Recent News

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Saturday, December 29, 2012
Cabinets & More

Cabinets & More

It's raining today at Lot 95, which was enough to delay the roofer from hanging the tin roof.  But he did manage to get 1/2 of it complete.  Also, when we left to Walmart and came back, the new door was installed, and also the cabinet folks were busy in the kitchen.

Here are a few photos I took...

Also, I asked one of the carpenters to borrow a tape measure and proceeded to measure out the height of the floor to cabinet base where the refrigerator goes.

It measured 68 5/8" which to me seemed a little low and might not accommodate fridges that are 31 cu. ft.  In fact if they lay down hard wood in that space, I am looking at even less, perhaps 68 1/4" inches to play with.  

What height did you get?  

Aside from this concern, the kitchen cabinets are looking SWEET!  The front door looks SWEET!  The fireplace looks SWEET!  And the tin roof is looking SWEET!


UPDATE: PM assured me to pick out the fridge I wanted, and not to worry about it not fitting.  If it doesn't fit, he would fix it so it will.  This was great news to hear :)

Friday, December 21, 2012
Behold!  Elevation N

Behold! Elevation N

Ok, well it's not quite finished, but they sure do move fast!  Yesterday the nearly finished the siding, installed the (wrong) garage door, and finished a bunch of other stuff.  On the inside, sheet rock is up, partly taped, wiring, hvac, plumbing all finished, tubs in place.

Anyway, I wanted to show you all today's pic and to say I am glad the house didn't blow away in last night's winds, and that we have all lived passed doomsday to see it :)

Elevation N - Approaching Complete

Friday, December 7, 2012
Tour - Second Floor

Tour - Second Floor

Below is a video walkthrough from today touring the second floor.



Thursday, December 6, 2012
Elevation N - Taking shape

Elevation N - Taking shape

Stopped by this morning to check on *things* and dropped off a box of donuts for the crew. 

This is a favorite pic which really shows off the colossal dimension of the house.  I had no idea the house would end up looking so HUGE!!!  I think this perception is created perhaps in part due to the foundation being situated higher than expected, which I believe is caused by the slope of the lot having less of an incline than originally thought.

Early on, I had doubts about the hip roof, and in previous drama there was a point I switched to another elevation.  I am EXTREMELY glad I switched back though, since the hip roof has grown on me, and I now really like it.  As my dad says, "just means there's less room for Santa's sleigh!"

Box of Donuts

The crew is a great team!  When I stop by, they seem very friendly.  My mom, who came by to visit with me and my daughter the other day, speaks fluently in several languages, including Spanish.  I know very little myself, but it helps to have her "gift-of-gab" to break the cultural boundary.  After a long talk she had with one of the workers, she told me she said to them I was quite grateful, and that we are just guests in their work space.

Indeed I am... Quite Grateful!

Monday, December 3, 2012
The last truss

The last truss

So far I've been very lucky to catch the crew in the process of something spectacular.  This evening was no exception. It was just around 5:15 pm tonight when I arrived to see the last couple trusses hoisted into the air to be guided into position.

What a site to see!



After I caught a few pics a couple good vids, I hurried off to Walmart to get the crew a 12 pack of my personal fav, Modelo Especial.  Fortunately, I made it back just as they were breaking, and handed off a small token of my appreciation.

  I think it was graciously accepted.

Sunday, December 2, 2012
Back to reality

Back to reality

I'm fortunate to be able to make a trip out to the lot daily.  And of course, each time I make it out, I take a TON of pics. The progress is moving along, and I'm quite fine with that, as I'm certainly in no rush to the finish line.

One thing I did notice, well actually my neighbors noticed it, was the Living Room doesn't have a window.  It's funny because when she asked about it, I was certain I had one.  After heading home and researching it, yes in fact I asked to have it removed, and I honestly can't recall why!  I suppose if it really bugs me, down the road I can add one, but it will have to get in line with the rest of the post-settlement projects :)

The other day I managed to sneak in while the crew went out on break... borrowing Amanda's idea, I've been taking 360 degree portrait shots, putting my camera in overdrive, with the intent of trying out that panorama trick.

Here's a 180 degree of the Dining Room:

Yesterday they started working on the second floor, and I'm headed out again today (10 minutes away), to see more progress!

Saturday, December 1, 2012
Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

The Master Bedroom has had a different set of challenges, not just because it's a different room, but more importantly, it has different meaning.  My biggest challenge was balancing the room with both feminine and masculine characteristics.  It's not another "man cave", and it's not a queen's bed chamber.  Stated another way, it's a place where both sexes (if applicable) can feel at ease without competing or subconsciously struggling for power (role play excluded).

Similar to previous examples, these renders will show characteristics that fall within the DIY category, but so far not too terribly drastic I think.

The first render is looking from the sitting area into the bedroom.  It is an older take with white columns and a white marble shelf.  The sitting area was a bit cramped for space, so to make room, and add the columns, I brought out the wall about a foot, which also made space for custom cabinets (a personal fav).  

