM Caliente {will be on the tower exterior} and Parrot Green {outside trim color}), the bark siding will be on the front top bump out & garage, and the weathered barn board will be on the walls in the tower, along with the pine beams.
We got our 1000 gallon propane tank installed.
Insulation work in progress, almost totally complete now.
Starting to drywall the Master Bedroom – only partial because we are waiting to get an inspection.
First layer of the shower pans are in. Next comes the rubber membrane and then another layer of cement/sand mix to have the correct slope to the drain.
Current view into the Great Room.


Foyer progress. Powder room in the room right next to the stairs.
Electric panels. Lots going on here!
Gas lines installed!
We have heat! The first of two furnaces is installed and running on propane until we get the heat pumps installed and the vents in the roof.
Decorative corbels stained for the exterior of the house.
Window in the tower stained with a custom mix to look weathered and will hopefully match the barn board that will be installed on the walls. We built a platform about half-way up so that the beams, insulation and ceiling could be installed. Made it much easier, except for the part of getting up the stairs!
View into Carrick’s room from the loft area. On the right will be where the 2nd furnace goes. He’s excited that he won’t have to be cold in the winter anymore or cook in the Summer.
Insulation and the beams all installed in Cole’s bedroom ceiling.

Next on our agenda is

  • to finish up the shower pans
  • get the roof vents in (today)
  • get electric and plumbing inspected (hopefully this week)
  • work on drywall
  • get septic installed (next week)
  • get water run to the house (next week)
  • start tiling bathrooms and floors
  • about a million other things!

Thanks for checking in to see our progress. I’ll try to update more often as there will be more of the “finishes” going in.


Progress – 10/26/2016

OK, so it’s been two months since I updated! Things got hectic with back to school and everything that goes along with carting 3 boys around to all their events.

Steady progress has been made since the last time I checked in. The roof is on most of the house (with the exception of where the chimneys will go), all the doors are installed, the electric and plumbing are almost complete, large beams were installed in the Master Bedroom, and a whole bunch of other smaller jobs were completed. We are looking forward to our first inspection soon!

Here is the visual tour:

View of the house with the roof completed. (09/13/16)
The fireplace going in. Since all of our fireplaces are propane, they just need to be plywood boxes that we will apply the stone to. (10/4/16)
Large pine beams in the Master Bedroom and Bath – completed. (10/4/16)
Mark installing the beams. We had to use a pulley system with straps to get the very heavy beams in place. (9/25/16)
My bath tub installed in the bath. It is a wonder that it survived in one piece for as long as it has been sitting around the work site! (10/4/16)
Electric and heating going in the basement. (10/6/16)
Mudroom door installed.(10/16/16)
French doors to the screened in porch. These doors are 96″ tall. The open spot to the right of the doors will be a fireplace, and there will also be one on the porch.
Front door installed! (10/16/16)
Timber roof over the window in the basement. These will be covered with metal roofing. (10/10/16)


This is what happened to some of our beams during storage while we were constructing our house. Because they were wet, mildew grew on the beams. I tried about 15 different things to remove it, but nothing worked. Bleach was the only thing that removed it somewhat, but still not enough.
After a lot of research, Mark decided to purchase an electric planer. Even though it was expensive, it did the job much quicker and better than the previous attempts. No more black and hours of sanding/treating. (10/23/16)
Shot of the rear of the house. You can see the huge pile of shavings left behind after we planed some of the beams. Also note that the La Cantina door has been installed.

Next up on the schedule is getting the siding and soffit installed, insulation in the ceilings and partial basement walls, beams on the second floor ceiling, finishing up the HVAC so we can work in a warmer area since the weather has turned colder, painting the cabinet doors for the kitchen/pantry, installing the septic, gas and water, and about a thousand other things! I hope that the weather doesn’t turn too cold for a while.

And a big shout out to this guy for all the help he gives us. We couldn’t get as much as we do without his help.

Thanks for checking in!



Progress 8/25/2016

I see that somehow it has been a month since I lasted posted any progress. Time flies…

Anyhow, we had a lull in progress for a while but now things are picking back up again. The original building crew is gone and now we are back to building by ourselves. Almost all the windows are in, the front porch is taking shape, the roof is going on and other mechanicals will be installed next week. We also finally got power and cable to the house! Next up will be putting in the doors, working on the decking and making about a thousand decisions on lighting placement and interior finishes. I also need to get the siding ordered!

Front of the house with the porch and roofers working
The kitchen looking into the Pantry/Laundry
Windows all installed in the back of the Great Room!
Master Bedroom
View from the Great Room into the Dining Room and Kitchen
The Tower/Foyer area
Tower area on the second floor
Back view of the house
Closeup of the hewn log veneer that will go in the Great Room

From the photos, the house looks so huge. In reality it is big, but not too big to feel like a cavern. Most of the rooms are just the right size. We are excited to get things moving again and the weather has been cooperative for the most part.