Trim, Paint, and Stone!

A lot has been going on in the two weeks since the last house blog post.  The yard usually looks like a parking lot, which makes us happy to see lots of different contractors working!parking lotThe trim carpenter worked for about three weeks installing cabinets and all the baseboards, door casings, crown mouldings, and trim around windows.  He also is working on our stair railing.  We had planned on using iron balusters and newel posts, but some structural beams ended up in the way and we had to switch to wood newel posts.  Here we are in the middle of making the switch.  The end caps are hickory to match the floor.  The risers will be painted white to match the baseboards.  The middle will be carpeted.  The iron balusters will go in after the handrail and newels are stained.iron or woodOnce all the trim was in, it was time for the painters.  As any of you that have done any painting in your house can relate, it took days of prepping first.  Every nail hole the trim carpenter made had to be filled and sanded, etc.  And then everything had to be masked, multiple times, as they stained and painted.  The interior paint we selected is Benjamin Moore’s Pale Oak, which is a light greige color.  When we compared it to other greige paints it seemed light gray.  Now that it’s by itself on the walls it seems a little more beige.  But it definitely changes colors depending on the lighting and surroundings.  Should make decorating interesting!

Here’s the living room with a preview of the stonework.  You have to look down to the baseboard at the bottom left to even see that the wall is not white.  We wanted something light and airy, so we’re pretty pleased with how it turned out.paint lrSo yep, they finally started on the stone and stucco!  We have somewhat of a skeleton crew, so it will be a while until it’s done.

The brown coat has to cure for seven days, so they plan to start applying the colored stucco next Monday.  We are very excited to see all the color choices that we’ve I’ve agonized over coming together!

We actually have taken some of the painting over ourselves.  Partly to help out with the schedule and partly because we weren’t sure the painter was going to be able to realize our vision.  So we’re staining the living room beams and front door.  We worked on the beams this weekend and we started the front door today.

Beams drying in the master bedroom after being stained.

Beams drying in the master bedroom after being stained.

Here's what the beams looked like before staining.

Here’s what the beams looked like before staining.

All this work has made me strong!carry beamDon’t be too impressed!  These are actually faux beams made of polyurethane!

Tomorrow the electricians begin with their finish work.  Can’t wait to see light fixtures going up!

Why Colorado … Backyard Friends

We were used to seeing lots of wildlife around our previous home in Texas.  But the ones around here are a little bigger! single elkThis afternoon while we were watching the World Cup we happened to look outside and spotted this fellow.  After going out on the deck we saw he wasn’t alone!

Elk are a common sight around Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.  In fact, it’s a tradition to go up to the park in the fall during mating season to hear them bugle.  Occasionally they follow the Big Thompson River all the way down to the front range towns.  We will kind of miss our rental that backs to this open space right along the river.  Of course, living by the river does have its drawbacks as being evacuated during the September flood proved!

We know we have LOTS of bunnies around our new house.  I hope I don’t end up fighting with them over my planned veggie garden as I did with the deer and my landscaping in Texas.

Granite!

I couldn’t come up with a clever post title, so we’ll just get right to the details.

Shopping for granite can be quite daunting.  We made several trips to different stone distributors in Denver.  If you recall, we got a great deal on the kitchen granite by coincidence at a lumber vendor that was just getting into the granite business.  It took a little longer to find the bathroom granite, but we finally selected Ivory Cream, luckily a Group 1 granite.  We were able to find a great fabricator with very reasonable installation prices.  So we ended up being able to use granite for all the counter tops for less than our original estimate for just the kitchen and master bath!  We even have some granite left over that the fabricator is reserving for us in their remnant pile for any future use.

Here’s a summary of the granite process (click on the image to see it larger):

Once the granite was in, it was time to finalize the interior wall paint.  I even brought in some of the stone pieces that will soon be installed around the fireplace.

Testing paint in the living room.  The brown board is the exterior paint trim.

Testing paint in the living room. The brown board is the exterior paint trim.

Testing paint in the master bedroom with  moulding to see the contrast with each choice.

Testing paint in the master bedroom with moulding to see the contrast with each choice.

The colors from left to right are: Edgecomb Gray, Pale Oak, and Revere Pewter (all Benjamin Moore).  We’ve made our choice.  You’ll have to wait to see which one it is!!

Floors and Cabinets!

