An update? What the…

Well. I’ve been living in my house for almost 2 months now! It seems like a lot longer than that for some reason. It must be because I’ve practically lived in this house since the foundation hole was dug. Whatever the case may be, I’ve been terribly lax in my blog updates. It’s not because I’m lazy, though. It’s because I’ve been enjoying every single moment of living in my new dream house on Fruit Hill Farm.

I’ve been spending a lot of time outside, doing things around the house — playing with my dry stream bed and dry waterfall. It’s so neat and novel for me that I have my very own yard! I can stick whatever I want in the ground, and if I’m lucky the deer won’t eat it. If it survives the deer, and it grows and makes flowers or more leaves or whatever, it’s so fun and exciting! So I thought I’d post some photos of what I’ve been doing outside, since the inside is still “coming together”… ie: a mess.

Just for some perspective:

Last year at this time
Last year at this time
Some (crab)grass is growing in!
And today!
Daylillies in my front yard
Daylilies in my front yard. Thanks Mom!
Drywaterfall
Dry waterfall.
Perspective on where the dry waterfall is. Plus a filthy car and some really tired white butterfly bushes.
Perspective on where the dry waterfall is. Plus a filthy car and some really tired white butterfly bushes.
Japanese Maple. Thanks Pete and Sallie!
Japanese Maple. Thanks Pete and Sallie!
Hinoki Cypress. Thanks Barbara!
Hinoki Cypress. Thanks Barbara!
Baby chickie chickies. Thanks Bethers!
Baby chickie chickies. Thanks Bethers! (plus a blue jay feather. Thanks again, Mom!)
Japanese Juniper. Thanks Anna!
Japanese Juniper. Thanks Anna!
Dry Streambed. There's some lavendar and moonbeam coreopsis and creeping thyme and meadow sage and silver plant and... some other stuff.
Dry Stream bed. There's some lavender and moonbeam coreopsis and creeping thyme and meadow sage and sedum and silver plant and... some other stuff. Oh! And a big pile of mint that started out as a coupla sprigs from Mom's stash.
Dry stream from the other direction
Dry stream from the other direction

And what the heck. Here are a couple of neat things I have inside.

New round coffee table from Dustin at The Juniors at The World Trade Center Furniture Shop or something.
New round coffee table from Dustin at The Juniors while working part-time at The World Trade Center Furniture Shoppe.
WWI? flag. I was so excited to finally get this baby up in its place of honor!
WWI? flag. I was so excited to finally get this baby up in its place of honor!

Chipp, Dad’s Office Maven and also a good friend, gave me a Dogwood for a housewarming gift. I’m so excited about it! And I received a Birch from Aunt Connie and Uncle Arch. Yay! I’ll update the site with new pics when they’re planted in fall — maybe sooner, if I can get it presentable enough inside…

Thanks for reading!

Interior Trim

Bruce and Susie and Tim have started my interior trim. First they had to finish the cherry floor, though.

I know they're professional skilled craftsmen/women and all, but... how they do that?
I know they're professional skilled craftsmen/women and all, but... how they do that?

Anyway onto the trim. I’m told the trim is what’s going to pull everything together — the walls and the floors and the windows. It’s the finishing touch. And you just have to appreciate the lengths the MFT Inc. crews go to to make sure the trim is just right. There’s a reason they call him the best builder in the state!

upstairs hallway
upstairs hallway
Baseboard: See what I mean about the attention to detail?
Baseboard: See what I mean about the attention to detail?
Tim's idea. He made some cherry trim and used the leftover floorboards.
Tim's idea: He made some cherry trim and used the leftover floorboards. Pretty nice, eh?

Everytime I go out to the job, I think to myself how lucky I am to have so many creative and talented people working on my house. Not only that, but they’re all pretty great people too!!

Cherry Floor: Phase Three

The drywall is finished, and Ken Purdham’s crew did an amazing job. Big thanks to them! The rooms look like real rooms now with beautiful solid walls.

