Archive for February, 2007

Parade of Homes

February 27, 2007

For anyone building a house, I would strongly suggest attending as many Parade of Homes events as possible. These are useful in many, many ways. At a Parade of Homes, you can walk through houses and see what types of floorplans you like best. You can make notes of room sizes that feel comfortable to you. You can look at features that you like; we realized how much we enjoy the 2 story great room by touring other houses.

Once your house is being constructed, the Parade of Homes serves a different purpose. When we were in Charlotte, we used the Charlotte Parade of Homes there to help with house design. Now that we are here and have our house designed & partially built, we’re using the Lake Sumter Parade of Homes for interior decor ideas.

By touring houses, we realized yet again why we went with a custom builder, rather than one of those larger on-your-lot builders that would have made us choose from a series of floor plans. We only tour the more expensive houses ($600,000+), because these are the houses with the features we’re interested in. It seems that, with the larger national builders, houses come in 2 styles. Either you have a HUGE house with lovely features that is, just by virtue of its massive size, out of our price range. Or else you have a medium sized house that’s in our price range but that is missing those details that we value, like granite or quartz counterops, crown moulding, hardwood floors and hardwood stairs, etc. There doesn’t seem to be a happy medium, so, for ideas’ sake, we only tour the pricier houses with the features that we like.

We really liked the color scheme of this kitchen, with its light wood, dark countertop, and neutral-colored tile:

We thought this bathroom was neat; the color scheme is similar to what we would like for ours, and the idea of having the shower behind the bath was intriguing.  It’s now what we’re doing with our house, but it’s a good idea for future houses!

Here is the same bath from a different angle:

I also like that you can set up drinks or candles alongside the tub.

We didn’t like this exact look, but were interested in how they used molding on their walls to make the walls more distinctive:

The Parade of Homes is also about finding out what you DON’T like, and this house made us realize that we didn’t like what we’d planned for our entertainment center.  The drywall just looked too chunky:

This was an interesting looking house in Howey in the Hills; I’d driven by it a few times as it was going up, and it piqued my curiousity.  The asking price is $1.6 million, but I would be surprised if it sold quickly.  It’s a neat house but has insuperable location problems:

It is a very, very Disney house; the builder worked for Disney for many years, and it definitely shows in his construction and decoration style.  Here is the door knocker; I thought it was interesting, though not at all suited to our beachy house.

Here is another fun photo; I liked this door – very European, and the peephole area reminded me of the Wizard of Oz.

This theatre isn’t anything we’re interested in doing, but it was fun looking:

And here are several pictures of children’s rooms that were really over the top, Disney-themed: Nemo, Pirates, and Princesses, as well as a Raggedy Ann-themed room:

The Parade of Homes is a great experience, from which you can gain a wealth of ideas for new home construction & interior design.  I would highly recommend using it as a resource and taking the opportunity to tour as many houses as possible in a low- or no-sales pressure atmosphere.


Electrical rough-in and miscellaneous information

February 26, 2007

First, the update on the house’s progress for this week. The electrician has come and gone, and has done the rough-in which is necessary before the roof can be put on. Here is a photo of the place where one of the light switches for the great room will be located:

And here is where one of our ceiling lights will be located:

Our big work for this week involved sketching out our entertainment center. At first, we had in mind an entertainment center with the shelves and partitions wrapped in drywall. After looking at some examples of this at the Lake Sumter Parade of Homes, we realized this look was too chunky for us. So Andy sketched out this drawing of our entertainment center:

The shaded gray areas will be made of drywall, but the shelves will be made of 3/4 inch plywood, edged with a veneer strip, so that we can either paint or stain the shelves. We’re thinking that we will probably paint the shelves white, but we can decide that later on.

Our builder, Woody, told us that our metal roof will be made by Southeastern Metals. We still have to confirm which model of metal roof is the one that will be used on our house, but we are planning on having a white metal roof, for maximum reflectivity.

Our tub in the master bath will be by Izzi Baths, a local company based out of Clermont. Part of green building is using local materials whenever possible, to save on fuel used in transportation. We also like using local suppliers because, as we did this weekend, we are then able to go to the manufacturer and see the various products in person.

We went to Izzi Baths to look at their tub models, and sent Woody two choices. Our first choice, the Aquamarine, is larger. If it will fit into our bathroom, that model would be our preference. The second choice is a slightly smaller tub, the Garnet. They are both corner models, and we have decided to go with the color Biscuit. The large white tubs had a bit of a glare, just because of their sheer mass. The biscuit color took the edge off but was still light enough to look fine with a white toilet (we hope!).