I thought I would be blogging more often as new things started happening quickly at the house, but it hasn’t ended up working that way.  The good news is that a lot has happened – I just haven’t had much time or energy to blog about it!  Those that know me well, know that I am very detail oriented.  So I have been at the house every day, sometimes all day long!  This is our “forever home”, so I want to make sure that everything is as perfect as possible.  Needless to say I’m driving the builder and subcontractors a little crazy as I hand pick tiles, make them re-do sloppy work, etc.

We are loving how everything is turning out so far, but there’s still a lot to do.  We were hoping to be moved in by the end of July, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.  We have a few contractors that keep slipping their schedules.  Mostly the stucco and stone contractor.  At this rate the interior will be done way before the exterior, which is a little backwards from the norm.

I do have a lot of pictures to share of all the hardwood, tile, and cabinet work!

Almost all of the first floor will be hardwood.  After visiting many flooring stores, we decided on hickory.  We like its varied shading and hardness factor.  We then had to decide between engineered wood or solid hardwood.  After much research, we decided on solid hardwood that is sanded, stained, and sealed on site.  The solid hardwood seemed to be the best long term solution, since it could be sanded down in the future and refinished if necessary.  It also enabled us to use a custom stain.  It surprised me that the floors are the first finish item to go in.  They were only pretty for about one day until everyone started walking on them and getting tile dust and sawdust all over them!  Evidently the last thing that happens before move in is that they come back and do a light sanding/buffing and apply the last sealer coat and then they’ll look beautiful again!

** You can hover over a picture to see a description or click on it to see them all larger in slideshow format. **

After the wood floors were in they started working on the tile.  We had a bit of a panic when the tile we had selected for the master bathroom, entry, and living room fireplace was discontinued.  After trying to pick something else in a rush, we decided to pay extra to have the last remaining stock shipped in from California.  So far I’m really happy with the tile.  It’s a mexican limestone instead of travertine, so it has a little bit of a different look.

You see a peek at the master bath cabinets in the picture above.  The carpenter was working right behind the tile layers putting down the cabinets.  A couple of cabinets are missing that will sit on the granite and the doors and drawer fronts will come later.

The tub surround will be topped by granite.

The tub surround will be topped by granite.

The upstairs bathrooms:

The kitchen!

cabinets kitchenMore tile, cabinets and built-ins …

The carpenter was also busy trimming out the view wall windows.  This trim will be stained to complement the floors.IMG_0313Granite will be installed tomorrow!  And the painter’s coming to show me samples.  I guess it’s going to be another full day of “supervising”!

The Inside Story

Now that the drywall installation and texturing is complete, it’s a lot easier to see the actual rooms.  So it’s time to share the floor plan.

First floor plan

First floor plan

We were first attracted to this plan because most of the rooms were in the back of the house.  This works out perfectly to take advantage of the view.  The dining room is in the front of the house, but since the floor plan is very open you can still see the view from that room as well.

Here’s a pictorial tour of the house:

This is the front door and entry looking into the dining room.

Front door (with temporary construction slabs) and entry looking into the dining room.

Looking out the front window of the dining room.  The columns around the dining room will be clad in the same stone from the exterior of the house.

Looking towards the front window of the dining room. The columns around the dining room will be clad in the same stone as the exterior of the house.

View of the living room from the entry.

Looking into the living room from the entry.

kitchen 1

Looking into the kitchen from the living room. The pipes in the middle of the floor are for the sink that will be in an island. The column to the left will also be clad in stone. The door leads to the mud/laundry room and then the garage.

Looking at the nook from the kitchen.

Looking into the nook from the kitchen.

kitchen 3

Looking towards the side of the kitchen with an alcove for the fridge and the door to the pantry.

mudroom

Looking into the mudroom and entrance into the garage. That wall will have a built-in bench and shelving.

Looking into laundry room from mudroom.

Looking into the laundry room from the mudroom.  The floors are prepped for tile.

Garage

Garage

On the other side of the entry is the office.  The alcove will have built-in shelving to house our A/V equipment.  The TV will be over the fireplace in the living room.

On the other side of the entry is the office. The alcove will have built-in shelving to house our A/V equipment. The TV will be over the fireplace in the living room.

Looking into the master bedroom from the bathroom door.

Looking into the master bedroom from the bathroom door.

