Thursday, July 31, 2014

Framing Day Three

Floor joists are mostly in. Second floor is built. Details on the first floor are noticeable and seem complete. Second floor should fly today. Pray for no rain and bad weather. 

Its is starting to feel like a home. I can see window placements and room sizes. Ready to see more!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Our "Dark and Stormy"

I'm obsessed. I have artwork for my fireplace in the new house! Like, amazing artwork. I feel like it is Christmas morning. My jaw dropped when I saw this painting for the first time...

Margaret Golson Pearman is a local friend whose talent is not measurable. Check her out on Facebook. Take at look at her album called Margaret's Artwork. Her paintings are to die for. Quality. Original. Lowcountry. Rustic. Timeless. I could keep going. You may find her at the next Calhoun Street Festival or may score big if you visit Eggs 'N Tricities on Calhoun and are lucky enough to find an available canvas! I promise you won't be disappointed.

Jesse and I fell in love with Margaret's "Dark and Stormy" at Mayfest this past May in Downtown Bluffton. Unfortunately, she had just sold it! So, we asked to be first on the list for the next one. She offered me the next one yesterday and I picked it up today! Worth every penny. And let me tell you her pricing is definitely reasonable.

This may be in my Top Five "big girl" purchases of all time.

*Disclaimer - these photos do not do the painting justice. The coloring, texture, brush strokes... amazing.*

Photo Cred: Margaret Golson Pearman
Close-up of the face.
Look at that claw! 
This will be the first thing hung in my home as soon as we have a Certificate of Occupancy. I will post our Dark and Stormy again when I place it in it's forever home above my fireplace. And... I can't wait until we get in the home and I can see what other pieces I can add to my collection. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Framing Day Two

Progress, progress, progress. Floor joists are starting to be put in. The second floor is just beginning. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Last Friday Night!

How exciting was your Friday night?! Here's what we did...

We laid hay around the foundation. I am told the purpose of this is to help the current dirt stay in place and not be washed away by rain. Whats funny is that we were about half way through laying hay and a STORM came. Lightning, sideways rain, flooding in some areas. We had to stop. 

I'm taking donations of boots, gloves, and work clothes. Here is what I looked like after laying hay in flipflops. The pictures don't do the nastiness any justice... my legs and arms look hairy! Itchy. Sweaty. Dirt under fingernails. Ewwww (in my best Jimmy Fallon voice)! 

So, we had to stop for weather. But don't worry, we were back at it at 7:30am on Saturday morning. We went so early to beat any potential Saturday workers. Which.... the framers came and chalklined their walls! They told Jesse we should have walls in three days. PRAY FOR NO BAD WEATHER! Let me say this... the chalk lines they drew make this house seem quite quaint. I better love said quaint home!

Framing tomorrow. OMG! I never thought this day would come.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


We don't just own dirt, now we own concrete! We have a f.o.u.n.d.a.t.i.o.n.! *insert happy dance here*

The Rain Gods withheld for a couple days to let the foundation dry out enough to pour!

Here are pictures to show you what happened today in the Bluff:

photo cred: Nana Baker
photo cred: Nana Baker
photo cred: Nana Baker

Next up is removing form boards, lumber delivery, and framing! Have you ever owned something unusual that excited you as much as this concrete excites us?! Tell me about it! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

As of last Thursday we were ready for the foundation.... then the rain came. Now we're re-digging the footers and retreating the dirt before pouring the foundation. The foundation should now be poured tomorrow, should is the keyword.

It is frustrating. Quite frustrating. We were on-schedule to have framing going by this week... not anymore!

Here are some pictures of the dirt that has washed into the footers that now has to be re-dug.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ready to Pour!

We're ready.

Plumbing is in. Electrical for the floor outlet and island is in. The dirt was treated. Rebar (sp?) is in. Plastic is laid. Wire mesh is on. Foundation is nextttttt!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lighting Sale

Ballard Designs is having a lighting sale today! You can access the sale here!