We are waiting for the plumber to come next week, and then the propane company will have to pull their permits and do their thing. After that, Woody says that everything will begin to happen at once – we will get our roof, Hardie Board siding, and windows. I think it will really look like a house then!

Rooms, rooms, glorious rooms!

February 17, 2007

See this photo of the house?

Looks the same, doesn’t it? Which just goes to show you that looks can be deceiving, because we are now the proud owners of, not just the shell of a house, but an actual, factual house with ROOMS! True, there is still no metal roof, but that, my friends, is coming in the next 2-3 weeks.

The builders have been busy framing up the interior of the house. It is amazing to see how what was last week sketches on paper has now been transformed into actual rooms that we can walk around. We can now really see the sizing, and it’s probably the most exciting part for me of the entire process.

Here is a picture of our front entrance, with stairs and, just to the right of the first part of the staircase, what will be an under-the-stairs closet. You can see how there is room for a door, and we’ll be able to make use of all this under-stairs area for storage.

Just above the doorway, the reading nook/walkway is visible. From here, we can sit upstairs, read, and keep an eye on goings on in our great room.

Here is a photo of our arched doorway, just to your right as you enter through the foyer. It leads into the kitchen area:

Behind the arch, the stairs are again visible.

And here is an upstairs view, looking down into the great room, dining room, and kitchen. The kitchen island will be open to the great room & dining room:

And now, proceeding upstairs, is a shot of our whopping big closet!

The master bath is visible to the left of the closet, and here is a better view of the master bathroom:

The tub will be in the corner, under the window, and on the far left side of the photo, another small window is visible. The walk-in shower is in this area, below the tiny window. We’re very ninja-esque, so even when bathing or showering, we needed to be able to see someone sneaking up our driveway.

Here is a photo of the master bedroom, with the long window that will be above the bed & the picture window looking out into our wooded backyard:

And, finally, here is the view from the larger window in our master bedroom.

You can see the roof over the back porch, in the bottom right hand corner of the photo.

I’m so glad that the stairs have been built, so that I could finally check out our second floor! Our builder, Woody Dortch of Classic Structures, Inc. seems to be moving right along. He’s chosen our roof vendor, so before too much longer, we will have a completely white house: white metal roof, white foam walls.


February 10, 2007

Okay, admittedly it doesn’t appear that much has happened this week. Basically, our plywood roof passed a Roof Sheathing Inspection (hurrah!) and an underlayment is being laid down over the plywood roof.

For the underlayment, our builder Woody Dortch of Classic Structures, Inc. used Titanium-UDL Synthetic Roofing Underlayment. I read about this online, and apparently it’s superior to felt (or claims to be) because it provides more reflectivity, is lighter & stronger, and is unaffected by water.  Woody said that this underlayment costs about twice what the felt underlayment would have cost, but he thinks that it is worth it, and we agree!  He said that its claim to fame is that, in case of a storm, if the metal roof were to be lifted off the building, this underlayment is supposed to stay down, so that our house will still stay dry.  Let’s hope that’s a claim that never gets tested.

Here is a photo of one of the roofers laying down the underlayment:

And here is a close-up of those spiffy little orange nails:

Other than this, the house looks just the same as it did last week, so I didn’t bother to include new house photos. After taking a few bids, Woody has found a roofer, and our next step is to get the white metal roof installed. Will it be a house then?

Is it a house yet?

February 3, 2007

We now have roof trusses and…

Drumroll, please…

A wooden roof! Ta da! It finally looks like an actual house. Okay, maybe a foam and wood house, but still, a house. My husband, however, persists in calling it a “lot,” despite his previous assurance that, once it had a roof, he would then call it a “house.”

So without further ado, here are the pictures. First, the overview from the front of the house:

Now we can actually see the front and back porches taking shape, with the plywood roof. Next is a view of the roof trusses from inside the house:

And another view of the trusses. This one was taken looking up toward the master bedroom (2nd floor) and toward the bay window of the guest bedroom on the first floor:

Here are two different views of the back porch, which will be screened in eventually. The builders haven’t yet finished putting the plywood on top of the porch.

Next steps: Getting an actual roof! We plan on having a white metal roof for maximum energy efficiency. It’s exciting to watch our house grow up out of the sandy soil of the lot.