July 2019 Building A House

July 1, 2019
last modified: July 1, 2019

July 1st: here’s your thread for your updates.

It is also our 41st anniversary.

We spent the day yesterday adding color to our entrance, planting into pots we purchased several weeks ago

Comments (215)

  • NewEnglandgal

    Kirsten love your tall windows!

  • Kirsten E.

    Thanks NEGal; we’re moving from the west coast to Midwest, so natural light was a priority!

  • snowcountry

    Kirsten E. Are they Marvin windows?

  • Kirsten E.

    Snow country, yep! Marvin Integrity All-Ultrex :)

  • snowcountry

    Thanks. I am having a hard time deciding on windows.

  • Kirsten E.

    You’re welcome! What’s giving you pause? Our builder didn’t really give us an option on the brand, so my indecision was limited to double hung vs. casement haha.

  • snowcountry

    The price. The initial estimate of one brand comes out to be about 25% of the total cost.

  • Kirsten E.

    Oof that does seem like a disproportionate chunk! I’d try getting pricing from another dealer in your area if there is one. If they keep coming out the same, on to the next brand! Anything you’re looking for in particular in a window? I’m no expert, but I did do a decent amount of research in making my own choices!

  • snowcountry

    I am looking for thin sightline. So I was going to do all aluminum . I can switch to al clad and go with Windsor. That will cut the cost almost half.

  • Kirsten E.

    That was important for me too, which is why I ultimately chose all-ultrex instead of wood-ultrex (in addition to durability). It could just have been my perception, but when I visited the showroom, I felt like the all-ultrex was slightly thinner. Marvin also has contemporary and modern lines, which I believe have even thinner sight lines, at a greater cost of course :/

  • Buzz Solo

    Well, other than the annoying fact the newer posts are now on the top AND I had to click on see more comments TWICE to get to the most recent ones, (idiotic to say the least), I had the day off and got the lawn mowed at home just before another set of thunderstorms came through. But DH worked on, and got the last of the exterior walls finished.

    This is how the front of the house stands, as we await those sill pans for the entry doors, as of yesterday. Tomorrow's plan is to add the third level of scaffolding so I can put in the soffits on the reverse gable. Then we can work on the wall panels and windows on that section.

    (edited to correct punctuation)

  • Junk*Salvation


    Have you looked into the Milgard Aluminum (thermally improved) windows? I just got a quote in for that brand on the aluminum and was pleasantly surprised! They beat out a couple other vinyl brands I was looking at (black exterior & black interior priced on 3 brands so far, 2 vinyl and then the aluminum ones by Milgard).

  • Ondre'a


  • K H

    I heard you want to be careful about external black vinyl windows unless you have the window built with sash reinforcement and superspacer system. I wish we could have ordered Milgard windows in our area but I couldn't find any one close and didn't want to pick up my windows! They are a very nice window.

    I got bids on Gerkin out of Des Moines, IA, Marvin Integrity Wood/All Ultrex and Simonton. I really wanted the Wood Ultrex because of the traditional look of wood on the inside of the home and the SDLs are so pretty. But I would have had to stain them myself or hire someone to do it and that increased the price 10-15% Plus I read that the Marvin windows have a greater air infiltration then a nicer vinyl window.

    Gerkin had the best air infiltration rating but they didn't have SDLs or half screens as an option. Their vinyl casement window is very beautiful and sleek looking.

    We went with Simonton 600 series windows because they have a good rep around here, they come standard in our region with superspacer, low e solar and an awesome lifetime warranty. (My builder says if we have any issues they have a rep right out there with a replacement window or parts) Since I wanted a traditional look our windows with sdl grids have a filler that will allow my builder to trim out our windows so they have the deeper profile like an older style window.

    We got all 25 of our windows and 2 sliding doors(one has blinds between) for 14,500. Most of our dh windows are 3x5, and 3x6. I even have a couple 4x6 dh windows! Remember when you get ready to order ask them if they can do better on pricing. I asked and they took a couple hundred off and I said that wasn't good enough and they took off an additional 400! (It also helps to stick with stock sizes on pricing.) Good luck snowcountry, windows are tough to choose.

