Sunday, November 27, 2011

New House Inspiration - Barn Beams

I mentioned in my previous post that we've been searching for ways to add character to our new home. Tom loves the timber framed home concept so we're trying to tie that look in without adding exorbitant costs. Tom's dream has always been a log cabin or a full timber-framed home, but I don't want that much wood in my house. Here's an idea of a timber framed home... Photo courtesy of Precision Craft.

We're going to work to achieve that look and the coziness factor, but on a smaller scale, with some barn beams in the great room. We also plan to do some barn beam posts and headers going into the great room from the entry and the kitchen.

Last night, I was on and searched "reclaimed." That's a fun thing to search if you have some free time and a bit of an imagination. I came across The Reclaimed Barnwood Company's posting and wonder if we may have a source for the wood. They have some pretty cool things on their site.

A kitchen table -

A fireplace mantle -

And, finally, a grid ceiling. This wouldn't work for our house, but it's a very cool look.

It's an inspiration at least. We've found that we can add these details for a reasonable price. We don't want to go overboard. We are just looking for another way for us to create a unique space that reflects our personality.

New House Inspiration - The Lanterns

I have to admit, inspiration doesn't usually strike me. Sometimes, I'll see something online or at someone else's house and think "Hey, I can do that." And, then I try some variation and it usually results in something very marginal.

However, the best part of being married is your "better half." It doubles your inspired moments. I'm very lucky in that if my better half gets an inspiration, I know it will turn out great. We are so much on the same page in terms of what we like and what we don't like. I have a hard time picturing things in their finished form so I get excited when he finds something and can envision how things will be.

Fast forward to this weekend. There we stand in Tom's grandmother's basement (Grammy), and Tom spots something. For those of you that don't know, Grammy and Grandpa are true antique collectors. It seems every time we're over there, we find something else new and cool they have collected. The truly awesome thing about Grammy and Grandpa is how their things are so perfectly classic. For instance, she just wore a black dress to church from over 40 years ago.

This trip, I noticed two things that would be land smack in the middle of a Country Living magazine.

The first was a cabinet that Grandpa had made in high school that was filled with a collection of drawer pulls that I knew nothing about. Apparently, Grandpa really enjoyed finding metal items that he could clean up and make shine. These drawer pulls remind me of library drawer pulls and he probably had 50-60 that were all different. I told Grammy those are the exact style of pulls we will be putting in our kitchen. Here are some examples I found online that are similar to those in Grandpa's collection.

The second was a very cool, aqua farm house table that was the resting place for the lantern collection (more to come). I loved this table. It is so simple and it was painted in a great, modern color. And, the best part, it's a family piece. Every time I go to Grammy's, I feel like I need to video tape the whole visit. I can't ever remember all of the pieces and parts of her stories and it makes me sad that I won't remember enough to be able to pass the information along to the girls and Jack.

Fast forward to the inspiration. Tom spotted one of the lanterns with an aqua globe and was instantly smitten. Grammy said she knew we didn't have any lanterns yet, so we could pick a few if we wanted, which we absolutely did. We found another lantern back in Grandpa's workshop that he didn't get a chance to clean up before he wasn't able to do those things any longer. Tom loved it because of the cage around the globe and because it gave him a chance to work on a project. We switched out the clear globe for another aqua globe. He told Grammy, and me a few times after we left, how he was so excited because he finally had a plan for our hearth room.

Notice the pewter? This has made us reconsider going with pewter door handles in the house. We originally thought pewter and switched back to black. Now, we're back to pewter.

Inspiration is an awesome thing. We talked last night and have decided to add a fireplace to the room and probably panel the room as well. We'll paint the paneling a darker color and orient the sofa and some side chairs to take in the fireplace and the views out back. We've been struggling with a way to give that area character and make it different from the rest of the house. I have grand visions of the children (they're children in my visions - not crazy kids whining for my attention) sitting in that room pleasantly, reading their books and doing their homework while I prepare a well balanced meal in the kitchen.

All aspects of this vision, I know, are a pipe-dream. But, they're my pipe-dream. And, that's the special thing about building a house. You get to build your hopes and dreams into the house. It's up to you to make it a reality. We're on our way to making it happen...

Friday, November 25, 2011

We're Building a House! - Construction Update - 11/25/11

I saved a screenshot of the weather forecast mid-week last week. Not great for construction weather!

However, we trudged forward through the rain and mud.

11/15/11 - Tom got this picture of the walls with all of the forms gone. This was likely when they were waterproofing and insulating the walls which happened over the 15th and 16th I think.

11/17/11 - We put up a Joyner Homes sign in the front area. Even though we've built 36 homes at Timber Run, this is our first as Joyner Homes. Momentous occasions around here call for pictures with kids. Doesn't she look like she's ready for work?

11/17/11 - Underslab plumbing was started and ended. This is a picture of the work in progress.

