lunarocket34

MAY 2021 Building a Home

Buzz Solo
10 days ago

Here is the new building a home thread. I couldn't find one anywhere so I figured I better start one. Tell us your stories, show us your photos, vent about your builder. Let it all hang out!


Comments (138)

  • K H
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    @snowcountry this is my house.



    I was suggesting a grid style to Karen. Love my SDLs

    Buzz Solo thanked K H
  • jbethjoy
    4 days ago

    @Kat thanks! The stain color we picked for the porch ceiling is actually a stock stain at Lowes. It is the Valspar Canyon Brown translucent deck stain. I had 6 or 7 samples made up and this was our favorite.

    @nhb22 we decided to stain both sides to stabilize the wood so hopefully it doesn't gap or move to much with changing temps and humidity. I also wanted to make sure the tongues were stained in case it gapped on us.

    @Karen I agree with the others to get subs lined up and also have other subs as backups if possible. We have had a few struggles with that, but we did a lot of leg work on the front end and tried to have 2-3 bids for everything. It helps to have that initial relationship with a few subs on the front end. Regarding your windows, our last home had internal grids and they were easy to clean. My DH talked me into the external grids on this house, and now I can't imagine having internal grids because the external look so great! It will be harder to clean, but I just did grids on the top half of the window. I like that it opens up the view a bit to not have grids on all of the window but it gives a little character instead of having clear glass. Not sure if it helps but a lot of builders here only do grids on the front of the house with no grids on the sides and back.

    @Buzz Solo That drywall number sure seems high. Ours is a little under $20k and we have about 5000 square feet of finished space going up plus a 4 car garage with 12' ceilings. That also includes high ceilings (14-18') in 3 rooms which they charge more for since they have to put up and take down scaffolding. We have a ridiculous sheetrock square footage number, as in I laughed out loud thinking it was a joke when they measured it up. I have since blocked that number from my memory but will ask my husband what it was tomorrow, :)

    @Tanya Shelly could you maybe do the pour in place concrete landscape edging? If you did that maybe you could add the fence posts into it as you go? Not sure if that would work though.


    One thing I have found interesting is sourcing materials and labor from Tulsa which is 2 hours away. We have hauled materials like wood and electrical wire from the Tulsa metro area because the prices were so much better. We have been stalking facebook marketplace to help with some of these cost over runs. I mention this to those of you that are GC yourselves just to encourage you to think outside the box and expand your area and subs/materials list if you get stumped! I have been surprised that some of the subs were the same or less than the local subs even with the drive time. We also found a lumber wholesaler that saved us $15/sheet on osb which was a lot of $$$ since we needed over 200+ sheets. We also found our retaining wall blocks in Texas and direct ordered them form the quarry, they sent a semi just for us with the blocks and it was much less than what we would have paid locally. Marketplace and Ebay has been a great resource!

    Buzz Solo thanked jbethjoy
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  • jbethjoy
    4 days ago


    We had the Mason do some sample panels fo us today to help us pick the mortar color. White or gray? The gray isn't dry yet, so it will lighten. We will have white siding above the brick wainscoting. I think I'm leaning towards the white, but don't want it to look dirty compared to the siding which took be painted Snowbound.

    Buzz Solo thanked jbethjoy
  • Keepthefaith MIGirl
    4 days ago

    Jbethjoy look out there's a truck parked right up next to your house!

    I like the white

    Buzz Solo thanked Keepthefaith MIGirl
  • K H
    4 days ago

    White!

    Buzz Solo thanked K H
  • nhb22
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    jbethjoy - My eye went directly to the white. We had our masons make sample brick formations for 3 mortar colors. Such a big help in picking the correct one! We also went with white using a special mica white sand, and a white mortar...no pre-mix.


    I am meeting with our contractor this morning and I'll be sure and request that both sides, and the grooves be stained. ;)


    Also meeting with the tile guy so we can get things going next week. Both excited and nervous about picks. And I am worried that something is going to get destroyed since we have a lot more to get done in the house. I'll ask about protection.

    Buzz Solo thanked nhb22
  • a
    4 days ago

    I have a question for all of you. When you start to plan the house, where do you start? Has anyone worked with an interior designer, If so where did they start? Is there a room they always start with? The paint color? Floors?

