The House on Hilltop Farm BLOG is a record of the progress on a home we are building ourselves. We bought the land in 2007, and started building the house in 2010. We lived in one room, 550 square feet, in the basement while we built the house above us. We moved on the main level of the house in February 2016. We decided blogging is the best way to record our journey. I'm glad to have you join me.
See this....it's wiring? It's wiring for garage doors, garage lights, etc. You have to wire before you put the insulation in and the ceiling up.
This is a garage door, minus the hardware. They are not 'movable' though. They are just in. Dave has to finish putting the ceiling up, and the support tracks up, so the doors will open.
And before he did one more thing, he had to get some things organized so he could find stuff. It was getting pretty messy out there. This is our breezeway. He's turned it into his office area.
I thought I'd show you the "man curtains!" See them on the window?
A piece of cardboard held up by two nails!
and here, Dave is showing me yet one more brilliant idea. We have a linen closet upstairs. It's just a small closet with room for a few shelves for towels. Well, why not blow out the wall and use up some of this attic space.
WHY NOT? GREAT IDEA!
We'll have a linen ROOM!
but first, let's finish the garage doors and garage, so we can get started in the basement, so we can get moved in. Our goal is to move into the basement area by May 1.
While we were taking a break in our unfinished family room, I had to snap a picture of this sunset.
Here are a few more garage pics. The south wall he was working on this week is now done. wiring...insulation...osb - done!
He's going to put work benches under those big windows..
Garage doors are up, but as I said, they are not finished or working yet. Just keeping the wind and animals out.
Our courtyard? It warmed up in the last couple of days and we have a muddy mess! But you can get a lot more work done when it's warm out and I love it.
It's been so cold this week that Dave bought a metal trash can and loaded it up with scrap wood from the framers. He's using it to warm his hands while he is working in the garage.
He decided to put up some osb on the South end of the garage,
to use what was left over and get it out of the way.
He also had to put up osb on the north end of the garage.
He has to figure out where the wiring needs to go for outlets, lights, garage doors, and anything else electrical. Then he puts the insulation in the walls, then he puts the osb on the walls. When he's finished, he'll put the garage doors up.
We had our framer put studs up all around the basement so we can insulate it and put walls up. He is so quick and does such a good job it made more sense for him to do it than us. You are looking at a mechanical room, and beside it is a pantry.
He got it done. This is going to be a storage room for all of our stuff while we live in the basement.
And this is one end of where we're going to live. Our framer also built us a couple of closets. The end you are looking at above will be a kitchenette area. When we move upstairs we are going to keep this area a kitchen. Then I can use it like a summer kitchen for canning. Maybe for extracting honey and processing meat too.
This end will be a bedroom, with the living room in the middle. We will be living in an efficiency. Oh well, less to clean right? When we move upstairs, we plan on this end being my craft room.
On Wednesday, the "window guy" came to our house, as we had some issues with our new windows. The sashes in the front were sagging - he replaced them. Two of the windows had weatherstripping coming off of them - he fixed it. And he also showed Dave how to fix the windows so they will open easier, which was a huge concern of mine. I have windows open whenever possible and these were so tight, I could barely open them with nothing in the way. I told Dave I will never be able to open the kitchen windows with a sink and counter in the way. So now he knows how to fix them so they'll open easier. I'm so glad.
Progress on the house is slowing down, as you've noticed. It would be fruitless to heat it right now since there are no walls up and some places are open. Besides, we don't have a furnace yet, or duct work, or registers! By the time Dave gets off of work, he only has a couple of hours before it gets dark. He's working out there, installing doors and locks and such. The house is now locked up. So, we are doing some stuff out there, or he is, but it's just slow....and cold.
See our roofer on the ladder? He's putting on the finishing touches.
That's right folks - he's done with the roof! And I like the color. It's some sort of dimensional slate color.
The company that sold us the shingles told us that the manufacturer of these shingles use a talcum type powder to make them. They said the white streaks could be excess powder, and will hopefully lessen after some rain. The pic on the left is the original. The pic on the right is after the rains we had this weekend.
The streaks are still there, but they are lighter.
I don't think they look as bad. The rep is still going to come out and have a look, just in case, but lets just hope they disappear over the winter months.
Now these two photos are right up next to the house. When we had all of the rain this weekend, the disturbed ground around the house settled. Not good. We are going to have to get some dirt and fill that in. We had tons of dirt that we smoothed out, and now we need dirt!
So, Dave comes home the other day and says, "I bought some lights at Menards, they were on sale, what do you think?" He shows them to me. Me, "I like them, but I need to see them on the house." Him, "oooohhh good, (huge sigh of relief) I can't believe you like them." Me, "I SAID, I like them but I HAVE TO SEE THEM ON THE HOUSE." Him, "I can't believe you even like them."
You see, for us to agree on light fixtures at this point is a good thing. We have a thing about light fixtures. I like old ones the best. I just do. I have almost all old fixtures in/on our house now. Except for the ones we've started replacing because I insist we bring them with us. It's taken me 15 years to collect them and have him get them rewired and hung up. Most people like newer ones and I figure they won't want the ones we have anyway. They came from garage sales, estate sales, auctions, etc. And when we first got married and tried to find some sconce lights for our bedroom....oh my gosh....he came home with lights from Lowe's three times before I found some very cute lights in a box at a garage sale for a quarter. They were copper, they needed rewired and cleaned up, but they were CUTE. They will be moving with us too.
And with him, he doesn't like the bulb showing through the glass...too ugly to see a bulb. He doesn't like the fixture to have to be unscrewed and the outer cover taken off to change the bulb...too much trouble. If the opening of the fixture faces up, it catches dirt, bugs, etc....never gets cleaned out.
So you see, light fixtures are a big deal for us and to agree at this point really is something.
But I had to see it on the house. So we went out to the house, and he started holding the fixture up.
The family room entrance off of the porch...to the side, or above?
You see, we don't NEED the light fixtures right now, not really. But what we do need is to decide where to wire them. Because wiring has to be done before insulation and walls. All the things you never think about. And you have to decide, to the sides of the doors or above the doors. And if you go to the sides, you need twice as many fixtures as if you were going above.
I think with the family room/porch entry, above. There's only one window and not really enough room for a fixture on the left side anyway.
Above...it's a garage.
To the sides. They'll look better with the columns.
Front porch areas with the two story section....to the sides. Columns again...
Oh my goodness....how many fixtures are we going to need? Never, NEVER, thought about this when we were sitting in the architects office! Let's see
two story section 4
family room/porch 1
main entrance 2
garage doors, overhead, but two doors so 2
big garage doors 2
kitchen door -hmmm - do we need one there since we plan on building on in the future. Key words - in the future...yes we better....so 1 or 2 I don't know.....1 for now....let's add that up.
OH MY GOSH FOURTEEN LIGHTS......
Then he takes me to Menards....I think this was all planned out......he shows me the prices and the choices.......now remember the rules.....can't see the bulb, easy to change, need to look old....
And yes, we could have gone to a lighting studio, or another store. We went to Menard's because it was close.....
and seriously, did we need more choices?
This was Sunday, I was getting over the flu from Saturday, and when I saw this......
I said, "I am very happy with the choice you made."
Keep them. Heck, buy two extra....just in case....should we buy more....just in case?
I have not been to our house site this week, but yesterday Dave took the camera with him, so he took these pictures for me.
See the roof. Looks pretty good right?
And remember that really high area I was concerned about?
Here they are, walking around like it's no big deal.
And see the off colored white streaks across the roof? That's the front of the house, by the way.
See them here, on the garage?
Nope...that's not camera shadows, or the sun playing tricks on our eyes. Those are shingles folks. Gaf ELK shingles. We have those same brand of shingles on our house that we live in now. We love them, we've never had a problem, and there was no discoloration like there is on our new house. I'll let you know what the rep says about it. He's on vacation this week. I'm going to be nice. I'm going to try to stay positive. I am not happy about it though.
So, I went to a rather large local building supply store tonight to pick up some lock sets. We were having them all keyed the same for our outside doors. The conversation went like this...
Me, "Hi, I'm here to pick up some lock sets." Dude, "hmmmm, well I have no idea where those would be." We have a stare down. Like I'm going to leave if he just looks at me long enough. I don't think so. I'm old enough to be his mother, I'm peri-menopausal, and even though I have no children of my own, I have mastered 'the look'. And the whole time I'm thinking...'why do boys grow sparse, scraggly, beards like that. Shave for crying out loud.' There is a geek on the computer the entire time that only looked up once. If I had a gun in my hand, he wouldn't have known it. Me, "well, you need to find them, we've paid for them, and we need them." Dude walks away and returns empty handed. "I just don't know where they are...." Geek, still on computer not looking up. Me, doing the eye roll, "This is just why I do not like shopping here. We bought 7-8 doors here and door locks, we got a call they are done, and we need them. I have two kids getting off the bus in 20 minutes, so you need to find them now." I want to tell Geek man to get the hell off the computer, and help Dude find my lock sets. I am the customer after all. Geek finally looks up. I think they think I'm Cindy Crawford or something (see my 'other' blog) because they are just staring. Geek speaks. "who called you?" "I have no idea what his name is. HetalkedlikethisrunninghiswordstogetherandIcouldhardlyunderstandathinghesaid." Geek looks back down, Dude just stares. Finally, when I kind of did the head nod eye bulge look, like you better get moving Dude...before I pinch someones head off...Geek man says, without looking up again I might add, "look in receiving." There were seven of these in two boxes. Dude stacked one box on top of the other
and plopped them in my arms. They were heavy. And this folks, is why I go to small locally owned businesses whenever I can. People care at small locally owned businesses.
I'm wondering if stores should go back to commission.
But the good news is...right before that, I was at our house and I saw a truck pull up.
Full of roofing shingles.
And these guys get on the roof. They walk around on the roof like mountain goats.
These leg kind of things pop out of the truck
This crane thing pops out of the top of the truck
And it starts lifting roofing shingles to the roof!
They plan on starting tomorrow! WOOHOO!
It was very cold and windy out by the way. I'm sure these poor guys were freezing.