Progress 7/25/2016

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Interior Framing, looking into Master Bedroom

We started the framing of the first floor last weekend. It went relatively quickly, except for all the extra figuring with the vaulted ceilings. We got all the framing completed there and then moved on to the stairs.

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Interior Framing – looking from Dining into Kitchen

 

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Interior Framing – Master Bedroom, closet and bath
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Electric Service, waiting for hookup

It was interesting to get the wires from the house to the pole so that our house can be hooked up for service. It took about 250 ft. of large electric cable and a lot of horsepower to get the cables pulled through the pipe. The cable was slowly pulled through the pipe with a lot of pipe lube and the cable attached to a rope, which was then attached to the truck. Everything was hooked up on our end and inspected. Now we just have to wait until Dusquesne Light comes to hook it up to their system. Hopefully soon! It stinks to have to run everything off of a generator.

This past weekend we worked on framing the stairs, which took a bunch of figuring! None of the sets of plans we had were the same, so Mark had to figure out all the measurements, build the walls, and cut all the stringers. I have to say he did a really good job! Everything worked as he thought it would.

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Second floor framing

Now we are moving on to the 2nd floor framing of the boys’ bedrooms and bathrooms. This is also time-consuming because of the vaulted ceilings here, along with beams that will be installed later.

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Stairway to second floor

I realized that I didn’t take a photo of the stairs from the 1st floor, so I’ll have to do that.

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Trying to keep the rain out during the storm

It wasn’t too long into the afternoon yesterday when it began to storm. We could still keep working, but it is hard because the roofing is not on yet and it leaks like a sieve!

Hopefully the roof will be put on soon. We’re just waiting on special order drip-edge (my fault — I wanted galvanized like the gutters).

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The valley during the rain storm
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2nd Floor framing of the boys’ bedrooms and baths

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Our crew is supposed to return this week, so hopefully we can get the roof on the front porch and all the windows installed, along with the new roof on the tower.

I’m still waiting on the bid for the siding and gutters, so after the roof is on we’ll move to buttoning up the outside so we can get working on the interior finishes.

I’ve completed finishing one set of doors to the porch and have 1/2 of the front door completed (stained and finished). It takes a while since there are so many steps to getting them done. I’ll have to remember to snap a photo of them.

Progress hasn’t been as fast the past two weeks because Mark started a new job and he’s still learning the ropes and going to training. But I think that we still have done pretty well.

Thanks for checking in!

Progress 07/01/2016

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Radiant floor heating in the basement
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Lots of late nights working ’til Midnight
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More basement in floor heating
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Mark’s beautiful piers
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Making sure it’s straight and level
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Windows are in and porch roof is up!
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Wink putting up the trusses on the porch
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Front and side — porch will be constructed next
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View of porch from the driveway
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Roof completed on the porch and shingles ready to go on
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Back-filling has begun
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Pig Roast #24 crew

Lots of progress since the last update! The house is totally under roof now and some of the windows have been installed. The past couple of weeks were a blur because we were under deadline to get the in-floor heating installed each night after parts of the concrete floors were poured in the basement. We had three consecutive nights where we worked until after Midnight to complete the job. But we made it, and the basement floor is complete.

Our crew was also scheduled to complete their job for our builder (Hearthstone), but they agreed to stay and help us finish up some of the harder items on our list, like installing the windows and the timberframe roof on the porch. We had some hiccups getting the lift here and work slowed a bit, but we caught up. The porch is built, the roof is on, windows got installed and back-filling has started.

Our crew has to go to Virginia for a job, but then they’ll be back to finish up the windows and redo our tower roof. The original trusses were wrong, so they will be replaced to make the tower as tall as it should be!

We got a much-needed break this past weekend during our 24th annual Pig Roast held in Corry, PA to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary. Just look at the wonderful group that was there!

We’ll now put our attention to the shingle installation, final siding choices, porch construction, interior walls, electric installation to the house and a million other things! Thanks for checking in!

Progress 6/14/2016

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Progress on the Great Room
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Great Room Ceiling
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Master Bedroom trusses
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Pouring concrete for the porch footing
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Working on laying block for the porch piers
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Porch piers progress

The past two weeks seem to have been a blur at the job site. More of the roof was completed and the crew is getting to the end of their part of the job. Right now they are working on completing the roof over the Master Bedroom/Bath and the Tower stair area. We have been working on the piers for the screened in porch and getting the basement ready for the rest of the concrete flooring, which will start tomorrow. We are also waiting for our plumbing and footing inspections that will take place tomorrow.

