Sunday, November 27, 2011

Finally, I got Shingles!

So I am getting to that point where the interior stuff should really take off.  The house got shingled last Wednesday and plumbing got done on Friday.

So this is how it currently looks.  We are pretty sure the Ravenna almost finished across the street has the same brick, siding, and almond trim (but a different elevation) we picked.  We like it a lot.  I will have to take a picture so you can see what we see.
So you have all seen plenty of "this is the roughed in bedroom" pics, so I thought I would show a "look out for ....." pic.  This is the stud between the master bed and bath.  The drain hole is WAY to big and I think the only thing holding this stud together is the nail plates on both sides.  PM has been informed and it will be taken care of.  But this does remind me to stay on top of it all.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's a small world

So my (current) house was being inspected last night and some questions popped up that having me show up with my plumber friend made sense.  So my buddy (the plumber) talked to their "plumber" on the phone and it turns out he knows him.  While he was dealing with plumbing questions, I started yapping with the wife and.... long story short, I know the buyers!  What's the chance?  Turns out I used to work with the husband a few years back.  The wife seems pretty solid they are buying it and said "the inspection is going great".  So it looks like I may be out next week, when the check shows up.

Update on my NEW house:
I don't think the rain is helping but I was able to walk the house in the light on Sunday and verify that the HVAC has been run and the roof has been "papered".  The shingles are up there, they just need to be installed.  I am hoping to see some progress with a roof on.

On a side note, I completed the ToughMudder in Indiana on Saturday with some great friends.  With no sun in sight and 40mph winds, we slopped through some of the nastiest mud and the coldest water, ran through and crawled under live wires,  up and down sloppy hills, and that was just the first mile.  It was a 22 obstacle, 10 mile course.  We did it in 4hrs 15min and it joins just a few other things in my life so challenging.
check it out at to get an idea.

Have a great day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

What have you done or plan to do?

I have not had the chance to get out to the house yesterday, but my wife says all the windows and sliding doors are in.  AND we have steps to the basement.  I plan to swing by tonight on the way home.  Ryan has wrestling practice, so I won't be able to gander long.

So on to the title "what have you done or plan to do?"
What little thing, or extra something are doing on your own to your new house?
-I plan to add insulation to the garage cold walls (like Gina's husband did)
-I will have a PVC pipe laid under the driveway when it's poured so I can run an "underground dog fence"
-I am putting in a couple of low voltage outlet boxes on the tv wall and opposite wall with PVC pipe punching into the basement so I can run my speaker wire later.
-I am running a 2" PVC pipe from the attic to the basement in the "dead" space.  may be used in future for any type of cable, wires, etc...
-I have considered pulling out their insulation around the windows and spraying in (window safe) expanding foam.  I read a blog that someone just did this.  I can't find the post but would love to know how many cans you needed.
- We are having them leave the master closet shelf off of one (6'-ish) wall so we can install something else (Elfa system probably)

If I had the money, I would get special sound deadening dry wall for my boys room, but I will just make do with his noise. haha

So there are my ideas.  I can't think of anything I am missing.  What do you got?  If you got a great idea, let me know....I may want to do it too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It looks like a house now

So the crappy thing about building a house this time of year is that by the time I get out to the site after work, it's damn near dark.  Luckily my wife got out there with enough time to snap a couple.
It looks like a house now!  It looks like we will get rain for a good part of today with sun the rest of the week so I hope to see some more progress by Saturday.
This pic shows the best.  I was able to lighten a bit in Photoshop without getting too grainy.  We are VERY happy we went with the two extra windows in the Master (seen on side towards back in this shot).  We forgot what the peak would look like with the porch elevation.  We are very happy with the one large peak.  My wife is already figuring out where she will have me hang xmas lights next year. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Let the games begin

So no pictures today but I promise to get some in.

Currently the house has a second floor and some windows.  Not sure what today will bring with the weather.

So we got an offer on our current house yesterday and we signed the contract last night.  We will have to bring money to the table to sell, but it feels like the right decision.

The crazy thing is assuming we make it through the inspection process, we will have to be out of the house by the 28th....OF THIS MONTH!

And so the game begins.
-line up a place to stay for two months.  (almost there, we have three things in the works)
-schedule a mobile storage unit to be delivered.  (working deals between PODS and PackRat now)
-secure loan to cover cost to close (I got approved yesterday, just need to finalize.  Will do that after inspection)
-line up place for two boxers to live.  (Great friends who have watched the boxers before are helping us)
-get packing boxes (Because my wife designs POP displays and I design packaging, this won't be an issue)
-and somewhere in there, we will stress out.

The Container Store's website it very helpful with all kind of tips.  So if you are looking to move, visit their site for ideas.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

I'm totally FLOORED

So today was a great day.  Temps got up to 60 degrees, the sun was out, and the guys were out framing my house!
This was what we saw at about 0930 Sat.  The floor is down and they are working on getting walls up.  When they left Friday evening, all they had done was the "base plates" on the foundation.  

This is a zoomed in shot of what we see when we stalk the build from a street over.  Somebody bought this lot and turned it into a huge side yard.   So no house will be built here.  That's going to make peeing off the deck WAY more private!

You can get a feel for the difference in "altitude" from my house to my neighbor.  I will be able to stand on my porch and see if they need to clean out the gutters.

By 1200, They were done for the day.  In the few hours they were there, they got the entire first floor done.  I was hoping/thinking they would be working a full day, but it seems not.  No biggie.  Forecast calls for rain Monday and Tuesday, so we will see what happens.

We met another neighbor across street.  It is pretty cool building in the sense that everyone is welcoming,  almost like you are joining a "club".  

Friday, November 11, 2011

I've been FRAMED!

Ok, so it's not framed all the fact they just started about 3ish today.  But they started!  PM said they are working tomorrow so I will have pictures to show.

Tomorrow I plan to head out there early with a cup of coffee and the paper and hang out.  I totally plan to stalk the build.

We were able to stalk a bit today by hanging out in our parked car over one street and watching from a distance.  Didn't seem like a bad idea until that homeowner (who's house we were kinda parked in front of)  came home and looked at us weird.  He was probably thinking "who are they and why are they hanging out in a car in front of my house?!"

We got a chance to meet our neighbors on our left.  We sat outside talking for a long while about the neighborhood, and kids, and dogs, and and and oh yeah...building a house!  So we now have met the neighbors to the left and right of us.  Very nice people and I look forward to hanging out on my front porch with a fire going in the pit!

My PM stopped by and gave me a quick lesson I requested on the water proofing.  Pretty funny was the mexican who was standing above us while we were talking who asked us to move.  Only he spoke in spanish and called my PM a name he must of thought my PM didn't understand.  But he did, and it was not very nice, but it was funny as hell!

Also, it looks like I will be getting the plumbing for the garage deep sink I wanted.  But I am reluctant to post in open space how I will be going about it.  So if you are interested in that or another nugget I got about my drive way, email me at  It may be over thinking, but I don't want to post everything in open space for fear of getting someone's talleywacker in a pinch.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I've got Wood, and it's not even the morning!

So, we got wood!  and windows, and stairs, and steel beams, and bath tubs, and and and  gravel!
Not sure why they don't run the steel beam as one piece but I'm sure there is a good reason beyond "cost"

More steel

two gigantic piles of wood AND a mound of gravel.  The wife and I are guessing the gravel is for the garage.

This is another shot taken at eye level of the front right and the current grade.  Based on the fact that water proofing is still exposed, I am sure there will be a lot more done.  I am still interested to see how it grades out.

Keeping up the GRADE

So, as expected per my PM, the front grading has been done.  Today I should have a basement slab and tomorrow should bring the first day of framing.  

