From $9.95



Syndication

Statistics

Users
Total: 31,934
Visited Last 30 days: 126
Forum Messages
Total: 20,869
Last 30 days: 3
Forum Evaluations
Total: 24,158
Last 30 days: 0
Journal Entries
Total: 5,332
Last 30 days: 0
Connections
Total: 15,216
Last 30 days: 2
Downloads
Total: 85,050

Journals

Name
The-Last-Rodeo Angel Fire, NM
25,788 Visits | 271 Posts | 435 Pix | 4 Videos
Tanglewood Colorado Springs, CO
116,745 Visits | 971 Posts | 2,515 Pix | 42 Videos
E2custom
264 Visits | 4 Posts | 10 Pix | 0 Videos
draingrepairsnj
311 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
1860s-Texas-rehabnew... Boerne, TX
49,623 Visits | 44 Posts | 193 Pix | 0 Videos
medicareinsurance
361 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
Whiteheads-Marsh-Dom
324 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Tracispermits Patchogue, AL
354 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
MesaBarnHouse Mesa, AZ
2,043 Visits | 34 Posts | 52 Pix | 0 Videos
Vintage-Oaks-Cabin New Braunfels, TX
729 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Z-Oen Dayton, OH
492 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
washougalhome Washougal, WA
1,277 Visits | 22 Posts | 124 Pix | 0 Videos
MadeByMelissaPdByChr... Berea, KY
536 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Geosynthetic-Systems
557 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
vanphuccity Ho Chi Minh, AL
564 Visits | 2 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
MCKAY-ICF-BUILD Oconomowoc, WI
566 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Car-Rentals-in-Udaip... Delhi, AL
596 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Art-Camacho New Braunfels, TX
1,337 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Quijada-project-Lake... Lake Havasu City, AZ
636 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Port-Townsend-Build Sherman Oaks, CA
548 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
See all journals...

Current Top-Rated Posters

RatingPosts
Sally0.001

I am so grateful that I have this site to write on. You guys are great encouragement.
Rachal in Janesville, CA

Try one of our new Construction Bargain Strategies for free. Coupon code: CBS. One strategy could save you $1,000 or $10,000 or maybe $50,000 when you build or remodel.


Lynnette's Forum Posts: 43
Journal Entries: 26
Interview Answers: 62

Private Message


Image from Lynnette's blog

Subscribe to this journal...



This journal has been viewed 32367 times.



Newest << >> Oldest


Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 6/7/2009

The weeks seem to go by very quickly as you near the end of the construction. The details seem to take forever, and the subs never seem to show up. Our columns are finally installed inside after waiting for over 6 months. We ended up with a huge mess from the wood-flooring company as they sanded the upstairs floors. They obviously did not feel the need to use the vacuum when sanding the floors, and spread dust all over the house in the process, which took days to clean.

It mostly upset me because the whole house had pretty much already been cleaned and dusted, and so many of the appliances were already installed. There was dust on every surface regardless of if it was vertical or horizontal. So all the walls had to be cleaned off as well, no small feat I assure you. The curved staircase finally has the wood treads installed (all but the first bottom one, which needs a custom trim-piece), and the tile risers have been installed and grouted. The railings will be next on the list and are being constructed. The original railing installer was also a no-show, even after being paid a substantial deposit. We are going to pursue legal action on him because it went way over one year. He did not do one single thing to show he had any intention of doing the job after he received his deposit! That was extremely frustrating.

So up until today the following has been completed; touch-up paint, closet organizers, all bathrooms, all trim moldings, all doors, pantry shelving, exterior window trim paint, all plumbing fully functional, all a/c fully functional, rain gutters, pool design, columns, fireplace mantel, all decorative trim work. Believe me, that is a very long list of things that seemed to take forever to get accomplished. Most of it had to be done over weekends and a random weekday here and there, when my husband could be available to keep an eye on subs and/or employees. I will update more later...

Photos




Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 2/16/2009 5:40:59 PM

This weekend was spent doing some decorative tiling.  We needed to tile around the family room fireplace before the "real" mantel could be installed and the corbels that sit below it.  We had started a couple of weeks ago and my husband tiled the outside area of the fireplace, but finished the front and then grouted the entire area.  It was a little messy, but it is done.  Then the kitchen back splash tile was completed, and I just finished sealing it today, so it is ready for grout.  I have a decorative niche in the master bath that I found some perfect mosaic tile for.  We installed that also and it is ready for grout.  I will be going there tomorrow and grouting it myself.  I would have done it today, but it was still wet.  I have to say, I absolutely love the way the niche looks.  I am so glad I spent the extra money and time to have it done.  The only thing left to decoratively tile is the risers on both staircases.  I have not yet found the perfect tile, but know exactly what I want.  So it should be easy now.  I am on a mission.  Tomorrow, I am going to measure the stairs and calculate how many square feet of tile I will need so I am ready to purchase it when I find it.  Below are some pictures.

Photos

Fireplace: Tiled and grouted.



Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 2/8/2009 9:30:05 AM

Much has been done.  Much is left to do.  Small details take longer than I ever anticipated, but if tackled one project at a time they seem less daunting.  Our propane tank has been buried and connected to the house.  The gas appliances (except the dryer) have been hooked up to the gas.  Our septic system was installed and we now have functioning toilets.  To my surprise, that has thrilled me more than anything.  I hate using port-a-pottys and I refused to use the one we rented for over a year and a half.  My neighbors must be thrilled me and my daughters will not be randomly knocking on their door to use the facilities.  I have made one bathroom the official usable bathroom and to my chagrin, must now clean it once a week on top of all the construction clean-up that seems endless. 

