Sunday, January 28, 2007

Roof framing and kitchen progress

The roof framing is taking shape on the new part of the house. The "great" room is now completely framed. You can really see the construction now from the front of the house, which up until now, has been mostly hidden from view. But as you can see, the new roof is a bit higher than the old one.

Thursday, the crane came again to deliver the steel trusses that support the roof. You can see one peeking out in the picture above. Attached to the trusses is a 40-foot glue-lam beam that forms the apex of the new roof. The new roof still needs to be tied into the old roof, as you can see, but the framing is really coming right along. It's interesting how much scaffolding they have to erect to get the new roof framed, but not surprising when you think of it.

One of the requirements of our insurance company to insure our house for its true value is that we install a central-reporting fire and burglar alarm. We had two people out to bid, and received two bids for essentially the same system. Both firms came highly recommended, but one bid was almost 50% more than the other. So, we chose the least expensive one. It just goes to show you it pays to get multiple bids on things.

While all this construction was going on, the kitchen design continues. We met with the cabinet company at the house earlier this week, which was a bit chaotic. We had our architect, contractor, kitchen salesperson and one of their designers at the house. Although the meeting was chaotic, I think we came out of it a bit clearer as to what was going where, and how specific cabinets would fit in the space available. (As the cabinets we chose are European modular cabinets, one must fit the space to the cabinets rather than the other way around, since the cabinets only come in fixed sizes.) If I had really understood how stressful this whole process was going to be, I think I would have made a different choice; but at the moment it's too late to go back. I know they will be very nice when they're in. Since the meeting, the cabinet designer and our architect have been interating on the plan, spec'ing the exact cabinets and internal mechanisms to go in each place. I think we're closing in on the exact specifications. We have to order the cabinets this upcoming week to avoid a price increase. No pressure! But once the cabinets are ordered, we can relax a little bit... there are very few things left to pick out.

Finally, we also have someone designing our home audio/theater/computer wiring systems. We met with him yesterday to review the plan, and he'll go ahead and do all the wiring now while the walls are open. The system is a bit expensive, so we'll probably wait until later to purchase/install all the equipment, but at least the house will be wired properly! One little thing we have to figure out is how to wire rear speakers in the family room downstairs, as the wires will have to go through steel. Minor details!

More house pics can be found here.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Sky's the Limit (part 2)!

The roof over the great room is off completely, and all the oldinterior walls are now removed! The kitchen is now reframed, and I believe this marks a major milestone -- all the destruction of the old house has been done, and only construction remains.

You can now see what the new roofline will look like, as they have framed the side of the house. In fact, for the first time since we started, there is more evidence than just a portapotty at the front of the house that construction is taking place.

The remaining steel (trusses for the roof) will be arriving on Thursday by crane. At that point, they will finish framing the roof, and then they will (hopefully) be able to reshingle the entire house. We continue to enjoy fabulous sunny weather which is really a blessing given that we have no roof!

The kitchen is also progressing. We've chosen the cabinets, and will have the cabinet maker come down on Tuesday to do the final measurements so we can order them. They have a 16 week lead time, so most likely we will be moving back into the house without a kitchen. But we can live on takeout and use the fridge in the garage no problem. We have a few things left to pick out, but we're getting pretty close to being done with all the selections.

We also had a couple alarm companies out to bid on an alarm for the house (required by our insurer), and have chosen the company (there was a surprising difference in the bids, even though they were both for the same equipment). Another company is designing our home media system (video, audio, internet) system for us -- we'll wire everything for that now and implement it some time in the future once we replenish our rapidly diminishing bank account.

So things are moving along!

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Sky's the Limit!

The roof is finally off! At least part way. The picture on the left was taken a week ago, and as you can see, they have sawed off a portion of the old roof, in preparation for reframing the roof. The downstairs, at this point, is completely framed, as is the office (except for the roof/ceiling). The kitchen is down to 2 by 4s, but they haven't yet removed the half wall that will be removed for the new kitchen.

The weather has held up and been just beautiful for the entire month. We had one small little bit of rain, and it's been really cold. But we've been really fortunate to be able to do this part of the construction in January! Hopefully it will hold out until the new roof is framed and the new shingles are on.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


The framing continues. The downstairs is now completely framed and the old walls and the temporary walls are gone. There's only one little half wall in the downstairs closet (now server room) which needs to be removed, and then the framing will be exactly as it will be in the new house. The new office subfloor is also in.

New guest bedroom:

Office floor:

More pics on my website.