Adding Character

When we envisioned this house, there was a bit of imagination required to transform what was in our minds into reality. At the beginning of the process, we simply went online to look at images of homes that were similar to what we thought we wanted… single story, large porch, high ceilings, garage, etc. Once we settled on the style of house, we focused on an interior layout that contained most of the features we wanted to incorporate… open kitchen, pantry, mud room, sunroom, screened porch, guest bedrooms with full bathrooms, etc. Once those decisions were made, we met with our draftsman, Mike, to modify some plans that we had downloaded from the internet. After a few changes, we settled on our final drawings, and Mike produced the engineering drawings to submit to the builder and the county inspector.

Although this process resulted in a detailed set of plans with exterior design elements shown, it was up to us to choose the various materials, textures and colors that would ultimately reveal the true character of the house. This is not an insignificant task! If you’ve never built a house, be forewarned, there are hundreds of decisions to make both inside and out. The problem is that in most cases you are deciding on individual selections based on a small sample or online picture; so, you really don’t know with certainty how things will ultimately come together until near the end of the building process.

In the past month, some of the accents that truly define the look of the house have begun to be added. Fortunately, even though some of our choices were made over a year ago, it looks like these design elements are complementary and the house is beginning to look like what we envisioned at the very beginning of the project.

Last month we were concerned about the delay in getting our transformer installed due to a national shortage. Since the remaining interior work required a conditioned space, we were concerned that we might experience delays. Much to surprise, near the end of December, we were pleasantly surprised when we went to the site and noticed the transformer had been fully installed and connected to the supply and distribution lines. Shortly after that, the large exterior heat pump was delivered and connected. Then, on New Year’s Eve day, the electrician returned and made the final electrical connections to the fuse box and the hour-wattage meter began to count the kilowatt hours!

With the heat pump operating, the interior finish work could begin in earnest. Our flooring installers, Jared and Jason layed the tile floor in the sunroom while our trim carpenters, Ray and Tom, completed all the interior trim. Trimming was a major effort over a two-week period that included hanging all the interior doors, and installing doorway trim, window trim, base and crown molding, and several built-in features. While they were working on the inside, the garage door was delivered and installed, and the exterior stone was delivered and started. Meanwhile, back on the inside, the painters made quick work of priming and painting everything in just under 3 days! The house is rapidly transforming before our eyes.

Over the course of the next several weeks, while I will be in Tanzania attempting to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro several big projects are scheduled. Outside, the siding and stone will be added, while inside the hardwood flooring and cabinetry are planned. I hope to be pleasantly surprised upon my return from Africa and am looking forward to sharing all the exciting events of the next month…

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