Thursday, April 30, 2015

We Have A Roof!

It's been a long time coming. Our tar paper was flapping in the wind!



Our siding guys finished enough for the roofer to come. I had let him know we'd be ready this week, but he had a couple commitments. Monday night I get a text from him asking if material was delivered and he'd have a crew there in the morning. I had originally told him I would get the material on site Monday afternoon, but weather was predicted to be rainy Tuesday and Wednesday, so I rescheduled delivery to Thursday.



Tuesday morning, I scrambled to get a shingle delivery that same day. The roofing crew went to do another job first and by lunch time, the shingles were delivered and the crew started.



In half a day, they almost finished. It started to rain so they packed up.



They came back Wednesday and finished the front part of the garage.


I am just amazed! We have a roof!

roof shingles


The shingle color was not my first choice. I really wanted GAF - Timberline American Harvest in Cedar Falls. It was beautiful. But the company couldn't give us production dates and there wasn't enough in inventory to cover my roof. So, I went with a shingle they had in stock that could be delivered same day. It's GAF - Timberline High Definition in Weathered Wood.



I like it. It does have a greyish-brown coloring to it.



And if you notice, we got our stairwell window installed on Tuesday!!



It does just what I thought it would to the inside loft area.



We still have metal roofing to install on the porch areas and birdboxes. I have been having a hard time having contractors call me back.



Our builder did want us to wait until we got the painter started at least before installing the shingles, but I was tired of putting off the roofer when he was eager and available. I'm so glad I went ahead with it.

I definitely recommend my roofer. He beat everyone's price and was so thorough with great customer service. Local friends, if you need a roofer, let me know and I'll give you his information. I HIGHLY recommend him and his team!

Next up... the painters have started caulking the siding and we'll have paint soon!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Siding Installed

Our new house has quite a bit of siding. When coming up with the exterior design, I copied a house I saw in the Atlanta area. I wanted to match every last detail of the house. It was beautiful house. I even contacted the designer to ask the color of the brick and stone mix. It was the only combination Mr. JCrew and I could agree on.

Our inspiration


The siding is what is adding the character to our home. It has taken the siding crew two weeks to complete. And technically, they are not officially done, but they are done enough that they are no longer on the critical path.




We started off on the bad foot. Our framer was suppose to install our siding. But two days before he was complete with our framing, he let us know that he had too many jobs waiting in the wings to get started and the rain delays had hurt him. He needed to move on to the other projects. I understood, but at the same time, wished he would have just knocked it out while we had him.

We "wasted" a week finding a replacement, and then when we did, we had to wait for his availability. He verified he could start work at 7AM and told us he'd be there on Saturday, the 11th. He was a no-show! No call; nothing. Didn't get ahold of him until 4:30PM that day. He gave no excuse, but promised to be there Monday.

He was late Monday, but a crew member of his was there waiting. I stopped to introduce myself. I call him, "muscle-kid." He was younger than me, but huge! He gave me all kinds of information about himself and I found out he was a body-builder. So, his name fit. The rain was coming down in a drizzle and he didn't think they'd be working that day. In the back of my head I thought, "Oh, yes you will! You ditched me Saturday on a perfectly good weather day!"

Turns out, they worked in the rain. Monday was a day of showers, but there were breaks. They started on the garage door frames and moved around to the back of the house. I thought this was good considering the weather.



The next day, they continued around the back of the house. They did the trim work and did some lap siding. I was excited to see that.



Each day they inched along and more detail was added.



Before the week ended, they got to the exciting part. This is where the house starts taking on the tudor style. The siding guy, John, told me he'd create one gable to see how I liked it before he did more. I had all weekend to stare at it and I LOVED it. It was just as I envisioned!



The diamond cutouts are not as I envisioned. I thought they would be actually cut out of the smooth siding. I decided to live with it. I will just paint them the darkest color so from a distance they look as if they are cut out.



The crew was a no-show on Monday, another beautiful day. When I asked their where-abouts, they said they had to finish up an old job and it'd take 1.5 days. On Tuesday, they didn't show up after lunch because the old job took a little longer, but promised to be there Wednesday morning. Wednesday morning... they weren't there. I was ready to call a new siding person. Each day they didn't show up, I was ready. But, it would be another pain to find a new person, get them up to speed and wait on their availability. The crew finally showed up Wednesday before lunch time. They started on the front porch and the second dormer.


