Tuesday, December 23, 2014

plumbing, electrical, & a siding sneak-peak!

Merry Christmas!  

Things are moving and a-grooving at the new digs.  We've have very pleasant weather for December, and our plumber has been hard at work getting things roughed in and inspected.  The basement is full of beautifully planned water lines, drains, and duct work.  This guy did a great job planning out his runs.

Here are pictures of our modular showers.  I'll admit, I was a little bummed we chose not to splurge on tile for our master shower.  We have plans to do that down-the-road, and no matter what, it's a huge upgrade from our current {basement} teeny-tiny shower.  The hall bath shower seems like it'll be great.  There's tons of storage, so I'm happy.

the shower in our master bathroom

the hall bathtub/shower combination
I picked out a bathtub for our master bathroom.  We went with the Kohler Mariposa 6-foot model.  (FYI, this tub comes in 3 lengths: 5, 5.5, and 6 feet long  Boom, now you know!)  I chose it sight unseen based on some internet reviews, pricing, and looks.  So, I'll let you know what I think after I've had a chance to use it.  We chose the drop-in model, so we'll have our builder tile the surround.  I'm thinking a marble-style subway tile, similar to these from Lowe's.

Our plumber doubles as our HVAC guy, so we've also got our furnace, water heater, and well storage tank installed.  We upgraded to a gas (liquid propane) water heater, which will hopefully save us some money in the long-run.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed, because that was not a cheap upgrade.  We had a warm day earlier this month, so they were able to get the septic tank installed.  The drain field may have to wait until spring, but progress is progress!! :)

our lovely new efficient furnace

septic tank with a view of the new propane tank

R is still working away on his electrical rough ins.  It's coming along so nicely, and I LOVE being able to get so hand's on with the receptacle and lighting placement.  I don't have pictures, because there's not a whole lot to show at this point.  But, our recessed lighting is placed, and we have more than a few 3-way switches.

Our builder has one other house they're working on, so they've been back and forth between the properties the past few months.  Sounds like they need the scaffolding from our site at the other location, so {bonus!}, they decided to install the siding on back of our house before they take down their equipment.  This was the first I've seen of our siding in real life.  We both love it.  It's the color Cypress by CertainTeed.  It was a little gloomy when I took this picture, but it's a lovely khaki-green, and looks great with the white trim.

I'll leave you with a picture of our front door (and a dirt pile) on a sunny winter day.  Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

hump day!

Happy Wednesday!  R's been working so hard on the electrical lately.  Our underground service was inspected and approved (hooray!).  So, now he's working on finishing the interior.

Slow & steady this month!  I'll have pictures soon.  For now, I'll leave you with this quote I found that seems to fit everything we're feeling lately.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

laundry room layout

We went out to the site today to get a few plumbing design questions answered.  We're planning to re-design the master bath and the laundry room.  Both designs involve moving doors around, so luckily we're not too far along in the building process yet.

Here's the initial laundry room plan.  It has the washer & dryer placed on an exterior wall, which is undesirable for water lines.

Our plumber recommended shifting the appliances to the interior wall of this room.  Which, prompted our builder to recommend shifting the door.  I like this galley-style layout, but it's a little difficult to picture on paper.  The only thing I'm noticing that may be less than ideal is the window placement.  I wish it was in the center of the room.  I have no idea why it's not... let's pretend it's structural.

Because of the window, I don't think we'll be able to put upper cabinets above the washer and dryer (boo!).  But, we've got the entire south wall to work with.  Even with a wonky window, I think this could be really nice.  I did check our dryer specifications, and the swing door is reversible (woo!).  Thank goodness for that.  It'll mean for a super-short dryer vent run to the outside, and it's much better than some alternatives we discussed today.  One of which was venting the dryer out at the deck.

Does anybody have their dryer left of the the washer?  It seems a little unconventional, but I think we can make it work.

A few other little "wins" for the day:
  • Most of our windows were installed today!  They're amazing!  Pictures coming soon.
  • BestBuy accommodated our need to push back our appliance delivery date.  There's no way we'd be ready for these next week.
  • According to the online owner's manual, our LG natural gas range includes a liquid propane conversion kit.  This means we don't have to search model numbers and buy one.
  • We're installing an infinity edge pool & commercial water slide.  Kidding... I'm just enjoying a little Property Brothers at Home as I type tonight. :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

november progress

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend!  R and I are lucky enough to live near both our families, so we were able to see everyone over the holiday.

We had some time off, so we got working on the electrical.  We're not really under a time crunch anymore, but progress feels good either way.

Check out this puddle!  It's time for windows and doors!


Our windows and doors were delivered to the site!  The windows are double hung, vinyl.  There are two sliding glass doors hiding in the back of the pile.  One has the built-in blinds, which are amazing!  Ignore the carhartt hanging, ha!  I'm absolutely in love with our front door!  I wanted something that would let in as much light as possible, and this door is so pretty.  I've never seen it anywhere else, so I'm excited about that, too.  We're planning to paint it- I'm thinking dark forest green, plum, or brick red.  What do you think?  Our siding is a light sage-y green, it's called cypress.

