working on it

November 15, 2012

and now, a long overdue update on how we are getting along with our biggest project ever,
the house made from scratch. really, we had no desire to build a house. but after looking at all sorts of places
for over a year, we knew what was in our minds and hearts had yet to be built.
so from this little corner (it was a very exciting corner) we have come to this. all of this.

the walls are up. the roof is on (yet to be heat-welded or something like that.) the windows are mostly in,
but still to be caulked and trimmed out and other technical blahblah. also, i get a free window cleaning,
which is a godsend, since there are a lot of windows. (part of my brain thinks i'm living in scandinavia
and there's a severe shortage of light. must have light.)

the house is not black, that's the house wrap. something like a scuba suit for houses. weather proof and such.
over in the far corner you can see patrick and our architect installing battens. each one hand painted by me.
(and my mom and patrick. but i did about a million i think.) on top of those go the cement board siding and the
reclaimed barn wood siding. i've gotten used to the big black house. it will be weird to see it dressed.

the driveway always seems to be full of trucks, and tractors and excavators and machinery i can't quite identify.
that big white baby-bathtub-sized box in the back of the truck is our kitchen sink. seriously, it's the most
exciting thing i've picked out for the house yet. i'm in love. (well, theoretically. it will be awhile before i find out if
this true love works out in practice.) and patrick and jon are working away. boys with tools who are making things
make me melt. particularly if they are making something for me to live in. crushing hard.
mostly on the one i'm married to. (lucky me!)

** lydia reminded me that i wanted to tell you about that big black shed between the truck and the tractor.
that's a wood boiler, which will put all those trees we cleared to good use heating the house.
it will make hot water for the radiant floors on the first floor, run the forced air for the upstairs and provide
hot water & heat for my future studio. it's not pretty, but free heat is nothing to be sneezed at.
i'm over the moon about the sink. patrick's in love with the boiler.  **

this is a real home tour. i'm not taking you through the front door. this is the view from the door in the garage.
on your left, a coat closet and a pantry. then it's open from there. kitchen-dining-living room.
all leading to the biggest fireplace they make. (short of masoning one ourselves.) smoking hot.

upstairs, over the living room is a smaller family room sort of area. a place for future kidlets to
leave their toys around and spread out and play. but until then, it will serve as studio space for me.
there might even be actual light for taking photos! and space. (have i ever confessed that i do all the photographing
for my shop in our bedroom? working in the 4ft of space between bed and dresser? it's a tight squeeze.)

upstairs downstairs. standing on the back stairs. straight across the landing is a bedroom. at the bottom of the
stairs is the mudroom. these wee little temporary slat stairs are a trip to walk down. it's best if you don't look
and just trust your feet to know how to do it. (of course, it's a huge improvement from going down a ladder in the dark.
so, you know, hooray for that.)

mudroom! with stuff in it. to the left is the mechanical room and a bathroom equipped with a
dog / muddy husband shower. knowing my husband, and thinking back to me as a little child...
mud is just part of the package. best to be prepared and have a place to drop coats and hats and boots
 and rock collections or whatever comes in the door that day.

speaking of mud... we have lots of it right now. this is the front yard reflecting pool.

and the strata of the backyard. i've been told it will all make sense some day, even if right now it looks like
it's been half paved with a rock highway. (this engineered septic field is what happens when you build on clay.
mostly, you take your bank account and convert it to rocks and dirt.)

on a bright note, we do have this lovely cluster of faux birch right off the side porch.
poplars. or popples, which is the upper peninsula vernacular. charming little popples, aren't they?

last one, my loves. on the left... the only thing i've changed my mind about, the finish on the concrete porch.
they're whacking away at that smooth surface to give me a bit more aggregate. then some acid. or whatever.
our cement guy is a cement guy through and through. loves the stuff. loves it.

and there is patrick, engineering a house. i get all gushy when i start to write about how amazing he's been.
everyday after work he's over there working, building, organizing, meeting contractors,
making the whole thing happen. and he looks pretty darned cute in his tool belt. 

we had hoped to be in by christmas, but as thanksgiving is sneaking up on us and we're still just a big shell,
it's going to be a bit longer. practicing my patience and trying not to sigh too loudly. i think if i could just drag
one of the mr. chairs into the living room and set it by the windows, i could wait a little longer.
i just want to see that chair in the window like nobody's business.
(also, it's long been understood that i can have a cat when we move. it's hard to be patient for cats.)

xo. r

8 notes:

  1. Regina! This is awesome!

    I'll come visit with almonds and make eggs benedict and won't leave for awhile because of that fireplace.... (!!!!!!!)

    1. you're welcome anytime. and if we end up with chickens... well it will be very fresh eggs benedict. (we have wild turkeys, but i haven't come across any eggs yet.)

    2. Super fresh! We are getting probably 10-12 daily from ours! It's egg crazy over here!

  2. Llydia Llapwing in Llondon UKNovember 16, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    It looks as if it's going to be great and so roomy.

    How are you going to heat it it besides the big fire.

    Do keep us updated.

    1. hi lydia, thanks for reminding me, i wanted to share that information. we've added a wood boiler to make good use of all the trees we had to clear! i added a bit about that under the picture with the truck in it.

  3. congratulations on making it this far with the house-building....and, you are still obviously madly in love.
    the photos are wonderful to see!

  4. The house is looking so great! Congratulations on everything...especially the news about the cat. ;)

  5. Oh my goodness, that house looks like it is going to be absolutely amazing. And huge! I am so envious of those giant windows and all the clean lines. Cannot wait to see it all finished!