S: Our New Home
FC: Our New Home | May 2011- | The Journey began with a dream...
1: And so our journey begins... We sold our house in Gerald at the end of April 2011 (after having it for sale for over a year) with plans to quickly buy some property and start building immediately. We had our house plans ready, so all we needed was some land. We had a place in mind and a deal "somewhat" worked out. So our plan was to move in with Joe's parents for a few short weeks until we could get going on our house... Those plans quickly changed. The deal fell through and so the search was on. We looked intensively and had offers put on numerous places and even had contracts on several. Needless to say, those all fell through too. Frustration set in and it seemed to be a process of false hopes and let downs. Our plans to have a house almost done before winter hit was seeming to be impossible and the "couple weeks with the parents" quickly turned into months then a year. Joe, Lena and I were living in a small bedroom in Bill and Sharon's small house. It was getting really cramped but everyone was dealing quite well. Finally in December 2011 we put a contract on 40 beautiful acres in Leslie and the deal went through! We were beyond excited and ready to build. We wasted no time and began clearing immediately. It was a long process. Blood, sweat and tears were just the beginning of what we put into our new place that we are going to call home. We finally finished our home (after 1 1/2 yrs )and were able to move in by October 2012...just in time for a new baby to arrive!
2: The Original House Plans | These are our original house plans. It is a story and a half with the upper part being a loft. We planned on building the entire house but we decided to buy more ground to start, so we are building the main level with plans on going up in a few years. The original hope was to make the house very rustic like a lodge home, my favorite part was the fireplace, but that will have to wait until we go up. We would have loved to have a log home, but money and time are the biggest restraints.
3: The house of our dreams... It's amazing to me just how easy it was for Joe and I to agree on certain things. We both agreed on a smaller house and more land. We both love and want a "woodsy" or "lodge" like home. My words to him when he asked me what I wanted: I want a real fireplace, a walk in pantry, laundry upstairs and a big bathroom. Outside of that...I could almost care less. And so...let the story begin! Drawing up the plans was probably the most fun! Nothing was better than deciding exactly what we wanted and where! Just dreaming of what it was going to look like...
4: MOVING | Who knew that we had sooo much junk! I would have never have thought we could fill up a 44 foot semi trailer...but we did...to the top! We bought this trailer for easy storage and moving. It worked out great since we actually wound up moving the trailer several times. Joe built a ramp into the trailer and on the day we finally moved it was like a production line-I had all the boxes packed and the men carted them off to be stored. Lena was such a big helper, but was a little upset knowing her stuff was going into boxes-she just didn't understand it all yet. | We sold our house in Gerald for $113,000, which came up to be an $8000 profit for us. Not the best but we will take it in this economy! We are so desperate to build a house we probably would have taken anything but a loss to move on with our lives!
5: Took a short break to play a game of pool on the back patio before moving it to the neighbor's house with a tractor. Our neighbors didn't know what to think! I guess you can't take the country out of the boy! | Our last truck load... Who knew just how scary it is leaving... Saying goodbye to our first home was a little bitter sweet. We were ready to get out of town but we also started a life here... Ready for a new beginning and new memories to be made! | Loaded and ready to go! We pulled out of our yard and into the property that we had under contract (on Little Creek Rd). The road tractor got stuck and we had to pull it with a truck-the boys and their toys... We wound up not buying the property and had to move the trailer again, this time parking it at Bill and Sharon's for the next year while we built.
6: OUR 40 ACRES | The forty acres we bought was part of Ed Fischer's original farm. It sits next to the Salvino farm and has an amazing view over the valley. It is about half woods and half pasture which was being cut for hay by the Calkins. Our plan is to build a pond in the valley which will be overlooked from the back deck of our house. But...to start we had a lot of work to do. Trees to clear and junk to clean up that was left from the previous owners and renters. | We paid $133,000 for the 40 acres, which came up to be $3325 per acre, which for the market we are in was a pretty fair price for the land, and it came with a shed, a well and some extra "goodies" so it came out to be about $3000 per acre.
