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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 1/29/2009

I forgot these pics.

Photos

Office doors 1
Office doors 2
Experimenting with outside lighting



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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 1/29/2009

Again what can I say, I'm lacking on updates on here, so I'll just put some pictures of what I've been up to.

Photos

Dining room, hand scraped wood floor in walnut
Powder room
Powder room 2
Doors to wine cellar
Front doors
Outdoor fire place, still needs slate tile up wall and on the sitting area
Doors to master bedroom
Doors to master 2
Kitchen 1
Kitchen 2
Kitchen 3
Cooker



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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 8/26/2008

Hey guys, what can I say? I am bad when it comes to posting stuff, but as we walk our dog tonight, I have to take a couple of pics. So here they are. Are we finished yet? Heck no, but we live here and that is all the help and encouragement we need.

Photos

Late afternoon
Late afternoon two
Late afternoon three
Early evening
Messy kitchen. As you can see, we like big refrigerators.



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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 4/6/2008

Here's where we are as of the end of March, 2008.

Photos

Our granite at the yard, we have to have four slabs as we are doing our backsplashes as well.
Fencing comes down
Preparing for driveways
First installments of kitchen cabs, they will have solid-walnut drawers and doors, and we opted for those slow self-closing drawers.
Marble tile, not travertine (shock, horror!) around one of the the downstairs bedroom baths.
Start of the circular driveway



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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 4/6/2008

As I said, here are more pictures. I have found that taking the bull by the horns and pressing harder with different trades as to what you expect from them (a little more than I would normally), and it works quite well. In other words, tell them to do what they said they were going to do in the amount of time they estimated and ride them until they do - every day. 

Photos

Getting ready for iron
Pool equipment
Made the baluster at the bottom of the stairs taller
More travertine, finished back deck
$50 bargain, so we bought two
Stamped concrete coping on spa



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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 4/5/2008

Yep, I am no good when it comes to updating the website, but we have been making progress, I have attached a couple of pics, but there are so many I will post them over the next few days...

Photos

Start of the travertine floors
Handrail for the stairs
Floor medallion
Kitchen floor travertine
Travertine on outdoor decks
Stairs
Driveway one
Driveway two



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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 1/24/2008

Here are our first-floor and second-floor plans.

Photos

First floor


Files




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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 1/18/2008

The stucco and roof guys have now taken down the scaffold that has surrounded the house for so long, it's a great feeling actually seeing the house. We are waiting on bids for the hardscapes and landscaping; also the tile guys start next week. The company I was expecting to use have not returned calls (get used to it) so they lost this job.

The handrails have been glued with the appropriate curves, the most difficult being the compound curve going down the stairs. I have just removed all the masking from the windows, doors, canned lights (stuffed with fiberglass to stop the paint) switches and plugs, also scraped the floors and mopped every one - my first indication of how it's going to be cleaning 6,000 square feet... maybe in the future I'll just buy these instead: irobot.com!

Photos

Chimney detail
Handrail bending
No scaffold
Finished eaves painting
8-ft. front door
Shared balcony for two bedrooms
Window details
Eave detail
Balcony rail



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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 1/11/2008

Just finished the paint, mostly inside (130 gallons) as the stucco had the color built in. I had bids which varied from $13,000 for interior paint, materials and up... I borrowed a friend's airless paint sprayer (thanks, Frank) and as he said, "you will want to buy one yourself after using one," so 20 gallons in I purchased a GRACO MAGNUM XR9 from Home Depot, plus a couple of extra nozzles and, hey, presto - two and a half weeks later I have finished the paint.

I had help at first with about half the primer (25 gallons) but did the rest alone. Total cost including sprayer was $2,985; this price is not for the fainthearted, and I second-guessed myself a couple of times during that time, but it's done and I am quite proud... oh, and it looks great apart from one or two places that I will fix. I have a guy bending the wood for the staircase, for about a quarter of the cost of the lowest bid, how? I went around a couple of custom homes and came across a well-known local stair company working and just stood and watched on and off for a few days, and noticed that one guy was doing all the work, so I asked him if he did work on the side and he said yes, and that was that.

