A week full of dreary, rainy weather put a halt to many of the plans to paint the exterior of the house, but when we finally got an afternoon of dry weather, the first coat of paint went on the house. Otherwise, much of the work on the new house was done inside, in this, week five of the ongoing series, “Building a Home.”
April 27: Our builder, Steve Lecas of Gander Builders, suggested a good place to find brick for our great room fireplace surround. El Dorado Stone offers hundreds of stone and brick veneers to choose from for outdoor use, fireplace surrounds as well as architectural accents. The website has an easy-to-use product selector, which we used to help narrow down the choices. In less than 10 minutes, we had selected Bracciano RomaBrick, a brick with irregular shapes and a very aged appearance.
The big news resulting from our meeting with Lecas is that his safety date for completing the home is late-July. We promptly went home and started packing our first boxes.
April 28: The morning started off with an early meeting with Don Esler, owner of Don’s Shelving and a distributor of Organized Living products, to talk about closet organizers. We currently have a great system, which I’ll miss if we can’t get something comparable. I gave Esler a tour of our closets and he briefed me on the product lines he carries with Organized Living: Classica, which is a permanent closet organizational structure, and Freedom Rail, which is a system that can be adjusted by the homeowners as needs change. There were no decisions or budget talk at this meeting; Esler promises to tour the house under construction and prepare a proposal.
April 29: The house is bustling with indoor activity. The HVAC team is installing duct work and Al Bakhaus of Bakhaus Electric is busy wiring the basement.
April 30: Today we chose the stain for the exterior of the house. Between rainy downpours, the painter put three shades of walnut stain on the mahogany trim around the windows. The first two appear nearly black, even though they were called walnut and black walnut. Another walnut stain, this one from Minwax, proved to be the winner. Later, the painters were finally able to get one coat of Boral® Pastelcote®, a masonry coating from from Master Wall Inc. tinted to match Sherwin-Williams' Olive Grove 7734. At home, I spent a third day packing.
May 1: We finalized our choices for cabinet hardware this morning. Steve Elkins of White Eagle Custom Solutions provided us with two suppliers from which to choose our hardware: Hardware Resources and Berenson Hardware. Of the two, I thought Berenson Hardware had by far the best selection and the most user-friendly website. I wanted knobs and pulls that were historically true to the home, so that limited my options to styles that were typically found in American bungalows. That meant looking for designs including bin pulls, pyramid knobs, drop pulls or handle latches. When I didn’t find exactly what I wanted, I turned to my personal favorite website for hardware, House of Antique Hardware. Later, we had a meeting at the house to get a quote for an asphalt driveway, which we opted for over a more expensive concrete drive. Talked to John Zarlengo of John Zarlengo Asphalt Paving.
May 2: Met with Susan Lecas, the creative designer at Gander Builders, at the house to talk about bathroom tile selections. She is so easy to work with and is so creative, it makes the whole process more fun than I could have imagined. Our discussion centered on some potential changes to our kitchen backsplash and island top as a result of choosing the El Dorado Bracciano RomaBrick for the fireplace surround. It occurred to me that this rustic brick will make the ledger stone we chose for our kitchen backsplash look too contemporary. Lecas agreed, so we decided to consider other options for the backsplash. High on our list is tin ceiling tiles from The American Tin Ceiling Co. The color choice we make here could also impact our choice of green slate for the kitchen island.
Next week, we meet with Beary Landscaping to see a proposal and we may go appliance shopping.