Here is what I'm liking and where I think I'll like it in the home.
Large size in the foyer? On the stairs?
Pendants (2) over the kitchen island?
Dining Room? Stairs?
Dining Room? Stairs?
Not sure when is the correct time to choose/order lighting, however... I am checking the return policy right now. I really wanted  lanterns over the kitchen island, but haven't found "the one" yet. The reason I need a big, nice light on the stairs is because that is what those big windows on the front of the house will show. Those windows will be lit by this light and will probably be visible in those large front windows. The other thing on my mind is that my kitchen island is right next to my dining table, so I need to find a dining light and island pendants that do not compete with each other... but at the same time I don't want matchy-matchy. 

Which do you like?! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Plumbing is Laid!

Didn't I tell you how Jesse realized last week that the fireplace was not formed? Well, now it is!

But... Now the plumbing has to be relaid around the fireplace. See - this large pipe currently runs directly into the fireplace. Thankful Jesse caught this before the foundation was laid!

Here are some more plumbing pictures from the lot this week. 

Master Bathroom
I'm guessing this is for the water heater.
Pipe to carry plumbing to the second floor?
And here is our handy lot inspector that is all about perusing her dirt with us many nights after dinner!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Communication is Key

I know I've said this before in my post about choosing a builder, but I've got to say it again.... Communication is KEY!

We have been incredibly lucky so far (well, since we fired that one bank lady) to be surrounded by people that have truly worked for us in this situation.

Our builder is available to us by phone, email, and even text all day, every day. He is honest with us and finds answers to our crazy questions when he does not have the answers immediately. He responds to emails in a timely manner. He reaches out to us to give us updates and ask us questions when we are able to be a resource to him. We are able to openly talk about budget, where money is going, scheduling, etc. I really feel comfortable with him.

The bank was available to us by phone and email every step of the way, all the way through closing and the first draw on the mortgage for the builder. The banker has sat with us a few times to explain what he is doing for us and why. He never let us get up from that table without making sure we really understood what was happening with our mortgage. His assistant is phenomenal and responds to emails and phone calls within minutes. Their partnership is noticeably successful and honorable.

The insurance company was in constant communication with us via email until we paid and signed for our builder's risk insurance and flood insurance policy. Yes, these are two things that were also out of pocket expenses.

The real estate lawyer and his assistant took the time to make sure everyone was on-time and all documents were set for the closing date we asked for. They were both easily accessible via email or phone and we had constant communication with them over the past month to prepare for closing.

All of these people met their deadlines and completed the paperwork needed in time for our closing. They not only communicated each and every detail to us, but they also communicated with each other to make this happen as smooth as possible for all.

I couldn't have asked for better businesses and people to deal with. I'm happy.

My advice to those that are building or thinking of building... You have more power than you think you do. When someone doesn't feel like a good fit - say so and find someone that does! You should never feel like you're asking too many questions. You should never feel bad for asking for justification as to why you write each and every check from your own money.

And on that note... let's see how many days I can go without writing another check! :-) I'm hoping the mortgage kicks in now and our out of pocket spending is over. Pleasssseee! Pretty please? With sugar on top?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Help Us Choose a Mantle

Our new home will have a fireplace! See on this first floor plan? I marked the fireplace with an arrow.

Jesse and I originally wanted to tabby the fireplace surround from floor to ceiling. (Tabby stucco is a light-gray stucco with oyster shells and sea shells mixed in. It has a rough texture. It's very Lowcountry.) However, we had a hard time finding someone to quote us for this, so we decided that adding tabby would be a project we will tackle in the future.

In the meantime, we are just going to sheetrock the fireplace, do a white-washed brick surround, and a chunky wooden mantle. I need to find a chunky wooden mantle.

The living room of the home opens up to our foyer, dining room, and kitchen. So, I need to consider the wood flooring (light to mid colored), white cabinets of the kitchen, dark-gray island of the kitchen, and the chocolate brown dining table I currently have. The wall paint will be a lighter shade of gray.

