Saturday, November 7, 2015

The "Shed"

Last Fall, we intended to put up a large "shed" before winter, so we could start to move some things out to the property. You know, country living kind of stuff: tractor, bush hog, a mower (or two), reclaimed lumber, etc., etc. However, due to building permit regulations, we pretty much had to do the "shed" and the house at the same time. (There are time limitations to constructing a building without a residence on the property first.) So, we had to wait, and unfortunately, wait ... and wait ... and WAIT for Cleary to come out and build this damn "shed." Well, they finally came last week and the "shed" is up. 

Now, the reason "shed" has been in quotations is because I'm pretty much the only one involved with this project that calls it a shed. Everyone else calls it a BARN. Yep, a barn. This city girl never, EVER thought she'd own anything that could even remotely be called a barn. But, alas, I have come to embrace the term that literally means "a large farm building used for storing grain, hay or straw or for housing livestock." (Do my husband and kids count?!!) And, I think "barn" actually fits better with this country livin' than "shed." So there. We have a barn.

Excavation for the barn.
A view of the barn coming up the driveway. You'll actually drive past the barn to get to the house.

Barn framing. I'm pretty sure it's 30'x48', but I could be wrong. I'll wait and see if Steve says anything!
A piece of the barn siding. I love this picture because it shows the color really well.
Siding going up on the back of the barn. Finished floor is recycled concrete.
Finished barn - east side.
The wainscoting and roof are dark gray. It has a birds-beak feature on the front and a decorative bale door.
Finished barn - west side
The cupola is reclaimed from Steve's great aunt Elsie's farm in Dayton, MN.
It is a really special reminder of her and the farm, where Steve spent many days of his life.
Elsie is no longer with us, but I know we'll think of her every time we look up at that cupola.
Close-up of the cupola without the horse on top.
The horse is my favorite part, so I'll add a picture of that later, when I get it from Steve.
On par for this project, there is a lot going on this next week: sheetrock and siding, for starters. Two major elements that are going to change the look of things, big time. Can't wait to share it with you next week!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pieces of the puzzle

LOTS has happened since my last post, almost a month ago. It's amazing how fast this house is going up. The weather has been on our side, and these 60 degree days in November are truly a gift. All of the pieces are coming together and the reality of moving into this house sinks in a little more each day. I'm not going to write too much in the intro, because I have a ton of pictures to share and I'll write a little note below each one. They are in rough chronological order. Many of these jobs are done in phases, but you'll get the idea. Enjoy!

The roof is on! This is a view of the garage in progress. The roof is a dark grey, almost black. The only part that is not done is a metal roofing that will be installed over the front porch.

A lovely view of the septic field

Retaining wall going in. It is so cool. I can't wait to see the patio finished next Spring.

A view from the field looking at the back of the house.

Basement. Lots of wires. Utility room.

Kitchen window. My white apron-front sink will sit in front of this. Picture white cabinets, black counter tops and stainless-steel appliances. I can feel the good vibes already.

Can lights

Rough-in plumbing for the mudroom. From left to right: washing machine, dryer, sink
Cement has been poured in the basement

Cement in the garage (entry door to the back left of photo; stairs to basement in the back right)

Cement is poured for the front porch. Our dog, Nikki, is checking things out. This is the section of the roof that will be a metal roofing. The porch pillars were not in yet; the beams were there for stability. You can see more of the roofing in this photo as well.

Cement for the garage floor and apron has been poured

Another view of the retaining wall. Finished for now. It's gorgeous!

Close up of where the fireplace bumps-out

Insulation going in. The white moisture barrier is on all exterior walls.
The is what it looks like after they blow the insulation in

Stairwell (sans stairs) to the basement from the garage. Genius idea we stole from my Dad and Terry.
Looking down now that the stairs and door are in

Looking up from the basement into the garage

Thanks for reading! I'm already working on another post about our long-awaited shed. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

It looks like a house!

