Interior Paint Work

Painters have been on-site and busy getting the interior walls and trim painted. We went back and forth on the color a bit as the builder only had a selection of about 5 or 6 different interior colors that they normally paint. Originally, after telling us we had to pick from their selection, we settled on a color called “Amazing Gray”. We proceeded to purchase a couple gallons of the color and paint the master bedroom in our current home to see how well we liked it. We didn’t. So, we went back to the builder and firmly requested a color we love, “Smoke Embers”. The new home consultant got back to us after speaking with the painter and agreed to paint our requested color. We are so glad we didn’t settle and love how the interior is coming along.

Interior Trim Work

The trim and interior doors have finally arrived and are in the process of being installed. Here are some pictures from the last couple days:

Trim has arrived!
We are excited to see the interior doors installed
Window trim installed in the kitchen, just above the corner sink
The pantry door in the kitchen has been hung
Crown molding, window trim, and chair rail molding in dining room
Linen closet and guest bath doors have been hung
The front office/guest bedroom closet door has been hung – It looks like the entry door will go up next
The door leading from the master bedroom to the en suite has been installed
The master bedroom crown molding and window trim have been installed
Rounded corners were removed and trim was installed around the dining room entry in it’s place
We went back and forth about trimming out these windows and in the end decided to go for it – We really like the way it turned out
Floor and stair trim leading up to the second floor
Second floor hallway trim complete
Closet door, window and wall trim in the front facing upper level bedroom
Upper level, front facing bedroom’s entry and attic door have been installed
Rear facing, upper level bedroom – Closet door hung and window trim installed
The bonus room/fifth bedroom’s entry and closet doors have been hung
Another view of the great room window trim from the loft upstairs

After another lengthy conversation with our new home consultant, we are feeling a little more confident with the timeline of the work that is left to complete, and with the reasoning for some of the delays we’ve experienced over the last month. Apparently there was a backlog with material deliveries which affected not only our new construction, but the construction of five other homes she’s managing as well. Crews have been scheduled and ready to work, but did not have the necessary materials to begin.

Assuming we don’t encounter any more unexpected delays, here is the timeline we were provided for the next month:

  • Window and floor trim, crown molding, and interior door installation should be finished by the end of this week.
  • Interior and exterior paint is scheduled to begin next week and will take approximately two weeks to complete.
  • The kitchen cabinets and island are projected to be installed the second week of February, with the marble countertop installation immediately after.
  • The rear deck for the enclosed sun room and the exterior stone accents should be installed by the end of February, pending weather.

We were told that the house will be locked up after the cabinets and countertops go in. Thankfully, since we want to continue taking progress pictures, we still have the option to gain entry from the workers (or, we can also schedule an appointment with the builder).

Rain and Holi-delays

We’ve had record amounts of rain in 2018 here in the upstate and it has caused some delays with getting contractors in to complete work. Coupled with the holiday season, it has been about a month since our last update.

Now we’ve been warned that the building process can be stressful and we are starting to feel it at this point. We’ve had to apply for a 90-day extension to our 9-month construction loan and we’re concerned that it may not be enough. We spoke with our new home consultant and laid out our concerns. She has been keeping us updated with their current timelines and assures us that the build process will be completed on-time (I.e.: according to the contract the builder has until March 15th with a 30-day window to allow for delays with obtaining a certificate of occupancy). Given the scope of work that still needs to be completed, and with 7 weeks remaining, we are skeptical. We suspect that since we are a “build on your own lot” customer that we rank lower than the builders “tract” homes.

As an example: We drive past one of their new developments on a daily basis when we visit our construction site. This particular neighborhood started off with roads and utility infrastructure only around the time we broke ground. Since then, and well after the framing stage of our house, we’ve watched several new homes in this development break ground. They now have over a dozen of these homes in progress or completed. Our home just got tile installed, meanwhile; people are starting to move in to the homes in this new development.

Getting back to the progress of our build, we have taken some pictures through the tile and grout install process and are very pleased with the look of the shower in the master bathroom. Wood was also delivered for the back deck (which we were told was scheduled to be installed months ago, pending dry weather), so hopefully that gets completed soon. As per the most recent timeline we were provided, the builder is projecting trim and paint to be completed by end of this month.

