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Posted by Aimee in Kalamazoo, MI on 10/1/2006

Our drywallers were speedy, tidy, and well priced.  The basement walls had to be drywalled to cover the exposed ICF, which we knew going into the project.  It still doesn’t make any sense to us, though, as the ICF foam is no worse at deterring fire than drywall.  We also had them drywall the exposed stud walls at the bottom of the stairs so the space looks finished from the main floor looking down. 


Attic insulation is done.  I think we’re right around R-48, which should be sufficient.  Some fiberglass batting was also set in place in the wall between the master bedroom and the living room to filter sound from the TV for late-night watchers (yours truly).  I actually keep the volume really low at night, but because it’ll likely share the wall that the head of the bed is against, it’s more of a precaution than anything.  


I have been changing my mind about paint colors since the inception of planning this house 18 months ago, and only today did I settle on them.  I’m actually so tired from working two jobs, getting this house built and raising a 2-year-old that I literally walked in the paint store, stood there for a whopping 10 minutes and decided on 3 colors.  Done.  The painters are starting on Tuesday so there was absolutely no more procrastinating to be had.  I picked neutral colors all around - a beige for the majority of the house, a darker shade of the same hue for the master suite, and a sweet, soft yellow for Morgan’s room.  


We’ve been dragging our feet on finding a concrete driveway contractor.  Our builder really wants to use rebar in the driveway, which we think is overkill and can be substituted with wire mesh.  In fact, I think a fiber reinforced product would even be enough.  So, we’re shopping bids around and haven’t made a decision yet. 


So far, I think the best change we’ve made to our plans was actually something our framer convinced us to do, and something we’d recommend to others.  He put in a 10” tread on our stairs instead of the standard 9.”  You’d be surprised at how a small change makes such a huge difference.  It gives your foot more room, of course, is safer, and actually feels like a shallower step, even though it isn’t.  It’s all about the details.  Highly recommended.  We only lost 18” of floor space to do it and had to slope the ceiling for headroom going down the stairs. 


We’ve got to call the gas & electric companies this week to get lines into the house.  The well is also scheduled for this week.  Trim has been milled and is supposed to be delivered this week so our painters can do that too.  We opted for poplar wood as it’s easy to work with and cheaper than oak.  Had we decided to stain it instead of paint, we would have used oak.  Electrical and HVAC are coming back right after paint which should be done by next weekend, then hardwood floors & tile.  I’ve not been as happy with our HVAC crew as I was hoping, so won’t use them again after this project.  Our cabinet guy is hoping to be ready by the 16th, but thinks it might be closer to the 20th.


Picture captions:

1. septic tank started

2 & 3: retaining wall; the 2nd tier will be filled in with top soil

4. backyard with final grading done – Chad is planting trees and grass seed this weekend

5 & 6: family room

7. mud room (rear entry door from garage on left)

8. laundry room

9.standing in living room looking through eating area into kitchen; cased opening on the right goes into mud room

10. hallway; 2 bedrooms on left, bath at end of hall, master bedroom on right


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