Saturday, November 17, 2007


Apologies, I couldn't come up with a better name for the post. My creative well is running low, as I'm scrambling to finish up all the last-minute details + specifications that I put off because I had "so much time" to make those decisions. Well, that time is running out as you can see from the above photo. The outside of the house is nearing completion, which means it will be completely sealed up and insulated and heated within the next few weeks! Speaking of heating...

Above are is our localized radiant system that we'll have for the floors in both bathrooms upstairs. For those unfamiliar with how radiant heat for floors works, there are many methods. In this one, hot water is run through plastic tubes in a closed-circuit system. The tubes are run under the subfloor (this is the view from the first floor looking up into the floor cavity above) and affixed to these metal plates which distribute the heat through the subfloor and finished tile floor above. And speaking of finished floors...

Above is our wood flooring! And it's freaking perfect! We got a "character-grade," sometimes known as "rustic," wide-plank white oak floor that will go throughout the house. We like the wide planks because they come in longer lengths so overall you can really see all the beauty inherent in the wood. It's got tons of knots, checks, and wormholes, which sounds like a bad thing, but it's a really good thing. At least we think so. As soon as the house is insulated and heated, the wood needs to acclimate to what will be a pretty constant temperature + level of humidity inside the house for at least a week. Then moisture readings of both the planks and the subfloor are taken to insure that the materials are at a stable enough level (not too much moisture or dryness - not sure of the exact percentage) to install and finish.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Siding, Roof

Not much time for a post today, but I wanted to get these photos up. Our siding is being installed now, and it is sweet. We went with a Benjamin Moore semi-solid black stain on knotty red cedar planks. It came out perfectly, with the grain of the wood still very visible, but with a consistent black color. Check out some more photos of the siding below...

Check out the below window - notice the contrast between the siding and the frame. Also note how there is no trim - we were able to run the siding right up to the windows for a very clean, minimal finish.

In the below photo, notice the clean corner of the house. Nina wanted to ensure that there was no "cap" trim on the corner, so she stopped the siding a few inches early so the corner trim could be installed flush with the siding.

Below is a shot from the backyard. The workers have begun siding the first level on this side of the house, which can be seen between the window bays. Also note that our roof has been installed. It will look even better once the snow bar is installed.

Next post will be the week of November 19th. We hope that all the siding will be up by then, along with some other significant progress. See ya.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Stain, HVAC, Plumbing

Hello. Check out the above shot of the house. We haven't taken any pictures of the house from this location - we think it looks pretty cool.

We've had a pretty busy week so far. Nina and I went up to the house on Sunday to check out the above stain samples. We didn't like any of them - the semi-transparent and semi-solid stains were all too blotchy, and they all had a purple tint. The two samples on the right are a solid stain, meaning they don't allow any of the grain to show. This made the color more consistent, but it covered up the beauty of the wood.

With winter around the corner, Walter and crew really want to get the siding up ASAP. They put together some additional samples, and Nina and I went to check them out yesterday. We considered going with a clear finish, but opted against it as the house might appear too "freckled" due to the knots in the cedar. We thought about the Barn Red stain above, but thought the color is a bit too literal for our barn-influenced house. Ultimately, we decided to stick with our original color choice - black. The blacks above look pretty blue, but that's just the photo. If you can guess which black we chose, you get a gold star.

Above you can see the holes cut in our first floor for the heat/ac registers. There's going to be a very cool detail here - stay tuned for a photo when our floors are installed.

The plumber is busy installing all the copper pipes that will provide our water. Above is a shot of our powder room.

And here's a picture of Sarah and me from Sunday. The leaves are really starting to come down, and the views are opening up. Fall is pretty amazing up there.

We'll be up again on Saturday with family, and hopefully we'll see enough progress to justify another post next week!