    We are meeting framers this week to hopefully get on someone’s list. It’ll be next spring before any can get to our house. We are due with baby #3 in October. I want to have everything picked out, budgeted (I know it very well may change but I still feel better knowing SOMETHING rather than nothing budget wise) and all bids on the rest of the project done and have the subs all picked out. I’m about to start this phase of the planning, just wondering if anyone has tips on where to start. Thanks!

    Buzz Solo thanked a
  • Karen
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    @nhb22 - Thank you for your recommendation. I suspect I may stick with real grids too, as with the required Low-E glass, when the grids are between the glass, they are either not seen at all from the outside or appear green. And when I really stop to think about it, I usually pay someone else to wash my windows once a year and just maintain them in between. And FWIW, I have always LOVED the photo you posted above with the blue ceiling! I live in FL and even here, plenty of homes paint their ceilings blue. If you still want it and want it only on your back porch, I don't think you will mind looking out your windows at it! Will just look like a beautiful (Happy) sky:). (In fact, the house nearby is even painting the ceiling in their garage blue, which I'd never seen, but it's pretty.)


    @jbethjoy - thanks for your suggestions. We're trying to get multiple bids too, but so many of the subs are recommending that we wait or don't get back to us:(. Glad you like your SDL grids. I think i will too and since each window only has 6 panes, I think it won't be as bad as my current windows with 15 panes per window.

    @K H - I LOVE your barn photos! Thanks! We will be using divided lites and soft black exterior windows. And while I totally agree with your recommendation to shorten the one window, the view out that window is gorgeous and wouldn't be too visible from the family room if we raised it to counter height to match the kitchen sink window. I plan to install a window box under the kitchen sink window to compensate, but do agree it would be better if both were the same.

    @Kat - Thanks for all of your suggestions! I'm taking notes!

    Buzz Solo thanked Karen
  • jkent9024
    4 days ago

    @a I follow Maria Killam, a Canadian color expert, and she has a blog post about the order of choosing finishes in your new home. I found this list to be especially helpful; I've had very little difficulty with indecisions because each choice is informed by the previous choice, so my options are more limited than one would think. I find all of her advice helpful, as I love her "classic and timeless" design aesthetic, though I know some might find her design choices "safe and boring."


    Here's the post: https://mariakillam.com/10-steps-for-planning-your-new-build/ 

    Buzz Solo thanked jkent9024
  • Tanya Shelly
    4 days ago

    @a We are working with a designer for our build. It was the best decision we ever made. We did not have any furniture so we started asking around and discovered a local company that designs the whole build as long as you order furniture from them. We found their prices in line with furniture we planned to purchase anyway and the designer has been very responsive. We were living an hour from the build and she stops by regularly to check on things. She literally has been a life saver and saved us hours of time. We sent her inspiration photos and she has guided us towards decisions in every single area including floors, paint, counter tops, lighting and even exterior choices. She even guided the electrician and is on top of the builder when things are done wrong. If it wasn't for her, tile would have been installed in the wrong room and paint colors mixed up. I can sleep at night knowing she is 100% on top of the project even nagging the builder about ordering items.

    Buzz Solo thanked Tanya Shelly
  • M R
    4 days ago



    It’s MOVING WEEKEND for us!!! Painters are supposed to finish touching up today. A few other projects are not yet done, but it’s done enough for us to start calling it home. We are super excited!! Will post more pictures as we start to get things in.


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  • K H
    4 days ago

    @M R Congrats!!

    Buzz Solo thanked K H
  • nhb22
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    Karen - LOL...I don't do windows, either. But I am guilty of waiting to have them cleaned WAY after they need it. What I worry about is the cost of cleaning the windows now that they will have individual panes versus all glass. I guess I will have to ask for window cleaning for a Christmas gift like I had to do several years ago. :)

    Thank you for pointing out that I will be looking up to a blue sky if I did not have the porch ceiling in my way. A blue ceiling for the screened porch it is!

    Tanya Shelly - You are fortunate that you can start from scratch. We have too many newly purchased or recovered pieces of furniture that we could not justify getting rid of. I disposed of some that did not have any meaning or that was very outdated. We also have family pieces and antiques that have both sentimental meaning and value.

    jkent9024 - What a great link. Thank you!

    M R - Precious photos. I trust that the painter will be touching up little footprints on the walls. hehehehe Did you take those pictures? They look so professional. What a great idea to document moving day!

    Oh those iron beds. 🙂 When I had my moving sale, I sold two (a single and a double) black antique iron beds to a family that had just finished a farm house. They were for a teenage son, and a younger son who were sharing a room. The beds both belonged to my son at different ages. He even had a very old U.S. flag in his room! I kept my daughters antique iron bed that is done in a bronze color. We are using it in our rental. However, we really have no place for it in the new house. :(

    Buzz Solo thanked nhb22
  • Emily
    4 days ago

    Congratulations, @M R! I am so very envious but happy for you and anyone else reaching the end of this crazy ride.


    @K H, I am glad you posted your house photos again, as I'd forgotten how similar it is to our plans. Seeing yours, I know I can't possibly delete the dormer over the porch, even though it is in the attic so is kind of a costly nonfunctioning item. BUT, it adds a ton of charm I'm just not willing to give up on. Your house is lovely!


    @jkent9024, Thank you for that link. I read through Maria's blog post with fear and trepidation that I'd made a million mistakes, but was glad to see that I haven't veered too far off-course. The one thing I'm doing that she recommends against is using pulls rather than knobs for all our cabinets and drawers. Fortunately, our kitchen is on the smaller side, so I don't think the pulls will be crazy busy. I can see how they could be in a kitchen with a ton of cabinets. I don't like knobs (which we have in our current rental) as they always seem to catch in our pockets or belt loops, and DH in particular said "no knobs!" when we were making our decisions. Lol!


    Our lack of progress continues. Our footings were supposed to be poured last week, but the guy's previous job ran over. Of course, it was dry as a bone then. This week, it rained every other day, so no footings, as they need two dry days in a row to do them. Next week looks iffy as well, but it's possible that Tues/Wed. may both be dry. Crossing fingers for that. When the subs are available, the weather doesn't cooperate, and vice versa.

    Buzz Solo thanked Emily
  • nhb22
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    🤞 Suppose to be a crossing fingers symbol, but looks like a chicken leg. Haha

    The one thing I'm doing that she recommends against is using pulls rather than knobs for all our cabinets and drawers.

    I did the same because we have 42" high uppers and I think that the knobs look too small on an upper that long. My daughter had pulls on her lowers (cabinets and drawers) and knobs on her 42" uppers. I always thought they looked tiny in comparison to the cabinet door. So we are using 5-7/16" pulls on cabinets and drawers. I think that the only lower cabinets we have are in the corners, and a set in front of the sink. And we have no drawer/cabinet combo. We have a triple window between our two sets of uppers on the end wall, so I don't think they will look busy. The other uppers are on the side walls and only a few on each side. We do have knobs on the apothecary drawers on either side of the range.

    Daughters kitchen


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  • jkent9024
    3 days ago

    Yes, I'm planning all pulls on lowers (which are mostly drawers anyway), all knobs on uppers, and latches on the highest glass front uppers (stacked cabinets), so I'm not sticking with her recommendation 100% either.

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  • M R
    3 days ago

    @nhb22 yes painters will be coming this week to retouch!! Haha! My friend is a photographer and we felt at the culmination of this project that has consumed our lives for almost a year that we should properly document reaching the finish line! the boys room photo is just an iPhone photo of course.


    we used pulls on drawers and knobs on doors and we’ve been happy with that!

    Buzz Solo thanked M R
  • Sherryl
    3 days ago

    I like on everything, unless there are some really small drawer fronts, then knobs on those. I think pulls feel better too.

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  • nhb22
    3 days ago
    last modified: 3 days ago

    So aggravated with our local Sherwin-Williams store. I went to get the Sher-Wood BAC wiping stain for our door that someone on here recommended. They have never heard of it! They have Minwax wiping stain and that's it!!!

    Then we looked at the Woodscapes semi-transparent stain that my contractor recommended to do the T&G Pine ceilings on the front porch. We picked out the darkest color, and because they do not do samples, we had to purchase a $19.00 quart. Tried sampling it there because we have to have the stain at the house by Monday. I had brought some of the ceiling wood to test on. The darkest color was called High Country, a blend of gray and brown. The sample looked like we had pours tobacco water on the board. Black yuck. Tried darkening it to no avail. Still looked like water downed mud flats water.

    So then I remembered that Sherryl used the Super Paint solid stain. We were afraid to go all solid since we were picking one of their stock wood stains and did not want the ceiling to look painted. So we picked the semi-solid type. They also had the semi-transparent and transparent types. Guess what...they were out of the semi-solid base cans.

    In addition to that fiasco, we had the SW Hinting Blue sample from Samplize. Asked them to mix up 2 - gallons for the screened porch ceiling. It looked too light, with a slight purplish tint next to the Samplize sample. We had them add a little black. It looked better, but still not a match to the sample. We are going with it anyway.

    And then...I had a small sample can of SW Slate Tile that I had previously painted on a test shutter. The sample paint was not as dark as the paint chip card. So while there, I had them add a little black to the sample can. Got home and tried it out on half of the shutter. I can see no difference after two coats. Boohoo... I feel so defeated!!!

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  • K H
    3 days ago
    last modified: 3 days ago

    @nhb22 what stain did you end up with? Or did you throw in the towel? Pine soaks up stain super easy. I would stay away from anything with gray or blackened in the wood look stain. If you don’t want a red tint stay away from cedar and redwood. I’ve used a minwax black walnut stain on pine before and it looked black! Yuck!

    @Emily lets talk house dimensions... because I agree you really should keep the gable. My house is 44’ deep with the covered porch included. Our roof pitch is 7/12. If I remember right our truss height is 12 or 14’ I thought our house is proportioned pretty well and would look too long without the gable. Looking at your elevations your roof may be taller then ours so I would definitely keep your gable!

    Buzz Solo thanked K H
  • nhb22
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    K H We threw in the towel after SW informed us that they had to close in 10 minutes. We are going to revisit the situation on Monday. The men can start painting the screened porch boards until we find something for the front.

    We are now looking at Special Walnut or Chestnut. Minwax products need to be sealed, so we would rather use one of the other products that do not require that. We may even just go with the trim paint for the front.


    Here's what we had in the previous home. Looking for a similar hue.


    Buzz Solo thanked nhb22
  • jbethjoy
    2 days ago

    @nhb22 we spoke with a few painters and they recommended deck stain for the pine ceilings. That is what we went with. I got several samples and tried them out. Remember also that it will look different on the ceiling since it is not direct light. I have also seen a lot of recommendations to condition the wood first since pine is a soft wood. The conditioner makes it take stain more evenly. I didn't have time to mess with it and just took my chances, but I like the color and saturation that we ended up with.

  • Kat
    2 days ago

    @M R Your house is beautiful as is your family. What color white did you choose for your exterior?


    @nhb22 I just picked up a sample today of slate tile. What color are you seeing in person? I also saw Krypton on the sample cards while looking and thought of you. lol. Very pretty.


    Buzz Solo thanked Kat
  • nhb22
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    The more bad online reviews that I read about the deck stains/wood stains (on all products we have talked about) combined with the trouble that we had with solid stain peeling, I am leaning toward paint for the front porch. Although we will have knots showing through, eventually. Either that, or pay more to do a two step with Minwax. I wish I knew what was used on my previous home. The ceiling you see there was 15 years old and looked brand new!

    Kat - Below are some photos showing the SW Slate Tile and W Krypton that I took at the house the other day. I copied/pasted a second set swatch here.


    Here it is on a gray background piece that I had painted. This brings out the blue in the color.


    And in here, the color almost looks bronze.


    The color looks very blue under garage fluorescent lights.


    You can see a slight color difference between the first and second batch on the center panel. Still not as dark as the card sample.

    Buzz Solo thanked nhb22
  • Tanya Shelly
    2 days ago

    @nhb22 We have mahogany on our porch ceilings and our builder will only do the two step minwax stain. I never asked why but that's how he does it.


    I love the Krypton with your exterior colors!

