New Roof!

We finally have new shingles (Certainteed Independence in Charcoal Black) thanks to hard work over the mostly dry weekend by our builder and the roofing contractor. Here are some before and after pictures to give you an idea of just how much of a difference new shingles make! (And, yes, it's raining again today.)



Next step is finishing part of the back of the roof which did not get done before it started raining on Sunday, and then windows and doors later this week.

We are finalizing our kitchen plans through Kingswood and then we'll be waiting about 2 months for those to come in. Fortunately there is plenty of work to finish before that point. Still 2 months puts us in mid-June so well before our (hopefully) late July finish date.

I am also looking at exterior shutters for the front of the house which is proving to be harder than I anticipated because I want shutters which are wider than standard shutters so they actually look like they could close (as shutters should). I also want something which is no maintenance but don't want to spend an absolute fortune since I want them to be black (a basic color).


Some progress (and sun)

Finally we have a stretch of sunny days so work is moving along on the roof. We're hoping the roof will be completely framed and covered in plywood today. They are also working on the garage - putting up exterior drywall on 2 sides as required by Arlington County code for garages close to the property line. There are a couple of new pictures in the slide show on the right, including one with the garage partially drywalled.

Today I am making some changes to our original electrical plans. I have already seen a few things that I would like to change and we may explore adding a few recessed lights in our existing living room so that it looks more consistent with the rest of the house. I don't feel that it's necessary in the dining room (where we are reusing our old chandelier) or in the spare bedrooms but the living room should feel more consistent.


Rain, rain, go away...

Although we lucked out with beautiful weather on Friday despite the forecast for rain, it looks like we have 2 days of straight rain ahead of us tomorrow and Wednesday. Let's hope the weatherman is very wrong. Despite the drought conditions in late February and early March, April has certainly lived up to its "April Showers" reputation! I think we have already had about 6 days of rain and it's only the 12th! Just our luck.

Our builder Jim says he needs one more day to get the roof tied in so he can put down tar paper and then the shingles can go on. The roof has been about an 8 work day process so far. Longer than I expected it to be (but what do I know). We were hoping for shingles this week but that may slip until next week unless a miracle occurs. Jim says the roof is the most complicated part - particularly the tying in to the existing roof and attic and obviously it's important to get the roof on correctly so there isn't much point in rushing!
He also does not want to put the windows in until the roof is on because he believes there is too much risk of breakage - too much throwing of stuff off the roof and pulling stuff up to the roof. The windows are waiting patiently in the living room and dining room of our house.

But, other work still continues with the design aspects. We are finalizing our stairwell plans (balusters, newel posts, and handrails), as well as the design of the stairs as they come down into the kitchen. We are meeting with our architect Kaye in the morning before work to look at some final details before the plans go to the "stair guy" to be built. They are built offsite and then installed onsite. There's about a 2+ week turnaround.

We are also finalizing our kitchen cabinet plans. We are using Kingswood Kitchens (Princess line). They have beautiful, high quality cabinets and we are very excited to see the end product. The turn around time is 6-7 weeks so we need to get our order in this week in order to be ready for install by late May.

Once that order is in, we'll likely turn to finalizing the electrical plan which will have some minor changes from the original - mostly adding or moving lights and switches. It's so much easier to picture where you want things to be when you can walk through the rooms and put your hand up to where you instinctively think there should be a switch. So far, it looks likes we'll be able to keep our existing electrical panel which is good, but we'll probably end up adding a sub panel for his wood shop which can be turned off and locked as a safety precaution whenever he's not using it.


Roof is going on!

After about 5 work days of rain, the roof is going onto the house. It really gives us a good idea for the size and shape of the addition and it looks great! They actually went up all in one day which is really amazing. The back part of the roof (shown here) is made with manufactured trusses, but the part that ties into the house is stick built. The manufactured part goes on quickly, but it is the bulk of the roof so that's good.
There is still work to be done on the stairwell between the 2nd floor and the attic, so that will entail additional work in order to tie it into the rest of the roof and the existing room. The actual stairwell is built by a special subcontractor who specializes in stairs. I would expect (although I have not confirmed) that he will be on the site next week. He has already been here to do measuring. We don't really know much about the process so we aren't sure how much of the work is done offsite and how much is done on site. We'll soon see! I'll be really happy to have the stairs so I can get up to the second floor much more easily!!!
Jim expects the windows and doors to be delivered on Thursday (so long as the distributor receives them tomorrow from Andersen), but they probably won't be installed for a few days.
As for other addition, the baby is due in about 5.5 weeks... and we are soooo happy we are not living in our disaster of a house!


Siding Decisions - finally!!

Progress continues pretty quickly on the framing at our house. The decisions are coming fast and furious now. We have finally settled on Hardie plank siding (fiber cement board) in cedar mill, 6" visible width in timber bark. We decided to go with a darker color to stay in the same dark shade of our brick and also to provide a good contrast with our trim which is a medium tan color. I didn't want anything which was close in color to the trim because the windows wouldn't stand out as much. Hardie has a 15 year warranty on its pre-painted siding so we want to like this color for a long time to come. It took me about 3 weeks to come to a final decision although I had been considering the possibilities for the past few months. I do have some concerns about it being a tiny bit too dark but I really like the pictures I have seen of it used on other houses. It's also a change from the medium tan that I almost always choose for everything!

The next round of decisions involve the kitchen cabinets... more on that to come.


Walls are up!

The walls for the first and second floor are pretty much up. It looks great and we are really excited to see the progress. Next is the stairwell and roof trusses, then windows and doors, and the breakthrough between the old and new house. Jim Cole hopes to have the house "dried in" by the end of next week which means a lot of work next week but there should be lots of progress to show off. Lots of new pictures in the slideshow on the right.