Monday, September 24, 2012

The Fireplace this has to be one of the coolest things we are putting into the new house and we weren't even the ones who thought of the idea.  Thanks go to our builder for giving us this idea.

Our fireplace is a two sided indoor / outdoor see through fireplace.  How awesome is that?  There is glass on both sides of the fireplace.  Since we have a fairly large deck on the back of the house, it made sense to use a fireplace that could be enjoyed both inside and out.  Here are some pictures of what we have so far:

This is the only closeup I have of the outside so far.  Please excuse the masons' idea of a ladder.  The fireplace is being prepped for stone that will be added going all the way up the outside wall.  We are going to use the same stone that is used on the front of the house, just in a thinner style meant specifically for use on fireplaces.

For the inside of the fireplace, we have picked out the mantle and it will be similar to the picture below. Our version will not be quite as tall because our fireplace insert is shorter and we will most likely have less granite showing above the fireplace.  We liked how the sides of the fireplace mirror the craftsman style columns that we will have on the front porch of the house.  Our granite will not be black, but will instead be the same granite that we are using as the kitchen countertop.  We will also have a raised hearth, I believe ours is 8" off the floor though.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Deck and the Patio

For the back deck, we went with a composite product with vinyl railing.  Neither of us were really interested in having to stain the deck every few years, so this combination should work well for us.  The deck material is EverGrain composite decking in Redwood.  The railing is Americana Vinyl Railing from Missouri Vinyl.  The deck is still a work in progress.  Check back later for pictures of the finished product.

Here is the only picture we have of the patio so far, it was taken shortly after the concrete was poured.  We're going to need a lot of patio furniture...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Over the past few months, we have had to make a ridiculous amount of decisions.  A lot of people have been asking about what we have picked out for our flooring, cabinets, etc.  So, here is a list of the choices we have made so far.


We knew for sure that we wanted to do wood flooring in a darker stain throughout the house except for in the "wet" areas of the house.  In the bathrooms and laundry room we wanted to do some sort of tile.  We thought about ceramic but decided against it because of how cold it would be without some sort of heating underneath it.  So we are going to go with a PermaStone floor instead.  PermaStone is a luxury vinyl tile that is harder than traditional vinyl so it is less likely to get scratched and nicked up.  We are going to go with the Groutfit version that has the grout lines built into the tile.  The style we are going with is Tumbled Marble in Pewter.

For the rest of the house, we are going to go with a cherry stained maple hardwood floor from Bruce.  We looked at a few different plank widths but ended up going with the 2 1/4" plank, mostly due to the fact that the 5" plank would have been $7,000 more.  Here is a sample of the floor, although the actual sample we have is a little darker.


Our kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities are from Mid Continent Cabinetry.  We chose a simple shaker style cabinet called Copenhagen for both areas.  The cabinets will be maple.  In the kitchen the cabinets along the wall will be antique white and the island will be espresso.  In the bathrooms, the vanities will be stained espresso.  All of the doors and drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms will have soft close hinges and drawer slides.  No more slamming drawers or doors!  Of course, at this point, I will be happy just to have drawers that I can actually open without having them constantly come off the track.  Here is a sample of the antique white and the espresso door.  



In the kitchen, we are going with a granite countertop.  The color we chose is called Giallo Ornamental.  At first, we thought we would go with a quartz countertop, as it is supposedly easier to maintain, but after talking with the countertop guy we decided to go with the granite.  It turns out that sealing granite is as easy as spraying it with a squirt bottle every so often and the granite was cheaper.  So, granite it is. I really think we made a good choice though.  Here is an example:

Here is a bigger example I found on Google.  This isn't our house, but the island is a similar shape to what ours will be:

In the bathrooms we are doing cultured marble countertops with a wave style bowl.  We didn't want too many different patterns in our master bathroom with the floor and shower tile and the countertops, so we went with an antique white colored countertop.  Here is an example of the antique white color:

Here is an example of what the wave bowl looks like:


For the faucets in the bathrooms we went with the Delta Dryden collection in Stainless Steel.  We went with the 8" widespread faucet for all of the bathroom vanities.  We had to buy 5 of them, and they are NOT cheap.  We ended up ordering them from Amazon though at a significantly lower price than the suggested price on Delta's website.  Here is a picture of what they look like along with a picture of the tub spout with handshower for the tub in the master bathroom:

In the tub in the Jack and Jill bath and the master bath shower, we went with a pressure balanced system with a separate temperature control.  When we went on vacation over the summer, we stayed in a cabin that had this type of control and I really liked it.  Because the temperature has a separate control you can set it and not have to mess with it at all.  Here is a picture of the tub/shower combo for the jack and jill bath, except we are going to take the showerhead from this combo and use it as the overhead rainshower in the master bathroom.  