    Buzz Solo thanked Tanya Shelly
  • nhb22
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    Tanya Shelly - Did you show me your ceilings already? I am going to ask the guys that will be doing the work if they will do Minwax. The caveat is that the poly will take time to dry before they can put the ceilings up.

    I do love the Krypton. I just think that 16 pairs of shutters in that color will be too much. I am not really keen on the darker blue. I am leaning more toward using the same color as the shutters on our old house...a gray brown.


    Buzz Solo thanked nhb22
  • haylo33
    2 days ago

    All these comments have been so helpful for what to expect on the next steps in my build. We were doing great after framing and started rough ins. I was instructed to call my excavator to come get the utility lines in. After 2 weeks and several discussions about the job, my excavator basically quit as he is doing a million dollar job for a hospital and doesn’t have the time or people for my job. Granted, my build was supposed to be done by now and his work was to be completed over winter while they had an open schedule but our bid/contract doesn’t specify a date that his bid expires.


    So now we are scrambling to find an excavator to get our utilities in as My GC says they will have to stop construction if we don’t at least get the sewer Placed in the next few weeks. Anyone have their excavator quit? I did kind of say to him that we had a signed deal but he and I both know we won’t be taking it to court. He is helping us find someone but so far- nothing

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  • Keepthefaith MIGirl
    2 days ago

    Our utility company dug their own lines for electric and gas. Sewer can go in near last if needed, if you're putting in your own septic?

    Buzz Solo thanked Keepthefaith MIGirl
  • nhb22
    2 days ago

    haylo33 - That stinks! Ours didn't take any time at all.. Maybe 1-2 days max.

    Buzz Solo thanked nhb22
  • haylo33
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    @Keepthefaith MIGirl its city sewer. For some reason my builder thinks it has to be done soon. They do things in a certain order and seem to refuse to deviate from the plan.

    Buzz Solo thanked haylo33
  • Emily
    2 days ago

    @K H, Thanks for your comments. I'm not sure how the depth of the house relates to the gable in question, but the overall depth of our house, including both front and back porches and garage is 55'. Our roof pitch varies, but in the front, it is 6/12. We are keeping the gable! I'm just not willing to give up the charm and cottagey vibe it adds to save a few bucks, even if it is nonfunctional.

    Buzz Solo thanked Emily
  • K H
    2 days ago

    @Emily depth of house determines roof height. Your roof will be tall so good thing you are keeping the gable to maintain proportion

    Buzz Solo thanked K H
  • Emily
    2 days ago

    @K H, I am sorry, I got the roof pitch wrong. It is 8/12, not 6/12. Here is the right elevation of the house, showing the dormer in front.



    Buzz Solo thanked Emily
  • K H
    2 days ago

    Beautiful!

    Buzz Solo thanked K H
  • Kat
    2 days ago

    I laughed so hard when my son gave me this today! You have to love a boy who has a sense of humor!

    Buzz Solo thanked Kat
  • Emily
    2 days ago

    @Kat, That is too good. I love it!😅

    Buzz Solo thanked Emily
  • nhb22
    2 days ago

    LOL...how old is your son?

    Buzz Solo thanked nhb22
  • M R
    yesterday

    @Kat thank you the white is just white vinyl siding! They only had one white option so it made it easy for me.

    Buzz Solo thanked M R
  • Cheryl Hannebauer
    yesterday

    following

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  • bytheriverbank
    yesterday

    @Kat That’s the best Mother’s Day card ever!

    Buzz Solo thanked bytheriverbank
  • Kat
    yesterday

    @nhb22 he’s 12! Lumber cost talk has probably been a bit too frequent in our house!😂

    Buzz Solo thanked Kat
  • jbethjoy
    yesterday

    Such a cute card!


    We got a call from our cabinet maker today. I guess they are so swamped that they are pushing everyone's promise dates back. He already moved us back from end of May to end of June, now he is saying 12 weeks which is end of July! He said sorry, but everyone is busy and in the same boat so not sure if you want to try to find someone else or not. We are sheetrocking next week. This will seriously delay our schedule. I did find another cabinet maker that said they are about 8 weeks out, so we may be switching but don't want to have to start over.

