Monday, July 27, 2015

Concrete Flatwork

The concrete flatwork has been spread out over many days.

We started with filling in the porches. This had to be done before the columns could be installed.

Next up, was the large driveway. This was done in four sections. It has been so hot, and we only have two guys working, that the concrete would dry too fast. I would have preferred more guys on the job, but it’s a lesson learned.

Next up was the sidewalk. I made a funky shape for the sidewalk that leads to Mom’s porch. It breaks it up from the normal.

The front walkway was poured on a separate day. It starts narrow, but then opens up as you approach the house. This allows the stairs that lead down to be wide and match the width of the front door.

We had to replace two sections of cracked sidewalk. These were cracked before we began construction and weren’t bad cracks. But we’ve been told the City Engineering Department will do an inspection and ave us repair it.

The back “courtyard” is raised and I love it! To get down into the yard, there will be steps that go all the way across the curve. We needed to create a footer for the steps. Each time we used a curve, the form was made from baseboard remnants. They were easy to bend.

We also made pads for the HVAC units. One will be behind our fence line, but the other is on the side of the house everyone will see, so we have to create a screen. This meant the pad had to be larger. The code requires so much space on sides of the HVAC unit.

Our water shut-off valve was in the way, so we had the plumber come move it. Luckily, he is prompt.

We didn’t do anything fancy for our concrete. I did request a certain pattern for the walkways, but it wasn’t done. Then when they asked, they said they’d have to buy a special tool, but they were an hour away from pouring. I ended up saying, “forget it.”

I did learn many things about the grading and fault lines with regards to concrete.

Our back patio was raised so that we have virtually no step into the house.

And protruding corners are where concrete likes to crack, so you want to create a fault line to ease the pressure. Inverted corners are less prone.

We ran pipes underneath the concrete to allow the irrigation to go under walks and drives, downspout pipes and our cable company can run their line under the driveway easy.

It’s pretty cool we can drive on the driveway now. I still forget at times, but I am getting better at

Thursday, July 23, 2015


The painting crew we have is phenomenal!

They knocked things out so quickly!

The trim guy running behind caused a few delays, but we asked the trim guy to complete the upstairs
first so that our painters could come in and do the top floor while the trim guy finished the bottom floor.

Our painters started by caulking all the trim work. Door frames, door jambs, crown joints, everything!

But our painters were so fast, that they did the top floor and bottom floor all in one day. It was funny to see that they even caulked a half-installed crown piece.

It showed the trim guy that he was slow! Ha.

Next up, they primed. They, again, did this in one day. It’s the true colors I am using, but not the finish. I was so excited to see the colors and love them!

That’s a big deal! I changed the paint colors so many times at the old house. But that helped me know
what colors to pick for this house.

Each color was used in the last house.

With exception to the trim color and the laundry room color!

I was trying to go with a more white color for trim. Our old house used Pacer White by Sherwin Williams. But when you held up a true white next to it, it really looked tan! I trusted to go with a color I hadn’t used before. I was nervous it wouldn’t go with the colors I was using on the walls. Maybe my colors needed an off-white trim color. But so far, all colors look great.

And my laundry room got funky! I picked out “Cooled Blue” by Sherwin Williams as a funky color to use somewhere. I thought about using it in the spare closet. But I wouldn’t visit that room often enough to see it. Then I was going to put it in the laundry room. But I changed my mind at the last minute. I wanted the walls to be white and the cabinets would be white. The washer and dryer will be white. The counters are white. The laundry room will look so clean and then… bam! You look up to a cool blue ceiling.

I love it already. It really makes me smile. And because of the antique window, I get to see it even when I am not in the laundry room.

Hopefully, this makes me enjoy doing laundry more.

The painters had to wait for the stair guy to finish his install before he went any further. Our trim guy
actually kicked the painters out one day, because they were getting in his way.

Once the stairs were complete, the painters were off working another job and our house was empty for two days. I had already pushed back the cabinet and flooring install to Monday, the 20th. I didn’t want to push them back again, so our painters worked their tushes off to get the ceiling complete and the trim complete.

Now the electrician can install all the ceiling lights and the switches and plugs. They won’t put the finish coat on the walls until the electricians are done. I’ve been told the walls get dinged up in that process,so the painters rather wait.

The painters also painted the interior doors.

I really wanted to see that process. As they took the doors off, they labeled them so they know where they went. They had them stacked for a while and I was unsure of how they would paint them.

I think they used the master bedroom floor. It’s the room with the most overspray.

I can’t wait for the final coat. It’s really coming together now.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


The stairs are installed and I am blown away!

We used a local company to supply the stair parts. We could have used the same company we were
getting our trim from, but my builder advised to use someone who specialized in stairs. I have been so impressed with their quality and service.

The stair guy was obviously impressed with my planning of the whole house before we broke ground. He spread the word around town and showed them my packet. Ha! But it did make him understand me. He knew that I already knew what I wanted and not to try and steer me another way.

The parts were ready and delivered. Our trim guy did not feel comfortable installing the stairs and had two guys he kept trying to get on site to install. After two weeks of them not showing up, we called the guy that supplied the stair parts and asked what he would charge to install them and when he was available. We had to wait another week, but the guys that did install did an outstanding job!

It took them five days total to install the stairs. A lot of that time was spent curving the handrail.

The handrail was made out of many slivers of wood. They “wet” them with glue and used C-clamps
along the edge to get the exact curve.

They did the same thing to the landing part of the curve that the balusters would go into.

This was the hardest part and took the most time, but it was well worth it.

The staircase looks just like my inspiration picture.

When we are closer to being done with the house, the painters will come back and stain the stairs and
handrail. I am going for a rustic look, so there will not be a sheen to the steps. The older looking, the

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