Lots of progress and a DIY vanity project

It’s been too long since I posted my last update (again). I’ve been traveling a lot with work so when I’m home with my family, it’s hard to find the time to write new posts. Hopefully August will be better. We’ve been really happy with the progress this month so I can’t think of any major bumbles. Also, after several meetings, we’ve made our selections for our cabinets, granite, and tile.

Let’s review the big changes since the last update.  The shingled roof and windows have been installed:

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The shed roofs over the garage, front porch, and upstairs bedroom will be standing seam metal roofs which is why they are not shingled.

photo (14)I’m loving how the back profile of the home is shaping up!

photo (9)Here’s a better shot of the shingles; I like how the greenish blue-browns really come out in this photo.

Inside, almost all of the core infrastructure has been completed. The framing, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems are complete and all inspections should be complete by early next week. Additionally, all of the low voltage work (i.e., security, audio, cable, and data) has been completed. We spent a lot of time this month figuring out where we wanted outlets, switches, and vents.

Here are a couple of shots from the inside that I thought were particularly cool:

photo (11)The foyer ceiling has really come together well. You can see the beam detail in this shot of the ceiling.

photo (13)Here’s a shot of the keeping room. I didn’t realize that the ceiling in this room would be high enough to capture the small window at the top of the gable which was a really nice surprise.

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The master tub has been framed out. They’re going to tile that rounded edge which I think will be really cool once complete.

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The firebox has been installed in the family room. I can’t wait to see how this looks with the stone installed around it.

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Last week while we’re visiting her hometown, Holly stopped into an antique store and found this awesome antique wash basin that we’re going to transform into our powder room vanity. We’re going to replace the top with the granite pictured above and put some sort of white vessel sink on top. I’m very stoked to see the end results of this project.

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Yesterday, they poured the garage slab. I was actually out there while it was happening which was pretty cool to watch.

Sorry for the mish-mash post…July has been a month where the big focus was to get a lot of the systems completed, which makes for rather boring pictures and writing :). August, however, should be a lot of fun. Here are the things I expect to be completed in the next 30 days or so:

  • Insulation and drywall should start next week
  • Exterior siding, boxing, and stone should be installed
  • The front door should be installed
  • The cabinets should be delivered around mid-month
  • Interior trim should begin towards the end of the month

I think things are really going to take off as we race towards our October finish date. Exciting times ahead!


What do mortgage rates and framing walls have in common?

They both have gone up faster than I thought possible.

Over the past month, mortgage rates have increased by the fastest rate in the past 26 years. Remember that we have a construction loan with a 3/1 ARM that we plan to refinance into a 30 year fixed mortgage after we move into the house. The average 30 year rate has increased from ~3.5% to ~4.5%:


To give you some perspective on what this means to our mortgage payments, “An extra percentage point will cost homebuyers with 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages $56 more a month for every $100,000 they borrow.” Thousands of dollars more over the course of a year, and tens of thousands over the course of the loan…not chump change.

Bumble #18: Betting that “past performance will be indicative of future results.” I think I heard this in every economics class I’ve ever taken and still fell into the same pitfall with assuming that mortgage rates would be more or less equal to where they were when we started this process a few months ago. We’re not in any sort of danger of being able to afford our future mortgage payments, but I sure hope the rates don’t continue to skyrocket upwards from now till we refinance at closing.

Ok, now let’s talk about more fun stuff…like how much progress has been made on the home in just 2 weeks…first, here’s what the front of the house looks like :


Quite a change from last week, eh? You can see the 2 garage cut outs on the right hand side and really begin to see what the roof is going to look like now that most of the trusses are in.


Here’s a view from the inside of the foyer, looking out at what will be where the front doors will be. Note the vaulted ceiling (not completed on the right side) that will be around 14′ tall when complete.


Here’s a photo of the family room. Behind my daughter, the fireplace is framed out with built-in bookshelves on both sides. This room will have a 12′ coffered ceiling. The double windows look out onto the porch and ultimately the backyard.

IMG_1259Another view of the family room, now looking into the kitchen/breakfast nook/keeping room. Check out that 18″ beam that spans the opening between the two rooms…that’s the stuff engineering dreams are made of.

IMG_1256Here’s a shot of the stairwell.

IMG_1246The breakfast nook, with door out to the porch on the left.

IMG_1245The kitchen…kind of hard to visualize without cabinets/island, but you’ll just have to see that a little later in the process.

IMG_1247View inside of the keeping room out to the backyard.

IMG_1248View from the keeping room back to through the kitchen and family room.

IMG_1253Here’s a shot of the tray ceiling we’ll have in our master bedroom.


Here’s the view from our master out into the backyard. Duke energy is supposed to come and remove that power pole in the not too distant future. I’m really happy we we’re able to save that dogwood in the background as it’s going to be beautiful in the spring time.

IMG_1243View from the upstairs guest bedroom.

IMG_1242Just a random shot of a roofline that would be impossible for me to even try to build. Just thinking of the geometry gives me a headache.

IMG_1241View from the upstairs bonus room out on the backyard.

IMG_1263Here’s a view of the back of the house…which I think turned out beautifully.

This week, they should finish up framing and start on laying down the shingles. Next week, we should begin the rough-ins for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. We have a 2 hour meeting set up next week with our builder to walk through the house and make sure we have the location of all our plumbing and electrical fixtures set.

Sorry for the lengthy post, hopefully the pictures made it a worthwhile read.