Friday, August 28, 2009


Cost of building this new house? $260,000.
Cost of hiring a lawyer and hydrogeologist to help convince the town to let us build it? $10,000
Knowing that the smaller guest bedroom will now become a nursery? Priceless.

Okay, so I've used the Mastercard commercial format before in an earlier post. Lame, I know. It was just too perfect a way to announce our news! Not that I would advise this to anyone else...but we are definitely building a house and building a baby at the same time :) We decided to start trying (or stop paying attention...or trying to not try...or something like that) when the town finally gave us the go-ahead back at the end of April. By the end of May, I was preggo. Crazy. We still can't believe how quickly it happened. We are eternally grateful that things went so smoothly because infertility runs in my family and we have many friends who have struggled to conceive. So while the timeline isn't ideal, we are definitely not complaining.

Bill and his crew are doing an amazing job. I am literally stunned every day I drive by the site to see the progress they have made. I *think* we are on track to finish by Dec. 1st (yay federal tax credit) which means we'll have exactly two months to nest before Baby Hayes makes his/her arrival. Our official due date is Feb. 8th. I'm intrigued by the romantic notion of having a Valentine's Day baby but, as Ryan pointed out, that would mean I was almost a week overdue. So the 8th is fine by me.

We are going to make the smaller of the two upstairs guest rooms (the one over the kitchen/dining/living room area) the nursery. In some ways, starting from scratch is sort of exciting! So is letting Ryan and his brother level off the gravel last weekend because I couldn't do it "in my condition." I also can avoid most of the back-breaking work of packing and moving. Woohoo! Then again, I suppose I'll be doing some serious manual labor come February...

So while I've always contended that this is a house-only blog and that I wouldn't deviate into other subjects, I lied. This will evolve slightly to include some baby-related posts and items. Since we're building a green house, you know we're going to create a green nursery!

Thanks to all our family and friends for their support and excitement. We said we'd start a family once the house was finished...who knew we were being so literal?!?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bathroom tile

Another exciting thing we did this weekend was pick out our bathroom tile. The folks at Best Tile in Williston were fantastic and made the experience really fun. We chose a black and white hexagon pattern for the floors and white subway tile for the tub surround. We're going for a classic, black and white, bungalow style with a modern twist. Our salvaged sinks from Mason Brothers will give the room(s) an old-fashioned feel while the squared off edges of the tub will hopefully keep it current. We'll see if/how it all comes together.

A sink similar to ours from Mason Brothers. Ours are less round, more square.

Here is the flooring we selected. It's American Olean tile.

But we're going to use a dark gray grout rather than white to really make the shapes pop. Here's what it will look like.

Here are some inspiration shots that semi-capture the look we're trying to achieve. The first two are from Apartment Therapy, the second from Subway Tile, the third from Remodelista, the fourth from the Vintage Seattle blog, and the final from a house listing I found online awhile back.

More progress

I stopped by the site to check on the guys earlier this week and they were hard at work finishing up the foundation. They also installed the first floor decking this weekend in preparation for the delivery of our panelized walls next week. Here is the magic behind the project: Speciality Design, Bill's construction firm.

And Billy hard at work.

Here's the rest of the crew: Scott (left) and Tony (right). They're both great guys and we're super happy they're working on our project.

Ryan and I got our hands dirty for the first time this weekend helping to level the gravel in the basement. Lucky for us that Sean, Ryan's brother, was willing to lend a hand, too. Ryan and I are now dead tired, nursing blistered hands and sore shoulders. But it's somehow really satisfying to feel like we actually did something to move the house forward (a very, very small something). Ryan was particularly happy to be working in his drum studio! The walk-out portion of the basement is going to be his music-making paradise.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Excavation week 2

So here are some more progress pics. Bill and his crew are doing an amazing job. I have to say that it feels so incredibly good to be working with folks that you trust. Bill calls me every morning and evening to give me an update on the day's activities and I have no question in my mind that they are working as hard and fast as they can. For that reason, I don't feel obligated to stop by every second of every day to check in. It also helps that all of our major subs have worked with Bill before so I know that they respect him and vice versa. My advice to other folks GCing their project: find a team of people who you truly trust. It makes all the difference in the world.

So the form-a-drain is in place and the first round of Amvic ICF blocks installed. We hope to pour the concrete early next week. We also ran our electrical connection under the road and hitched it up to a neighbor's pole (with their permission, of course) so we should have electricity on site shortly. The floor and roof trusses have been delivered and look great (I love a 12x12 roof pitch). And the town assigned us our new address: 275 Butternut Road. We like that it's a nice, round number. And they add up to my birthday, 9/5. Thanks to my mom, the math teacher, for making me obsessed with finding random patterns in numbers.

The panels will be delivered the week after next. Watch for some great progress photos then!

The dogs were interested in the large dirt pile so Ryan took them up to see the view. We think Lily and Gus liked their new home. Certainly lots of good smells...

A gratuitous shot of our site. I just love it in the evening. I can't wait to look out our master bedroom window at this every day.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Let the mayhem begin...

So yesterday was E-day. Excavation is officially underway. We had beautiful weather (which is a surprise after almost constant rain this summer) and Moe DuBois and his crew blazed through the first stages of the job. For anyone looking for an excavator in this area, Moe is your man. I don't know what was more exciting...the brand new hole in the ground that will become our house or the awesome toys Moe brought to the site. It was a little boy's (or an adult woman's who has been waiting to build her house for two years) dream. Dump trucks and bulldozers galore. I could have watched the action all day. Alas, work beckoned. But I did get some shots early in the morning as the gang was just starting our driveway and then again at the end of the day once the hole had been dug. Next up: placing the footings.

The trucks cometh...

Starting the foundation hole...

Our new driveway...

Putting in the daylight drain...

The hole and the step-down for the walk-out basement...

Can you believe this is really happening? I still have to pinch myself...