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February Building A Home Thread

Pinebaron
February 1, 2019
last modified: February 1, 2019

It was about time I started this wonderful thread.

Good news for our outstanding tile work, three remaining guest bathroom showers, FR Fireplace, FR Bar and Laundry room. Hopefully it will all be done in the next two or three weeks.

Our GC who we closed the contract with and fully settled our account back in November before we moved in, is still working with us and providing resources as and when needed. I sometimes get mad at him becuase he is so busy and building multiple homes, but he has the best subs who are able to work to my exacting standards and directions; believe me it is hard working with me.

Comments (248)

  • ktlou82

    Kathy - I can sympathize. Wet weather/wet ground has been a constant problem. Finally had a stretch of dry weather for a few days last week and it's amazing what progress was made. It's so frustrating when things are brought to a stand still. I hope things can start moving forward for you soon!


    Unfortunately rain is back today and looks to be sticking around for the next week. It makes the dirt road to my house nearly impassable.


    jen utukegbe - Your kitchen is looking good! Your layout is very similar to mine - helps me visualize what it might look like. I love the bench under the window in the breakfast nook.


    Apparently houzz doesn't want me to post update pics because I've tried multiple times this morning to no avail. Maybe later...

  • R. C.


    Those of you with water....I understand! We went two months with no work being done after pouring the footers. Here I am trying to empty out the footers so they’d dry out. They got so wet that mud covered them up.


    Wishing everyone the best! I hope everyone dries out soon!



  • Lori Wagerman_Walker

    Sprink1es!! The quartzite is GORGEOUS!!! Really wow! You’ll get so much swoon over that kitchen for years to come!


    Kennady12, what part of the Midwest are you in? We’re in Indiana. The weather here is always a little wonky, but it’s really been that way everywhere this winter!! Glad they’ve gotten your house bundled up a little more.

    I’d say you can expect the tradesmen to work inside if you have temp power so they can run heaters. Some things will have to wait for your HVAC to be done.

    We were a little farther along this time of the year 5 years ago on ours. It was all dried in & heat on. Paint & cabinets going in. We moved in the end of March 2014.


    NewEnglandgal, lights are kinda my thing, I'm happy to look for some ideas, but seeing a floor plan would help. I love the Kichler light RC posted! They are so different, and Kichler is a company I used to sell a lot of in my previous job.

    I really like the house plan you’re doing!



    Migraine, I’ve really enjoyed your posts! This little house is very nicely done. I like the trend of smaller houses. We built ours bigger on purpose, but there’s something so comforting about a small home with well utilized space! I love the woods you used, and the natural hickory cabinets are very similar to the ones we put in our bathrooms & laundry. I love them!



    RC your stairway picture reminded me of our stairway, I had to go thru old pictures, I have some of it looking about like yours. So many things to still be done at that stage, but starting to see things really come together! Good luck!


    Pinebaron…beautiful as usual!! You have great taste, and meticulous design skills!


    Ghatta nice home! Love the dark wood & all the windows!



    Amelia, so you’re getting to gush about progress! That’s always a plus! Remember it’s a roller coaster ride to the finish :0)



    Brad, I like the darker blue! Not that it matters what I like, lol


    Jen beautiful place! I love the range hood!


    Love the pool shower tile wysmama!


    Good luck to everyone dealing with weather … which about everyone I think!


    Pinebaron thanked Lori Wagerman_Walker
  • R. C.

    Lori Wagerman_Walker - I love the half wall for the stairwell! Saw it on a house of this design and prefer it to a banister!

    wysmama - all that tile work! Wow. Looks good!


    Kathy - We have so many names for our house based on rain! Ours went for two months with no work....she's finally under roof and things are starting to move along (though the paint won't be started tomorrow since we have an ice storm).



  • Kathy

    Wow! A lot of us are or were in the same boat dealing with the soggy weather! (pun intended!). Sorry that it's affecting so many people, but good to know that there's hope.


    R.C. You actually went out there an bailed out the footers with buckets? I'm impressed!


    Pinebaron, that's quite a story! I haven't even thought about the septic, but I imagine that the rain is bound to let up in the next 4-5 months to allow that job to be done.

  • Sam Goh

    Looks like February was our month after all. Closed today. Thanks for all the advice and support here - it's been a wonderful place!