About the construction clean-up, I have to vent.  I love my husband dearly.  He is a wonderful man.  He works hard and takes wonderful care of myself and our daughters.  He however, is not the most organized or tidy person I know.  Our house has looked like a cyclone hit it from day one.  Instead of putting trash in the garbage it ends up on the floor around the garbage can.  I spent and entire weekend after the house was tiled sweeping, mopping and carefully covering the floor with paper and tape to protect it.  As the cabinets and other various projects like the door trim and door install have been getting done, my paper has been ripped up unmercifully.  The floors look dirtier than they did when I mopped them the first time, and there seems to be no end in sight.  I think I will probably have to do the process all over again and in my mind that just seems ridiculous.  I spend all my time cleaning the mess of everyone that sets foot in that house, and I am already sick of it.  I thought about having a house warming open house after we move in, but after all the cleaning I have already had to do, I am seriously re-thinking the idea.

Enough about that!  So like I mentioned, we have propane and septic.  The cabinets have all been installed.  Most of the counter tops are installed but my sink counter, which they forgot to cut the sink hole in.  I have selected and purchased the back splash tile for the kitchen and it is ready and waiting for installation which will likely happen next weekend.  I also decided to put a piece of granite in my bathroom decorative niche and selected a mosaic tile to install on the entire interior of it.  I will look beautiful and I cant wait to see the outcome.  For the window sills we decided to use any granite that was left from the counter tops in the same space.  So our family room, breakfast nook, and kitchen window all have sills that come from the kitchen counters.  We also had enough left for the fireplace hearth in that space.  In the bathrooms we used the same granite as the counter tops for the shower curbs.  They look great.  Most of the other window sills are travertine and they look very nice because they are so thick they have a real substantial look to them.  All the upstairs doors are now installed and the trim on them is almost complete.  The base molding is coming along slowly, but it is coming along.  We still need to install the bathroom sinks and sink fixtures.  The shower fixtures have only been installed in the downstairs bathrooms, but I am still waiting on delivery of my daughter's shower fixtures.  I decided last minute to change them to oil rubbed bronze, so I had to order the trim pieces that were compatible to the rough-in valves that were already installed.  I think they will look much better with the tile and granite than the chrome fixtures we had originally purchased. 

I told you we make changes here and there.  We ordered a chandelier hoist system that should be in sometime next week.  Once that gets installed we will never have to worry about climbing a ladder to change light bulbs and dust the chandelier.  Not that any ladder could reach it anyway, which is primarily the reason we had to purchase such a thing.  Our railings still cant be installed because the floors have not been sanded and finished because the curved staircase treads have not been installed.  I would definitely have loved to pay someone to do that project, but my husband insisted on doing it himself.  So of course, it is not done.  I am going up there today to vacuum out drawers and floors from all the dust and drywall and dirt that is everywhere.  All the cabinets need a good dusting and cleaning also.  I started them on Friday, but they worked at the house all day yesterday and there is more dirt and dust to clean now.  I hope to have it all cleaned up before they want to start up the A/C.  I will not leave all that dust trapped in my house and spread around by the A/C forever.  I believe the fireplace is what my husband is working on today.  He is tiling the surround in travertine so that the mantle can be installed next week and the decorative corbels installed below it.  It should look amazing once finished.  I promise to add pictures of it when they are in.  I am adding some pictures of the cabinets and counters.  Also a couple of some window sills.

I almost forgot!  The driveway has been installed as well.  It looks fantastic.  I am so thankful to be rid of the sand that was constantly being tracked in the house.  Now the big worry is not ruining the pavers. :)

Photos

Septic tank.
View of the drain field from the upstairs balcony. It is huge!
Kitchen sink and dishwasher.
Microwave and oven.
Kitchen island and stove.
Travertine at front door.
Driveway pavers.
A little artwork I added to one of my daughter's walls to match her bed quilt.
Tankless water heaters after hook-up.
One of the upstairs bathrooms. This one goes to what will eventually be the theater.
Travertine window sills.
Laundry room.
Laundry room, other side.
Master bath, his sink.



Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 10/3/2008 7:29:58 AM

As the summer was ending, my husband's work began to pick-up.  He had a pending project that was due to start in June, and once it began, the house had to wait.  Wait it has!  That is not to say absolutely nothing has happened, but not much.  By that time the floors were tiled and the upstairs and back staircase had the wood flooring installed as well.  We were able to finally design and order the railings for the staircases and balcony.  We also finalized all the cabinet selections and designs and got them ordered.  They would be 6-8 weeks for delivery, and half of them took about 12 to 13 weeks.  No worries, we couldn't be there to install them anyway.  As of today the cabinets are being installed as I type!  They look wonderful, and I could not be happier to see that something is happening. 

We did get most of our interior doors delivered, and all but one were installed downstairs.  The upstairs doors have not been installed since they had not been delivered when the initial installation began.  We did trim around the installed doors (some of them) and they look great!  In the master bedroom the base molding was started and it makes such a huge difference in the look.  It truly is one of the last things that is needed besides the granite window sills and they will get done when the counter tops get installed.  I am all too aware of the little things that need to be done, however, they will have to wait until my husband is able to be there on site to make sure they are done correctly. 

The railings cant get installed until the wood floors are sanded and finished and they cant get done until the front staircase gets the wood on the treads.  It is a vicious cycle right now but when these things are finally worked on, they will go very fast.  All our lighting and outlets and switchplates are installed, and the interior is done from the walls up to the ceiling.  The only things left to do besides finishing the cabinet install is the base molding and septic.  All the A/C is completely done and the electrical is as well.  Once the propane tank is buried and hooked-up to the house, the house can be "functional".  I have all my kitchen appliances just waiting to get put in their place, and as soon as the cabinets are complete they will be.  My cabinet installer says that he should be done by the end of next week.  We have a lot of molding and trim and decorative pieces that will take more time than the actual cabinet installation.  The guy that is installing my cabinets works for my husband and he installs cabinets alone.  He is not a very big guy, and I was leery of how it is possible for one small guy to install all these large and very heavy cabinets.  To my shock, he is doing it and quite well too.  What my cabinet designer told me would take a week, he said will only take 2 -3 days.  And she was counting on a couple of installers working together, he is doing this alone!  I do have some pictures of the cabinets so far, and I will post them here. 