Photos

Front windows exterior
Garages
Where the range is going
Staircase
2nd floor
Balcony
Back
Where pool is going



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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 12/27/2007

Sorry for being so tardy with our postings, but as you soon realize, your blog becomes a very poor second, anyway all is going well, although I have been fight the HOA every single day; e.g. $450 fines for dumping??? I had to waste half a day fighting that, trying to prove that it was not dumping, as the soil that was dumped on the land adjacent was dug from that land, and we had to put it there to build the dividing wall between the two pieces of land, and for the wall we were sharing the cost. Or a $40 fine for my truck's front wheels touching the sidewalk... but they were not, but it seems that if my fender projects over the sidewalk whilst the wheels are on my land, that I am infringing.

Now bear in mind that the security company that issues the fines is paid for by the owners, so in effect I am paying for a company to police us as we build, yet they will not protect our property in a 24-hr guard gated community until we have our CO (Certificate of Occupancy) oh, and they also fined us $300 for leaving our fence open, even though I have photographic evidence to prove that when we left the site that we locked up. Frustrating... just a little. Although they pulled back on most fines because the overseeing HOA has brains, it's the time wasted, and it also makes for a very miserable and frustrating build. That said, here are a couple of updated photos, oh... we are still smiling.

Photos

Above front door



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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 11/17/2007

The insulation is in (two days) drywall hung (6 working days), and they have started the taping and mud on the interior. Just make sure that you have everything that you want behind the drywall, because it would be a pain doing it later. We took pictures of every wall in every room before drywall, so we know where to look later.

I forgot the speaker wire in the theater room, yet I managed to put wire for 28 speakers for the rest of the house and, yep, I forgot the most important room. Anyway, that was before drywall, so I had to remove the fiberglass insulation, which is great fun if you enjoy itching... strangely enough, I don't.

Photos

Entrance ceiling
Where the range will live
Garages
Master bath with fireplace
Vapor barrier in and leading to the wine cellar



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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 10/23/2007

The second coat of stucco called the brown coat has just been done, and on the whole they did a great job. There is about one day's worth of fixes to be done by one guy from the stucco company after we walked the house checking the work, but they are easy fixes. It was important to look closely for clear even lines, patches that may need squaring up; but once you know what to look for, it becomes obvious where to look (Keith pointed out what to look for, and hey presto, now I know).

I have just finished the central vac system and it works!!! Shock, horror; (brought the whole package from thinkvacuums.com, very helpful and knowledgeable people.) Today me and Keith were pulling the low-voltage wiring (cat5e/RG6... bundled wire as well as speaker wire and individual cat5e, the hardest and most time-consuming part is deciding where is the best place to put it! Anyway it definitely is not brain surgery and quite rewarding...

Photos



Files




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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 10/21/2007

Okay, so our house is finally one color, albeit drab gray, but it still marks a giant leap forward for us. Now those who know stucco understand that this is the first layer, and there are two more to go. The second is in three days, and then the final third is roughly three weeks after that. We are opting to use OmegaFlex, which is basically an acrylic-finished stucco normally used on commercial buildings. It costs more, but comes with color in it and is highly crack resistant and guaranteed for many years to come.

We did fail the first lath inspection, but with minor fixes we passed later that day. The strange thing about the inspections is that you start to take them personally, like the guy is trying to make your life hard just because he can. But everything that we have had to fix so far (which I'm happy to say is not too many). I am glad that he noticed, as it makes for a better home and also makes sure the subs do their stuff before they get paid.

Photos




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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 10/6/2007 2:20:37 AM

So my buddy T-Bone just made me some of the greatest rails I have seen (that's him in the pictures)... we love them. I purchased the parts from kingmetals.com way, way cheaper than anywhere local and Bone did the rest. Also we had the drywall laid out in all the rooms in the house ready for hanging, hopefully in about a week. But I first have to finish the central vac and then run all of the low-voltage wiring.