    Pulled a Beverly Hillbillies and moved one mattress strapped to the top of the minivan in the rain. It's raining the rest of the week, so next Monday till we get the movers out. After 264 nights in a hotel as a family of 4, it's going to feel funny having a house!

  • NewEnglandgal

    Oh MY Gosh Sam somehow I missed that you were in a hotel. You will be so happy to be in your home! Congratulations!


  • R. C.

    Kathy - we did bail it out with buckets. We REALLY wanted it to dry out to keep things moving along.

    Sam Goh - So glad you closed! That many nights in a hotel....insane!

  • wysmama
    Sam- whoa. I cannot imagine being in a hotel that long with my family. You must be a saint!!
  • jen ukutegbe
    Gthigpin, from New Prague, but now reside far North in Aitkin, MN. Yep, told to hunker down yet again tonight...more snow!
  • jen ukutegbe
    Ktlou82...the brkfst nook is not yet in, it will be cornered in kitchen right by window AFTER wood floors in this next week. You may be looking at the great room window seat/cabinetry and bar. Yes, I got a lot of flack early on for designing myself with zero experience professionally, that I was to ‘Stay in my lane ‘ when I sought advice. That only a KD is able and my design would guarantee failure and stay at Holiday Inn.
  • PRO
    Window Accents by Vanessa Downs
    Congrats Sam - so glad it finally happened. I didn’t realize you were in a hotel either. Wow that was a long hotel stay! I hope the rain stops long enough for you to move. We are getting drenched in Chattanooga!
  • kriii

    Sam,

    Congrats on getting out the the hotel! We are renting and soooo ready to get our furniture back!

  • NewEnglandgal

    kriii another renter here. Cant wait to have my own place. Wonder how many of us are renting?? Right now Sam definitely has (oor had) toughest digs.

  • Pinebaron

    We also rented for almost four years after we sold our home in NJ and moved to the PNW. We were so fortunate to have rentals just four miles from the lot. Although the rentals were brand new, literally just built, very spacious and comfortable, the last year was just too much especially since we were about a year late in commencing construction due to an expired wetland delineation amonst several other factors. Like cpartist, Sam and several others, we are all initially so enthusiastic about our custom homes before it often seems this one is never going to be completed, this delay, that delay, etc. life comes to a standstill, its a wonder we are still married. Then one day we all get to move into our labor of love (or hate ?).

  • R. C.

    We too are renting. It’s not a bad place but the floors are thin, so we hear our neighbors a lot when they are singing loudly (below neighbors) or running around and jumping off the furniture (upstairs neighbors).


    Still better than a hotel!

  • Lori Wagerman_Walker

    R. C.Here's ours. My favorite view from my reading chair. Don't mind the mess!!



    Sam Goh Wow!! Congrats on getting out of the hotel!!


    We got so lucky when we built, we rented the house we were currently living in until we were done with the new one. We'd traded it for the land, so we just paid rent for a few months.

  • gthigpen

    Sam - congrats on closing and great that you got out of the hotel! That would have gotten old, real quick!


    jen ukutegbe - I google mapped Aitkin and my hometown is about 4 hours north of you. You're close to my cousin who lives in Brainerd. Hope you don't get too much snow!


    Hope everyone dries out soon. We are still trying to get sprinklers in and some patios/landscaping done but the rain keeps delaying us too. I joked with my DH that the minute we put down sod, it will stop raining and we'll enter a drought!

  • Kate E

    We are living with my in-laws while we build... some days a hotel sounds like a great idea! Haha, I kid. We're extremely lucky to be able to live with them - yes it's a bit tight and all of our furniture/belongings are in storage - but we've been able to save a lot of money which has helped us a ton. I am so grateful to my in-laws for putting up with us for so many months!!

  • ktlou82

    jen ukutegbe - Ah, I see. Then I love the bench and cabinets in your great room. :-) That's great your flooring should be going in soon!


    Sam Goh - I can't imagine living in a hotel that long! I'm sure you're so glad to be out of there. Congrats!


    I've been lucky to be staying with my brother. He's building a house, too, very close to my build. He's almost done so we'll be moving soon. Then, instead of being 30 minutes away from my house, it'll be more like a minute or two walk over a few hundred yards.


    Am I the only one having issues with posting pictures the last few days? I've tried multiple times but there have been error messages or the pictures won't upload.

  • R. C.