Technically there are many things that could have been done without my husband being there.  He however, wants to be there for not only the quality of work, but the details and changes that could be made during this time.  We keep tweaking things here and there as we go along, and it has worked for us thus far.  We truly are not in any hurry, and though it would be nice to just get the house done, we keep our eye on the big picture.  I truly don't want to move into this house and have lots of little projects that are still left to do.  Primary reason being that they would probably never get done.  My husband is not big on being a honey-do lister.  He would rather find work where he actually gets paid.  So anything left to do after move-in will likely not get done.  Since we did not finance the build, we are paying as we go and right now, very little can go out until after the first of the year.  Then, we will likely get everything done at once.  I will try to stay current on the blog, but I have found it very difficult to do with my other responsibilities.  Keep checking though.

Lynnette

Photos

Tile in master bedroom.
Foyer chandelier.
Kitchen lighting.
Pavers in the courtyard.
Installing crown molding in front foyer.
Brazilian cherry on back staircase.
Built-ins for family room.
Laundry room.
Laundry room.
Master bath, missing the vanity cabinets to the right.
His sink on the right, hers on the left.



Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 4/10/2008 5:26:50 PM

As the saying goes: "God is in the details."  I don't think they meant things like construction details, but it really does suit the subject.  After all the drywall was textured, we quickly got in there and primed everything that stood still.  We waited for the primer to dry and then began the paint selection process.  I already had a pre-selected palette of colors I wanted to use in the house, but determining exactly where they would work best was a bit of a challenge.  I spent an entire day with two girlfriends and 12 cans of test paint and proceeded to paint walls in a multitude of colors.  It was time consuming and tedious, but it was definitely worth doing.  I am happy to say that in one day all the colors of the house interior were selected and ordered including ceiling and trim paint.  Originally, I thought selecting tile was difficult, but it turns out paint was tougher. 

The house was painted inside and we began installing the crown molding.  The double-step crown in the downstairs hallways looks great.  My husband really spent a lot of time paying attention to the details in the ceilings and it definitely payed off, since no one that enters the house ever looks anywhere but up. :)  There really is a lot going on up there and I can't imagine building this house without taking the extra time and money to do such a nice job on the ceilings.  There are still many things that need to be done, such as touch-up the paint here and there, but we are moving through room by room and making sure we go over every square inch and miss nothing. 

The tile has been installed in the master bathroom and downstairs guest room shower.  Upstairs, the theater room/man cave bathroom shower tile has been started as well.  The exterior window and door trim installation has been completed, and the stucco guy has filled everything in very nicely to give it a very seamless look.  We now need to be concerned with the paint outside which needs to be completed and touched up in some areas.  The stonework on the exterior of the house has also been done.  I have to admit I really love the way everything is turning out.  It never ceases to amaze me that the house looks exactly like I had pictured it in my mind inside and out.  We are really enjoying watching it all come together. 

There are still some things left to do, like install the floor tile and interior doors.  We have the granite window sills still left to install as well.  When those are put in, we will be trimming below them with molding.  The staircases have to be completed with the wrought iron that I have not yet selected.  A/C, septic, gas, and electrical need to be completed as well.  The driveway needs to be set up and poured and the cabinets need to be ordered and installed.  Lots and lots of details left to go, but we are handling it with patience.  I look forward to posting lots of pictures as things start to come together.  I have many pictures to share already of the tile and ceilings.  The exterior pictures will also look slightly different since it is complete except for the paint touch-up.  I can't wait till we pour the driveway, because cleaning the dirt that gets tracked inside is starting to get old fast.  The budget has not taken too much of a hit so far, and because of the slowdown in construction we have actually been able to benefit quite a bit.  The photos will follow:

Photos

Ceiling in the family room.
Double-step crown in hallway leading to mudroom area with plaster detail over arch.
Family room and breakfast nook.
View of kitchen and breakfast nook from family room.
View from kitchen doorway through dining room to front foyer.
An upstairs bedroom.
Dining room ceiling with chandelier.
Tile in bath of theater room/man cave.
Master shower.
Master shower, other end.
Master tub.
From another angle.
Full view.
Guest bathroom shower.
Bottom half of guest shower.
Other end.
Garage, lighting has been installed.
Road-facing part of the garage with stonework.
Front of house.
Rear of house.
Rear of house.



Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 1/31/2008 2:31:56 PM

The drywall is in and we are almost done with mudding.  It is truly amazing at how quickly a crew of about 8 men can hang drywall.  Our entire house was done in a matter of three days.  Add to that one and a half days to completely mud the first layer, and in less than a week, our entire house actually seems to have taken shape and seems like the home it should soon become.  No small feat, considering alltogether it is somewhere in the neighborhood of about 7,400 sq. ft.  That includes drywall in the garage.  It is very impressive to walk around and calculate the rate at which they had to move to accomplish such a feat.  My husband calculates that they are hanging around 300 sheets a day.  If you take into account how high the ceilings are that is a big deal.  We also have lots of architectural details in the ceilings which I am sure added tons of extra time and work for them.  The hallways downstairs are all coffered, as well as the office, master bedroom, dining room, breakfast nook, and family room. 

The exterior work has continued with the window sills and trim around the windows and doors.  The arched windows are still untouched since the radius has to be made special.  Hopefully, our foam guy will get off his duff and get this done soon.  He also needs to install some stone on the outside.  Since the only work done recently has been drywall, that is all there is to update.  However, I have tons of photos.  Seriously, there are a lot of photos... sorry!

Photos

One of the hallways downstairs. Note the ceiling details. This view is from mudroom looking towards family room.
Front entry.
Front entry with view of dining room to the right.
Dining room ceiling.
Master bedroom.
Family room.
Hallway leading to room above the garage.
Bonus room.
One of the girl's bedrooms.
Garage.
Garage from the opposite end.
Kitchen.
The other side of the kitchen.
Ceiling in the family room.
View from the dining room.
Office.
Master bathroom, tub and shower area.
Master bathroom, where the cabinets will go.
Master bathroom, area in front of the tub and doorway into the bathroom.
Laundry room.
Back stairwell.
Room above the garage.
Other daughter's bedroom which faces the front of the house.
Living room which is behind the curved staircase.
Current elevation of the house (still needs stone and window trim).



Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 1/5/2008 4:35:15 PM

From the last post, I definitely underestimated how long the foaming would take.  Let's just say that post was on the 11th of Dec. and today, on the 5th of January, we should be completing it.  So much for one week of spraying.  My husband hates the foaming with a passion, mostly because he hates the spray suit and ventilator he has to wear.  He feels way too restricted in those items and I think slightly claustrophobic.  He will be overjoyed to be completed with this particular aspect of the house building.  He keeps saying when this foaming is done he never wants to see that machine again!  This coming from a man who does not shy away from hard work, so it must be a miserable job.  I know it took us two full days to cover the house with plastic so as not to have too much of a mess left over.  Thank goodness we did not skimp on the use of plastic.  That stuff gets on literally everything.  After the foam is complete, we will have to trim the foam flush with the studs anywhere they will be hanging drywall. 

The architectural foam guys came and started installing some of their stuff.  They only got as far as the front portico and installed the decorative brackets.  They look really good.  There is a lot more architectural foam that will be going up as well as stone on the front of the house.  They will be handling all those items.  From the sketches, it is going to look fantastic and I am so excited to see it completed.

Our stucco is finally, absolutely, and definitely done!  After we had painted the whole house, there were some "touch-up" areas that needed to be re-stuccoed, and so those will have to be re-painted.  But, we are just glad that the stucco is finally complete because that also created quite a mess.  Since we used the commercial-grade synthetic stucco you don't have to wait for days of dry time and curing.  We will be painting the areas that need to be re-done this week.  There is still so much left to be done.  I certainly hope we can keep focused. 

We are going to take a good long hard look around in the interior before the drywall goes up and make sure that any and all wiring that we could possibly ever need or want is taken care of now.  It is much easier to do those things before the walls get closed in.  This is something that I have already done about three times.  One more won't hurt.  Also, the areas in the bathrooms where we will need to hang any towel bars or hooks will be looked over so they can have extra reinforcement installed before the drywall goes in as well.  All interior decorative architecture will also be evaluated such as niches and such.  We don't want to have any regrets in these areas and make sure we have those things where we want them now.  I have only a few pictures to post, since there is not enough visible change right now from the last post.  The front porch with decorative brackets installed as well as more interior insulation...

Photos

Front porch with decorative brackets.
View from another angle.
Grand entry with foamed walls.
More foamed walls.
Our daughter standing in the attic space looking at the foam.



Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 12/11/2007

Just a short update. We have started to foam the house. This is a job we are doing ourselves, and it is going to take about a week to complete. We started out with 2-lb. foam, but that only covers about 4,500 board feet at one inch per drum set. The 1/2 lb. foam covers 14,000 board feet at one inch. We have two sets of 55-gal. drums of the 2 lb. We will be spraying the inside of the exterior walls upstairs with that, and when we run out we will finish up the rest of the job with 1/2 lb. foam.We are doing it at four inches thick, so at that rate of coverage it would take us about 9 drum sets more, minimum, to do just the rafters in the 2-lb. foam. I won't even get into what that cost is. So, since foam at 1/2 lb is still very good, we will just use that and also under the floors upstairs for sound. 

The insulation is put on hold until next week, since our outside lift will have to go back on the 21st and there is exterior painting to do. My husband has a job to do for a client the rest of this week starting tomorrow, so nothing will be done. Then, starting on Monday, they HAVE to get as much painting done as possible to finish before the lift goes back. The photos are just from two days worth of painting, and they will have it done well before the 21st. We got the drawings back from our architectural foam guy on the details around all the exterior windows and doors as well as the columns. They are going to look great. We will also be adding some stonework to the bottom part of the columns and the bump-outs in the front of the house. The drawings look great and I can't wait to see the final product. That job will be started in about two weeks.

Today I also finalized and purchased all the tile for the showers and baths. What a daunting task that was. I however am very happy with all the selections and hope that everyone who comes over will love them as much as I do. The faucets for the master bathroom tub and sinks were also ordered this week as well as the sinks and faucets for the kitchen. I have had as much as I can handle of money spending this week, and do not want to think about buying anything else. Unfortunately, it is the Christmas season and it is inevitable. So I will just put the brakes right now on the house spending and concentrate on family for now. I have some pictures of the paint, as it was around lunchtime this afternoon and the insulation from Saturday.

Photos




Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 12/6/2007

Since my last update, things have not gone at the pace we had hoped or expected. I suppose that is to be expected, but honestly there were two major factors to blame for the hold-up. The mechanical, and two windows. We needed to have both of these things complete before we could get our framing inspection, and we ended up waiting about three weeks longer than we should have before they were finally taken care of. The mechanical took longer because the HVAC guy has been very busy with some commercial projects, and the windows that were missing from our dining room kept coming in with the wrong radius, therefore not lining up with the center window correctly. We ended up having the Silverline Windows guy come in from the factory just to be able to figure out why they kept getting the size wrong. In the end, we used the last windows they shipped and ended up ripping out the bottom three windows and the top center one to adjust everything and make it work. No small feat for anyone who remembers that this house is ICF and the concrete has rebar inside. But I suppose all's well that ends well, and we have the window looking just perfect. You can see the window in question beside the front door, to the right from the outside. 

Stucco has been progressing and is almost complete. It looks really good. I am so glad I chose to do an old world texture. That smooth texture looks so much better than the rough one. Also, the texture goes all the way around the whole house and upstairs, not just the front. We have done all the eaves, and they are completely closed in. We do not need to vent the attic, since we are using a foam insulation. We have put yellow board on and have had it stuccoed over to complete the look. They look great! As with any owner-builder house, once you are in construction you will find things that need to be either changed or added. We have added many arches throughout the house, both inside and out. The last arch to be added was over the front door. I never liked the flat square the framers put in, and it bothered me all this time. Finally, we decided it was time to put in the arch or never have it done. My husband put it on himself and made it match the window that sits directly below it. It is not a very dramatic arch, but it is symmetrical to the windows, so it looks good. 