Frameless shower progress – Master en suite
Bench seat installed and floor tile laid in the shower of the master en suite
Floor tiles laid in the master en suite – grout comes next
Frameless shower tile and grout complete!
A sneak peak of the tile floor in the master en suite…
Tile work is underway in the jack n jill bathroom upstairs
We opted to use the same tile in the guest bathroom and laundry room as the jack n jill bath. Here is a snapshot of what that tile looks like with grout.

Selecting our Marble Slab

Almost every year for as long as Derek and I have been together he has taken time off between Christmas and New Years. Many years in the past we have taken this time to do small remodel projects in our house. This year we decided to knock off some items from our new construction to-do list.  Namely, taking a visit to East Coast Granite and Tile to pick out a stone slab for our countertops, and the local lighting shop to narrow down our light fixture choices.

When we signed our contract back in March, we had it drafted in a way that allowed us to personally pick out a stone slab for our kitchen countertops and island. Otherwise, we would’ve left it to chance that the style we picked would look as good as it appeared as a small sample piece in the showroom.  What we didn’t know at the time was that the level 3 stone that we opted for not only included granite and quartz, but marble as well.

After doing a bunch of research on the pros and cons of each stone type, we ultimately decided to go ahead with marble versus a granite or quartz that only resembled it.  This was the article, “Should you use Marble in the Kitchen?” that helped to solidify our decision.

Here are a couple snapshots of the stone slab we picked out:

Mont Blanc Level 3 Marble – East Coast Granite & Tile, Spartanburg
Love the amount of character the dark veins in this slab create!

In other news, yesterday we spoke with our new home consultant, Vanessa Herb, to pass along the details regarding our countertop decision. She let us know that as soon as the drywall guys confirmed their work was complete, we’d see paint, trim, and tile go in next. It’s still somewhat surreal that we are down to the last three months of this build process, but we are super excited that we’re finally at the point where we get to see the interior work start to come together!

Exterior Cladding Work Begins

This week was a busy week for the builder. Not only was drywall taped and then mudded with multiple coats, but as one crew worked inside another was simultaneously working outside on the exterior cladding.

We love the way the hardboard siding is turning out. Especially with the extra character of the vertical board and batten under the front porch. Currently the siding is unpainted and not it’s final color. We picked out a dark slate grey with white trim and can’t wait to see it painted.

We are hoping to see the stone accents under the windows of the front bump out and garage, and possibly even the screened in sun room go up next. Our new home consultant mentioned that the concrete would be poured for the driveway, sidewalk, and 15×15 patio under the rear deck after the paint stage, but with Christmas just around the corner, and rain predicted for the next 7-10 days, we don’t expect a lot of work to be completed until after the new year.

Drywall Taping & Mudding

The drywall portion of the build process is just about complete! The taping and mudding is well underway, with only a few touch ups and possibly a second coat needed in a handful areas before sanding and painting can begin.

Meanwhile, workers have already begun to put up the external hardy board siding and trim. We are hoping to have some of those pictures ready to share with everyone by the end of this week.

For now, here are some more shots of the drywall progress to date.

Looking into the dining room from the front entry
Hall leading to the master bedroom, office / guest bedroom, and guest bath
Looking into the master bedroom from the doorway
Standing in the walk-in closet and looking through the master en suite
Front office / guest bedroom
Front entry
Dining room
Great room
Kitchen and second floor loft
Bonus room / fifth bedroom
Upper level, front facing bedroom
Upper level, rear facing bedroom
Great room view from the second story loft
Walk-out basement

First Stages of Drywall

Earlier this week we saw delivery trucks unloading loads of drywall into the house. We were excited to come back the next day to find the workers had already begun to hang it. In two day’s time, all the drywall is up and all thats left is to do is tape and mud. We were able to get in and take quite a few pictures of the progress.

Our new home consultant also reached out to us and confirmed the design of the hardboard siding on the house. Hopefully that will be delivered and put up soon.

Drywall being placed in the great room
Drywall for the kitchen ceiling is complete
Stairs leading to the basement
Looking through the master bath into the bedroom
Master bedroom drywall is just about complete
Guest bedroom / Office drywall is complete
Looking into the dining room from the front entry
Drywall work is underway in the great room
Great room drywall is complete
Wall of windows in the great room
Kitchen drywall is complete
Looking into the kitchen and up to the loft from the great room
Kitchen pantry and stairs leading up to the second floor
View from the kitchen looking towards the opposite side of the house
Basement ceiling has drywall
Electrical box in the back corner of the basement
View from the opposite end of the basement – ceiling drywall complete
Drywall around the zero clearance fireplace in the great room is complete
Dining room and front entry way
Kitchen and pantry
Heading up the stairs to the second floor
View from the top of the stairs, looking through the loft area
Stairs leading back down to the first floor
Upstairs bedroom at the rear of the house
Looking into the jack n jill bathroom from one of the upstairs bedrooms
Looking into the jack n jill bathroom from the hall
Bonus room / Fifth bedroom
Upstairs bedroom at the front of the house
Looking down into the great room from the loft
Garage drywall complete