Next up after that is getting the roofing on and the windows installed, along with back-filling the foundation so that we can have a weather-tight shell to get moving on the inside work.

Progress 05/31/2016

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Front view of the house
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Side view of the house
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Inside view of second floor
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Side view at back
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Back view

As you can see, things have really been moving along! In the past week and a half they got the 2nd floor up and many of the roof rafters. This week I think most of the roof will be up and covered. The great room (shown in the photo above) will be more time consuming I think because it is all heavy timber rafters.

Over the Memorial Day weekend Mark, Carrick and I worked on finishing up the skirting around the first floor trusses, removing the forms from the last concrete pour, screeding and removing extra gravel from the basement to get more area ready for the next pour and just generally cleaning up the work site (which the crew keeps pretty clean). We also took time to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom (Cade & Cole marched in the Freedom and Conway Memorial Day Parades).

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Waiting in Conway to start the parade.

Our next steps are the get the footing poured for the porch supports, estimate the huge amount of stone we need to order, and get the house under roof so windows can be installed. All of my doors came in and it took me a while to finally decide on stain color. I also have all my appliances. The last purchase was the hood and blower for the stove that I bought on eBay. I will be glad to get all of these things installed that we have been storing for over a year!

How we got here

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Bob Timberlake Studio – Hearthstone

I thought I should tell the story of how we got started on our house journey many years ago. While living in the Chicagoland area, Mark and I decided we wanted to build a house since we couldn’t find anything that we liked. After looking at a lot of plans, we came to like this one from Hearthstone, but the actual building never took place because we couldn’t find land cheap enough and we also wanted to move back to the Pittsburgh area.

When we moved back, my dad found us an old farm on 24 acres that had an old house on it and we thought we’d fix it up and just live there while we were building the new house. Too bad it didn’t work out that way! The old house needed a total overhaul that took 10 years to finish. So now we were finally ready to start.

I started looking at log homes companies again and I still liked what Hearthstone had to offer. I found a series of plans that they had from MossCreek. That lead me to look at their selections in depth and I found “The Wedge”.

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© 2016 MossCreek

By total coincidence, found out that their offices were located in Knoxville, TN and I was going to be there for one of the twins’ competitions. I met with them and talked about what we wanted in our design. After that, we decided to go with “The Wedge” and started to make changes to the stock plan to reflect how we wanted the layout. I changed the location of the screened in porch, along with no longer splitting up the laundry room and pantry (now one room). I’ll show you that in the future.

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The Wedge Main Floor

After deciding on the plan, we had to finalize what builder we were going to use. After looking at several and going over costs, we decided on Hearthstone because they we willing to work with us to keep cost down and we also now had decided that we didn’t want a totally log home. Neither of us like the “heavy wood” look, and decided only to use log veneer in the Great Room. Other parts of the house will have reclaimed wood and drywall, and the Great Room will also have large wooden scissor trusses.

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First Floor Plan – Skuse Wedge

Here is what the plan looks like after we make our changes. I took a lot of time and thought into what would work best for our family. I got the idea for the combo pantry/laundry from Better Homes and Gardens last year. It was a lot of back and forth, but I think that we got it right!

Progress – 05/12/2016

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Front of the house
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Rear of the house — Master Bedroom
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Front Porch area/Kitchen
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Master Bedroom Interior
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Mark in the Kitchen

We’ve been really lucky this week weather-wise. Most of the rain predicted for us went right around the site! More of the panels went up in the stair tower area and bracing was put in for the windows and doors. Interior load-bearing walls are also going in. I don’t think it has progressed as quickly as the crew would like since they had told us they’d be done this week. There is still another whole floor and all the roof to put on, along with the porch and some of the windows. But progress is progress!

I will write in my next post about how we got started on our housebuilding journey. And don’t be a stranger, I’d love to hear what you think — leave a comment!

Progress – 05/06/16

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Progress Wednesday evening
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Progress on Thursday
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The side/back view
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Friday Progress – Great Room
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Friday Progress – the Master Bedroom and Bath

We’ve had quite a bit of rain this past week, so progress is slow. We’re also waiting for more truckloads of house parts, due to arrive on Tuesday. They have walls up on the first floor and just have the large great room window section and the stairwell section to go before they move onto to 2nd floor. They think they’ll be done this week, but I am not as optimistic. There is rain in the forecast everyday this week.

We worked this weekend on one of the wall corners Mark wasn’t happy with, installed OSB on the back part of the walkout basement and part of the skirting where the trusses meet the floor and 1st floor. He also installed the strongbacks in the trusses in the basement. It was pretty nice weather-wise, but I have a bunch of new splinters in my hands.