11/18/11 and 11/21/11 - The green plate boards went in. This is the first of the lumber to go in the house and is the base of the framed walls. In the county, an inspection has to be done once this is complete and before the rest of the walls are built. This is different than we do in the city. Either Monday or Tuesday, the inspector came out and did an inspection on the green plate and the poured foundation walls. There was also the under-slab plumbing inspection sometime during this time frame. Here is a photo of the green plate all done! See why it's called green plate?

11/21/11 - 11/22/11 - The concrete crew came in and backfilled with pea gravel. This was to prepare for Wednesday...

11/23/11 - The slab was poured!!!!! I don't know why this seems like such a major event, but it sure does. We were already on our way back to Ohio when this happened so I haven't been able to see it. But, our superintendent sent us a picture. I can't wait to go and walk in our basement!

I don't think anything major is happening today. Up next week will be lumber delivery and possibly the framers will get started. By getting the slab in already, I think we've escaped the first of the weather issues. But, I'll still be happy with a mild December!

Monday, November 14, 2011

We're Building a House! - Construction Update - 11/14/11

Construction officially started on 11/2/11. I am WAY behind on an update as many exciting things have been happening! Prior to 10/29/11, there were a few things that happened that weren't very photo-ready. Before closing, an engineer came out and staked the property for property lines and placed the home on the lot plat. Then, later, he came back out and spray painted the outline for the house which was really cool. Finally, something visible appeared!

10/29/11 - This was the first significant thing that happened on site - a port-a-jon was delivered! Thanks to our friend and future neighbor for snapping a pic.

11/1/11 - Silt fence is installed!

11/3/11 - Official ground breaking! We cleared the site first and then dug a gigantic hole in the ground for the basement.

In this picture, you can see the trenches for the footers.

11/7/11 - Footers are poured. These are the "foundation." I always get thrown off when hearing this term. For some reason, even after four years of being around houses under construction, I always expect to see a slab. The outline of the basement is coming together.

11/9/11 - Pea Gravel arrives and they begin to assemble the concrete forms for the basement walls. Pea gravel goes under the slab and there is more to come this week. They have to dig out extra dirt in order to put in the foundations so they'll back fill with more dirt and pea gravel for a nice, level slab. The wall forms are kind of crazy and I've not seen these in action since the homes we have built so far are on a slab and no basement.

These are the forms getting ready to go down into the hole.

A whole truck load of wall forms!

I took lots of pictures because I knew I couldn't do it justice. They are just weird and I wasn't expecting them for some reason.

This is looking down into the basement.

The big square at ground level on the right is the garage. To the left is the front porch.

See what I mean about backfilling?

More basement walls.

11/10/11 - It snowed. Just what we need the day before we pour concrete!

11/11/11 - Concrete walls are poured. No pictures of this day!

11/14/11 - Forms are removed and we have walls! Isn't the brick pattern cool?

On tap for this week - waterproofing the walls and underground plumbing rough in. Tom says maybe if we're lucky, we'll get a green plate inspection. (Sense his sarcasm?) Doesn't sound like a bunch of photo ops, but maybe I'll get one or two. I've been tasked with getting a few bids for cabinets this week.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

JPAC Fall Spectacular!

The girls had their first gymnastics performance debut today at JPAC (Jaycie Phelps Athletic Center - Jaycie is from Greenfield and a member of the 1996 Olympic Gold Medal Team and Co-Owner of the gym.) None of us were quite sure what to expect, but they all did a great job! It was set up like a real meet so the groups of girls went through their rotations and Josie and Tessa had to wait and watch all the other kids which is different than their normal classes. They were grouped with the older girls and I was really impressed with how well they did for the entire time (especially Tessa!). The younger girls group still performed as a group together much more like their classes. Each coach had the girl do the skill that was most applicable to their age group. And, of course, everyone got a medal and got to stand on the big mat/podium! It was great exposure to competition and performing. I really like that they get a chance to perform but we don't have to spend hundreds on costumes. Just a $20 leotard!

Here are the pics...

Warm up -

Jack also was a great sport - sat relatively still on Tom's lap for the entire two hours!

Josie and Tessa's group - The Olympians - Josie spotted us obviously!

The whole group

Josie and Tessa (she was the shortest so she got to be the leader the whole day - made her day!) walking to their first rotation

Josie on the bar

Josie getting ready to do the vault - cheese ball!

Josie on the vault again

Tessa getting ready for vault - her teacher told me last week that she's really good at this because she can run so fast and with power!

See the judge with her hand up? Tessa was waiting for the OK to start.

The coaches tried to keep the girls busy while they were waiting.

Josie doing her floor routine - prepping a handstand

Tessa's handstand - nice work!

Tessa and the judge

Josie getting her medal from Jaycie Phelps. So cool that the girls get high fives each week from an Olympian!

Way to go Josie!

Tessa walking to the podium

Tessa getting her medal from Jaycie

Just a little shy but I can't believe she got up there and did her thing! (In her defense, there were probably 100 people in the crowd!)

Sweet sisters!

What a fun experience!