What a difference it makes to see the front graded!  My PM has done a great job of keeping the front level.  I am still interested in how he will grade the right side of the house.  There is a pretty good change in levels there.  You can get an idea from the first picture.  It doesn't look to bad in this pic, but standing there feels different. 

The wooden post holding the "sold" sign is 36" from top edge of concrete to ground.  I'm still thinking Ryan will have to add a railing to my front porch.
Ryan standing both at the front edge of the drive way AND at the garage "door"

Look at my last post, this is a "after" shot of the grading

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sealing it up

So I have done a fair amount of research and found some websites that show where a homeowner can walk around the house and fill gaps to create an "air tight" envelope.
Items like:
running caulk along wood and foundation
window safe foam around all windows and exterior doors
expanding foam around pipes going through header plates (from wall interiors to attic)
foam pads behind outlet covers
....and some others I can't think of off the top of my head.
Has anybody that has built or is building now considered/looked/verified this type of "sealing" when the house went up?
I think I will buy a case of window safe expanding foam and seal all around the windows and doors, caulk wood/foundation joint, foam the pipes, etc....

My goal is to take Ryan's "minimum code" and energy star requirements (again it's likely minimum-what ever need to qualify) and bolster it.  I figure it can't hurt, will only help, cheaper bills, etc....

Your thoughts, insight, recommendations, etc...?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Water Pipes and Proofing

So over the last two days, water proofing and initial plumbing has been done.  I am unfamiliar with waterproofing techniques and my PM promised to call Monday with a quick lesson.  I am assuming that there is some kind of tar or other sealing substance behind these black "mats" that have been nailed to the foundation.  Also, we verified tonight the initial plumbing has been installed.  PM said that grading (and I am guessing the first plumbing inspection) will be done; Wood is to be delivered Monday too. Tuesday will bring concrete basement slab (and garage? idk).  Framing is scheduled to start Wednesday.  The only thing that may suck is if we get forecasted thunderstorms Wednesday.  I don't know if and to what extreme will they frame in the rain.  But I can see us having a roof on by this time next week.  
And as a bonus, both showers have been delivered.

I suppose this gives me an idea of how the side yard will be graded.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


So it really doesn't take long at all!  Last night they were finishing up pouring the walls and today the forms were off when we drove by at 6pm.
Can you really call it a basement when it's damn near ground level?

so...ummm, like.....I was, well you see....yeah, failed Capt Morgan pose I guess.

Standing in my garage "door"

I took this just to have a "before" so I can take an "after" down the road

Just a thought

So I have spent a fair amount of time perusing Ryan home building blogs.  And I can safely say that most stop blogging once they have moved in.  I would like to see people continue blogging once they have moved in.  What have you done? 
Colors painted? 
Tile Backsplash maybe? 
What about storage, are you building shelves?  did you come up with a cool idea or place to utilize space? 
What about the house itself?  Have you had problems with .... quality of something?  Do your toilets clog alot?
(I ask about that because a friend of mine who built has a drain snake residing in the bathroom.  Either his kids drop bombs or his toilets suck!)

I guess what I am getting at is that the actual building of the house is only half (in my mind), once you move in and make it "yours", what have you done?

just a thought

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


So of course I went to the lot today.   A neighbor walking their dog stopped and we yapped for a long while.  Then our neighbor next door came by and we found ourselves on her deck yapping.  So far, we have great neighbors!
This is what I saw as I pulled up.  The big pumper truck was in the process of cleaning up.  Workers were finishing up troweling the concrete.  I was pretty sure I would see the forms up, but the concrete was an awesome surprise!

My boy was interested in the big concrete pumper.  So after explaining how it worked, he sat and watched while I got another great photo I may add to the "I'm gonna print this" collection

Based on the plans, we expected to see the walk out on the (as you see in the pic) left wall.  Instead, it's now under the morning room.  Best I figure it, PM made a command call due to grading, etc...  My wife and i are actually very cool with the move.  I'm thinking I can install something under the deck to slope the rain runoff (from the deck) giving me a "covered" patio off the walk out.