Archive for the ‘hardwood floors’ Category

Will it be a house when the siding goes up?

April 21, 2007

And the dispute rages on. I maintain that it’s more than a lot, but my husband maintains that it’s less than a house! Things are really moving this week, though.

The first news is that our builder, Woody Dortch of Classic Structures, Inc., has begun putting up our siding. Which is why I say that, once it no longer looks like a gigantic foam ice chest, we should call it a HOUSE! Here is a shot of the front of the house, with the bay window partially covered with Hardie Board siding:

One interesting fact about the Hardie Board is that the white trim pieces are apparently extremely fragile. Woody told my husband that he just lifts the trim pieces onto his shoulders, and they snap. They’re quite expensive, about $15 each, so he’s lost some money because of the fragility of this material. Woody said that, if he had it to do over, he’d probably have used PVC trim. He demonstrated for my husband by hitting a piece across his thigh. It broke in two pieces: a $15 demonstration. Yikes!

And here is the side of the house, with siding up to the top of the first floor. Notice the ladder-type thingie (to use a highly technical term) that Woody and his worker stand on to put up the siding:

This is the part I think looks the coolest, because it really shows me what the house will look like. The first floor of the back side of the house has the siding put up. Notice the white chair, one of two chairs that we bought for the workers to sit in while eating lunch or taking a break. After a few minutes of sitting on concrete myself, I felt pity for the poor souls having to do that every time they wanted to rest!

We’ve also had big things going on inside the house. The Icynene insulation was sprayed in on Monday, and we passed our inspection Thursday, so the drywall hanging has begun. Huzzah!

Here is the Icynene inside the 2nd floor trusses over our library:

I think it looks really cool, like a big foam cloud, to use yet another highly technical description. This is how you know the blog is really written by an ignorant consumer, rather than being an ad for a construction company! Here is another shot of the Icynene, this time trimmed off. It’s the insulated wall dividing our dining area & kitchen from the garage:

Since the entire shell of the house, garage included, is ICF construction, we needed a very well-insulated wall dividing our living area from the garage area. Icynene, from everything we’ve read, makes for an extremely well-sealed, energy efficient home, so it fit our bill.

Because we passed our insulation inspection, the drywall hanging began Friday. The workers were still working over the weekend, when we went out to the house, so we felt bad poking around and taking many pictures. Here is a shot of the drywall in the Great Room area:

And here is another shot of the area, this time showing the foyer. Notice the new transom window has been installed, so it now matches the door:

We got our flooring estimate back, and found out that Brazilian maple is wildly out of our price range! So we went back to square one, did some more reading of reviews of bamboo, and found nothing to say that bamboo would be a problem in a humid climate like Florida. Because our HVAC system has been appropriately sized for our ICF home (roughly half the size of an HVAC for a normal home of this square footage), humidity within the house itself should not be an issue. The other thing was that the flooring contractors we were using only carried carbonized bamboo, not non-carbonized bamboo. The carbonization process makes the bamboo weaker, so that could have been why they didn’t recommend it. We found a supplier for them who carried non-carbonized bamboo, horizontal grain, so we are hoping that will re-align our floor budget.

We are now waiting for the drywall to finish being hung (approximately 8-9 days, according to Woody), and then it will be ready to paint. Woody and his worker will continue installing the Hardie Board siding, and when he is finished, the septic tank will go in. Huzzah!

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Flooring Choices

April 11, 2007

We had our hearts set on bamboo, throughout this entire process. But far be it from us to go against the recommendations of local suppliers. Presumably, they know more about a product’s fit for our climate than we do, so we bowed to our supplier’s knowledge and let our dream of bamboo floors go. Sigh.

Our supplier is a company called Absolute Flooring, run by 2 men named John and Brad. When we need to choose floors, John and Brad drive up with their trailer full of samples. They give us samples within our price range (ostensibly!) and then we borrow them, think about them, photograph them, and make our final decisions.

Right now, we have a few choices, depending on how the pricing shakes down, but here are our first choices.

This is a photo of our first 2 flooring choices. The tile, which is Bella Porcelain by MasterCraft, Himalaya, color Brown, would be for our kitchen, master bath floors, tub surround, and shower walls. The hardwood floor, which is Johnson AMZ-E12509 Brazilian Maple (Ivorywood), with a natural finish and 5″ wood, would be for our great room, dining room, foyer, downstairs hallway, and 2 downstairs bedrooms.

We like this hardwood flooring for 3 reasons. 1. It looks beautiful, and it has an aluminum oxide coating for durability. 2. It is engineered wood, so it is more durable in our humid Floridian climate and it uses less Brazilian maple. 3. Johnson, the manufacturer, farms their trees in an environmentally sustainable way, getting 1/3 of their wood from fallen trees and another 1/3 from old or unhealthy trees that prevent the younger trees from growing.

This next photo is of the carpet we’ve chosen for our upstairs landing and master bedroom. It is by ShawMark, from the Home Again series, and the color is Going Abroad. I made a red circle around the color we wanted, which may or may not show up in this photo!

If you can’t see the circle, it’s the brown swatch just to the right of the green swatch.

Finally, for our downstairs bath, we have a distinct vision. That vision involves black and white tiles, pictured below on the bottom left:

We also met with an interior designer, Tim Rounsaville of Avec Designs. He was very helpful to us in choosing our colors for the house. I lugged the flooring samples out, and he mixed, matched, and came up with something that we think we will be happy with. Without further ado, here are our choices:

Sherwin Williams, SW6435, Gratifying Green, Guest Bedroom

Sherwin Williams, SW6798, Iceberg, Master Bedroom

Sherwin Williams, SW6498, Byte Blue, Great Room, Dining Room, and Kitchen

Sherwin Williams, SW6147, Panda White, Foyer & Hallways

Sherwin Williams, SW6800, Something Blue, Downstairs Bath

We now sit back and twiddle our thumbs, while we wait for pricing estimates for our flooring choices. We will then probably be back at square one, trying to find something affordable that we can love!