    Lori Wagerman_Walker - cute cat! I love the half wall (don't like how busy bannisters look).

  • kennady12
    Lori - We are in Missouri . We do have temporary power , the hvac guys have started running duct work. Weather has been rough this winter . We just got hit with more snow last night. I’m hoping spring will come soon .
  • Lori Wagerman_Walker

    ktlou82, it took me three times to get that picture to post. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    I'm the same R. C., and I needed a wall to put the couch on lol :)


  • Lori Wagerman_Walker

    kennady12, Missouri weather seems similar to Indiana weather. I have family that owns a place south west of Branson. We've had so much rain. If it would just stay cold, it would be snow. But instead it's so much mud. Over it!! :) Here's to spring!!!


  • jen ukutegbe
    You’ve GOT to be kidding me! It’s snowing again hard and furious! Plows are even staying put until it stops. Enough is enough!
  • wysmama
    I feel so bad for all dealing with the crazy winter. Temp here is 85 today. Our builders have very little excuse for delays
  • NewEnglandgal

    Little bit of snow again for us. I cannot complain as we have barely had any snow and sometimes have feet of snow by now.

    Question: what is everyone using for heat/air? We have been told different things from different people. One HVAC guy says go baseboard/oil all the way. Another says propane who sells oil! Another HVAC guy says use heat pumps (inverter) but heard the parts are very expensive. Heat pumps with propane back up was another thought. Geothermal too much can go wrong.

    Another is radiant heat but we hear it is very expensive. Thoughts?


  • Pinebaron

    NewEnglandgal, I won't even discuss our HVAC systems since they only made sense to me.


    I assume you don't have cheap natural gas else it would be a no-brainer to install a gas furnace. Here again I'm focusing on heat only, air is another story. When we lived at the rentals, they had built-in electric wall heaters in all the rooms, which I laughed at initially then soon realized they made perfect sense; one would only heat rooms where heat was required; kept bills under control. Each room had it's own non-programmable thermostat. Still leaving Air alone, one could control each room with a wifi thermostat thus providing central control with programable features; it is possible an entire system may be readily available.


    Heat pumps will almost always require a backup heat source if living in colder climates.

    Electric radiant heat is great if you install it as a secondary heat source in select areas such as master bath, entry, laundry, mud room and around work areas of your kitchen. Whole House Hydronic radiant heat makes sense only if you have natural gas though it is possible to install a high efficiency, high volume electric water heater. Again, hydronic radiant heat will probably do nothing for cooling (not entirely true but is not practical in most regions).


    Geothermal can be reliable but can get expensive depending on type pf installation.

  • NewEnglandgal

    Thanks Pinebaron. We are talking heating and cooling system. No natural gas unfortunately, that would be a no brainer!

    We are considering a heat pump (looking at Carrier Greenspeed) with a propane back up but like I said above have heard parts can be expensive and difficult to get. Also I think we have something close to this in our Florida home (just the heat pumps with no back up-none needed) and the cold air blows down on me from the vents in the ceiling which are very cold. At night I start to get hot, then I get cold, then hot. It drives me nuts and seems to be an uneven heat.

    Electric here is pretty expensive as it keeps going up. Propane is not cheap but neither is oil. We heard geothermal is incredibly expensive to install (probably close to 50k).

    I am not crazy about having baseboards (oil heat) which we had in the former house but my husband thinks that heat is distributed more evenly. IDK totally indecisive but that seems to be the way it is with everything I have been looking at and having to make choices.


  • jen ukutegbe
    Our propane is inexpensive so we heat on demand in floor hearing w/HVAC.
  • Cyndy

    Sam - my hat is off to you. That is a LONG hotel stay! We are living in an RV/our garage apt for going on 1.5 years. It is nice to be on site though, so I really can't complain. (well, I do complain, lol.) 400 sq ft, 5 people and a dog is a little cramped at times. Happy closing!!!

  • Cyndy

    Oh- we hit a BIG milestone today! We load tested our cantilevered stair landing after completing all the truss reinforcement. NO deflection! We are ticking the things off the punch list until we can call the drywall crew.


    I started subway tile in the kid's bath. Soooo tedious! I need to find a good podcast.

  • wysmama
    Cyndy- I don’t know if you like true crime, but if you do, I like the podcast My Favorite Murder. Gets me through workouts!
  • Tenisha B.