The stairs are (finally) in!  No more running around the back of the house to get downstairs/outside.  Everyone seems to like the landing... just be careful walking around that open hole.


Framing work continues in the basement.  We'll have insulation in these walls, but no drywall yet.  That's a project for us to take on down the road.


A little less snow these days!  Work on the roof continues.  The shingles are a nice dark brown.  You can't see them here, but the tarp is just as nice, right?

Welcome, December!  We officially have missed our January move-in date, but there is still a lot of work we can do before Spring.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

underground service

We had an eventful weekend!  With the help of R's parents, we got the underground service installed to the house.  It was a hell of a job with the 24+ inches of snow and frozen ground.  Not to mention the running around needed to rent a ditch witch this late in the season.  But, we decided that burying the electrical was our best bet.  We love the look of it {the fact that you can't see it!} and hopefully it'll be maintenance free for years to come.

check out this snow!  yikes!  I think our January move in date will be pushed back a few months.
R (and his dad) are licensed electricians, so I had fun learning how to get this installed.  It was also a huge cost savings doing this ourselves.  The downside- it was freezing and snowy.  I think we had a high temperature just over 20 degrees.  brr.

digging through cold, cold ground

trench is almost ready.  backfilling frozen dirt was really tough!
R hard at work
the finished product!  I love that there are no overhead wires running to the house.
Today we're going out to place boxes for receptacles.  I LOVE that I get to be so hands-on planning the electrical.  We're going to wire and pre-wire for just about everything we can think of.

Here's a little sneak peak at our shingles!  A package blew off the roof, so we got to see the color in person.  Weatherwood, it's called.  It's a medium to dark brown.  Behind that 7 foot high snow pile is our front porch.  

More after the jump!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Welcome, November!

the view on our front porch, taken from inside the rental... I'm not going out there!  it sounds like the total snow fall at the new house was much more than we got up here.

We got our first storm of the season, and it was a big one.  Between 24 and 34 inches of heavy wet snow were predicted at our build site!  We're feeling a little anxious, but we did the best we could to prepare.  The roof is (mostly) on, and R's parents graciously put plastic over the open windows and doors.  I'm not sure what this means for progress.  We're still planning to work on the electrical this weekend.  That means snowblowing before we can dig a trench for the underground to the house.  I don't know if it's a great idea to pour the garage floor when it's this cold... but I'll be sure to keep you posted as we know more.  Wish us luck!!

In other news, this weather has inspired me to sing the Who "Welcome Christmas" song on eternal repeat.  Fahoo Fores, Dahoo Dores,Welcome Christmas Come this way...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

my {latest} favorites

What I'm obsessing over lately!

1 - hickory cabinets
source: pinterest
I'm not loving the reddish hue of natural oak, and I know I want a light wood in the kitchen.  Maple may be too light (and too pricey), and I've really start falling for a clean hickory.  This wood's natural pattern can get pretty crazy, and you never really know what you're going to get.  But, I'm liking that.

2 - marble countertops, with full tile backsplash

source: my old country house

I love when there's no counter backsplash riding up onto the wall, and the tile can go all the way down to the counter.  I think it just looks a little neater, cleaner, and then there's no weird depth difference, or rounded lip of laminate where it meets tile.  Guess what- these counters pictured are formica!  Woop!

3 - beadboard guest bathroom
source: jennasue
I'll probaby have to get a jump on this soon- I'd like this installed during construction.

4 - built in bench/landing station
source: house updated
This one is put on our DIY list for after we move in.  I've got the perfect spot planned out for this, right at the garage entrance, near the kitchen.  It's going to end up being the door we use most, so I'm hoping this will contain the clutter.

5 - built in bookcases (living room)
source: pinterest
Another one for after we move in.  I'm going to need some time living in the space before I figure out what will work best here.

6 - laundry storage
source: pinterest
Although we have tons of room, we aren't installing cabinets in our laundry room during construction.  This is for a few reasons, but mostly it's because we blew the budget on kitchen cabinets.  We didn't want to settle for cheap cabinets in the space we'll use the most.  After we're in the house, I'm going to start planning what we want in the laundry room.  I know some storage is a must, along with an area to hang/dry clothes.  I think some pre-fab cabinets in a fun color are in our future.

7 - board & batten entrance
source: jennasue
This is another project on my DIY to-do list after we move in.  I don't think we'll be lacking for things to keep us busy!

Monday, November 3, 2014

we've got mail

Not much of an update today.  R is working on a flooring estimate, but otherwise it was a quiet weekend.  We had our first snow last week...I'm glad that melted in a hurry!  We need warm(er) weather to hold out a couple more weeks until we can get a roof up.

We got our mailbox installed!  We get a serious amount of snow up here, and it's not uncommon for mailboxes to get knocked down on the regular.  R's dad built us this little baby that's designed to swing on the base if a snowplow [or anything else] hits it.

In other news, focus on the lot has shifted to the garage.  They have the block laid, and it sounds like they started framing today.  Slowly but surely.

Friday, October 24, 2014


They've started framing!  This may be the most exciting thing yet (ha!  I know I say that about every step!).

Yes, I walked up this little catwalk.  No, I did not like it.  Momma would not approve!

Click to see more!

kitchen design

I'm off to meet with the kitchen designer today.  Here's our draft kitchen layout.  There are a few very small changes I'd like to make.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

on the hunt for a fridge

We've been on the hunt for a fridge ever since we purchased our appliances two weeks ago.  At that point, we found an awesome sale so we grabbed a washer, dryer, range, dishwasher, and microwave.  I was pretty sure I wanted a single door refrigerator, with a bottom freezer.  It turns out those are being phased out, and french doors are the way of the future.  So, after mulling it over for a few days, we decided we weren't totally against a french door style.

Last night, we accidentally walked into what I'm calling *the fridge deal of the century* (well, maybe not... but we're excited nonetheless!).  Best Buy had just opened 2 new LG fridges and set them on the floor as "open box" items that were majorly discounted.  I think both models had been discontinued, and they just needed the floor space for new models.  We thought it through for a bit, and ended up buying the larger (30 cubic feet {whaaat!}) model for a few reasons.

It was brighter, because it had 2 more interior lights than the smaller model, it was flawless (smaller model had a small dent), and it had the easy-open  freezer door (smaller model did not).  SOLD!  After the sale price, open box discount, 10% off coupon, best buy points from previous purchase, and an additional 5% off... we got this puppy at a serious discount!!  I'm talking about 60% off the MSRP.  And to think, I was telling R on the way into the store that we may have missed the boat on fridge sales!

Here's the (discontinued) model we snagged.  It's 30.7 cubic feet!  I'm not sure what the differences are with the new replacement model.  According to the Home Depot website, it looks like the most similar model still available has slightly less capacity, and has about 2.5 inches less depth.  So, I guess we can count on this thing sticking out past the counter tops quite a bit.  :)  (Mental note: discuss this with the kitchen designer on Friday!)

I'm very excited about this purchase!  We spent less than we planned and got so much more fridge. I got the in-door water I wanted, AND the awesome easy-pull freezer door.  I wish I could bask in this a little longer...but I'm on to our next task! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

construction update

Guess what?  The basement floor was poured today!  We haven't seen it yet, so I don't have any pictures.  But, here are some of the walk-out basement.

building on love

Friday, October 10, 2014


We've spent the last 2 days researching appliances, and it's been a lot of fun.  Ha!  That's how I know I'm getting old.

We are responsible for finding and buying our own, which is great because we get exactly what we want.  But, the downside is we don't get any sort of builder's discount.  I'm okay with that, especially since Best Buy is having a really big Columbus Day sale this weekend.

After much deliberation, we're going with LG appliances for the kitchen.  We love the quality compared to other brands we've seen in showrooms, and I really enjoy the punches of color LG throws in.  The dishwasher has some great blue pieces, and the oven is coated in brilliant blue.  I think it'll make cooking, baking, and clean-up just a little bit more enjoyable!

Here's the range we've picked.  Love me that 5th burner!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Last night we sat down to review some options for siding, exterior doors, roofing, windows, interior doors, and trim!  I think we have 90% of our decisions made, and the budget will dictate the last few choices.  It's a good feeling.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Breaking Ground!

Excavation has officially started!  The crew worked all day Friday & about half the day Saturday to prepare for our basement.  It's so exciting!  Mason work starts tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


We just got back from Disneyworld last night.  It was an amazing trip and we had a blast!  I'll have to post some pictures soon!

Right before we left for Florida, our appraisal came in & we were able to find a minute to sign the contract with our builder.  The appraisal took just over 4 weeks, but came in exactly where we had hoped.  It was great news, and totally worth the long wait!!  I couldn't be happier!

Here's a picture of the lot.  We're planning to keep all of these trees, so imagine a little green house nestled between them.

our lot

We're set to close on our construction loan tomorrow afternoon.  I'm working on getting Builder's Risk homeowners insurance (which is surprisingly expensive), and it sounds like there was an excavator out on the lot today.  Woohoo!

It's looking like a 4-5 month build, with a move-in date anticipated for sometime in January 2015.  It's starting to feel real, and we are so excited!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

kitchen design

Today is my first meeting with a local kitchen design company!

As I've mentioned before, our goal for this kitchen is quality, natural wood cabinets.  I'm okay with formica counters to start, with a plan to upgrade later.  Especially now that I've found karran undermount sinks for (YES!) laminate.

Here's my super rough draft for our kitchen layout.  It's already outdated- I doubt we'll spring for an apron sink & the {required} solid surface, quartz, marble, or granite countertops.  The corner of the kitchen is right at the notebook binding.  I need some help designing those corner cabinets, between the range & the sink.  I'd love to have a pull out garbage in there.  And I will certainly be including uppers!  Also not included is the center island, which will have additional storage.


Channeling Love it or List it, my must-haves include:
  • ample storage
  • enough drawers
  • pull out shelves in pantry and for pots & pans
  • island storage
  • island seating
  • graduated/staggered uppers
  • crown molding
  • single basin sink 

  • pull out garbage
  • wine storage
  • usable "blind" lower cabinet storage

until then!