Saturday, March 11, 2017

House Update Month 2 - All Wrapped Up!

Happy March!  To say that we're amazed at the amount of progress on our house in the past six weeks is an understatement!  Between a contractor that has been on the ball and very mild weather, the house is completely dried in. I've been scrambling to pick out things for the house.  It's all happening so fast, which is wonderful, but my picky tastes are having a hard time keeping up.  (wink)

Here's an update on some of the past six week happenings!  I apologize in advance for how long this post is... I really wanted to document this so I could remember! 

Footers were dug and the foundation block was laid.  The framing subcontractor came in and started in no time at all (the house next in line had a delay, so he came to ours).  It was so exciting getting to walk on top of the house... all started to feel very real! 

 We only see the house on the weekends, so Friday is always an exciting day.  Particularly while the house was being framed, it was so fun to see it all start taking shape. 

 I laugh every time I see the crawl space.  In our previous house, the crawlspace was so small that in some areas it was impossible to access.  Justus always said, "In our next house, I want to have enough room to walk in the crawl space!"  Well, he certainly got his wish - ha! 

You can see here how tall the front of the house is.  It took a while for me to get used to how it looked.  The front stairs will be over 7' wide and there will be plenty of them!  

When the ceiling was framed in, we walked on top and I couldn't believe how far it felt to the ground.  

Pretty soon the second story was in the process of being framed.  The girls had so much fun seeing where their actual bedrooms would be!  

 And here we are today, with the shingles on and windows in.  We went with an architectural shingle in Weathered Wood... we chose this color because we really wanted the eye to be drawn to the house, not the shingles. 

 For the windows, we chose a craftsman style... the grilles are in the upper windows, and are two vertical lines. I chose white because...well, I still love white!  :-D

 I love this side porch at the back of the house... when I first saw this floor plan, I envisioned french doors leading out onto the back porch.  I imagine we will spend a LOT of time back here! 

 I was insistent on building the chimney... it's actually faux (gasp) as our logs will be natural gas.  There's a chance we may actually be utilizing the chimney as we will be venting the gas logs, but I'm not quite sure how that will work yet. 

 It's actually hard to envision the front of the house at this point.  The front porch is just block right now, but eventually concrete will be poured, it will have brick stairs, craftsman columns with a brick base, and white wood railing. The front of the house and the dormers will be hardi lap siding painted white and the sides of the house will be brick.  We have yet to pick out a brick color... I never knew there could possibly be so many choices and it completely overwhelmed both of us. 

The little shed roof over the windows on the upstairs dormer was just added this morning.  When the house was first wrapped, Justus and I stood out in the front yard looking up at the house, staring at a huge voided space above the windows.  We had eliminated the shed roof shown in the plans there because we didn't see its purpose... well, the purpose was clearly to be seen on that day - ha!  The plans did show a little shed roof, but it didn't have any details, so I searched online high and low for a picture that showed something similar.  This is what the framer came up with and we love it.  This little detail added SO much to the look of the house.

Inside the house, the plumbing, electrical and insulation are all in and drywall goes in next week!  I can't believe it.  Every time I walk through the house, it almost feels like a dream.  The electrical threw me for a little loop... I had never though how much was involved in selecting the placement for light fixtures and outlets and all the details involved with light switches.  All I can say is the poor electrician was so kind dealing with me!  

One of the biggest decisions we made last minute was deciding to go ahead and finish the bonus room upstairs.   The dormer room to the left is one of my favorite things about the house.  When I first walked into this space, I could imagine a large farmhouse table underneath the windows for schoolwork and crafting.  When the girls aren't outside, I imagine they'll be right here.  :-)  

I think that's all for now!  Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

House Plans and Progress

We've had an exciting week... construction started on our new house!  It really just looks like a lot of dirt moved at this point, but nevertheless, so exciting and it's starting to feel very real!  I thought it'd be a good chance for me to share our house plans and to post some of our progress photos.  

Some of you asked where we are living in the meantime.  My husband's parents graciously let us move into their basement and even cleared out a huge section of their basement storage to store all of our belongings.  It's very cozy and spacious down there and we really appreciate our temporary home.  Justus is about five miles from work right now, but now we're also about 30 miles from our "home".  So every Friday we head to my parents house, where we spend the entire weekend.  This way both set of parents get a break from us.  ;-)  Ha!  

