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January 07, 2015

House Project Tour Week | Video | New Addition

As promised, here we go - a major update on the house tour.  We are at the 15 week point, which for us is half way.  Hurray!  With some rain early on, and cold temps during framing (which equals a slower moving crew) we were running a little behind, but starting to make up time now that it is all closed in.  Just this week our builder rearranged some things to get the plumbing started this week, which shaved almost two weeks off.  I'll take it!

We are using Noblit Didier as our builder and couldn't be more pleased.  They work in our neighborhood a lot and really know what they are doing.  Nothing in these old houses surprise them - they have seen everything and always have a solution.  I also love that they use a software system that lets us see the entire schedule as they make updates and each invoice.  It is helpful for a crazy person like me who wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to know who will be working on the site tomorrow : )   It is so nice to be working with such professional outfit on a construction project - hard to find.  I will go into more detail later about how we finally selected them after a year long hunt.

With the holidays as being a great distraction, being out of our house hasn't been too bad.  But, with dreary January and February lurking, we are getting a little anxious.  Mike and I moved into our first house in March and I have the best memories of settling into the house just as Spring was setting in.  It was the best feeling.  I can still smell the damp smell of muddy fresh spring as we discovered bulbs popping up all over our yard and spent every minute doing DIY projects.   Which reminds me, I never did get around to planting spring bulbs to have popping up for our move in...

We are in the midst of picking out fixtures, cabinetry and fun things.  I will bring you into that loop later this week.

Here we go.  Brace yourself - there are a lot of photos of framing and plywood.  Hope that is exciting for you ; )

Here is a refresher on the first floor floor plan.  The front room stays the same, the rest is added on and opened up.  The garage has turned into a library and the 2 car garage was added on the left.  More details, here.

They re-sided the dormers for a better look - they were not so great before.  We are considering keeping the cedar natural on the dormers and the garage front.  Everything else will be painted Navajo White (creamy white), including the trim.  We had the dormer windows replaced, too.  The previous windows were just a vinyl replacement and we wanted the front two windows to match the rest of the house.

We selected Andersen 400 Series wood windows from Home Depot.  They are wood on the interior and clad on the exterior.   We went with the 400 because the "Canvas" color matched my Navajo White color perfectly instead of the standard white of the 200 or 100.  I can not say enough about how great the service was - not to mention the price was $6,000 cheaper than any other bid (even for the same Andersen windows).  I will go into more window detail later, probably when the are being painted on the interior.

The roof is GAF Timberline HD in Charcoal.  It took me forever to find a roof color, then I just decided to do what was most classic.

Here is the garage.  I love the crown detail the builder added above the garage.  I have a barn style lamp fixture in mind for above.  I am designing the doors today - hopefully : )

This is the back.  I love the back.  Sometimes I wish I could turn the house around!  Where you see the white house wrap will be the roof of the porch.  Can't wait to sit out there with my coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon and wine in the evening.  Again, all of the exterior boards and trim will be painted a creamy white... not this lovely beige. 

The beige boards are James Hardy Board planks.  We wanted to do wood shakes all over the house but the price was staggeringly more.  When painted, it will all look the same, so I am definitely ok with saving a ton of money - an easy decision.  When it comes to staying in budget, there are a lot of distractions out there. For more difficult decisions, I tried to remember to upgrade things that would make our day-to-day life in the house better.  For the huge savings in siding (like $10K+) we can do a lot with finishings inside that we will really enjoy.   The roof was another one of these decisions.  Wood shake would have been my first choice... but for the same cost as my entire kitchen, I decided I would be just fine with standard shingles. 

First Floor #1

Here are a couple of videos that will help you understand the flow and the feel.  Please ignore my very out of breath voice - for some reason I was so out of breath that I could hardly say more than two words at a time.  I will blame it on the thin cold air...

First Floor #2

2nd Floor #1

I am missing the 2nd Floor #2 video - Mike is supposed to send it over from his phone in a bit.  Of course, my phone is out of memory so I had to use his.

I hope the videos helped you to understand the flow, now here are photos so you can see details... though they may be messy and junky.  This is what a construction project mid-HVAC crew.  Looks like progress to me!

This is the foyer just after coming in thru the front door.  We opened it all up.  The old garage now has a floor (or will).  There will be french doors leading to it.  I am standing in the old living room taking this photo.  Because much of the house is open, we wanted to have one cozy room where we could shut the door and have some quiet.

Old living room.

View just beyond living room - big new room.  The Kitchen will be on the left side with island facing the right side of the room... just right of where that yellow cord is piled up.

Same spot, just pointing to the right.  You can see where the fireplace will be.  Sofa will be under the windows, opposite two comfy chairs - about where those white pipes are laying.   You can see the island marked on the floor.

This is the view back into the old living room, standing about where the island will be.  You can see mike's library doors to the left.  More french doors here.

This is the view of the fireplace/hearth area from the island.  Kitchen/Dining table will be centered with the window to the right... sort of where the sawhorse is, but running the other way.

Photo from standing in fireplace area facing back to kitchen.  Range and hood will be under beam.  Sink in the island.  We will have glass-front hutches on both sides.  Under the windows to the right will be a bank of lower cabinets.

Here is the cabinet layout from the Cabinetry builder.  We are using Profile Custom Cabinetry.  They are 100% amazing- I am working with Mike the owner and he completely "gets it" and knew exactly what I was looking for when I said "hard working english farm house country kitchen."  And that is what I said to him - how nerdy is that?  I will go into more details later.

Past the kitchen is the mudroom/studio.  The powder room is to the right, garage to the left.

There will be cabinetry storage here, with a built in desk for my computer area.  This will also be where I take most of my photos because of all of the great light from that big window.  We reused it from our old kitchen.

And the french doors, also reused from the old house.  We saved almost $4K by reusing.

Back upstairs, through the living room - repeat photo for reference sake.

This is the upstairs landing.  It is opened up by 3ft and will have a built in linen hutch to the right.  To the left is our old room (door not pictured).  You can see into the laundry room on the right side, then down the little hallway to our master.  The door on the right is the 4th bedroom.  Emma's bathroom and bedroom are to my right, not pictured.

Laundry.  You can see our old bedroom on the left, which will be the new guest room.

Our old room shares a wall with Emma's giant closet, so we had a "secret passageway" cut.  Can't wait for her cousins to stay and sneak back and forth.

A peak through the secret passage into Emma's room.  Rocking chair that wouldn't fit into the Pod still there!

Our house isn't huge, so all of these little nooks and sweet touches will add to the charm of it.  Our goal wasn't to build a giant house, but a really nice little, cozy house that had everything we need.

Now, to the right down the little hall to our room....

Our room.  We took the ceiling up in the center (forgot what that is called...!) to add height because it is not a huge room - maybe 13x16.  All of those pretty windows help open it up.

This is the wall our bed will go on with a night stand on the left and a small desk on the right, under the window.

His and Hers closet to the left of the bed.  I'm not a big walk-in closet sort of person - just a trap for a mess!  We had this type of closets in our old house and I loved them.  They will have standard french doors.

This is the view from the bed area to the bathroom.  Small french doors.

Love that tub under the window!

Here is a good shot of our windows.  They are so pretty - can't wait to see them painted with my antique hardware... that I have yet to find.

Ok, so do you feel completely overwhelmed?   Thanks for enduring that way too long, way too in-depth update.  Let it soak in for a little while, then all be back tomorrow to really boggle you with way to many lighting and hardware choices.  Welcome (back) to our project!  We are getting to the fun part : )


  1. Anonymous4:38 PM

    My husband and I built 2 homes and are still married!!!!LOL So I know what you must be going through. My biggest struggle was where to put the cable and phone and other electrical outlets. I didn't plan where my lamps, tvs, etc. were going so it was hard. I relied on the electrician too much. Good luck and hope it goes in a timely manner. Waiting for your house to be finished is difficult enough.

  2. Love this! I was just posting about our kitchen renovation and how I wish I had another huge project. This just feeds that feeling even more! Can't wait to see it come together!

  3. Looks like space might be tight beside the bed when the closet doors are open? I love that you love small houses. Have you read "The Not So Big House" by Sarah Susanka?

    1. Oops - I noticed in a past blog entry that you interviewed Sarah. Good choice! Also, Dwell magazine has great ideas for small houses!

  4. Love the update! Everything looks great and I cannot wait for more, especially the fun decor part!

  5. Anonymous6:29 PM

    So exciting! We had our house built 12 years ago and lived on the property while it all happened! One suggestion I have is to make sure you think carefully on where to put the electrical outlets! I wished I had put some in places I didnt think of when the house was being built! Good luck!

  6. It's coming along so nicely. I love all of the details you've put into it. I know it will be charming. Congratulations.

  7. Thanks for sharing, I love seeing your beautiful house.

  8. Wow! You have really gained great space but not a mic mansion as we say in jersey! Can wait to see more of what your cozy cottage will look like! Best of luck!

  9. Love Love Love.... we have picked out the exact same shingles (I agree - very classic color) and windows. Definitely can't go wrong with Anderson. So happy to see it all come together and very excited to see what light fixtures you have been picking out. Happy House Remodeling.

  10. Anonymous11:45 PM

    Cannot wait to see the end result! I loved the "before" house so the after should be amazing!
    Also, wanted to tell you I made your beef tenderloin for Christmas and it was amazing. Love your blog!
    Pat in Chicago

  11. Your home looks lovely! I love all the windows and french doors.....those windows are awesome! I love wood windows that are true divided. And I can envision your space perfectly. Your description really helped me imagine it. We bought an 80 year old house and I can't wait to get to the fun stuff. We've had to update all electric and now working on plumbing.

  12. Loved this update! And couldn't agree more with what you say about walk in closets, breeding ground for clutter.

  13. Jennie- I am so excited for you and your family. I think that your home is going to be perfect for you all. Thank you for sharing all the photos and progress that is being made. I look forward to you sharing the choices you make in lighting, hardware, paint, etc. I too love french doors and all the details! It will be so much fun to see it all finished and especially what your little one thinks of the "secret passageway".

  14. I bet Emma will love the secret passageway! Thank you for listing all your choices on your post, especially the local businesses you use. We are in the beginning planning stages of building our house and live in the Kansas City Mo area. I have found your posts so helpful! Good luck with building and making your decisions!

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing progress! I am nearly as excited as you are and thrilled about your vision. You are headed out of the trough and into the fun part now and we cannot wait to see it all come together. Happy 2015!

  16. Are you kidding? Thank you for the in-depth update, love it! This is going to be so beautiful! Can't wait to see it all finished!

  17. Jenny, this home is my dream home! We are planning on building soon, and really, REALLY, I want your floor plan - all of it! I LOVE the kitchen facing out to the great room and being able to see the fireplace from there. LOVE.

  18. Anonymous1:06 PM

    JennY: Why not put the electric in over the counter, dine table, laundry and select the actual lighting after you live there a few days? Can you do this? ALso, don't forget where you will want to use actual candles at times.
    I am sure whatever you decide will be beautiful!
    Nan, Odessa, DE

  19. I just love watching your renovation progress! It reminds me of our home remodel. It's so exciting to see all your plans come together! I love so many of the details you were able to work in that add character. You are at the fun part now as you make lighting decisions & finishing choices. I just love your kitchen & can't wait to see how you will inspire us all in that space.


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