7: The property used to have a mobile home on it, which had lots of renters who left lots of trash over time. But on the flip side...we inherited a tractor and manure spreader with the property and some "left over treasures" in the sheds.
8: Let the Games begin... | We closed on our property at the end of December and started clearing trees and making a road the same week. We are bound and determined to get something accomplished before winter gets too bad. Amazingly the weather for December was very mild so we took advantage of it every second we got. Bill was running the heavy equipment and is very good at what he does. He had our yard cleared in just a few hours.
9: Joe was happy to use the tractor and manure spreader that we acquired with the place. We used them to haul stuff back and forth while we spent hours cutting wood, skidding logs and clearing what will soon be our yard and road!! These first few steps were very exciting for us-it seems that we have waited a lifetime to be finally doing this! Lena was always along for the ride and always happy to do so.
10: Diggin' in the Dirt | The clearing stage and digging the basement went very quickly. Bill did most of the clearing and digging. We hauled a lot of the rock and gravel from the creek at the Calkins' Farm and from the river at Bill's.
11: The winter was so mild this year that we did not have too big about pouring concrete and the freezing temperatures. The basement was dug and ready in just a couple of days. Here Joe is spreading and fine tuning the gravel so that Grus Foundations could come set up forms and get ready to pour the foundation.
12: The Foundation | The foundation was poured by Grus Foundations. It was cold and had to have a compound in the concrete to keep it from freezing but the temperatures were still between 30-40 degrees. Once the forms were wrecked and cleared we quickly went to work with putting in the plumbing and tarring the walls so we could backfill around the foundation. Justin and Katie tarred the foundation (the worst job ever!!) while Joe was busy putting down pipes. | January 2013
13: The finished basement floor!! Done only about a week after our foundation was done. We did hire someone to get the floor done so that it could be finished by the time the rain came over the weekend. | Joe did all of the plumbing with lots of help from Lena! It was a warm week, as you can tell by the light jackets and short sleeve shirts which made the work much easier (especially for January/February). Putting the tubing in the floor for the radiant heat was the biggest pain but in the long run will be worth it. | Cost of foundation: $ Cost of basement floor: $ Cost of plumbing: $
14: UP WITH | We set the beam with two Backhoes and some careful planning and two great operators. This stuff makes me nervous but Joe wasn't phased a bit. He is obviously running the show here and knows what he is doing because so far everything is going as he has planned!! | Once the beam was set and ready progress started to pick up even more. It looked and felt like things were going really fast. By the weekend we were working on building the first wall and then working on the sub floor. We had lots of help for this stage which made it seem go by quick. Tony Feth and his daughter Elizabeth were there (Tony works for Hall Brothers Lumber which is where we got all the lumber from) Jeremy Wood. Dame Brune and Bill were all great help. When it came time to put on the pouches and getting things done they were the first ones in line.
15: THE WALLS
16: The First Floor | The first floor went on quickly and then up went the outer 4 walls. Within one weekend we had the outer walls up and wrapped, ready for some interior framing to be done!This part was very exciting for me, it finally felt like it was becoming our home! This has been our dream for such a long time that it still does not feel real at this point...but it sure does resemble the makings of a house!!!
17: Framing the interior walls took some long nights but we got them done quickly. Joe and I stayed up several nights until the early morning hours trying to get the framing done so that the second sub floor could go on. Joe put in the longest hours, working all day then into the morning hours and starting all over the next day...but that is how we did things just trying to get it done as quick as possible. The winter has been good to us this year with no major snow or storms yet to interrupt progress so we are taking advantage of it as much as possible! So far it has been a blessing!