I have been meaning to post for about the past 10 days, but things have been SO busy for us at work, home and with the kids. We are like ships passing in the night (or day, for that matter). We high-five each other as one is coming home and the other is leaving, usually to go and take care of something for the house -- where the list of "to-dos" is never-ending. But, I am not complaining. For every time I go out to the house, my heart beats faster and it feels as though the sun is shining right on our house nestled in the trees and tall grass. It's hard not to smile just thinking about it!

Enough of my emotional unpacking - onto what you really came for - THE HOUSE!

Since 9/26/15 (my last post), the house and garage are framed, the roofing has begun and the windows and (most of) the doors are in!! We also had to make a last minute run to Eau Claire to meet my Dad, who had an old clawfoot tub that we are going to refinish and use in the master bathroom. The plumber needed exact measurements and the only way to do that was to get it in the house. You'll enjoy the picture below. Ha!

Basement framing

Main floor framing - you can see the outline of areas not yet framed

Main level almost done

Trusses going up
A view from the southeast side 
Stairs are in (which means upstairs is framed as well)

Looking from the front door towards the west side of the house where the great room will be

Oooh! Exciting! Roofing has begun and windows are in. What do you think of the black framing on the windows.  I LOVE IT!!

There are about 500 more pictures of the past 10 days, but these summarize things pretty well! Over the next week, the rough plumbing and HVAC will go in, and possibly the retaining wall in the back. Oh, and the well. Just a few things going on, as usual. :)

Thanks again for reading!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Framing: Video Walk-through

The framers have been working on the house all week. I haven't been out to the property for five days. The last time I saw it, they were just starting the basement. I thought it would be fun to videotape my reaction to the progress and my first walk through what is there.

The video is about five minutes long. Enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Backfill, geothermal and framing

There is a lot happening out at the house site. In my last post, the cement walls for the basement were poured. Since then, the cement forms have been removed, backfill has been put in, the tubing for the geothermal was laid, radon rock was spread in the basement, the cement walls have been waterproofed and drain tile was installed. 

We were told that the framing would start on Thursday and take about three weeks. To our surprise, Steve got a phone call this morning saying the framers were ready to start today. Turns out there was an error on another job they were doing and they were going to be delayed on that for a week or so. Bad for those folks; good for us. By my calculations, the framing should be done around October 12.

I have a lot of photos to share today. I'll post a note under each so you can understand what's going on. Thanks for reading!

Foundation for front porch

South field prior to geothermal install

Coils of geothermal tubing
Close up of geothermal tubing
You can see the black geothermal tubing poking up out of the ground in the center of the basement. The tubing is buried 8' underground and goes out to a field to the south of the house.
Lumber delivery!

First day of framing. You can see the backfill up to the outside wall.

Framing guys setting up. Another beautiful day!

Setting up framing in the area below the kitchen

Thanks again for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to leave them here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Brace yourself. We have foundation walls!

While many of you were at your cabins or the State Fair over the weekend, the cement guys were out at our property Saturday, Sunday and Monday (Labor Day), sweating their a$$es off, preparing the forms for the poured cement foundation. Remember Saturday and Sunday? Hot. Humid. Really humid. If I ever say I'm tired from work, or that I worked really hard, slap me. These guys WORKED. HARD. Wow.

I have a series of photos from the preparation of the forms to what it looks like tonight, with cement just poured today. I'll put a note by each to try to describe what you're seeing. Things are moving quickly. Next week we'll have a number of crews out working on geothermal, waterproofing, drain tile and plumbing. And the excavators will probably start doing the backfill as well.

Here we go:

Footings set - forms starting on South side of house
Standing in the basement - rebar sticking up from the footings
Looking South (the rectangle of dirt is the garage floor)
Looking North
Piles of forms
About 1/2 of the forms up

The picture at the very top of this post is what the forms looked like today. Cement is in. We're thinking the forms will come off on Friday and there will be real, cement walls!