Friday, April 2, 2010

a bit more

Believe it or not, the house did make it past the Sheetrock stage. As a matter of fact, I've been living in this house for quite a while. I just stopped blogging it for a while. let me try to bring it more up to date.
last week on Alt-house, our heroes had just put up sheetrock. then we taped the whole house, and started slapping the mud on. we talked a lot about different methods, and how we could finish this up, paint, the find a way to do texture later that would help hide any imperfections we might have left. however, this all sounded very complicated, and after consulting amongst ourselves, and with our friendly neighborhood experts at Lowe's several times, we decided to just use an extra layer of mud for the texture before we painted. so we did that. by and large, I quite liked the result. there were a few spots I wish we'd added more, but I think it came out well. in a future version, I think I'd save myself $1000 and a day of labor by using something other then sheetrock, but that's a different blog post. someone remind me to write that later.

next step was painting. or at least, that was the next logical step in my mind, so we wouldn't have to protect the floor. when you don't have a floor, you don't worry about splatters. there was a bit of debate of the color. Mary-Beth said she was thinking white for the walls, and blue for the bathroom. I was concerned about the white, considering how many windows are in this place, I didn't want it too bright. that seems a bit silly now, but at the time I was concerned I'd be waking up at 6am everyday because my house was so bright. so on the day I go to get paint, Mary-Beth is busy at work. Off I go to home depot anyway, I pick up some grayish-whitish pain samples, and some blue ones, and take them to Logan's to show MB. she was busy, but picked several, and said "one of those." so that's what I did. took a gray, and a blue, bought a bunch, took it home, began painting. fast forward, Mary-beth sees it, been sees it, everyone asked what on earth I was thinking. apparently the gray is too boring, the blue TOO blue. I tried to remind everyone I DID consult Mary-Beth on them, but it was all my fault, and no one listened. still, we painted on.

In the mean time, we build a porch, and attach it to the old porch that was there from when we had a travel trailer parked there. looks fabulous.

Next post is putting in the floor. that was a bit of silliness on my part.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oh Man

We have made progress people! you want proof? fine.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Finish Siding & Insulation

Sadly, all I have at the moment is this set of rather blurry pictures of the current state of things. The tin siding is done, the insulators have come and gone. speaking of that, I decided on spray-foam insulation, also called Icynene. The company I used is called Profoam Insulators, and it's here out of Lufkin, TX. I really enjoyed working with them, they came out and finished the house in about 6 hours. It looks very professional. When we combined the high R-factor of the foam insulation with the Low-E windows, and energy efficient appliances, I expect to see a sizable dent in my electrical bill. I'll have a good comparison too, as this month's bill came today for $210. The house is about the same square feet as this apartment, so we'll see when we got out bill there and I'll post the results.

Next is the drywall. we'll be working on it this weekend. After that the flooring.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Last Lap

I've been a bit too busy to update, so here goes.

We've finished the tin siding, mostly thanks to the extremely hard work of my brother Sam before he left for Canada. The electrician (Scott, a guy Sam had worked with,) also finished the rough-in, as did the plumber, (other brother Phil.) The insulation company is supposed to be out tomorrow to do their part. After that I'm hoping to put Sheetrock on by the end of the week. We've got just over 2 weeks left in my apartment, which obviously means I have 2 weeks to finish the house and move in.

I added links to 2 of my favorite blogs, ones there have been very helpful in the design and thought processes that have gone into this house. Tiny House Blog keeps track of other people and companies around the world working on smaller living spaces. 100k House is a blog chronicling the building of a modern, energy efficient space in Philadelphia. Although $100,000 sounds huge compared to my budget, I've found that in many ways they were on as tight of a budget as I was. With that in mind, their decisions and thoughts on design, appliances, usage of space, etc was very helpful in my own work.

Speaking of appliances, I've bought most of the ones for the house. That reminds me, I also secured the loan I needed to finish the house. Obviously that was huge news, though I didn't post it. Anyway, I've bought the appliances, figured out some of the flooring decisions, and figured out most of the rest of the project. I'm still lacking the fixtures in the bathroom, and the counter/cabinets for the kitchen. Those things I haven't figured out yet.

I hope to get some pictures of the finished siding up ASAP, I just have to get out there with my camera and take them.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


sorry I haven't bogged in a while. I've been working a lot, and the house has been waiting on a few things to come in. right now current progress is waiting on my brother phil to have time to plumb it, and for the tin siding I ordered to come in. obviously the 4th of July also slowed us down, as we didn't do any work that weekend. anyway, I'm back now. the tin came in Monday, and with the David, (Ben's Father-in-law,) and his trailer, I picked it up today. haven't had time to do any work though. we're going to work on it this weekend. budget's still looking ok.. most of the things we budgeted are coming in close to budget, but it's the things we didn't write down that are killing us. flooring and ceiling were never included, but I'm working on them now.
had to buy some more lumber, to go under the tin siding, so that number will change a bit. everything else is looking fine.
also, while things are on budget, I have run short of funds. I'm $2k short on cash to pay the insulation man. currently researching my options there. I'm not worried, just something I'm working on. everything else has gone on credit cards, but this one can't. I won't take the ridiculous interest rate that comes with a cash advance fee on the credit card, so I'm left talking to banks, and people I know over personal loans. banks are generally telling me there's no chance, as they did at the beginning, but I'm trying anyway. like I said, just something I'm working on.
I recently found a great blog that's been helping me plan things. it's a bit old now, but that archives are giving me a ton of great ideas. here's the linkamalink.

here's a few crew pictures for the time being. they aren't in order because I'm too tired to take the time. enjoy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

a few more

last few pictures I have. at least so far. enjoy.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Prices update.

I tallied up receipts today. is it possible I missed any? yes, it is. they may have been misplaced or something, who knows. however, to my knowledge, I've kept every receipt, so these totals are as accurate as I know to make them. including tax.

Lumber. $1636.37
*that means we're $163.63 under budget from our last estimate of $1800.

Doors. $647.34
*$47.34 over budget.(it's actually just the taxes on the doors, but it still counts.)

Windows $1303.33
*oops. $303.33 over budget. and I even compromised on 2 of the windows to save $250.)

AC unit. $324.74
*once again, just the tax. even so, $24.74 over budget.

All the other figures aren't completed yet. I've still got more to buy. for example, on the Tin, I've finished the roof, but am going Tuesday to buy the siding. we won't have that figure until after Tuesday. however, these figures at least give me some idea on how we're doing. so far we're $211.78 over budget. considering the material listed on this page is worth $3911.78, I think $200 over is good so far.