Across the room, is a head-board wall, covered in a blue mosaic tile glass.  It extends into the room just a couple inches to give a unique accent, and importance to the canopy bed.

The dark wood furniture used through out, though it came out almost black, is really intended to be espresso (thing train track tie, but see the lower quality photos toward the end to get a better idea).  Adding a few gray stained, washed out and weathered pieces, like the blanket chest, keeps the room in balance.

In this render, after realizing the room scale was teetering on the feminine, and realizing I liked the columns, I decided to give them more girth, so I kept the pony wall, but made the columns full height with the same dark espresso-colored wood.

Note: I'm envisioning a Celtic knotted pattern routed into the wood.

Additionally, I began experimenting with a cove lighted ceiling.  Unfortunately, here is where I began running into limitations with Chief Architect and the inability it has to simulate rope lighting.

You can really see the reflective qualities of the glass tile though, and the subtle glow of the pendant lanterns in the far corner near the sitting are warm up the place.

There are a number of good camera angles still required to capture some of the architectural and decorative ideas built into this room, so I will try to post a few more as I snap them, here are a couple more low quality takes.


Saturday, November 24, 2012
Daughter's Bedroom II

Daughter's Bedroom II

Enjoying the Thanksgiving weekend?  I sure am!  Typically, if there is something I don't like, and it's within my control to change, I change it.  My daughter's room was such an example.  In my previous post, Daughter's Room I, I started exploring another software application called Sketchup.  Well, now I am finding myself using it quite a bit more.  I'm no master, by any stretch, but the majority of CAD blocks I find and download, I am almost always tweaking in some way.

To start, the renders to follow were changed to scale back the bunk bed.  Once I did this, and re-imported the model, I started to see more space to play with.

Afterward, I forwarded the basic changes to my pro-colleague.  She promptly replied giving me advice to raise up the bookshelves to bed level, to create a space where one could place a drink, phone, or other small item while relaxing in bed.

What a great idea!  Only, I didn't stop there, I took the bookshelves all the way up, added more bookshelves, crown molding, and my new favorite... an awning with window seating!

To keep my daughter's tom-boy spirit, and well, really to distract her from all the pink, I added a few Transformers models I found (which, btw, are incredibly detailed).

I'm still playing with colors a bit.  I've got an idea to paint massive streaks of colors, like waves against the back wall of the book cases, or even the ceiling.  We'll see.  There's a few other compositional flaws, piggy bank is falling off the shelf, Jetfire looks a little scrawny next to Bumblebee, and his SR-71 is just floating there, the awning is a little lop-sided, and most obvious, there's a lot of empty shelf space.

  •  Removed Jetfire, added Iron Hide
  • Added Teddy Bear
  • Painted ceiling green
  • Painting cabinet knobs white
  • Added blue-stained end trim
  • Adjusted piggy-bank
Example Sketchup Screenshots:

Thanks for following along!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Daughter's Bedroom I

Daughter's Bedroom I

Many of the nick-nacks I place in my renders, come from Google's 3DWharehouse, which is a gigantic collection of 3D models people have designed with a free application called Sketchup.  Supposedly, this little program is touted as everything a normal CAD program is not.  In other words, it's easy to learn.

Next on my list of rooms, is my daughter's room.  She's 7 years old, and really wants a bunk bed.

I pawed through a number of bunk bed models people had published, but I either did not like them, or when I went to import them into Chief, they caused the ray-tracing engine to freak out.  Hmmm... do I want to create one myself?  Sure why not!  So I set out watching a couple of the training vids, and before I knew it was able to design her a bunk bed using Sketchup.

Here is a render of my accomplishment for the day.

Daughter's Room
OK, this bunk bed is pretty massive (even though it's a twin), and I bet would cost a lot to make in materials, and even more to have someone make it.  But it's a good start!

Similar to the niche I created downstairs, I like the curve canopy beneath the bed frame making space for a dedicated desk, or homework space.  A comfortable office chair and office mat, is a nice touch, making the room a practical, private, dormitory.  I like the colors of the room, they are a compromise for a girl-gone-tom-boy, and the chair rail creates a nice division.

I'm not sure I like the extension of the head board into a modern set of shelves on the right.  The coat-hook is OK, but I don't think it's a good use of wood, and not very functional because it's so narrow.

I'm not sure I like the drawer-steps combo she'll use to climb up to the bed.  I've seen this characteristic on many commercial bunk beds, but for such a small room, these steps tend to dominate the space.  Perhaps good though for sticking extra toys, socks, whatever, but again, not sure.

I definitely tend to think these bedrooms are on the small side, so for this room, perhaps busting through the adjacent wall to create a larger bedroom would help!  Might not bode well for resale though, or you families that have more kids.

UPDATE (11-24-2012):
Here is the elevation for the room depicted in the render:

Special delivery

Special delivery

Stopped by the lot today and the basement had just been poured and two workers were finishing it of, smoothing it out.  At the same time, the trusses were delivered, which I managed to catch on video.




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