Friday, July 30, 2010

Laying the Foundation: Phase 2

Photos taken 1600, July 30, 2010

Footings with rebar

Front, looking towards north-east corner of lot

Looking from front along west footing towards N-W corner of lot

Looking along rear foundation footing, west to east

Rear of lot, looking towards S-E corner of lot

Looking from east along rear footing -- note narrow backyard

Looking across lot from east footing

Looking from rear of lot towards S-E corner of lot

Looking west to east along excavation

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fireplace Design

We selected the Giallo Tumbled Stone Travertine shown in the photographs below for the fireplace surround. We'll use the "mosaic" pattern shown at the top of the photo. The Sherwin Williams paint swatches to the right are the colors we are considering for the interior walls and trim. For the walls we're considering Casa Blanca-7571 (top), or Paper Lantern-7676 (middle). For the trim and ceiling we think Roman Column-7562 (bottom). The laminate wood flooring we have selected is on the left of the photo.

The fireplace in our new home will go in the front-left (south-west) corner of the Great Room. The fireplace unit itself will be a gas, direct vent, Lopi Hearthview 864. The area above the fireplace is simply a framed, flat area suitable for hanging a painting.

The surround will be faux stone, slate, or tumbled travertine. Our we may use a brick travertine mosaic.

Azarshahr Yellow Travertine

Scabos 2 x 4 Tumbled Travertine Brick Mosaic Tile (Oracle Tile & Stone)

The built-in bookshelves will be paint-grade, 48" high on each side of the fireplace (about 11.5 lineal feet total). A 4.25' long, 2.5'" high credenza (2 lower drawers, with 4 spaces above) will serve as the TV platform and component storage system (2 TiVos, a DVD player, and an audio receiver).

The audio for the TV will be produced through ceiling speakers in a 5.1 surround sound system. The sub woofer will be placed to the right of the TV.

Dimensions (note, drawers to be at bottom vice top of credenza)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Exterior Paint Selection

Selecting the paint colors for the exterior of the home entails determining how color looks on the various surfaces and matching and/or complementing colors used for the body color, the trim, including the fascia and frames around windows, and any accent areas, e.g., belly band/apron. The vinyl windows we're installing come in only three colors: white, almond, and adobe.

Our house will be stucco, including the body, window accent frames, and belly band. The fascia is wood and we want a paint that's low gloss (or flat) for that. The house in the photo below is along the lines of what we'll be building, except we'll have 3 separated garages.

We like the body color on the house that's next to our lot (see photo below) and we've asked the Sherman Williams paint person being used by Talon to match that color for us. I've checked with the neighbor and they have no objection to our using the same color, but we may go with one a little brighter (we're considering Concord Buff).

Home Next Door to Our Lot

Home on Dawes St. with body and trim colors we like. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Things to Do

1. Check the depth of soffits (14") vs. the planned height of cabinets in the kitchen
2. Determine where to place the dividing line between the kitchen vinyl and the dining area wood floor
3. Decide whether to use wood flooring or vinyl in the mud room
4. Pick a cafe door design for mud room and a design for the den door
5. Pick a design for the upstairs bathroom shower doors
6. Pick a flooring for the storage room downstairs
7. Decide location of heat pump and AC compressor
8. Decide on exterior paint schemes
9. Complete design of fireplace
10. Decide on interior paint scheme

In considering the interior paint scheme:
1. Use the same ceiling color (white) throughout
2. Use the same trim color (a shade of white) throughout, including window frames/sills, floor boards, and doors
3. Use a fairly neutral wall color and one that complements wood floor
4. Use accent colors on selected walls, e.g., kitchen, bathroom, entry

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Breaking News!

Ground breaking occurred, July 20, 2010, heralding the start of construction on our new home.

