T minus 12 days (plus or minus who knows)

The last move in date we discussed with the builder was Aug. 19th.  However, we’ve still been experiencing some glitches, so we’re not overly confident that we’ll make that date.

The biggest issue continues to be with the stone and stucco.  The stone has been very slow going with one guy doing most of the work.  Then when they finally started putting on the stucco color coat – it was the wrong color!  We were anticipating a light tan, but we ended up with yellow!  The small square is the sample board that the stucco company made for us months ago. old stucco

Luckily the stucco manufacturer and stucco contractor agreed with us that the color was way off, so they agreed to have the color remixed.  Unfortunately it took a day and a half to custom mix the color and then the main stucco applicator had a family emergency, so we’re running way behind again.  This is a big problem because a lot of exterior tasks can’t be done until stone and stucco is complete.

Here is the new stucco color.  It still ended up a little more golden or clay (depending on the light) than taupey, but it’s not bright yellow as it was before and we think it pulls all the colors together nicely.new stucco

At least inside we’ve had lots going on … light fixtures, sinks, cabinet doors/drawers/hardware, mirrors, backsplash tile, and appliances.

Almost every contractor has to come back to finish up a couple of things, so there’s always a lot going on.  The trim carpenter is finally putting up the living room beams and the stair iron balusters, which is very exciting to see.

Now if we can keep the afternoon storms away so all the exterior work can be completed.  We almost got the driveway pour finished before a big storm last week.

Good thing I invested in some good mud boots!

Hopefully our next post will have good news on our move in date!

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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”!

Basement & Design Selections

Before we begin talking about design selections, here’s a quick update on construction…

Basement Floor

Good news:  It was warm enough to be able to pour the basement floor!

Decking and rebar over cardboard boxes

Decking and rebar over cardboard boxes

IMG_0035

Concrete floor poured and being smoothed out

Bad news:  It was too windy to frame every day.  We guess we can’t blame the framers for not wanting to carry around big floor trusses and pieces of plywood while the winds are gusting around 40+ mph!  They have made some progress, so we hope to have pictures to post next week.

Design Selections

How about some more good news/bad news?
Good news: When you build a custom home, you get to make all the design selections.
Bad news: When you build a custom home, you get to make ALL the design selections!

It has been a very daunting task, to say the least.  Especially if you’re trying to stay within a budget that keeps changing because of unforeseen problems!  So far we have picked out everything from baseboard trim, door knobs, windows, cabinets, flooring, lighting, plumbing fixtures, appliances, and exterior stone and stucco, etc.  We will have to revisit some of the choices right before they get ordered to make sure we can still afford them!

We are happy to say that at least one choice is paid for and in storage … our kitchen granite!  After visiting several granite warehouses, we knew we wanted something a little special for the kitchen since we will have a fairly large island (4′ x 8′).  Of course what we liked was in Group 3 and 4 pricing and it was becoming clear that we should only be looking at Groups 1 and 2.  So it seemed like we were going to have to adjust our vision.  Never fun.  But then we happened across a Craigslist ad for a place in Denver that was just getting into the granite business and had a very limited group of slabs coming in from Brazil.  After looking at some pictures of what was in transit, it seemed they might have just what we were looking for and at half the price of most other places.  We had to put down a deposit sight unseen, but it was worth it.  We got first pick of the slabs that came in and we just love it!

Kitchen Granite: Crema Bordeaux

Kitchen Granite: Crema Bordeaux

Next week we will try to get a handle on tile and carpeting choices!