Photos




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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 9/27/2007

Yes, it’s been awhile, but as some will know and the rest will find out, this is a all-consuming affair. And just when we thought we would put a post out, something cropped up and again your life becomes a frustrating jangle of emotions and of course cold hard cash. Anyway, we move on as you can see by the pictures we have. Amongst all the turmoil is my site supervisor Keith Moore, who I have to say, without whom I think that I would have a lengthy criminal record thus far, has been the voice of reason, understanding, and knowledge and is the only reason that we have gotten so far with the project.

So fireplaces are in, as are tubs. We have also put Tyvek attic wrap and Tyvek drain wrap on the house, which may I add was supplied for free courtesy of a KAMA and Tyvek deal. Now it did cost us the labor to put the stuff on, but the pairing of the two products just does nothing but take our future home to another level, and I have to say we love the pairing; even in 100 degrees plus, the house is quiet and cool inside and without stucco or drywall yet. Anyway, we will be a lot more up to date from now on... well, we have the best intentions.

Photos




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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 7/4/2007

Front doors are in and we love them. We have had them in storage for five months, which is longer than anticipated but s*** happens, as you will or already have found out. We love these guys. Brian Trist, the owner of the company is the easiest and most helpful and proactive guy you will meet or talk to, topped off with really good prices, if you contact them tell them that Drue gave you the lead to their website, it’s all about helping the good guys and warning about the bad guys: ironstardoors.com.

Anyway much has happened as the photos show, but also quite a bit of dancing with subs... framers who did not answer 13 phone calls from us in a five-day period, then on the last message we left, basically telling them that if they did not turn up for the next step (Thursday of that week), we would find someone else (which Keith our site super advised us to do). So Thursday arrives, we already have a new crew working, (very well I might add) and here comes the first crew on their way to their next job to tell us that they cannot work this week as they have other commitments. Guess who is not working on our house now and to cap it all off, when we fired them they asked for more money, to which we pointed out that they had cost us more than they were asking for, taking into consideration fixing their mistakes one and a half days, storage fees, loan fees and two weeks of a site foreman standing idle, so we suggested that they actually owed us with everything taken into account.

Conclusion - they are gone, you learn very much and very quickly about workers and yourself in the building process, but as this website teaches, he who has the gold... Don’t let people push you around or give the hard luck story and excuses like..."we did not get the messages because our phones were out of range”. Yes, that was one, this is your family and life, so every time a sub comes to you with a story that your mother would fall for, be fair but don’t be a fool; it is easier to beg forgiveness than try and claw work and money back from what is basically the biggest investment of your life.

Photos




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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 5/21/2007

The first floor is mainly done, although walking around, the floor plan is a little different from looking at plans for two years. So we changed things we did not like, which is one of the huge bonuses of custom owner-building, as long as we don't have to go back to "the slow as hell, beyond acceptable" structural engineer. (Name to be posted very soon and avoided if you possibly can, e.g. three-day promises going beyond three months and then expecting their money ASAP). Anyway on a positive note, the mixing of structural panels and wood framing is not a problem, though some people may balk at changing their ways (framers). But in real terms the "Don't fix it if it ain't broke" term does not apply.

Photos




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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 5/9/2007

So it's been awhile. but as you will learn or already know, this is a weird and wonderful balancing act and juggling act, all rolled into one, this art we call owner-building (custom building). I have attached pix of trenching the foundation to forming then to pouring concrete. Now I had to pay an extra $16,000 because, 1) concrete companies went up over 20%, 2) I had to pay $1,000 a day to hoe-ram the granite on which our land is based, and 3) we had to have all the crap hauled away at $700 a pop! Now this is heart failure territory. Imagine if every step did this. The good news is this is the unseen segment, you may also live above a huge oil reserve... but you don't know till you dig. The upside is that here in Vegas houses above a certain size have to have a fire sprinkler system. This costs $12,500 but we had a flow test (performed by the same companies that install the systems) at a cost of $500, and we apparently have enough pressure at the nearest fire hydrant to pass... We just saved $12,000 so ask yourself the question... how much do you like roller coaster rides???