The photo above is the house plan we chose!  I always thought given the opportunity to build a new house, I would want to choose a farmhouse plan.  But after spending hours and days looking at house plans, we never could find a farmhouse plan with the floor plan we were looking for.  Justus actually found this bungalow craftsman house plan, and we both knew this was it.  We love the open floor plan, the use of square footage, and it just felt like "us".  

The exterior will look a bit different than the picture above in the use of materials.  The sides of the house and the back will be brick, and the front of the house (porch) and dormers will be 4" hardi lap siding (painted a creamy white, of course!).  We have a few other minor changes we are making... but hopefully the end result will be as charming as this rendition!  :-)  All the decisions make me nervous!

 One of my favorite side elevations is this side, with its chimney, side porch and dormer.  This side will face the pasture and we will enjoy its view from the kitchen, dining and living room.

 The first floor plan above... we have made some minor changes (like extending the great room wall out), but for the most part it will look as pictured. 


 And the second floor plan.  The rec room will be framed, but we will finish the rest ourselves.  Again, just a few minor changes (such as a tub/shower combo in the bathroom).   

 Friday the footers were dug!  So exciting for all four of us to see the first bit of progress.  Although our temporary living situation has been going well, we all miss having a home of our own.  The transition has been a little hard for our girls, so I was particularly anxious for them to see where their new home would be.  :-)  As you can see in the photo above, the main reason we moved was so that we could have all this space for our family!  We are so looking forward to having a spacious yard and being a good distance from the road.

The concrete for the footers will be poured this next week.  

The girls had a blast playing in all the holes.  :-)

This week we also got power to our lot!  The temporary pole is in, and eventually will be underground to the house.

Although we hired a general contractor, one of the jobs we (or my dad and Justus) did ourselves is bringing water to the lot.  As you can see, this was a huge undertaking and was made all the more difficult by all the rock they encountered.  But today water is officially to the lot!  

 And "all" (haha) that's left is back filling the trench.  Just a little rock!  ;-)

Huck also misses his home, but he's adapted so well and enjoys seeing his friend Belle on the weekends at the farm.  :-)  

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year and Saying Goodbye to our Farmhouse

I hope you and your family had a most wonderful Christmas!  As the year draws to a close, I feel thankful looking back and thinking of sweet memories made. Yes, there were difficult moments too, but how would we grow without them?  There's something so hopeful about starting a new year, thinking of the things I'd like to be better at, as a wife, a mother, and a friend.  

We said goodbye to our sweet farmhouse just a couple days before Christmas this year.  I realize this may come as a shock, and honestly, it doesn't feel quite real to me yet either as it happened so quickly.  Justus and I have periodically dreamed about building a home, always with the thought of it being sometime in the "future", and we've spent time off and on looking for land for sale in the area the past couple of years.  Unfortunately, very little is available, especially in smaller acreage amounts, and we did not want to leave this area.  But just a couple months ago, my parents sold us a couple acres in their lower pasture land of their farm, and we went through a rather arduous process of getting the small division approved with the city.  After it was approved and we had a deed in hand, Justus and I stuck a for sale by owner sign in our front yard, thinking it might be a while before we had any interest. Five days later, we had a signed contract and we could not have been more shocked.  

We finished packing and moving out of our house right before Christmas, and as you can imagine, there were bittersweet feelings.  That little farmhouse was my haven... we put so much time and effort into fixing it up the past six years and from the first moment I walked into it, I loved it.  But after the house was empty, I looked around and realized that without my family in it, and our belongings, it was just a house.  A precious house, yes, but nonetheless, there weren't any feelings of regret or unhappiness in leaving it and moving forward.   

I have to tell you that we sold it to the sweetest couple.  They are young, and recently married.  They grew up in this area, and she had memories of spending time in the neighborhood as her grandmother's house had been just down the road. I felt so thankful for the contentment in knowing that they loved the house just as much as we always loved it.  Probably the hardest thing about leaving was saying goodbye to our chickens.  But these sweet new owners also adopted our chickens, as we no longer had a home for them, and I know they, and our neighbors, continue to love and care for them.

The day we closed on our house, we also signed a contract with a general contractor for the building of our new home.  So although there were bittersweet feelings leaving our old house, we also had/have so much to look forward to.  

More than ever, I'm thankful for all the moments I recorded on this blog of our farmhouse and the memories made there.  I will treasure them. And now, as a new year begins, I'll begin recording our new adventures as we move forward.  Thank you for being there with me from the beginning, encouraging us as we made slow progress on our farmhouse.  You'll never know what that meant to us!  

Happy New Year!

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