    We did finally get power yesterday!!!! I haven't posted since the November Thread (I think), so it's exciting to see everyone making progress. Helps me stay positive when I really want to scream and fire everybody!!!! It has just been a disaster the past few months; cabinets which should have been done in July were not done until the end of December, counter tops are still not finished and they were suppose to be done in November. The plumber has worked around them both, and luckily only has a few fixtures left to install and inside is done. We have been staying with family since we sold our last home September of 2016. March is our month as long as the weather cooperates.

  • Claudia Castillo
    I live in Las Vegas and this is our current situation
  • Pinebaron

    Claudia, Crazy I know! My son lives in Vegas and he sent me these crazy pictures too. I'd been working in Vegas since Oct last year however am home now.

  • Claudia Castillo
    Yes I know it’s not the same as others on here just very strange for us to get snow and this amount was crazy. School district didn’t implement a snow day but most kids didn’t go to school today including mine.
  • R. C.

    Oh geez, went out to the house today and it's been so wet, the septic tank floated out of its hole. Thankfully the septic system isn't finished, but wow. Water was still pouring into the hole while we watched. We are supposed to have a rainy weekend, so hopefully there isn't any damage. Guess they can't prevent this until the tank is fully underground. Feeling the pain of everyone dealing with weather issues!

    On a positive note, the siding was started today. So there is that :-)

    Claudia - here in VA, we had a snow day even with the warm temps....we did get snow and ice yesterday, but I was surprised by the snow day.

  • Pinebaron

    R.C. I remember when our tanks were installed a year before we commenced construction, the installer filled them with water so they would not get dislodged or float up.

  • R. C.

    Pinebaron - our installer tried to do the same thing, but ran out of time before this storm hit.

  • sprink1es

    Should be done in about 2 weeks! Sharing some of my favorite parts


    50" fireplace - but firewood pass-through door to the garage


    6x25' balcony overlooking woods/pond


    Going oldschool traditional, solid cast iron tub. Bugger was heavyyyyy


    Mixing in copper outside. OHD is insulated steel, but layered steel panels to simulate wood. Siding is LP Smartside


  • wysmama
    Sprink1es- beautiful! Love the bathtub. And fireplace!
  • kennady12
    Sprink1es - love the tub . Where did you get it ?
  • R. C.

    Sprink1es - very pretty!

  • sprink1es

    It is from Kohler "iron works historic". The entire piece including the removable feet are all cast iron, it feels great

  • PRO
    Window Accents by Vanessa Downs

    Tenisha - Goodness I figured you were already in your house. I am so sorry for all your delays.

  • ktlou82

    R.C. - That is a lot of water! I'm sorry it's being an issue with your septic.


    My brother just had a house built and they barely got their septic installed before they were scheduled to move in. The ground was just too wet for them to get in there and dig.


    sprink1es - Everything is looking good. I love the clawfoot tub! I am very excited to have one in my house but it is going to be a heavy beast to maneuver.


    Framing is getting close to being done.



    The framers haven't been here the last 2 days but I did see last night that the water well tank was installed and the HVAC guys have started.

  • R. C.

    Ktlou82 - definitely a lot of water! No percolation due to the high amount of rainfall. We are due more rain all weekend.


    Your house is looking good!

  • Scardy Kat

    Oh no R.C! That floating septic is awful! They covered ours the day they put it in.

    Sprinkles, your house is gorgeous! Love the claw tub in front of the windows.

    Kennady, I like the farmhouse look too. I don't know what ours is, but a little bit of farmhouse for sure. I used to talk about it here but there were too many negative comments. It's the right thing for us and that's all that matters. So you do what makes you happy. It's not like the haters are ever going to be in it, right?


    It's been awhile since I've posted much, and something here (on all of the forums) seems to have changed. On a new-to-me thread, I see the first post and if there are many replies, the first reply I see often has nothing to do with the first post, or there is a comment referring to another comment I can't see. When I click on "see 196 more comments" I do see more comments, but they still don't seem to be the next one to be able to follow the conversation. How do I get to read the entire thread in order?

  • Tenisha B.
    @Vanessa thanks!!! My original move in date was April of last year ♀️. I’m pretty confident that March is gonna be it. Inside just touch up paint and deep cleaning are left. Outside I still need driveway poured, the area around the pool and landscaping.

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