Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

Breakfast at Mary Jane's Bakery.

Amanda Angel is who we work with on cabinet and tile design at the Heritage Design Center.

Imagine this in cherry (and 4 leaves!).

My reading chair!

Tons of fabric decisions to make - each room will have different fabric.

This is similar to how our sitting area will look.

Above you can see the type of deck "fencing" we will have, except ours is installed with more finesse. It is vinyl clad, and won't obstruct the view of the creek.

The girls cooked a terrific Turkey Day dinner here.

This is our rental cabin - it was so warm Marie and Susan played scrabble on the deck.

We spent a busy weekend with Marie over Thanksgiving. We started with a rental cabin up the North Fork, where we cooked a lovely, full meal deal, from scratch, Thanksgiving dinner. The cabin was very cute, comfy and reasonably priced, and well located as well for hiking. We also visited the builder at the site, and made some important decisions about the master bedroom (tray ceiling) and roof trusses over the kitchen and dining area, which will reduce some vertical support posts for a greater open feeling and give us an extra storage room upstairs.

The big event though was a trip to Hickory, where we spent six hours picking out Amish furniture. It is starling how many decisions needed making - not just fabric, but style, type of wood, and stain. This was Black Friday, btw, so it was cool to get some tremendous deals on what is a lifetime investment (really a generational investment).

We also spent time at Heritage Design Center making final decisions on cabinets (really the drawers in the kitchen - lots of specialty drawers have now been included). We also got some ideas for kitchen backsplash tile, as well as bathroom floor tile. Plenty of decisions left, which is why we'll be back for a week between Christmas and New Years.

We also had a great time listening to local mountain music and eating a great dinner at Mary Jane's Bakery (where we also had a great sourdough waffles for breakfast, as Doug discovered last summer).


Here are the tiles we're considering for the back splash in the kitchen. In the foreground is the granite we've chosen for counter tops and a wood sample showing the color of our cabinets.

This is the style of couch and love seat we've selected for the great room. We picked out a square coffee table similar to this one.

This is the base of the dining table we ordered. Ours will be made of cherry to match the built-in hutch we've ordered from Heritage Design Center.

The table opens to reveal storage for the 4 leaves. When fully extended, the table should be able to seat 12.

Here's the wood that our bedroom furniture will be made from. The dark fabric sample is the fabric of our swivel gliders.

The is the wood that will be used in one upstairs guestroom for the bed, tables and a swivel glider. The fabric will be used on the glider.

This is the wood that will be used on the hide-a-bed in my sewing room as well as on a chifferobe and other tables. The flowered fabric is my first choice and the geometric is my second choice since my first choice may have been discontinued.

Here's the wood and fabric that will be used in the great room. The flowered fabric will be used on the couch and love seat. The striped fabric will cover the two swivel gliders. Update: Oops! They're out of that fabric. I'll have to make some new selections.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

From left to right, the front door, the window in Worth's office, the window in the laundry room.

From left to right, the window above the tub in the master bath, the window in my sewing room/den, the front door, the window in Worth's office.

The floor trusses have been installed on the deck and it's being used to store building materials.

Marie and Sadie found their way down to the creek. We'll need to work at making new paths once construction is finished.

There will be room to walk between the deck and the creek bank.

They've done a lot more grading since we were here a month ago. We were really pleased at how level the creek side is. There will be just a few steps at each end of the deck.

Still plenty of standing room in the "crawl space." We got to admire the support beams.

Randy met us at the building site and we made a few decisions about questions that had come up.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

View from the Deck

Just so you all know, nothing has changed about the view of the creek. This is still the wonderful view upstream (taken from about where the breezeway was).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Additional pictures

These aren't really new - probably represent still things as they looked last week - but they show some other views of the fill (as well as the floor trusses, which we are told are going in this week, what with all the great weather).

The picture above shows about where the garage will be - notice all the new fill to the front of the house; the front porch comes off the "notch" you see in the top right of what you can view of the foundation here.

This view shows the fill in front of the house - in about the center you can see one of the four "sonotubes" that the front porch will be resting on. We're still not sure what the front yard will look like - hopefully not a valley or bath-tub! We believe they will fill straight out to the road. They've got to put the septic field in first (it goes in the front yard). Then they can add as much fill as we want to that. We are purchasing the fill directly from the mine you see along the Cane River near the turn off to the Bolens Creek road. It's actually a by-product of the gravel crusher, so we get it at a good price, not to mention the hauling is much cheaper. Kinda neat we are recycling local resources!

