The past two weeks in our building process have continued to be stressful. They have not been as bad as the couple of weeks before that. But, I feel as though we have gotten so much accomplished in the past couple of weeks.
Seeing all of this progress makes me feel good and makes the stress go away..well, not really but it does make it better. My husband and I travel to Turks and Caicos as often as we can and wish we could go even more. The home building process has kept us from going lately. So, my point, we agree that after the building process we are going to need a VACATION – maybe 10. I think we are pretty much in Turks and Caicos withdrawals. Lol. Anyway, back to the drywall.
Hanging drywall is one of our major accomplishments this week. The sheet rock guys finished laying the last piece of drywall last night. This morning, the guys are at the house mudding the sheet rock. I have literally been waiting on this step for what seems like forever. Having sheet rock makes things seem very real. It also really helps you see your space and not just wood.
Finishing the Sheet Rock
We should be ready to start painting as of next Friday. My fingers are crossed this is an accurate timelime. The one thing I do not look forward to is the mess that the sheet rock makes. Our sheet rock guys told us to not sweep the floors or anything before they started laying the sheet rock. The mud and mess is supposed to be easier to clean up if the floors are dusty and dirty – which makes sense.
Let me give you another tip – cover your doors. By this point in the process, the doors are typically hung. I suggest that you buy some thick brown paper and wrap your doors up like a present with painters tape. I can promise you will not regret it you do. But, if you don’t, you are going to probably cringe a little. We of course did not cover anything but the doors themselves. So, the trim and middle part of the door is covered in sheet rock dust and even has some areas that are going to have to be touched up. If you are like me, you would rather this happen to that part of your door rather that the door itself. Doors cost too much to ruin.
The other big thing we accomplished in the past two weeks is brick. We are over halfway finished. Our brick layers are supposed to be back Saturday morning and should finish by the end of next week. They basically only have one side of the house left to do.
Once they brick the entire exterior of the house, they will have to add the lower part of the garage. We are going to brick up about 3 ft around the bottom of the garage. What we are using on the top portion is still undecided – but probably vinyl siding.
I love brick and I think it is timeless. So, I want exposed brick in random areas throughout my home. My husband and I decided on a brick wall behind the bath tub. I do not love the look of tile behind a bath tub so we decided on brick. I would much rather look at a brick wall versus a half wall of tile. Also, the brick is completely neutral so I do not have to worry about it matching the tile or wall color.
The next place I am doing brick is going to be in my foyer where you enter into the living room. I have seen this in homes and just feel in love. I love the character and “grandness” that this detail brings to a home.
Lastly, I am doing an exposed brick back splash. Unfortunately, my brick is not available in shaved brick. So, we are going to have to cut the brick down to make “thin brick.” It will then be hung just like a back splash. Again, I think brick is classic. My home is completely neutral and the color of my brick should go with everything.
We have two fireplaces in our home. We have a fireplace in my office and another one on the back porch. Our original plan called for a fireplace on the back wall of our living room with the TV mounted above it. I am super weird about having a TV above a fireplace and also wanted more windows. So, I removed the fireplace from the living room and put in the office. By doing this, I was able to add a wall of windows, which is a favorite of mine in my home.
Next, we practically live outdoors. So, we thought a fireplace on the back porch was a priority. Putting a real fireplace on the back porch meant we had to come up with a budget friendly fireplace for inside the home. We ended up doing an electric fireplace in the study.
I know, I know..the electric fireplaces are not as pretty as gas or as a real fireplace. I’m in complete agreement. However, in order to save money, we did electric. I figured that since this fireplace was inside a study that it would be okay. If I had kept a fireplace in my living room, I would have pretty much had no choice but to include a nice gas fireplace.
The electric fireplace is only around $500. So, by doing electric indoors and a real fireplace outdoors, we were able to only spend a little under $3,000 on two fireplaces. If I had gone with a gas fireplace inside I would have spent at $5,000 at minimum. Things like this are completely preference and it really just comes down to what is more important to you. Having a nice fireplace on the back porch was more important to use than having a nice fireplace in my office.
To Brick or Not to Brick Fireplaces
Bricking the fireplace inside my office has never been a question. However, on the back porch we did consider stone and even have a sample of it. But, after thinking hard about it, we decided to stick to brick. We were just not sure if the stone look was right for our house.
Once all the exterior brick is done, they will brick our steps. I am doing large steps off the front of the house and some simple steps off the back porch and out of side door into the garage. We know what type of front steps we want but cannot decide on steps for the back porch or garage.
I am bringing this up because I want people to be aware of these types of things. After all, we should all help one another, Right? Our fireplace installer sent us the dimensions for the exterior fireplace. So, our builders built according to measurement and placed the insert cutout exactly where we decided.
Super Tall Fireplace
Then, our fireplace installer came out and installed the fireplace. That afternoon, we arrived at the house and immediately noticed how high the fireplace insert now was. Apparently there was an 8” lip on the insert that was not mentioned. So, our installer cut out up instead of down, making our fireplace higher up off the ground. So, if we want a hearth, we now have to look at some different options.
Our options include a super tall hearth, no hearth, or bricks underneath the insert and then start the hearth. Most hearths start immediately under the opening of the fireplace. This is no longer an option for us unless we want that super tall heart.
When we saw this, I will admit that I had a come apart and almost cried. It is like you pay so much money for something and it not be like you imagined. I got over and calmed down and now I realize maybe it is not so bad. I guess it could have been worse. Once I calmed down, I figured out that it is not terrible. It is not what I wanted, but I am dealing with it.
So, our brick layers are going to just brick it and I am going to look at it from there. I will then decide if I want them to add a hearth or leave the hearth off. Hey, the positive thing is that it is the perfect height for standing in front of it and warming your back and booty.
Front Porch Columns
Another major thing added to the exterior of our home this week was our columns. I am going for a southern living look so I did the round white columns. We went with the 10” which is what was recommended to us. After seeing them, I do think I could have possible gone up a size. But, hey, those were special order and would eat nearly $1500 if I changed them at this point.
I am painting the columns Alabaster by Sherwin Williams. The columns are fiberglass and so we do have to sand them, prime them, and then paint them. If this is not done correctly the paint could peel. Otherwise, they are supposed to have a lifetime warranty.
Finishing Up the Exterior
Hanging drywall is the first major thing on the inside. Let me rephrase that, it is the first thing that seems like a big deal. I see the framing and wiring, but as a woman, I like to see walls. The drywall is the first thing that makes everything come together.
As we start the interior of the home, we are finishing the exterior. Over the next couple of weeks we are getting our vinyl siding hung, columns painted, and brick finished. I am really excited to see it all tie together.
Until next time..(hopefully by next time the outside is done and we have paint on the walls)