Thursday, October 30, 2008


The insulators stopped by yesterday and did spray foam in the joist area. This is the area above the front door. I would have liked them to spray foam the entire house, but apparently that costs like 12,000 more then what we are doing.

Garage floor

We have a garage floor. As you can see we insulated the walls as well. Now Steve says we have to poly the walls and ceiling as well... What a pain, on Saturday he said not to do that because they would have to do it anyway before they dry walled. I am getting very frustrated with him in particular.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Stone work

Here is some of the stone work that was done on Saturday, It looks REALLY nice with siding. I think we made a great choice on that.

Possible security system

I wanted to allow for the wired security system in the future, so I ran cat5 to any areas where I thought I would need it in the future. Greg thought we could just do wireless and not have to worry about this, but I am comforted by the idea of having actual wires run to the areas.

We went out for dinner with Jen's aunt, uncle and cousins the night after we did this and Dave offered to come over and jam the wireless signal that Greg wanted to install ;)

Speaker placement

These are mud rings for the speakers in the living room. Chris D. put these up for me while I worked on the low voltage stuff. We have 5.1 in the living room and master bedroom. This isn't a home theater obviously, but should be nice for casual movie watching and out of the way.

Low Voltage outlets

This is an example of the low voltage conduit that we ran over the weekend. As you can see the box is on the wall, and the conduit either runs into the attic, or into the basement. From there I can run whatever I want after the drywall is installed.

I will run a combination of cat5e, coax or speaker wire to them. I have at least 2 boxes in each bedroom, and a couple others strategically placed around the house.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Over the weekend

Over the weekend we did a bunch of work on the house. On Saturday, Greg and Joanne came down and help us run some low voltage, add a couple of outlets... Chris D. came over as well and ran speaker cable all over the place :) Then today, we finished up running low voltage and my parents came over and insulated the garage. I will get some photos up tomorrow and explain everything a little bit better as well.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Solar Heating

I received an email from a Dan Agosto yesterday and he happened across my blog and wanted to see if we were interested in a product he sells, that would provide solar heating. I don't think we are interested in it at this point, but I thought I would post a link to his site in case someone else was: US Solar Heating

Siding goes up

Today as well they are starting to put up the siding. The fascia under the porch isn't up yet, but I suspect they had to wait on that till the inspector came (which he did yesterday I guess, to the rough work in the house).

The shakes look nice and I am excited to see how to whole package will look together. The stone on the front of the garage is going up on Saturday, and I would guess most of the siding will be up by then as well.

The concrete for the garage and apron are going in on Monday and the insulation on Tuesday. Steve also mentioned that the porch floor can go in once the concrete is poured.

Tom is supposed to be out there today to move dirt around, however wasn't out there by the time I left. Steve is still concerned about the retaining wall we aren't going to pay to put in (the boulder one, below the other boulder one...).

Electric trenching

Went out at lunch today to see what was going on, and found a flurry of activity. Here is Randy digging the trench that will connect the transformer on the lot to the panel in the garage. Pretty sweet machine he has to do it too.

The blurry picture below is the light that was installed in the staircase to light it up. I expected something a little smaller, but it should look nice once the cover is on it. It takes a regular sized light bulb.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Heat Zone

I was reading the manual for the fireplace and saw that there is an optional heat zone kit that can be installed with the fireplace. It will pull air from the firebox to heat another area. I think it would be pretty easy to install this and run a vent up to the master bedroom and place a vent under where the bed will be.

Jen and I plan to do a lot of the heating with the fireplace in the winter, and I think this would help to distribute the heat throughout the house. I asked about the kit when we picked out the fireplace and I think it would be about $200 to purchase, and i don't know how much to install. Could probably do it myself, but I don't know what that would do if there was a problem with the chimney later.

Comments would be welcome, we probably need to make a decision this week (as drywall goes up next week probably). One other thing is that since the bedroom is right above the living room, we might get sufficient convection heating.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Electric going in

Here is some of the electric coming on from the garage and into the house. I wasn't too excited about the electric coming in from the garage, but it looks like it might actually work pretty well. Though I wonder what the circuits are going to look like...

Speaker enclosures on the porch

I wanted to have some speakers on the porch outside of the front door. I thought it would be nice for background music while looking out over the bowl. I had the brackets, but they weren't very stiff, so I thought to back it with some plywood.

Then I figured why not build a box around it as well, to get better bass response. I hope it works out, I am not too sure of the air tightness of the enclosure.

Also, I am a little worried, since the bottom board isn't attached to the frame on the sides. It is only attached to the bracket and the bracket to the joists...

Fireplace going in

Here is a picture of the fireplace going in. I helped push it into the opening :). I talked to the installers about running a second flue down the area to the left of the fireplace. They said there should be room for that to the left, however I wonder if there is drywall in the chimney to the left... I thought there would be drywall all the way up the chimney, but now it doesn't appear that way.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Model Agreement and Overages

This is the part that sucks. Lighthouse in trying to get us to pay for the extra retaining wall that supports the sidewalk. These were changes that we never formally agreed to, but "had to be done." The up charge seems ridiculous to me, they want an extra 7000 for the wall. The discussion we had at the lot the day they did this was that it would cost a little bit, couple thousand max.