Do I get a white mantle? Chocolate brown? Wood to match the floors?

I was first envisioning a chunky, reclaimed wood'ish mantle. Our television will not hang above it. Jesse and I have our eyes on an original painting for above the fireplace. I will use the mantle to decorate seasonally.

I have a $500 budget for the mantle.

Here are some things I have found online that I could see working in the space:

Chunky Wooden Mantle. Would do a color similar to this.
This mantle was found on The Lettered Cottage
Reclaimed Wood Mantle found on Pinterest. I would find something to match the color of the floors.
This brick is similar to the bring I would like to surround the fireplace opening with. 
White, wooden, and distressed. I found this on Etsy.
HELP! What do you like? 

Or, do I go to a local woodworking friend and ask him to build me one?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Form Boards and...

...WE CLOSED TODAY! And yes, we'll close again when the construction is complete.

We signed our names 85 times and now are committed to a mortgage on top of the rest of our life right now. Let me tell you, I have written more checks in the past six months than I have in my entire life. Scary. But, I know I'm blessed to be able to do it.

A very wise man told me today that my "technical" construction interpretations are laughable to the experts. Ha! I know I'm not the expert, duh! That's why I hired you, Dad! So just go along with my interpretations... it makes sense to the lay people like myself. Right? (I was just glad he was able to laugh at my writing, that means someone is actually reading this. SCORE!)

The form boards for the footings are in! The stakes that the posted the other day helped place these boards that are in today. Pictures are below. The concrete will now be poured up to these boards starting Monday (from what I've been told) and then I believe these boards will be removed once the concrete dries.

My genius husband noticed that the fireplace was not formed, so he talked to the builder and it will be fixed asap. Note to self, make sure you mention something noticeably wrong to the builder immediately! It was amazing for him to catch that today and not after the foundation was poured! Good catch, JB.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Window Shopping

I had some errands on Hilton Head yesterday while childless, so of course I stopped in Home Goods. I was well behaved. I only window shopped and dreamt. Here is what I found that I'm contemplating purchases of:

This rug is 8x11. That is what I am thinking will be the perfect size for our living room. The rug is a dusty blue-gray with ivory pattern. My biggest contemplation on this was if I would prefer to find something with a white pattern. I say this because of the proximity to the kitchen cabinets which will be white. 

This mirror is an amazing turquoise color. It is a statement piece. I am thinking this could liven up my half-bath. I contemplated two things for this piece: 1. The paint is lacquer. It would be perfect if it was a dull finish. 2. Will this be too large in proportion to the rest of the half-bath? This is something I would need to hold up on the wall of the bathroom and decide. 

Gosh... I really do like that mirror. 

Okay. Now here's another "Perfection and a Let-Down." Remember this post: Perfection and a Let-Down?? I ended up finding two of these at Marshall's last weekend. But I won't buy them until I find three. Well, I found the cousin (or maybe sister) to that barstool! LOOK! 

Same price. Same gray. Same stainless details. Same wooden legs. And it was yet again counter height! 

SWOON! But, they didn't have three. They only had one. I won't give up. I'm still hunting! 

On another couple notes:
  • Insurance when building a home is a whole 'nother ballgame. You get homeowner's when you live in a home. I don't need that yet. You get builder's risk when building a home. I paid for it yesterday. It will last until the home is complete and we move in. We will then change that policy to a homeowner's. You are required to get flood insurance if your lot is marked in a flood zone. I paid for it yesterday. It will last us for the year. We will renew and pay for another year next July. Two check yesterday. $$$
  • CLOSING DAY! Tomorrow is the day. We close on the construction loan tomorrow morning. I'll practice my signature tonight! hehe.
I heard we may have some workers over on the lot again today. I'll head out tonight to take photos and see what is happening today! We may have framing next week! WOOHOO!