Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    Quiet, but Busy

    Things are a little quiet on the blog front right now. Design work is essentially complete, but before we can finalize the plans, we are getting cost feedback from the contractor to see if we are doing okay on our budget. This isn't the formal bid, but we need to know in a few key areas if we need to make changes. Since I will be putting in a bit of sweat equity into the house, this means that during this time, I am also checking out costs on items that will be my responsibility. These include the kitchen (Ikea), flooring, painting, rough electrical, base boards. 

    This phase is supposed to be finished early next week, after which we will decide what changes need to be made and then move towards construction docs, which, if all goes as planned in the cost estimating process, should be done on June 4th.

    Friday, May 15, 2009


    While we're waiting for our cost estimate (a pre-bidding phase that will help us refine the design to maximize but not break the budget), here's a little book I saw in Philadelphia recently. My thinking was, "ooooh, I wonder if they have good photos of tile that we could use..."

    And then I turned the corner and saw the rest of the title.

    Have a great weekend, everyone. I will, once again, be dreaming of a yard.

    Wednesday, May 13, 2009

    Hot diggity dog

    Well, it looks like we sneaked onto local spotters and touters Your Heart Out recently — check out our shout out. (Thanks, Amelia, for the heads up!)

    And now I'm off to figure out that Bertinelli reference.

    Monday, May 11, 2009

    Finalized floor plans

    You've seen crappy camera-phone photos and lots of iterations, so this might not be as exciting to you as it is to us, but here are the finalized floor plans.

    First floor:
    Second floor:In each case, north is up, and the front door/street is on the right side.

    We're now getting some preliminary cost feedback from our general contractor, then we'll move into construction documents over the next couple of weeks. We're still hoping to break ground sometime around July 4.

    Friday, May 8, 2009

    Exposure and expression

    One of the things we are excited about with the design of the house is that there are going to be several exposed construction elements. We will have 2 or 3 paralam beams that are exposed to some degree and our fireplace is going to feature an exposed concrete wall that will also serve as a shear wall and of course our floors on the first floor will be the concrete slab. We really like that parts of our house will be an expression of the things that built it.

    We had to reschedule our architect meeting for this afternoon, which is why this week was light on updates. We're now off to the meeting to hopefully wrap things up and enter the construction documents phase of design.

    Tuesday, May 5, 2009


    Yes, that's our Eames lounge chair showing up in the elevations. The first — and, to date, only — piece of furniture included in our elevations. We are those people.

    (Sorry for the horrible photo quality.)

    Friday, May 1, 2009

    Vaulted space

    We are tentatively expanding the vaulted space in the living room (far right of the floor plan here, the part with the "x" through it). It had been a bit pinched with all the design tweaking we did to the second floor.

    If you have sharp eyes and a good memory, you'll notice a very slight shift in the placement of the second floor over the first. We're moving it to the west to create a little more vaulted space in the living room. The second-floor jog at the loft (top of the stairs) is what will require one of the structural beams in the house (it's also where we're talking about whether that beam will be exposed).

    You can also see the orientation of the master bath, including a re-orientation of the toilet room, and the shower-only stall at the south (or "bottom") of the master bathroom. This particular orientation would not accommodate a double-sided linen closet, but it does reclaim a foot or so of space that we desperately needed for the second bathroom to be truly comfortable and functional. And the door for the master bedroom can be at any point along that approach hallway — as per a commentor's suggestion, we will likely put it at the public-space-end of the hall.