Photos




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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 3/17/2007

I have attached a couple of pics from some storage units I have. They are of some columns (these are 7 ft tall and 2 ft in diameter and are very heavy. I brought these from the Stardust Hotel for $70 each; they are non-structural but skin is roughly 1" thick and made of fiberglass.

The other picture is of some of the other stuff that I have purchased at scratch and dent and clearance centers, most every item cost $50. The mirror on the right was reduced from $399 to $19 because it had no base, but here's the thing, it is 4ftx4ft, and I will be using the top part of the wood to cap an entry door to one of the rooms in my future home, so can you see where my thinking is coming from. I will deconstruct much of what I have, because it is already made... apart from a few cuts. I will explain more when I can get to some of the other stuff (this particular storage unit is 25 ft deep and is completely full) RC Willey clearance center in North Las Vegas is a good hunting ground, too.

Photos




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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 3/9/2007

Well, we have broken ground. Today the fence went around the land, the toilet arrived, and the backhoe started digging. Of course, nothing is that simple, as the back quarter of our land apparently is pure rock, so we have a another piece of heavy metal coming Monday to do the rest... $140 per hr, but in the greater scheme of things, it is a necessary evil; that is, I have no choice.

Photos




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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 3/7/2007

So I have just purchased my window and door package, from whom? Well, I will get to that shortly. I have had 4-5 bids from different manufacturers, Andersen, Pella, Milgard etc., so I received bids for my windows and doors ranging from $37,000 to $83,000 from the well-known guys on the block and also from various others, Eagle, etc. One thing that I knew I wanted was fiberglass as I am building in Las Vegas (very stable); anyway I went with Milgard, but as they do not sell direct, I went to one of their appointed reps.

She was great and came back with a $38,000 bid but sadly they don't make arch-top windows in fiberglass, so I have gone with vinyl windows and fiberglass doors ( the models I chose look identical but I have to have the doors stained or painted as I have gone with desert tan for the windows and the doors are white - the reason, well if you change anything from the normal with Milgard you will see how they make their money, i.e. $350 for handle upgrades per door. Trust me, I will find them cheaper somewhere else and getting the perfect color match will not cost me $8,000 for French doors).

Now to where I ordered my package from... Home Depot! They have just become Milgard outlets and guess what - they got me the same package but with upgraded tempered glass and a solar coating on the package for $22,888 incl. tax. I have no idea how much that would have added on to my original bid. If you spend more than $5,000 at Home Depot they have a thing called the bid room on the commercial desk, and no I don't have a GC license. Now they gave me a bid of $27,000 which was still ten grand cheaper than the local Milgard rep for exactly the same products, then they put it in this "bid room" and and knocked another four grand off and they will do it for any part of your house, drywall etc.

I know that they get a bad rap, but I have found a couple of gems in the form of Stephanie and Lucy at my local store and they are great.


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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 3/7/2007

So the day has arrived. I have attached two pointless pictures of the concrete guy's chalking and string the land for the backhoe that comes on Thursday... But to me this day is two and a half years of planning and it was very strange to walk around our piece of dirt, with the lines on the ground and a very different perspective of what I have been looking at on paper for so long.

Photos




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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 2/12/2007

So the grand day has arrived. We have the building permit, with the small glitch that the CC&R committee have to release the water rights, so basically we can do nothing until the residence association approve the way water will flow from my very flat piece of land in the very dry place that is Las Vegas, and, oh, as it turns out we have two liens against the land that we discovered when we tried to get funds released from the bank... fortunately they are only for $25,000 and $20,000 so that's just great. You know, it's amazing that maggots seem to show the ugly heads just when you thought that you were about to eat a great apple. I will point out that the first lien was expected but the second was nowhere on the radar, but let's just see how this little chess game plays out, shall we? I will keep you informed. Trust me on this, we will overcome the clone wars that besiege our fair planet, now please beam me up, Scotty!