On Thursday, they tackled the front part of the house. It was exciting to see.




On Friday, they busted out the most work. They finished all large sections and small sections of siding except for the porch ceilings.




They have done Mom's porch ceiling as a tester, and I love it.



They have not done one part of siding because they are awaiting the final inspection. The last part of siding touches windows. When the siding guys didn't show up on Monday, we still had the framers come out and seal the windows and doors that touch ICF. Once we have our inspection, we can install the siding near the windows. It will be a neat detail when complete.



They also have to install the final window. It has been a hassle to get that window in. I called everyday for the last two weeks to check the status. Each day I was told it was suppose to come the next. The framer told me he would not get excited until I had it in my hands. On Friday, the 24th, I went and picked it up!


This whole ordeal with the siding contractor has been frustrating. We've had such great experiences with all other guys showing up on time or earlier than promised. I wouldn't have had an issue if he weren't the hold up. We did things out of order than what I'm use to seeing. Usually, I see a roof, then brick, then siding. But our builder really wanted to get siding up first so that we avoided messing up the shingles. Now, I see why. Our roof is a mess with mud. There is even mud flung on the windows from them.



Now we can call the painter and roofer to say we are ready. The roofer is back-logged and playing "catch-up" from the rain. This helped me not to rush the siding guys. The painter will come out today and caulk the seams and will paint this week. Because there is no roof or brick to avoid, he can overspray and it doesn't matter! I am EXCITED to see paint and brick go up. The house is starting to get its detail, piece by piece.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

HVAC Rough-In

Once framing is complete, there are three things that need to be roughed-in (stuffed into the walls) before drywall covers up the studs. Plumbing, electrical and HVAC are all hidden behind the walls of your house.



Our plumbing guys came first because the pipes are rigid and need to be specific. Wires are more flexible and can accommodate around plumbing pipes if needed. Our plumber took 5 days for rough-in. Electrical came in after that and took a week as well. The HVAC guys had to start as well, because the electrical needed to know where the returns would be so that smoke detectors were the appropriate distance from the returns. They also needed to avoid running too many wires near the return. Electrical wires tend to congregate at spots and then flow together to the next destination (panel.)



The HVAC guys came in and the first day they started prepping material. I had no idea they had to "build" their tubing. It was just metal tubing they had to put insulation around themselves.



The next day I saw a vent in a room. They started on the second floor.



We chose our HVAC contractor because he had worked with ICF before. He deals solely with Lennox brand, so that is what we ended up with. I hear great things about them, so I am anxious to see it for myself. Once we are in the house, I'll provide an update on the system.

Because we used ICF on the first floor and using foam insulation on the second, we were able to reduce the load needed on the HVAC units. We still have two units, but they are small with regards to the square footage.



The amount of vents is also reduced because of the ICF walls. Mom's large closet does not have a vent because it is an interior closet. And our master bedroom is the same size as our last, and we had two vents in the last house and only one vent now.



The HVAC guys ran all the vents and then moved on to piping. They ran the vent piping from the bath fans to the exterior of the house.



They also ran piping for our gas stove.



The gas water heater has a direct vent to the exterior wall as well. The pipes from the furnaces come down ICF walls and then exit outside.




They will have to come and fix these because they protrude out a lot that drywall will not cover.

They are putting an outdoor unit on each side of the house. I was trying to avoid putting a unit on the corner side that everyone sees, but it was unavoidable. The tubing would be too long for the return. And they prefer the return to be located near the furnace.



HVAC guys also ran the gas lines. We have three gas drops; fireplace, stove and water heater.

All we lack is the inspections and we can start insulating the spaces! In total, the HVAC guys took two weeks to complete their rough-ins. All this behind-the-scenes stuff is complete and we can start with the cosmetic tasks.The outdoor units will not be set until later.



With all three contractors, I recommend every one of them. The plumber was great and knowledgeable. The electricians were fantastic and the HVAC guys knew their stuff. I would definitely be using them for service calls, but they did such a  great job on the front end, that I don't think I will need to be calling them.
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