We had our mechanical inspection yesterday and passed it the third time around. Our framing inspection was today and that also passed. Next step will be the insulation. Can't wait. To date, since the last post the following inspections have been done and passed: electrical, low voltage, gas lines, mechanical, and framing. I will post next during the insulation process. We will begin tomorrow. I have several pictures to share.

Lynnette

Photos

Retaining wall we decided to add around the oak tree in front of our garage. This will reduce the need for a dramatic slope in the front yard.
Master tub framing. The tub will be placed in once we decide exactly how we want to situate it in this section.
Photo of the stuccoed eaves. They look so good.
Here you can see the dining room windows and the arch above the front door.
The area around these windows finally got all finished in and stuccoed.
My daughter in the dining room.
Dining room arches from the hallway coming out of the kitchen. Also, the bottom of the rounded staircase can be seen.
These are the arches looking from under the stairs into the dining room.
This is the mitered window in the breakfast nook, looking from the family room.
One of my daughter's bedroom, looking towards her bathroom. The shower stall is visible.
The kid's upstairs bonus room.



Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 10/25/2007

I noticed that I had not posted pictures of the house with any windows or doors installed. We finally got all the doors installed, including the garage doors. Even though we have not installed the drywall, the garage doors had to be installed. We have, for the second time now, had our wiring cut out of the house. It is extremely frustrating and infuriating that someone could be so heartless and take wire out of a home that is not even finished. The first time it was no big deal because only two rooms in the house had been wired, but this time the whole house was wired up. The wiring was not complete, but it was well on its way. This time the electrician had to charge for the fix to the tune of $6,100. Apparently this is a trend for thieves looking for some quick (although little) cash.

The sheriff that came out to take the report informed us that they respond to about ten of these calls a day. So, we went ahead and had the garage doors installed and we will take them down and re-install them in one day when the drywall is being done in the garage. We had a huge mitered window in the kitchen nook that was also installed, so all the openings are now closed and hopefully the thieves will not want to bother trying to break in. Just in case though, we had the alarm system completely installed and will be trying to get it functional with a battery. It won't be monitored, but the neighbors will hear the very loud siren and they will call the law. 

So, on to happier subjects. As I mentioned earlier, the windows are in and so are the doors. Our custom mitered window is in and looks fabulous! It is so big I can't believe it. We had our back patio concrete poured two days ago and it is also huge. The back patio really looks very large and it will be a wonderful entertaining space for our special occasions and holidays. We also poured the front porch slab and all the slabs for the A/C units. We passed our inspections for the shower pans and tubs. We will be finished with all the electrical wiring by next Monday and that will be inspected shortly afterward. The propane lines were installed this week and they should have them complete and the tank buried early next week. We are waiting on a part that was missing from the order I made for the venting on the two fireplaces. 

We went through and installed all the hardware on all the exterior doors (11 of them), and we added some number combination handles for our subs to be able to enter the house without needing a key. This way we will also be able to change the combination and keep anyone out we want to after they no longer have any business in the house. These door handles are made by Schlage and are really cool. One of them we put on a storage closet that has outside access and it is a deadbolt lock. They are somewhat pricey, but are really nice. The number keypad even lights up when you push the button so you can still use it at night. 

We should be able to begin the spray-foam insulation by mid-to-late next week. Then, the drywall will begin. I have included some pictures of the exterior so the doors and windows can be seen. I also have a photo of our shower and the courtyard shower rough-in. There is a photo of my father on our curved staircase with the temporary railing.  Things are moving right along. We also are running all the Cat 5 and Cat 6 cables as well as the intercom system. There are so many things happening at once right now.

Photos




Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 9/19/2007

As the heading says, there is lots of progress. I know it has been a while since the last post, and that does not mean not much has happened. Due to kids in school, work commitments, and the house of course, I have been so busy lately. I still get out to the house almost daily to check in, and sometimes twice a day. It makes it difficult when I have two kids who get out of school at different times of the day and I have to run back and forth constantly. My husband has been working at the house for the last two weeks and that is a good thing, because it is keeping things moving along faster and smoother. Up to this point the following has been done:

HVAC ducts have begun to be installed and are almost complete.

Stucco has begun in earnest, but the stucco guy is only working on evenings and weekends since he is someone who has a business relationship with my husband and he is cutting him a great price.

Rough plumbing complete! The lines are pressurized and have water in them. The shower pans are in and my husband has been installing the DUROCK in all the wet areas since yesterday.

Electrical has begun, and even though we had someone "try" to steal our wiring after the first weekend, (they cut almost all the wires to try to take them, but left most of it behind, must have gotten spooked by a neighbor) the electrician has wired up most of the house.

Rounded staircase has been constructed and is in the rough stage.

Window installation has begun, and all are in except for a custom window that we are still waiting to get a price on. A couple of the rounded windows are sized wrong and don't make the arch correctly, so they will need to be corrected and brought out.

Roof is dried-in and the flashing and tar is put down; the fascia is on, and so is the drip edge. We are not installing the shingles at the request of the stucco guy, so that they don't get any of the stucco material on them, since some of the roof actually has stucco above it.

Fireplaces are set in place.

Exterior doors have been ordered, along with the garage doors.

I think that could be all since the last update. We had some custom windows that we decided to incorporate into the design of the house and made a special place for them in the back wall of the garage. To date, these windows have gotten the most compliments of anything in the house. They really do look very nice, and add a really special touch to the look of the house. The progress is slow and steady, but is moving along at a pace I am comfortable with. We should be ready for insulation in about another week or two, I would guess. At about that time, the doors will be in as well and the house can be closed up and locked up when we leave. This will be a great relief to me.