  • snowcountry

    Junk*SalvationI will look into it. Thank you. If the brand is not what my builder is used to, would he have trouble installing the windows? My builder does many Windsor Windows and Western sometimes.

  • NewEnglandgal

    Buzz your home is really coming along. I hope the weather cooperates more for you.

    Ondre'a your pergola is so nice. What a pretty area. What will go underneath?

    KH Never heard of air infiltration in a window. You learn something new every day.

  • K H

    Newenglandgal I’m not sure if that is the proper term lol! Just something I read about on a few Houzz window threads about Marvin vs premium vinyl. Also this is happening, after a two week wait!

    Literally makes me sick that all the space is wasted for trusses. But my builder and my in law (who also builds and says his roof height is only two feet shorter) have said all along it will be ok. So many people do it this way. It would have been $6,000 for livable space trusses.... Hubby said let’s spend it on the house and not a what if we ever want to finish the space In the future. But I’m on the verge of tears.... thinking what a waste but I guess it is too late now. I should have fought harder.

    Looks very awkward now but supposed to look similar to this house which is also truss built, single level with walkout basement.

    Did any of you guys have an area you just won’t ever be happy about or that you doubted it would turn out?

  • Casamacho

    kriii I love your pantry! Ours will be a similar size I think, do you know the dimensions of the room and also how deep the shelves are? Thx!

  • Buzz Solo

    K H, how many square feet is your house and how big is your family? The house we built in Virginia back in the mid '90s had a huge bonus room over the garage that we never finished (DH gave the finger to the corporate world and we moved to Michigan after only 4 years there!) Do you have a basement? The trusses are a done deal, concentrate on how wonderful the rest of the house will be. Go look at tile. Go look at countertops. In fact leverage your unhappiness with the trusses into a big expensive thing you really want to make up for it.

  • kriii

    My pantry is 7 x 4. Lower shelves are 22 inches deep and upper are 12. I can't believe how much use this little room gets. It is so nice to be able to leave everything out and just shut the door behind me!

  • Casamacho

    kriii thank you that is so helpful! Ours is 8x5, I've never had a pantry before!

  • NewEnglandgal

    KH like Buzz Solo says, we too have a big area we made over our garage should we want to make it a room anytime. The cost for the bigger trusses was quite a bit and we decided it was not worth it because we wanted to put that money into the kitchen. We did want to do so, like you, in the beginning though.

    Maybe you had plans for that room? Do you have kids and were hoping for a rec room up there (sorry I cannot remember if you have younger kids or not)? Our area above the garage is big and we can easily make it into something should we ever desire but right now we are using it for storage even though we have a full basement. We are older and the kids are out on their own so really no need for us to do so.

    Since it is already done focus on all the fun stuff to come. Maybe once the home is done you wont care as much? Your home looks like it is going to be gorgeous. We too built a 1 story but only a little over 2k sq feet.

  • NYCish

    Everyone’s updates look great! @K H I’m sure it’s hard to see the big picture right now but once the walls and roof go on...I bet you will be totally ok with the trusses at that moment. It will be an “ah ha” moment of “hey, there’s MY house!!”

    We had our counters installed, they are finishing trim

    I met with cal closets and rounded out our closets. Added a bunch of drawers in my small master walk in and maximized space in my husband’s two reach ins. We had a credit from the designer for cal closets otherwise I probably would have gone with Elfa. So expensive for CC just for the name

    We also finalized our interior door hardware. Went with Baldwin knobs and pocket door pulls in black. We have a big opaque glass double pocket door which closes off the playroom (was intended to be a formal dining room”. Sprung for soft close...made a big difference.

    Meeting the seller tomorrow...hoping for some good news as far as move in

    Tile shown is the powder room. I think the tile guy will never want to set foot on our block again after all of the work he’s had to to!

  • NewEnglandgal

    Nycish pics of your counters? Like your door handle selection. It is exciting once you get to watch all your choices being put in and coming together. What is the bottom picture of?

