Friday, March 30, 2012


A little like magic, the garage doors appeared!  The white trim is being painted.  The driveway is in.  The main level floor has been stained and I'm dying to take a good look at it.  I'll be waiting for the green light to go inside.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The woods behind us

We called in the experts from Total Tree Care to take a look at the woods behind us and give us recommendations for cleaning it up.  Although we'd like to preserve as many trees as possible, we want to give the healthy ones a good shot at surviving.  We also want the area to look nice.  Unfortunately, there are quite a few dead and damaged trees back there.  There are also tons of vines and thorny bushes.  Seth promises to give it a good clearing while preserving the good trees.  Maybe we'll even be able to create some paths into the woods after clearing some of the bushes filled with burrs and thorns.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Another exciting day

The front of the house has been painted.  It looks like the white trim around the windows needs to be painted, but we're very happy with how it looks.  We can't wait to see the columns, garage doors and the black front door installed!

In other news, the garage floor is in.  The guys are in the midst of planning for the sidewalk, driveway and walkway from the driveway to the house.  It will be great to be able to walk on hard surfaces for a change! 

The wood floors have been installed and sanded on the main floor.  Jeff also sanded and stained a sample for us in black.  We like the color and the stain will go on tomorrow.   The sub-floor has been installed in the master bath and we've discussed placement of the built-in shelves and a bench seat in the shower.  The tile is as beautiful as I remembered.  I imagine we'll see it up soon.  The tile for the mud room and main level bath should be going in soon as well.   

We also finalized the landscape design.  The patio will go in shortly with plantings to be done closer to the Parade of Homes. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We have floors and a landscape design

I went to the house this morning to meet with Andy about our landscape plan.  It was drizzling, so we stepped inside.  I was so surprised to see the wood installed in almost the entire main floor!  It looks great and completely changes the look of the interior.  It's six inch white oak plank.  We'll see a sample of the stain tomorrow and make our final decision on color. 

The lights are also working and the HVAC unit is working.  I hear that kitchen cabinets are going in next week.  It's hard to believe! 

As if that wasn't excitement enough, Andy's landscape plan looks fabulous.  He made some great selections for plants and trees. He designed a Brussels Block patio with seat walls wrapped around it as well as cut outs for plants and trees.  We originally thought that we'd wait on the patio, but it really makes sense to do it now before the sod goes in.  I just need to convince my husband!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Rare gray is up inside the house.  We love the color.  However, it's darker and bolder than any color we've ever had throughout the entire house, so I am a little nervous about how we'll pull it all together.  However, I have an inspiration photo I keep looking at to give me the confidence to follow through.  Randy likes the color and he has good taste, so I know we'll make it work.

Our daughter's room is Manitou Blue. It's bright, but we'll balance it out with white furniture and light carpet.

Our son's room is Ryegrass.  It's a little bright too, but it's a relatively neutral color.

The exterior of the house is not completely painted yet.  We've had some great weather, but also a little rain and/or the threat of rain.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What a week!

The guys have been busy at the house.  The geothermal system was completed and the pipes were buried.  The stone was installed on the front of the house.

The rear exterior siding was painted. 

The interior walls were pre-primed and are now ready for texture, priming and painting. 

In the meantime, I've been looking for furniture ideas.  We have a small budget and plan to make do with most of our existing furniture.  However, I have found a few key pieces of furniture that will look great in the house and some other accessories that will modernize our old pieces. I've also been obsessed with looking at patio ideas and just forwarded some additional photos to Andy for him to consider in putting together his design. 

We've got about two and a half months to go until the parade.  There's still a lot to be done, but things are looking good!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Under contract!

I guess the stress was relatively short-lived.   We received a very clean offer this afternoon from another family for closing on June 15!  Our counter offer was accepted!  We're hoping for easy inspections and the buyer's mortgage approval in short order! We're so grateful for a contract that won't require us to move out of our old house before the new one is ready.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Other House

The most stressful thing about building a new house is selling the old one.  We placed our current home on the market on March 1.  In the last 14 days, we've had 12 showings, including three potential buyers who came back two times each.   Despite stating that the house would not be available until June 15, we got word today that one potential buyer is interested in the house if they can close in 4-6 weeks.  That would leave us homeless for about two months.  The thought of living in temporary housing is depressing.  The thought of losing an interested buyer is equally depressing.  I suspect they're just feeling us out to see if we'll be flexible.  I suspect they're also getting the hint that I'm not feeling very flexible.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


 Drywall work is done.  The walls look nearly ready for paint. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Link Gray

Randy painted some boards for us with our three color choices.  We took them over to a home that used the same stone that we plan to use.  I think any of the three colors would work, but we selected Link Gray.  I think it will look great!

Friday, March 9, 2012


Today I met with Andy Swartzentruber from Iowa City Landscaping at the lot.  We brainstormed about plants and tree placement for the front yard.  We walked through the mud to the backyard.  (Do not attempt without giant boots!)  We  talked about a paver patio and various retaining walls.  We talked about stair placement from the deck and a good spot for a shade garden.  We discussed the numerous trees already present in the backyard.  Some are dead and others need some serious pruning.  Still, we are thrilled to have them. I can't wait to see the plan!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Exterior Paint

We have three new colors from Sherwin Williams: Mountain Road, Connected Gray and Link Gray.  It's tough to see the difference in the photo, but the left one is greener, the middle one is browner and the right one also has some green.  We like them all, but I guess that's a good problem to have.  We'll check them out at different times of day to see what grows on us.  Hopefully we can look at the colors with the stone before picking the color.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Exterior View

There is just a bit more to do over the garage, but the siding is almost done!  We've ordered the stone, so that should go up below the siding in the next few weeks.  We'll be putting a few more paint samples up because the color we originally selected (painted between the garage stalls) is just a little too blue or green or something.  Hopefully we've chosen some good alternatives. 

Sheet Rock

I haven't been inside the house for two weeks due to a trip last week.  It sure looks different.  In fact, with the sheet rock in, it's really looking like a house.  Both kids' bedrooms are done.
There is insulation everywhere and a lot of the ceilings are done.

It's weird not to be able to look from one room into another.