    Buzz Solo thanked jbethjoy
  • Kat
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    @jbethjoyOh that's so frustrating. Everybody is busy, but that's not an excuse for poor customer service, but it sure seems to be for some. One day these broken promises may come back on them through word of mouth/reviews.

    I've gotten the run around several times already and just totally blown off by others. It gets frustrating and we are so early on in this.

    If I were you I'd probably be concerned that end of July, might not happen either.

    I hope you get it sorted. Would the cost be similar with the new company?

    Buzz Solo thanked Kat
  • Marie J.
    yesterday

    Finally got my lights ordered. My mom is retiring next Friday after 30 years with a lighting company and I’m her last client, and fully taking advantage of her discount. That also means I’ve been pushed to the bottom of her list, haha. Bottom left: foyer, Top: kitchen island, bottom right: living room. The lights are her company’s brand, Savoy House. The fan is the “Aspen” by Monte Carlo. I’m doing a sputnik over the stairs, and a gorgeous Hudson Valley flush mount in my room. Various brands elsewhere. I’ll post those when they’re installed. The builder‘s allowance got eaten up quickly to say the least. Ughhhh.



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  • nhb22
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    That's a shame.

    Our cabinets have been ready for several weeks, and we are well through sheet rocking, but since then, the progress has slowed tremendously! The floors are acclimating in the house, and then have to be put in place... also the tile flooring, before any cabinets can be delivered and installed. If our cabinets are in before the end of June, I will be surprised. If you can wait until the end of July, I would certainly do so.

    Our tile guy did bring in supplies today. Also, I met with a closet guy this afternoon. I am afraid to see his estimate. 👧 Our 14 exterior columns came in, as well.

    Speaking of lumber pricing, we received the bill for our T&G pine ceiling board for the porches. $4,100 for almost 1000 sq.ft. A lot more than we would have spent had we known the cost beforehand, but significantly less than another person on the Building forum paid.

    We are going with SW HInting Blue for the screened porch, and Minwax Dark Walnut semi-transparent stain topped with Helmsman Spar Urethane in Clear Satin for the front porch. 🤞 for good results. Now all we need is some sun to get the painting done.

    Buzz Solo thanked nhb22
  • a
    10 hours ago

    Am I crazy thinking about hardwood floors in the bathrooms??? My absolute favorite architect, Gil Schafer (I practically have stalked his work for years), is always using wood in the bathroom. His bathrooms are EXACTLY what I want. I wouldn’t change a thing. Truly 100% my style. Everyone says wood in bathroom is a massive no-no. So how is he doing it in all of these houses? Any thoughts?

    Here is a screenshot of just a few bathrooms by Gil that I’ve saved. All wood floors. Half painted, half not.

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  • nhb22
    10 hours ago
    last modified: 10 hours ago

    Not at all!

    We have had real wood in all of our powder rooms, and actually had a real wood floor in our M bathroom a few houses ago without having any problems. I wish we had done so in the current home we are building. By the time I thought about it, the wood had been ordered for the rest of the house and there was none left. We are going with a tile that may look awful with all of our other choices. It was hard to find something that matched the shower tile.

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  • jkent9024
    9 hours ago
    last modified: 9 hours ago

    It's a personal choice, but I wouldn't. We have hardwood in our current powder room. The toilet seal leaked and we didn't notice until the wood began to buckle. Upon removing the toilet, the wood underneath had blackened from rot. As the hardwood flows throughout the main floor, replacing it in the bathroom and then trying to stain it to match the rest of the house was near impossible, and a HUGE expense. I also have a couple of kids (grown now) who could never quite grasp the concept of keeping the shower curtain inside the tub ledge, so I can't imagine how much damage they would have done to a wood floor over the years.

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  • Emily
    9 hours ago
    last modified: 8 hours ago

    @jbethjoy, What a pain! I am sorry about the delay. I fully empathize, given all the weather and subcontractor delays we have had on our build.

    Our builder finally texted my husband a photo of a truck out at our site today -- not sure if it is the well driller or the footings guys, but at least something is finally happening for the first time in weeks. We're back to a rainy pattern, which isn't helping anything in these early stages of our project.


    ETA: It's the well drilling. Crossing fingers they don't have to go over 300' deep, which is what is budgeted for.

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