  • localeater

    NYC - love your powder room floor. Looks like your tiler was very skilled.

    I will admit I am confused by all this talk of trusses. I am thinking we dont have any?!?

    I feel like I am getting hit with quick questions this week by the builder. I guess that means things are moving fast. Cant wait to go over there this weekend and see the progress.

  • NYCish

    @Newenglandgal I didn’t take any pics of the counters last time I was there, my younger kid is like a human octopus (and tbh pics probably won’t be great until the lighting goes in, our kitchen is in the middle of the long narrow-ish room and is dark). We chose silestone statuario eternal in a sueded finish for the kitchen. The master and kids bath are Carrara, and the laundry is silestone rugged concrete.

    The last picture is the tilework on the powder room floor. It’s just off the kitchen and very visible, so maybe one will be distracted by lovely tile instead of the ugly toilet. Ha

  • nidnay

    Just curious about all this truss talk. I know this is after the fact, but why not do stick built with no trusses??

  • kayce03

    NYCish - I love your powder room tile (really I've loved all the tile you've posted)! Do you know what was used? Do you have a bigger picture? I'm deep in tile selection, right now. Pretty sure our tile guy is going to hate us at the end of this, too.

  • K H

    Builder wouldn’t stick build. Like I said I should have fought harder and maybe looked for someone that would stick build. Or just put my foot down on the open web trusses. But I just gave in. Most of the buildings on our farm have been around for a long time. I thought if the Kids ever wanted to build up they would be able to do so more cheaply. Right now I just need to say it will be ok and not doubt the design because others have truss built that are just as much of a waste as mine! I just need to take a break! Thank you Buzz the space up there would have been an additional 600 sq ft so we didn’t need the space I was just looking into the future 20 years! Our house is 2200 sq ft with a full basement. I think I will go look at flooring etc.. it will help, I can put that 6k into something else.

    Not trying to sound ungrateful. Thank you guys for being supportive I really appreciate you all.

  • NewEnglandgal

    NYCish the tile is really pretty! I think it will all be beautiful when done. You must be excited seeing it all come together. I am almost there. Another couple weeks and should see some tile work being done. Waiting for the order to come in as we speak.

    KH I do not think you sound ungrateful at all. I think you want the house to be done exactly as you want so you will not have regrets down the road. I get it trust me. I hope as your build continues it will not be something you regret but something you find was not as big a deal as you thought. We all have things that are important to us and it doesn't matter what it is, no one is saying you shouldn't feel the way you do. I think we all have parts of the build we can say we wish we did this or we wish we had changed something. I am pretty sure every person who has built can think of one thing they might change looking back. We all have to hope they are small things or once the build is complete that they dont matter as much.

    I had to change a couple things because of the way certain things were done, electrical etc. I had to take out a pocket door from my kitchen/dining to my mudroom/laundry due to placement for a light switch plate. I wasn't happy but I figured in the long run it would not be a big deal and my laundry room does have a door.

    I have had to change other things as well and was not thrilled but decided I could be upset or I could accept it and move on. Be prepared for changes and make the best of it if it happens. Some changes may be better.

  • lindavana

    Fireplace masonry done - will soon have the wood insert doors installed but here it is for now

    (note to gra8tfulgal ). Looking forward to getting the floors uncovered but that won't be until the end. The blocked opening under the window (to the right of fireplace) will eventually be changed out to a small door for passing wood from outside to inside.

  • NewEnglandgal

    Beautiful fireplace!

  • NYCish

    Lots of finally!

    Laundry room. Silestone rugged concrete tops in sueded finish (they are dusty


    Master bathroom

  • NYCish

    A few more

    Kids bath (has matte medium gray penny tile, Carrara tub deck and Carrara front of tub

    Dark charcoal gray is our island color as well as some vanity colors in the bathrooms. It has a very faint navy hue to it but it’s pretty charcoal. Perimeter cabinetry is a light gray.

    Detail of our grooved “shaker” cabinet

    Backyard has the gas line to it. They are going to go ahead and run conduit for perimeter lighting. Not sure if we will do that now or later

    Last pic is the silestone sueded statuario eternal for the kitchen.

