Archive for March, 2007

The good, the bad, and the downright ugly

March 31, 2007

Our news this week is a mixed bag. On the bright side, the white metal roof is nearly complete. The roofer was short four sheets of metal, so he will need to order those before he can complete the roof. Our builder, Woody Dortch of Classic Structure, Inc., told us that this is normal. The metal is so expensive that they want to be sure they don’t order too much.

The bad news, for Woody, is that the windows supplier ordered a transom window. Woody told him not to order it, but he did it anyway. So the transom window installed here is not actually the correct one. Woody has already ordered the transom window that actually matches our door, so that is on the way. I think it’s pretty low of the windows supplier to buy extra pieces, though, and stick our builder with the bill.

Here is our front door, seen from the inside. Keep in mind that the transom will be changed to match the decorative door glass.

And now, the downright ugly. This is our first real problem in construction – we knew something was coming, and could probably have told you in advance that it would be caused by the propane supplier. Our particular supplier chooses not to return calls. He first offers you a 325 gallon buried tank and then changes his mind and says his offer includes a tiny tank and, if you want the large one, you will have to buy it for an additional $2000. He will tell you that he’s faxing something to you and then he just won’t. He will do this five or six times in a row. And then he will tell your builder that he is actually waiting on YOU to send his fax back. He is a bad egg.

Here is what he did to our beautiful roof:

Woody pointed this out to us this week, so that we wouldn’t be horrified when we got to the house. He doesn’t know why the propane people chose to just go out there, when his people weren’t around and, without asking, knock a big hole through our FRONT facing roof and stick this ugly pipe up out of it. I know why they did this; it was the most direct vent and, thus, the cheapest for them. They are bad eggs.

Woody said that he will call the propane guy on Monday and take it up with him. We’ll see how that goes, but we are NOT PLEASED with the propane guy. I am sensing that a complaint to the BBB is imminent, if he doesn’t rectify his stupidity and cupidity.

What is next, you ask? We are still waiting on one more bid from kitchen cabinet suppliers, and, once we get this bid, we will make our final decision and order the cabinets & countertops. Woody hopes to get the interior framing inspected this week, so that he can call in the Icynene guys and then begin putting up the drywall. And our Hardie Board siding in Boothbay Blue is coming this week, hopefully. That will take about 3-4 weeks to hang. Our garage door has been ordered, and it is INSULATED! This is good, as it fits in with our energy efficient theme.

We will see how it goes with the propane man, though; he is one bad egg.

Adding a roof

March 24, 2007

We’re getting a roof finally! And we have windows! And doors! (Though the doors aren’t all put up.)

First the overview:

Now the close-up of our partial white metal roof and white soffits:

We chose white metal for its strength and reflective properties, and we are hoping that a white metal roof will have a much lower heat gain than a standard, black or gray shingled roof. Here is a photo of the roof metal, lying in the front yard:

Here is our HUGE, 12 foot wide great room door. It’s very cool, because the three portions move independently, so that we could open the first and middle panels, or the first and third panels, to get a breeze going through the house.

We have many windows, but the octagonal one is pretty cool. You can see that it still has gaps, so it’s open to the exterior around the corners. This window is inside our downstairs guest bath.

Our windows are MI Windows, and they are the BetterBilt series. The ratings vary, though all have a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient in the .34-.37 range. They are Low-E, Argon filled windows, in keeping with our energy efficient home theme.

Finally, here is our entertainment center. It was so interesting to see our sketches come to life!

We are really happy with the way things are going, and can’t wait until the roof is finished and the siding and drywall start going up!

We’re wired!

March 11, 2007

The electrician, plumber, and HVAC contractors have all been busy at work on our home this past week. The results look like this:

And this

And this

(The above is a photo of the tub for the master bath, the Aquamarine model by Izzi Baths).

While they’ve been busy wiring, we’ve been busy shopping. As confirmed apartment dwellers, we have no real furniture. A futon with the arm chewed up by our dog, sure, we’ve got that. But not real house furniture.

We looked at several places, like Ethan Allen, Badcock, Broyhill, Wood You, and American Signature Furniture. Our favorite at first was Ethan Allen, before we realized that, even though we would be paying through the nose for their furniture, they 1. use particleboard in some pieces’ construction and 2. exhibit all the signs of fine, Chinese craftsmanship. The floor models had big mistakes, like lopsided doors that had misaligned hardware and armoire doors that scratched up the bottom of the armoire every time you closed them! For those prices, we were underwhelmed by the low level of quality. My husband read several reviews that corresponded the decline in quality with the exportation of pieces to China to be built. Yummy…

Badcock sketched us out, and Broyhill was far, far too large, heavy, and ornate for us. We were very excited, though to find Wood You and American Signature. Both those places only sold furniture made of actual, solid wood. American Signature’s pieces were still assembled in either China or Vietnam (some one, some the other), but they seemed to be of better quality.

We really liked their Plantation Cove line; it fit with our beachy theme. We purchased a sofa (the Sonja) in celery green. The cushions are so, so soft, and have a 5 year warranty. We purchased the additional Scotch Gard protection, as this will definitely pay us back in protection from doggie paws.

We also bought, for the living room, a cocktail table. We got the rectangular dining table and 6 chairs for our dining room (all in white). For the master bedroom, we got the king bed, Simmons Napa Super Pillowtop mattress, two end tables, a tall chest of drawers, and an armoire. The master bedroom furniture is all in black, and we plan on having a black/teal/white color combination in this room.

The nice thing about American Signature Furniture is that you can put down only a 10% deposit, and that will lock in the price for you. They will hold the furniture indefinitely, at no charge, for people like us who do not have the house completed yet.

We also liked the Wood You mission style, and are thinking that we will get some combination of this type of furniture for our guest bedroom. This is unfinished wood furniture, so we would have to paint or stain it ourselves, but the prices were very reasonable and the quality seemed to be pretty good, with all-wood construction.

Duct, duct, goose!

March 5, 2007

It’s true; we now have some ductwork done. Nothing too thrilling this week, though it was neat to see the large, silver snakes of our ductwork winding their way through the 2nd floor trusses.

First, a photo of the HVAC ductwork:

Here is one of the vents sticking out of our roof:

And the vents in our ceilings:

The plumber has done some additional work, and he left behind our tub for the downstairs bathroom! It’s a standard, 5 foot long, white American Standard bathtub.

This week, we finalized our choice for the front door. It will look exactly like the picture below:

This is an ODL door with the Oak Park model of caning. We also made the final decision for our Hardie board siding color. Our house will have Boothbay Blue siding, with white trim.

And, finally, while we were at our house, we stopped to observe some of the insect life. This huge dragonfly was very noisily crunching on a ladybug – yuck! – but he made a pretty cool picture.