Prepping for Drywall

Last week I mentioned how we sent an email to the builder, expressing concern about a few areas on external walls that the spray foam installers missed. We included these photos highlighting those spots:

As anticipated, the builder was easy to work with and had the issue corrected within days of our communication. This cleared the way for the county to do another code inspection (which passed) and allows the builder to move on to the next step in the build process: Drywall!

Yesterday, Derek and I swung by the construction site and saw that the material was in the process of being delivered. We decided to stop by again this afternoon to grab a quick video and some pictures of the house progress to date.

Drywall delivery has arrived
Drywall being moved through the front entry
Sheets of drywall placed in dining room and great room
Prepping for drywall – Great room, kitchen
Prepping for drywall – Great room
Prepping for drywall – Dining room, front entry
Drywall placed throughout the lower level – Can’t wait to see it go up!
Prepping for drywall – Master suite
Prepping for drywall – Guest bedroom/office
Prepping for drywall – Garage
Prepping for drywall – Upper level front facing bedroom
Prepping for drywall – Bonus room/5th bedroom
Prepping for drywall – Upper level rear facing bedroom
Prepping for drywall – Looking down from the loft into the great room
Prepping for drywall – Basement
Obligatory fall/winter view of the lake 🙂

Sprayfoam Insulation

Last week the installation of the spray foam work began. The crew worked Monday and Tuesday on the first and second floors and finished the basement and garage areas late last night. We caught the workers as they were cleaning up yesterday and they gave us a tour of the house.

Derek and I went back on lunch this afternoon to take a few pictures, making note of a few areas it looks like they missed: Behind the master tub and upstairs shower insert, behind the fireplace insert, a couple spots in the attic where the decking can still be seen, a small area in between the wall of windows in the great room, above the hood vent in the kitchen, and another couple spots between the laundry room wall and garage. Derek sent an email to our new home consultant to express concern about this and the fact that it appears they sprayed open cell foam in the garage when we were quoted and under contract for closed cell foam (which is more resistant to moisture issues hence it being the installation standard for external foam insulation).  We are awaiting a response back. So far, the builder has been great with addressing these small oversights in a timely fashion and we are anticipating a similar response.

Next step is another county code inspection, and then drywall and exterior cladding work can begin!

Dining room and front entry
Window above front entry
Master bedroom
Great room and partial view into master suite
Looking down from the upstairs loft area into the great room
Top of stairs looking into bonus room (left), front facing upper bedroom (right)
Looking into rear facing upstairs bedroom and walk-in closet
Basement, looking through future great room into future master suite
Walkout basement view from future great to sliding glass door
View out picture window – Future great room in basement

Pre-Drywall Inspection

There hasn’t been a lot of picture worthy progress with the house since our last post, but we’ve still been busy behind the scenes. We did a pre-drywall inspection with a certified home inspector last week. Then, a couple days, later we had the pre-drywall walk through with our new home consultant and construction supervisor.

After doing some extensive research on the new home construction process, we decided (and highly recommend others) to get an inspection right before the walk through. Having a professional that is not associated with the builder will give you a non-biased look at how the construction process is going and can help catch any code related things the county inspector may have missed. Some inspection companies might even have a special, lower cost rate for pre-drywall.

Once the pre-drywall inspection and walk through was complete, we signed off with the builder, acknowledging we agreed that no rough in changes were needed (after they corrected a light that was wired in the wrong location).

Prior to the inspection and pre-drywall walk through, the builder accidentally started installing batten insulation. We reminded them about the fact that we were doing spray foam and they apologized. They have started removing it and will schedule the spray foam insulators to come out next week. The two sliding glass doors and windows surrounding the front door have been installed in preparation for this next step.

Sliding glass doors installed
Batten insulation installed in error, but will be replaced by spray foam next week
Looking out the sliding glass door from the walk out basement
Looking out the sliding glass door from the kitchen – Sun room build is still a WIP
Transom and side window inserts installed in the front entry