Master bath corner where cabinets will go.

Master bath corner where cabinets will go and door to the closet.

Tub and shower.

Tub and shower.

stairs

Stairs to the second floor and down to the basement.

stairs landing

Looking out the stair well window from the upstairs landing.

Upstairs floor plan.  The living room area is not actually open to above as indicated in this drawing.

Upstairs floor plan.  The living room area is not actually open to above as indicated in this drawing.

Bedroom #1 facing the front of the house.

Bedroom #1 facing the front of the house.  It actually has a view of a small reservoir lake in our neighborhood.

Bedroom #2 facing the back of the house.

Bedroom #2 facing the back of the house.

Bathroom #2.  Both bathrooms will be very similar.

Bathroom #2. Both bathrooms will be very similar.

We've left the fourth "bedroom" unfinished to save some money now and finish it as a bedroom or gameroom later.

We’ve left the fourth “bedroom” unfinished to save some money now and finish it as a bedroom or game room later.

The wood floors are in and should be stained today and get their first clear coat tomorrow.  Then cabinet installation can start!  We’re waiting for the exterior contractor to finish another job so they can start on our house.  They’ll start with the stucco and then apply the stone.

The blog posts should come more often now as things are finally starting to pick up!

Why Colorado … Small Town Living

First, you’ll notice that I’ve changed the look of the blog.  I’m trying a new theme that allows for a wider text and picture area, and it should also work better on mobile devices.  The new header picture was taken from our backyard on May 18th.  There’s already a lot less snow on the peaks.

Last Saturday our little town celebrated its Diamond Jubilee with some festivities, including a parade.  While we were waiting for the parade, we walked around and took pictures of some of the landmarks.  I thought you might enjoy some of the sights.  Click on the first picture to click through a slideshow with larger images.

In addition to horses, there were several tractors in the parade.

You’ll be happy to know we’re ready for next year’s parade!

tractor viewYep, that’s Mark cutting our yard for the first time.  With 2.65 acres, our old electric mower just wasn’t going to do the job.  So soon after we moved here we started looking out for a used lawn tractor.  This one was shipped all the way from Vermont!  It certainly looked out of place being delivered in the middle of winter.

tractor arrivalBut that gave us plenty of time to work on getting it ready for spring.  We also have a shovel for the front to help us haul mulch and plants once we start landscaping.  And we’re on the lookout for a used snow blower attachment that will certainly be needed with our long driveway.

Don’t worry, we both will be using it to do our chores!

tractor gkHouse Update: Texture should be done in the next day or two.  I’ll then be able to take some good pictures of the inside once all the scaffolding is down.

The “Rough” Stuff is Done

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a month since I posted pictures of the house!  It’s nice to look back and see all that has changed.  It seems that construction is taking a long time.  I guess that happens when you go almost every afternoon to see what’s new.  It’s like watching another child grow up – you don’t notice the big changes from day to day!

Finally we can say that all the rough ins are complete.  Although, believe it or not, some framing was done even yesterday.  As each new contractor starts we tend to find a little something missing from the one before.

Here is the work that was done in the past month.  You can click on each image to enlarge it.

Fireplaces installed:

living fireplace

Living Room Fireplace

Master Bedroom Fireplace

Master Bedroom Fireplace

mstr fireplace

Master Bedroom Fireplace (closeup)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rough plumbing and electrical done:

Master Bathroom & Closet

Master Bathroom & Closet

All the wiring waiting for the main panel

All the wiring waiting for the main panel

 

kitchen cans

Kitchen Recessed Lights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once HVAC was roughed in as well, it was time for insulation:

Front door and dining room window

Front door and dining room window

Living Room - they needed quite the scaffolding setup to reach to the top!

Living Room – they needed quite the scaffolding setup to reach to the top!

They also added the framework that  will be wrapped by faux beams to form the center beam and king trusses.

They also added the framework that will be wrapped by faux beams to form the center beam and king trusses.

Meanwhile things were happening outside too:

Shingles installed on the roof.

Shingles installed on the roof.

Accent pieces added to the gables.

Accent pieces added to the gables.

Clearly we have had a lot of progress.  This week they are working on drywall.  It’s really starting to feel like a house now that we can’t see through the inside walls anymore!  After drywall, they will start with some of the finish details.   Can’t believe it!