This shows how the fill extends now to the new creek bank. The deck is just a bit above the sonotubes you see here, so there is not a big drop off from the deck to the ground. The sonotubes and the foundation represent an engineered construction that is considered highly flood resistant. The house itself, including the floor trusses, is one foot above the 100 year flood level, and the foundations are literally attached to the earth, so the water can get high without washing out the foundations. Not cheap, but the right investment for the future.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lots of Backfilling

Randy just sent us these photos from the job site. What a lot of progress since we were there a week ago. They were able to use fill from a nearby gravel pit to smooth out the inside of the crawl space and all of the area along the creek bank. They'll do more work in the front yard after the septic system is in.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

These two pictures, taken from the other side of the creek, show how the creek bank has been rebuilt. It's going to be pretty flood-proof now. The track hoe operator, who has grandkids of his own, is going to build us a nice path down to the creek, downstream, near where the Cabin 1 porch was.

There is also some nice access to several large pools upstream in the woods. The excavation for the basement/crawlspace uprooted a lot of huge boulders, which have been placed in strategic locations to fill holes in the bank.

We think it is going to look pretty good, particularly after a few years. Plus everyone is welcome to help build paths, firepits, etc!!

Meeting with the Builders

Worth stood on what will be the covered part of the deck to take this photo of Sadie. We love this view of the creek!

For this photo Worth was standing in the old driveway. It gives a pretty good idea of the distance of the house from the road. Not only will the pile of dirt under the track loader be used to fill around the house. We'll also have many loads of fine fill brought in from the gravel mine on the Cane River to even out the yard to about road level. Then the final foot or two will be topsoil which will be brought over from Burnsville. Finding a close source of cheap fill for the bulk of the leveling will be a big money saver! We met Keith, the track hoe operator. He's full of great ideas and has years of experience working on mountain homes. He'll be selecting some boulders to use to fill holes on the creek bank. Others he'll set aside for us to use in our landscaping.

Here Randy Banks and Edwin Crowder are discussing a question we had raised. We noticed that the opening between the kitchen and the great room had seemed smaller than we had envisioned. We asked if it could be opened up by using posts rather than walls to support the bonus room corner above. They talked it over and decided it won't be a problem. A compromise will be that the countertop between the kitchen and the great room will now be at two levels-- counter height on the kitchen side and bar height on the great room side. That allows for the electrical service to be in the back-splash.

The next step will be for the crawl space area to be filled with a few inches of gravel to even off the floor. First they'll remove any small boulders still inside. Not the large boulder in the middle though! As Edwin says, that one is connected to the world. The sonotubes next to it are actually drilled into it. Once the crawl space is leveled off, the floor joists will be put into place. Then they'll do the initial part of the back fill around the foundation. Workers were busy yesterday coating the outside of the foundation with a moisture sealant.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Finished foundation

Today we arrived at Cattail to see the finished foundation! How exciting to come around the final curve and see exactly where the new house will be! Did I take a picture of it? Uh, apparently not. Lots of pictures, but none to show you where the house sits on the lot. Tomorrow when we go back out there, we'll go up the hill across the road and take a photo to show the whole shebang. Today, we focused on a few details.

Notice how when they dug for the sonotubes that will support the edge of the deck, the earth and rocks were placed on the creek side of the ditch. This will really act as a buttress in case of high water. Here's both an upstream and downstream view showing the reinforced creek bank.

Another thing we noticed is that there's a huge pile of dirt and rocks at the downstream end of the foundation. All this is available to move up around the foundation once the septic system is complete. So while the foundation is very tall now, it will eventually be back-filled. The house will sit on a knoll above the creek and the road. But the upstream end should be graded fairly level so that we have only a step or two at most to enter the house from that end.

Here's a view across the finished foundation towards the Phillips' house. Notice the cutouts at regular intervals along the top. I'm guessing maybe glass bricks will go there? No, actually Randy says they're blow out vents in case there ever is flooding inside the crawl space. Inside the foundation you can see more sonotubes to support the central part of the house.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

We Have a Foundation!

We received photos today of the foundation in progress. How exciting to begin to understand exactly where the house is sitting on the creek bank!

The photo at the left is taken from upstream next to the road, looking downstream.

The photo to the left is taken from the old driveway entrance at the downstream end. Notice that the tree is gone from the corner.

This photo is taken from the downstream end of the foundation, looking through what will be a doorway into the crawl space. We'll be able to use this area to store yard tools, etc.

This view is from the downstream creek-side corner looking across the foundation up the road.

This is the creek-side of the foundation. You can see that holes have been dug closer to the bank for the sono-tube supports for the deck. You can still see the beautiful upstream view and I notice one ivy covered tree still helping to hold the bank.

The track hoe seems to have been busy!