Monday, January 24, 2011

Electricals, Heating, Stairs, Basement Framing

This should have been posted a long time ago. Actually, right before Christmas, but somehow I think I forgot. I suppose it was the stress of hitting that huge road block with the engineer! So here is an update on the house. A new one will be posted soon.

December 20, 2010

The house is moving along slowly. The heating pipes have been completed. That was a big job!

 Stringing Heating Pipes

While my son might not like construction, I have told him how valuable the knowledge is. People in our school system have to have a C+ average to be allowed to go to college working on an apprenticeship, while in grades 11 and 12. They don't get paid; they simply get a couple of years of learning under their belt before they graduate.

Not only that, because they are learning about work ethic it helps them in their future. Work ethic is something that I teach from the moment they are able to help out around the house. And because of it our kids know the meaning of doing a good job. Doesn't mean they always choose to do it, but they do know how to produce. 

An example is Colt. He is at school on the coast and he heard of a roofing guy that needed helpers. He offered Colt $15 an hour to take old roofing off and help put on new roofing. At the end of the first day Colt was given $20 an hour for an 8 hour day. He was that impressed with Colt's work ethics.
 Drilling Holes For Heating Pipes

 Putting in the Electrical Panel

 One of Our Electricians

 This is the view from the media room towards the playroom on the left and the stairs up on the right.

 Ray Drawing Out the Stair Cuts

Making Stairs

 These stairs are unique. I love them. When we first began designing our house I said I wanted stairs like in the tv show Seventh Heaven. They had a staircase coming into the kitchen and also into the foyer. I began drawing and soon we had a plan. Then we changed our mind about using our drawn plans (we have drawn the designs for the previous two houses we built), and began looking through plans. I only found about two plans that had the double staircase, and as faith would have it, God provided it in the plans that I loved!

So this house goes up stairs when you enter the house, but you can also go upstairs from the area off the kitchen. 

Ray is building at the foyer entrance. The staircase that goes up to the right goes up to the upper bedrooms. The landing above Ray then also has a smaller set of stairs that go down into the area between the dining room and the kitchen. And under the upper stairs you can see the staircase leading to the basement.


This is the view of the staircase from the bottom down by the kitchen (to the left) and dining room (to the right). You can see a landing just up about seven stairs.

This is the view of the stairs from the foyer. You can see right through the foyer wall, through the hallway, into the livingroom that looks out over our valley and to the distant lake.

This is the window ledge (not seat) in the diningroom. This is the view from the front deck. Ray figured I could put Christmas decorations on it and I think that sounds wonderful!

 This is the window seat in the schoolroom. It will one day be the master bedroom, but for some years it will be the schoolroom and Austin will also share it as a bedroom of his own. We are planning to customize it as a 'daybed' room that he owns. So when it is done it will look very nice. I am thinking a geography theme.

Austin and I have already begun planning colours and ideas. Given his bed/ daybed will be in the right hand side of the window I have had the electrician put a lamp above his headboard on the wall complete with a switch at his fingertips for when he is done reading at night. The room is large enough that he will feel he has a room of his own, while sharing it with some school looking materials.

 The Upstairs Landing Complete With the Abominable Snowman! Or is it Sasquatch?

 These two small rooms are at the end of the media room. The room was quite long, as well as having a carousel in one side (that breakfast nook upstairs continues to the basement), so I had a plan. This house is wonderful but it doesn't have lots of storage. There are rooms, but I have given the storage room to Ray as his plans room, so I needed to come up with some storage ideas.

So I had him carve off a 6' width off this room right across the width of the room. So it is about 6'x15' and then divided in the middle into two rooms of about 6'x7.5'. Just perfect for two small organized storage rooms!

Then it was time for me to decide what kind of cabinets I wanted. We are trying our very best to be as frugal as possible. Just because the frame of the house is large is no excuse for being extravagant and wasteful and we are certainly not being that.

So we found a company that had cabinets we liked that we could put in ourselves. They have very good pricing. I spent three days over the computer designing the kitchen and organizing what I needed. When I took it into the store the woman told me what I had done was her job. lol I showed her my plan - cabinets that were different heights and some different depths. She looked at me oddly.

I looked at her oddly. lol. I asked her if she had ever been to  - Not yet, she said. By the time we had finished talking I had educated her on what I had learned. Everything I did in my kitchen I learned from this wonderful website.

The next thing we had to do was decide on a floor and tile pattern and colour. It was funny how we did it. We brought home some laminate (cheaper than hardwood and better for many children running through!) and put it on the computer and then went to some websites: is the best. The prices are remarkable and they have a headoffice in Canada, so when they ship you are dealing with Canadians. The neat thing is that they can ship all of the decking to our house and even with $1400 shipping cost and the US exchange rate, it still comes out cheaper than buying it at a store!!!

In other news,  we have met with a small? crisis. It seems we keep hitting road blocks and this is no exception. When we chose this plan it needed to be okayed by an engineer because it was an American plan. Then the trusses could not be designed, so they got Ray to figure it out. He was able. They agreed it worked. Then there was a problem with the trusses, which they worked out. Then the inspection failed.

In over 20 years of framing, Ray has probably failed two or three times. He is that good at what he does. A level and a square are his friends on a job site. People know this about him, and so he does not have to advertise. Word of mouth does his work for him.

He has been told he needs an engineer to come and look at the roof. It needs to be fixed and stamped by the engineer as approved. I asked Ray about it. He said, It needs to be repairable.  Meaning, There is nothing I can do about it if it is not repairable. Uggh!

In the meantime, we are ready to insulate, but cannot move forward on this until we have the framing inspection cleaned up. The blessing in this happening when it did is that it happened on the 23rd of December (bad for Christmas cheer), and so Ray moved into Christmas holidays at that time. Then after Christmas he was able to go out to work on a small job that needed to be done for a customer. That is good news. A little bit of money. By the time he is done that job the engineer will be back at work after the holidays, so then we can try to book him to come out and see the job. So we are praying that he is available asap!

So please pray if you are so led. So I am going to trust God on this. He has overcome so many obstacles on this job, so far, but this one is just another huge one.

Our house has still not sold, but again, I am trusting God. If it had sold when we first put it on the market we would have been homeless! Right now, we need about four months to finish the house if we work hard and together. So really, selling the house now would be inconvenient.

If it has not sold by the time we are able to move in, then we will be renting it out. But I am sure God has a plan to sell it in the nick of time. Because He is the God of miracles and He *always* comes through - in HIS time, not OURS!



Hi from Ruth! said...

am lovin' the house posts Justine...things ARE coming together, despite hurdles and setbacks!! I can hardly wait to see the finished the same goes for you!

On another note entirely, I sent you an email back on Jan.11, and am wondering if you received it. I just found out that one other recipient of my email did not received it so I got concerned that maybe you didn't was a prayer request from me.

Blessings, Justine!


Anonymous said...

It is all looking and sounding great. I am going to pass some of your info on to Debbie who purchased an older home and wants to do some remodeling. Can't wait to see all of the new developments on the building of your Home.

Justine said...


Thanks! I am sorry I did not get back to you. Yes, I did get your email and thank you for blessing me with the privilege of praying for your sweet children!! I know it will be just fine. Look how God met the desires of your heart by replacing the children you couldn't have with these two, most especially when a singleton would have been the most likely referral. Your court case and all will go just fine!! Hugs.

Justine :o)
PS You been to the new blog yet?

Hi from Ruth! said...

Thanks Justine, for your prayers and confidence! I need both!!

I did read the first few posts on your new blog, though I haven't yet bookmarked it...but I will be...of COURSE I'll be following the new one, too!