In other news the cows have found me, and Frankie is finally using his window:

Moo.
Moo.
"Arf!" -Frankie. "Moo." -Cow.
Just the right height

We also picked up my floor tiles for the hallway and kitchen door entry. I’ll tell you all about how great and helpful (and patient) Julia McDonald at Rock and Tile is when I get to the tile installation phase.

I had to lay a few out to see how they're going to look.
I had to lay a few out to see how they're going to look.

But the biggest news of the week is my living room and kitchen floor. My friends Dustin and Laura Fritz and my dad are the most beautiful people in the whole wide tri-state area. We had a goal of getting all the flooring down in the living/dining room and kitchen. They worked like maniacs all weekend, and we met the goal! And they did it all for a coupla pulled pork sandwiches. I’m still in shock that it’s done, especially since Dad is the only pro of the group. Granted, Dustin and Laura renovated an 1800’s Fire House into an actual house, so they have a bit of experience with working on projects similar to this. But I still consider it a pretty great accomplishment. Thanks three thousand billions guys!!

Dad picking out a board, and Dustin nailing one down.
Dad picking out a board, and Dustin nailing one down.
Fritz Dream Team
The Fritz Dream Team
Laura getting the seams mega-tight
Laura getting the seams mega-tight
the finished living toom
the finished living room
kitchen
kitchen
View from above. Gotta love the variation in the Fruit Hill cherry!
View from above. Gotta love the variation in the Fruit Hill cherry! I couldn't be happier.

And I also want to give a special thanks to Dad for cutting and collecting all of these trees for me.  There wouldn’t even be a floor if he hadn’t found the trees.

Update: Drywall.

I’m starting to lose traction on my blog. Things are moving so quickly, I’m having trouble keeping up. I should probably fashion a helmet with a camera attached, so I don’t miss anything. I annoy my father enough as it is, though. (“What did you say the difference between semi-gloss and low lustre are again?” “Wait… why are there nails AND screws in the drywall?” Ummm… can you look at these 27 different outdoor light options I’m considering?” “What do you think of this tile layout?” “How long til I can move in??”) Can you imagine if I showed up to the jobsite with the Blog-o-nator Helmet?

Anyway, these pics were taken yesterday. Today they finished hanging 95% of the drywall, and Kenny cleaned up the mess. Keith talked me out of flat paint. And my good friend Julia @ Rock and Tile ordered my floor tiles, as well as some croc skin* tiles… more on that soon.

(*No crocodiles were injured in the making of the tiles.)

The red really brings it all together, eh? Maybe I should try putting the window treatments on the INSIDE, though.
The red really brings it all together, eh? Maybe I should try putting the window treatments on the INSIDE, though.
Staircase and landing.
Staircase and landing.
View from the loft to the dining and living area
View from the loft to the dining and living area
My office... before Kenny cleaned it spotless today.
My office... before Kenny cleaned it spotless today.
Looking out of the upstairs bathroom into the hallway out to the loft
Looking out of the upstairs bathroom into the hallway out to the loft

"No ants are ever getting in this house" -Dad

My insulation is in, and this baby is 100% sealed shut. Standing in my house is like standing in a vacuum. My ears ring, and I feel like I might float away at any moment.

Everyone's signing the studs.
Everyone's signing the studs.
R38. This stuff is gonna keep me warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
R38. This stuff is gonna keep me warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Fiberglass on top of 1" spray foam. They caulked everywhere too. No ants are getting in this house!
Fiberglass on top of 1" spray foam. They caulked everywhere too. No ants are getting in this house!
In other news, I have a mahogany patio outside my kitchen door! Thanks, Tim! It's beautiful.
In other news, I have a mahogany patio outside my kitchen door! Thanks, Tim! It's beautiful.
And in more news, I have some new black concrete stoops at my front and back doors!
And in more news, I have some new black concrete stoops at my front and back doors! Plus my amazing siding is finished. Thank you Bruce and Susie!