  • nidnay

    Lindavana......gorgeous fireplace!

  • NYCish

    @kayce03 they are actually large format rectangular porcelain tiles that were cut on site to that particular pattern. Our designer really likes using common materials in uncommon ways.

  • NewEnglandgal

    NYCish wow it looks great! I cant wait to see it completely finished! Your master shower is gorgeous, your wall tiles in kids bathroom are nice too and I love the color of your island cabinets. beautiful color!

  • kayce03

    NYCish - your designer did a great job. I love all of your tile selections.

  • K H

    NYCish I love all of your tile, and you charcoal island!

  • Pinebaron

    I've been following everyone's updates and although I've failed to report progress on our outstanding work however will have much to report very soon.

  • localeater

    I went over to our build site yesterday and I have to say, I was a little disappointed in the progress. I think I have to just get over it, though. :) They are drywalling and mudding and I really wanted it to ALL be done and it is not. I know this is time intensive, especially considering all my windows are drywall return, so I am trying to be grateful that what is done looks great but I wanted more. How selfish of me!

    On the bright side, it is amazing how much different the space looks at each step. Framed walls were amazing, I could feel the house taking shape. Insulated interior walls were fascinating, the immediate warmth and quietness they brought to the space, it was such a cozy, blanketed feeling. Now the drywall, and I could walk around and really use the space. It became so much easier to move to thinking about paint colors. I have to really work that list.

  • NewEnglandgal

    localeater, those days happen, hoping things will be done in a short time frame or hoping a subcontractor shows up when they say they will. It can be pretty frustrating and disappointing. I am in the same boat as you right now waiting on our fabricator and awaiting our tile order to come in so nothing being done at the house.right now. I try to stay positive and look forward to what it will look like when all is done. i do not think you are selfish in wishing more was done. We are all excited to see our build come to fruition and see what we have pictured in our mind for so long.

    Once the dry wall is finished you will hopefully see things come along quickly.

  • Cyndy

    I have been MIA. moving in our house and taking 2 small vacations has definitely slowed progress. Still working on trim. Awaiting a remade vent hood cabinet - luckily not on our dime as it was a fancy schmancy custom thingy. Septic guy has till Aug 25th and if he doesn't complete by then we have to pay for a new permit. We did put the progress on hold for I can't really put all the blame on him. Not having indoor toilets is getting a bit old, lol. Still dealing with government bureaucracy - who knew that would be going on two years post flood. . Hoping that I will feel a little more motivated to move things along when the kids go back to school on Aug 15th.

  • K H

    What shingle brand/color did you guys go with?

  • NYCish

    Our hardware is being installed in the kitchen and bathrooms! The first pic is the kids bath, second is the powder room, third is the kitchen (trash pullout, sink cab with roll outs, and paneled dishwasher). The pulls I think are satin brass although they look rather gold in this pic (tbh they might be satin gold, I don’t recall what we chose). And I sneaked a peek at our new thermador range!

    The backyard is being completed right now, 24x24 bluestone pavers being installed followed by the synlawn. Originally they were supposed to be 12x24 but they were out of those, but I think the square will look nice too.

    I have to make some choices whether or not to put dimmers in the bathroom(s). The bedrooms and living spaces all have a dimmers but not sure it’s worth it in the master bath. Thoughts? I can always do it later.

  • kayce03

    NYCish - looks great! That powder room!!! We put dimmers in our master bath because I thought it would be nice to dim the lights when I'm taking a bath.

  • K H

    Wow NYCish everything looks great! Plumbing rough in going on and the roof is on.

    House looks much more proportional now!

  • NYCish

    @K H wow looks great! Proportions look so good. Will be a great looking house

    @kayce03 I know...I had considered that. I think I might live with it a while and see how much I’d do that, or if I could get away with just having sconces or the shower light on for dim lighting. I will need the electrician to come back anyway since we are doing some stuff to the basement after closing. I’ve also considered a timer for the bathroom fan but want to see how well it works first.

  • NYCish

    @buzz solo yikes I completely forgot it was August!!!

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