Building a House
The past couple of weeks have seemed to move somewhat slowly in our home building process. The contractors have accomplished a lot and now what looked like sticks looks like a home. I can finally see exactly what the house looks like – minus brick and shingles of course.
This is the point in the process that I have waited on for so long and now that it is here, I am just ready to be done and see everything come together. Seeing the house like this is somewhat of a teaser for me. It is like we are so close, yet still months away from moving in.
Framing the Roof
As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to stick with the plans and build the roof on a 9:12 pitch. I am happy with this decision. The roof does not at all look “stumpy.” Instead it looks really tall and perfect – just like I wanted.
Building a house seems to take forever. The roof itself really seemed to take a long time. Because of the height of our roof, we did end up renting a lull. This made it easier for our builders to put the roof on. At first, we were only going to rent for a week. But, the price was so close we ended up getting it for the entire month which made adding the roof so much easier for our contractors.
In case you need to ever rent this during your building process – know that we paid $3000 for the month. I know this seems high but our contractors swear it decreased the time it took to complete the roof.
Once the roof was up the osb boards were added. The roof was then wrapped in felt. We are now ready for our shingles. We wanted a true grey shingle since our brick is going to be very light and almost white. I did not want anything too dark or too light.
Our first choice was shadow grey but upon ordering we found out it was out of stock. They told us it would not be back in stock for another month. Yikes! This was a bummer so then we quickly made a decision (which I do not like having to do) and quickly chose another shingle color and brand that offered similar to what we want.
Our shingles are supposed to be put on next week. Our brick is also ordered. It should be delivered to our house in the next two weeks.
Anyone building a house or who has built a house knows that getting red dirt on the brick is almost inevitable. Any brick you choose and especially a light color, make sure it is put in a spot with no red dirt. The red dirt stains and is so hard to get off.
Also, prior to your brick layers laying the brick, you need to put some protection around your home. By protection I mean you need to lie something around the perimeter of your home. I suggest using something like hay or even left over shingles. Putting down protection will prevent red dirt from splattering on the bottom of your brick after it is up.
Another important thing to remember is – if you do get your bundles of brick delivered right in the middle of red dirt – remind the brick layers to throw out those brick that are stained. I promise that not throwing these bricks out will make a difference. I saw a house once where the brick layers did not throw out the stained brick and it looked horrible.
Do not let this happen to you. Yes, you can wash your brick but remember that red dirt is hard to remove. It is not a good idea to put harsh cleaners on your brick as it will somewhat change the color as it removes some of the top layer of the brick.
Electricity and Wiring
Once your roof is up you can start wiring your home. My husband and I are lucky enough that we have a family member doing our wiring (paying him of course) but also saving money.
I must say that wiring a home is tough, well for me. Wiring means I have to know exactly where I want all of my fixtures, can lights, plugins and light switches.
This does not seem like that big of a deal but when you start doing you realize how hard it is. I must say that choosing where to play can lights is the hardest. I read on the internet to place them 5 feet apart if you have 10ft ceilings. That would be me.
But, we did not put enough in our home for that rule to apply. I could not find anywhere that said how far from the side or location in a room or anything like that. So, we guessed and eyed everything as to what we thought looked good.
We put can lights in the perimeter of our main rooms and the master bedroom. We also added can lights to the front and back porches and bathrooms. As far as light fixtures, we just did those in the center of most rooms or certain spaces of where the furniture was going to be arranged.
For outlets and switches I just went around the room and marked where I thought I wanted those to be. I tried to make sure I had more than enough. Having too many is better than not enough. I made sure to put outlets in our closet (which I do not have now). We also made sure to add extras in the bathrooms. Currently, we only have electrical outlets next to our sinks. I wanted an extra down below somewhere so that I could plug in my wall flowers without taking up the sink plugins.
Windows and Doors
My windows and doors came in this week. My husband and I were so pumped about seeing those. I went in with a picture of the windows I wanted. The salesman drew them out on a computer screen. I wanted a very southern living farmhouse type window. I must say that I am very pleased with all of the windows.
They are not in yet but the contractors are working on this. We have lots of windows in our home and some are huge so it is going to take some major muscle and man power to get them in their proper spaces. All of our windows are 7’2.” When we first starting picking out windows we were going with 6ft. They then told us it was only 10 more dollars to increase the size to 7, so we did. Remember, always ask about pricing. You may find that more things are in your budget than you think.
I am also super happy about my doors. My front doors are double doors that are 8ft tall. My side door and my back porch doors are also 8ft tall. The only door in our entire home that will be less than 8 foot is the door from the garage that goes onto the back patio and the doors to our storage room.
I am in love with the look of 8 foot doors and this is one thing I am so happy I chose to do. Our contractors are putting in the windows and doors next week. We will then be ready for brick.
Preparing for Brick
Building a house is lots of fun and well stressful. The one thing I did not stress over is brick. I had a picture on my phone and knew that was exactly what I wanted. The brick is from Boral Brick. I went to Boral Brick and found a sample of the brick. They sent me to a local spot that used the brick. As soon as I pulled up I knew that was it. Brick for me was either I like it or I don’t. I had in my mind exactly what I wanted and when I found it that was it. I was done.
We are using a very light brick (almost white) and ivory mortar. Please note that if using an ivory mortar it is more expensive and so is the sand you have to use with it. With ivory mortar you must use white sand so the color does not change.
Of course, we did not know these things until I picked out the brick. Brick is one of those things you cannot go back and easily change. If the brick you like is a little more costly, just go with it. You will not regret it. Our brick price is $285 per 1000 brick, which is actually a great price.
Over the next two weeks we should have shingles up, electricity complete, and brick started. Oh, and the insulation finished.
I cannot wait for the next phases of building our dream home.