I am not happy about this development. We assumed we would end up having to pay for some of this, but we were hoping it would be offset with other reductions in costs. Now, and this is new, Steve wants us to pay for the model upgrades as well, but only up to 340k, plus our overages. This is in contradiction to what we agreed upon, and was spelled out in the paper that gave to us.

I want to be fair, but they keep changing the contract on us. We have not signed a single change order or asked for a change. I assumed that we would end up paying 340k, because of the mistakes that Lighthouse has made in their bidding, but I am disappointed in this overage request.


We met with the Electrician yesterday morning. He was a nice guy and walked the rooms with us. The panel is going in the garage, which I am not that excited about, but I don't want to rock the boat. At least it will be easy to wire in the garage.

He also agreed to wire the outlet in the structured wiring panel that I installed. He was curious why I was placing it in the laundry room. I want to put one there so I don't have to run conduit to the basement.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mouse runway

Looks like a mouse runway to me. I hope they are going to do
something about that...

Whirlpool tub

Here is our tub in it's nook. There is going to be a ledge on the
backside of it that should be a nice place to set stuff.

This is the lighting over our porch

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Gas going in

Xcel was out today to run the gas to the house.

Coming along

The house is coming along. The fascia and soffit are are going up and should be complete tomorrow. The tar paper on the roof is going up today and the shingles tomorrow, finally.

The framing is complete, I think, and the plumber was working when my mom and I stopped out today. I was going to put up some speaker wire in porch roof, but decided to just wait and thread some wire through after the soffit is up. There are some lights going there and I wouldn't want to interfere with that.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rob called

Received a call from Rob over lunch. Joanne has been picking out new carpet, paint and locating our electric options (the standard choice, and the Joanne choice...). I asked if perhaps it would have been useful for Jen and I to attend this meeting, Rob said that she would still have to present it to us.

Rob said that we should meet to discuss what is happening with the model, I said we had already planned to do that on Wednesday. He of course has to make some decisions before that... Damn it, the lack of planning on Lighthouses part has become very frustrating. I know that when we meet on Wed, they are going to demand that we sign the draw request as well. We have been asking for clarity on that draw request since last week.

Rob said that he would call me right back, he had people at his house to deliver dog food. It has been an hour and I haven't gotten a call back yet. I also asked about how the house selling was going and was told that the market going up today was good, and there numbers were better last month. The response was a little lacking for me.

Working on a Sunday...?!

Sure enough Jen and I stopped out yesterday and lo and behold there were two different crews out there throughout the day. I think someone must have gotten yelled at for not putting up the roof to go duck hunting... The other guy out there said he wanted to get in with Lighthouse and do more work for them in the future.

And of course today it is raining, the day they were suppose to put up the roof... No maybe they were going to be doing the rough plumbing today, and the roof tomorrow. In any event, the house is getting wet again :(.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Changes to the plan

To trench the electric to the lightpost would cost $1700 according to Kendric Electric. We are not going to pay that much, so that isn't going to happen at this point. I will get out there with my shovel before I pay that much (I could use the exercise anyways).

Not sure what that means for the future of the lightpost now. On another note Steve wants to remove the back door now, since we are getting the double french door out the side. I don't like this plan, but Jen is considering it. What are peoples thoughts? I really don't see the downside to having natural light, but Steve thinks the room might look crowded with two sets of doors...

Also, we moved the little window that was removed from the stairwell that was going to go into the pantry and put it in the toilet room in the master. We didn't want to loose the space in there and thought you couldn't go wrong with a window next to the can.

They are working on a Saturday...?!

Went out to the lot this morning and saw quite the spectacle. The framers were out there with Greg and Rick. Greg is the guy who sells the sterling package, as he put it the heaviest thing he carries is a blackberry... Rick is the architect for lighthouse, he draws plans...

They are putting on the porch roof, fixing the fireplace, put in the stair, putting in blocking to attach the ceiling to, and other general framing work.

Speaking with Greg, this has been an atypical build for him, they generally go much smoother. The reason that the roof didn't get on last week was because the framers wanted to go duck hunting and left early to do that.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Our second loan payment

Well last time I hypothesized that this payment would be similar to the first. Well if you consider double about the same I guess I would be right. The second and third draw were for quite a bit and as you can see the loan amount is up to $272, 077, which would yield ~$1500 monthly interest payment... Hmm, 1372 isn't that far from 1500. Maybe I should be asking for the actual dates that the draws are sent out. It seems a little high for just half a month with the higher loan amount. Maybe not. In any case, it is what it is.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Roof sheathing

Went to the lot at lunch and actually saw some work going on, they were putting on the roof sheathing, YEAH. It was just a couple of guys, not the whole Sterling setup with the crane. Not sure what that means, but we haven't heard from Lighthouse in a couple of days.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Meeting with our Designer

We met with Joanne last night to discuss our style and what we envision in our house. She wanted to send us some different carpet samples, she felt the one we picked was muddy / topee... Whatever that means. Jen seems to speak her language, I am not really all the attached to our selections, so I am happy to have her look them over.