It's been a little while since I've posted…

about a week! That’s a century in MFT, Inc. years. Here are some new progress pics:

very busy day at the house today
very busy day at the house today
Dad, Bruce, Galen, and Frankie check out my amazing new brackets for the over-hang. Luckily Bruce doesn't hate me for having to cut a million small pieces of siding.
Dad, Bruce, Galen, and Frankie check out my amazing new brackets for the over-hang. Luckily Bruce doesn't hate me for having to cut a million small pieces of siding.
Here are the brackets. Did I mention the roof is finished? Thanks North Mountain!!
Here are the brackets. Did I mention the roof is finished? Thanks North Mountain!!
closer view
closer view
Look at the detail on the sofits. Love it.
Look at the detail on the sofits. Love it.
Tim's so busy I could barely catch him on film.
Tim's so busy I could barely catch him on film.
Got him while he was pausing to take a measurement.
Got him while he was pausing to take a measurement.
Hi, Galen! (He will be installing my HVAC starting Monday.) Stay tuned for more updates!
Hi, Galen! (He will be installing my HVAC starting Monday.) Stay tuned for more updates!

I’m probably a bit biased, but Michael F. Taylor, Inc. has the best crew and collection of sub-contractors on Earth. They are the nicest, most fun people to see when I go out to the house. Thanks everyone!

My fireplace is in. I wish I could use it!

Frankie's excited to sit in front of it for hours.
Frankie's excited to sit in front of it for hours...

as am I! Too bad it’ll be warm by the time I move in… actually scratch that. I’m happy it’s going to be spring soon!  I can be patient and wait until next winter to break-in the fireplace. Plus it just looks neat!

North Mountain is phasing out of the project. They’re going to start the roofing on Thursday, but when they’re finished and gone, I’ll miss them a lot. I’m lucky enough to have some of MFT, Inc.’s crew on my project as of late, though! Tim and Bruce and Susie have been working on exterior trim and siding.

My chimney almost blinded mom today on her way to get the mail, apparently. Great.
My chimney almost blinded Mom today on her way to get the mail, apparently. Great. Just what I need -- a lawsuit.
the first bit of siding
the first bit of siding. board and batten coming soon...
I think Tim's little roofs will change the whole look of the side of the house
I think Tim's little roofs (another one will go over the window) will change the whole look of that side of the house...

Plumbing rough-ins start tomorrow. Stay tuned…

Windows are in

And oh my gosh… they are everything I dreamed of and more. My eyes welled up  a little when I saw them all in place with the front and back doors. I know I say this at every stage of the project, but I really mean it this time… It looks and feels like a real house now. It’s closed in and starting to feel cozy already. This is really happening. My dream is coming true!

When the siding goes up, it'll be even more wonderful.
When the siding goes up, it'll be even more wonderful.
leftover window from the Yellow Brick Bank addition
leftover window from the Yellow Brick Bank addition
Back windows outside
Back windows outside
Back windows inside
Back windows inside
Front door: Ideas on what color it should be please submit via the comments at the bottom of this post. Thank you!
Front door (Please submit all ideas on what color it should be via the comments at the bottom of this post. The siding will be red. Thank you!)
Back door and Frankie's window
Back door and Frankie's window
kitchen windows
kitchen windows

Framing is finished! (almost)

Just a couple more things left, and North Mountain will be finished framing the house. I still have a hard time believing that it’s the dead of winter, and they framed my entire house in a little over a month. I’m ever-so grateful to them.

The little green building is Bob Dean's office, apparently.
The little green building is Bob Dean's office, apparently.
Roof!
Roof!
You can see straight through the front door, out through the back door.
You can see straight through the front door, out through the back door.
Someone (im)patiently waiting in the car
Someone (im)patiently waiting in the car