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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 2/8/2007

The expression “jumping through hoops” definitely comes into play when you have a homeowners association that is very strict, and as much as they are a pain (color of house, color of roof, samples of roof tile, sample of stone, color of windows, height of house must be below 35 ft, no more than two doors of any amount of garages facing street, must be at least 45 ft from curb, house must be at least 3,500 sq ft, landscape plan with plants used and their size, as they must meet the required size, along with how many outdoor lights and pictures of the size and style, what type of ground cover, what color and type of rock, grass and mulch must show samples, where will the rainwater flow and if they don’t agree, a re-graded plan etc., etc., etc., etc.)

Now remember this is not the bank, this is just the homeowners association. I guess they are there for a reason, but when you are on the hoop-jumping end, it’s hard to not take it personally, but as the saying goes “whatever”. I would have liked to have broken ground at the end of 2006, but that was not to be, but it looks as though it will be (bite your tongue) the middle of Feb, 2007. We have booked the concrete guys for 19 Feb 2007, I hope that I don’t have to eat my words this time, because I am not very hungry at the moment; I kind of lost my appetite.


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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 12/14/2006

The chandeliers are four feet across and, yes, I got the trim around the doors too.

Photos




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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 12/14/2006

Here's a couple of our buying strategies: thus far, we rented a 10x10 storage unit so that we could buy real bargains when we came across them... we now, three months later, have filled three of these units, We go to the blowout and the scratch and dent sections of furniture stores, things like wall units with no base reduced from $800 to $50 (yes, we have purchased at least 15 items in this category) pictures of some coming very soon. I will be using the units as a whole and in parts for: built-in closets, office, laundry room. Also I have purchased 6 very ornate headboards, and I will be showing what I will be doing with them soon.

Also, there is a famous hotel here in Vegas called "the Stardust", that will be imploded soon that has just had an auction to sell the contents, it is huge, so me and my wife bought four huge chandeliers, the entire trimwork from one of the lounges (stone baseboard, etc.) and two sets of double-entry doors, two sets of double iron doors and 7 huge columns for about $4,000; the catch... I had to take it out myself, boy, did I ache for two days. I pried every inch of trim that I could. A lot broke but I now have a min. of 250 linear ft of ornate 5" stone baseboard, some of the most unique doors you will find and many other items that were custom made for this hotel, that cost me a lot less than if I had purchased them. The storage units cost about $50 a month each, but we will only need them for about three months and we have saved ourselves about $20,000 upwards, between the auction and the other stuff, by buying when the opportunity presents itself.


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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 11/17/2006

So, I went to the building dept today with my site foreman Keith Moore and of course sets of plans, structurals, soil reports, mech., etc. etc., etc. and unlike most things in building, it went very well. They accepted everything that we had, of course the process normally takes about 5 to 8 weeks here but at least they took everything that we gave, normally they get back to us in 3 weeks to tell us of any revisions, so I'll keep posting as I receive.


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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 11/4/2006

Here is a rendering of our future OB, it's taken from the plan dimensions and then rendered with a computer to give you an idea of what to expect, if we can get close to this, I'll have no complaints,

Photos




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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 11/2/2006

This is a link to the website of the type of building material that I am building with: kama-eebs.com, when you log on to the site, the home page will show the product that I will be using before the stucco, morphing into the computer rendering of my soon to be built home. I hope you like it.


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Posted to WilliamsinVegas by Drue in Henderson, NV on 10/22/2006

Pics of my .39 ac's in Henderson NV. We will be breaking ground on our 5,900 sq ft home in 7 weeks, but have been planning and pricing for nearly two years; and my, how prices and bids have changed!

Photos




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