18: SPECIAL DELIVERY | Hall Brothers Lumber is where we ordered all of our lumber. Today we got an exciting delivery...Trusses and sub floor material | Mike Miles was here to help this day. Tony Feth was driving the Hall Brothers Truck and running the boom, setting off our lumber. | Jan/Feb
19: DELIVERY | This will be our view from my kitchen window...I'm already dreaming of what the summer will look like with a pretty hay field and some horses standing on the back hill. The dream is also to have a lake in the valley. I can not wait to enjoy this view full time... | It never ceased to amaze me to watch these men work...they are strong and powerful and can do amazing things...but they also do some of the silliest things. This is Joe, trying out his monkey skills. I'm not real sure what he was doing and why but I'm sure it would have been easier with a ladder...but it's never about what is easiest with that man...
20: Second sub floor and trusses!! | The original plan was to build a two story home, the second story being a loft with an open room above the kitchen and a large master bedroom and bathroom on the other side...but since we decided to buy more acreage we will have to go up with it later. | Cost of trusses: $ Cost of exterior framing: $ Cost of tin roof: $
21: So with the plan to build up later, we wanted everything to be ready to go on the second floor. The sub floor is down and the electric and plumbing will be ready as far as we can get it. I'm already anxious to go up and we aren't even done with the first level! I think the main things that makes me want to go up: the view from the second story and getting my fireplace I always dreamed of! It will happen! | We both love the sound of rain on a tin roof...I can't wait to be able to lay in our bed and listen to that sound in our new house! | And as far as tin goes...I wanted colored tin but Joe did not. We opted to go with a colored siding instead. Red. I'm a little nervous about red...but Joe promises me I will love it...
22: RANDOM | GOODNESS | We were clearing some trees and cutting some firewood when we stumbled upon these little guys. Of course Lena was there to see them and automatically had to take them home. Thank goodness I found a home for them quickly because I do not need another thing to take care of at this time! Lena sure was upset to have to give them up though... | The lift was very handy to have around while putting up siding. Lena finally worked up the nerve to go up with Joe one time and after that...all she wanted was a ride in the lift. Sure made mom nervous but dad was always careful. Mom refused to go up-I get nervous climbing a ladder!
23: Digging a trench for drain tile and the tube for the stove. The old backhoe still does the job! | Lena was always busy doing something. She was working hard this one day on nailing a piece of pink insulation to the ground. It was cute. She also loved to pose and be a little diva every chance she could. | Joe and Bill were sawing some lumber from the trees we cleared.
24: SIDING | So red siding it is. I was really nervous about how it would look but as it went up I was surprised just how much I like it! We of course had to have the best stuff out there, so Hardyboard is it. This siding is made of concrete and should hopefully last a very long time, especially for the cost!! | I love that our house is a closed up shell of a house! it seems to be moving very quickly & that makes me very happy!! I really like the look of our Anderson windows! Now I just can't wait to clean them! (Not too often that happens!) | Feb/March
25: The red with tan trim looks amazing! I'm really happy Joe talked me into that! I'm learning to not doubt him... Lena was always there every step of the way. She loves being her dad's little shadow. She is quite the goof ball also-she gets that from her dad! | Total cost of siding: $ Cost of windows: $
26: INTERIOR FRAMING AND INSULATION | All of the electrical work was done mostly by Joe and Gary Russell. That part took a long time (at least it seemed so.) Joe was insistent that our house be built to last. So our exterior walls were framed with 2x6 construction. Interior was 2x4 and heavily insulated. Hall Brothers Insulation blew in the insulation in the walls and attic. | Kenny helped install our jet tub. With only one bathroom for now I wanted to be able to have as close to a jacuzzi as possible. Hopefully I will be able to use it!
27: Our temporary ceiling in the living room. This will be open to the loft when we go up | Cost of interior framing: Cost of insulation: Cost of electric: Cost of tub:
28: DRYWALL INSTALLATION | It was May by now and it was a hot dry start to the summer. We were happy to be close to having things inside buttoned up so that we could turn on the AC when it was installed and ready to go. Drywall was a big project but went very smoothly with the help we had. Dane Brune, Jeremy Wood, Shane Wymer and Jared Russel were all a big help. | Rusty Dierberg put in all the HV/AC . Joe put in all the other elements: hot water heater, outdoor wood furnace control, radiant heat in basement flooring and water softener.