I do have some photos, but since so much has happened since the last post, there are very few interior photos. I will save them for when the drywall starts to go in, that will make it more interesting to look at. I will definitely try to be more vigilant about keeping the posts current. Bear with me; I have a lot on my plate these days.

Photos




Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 8/2/2007

As the title says, the framing is beginning to come to an end. I had hoped that the framing crew would have been done about two weeks before now, but it has been raining very hard almost daily, and they seem to end their day pretty early as well. I go out to the property to check on the day's progress at about 4:00 or 4:30 every day, and by the time I get there, the place is deserted. I have caught them out there only a few times in the last month that they have been working. 

A recurring theme seems to be: "this is a very complicated house." We have heard this from several people such as the truss engineers, our architect, and of course the framers. This, in combination with the size of the house, seems to be the primary reason this particular build is going somewhat too slow. We are confident that once the framing and dry-in are complete, the complication factor won't slow us down any more. We warned them this morning that the house better be dried-in before this weekend, which only gives them today and tomorrow. All this time and rain have caused some of our lumber and plywood to not look so good, and I have spent too much money on all of it to have to replace anything because they are just not moving fast enough.

The framing company owner went out to the house this morning for the first time in, I guess, three weeks or so, and told the crew that they would not leave there until it was done. We did have a nailing inspection and a sheeting inspection this morning and passed. The crew thought they would leave after the inspector left, and they had another thought coming. Boss man said not so fast, you have more work to do, and you will work until it is done. He realizes that this rain is beginning to damage pretty much everything they have worked on and it will cost him to replace anything. 

The inspector also said that we could have had a partial inspection and had half of the house dried-in. We told him that we had called about that, and the county said that it had to be all or nothing. He informed us that the people they have manning those calls really follow the rules to the letter and don't realize that a house this size needs to be an exception, because it takes so long to get it to the point that a complete inspection is due. This frustrates him and us equally.

I hate the fact that it has been raining inside the house through all the cracks in the plywood sheets on the roof, and there is nothing we can do about it. We will need to let it sit and completely dry out before we can do anything after they lay the felt down, because it is just too wet. The windows sure can't be installed until then, because that moisture will be trapped inside and we will be sealing that house really well with spray insulation. 

So, as far as we can tell, the framers should be done with the dry-in this week and tying up all other loose ends in the beginning of next week. Then we can get the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical going. We already applied for our roofing permit and will be putting the shingles on as soon as we are able to. I have been meeting with propane companies to get the final prices on installing a tank and running the lines. I believe we will be going with Sam's Gas. Their guy really impressed my hubby and he feels the most comfortable with him. The lady from Heritage Propane seemed to have dollar signs in her eyes once she saw the house and I have a feeling her estimate will be way inflated. There are a few pictures to show.

Photos




Comments (1)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 7/18/2007

Well, it has been such a long time since my last post, I actually had to go back and see where I left off. The irritation of the concrete wall pour is far behind us now, and we are on to other issues. The framers should have been done by now, but they got about a good week off for one reason or another. Not good for us time-wise, but they did eventually get things rolling, and when they put their minds to it, they can really get some work done. So far, they have the load-bearing walls up on the first floor. They put up the load-bearing walls on the second floor and put all the trusses in. The first half of the stairs in the stairwell and the landing have been constructed as well, and they began to place plywood on anything that would sit still long enough. 

The subfloor is down on the entire second level, and if the stairs get finished today, I will be able to step on it for the first time. I get on the scissor lift and take a peek up there now and then, and dream of the day my children will be inhabiting that space. We already are making mental modifications on some of the framing, to better utilize any wasted space or increase the size of closets and such. It occurred to me to measure the front-loading washer and dryer I have, since my current laundry room is the garage. I realized the door for the laundry room will be too narrow to fit them through, so we will be making that door wider before we order it. 

I have not heard a peep from the window order, and I think I should follow up on it today. They should have been in last week sometime. We are not ready for them yet, but will be soon and it will be nice to get them in before we need them, rather than wait on them later. I have some pictures to share and you can now see the entire house as it will look eventually. It really looks like a house now.

Photos




Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 6/27/2007

On Monday, June 25th we finally poured our walls. The process began at 6 am and continued non-stop (except for some major rain), until 4 pm. We used just as much concrete for the walls and columns as we did for the slab. That is one big house. I honestly don't remember exactly how many yards, but it is in the neighborhood of about 96. 

The pump operator was a complete nightmare, in my opinion. He just could not keep the flow of concrete on slow. He would start out slow and then gradually increase the rate until there was concrete everywhere. I think we ended up with about $1,000 worth of concrete on the slab and outside the house on the ground because of him. Unbelievable! This is a company that has done ICF pours before, too. Frustrations were high and the heat was too. I went up there at 6 am to document the pour and ended up being part of the work crew because of all the concrete mess we ended up with. I kept an eye out for blowouts and we did have a few, but they were easily dealt with. Most of those were caused by the sheer force of the concrete coming out. No matter how many times and how many ways we told this guy to slow down the pumper, it ended up the same.

I honestly have never seen an ICF pour be so messy. My husband spent all day yesterday power-washing the slab and walls because they were just peppered with concrete. We cleaned and washed off most of it after the pour, but believe me when I tell you, there was so much more left to clean. I finally left the property at 6 pm to go home and shower. I was tired and sore and my knee was killing me. I am truly thankful that is over for good. I do have pictures but will probably post a couple later when I don't get so angry looking at them. 

I believe the framers will be setting the trusses tomorrow. They would have been out yesterday to start, but the house needed such a thorough cleaning and organizing after the chaos of the pour that they decided to work on something else while we got that done. Today, they will be wrapping up that other project and trying to go out in the afternoon, if possible, to start the chalk lines. We did set the bolts and strapping for them during the pour, so that is taken care of.


Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 6/22/2007

Here we are, finally ready to fill the walls with concrete. Today is Friday and on Monday morning the pour will begin. We had our wall rebar inspection yesterday and passed with no problems. The framer has been out to the property and has begun his pre-planning. He is setting up where the brackets for the trusses will be installed and has mentioned his crew will begin the framing on Tuesday. He will be at the site on Monday to move the trusses and joists around, and set them up where he wants them, so they can move quickly on the install. I hope they don't get in the way of the concrete pour, so hopefully they know what they are doing. My husband will keep an eye on them to make sure they don't slow progress down during this time. 

The scaffolding has all been installed and we are set. We are renting the scaffolding from Florida PolySteel, and had to wait for it to become available. It was out at another property and that owner took a month to release it. We have had it since Monday, and because of the size of the house, we were actually short and had to improvise with lumber to finish bracing almost 3/4 of the rear of the house. All things considered, it has been a smooth installation. As many people already know, lots of corners and openings will increase time and money when it comes to ICF.  So please keep this in mind whenever you are designing and planning the house. Not that we have been behind our projected schedule or anything, but had this house been more "square" and had fewer windows and doors, we would already be under roof right now. We don't mind, because this is the house we want in every way, but it sure is painful to pay some of these bills when I think how much less it would be if the house were a different design. No regrets! Just a word of caution for anyone who is building ICF on a tight budget. Design should be a major factor.

The slab has been cleaned up, and looks really open. For some reason, it looks like it has shrunken in size again. It is sort of comical how it looks big, then small, then big again depending on what stage it is in.  I am trying not to focus on that, but sometimes it is really obvious. As I have said before, I can't wait to be able to walk around when all the different rooms are laid out, and especially the second story which has been non-existent so far. The house should be dried-in no later than two weeks from today, so I am getting very excited. I have some pictures to share.

Photos




Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 6/11/2007

The ICF walls are almost complete. They should be ready to fill in a few days. The bracing will be installed in a day and the strapping for the floor joists and trusses will be started today. The window order is going to be finalized and turned in today also. The framing lumber is now on site. As soon as the walls are poured, the framing crew will begin framing without delay. 

Walking through the house is definitely different now than it was last week. The sheer amount of windows and their size is incredible. All the corners definitely stand out, now that the walls go all the way up. I predict that the pour will take longer than normal, just because of all the openings. We had about 6 pallets of ICF forms left over. We knew that they had over-calculated the amount, since there are so many window and door openings. PolySteel will take them back and give us a refund for them. That will help the budget. 

We noticed there was a miscalculation on the plumbing of the lavatory. It will need to be moved back about a foot and a half, or the toilet will sit directly in front of the door that leads outside to the back patio. Other than that, and the fact that there is tons of garbage all over the slab and perimeter of the house, everything is going well. I am posting pictures.

Photos




Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 5/30/2007

Well, after a wonderful break during Memorial Weekend, the walls are finally going up!

Tom actually started putting some of the window bucks in on Monday because he just could not help himself, he had to see something actually go skyward. So, Tuesday morning full-blown wall constructing had started. I went up there at the end of the day to take pictures and really was impressed with the progress. The front of the house is practically completed all the way across (not up), and the front entry walls are up about a good 8 feet. I am lucky that my guys are taking the time to make sure everything is plumb and correct, because we don't want any problems when the concrete pour starts. I think it will probably take a good two weeks to get this thing ready to pour, but we will be saving a lot of money we would have had to  pay an ICF installer. 

All the trusses and floor joists have been delivered to the site and are waiting to get installed as soon as the walls are complete and poured. The framers are just dying to get started, so I would hate to disappoint. Hopefully, it will be dried in within four weeks. That would be awesome! As always, some photos. I will be back up there at the end of today to take more progress shots. I hate going up there when they are working, since I have my two girls who just love to get in the way of the work.

Photos




Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 5/30/2007

Tom spent the better part of the week of the 21st working on the window and door bucks. I tell you, if this house is not all corners, the rest of it is windows and doors. The window bucks are truly impressive in size and scale. We will definitely not have any problem with natural light in this house. :) He spent Memorial Day weekend placing the bucks in their respective areas of the slab. This way, on Tuesday they can just begin putting the ICF forms together and all the bucks are ready to put in place. Of course, as always, photos are attached (only a few).

Photos




Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 5/30/2007

After the mason finished up the wall on the courtyard and around where the a/c unit will be outside by the garage, he got to work on creating the columns. We have two "gynormous" columns on the front porch and several on the back patio. When I first went to look at them, the back ones were all complete and the two on the front porch were only about halfway complete. The second time I went, the front porch columns were completely done and about twice the height they were originally. These two columns are monsters. I just love looking at them and marveling at their size. Unreal. Photos attached.

Photos




Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 5/30/2007

On the week of May 7th, the mason began work on the courtyard walls. The courtyard is a private retreat I just had to have. It is part of the master suite, and will have an outdoor shower and our hot tub will make its home there. This is already my absolute favorite part of this house. I have posted some pictures of the walls, which took the mason about three days to complete.

Photos




Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 5/3/2007

Well, I thought my next post would be about the stemwall and then maybe the pictures.  In the time it took me to finally take those pictures, they got the stemwall poured and the rough plumbing in.  Then, they inspected the plumbing and internal footers which all passed without incident.  My husband had already scheduled a concrete pour which happened this morning.  Luckily I made it before they finished, but barely.  I got there at 8:15 am, and they already had poured all but the garage and master shower.  So I am the proud owner of a slab.  I have some pictures to share, since they are always fun.  We are looking at putting up the ICF forms through the rest of this week and maybe pouring the concrete for them by the end of next week, if not sooner.  Obviously, those pictures will be coming soon.