She is going to check out some furniture and see if we like it. If so she can apparently get some deals, though I seriously doubt she understands the budget we would feel comfortable with. We tried to explain that to her, and she did mention TJ Maxx to find a mirror, so there is possibly hope.

We had picked out a blue color for the main bath, which she is concerned about, because we don't have accessories for it and don't carry it through to another room.

She also offered to help us stage our current house. There was no discussion of cost, but I am pretty sure she would charge us, so I am pretty sure we will pass ;)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Draw #4

Lighthouse sent me the 5th draw request this morning. Couple of things we need to talk about with them, namely that the Valley Cement Co draw isn't on the Sworn Construction Statement... Don't know if that was overlooked or some of the work when to a different company. I thought that Poured Foundations was going to do it, however there invoice was only 1500 less then it was supposed to be, could be an issue there, as we don't have our garage floor yet.

Also, the request for landscaping is something that we shouldn't have to pay for as that was an addition for the parade. The email states that will be taken out of the profit at closing, but I would feel better with that on a piece of Lighthouse letterhead. Plus it would be good to circle either partial or full payment.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Model Updates, and Mess-ups

We are getting the french doors off the dinning room, upgrading the high window in the stairwell, to a larger picture window so that there is more light in the entry way. The window that was in the stairwell is moving to the pantry, or my mom suggested the walk in closet (we will see). We are getting the trusses over the garage we were suppose to.

We noticed another problem when we were out there with Steve tonight, the laundry room window is on the wrong side of the room, so they will have to move that.

Unfortunately, Steve had to cancel the rough electric, plumbing and inspection he had scheduled for Monday. In addition, it looks like it is set to rain Sunday, Mon, Tue and possibly Wed...

Steve also mentioned the fact that the boulders that are on the side of the road right now are "ours to buy"... He suggested that we talk with the Boulder King (the guy who did our current boulder wall), and see if he will put in a terrace below what is there now, otherwise he will have to take the boulders he left there.

Steve mentioned that the price on the boulder wall they did was $3800, which to me seems crazy high. I mean you put down some fabric and drop in the boulders. The bulk of the cost is in the boulders. The guy installed that wall in less then half a day, so there can't be that much labor involved. We will see what the bid comes back at, and start the negotiating from there...


So today Jen and I went out to the house to watch the work for awhile. We got out there about 10 and found no one working... Gave Rob a call, no answer, gave Steve a call. Turns out that Sterling brought the wrong trusses out so we have to wait till Monday now, get new trusses over here, rip out the old and put in the new.

The main concern for us is that it is supposed to rain on Sunday, and the idea was that our house wouldn't be exposed to the elements, because it was built so fast.

Just received a call from Steve, who now wants to move the dinning room window to the first floor stairwell, to get more light in there. Move the existing stairwell window into either the pantry, or in the garage attic. And install a french door out to a deck in the dinning room. Expanding the dinning room with a 3/4 season porch was something we had talked about before, which is probably why he thought of it.

I don't know what, if any, cost there will be to us, but it sounds like a pretty good plan. As long as the dinning room window will fit in the stair well area. The top picture is what a deck off the dinning room could look like, the bottom the stairwell window that could be replace with one larger then the one to the left of it...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sterling Day Two

Couple more pictures

Sterling Day One

This is a time-lapse of the first day of construction, unfortunately the battery on my camera only last for about 6 hours so it cuts off about half way through the work day. I had put together a transformer and hacked together a battery pack with wire leads so I could use a marine battery to power it, but I was too cheap to buy one... They are expensive... Now the crazy impressive stuff is done, so it probably isn't needed anymore. If you have a project where it would be cool to have time-lapse video, let me know and I can direct you to how I did mine.

Up goes the Roof

The roof is going up today. The top picture is the vaulted ceiling in the master bedroom, and the bottom picture is the roof over the bedrooms and hallway. We are expecting the house to be "buttoned" up today, and they will be working on the interior framing tomorrow. It is pretty impressive to see the walking around on the framing and swinging the large trusses around on the crane.

End of day one. WOW!

This wasn't even the end of the day, I figure they had at least another hour to work. By the end of the day I figure they will have at least all the walls of the house up, and maybe the garage walls as well.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Kitchen Layout

Here is a rendering of our soon to be kitchen. This is with the updated appliances that Lighthouse selected for us.

Today is the day

Today is the day that they start setting the house. It is a pretty slick process and by Friday or Saturday we will have the framing or the house pretty much done. As you can see the progress is amazing. The top picture was taken at 8:04am, and the bottom at 8:40am. By the time I left at 9:30 the basement was done and the first floor deck was on. CRAZY.

By the end of the day the second floor should be done and the roof trusses will be put on tomorrow. Not really sure what will be left to do after that but...

The weather looks to be great for the next couple of days, which should ensure that we have a dry house :)

The construction process is pretty sweet and is probably the way of the future. They can build a house in 5 days in their factory and can have 5 of them out the door a day. Greg (the Sterling rep) was saying that the builders actually sleep in there trucks when they drive them up here. Saves on motel costs I suppose.