First thing to appear on the lot was the port-a-potty

After giving the ground a good soaking, excavation began

Even on a relatively small plot (123x93), there's lots of dirt to be moved

Talon Homes sign with our name on it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Back to Countertops

Amy and Danni at Luke's Carpet

Patricia and I went back to Luke's Carpet this afternoon to make selections for countertops and backsplashes. Danni, with Luke's, had all the samples out for us to mix and match; red oak laminate wood floor, Peruvian Slate Sunrise vinyl flooring, Carmarthen quartz countertop, carpet, tile, etc. It's a hassle trying to get everything to be complementary and we really appreciated all the help Danni and Amy provided.

We also talked about interior paint, trying to determine what went well with the other selections. Amy and Danni thought that Divine White (SW 6105) would be a good wall color throughout the house, with Latte (6108) as the trim. After we got home, we decided we'd like a warmer color and one that would match the wood flooring better, and are pondering something like Concord Buff (7684) upstairs and Biscuit (6112) downstairs, where it will go against the carpet. The ceilings could be painted Pure White (7005) throughout the house.

Landscape Design

Site Plan for 3302 W. 42 Pl. (1" = 20')

We should be breaking ground for the new home any day now. The builder is currently soaking the lot to hold down dust during excavation. We're looking forward to seeing the foundation laid so that we can proceed with landscape design. The actual landscaping won't take place for some time, but it's not too early to start developing the plan.

We’d like the landscaping to serve form, fit, and function, i.e., it should be aesthetically pleasing and complement the home; be a good fit for the lot, the climate, and our personal likes and dislikes; and serve several functions, including shade in the summer (both personal and for HVAC efficiency), areas for activity, e.g., patio, and transit paths (walkways).

The trees and shrubs used in landscaping should be well suited to the area, e.g., be resistant to common area diseases and pests, and include both evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs. We currently have paper birch in our yard and although they are beautiful trees, they are susceptible to the bronze birch borer. We think it best to substitute a different deciduous tree, perhaps maple or ash. We could also try the river birch, which is supposed to be resistant to the borer. Other deciduous trees we like include pink and red flowering dogwood (shown below), weeping cherry, and Tamukeyama Japanese Maple.

Poor soil condition in this area will require some degree of soil replacement/conditioning. We'd like to grow rhododendron, but haven't any luck with them. They'll need a richer, more acidic soil than we have.

A geotech survey of our lot reported that the soil was sandy silt down to 2', silt with traces of clay at 2' to 8', caliche, with silt and clay at 8', and caliche, silt, clay, and basalt below that. The soil is slightly moist, medium stiff, and slightly plastic.

Hot sun and wind is common and vegetation sensitive to such should be avoided or placed in protected areas.

Trees and shrubs should be selected so that color and variety is provided throughout the year. Red and burgundy barberry have been good, hardy shrubs for us. We've also seen the dwarf burning bush in the area and it seems to do well and provides beautiful fall color. Forsythia provides early spring color. We have spirea and lavender in our garden and they contrast well together.

Also shown in the lower right of the photo below is Oregon grape. It's a nice looking, fast growing plant that can provide lots of cover, but must be controlled because it sends its tendrils under ground to pop up just about anywhere.

Aesthetically, we like a less formal look – no fountains or statues, rock vs. paving stones, flagstone vs. concrete, asymmetrical vs. symmetrical (photos below are of flagstone path at Heritage Garden Center).

We want to avoid a lot of lawn (other ground cover can be used), but what lawn there is should be contiguous, i.e., not separated by walls, plantings, etc. Otherwise, the lawn becomes a chore to cut.

The watering system for trees and shrubs shall be drip, not spray.

An activity area (patio) shall be provided directly outside the lower level doors to the backyard, and extend under the decking to the east.

A walkway (> 34” wide) shall be provided from the west sidewalk to the back patio.

Plantings along the west side of the house shall provide ornamentation for the windowless portion of the west elevation of the house.

Views from windows should be preserved (e.g., from great room) or enhanced (e.g., from lower level bedrooms).