Instead of the rainshower type head in the jack and jill bath, we are going with an In2ition hand shower.  We are also going to use that showerhead in the master bath shower.  

If you are keeping track, you will have noticed that I mentioned two different shower heads going into the master bath shower. We are going to have two shower heads and a total of 4 body jets in our shower.  Here is what the body jets look like and a video showing it in motion:

Come back later for pictures of all of these products installed in my house...

The Drywall Goes Up

This week has been all about drywall.  Drywall in itself is pretty boring, but it's exciting for us because it means the house is really starting to look like a house on the inside.  Have a look for yourself....

The view into the living room from the breakfast nook:

The view into the foyer:

The view into the kitchen from the living room:

The tray ceiling in the master bathroom:

The view of the master closets and into the master bathroom:

We had some wasted space in the tub area of the Jack and Jill bathroom so we had them build in a little shelf for us so we can have a little spot to put things in that area.  Here is a picture of the shelf:

The drywall in the garage:

Here are a few pictures of the house with the seams mudded and taped and a few with primer on the walls and the ceilings painted:

The 11 foot ceiling in the den:

 The tray ceiling in the master bedroom:

 Here is the garage all mudded and taped.  We got a pretty good deal to finish out the garage with drywall, texture, and paint, so we went ahead and did that:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

And Insulation....A Whole Lotta Insulation...

The latest addition to our house is insulation.  The insulation in the ceiling isn't finished yet, but the walls are done.  We upgraded to blown in insulation for the exterior walls.  For the interior walls, we weren't expecting any additional insulation, but our builder did install insulation all along the wall between the master suite and the rest of the house and around the other bathrooms and the laundry room.  So, that was a nice surprise.  This should go a long way to dampen sound in the house.  We also have insulated the garage as well with standard insulation on the walls that don't touch heated / cooled living spaces.

Master Bedroom:


Living Room:

Kitchen / Breakfast Nook:


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Plumbing and HVAC and Wiring, Oh My!

Our house will have two and a half bathrooms on the main level and a rough in for a future bathroom in the basement.

The master bathroom will have a separate shower and tub and two separate vanities. Also, the toilet will be in a separate room partitioned off with a pocket door.  The shower will have a seat, four body sprays, an overhead rain shower, and a hand shower.  I can't wait to use it!

Here are some pictures of the rough in plumbing in the master bathroom.

The shower layout:

Here is the rough in plumbing showing two jets on either side of the shower, a regular shower head / handheld shower, we also have a rain shower head above (not shown).  This picture was actually taken after the insulation was put in because we had some issues getting the pipe setup correct for the jets and shower heads.  It's all worked out now though.  

Here is the seat in the shower and a view of the wall behind it that will be half glass and half tiled wall.  

Here is the jetted tub with the surround under / in the bay window in the master bathroom.  The tub is a 5 foot jetted tub with heater from Maxx Pearl.  Looks like I could have gone with a 5 and a half foot or even a 6 foot tub.  Oh well...I guess that could be a future upgrade.

Here is the view where one of the vanities will be.  We are planning to put a TV on an articulating arm on the wall on the right side of the picture below.  That way it can be swung out and watched while relaxing in the tub.  :)

The view of the toilet room with framing for the pocket door and the area where the other vanity will go to the left of the picture.

The other main bathroom will be a Jack and Jill bathroom with two separate vanity areas and a tub / toilet area in between.  Both doors leading to the tub / toilet area will be pocket doors to maximize on space.  The tub / shower is a 5 foot all in one unit.  This is the view from one of the vanity areas.

Here is the rough in plumbing in the island for the sink.  It seemed a little odd at first, but I have to assume the plumbers know what they are doing.  I believe the white pipe is the vent / drain pipe.  

The half bath is pretty standard as far as plumbing goes, so I don't have any pictures of it.

As of right now the HVAC rough in is equally as boring, so I don't really have any pictures of it.  The holes for the vents have been cut in the floor, the rough in for the cold air returns are in, and part of the ductwork has been installed in the basement.  More to come once the actual HVAC unit is installed.

The electrical wiring has also been installed at this point.  Again, it's fairly standard, with a few upgrades.  First, we have a total of 42 light fixtures in and around the house and that is not counting the 13 can lights throughout the house.  That's a lot of wiring.  We also added a few outlets in our soffits on the outside of the house to use for hanging Christmas lights.  They are hooked up to a switch in the garage so they will be easy to flip on and off if I don't choose to use some sort of timer.  :)

Here are some pictures of the electrical work.

The can lights and the electrical plate for the ceiling fan:

The can lights in the kitchen.  We did remove one of these lights to make the can lights look more symmetrical.  Originally we wanted to do a few can lights and pendants hanging over the island.  However, due to the ceiling height and how the pendants would need to be placed, it would have been too difficult to get them to look right.  So, we added a few more can lights instead.  

The electrical panel:

The outlets in the soffits outside the house: