Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Building a House Month 8: Brick, or You Can Huff, You Can Puff, But You Can No Longer Blow This House Down

Before starting this post, I will admit my dates are a little "off." December 6th will officially mark eight months since the purchase of our lot, but since we are not always in town to get photos each week, I'm updating when I can.

When we last left off, the drywall was 90% complete. Oh what progress has been made since then! On November 22nd, we noticed the brick had been moved to areas around the house, which I took as a sign that our brick work would soon begin.

November 22
 All the rooms were primed with paint

Dining room 


View from entry 
The kitchen cabinets still hadn't been stained. I have a feeling this room will soon be my new favorite place. I'm so excited every time I see photos of our soon to be kitchen!

What am I equally excited about? Our master bathroom. I can't wait to take baths in my whirlpool tub!

Our master bedroom will be bigger than the room we have now. I know that we'll need some new furniture. I'm thinking of ways to make it perfectly cozy. I see an oversized chair in our futures.

The living area is coming along nicely. I love how much natural light our new house will have! We only have four windows in our will be nice to have nine!

Second and third bedrooms are actually identical (just flipped). Here is one of them.

 Second bathroom:

In our garage, we found some of our interior doors waiting. The builders have been using the garage as storage this whole time, and it is fun to see what is "waiting in the wings."

We also took a drive around the neighborhood to note the progress being made. Nothing in this photo was built eight months ago. 

Returning from Thanksgiving on November 30th, we pulled up to a big surprise: 

November 30
Brick! By my estimates, the brick work was more than 50% complete. 

We both love the color of brick that we picked (Hanson's Santa Fe Trail for anyone that is curious). We think it's not too red and not too brown but just right.

Inside, things were looking painted. The light makes this room look more yellowish, but it really is just beige. All of the trim is white. Also, do you notice the crown molding and baseboards?

Dining room
 We also noted that some of the interior doors had been installed. These will all remain white as shown.
View from entry 
Something else exciting: the cabinets were stained!

What a difference that makes, huh? Our color is "traditional walnut," and I think it looks just as perfect as I hoped it would.

The cabinets in the bathrooms had been stained as well: 

I am very excited for the double sink in the master bathroom! No more being in each other's way at the sink every morning. Speaking of the master bathroom, it finally got its correct shower:

This is just the bottom, and the walls around the shower will be tiled (which will look nicer and give us more space than using one of those pre-built units).
2nd bathroom

Another thing that makes a big difference, in my opinion, is crown molding. Brendan and I opted to add it in the front entry way, dining room, living room, and breakfast area. I am really glad we did. 

Note: hanging out in our living room is the incorrect shower. I wonder when they will discover who this shower belongs to and deliver it to its rightful home?

crown molding in breakfast area/door to master bedroom

Crown molding in front entry way

Small improvements included interior closet doors and shelving in the master closet. 

Oh goodness, I am so excited for some more closet space. I get 2/3rds, right Brendan?! 

Outside, we are awaiting the addition of a sidewalk: 

As you can see, a heck of a lot of progress was made in the last two weeks. Brendan and I were very surprised the crew was so productive, given the Thanksgiving holiday. My research has been correct so far and predicts that next is the driveway, flooring, and countertops. By golly I'm excited! Next week, we have a meeting with our lender to sign our application and disclosures. As any homeowner has experienced, the paperwork process for buying a house is intense. I have sent every piece of financial information about both of us possible in a PDF file to the lender, and still, there is a request for ten more things. It is crazy. The lender won't let us "lock in" the interest rate until 45 days out from closing, so hopefully that can be accomplished soon. I don't want the builders to rush our house, and we have our apartment until March 5th, but of course, I'm eager for our life as homeowners to begin as soon as it can. 

For now, we have so much to keep us busy with finals approaching next week and nine days until grades are due. We also have four holiday parties in the next two days! I'm feeling really thankful this holiday season and filled with joy as well. I heard about something really exciting today. The Abell-Hanger foundation has agreed to double any donations made to our local West Texas Food Bank, up to 75,000 dollars. Brendan and I gave last month, and I wish our donation could have been doubled! If you have much to be grateful about, give others something to be grateful about as well, whether it's a financial donation or a donation of your time, I know it will be appreciated. 

Here's to the house and the most wonderful time of the year! 


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