Lynnette

Photos




Comments (0)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 3/23/2007

Well, it has been about a month and a half since my last post. Not because nothing has been happening, but because what has been happening has been somewhat slow. As we all know, the very beginning of the groundbreaking is less than dramatic as far as physically seeing progress. So to sum up what has transpired since the last post:

1.  The rest of the lot was cleared.

2.  The lot was graded.

3.  The surveyor staked the lot and building envelope.

4.  The footers were dug, treated for termites, and filled with rebar and concrete.

5.  The ICF stemwall has been started.

It was actually quite exciting to actually see the footprint of the house, even if it is filled with dirt mounds for now. I hate to say this, but it looks awfully small to me and it seems impossible to conceive that the area I am looking at is actually supposed to be 5,690 square feet. But everyone swears that it is correct. So I just keep thinking that the perspective will change once there are walls up. I have been taking photos and hope to post some with the next update. I will post again once the stemwall is finished and filled.


Comments (1)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 1/26/2007

Finally! We got approved for our permit yesterday. Since the last post, they were turned down for a minor oversight from the architect on the stair detail. Basically, the cross-section drawing did not show the landing that the floorplan had. It originally did not have a landing, but they made us add one because of the height. So permitting kicked it out so that they could erase a couple of lines. Then, they quickly approved it after. I am so happy that part is over, but am very aware that other roadblocks lie ahead before the house is ready for occupancy. But for now, the celebration is on! 

The lot is graded and ready to roll. We are just tweaking the numbers to see what the actual construction cost will be. We have decided that we are doing the following ourselves (my husband with his crew): foundation, ICF, framing, drywall, painting, and tile. This should greatly reduce the total cost of building this large home. Right now, we are undecided about the roof. It is designed and engineered for tile, but if cost does not permit we will do a three-tab shingle for now, and upgrade in the future. My husband can do the shingles but not the tile. But, I really want the tile, so that is what we will be working towards in the budget. Our dream home may soon be a reality. I can't wait to see it in 3-D.

Lynnette

Below are two pictures of the lot in its current state. The first has my two girls playing in the largest sandbox they have ever owned (for now), and the second shows the final state of the lot. We had staked out where the house will sit to get an idea if any more trees needed to go. Thankfully, we were able to spare them.

Photos




Comments (1)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 1/11/2007

Well, the architect has completed our re-re-re-revised plans. I picked them up this afternoon, and hopefully we will have them turned in to permitting tomorrow. I can't imagine anything else they may want verified, clarified, engineered, changed, added, or deleted. I think we have run the gambit on changes. I have some pictures from the continuous lot clearing yesterday. One of these is from the very back of the lot, and it really looks big from back there. It is a full acre and sometimes it looks big to me, sometimes not big enough. I also am including some pics of the house rendering and floor plan. Please note that there are some minor modifications on the plans I attached.

Lynnette

Photos




Comments (2)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 1/2/2007

As previously posted, we are trying to get in touch with our architect who is supposed to make some stair additions to our plans so that we can get our permit. We are still waiting on a call back from him. We left a message yesterday and today, and still no word. Not exactly a surprise, to tell you the truth. He has been a help so far, but it is really these last minute details that can get aggravating and having to wait days just to explain what we need done can really be the most painful when we just want progress.

On the bright side, we did get to save a lot of money on some appliances at Expo yesterday. They had some appliances that had been returned or canceled at 50% off, with an additional 25% on yesterday's purchases. We made off with three GE Monogram appliances at an absolute steal, and they were new in the box. They had been ordered and then the order was canceled. Since they can't return these items to the manufacturer, they mark them as "green tag" and sell them at a loss. Good for us, bad for them. Slowly we are making progress at obtaining all the appliances and have still yet to pay full price for any of them.

Also, International Builder's Show will be in Orlando on Feb. 7th - 10th, and you can get free admission for the four-day exhibit pass.

Lynnette


Comments (1)
Private Message

Posted to DreamHome by Lynnette in Orlando, FL on 12/30/2006

It has been some time since I have been to this site, since our house planning has taken over three years, and the last two were "wasted," for lack of a better word, on details that should have taken more or less two months. I suppose to start this blog, I should state that it has bee nine years since we first conceived of possibly building a home there. At the time, we really had no vision of what we truly wanted to build, and were not sure what size family would ultimately fill the home. We are now way past that lack of vision and very much in the "we definitely know what we want and won't settle for less" phase of the process. 

At this stage of the game, we have the house plans drawn up, signed and sealed (for what that is worth with the county), the lot has been cleared for the most part. The front and middle part of the lot has been cleared and we will complete the rest in the next week or so. Our main holdup right now is the county refusing to give us the permit because we have a curved staircase in the main foyer that they apparently have issues with. At first, they requested all kinds of details of the design which we gladly gave them, but then they wanted the staircase itself engineered. Easy enough, I thought to myself, I will just call our architect and have the person who engineered the plans take care of it, WRONG!

Apparently such a staircase has to be engineered with special software and since our manufacturer is in Canada, they cannot do it for us. Can you believe that no engineer in this town would do it or could do it? I finally, on a whim, contacted an engineering firm that does theme parks and specialty roller coasters and persuaded them to do it. Thankfully that got taken care of, but at a cost of $500. So back to permitting the plans go, and kicked back out because they wanted the plans to reflect the staircase details from the manufacturer and the engineering. Even though the package included the note from the architect to refer to the manufacturer details and the letter that was signed and sealed by the other engineer for the stairs. Now they also want a footer at the base of the stairs even though the engineer does not state that it is required. Of course our architect took the week off, so all this will have to wait until after the first of the year. With all this nonsense it is really any wonder I did not want to start the blog sooner? But I will try to post more regularly and add photos as well. 

I do also want to add that my husband is a GC, but does mostly commercial work, so our house project is new for him. We also own a dumpster business. For those locals who would like pricing, contact me and I will fax you a price sheet. The dumpster business came about mostly by accident, but has come in pretty handy since it took about five loads to clear the property so far. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope you come back and are able to learn from our experience. I am working on a website as well, but have found little time to get it going past the first two pages. Be patient; I will get my act in order soon. New year, new goals!

Lynnette

Photos




Comments (0)
Private Message


Newest << >> Oldest


Copyright 1997-2019 Consensus Group Inc.