29: Total cost of drywall: $ Total cost of HV/AC: $ FINALLY!!! We have walls that are close to being painted!! I was already picking out colors! Scott Siess taped and painted the walls and did a great job.
30: The Bathroom: An unexpected journey... | We had discussed the bathroom numerous times and could never make a decision on what to do as far as the shower and flooring. So one day we went to Lowe's and Joe just started putting stuff together on the floor and came up with this beautiful combination of porcelain tile and slate inserts and designs for the shower. He never ceases to amaze me with his talent! | Joe finally convinced me to put slate down for the floor in our bathroom and wash room. I was skeptical at first but quickly fell in love with the look. So once we figured out the shower and floor, Joe decided to do a wainscot on the wall to tie the two together. It was something we both fell in love with...little did we know just how big of a headache we asked for... | The floor was the easiest to get done. The wainscot was very time consuming as was the shower but it turned out beautiful!
31: The part that gave us the biggest hassle was grouting all the slate tiles. The floor took grout easy and it came off easy but for some reason the slate on the wainscot held onto the grout. So we were in a crisis. We had beautiful slate covered with dry grout. Joe thought that it was because it did not seal as well as the floor did. So we used every chemical we could get our hands on and lots of elbow grease but had no luck...it looked like we were going to have to start over! Joe decided to try sandblasting it, just as a last resort to see if it would work...and it did! So we had to sandblast all the walls. It was a huge mess but it worked!! THANK GOD!!! | (I was worried) | Lena helping clean up the sandblasting mess... | The end result was beautiful! But it was much more involved than what we bargained for!
32: The Walls | Joe once again talked me into something I was skeptical about...doing the walls in rustic pine box siding. i was worried it would look too busy but he reassured me I would love it...and he was right again! This has become my favorite part of the house and we will put more in the house as we go up for sure! We lacquered the boards, let them dry and then put them up. It was more labor intensive than drywall but well worth it! It sure did make a mess in the basement and made the house pretty smelly for a few days though!
33: Here they were getting the floors ready for our hardwood floor that Joe and his friends were going to install the next day. I sure does look pretty with all the wood up. Red was the color I picked for my kitchen and hallway also-I love the deep red! Scott Siess painted all the walls for us and did an awesome job! | Lena was excited to finally have color on her walls also. She begged and begged for her room to be pink. I was pregnant at this time and still did not know the sex of the baby so I was scared to do too much pink since they were going to have to share a room. So we compromised...one wall was a light peach/pink and the others were a light yellow. It turned out cute. Of course she had to make it her own by adding princess wall decals! Now lets just hope the baby is a girl! (and we got lucky!)
34: OUR HARDWOOD FLOOR | We decided very early on that we wanted hardwood floors throughout the entire house. We looked for a while at pre-finished floors and decided that it was not what we wanted. So despite the extra labor involved, site finished hardwood floor is what we wanted. The lower the grade the better because we wanted all the knots to show. We also liked the look of the wider planks.. We ordered the flooring from Lumber Liquidators. 1100 sq foot of red oak 5 inch planks. | Total cost of floor: $ Total cost of sealer:$ | Joe, Mike Dewart and Jeremy Wood put the floor down over a weekend. We rented a sander for several days. I sanded the floors for 8 hours straight one day and got the majority of it done. It was a dusty mess but in the end it was worth it! then Scott Siess and Joe sealed it a total of 3 times, once a day and let it cure for several days before we could do anything else in the house. The finished product was absolutely beautiful. It was well worth the extra time involved!
36: A BIG WEEK!!! This week was HUGE as far as progress in my eyes! It was really coming together! The bathroom became functioning-meaning we have a toilet and a shower door and shower heads. Lena was excited to have her room painted and able to put decals on the wall-princess of course! | This is one of my favorite things in the house-my pantry door. I told Joe I wanted it to be like a barn door and of course he said "No problem" And being the talented man he is-it wasn't much of a problem at all. He did it all off the top of his head and it looks great!