Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 22-25, 2012 - More Framing Photos

We popped into town for a few days to check out the progress and it was SO exciting to get to walk through an actual house, I just had to post some more photos.  There are a few issues for the framers to correct, but overall it is turning out just as we had hoped, and we are beyond excited!  I didn't take any photos of the basement as all the interior walls weren't framed yet, but here's what I did get.

A view of the front (the porch won't go on until after the exterior insulation):

The back:

Coming in through the Mudroom door (view into the Dining Room):

From the Dining Room into the Living Room:

From the Kitchen into the Living Room (see our porch trusses all lined up and ready to go?):

Kitchen to Living Room (a different angle):

Back Living Room door to front door:

Front Entry/front hall closet/Powder Room:

 From the front door straight through to the back:

From the Second Floor looking down the stairs:

My Office "nook":

Upstairs Hall:

Kids' Bathroom:

Kid Bedroom #1:

Kid Bedroom #2:

Master Bedroom:

Thanks for taking the tour with us!  What did you think?  Who noticed some "green" and/or Passive House features?  Extra points if you said the zip system exterior sheathing, the plastic sheeting on the interior of the foundation, or the extra deep roof overhangs?  Stay tuned for posts on how those things (and many more) will help make our home more environmentally-friendly!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 18-19, 2012 - House Framing

Once again, we were out of town for some BIG action, but our next-door neighbor was nice enough to send us pictures of the action.  We are so amazed at all that happened in just two days!

June 14, 2012 - Garage Footers

The garage footers are in!  Making progress...

June 12, 2012- Garage Excavation

Our builder had hoped that we could do a floating slab for the garage, but due to elevation changes on site we had to go with a full three-part system: footers, foundations walls, and slab.  The excavation portion is now complete:

Monday, June 11, 2012

June 5, 2012 - Basement Slab

We showed up on site today to see the basement slab almost complete...ahead of schedule!  It was kind of fun to see the process (again, one I've never been around to watch before) and observe the guys "painting themselves into a corner", so to speak!

They also got the porch footers poured, but somehow I forgot to take a picture of that.  Oops!

June 4, 2012 - Below Slab Insulation

Our below-slab insulation has been installed! I've mentioned in earlier posts that we are trying to get as close as possible to Passive House standards, and this is one of the things that gets us there.  You may or may not be able to tell from the photos but there is 2" of below slab insulation, which connects directly to 2" of insulation which will run all the way up the foundation wall.  On the inside of the foundation wall there will be a stud wall with more insulation, and then drywall over that.  This is just one part of the system that will keep our house extremely air tight and well-insulated.  I'll keep you informed on the whole system as it is put into place.  For now, though, we've got insulation and reinforcing mesh, and we're ready for a basement slab!

May 30, 2012 - Backfilling

Backfilling was the order of the day.  I've never seen this little plywood technique for keeping the gravel in place, but it's pretty ingenious I think!  I love seeing the foundation backfilled, it is so much easier to picture the yard now!


May 29, 2012 - More Site Action

A lot happening has been happening on site!  We got forms in for the porch footers:

Gravel delivered for backfilling:

And piping installed to connect the downspouts to the storm sewers!  We plan to have rain barrels big enough to handle most of the rainfall we will get, but we still have to have the downspout piping in to handle any overflow, so here it is!

May 24, 2012 - Below Slab Plumbing

Our below-slab plumbing is in!  If you can't tell we went for a pretty compact plumbing design, with all the bathrooms and the laundry room basically stacked on top of one another.  Not terribly exciting for all of you, I know, but every step is like a mini celebration for us!

May 23, 2012 - Finishing the Foundation

On May 23 the foundation action continued at a rapid pace.  When we went by at 9:15am, the forms were already being stripped off the foundation.  See the brick imprint?  We plan to paint that to give the look of painted brick without the expense.

 By 12:15 they were waterproofing the below-grade portion of the foundation.

And by 2:15 they were installing the below-grade insulation!

Days with this much action are so fun.  I wish every day was this exciting!

May 22, 2012 - Cabinetry

So you may remember that we mentioned we were out of town for the big foundation pour.  Believe me, we wouldn't have missed that unless it was absolutely necessary, so here's the scoop: we were down at my in-laws accepting delivery of our kitchen cabinets!  Okay, I know what you're thinking.  Aren't we a bit early on this one?  Well, yes, but, IKEA was having an amazing sale, and you know how much we love IKEA! Seriously though, IKEA's annual Kitchen Sale ended April 28.  So, can you guess, where we were at 11am on April 28th?  Yup, our favorite Pittsburgh IKEA, with a very detailed shopping list in hand.  We were prepared to take advantage of their offer of 20% off and order all the cabinetry we wanted for the kitchen, Dining Room, and Laundry Room.  But when we got our turn to meet with the Kitchen department, our very helpful IKEA Kitchen Associate informed us that our desired Kitchen and Dining Room cabinetry was being discontinued...Wop wop.  But wait, she said as long as she could find all the pieces we wanted that meant we would get an additional 10% off!  I can't remember exactly how I figured this out, but 10% off combined with the regular offer of 20% off equals 28% off the original price!  So, we said some more prayers and kept ourselves busy while we awaited the verdict...and our helpful Kitchen Associate let us know that indeed she could find all of our desired cabinetry!  The catch of course is that my sweet in-laws' garage bay where our stuff is stored is packed to the gills, but I am hoping that we can get the cabinetry out of there sooner rather than later.  For now, I'll leave you with some photos of the type of cabinetry and handles we chose:

and some inspiration photos:

Images 1 &2 courtesy of IKEA, 3 & 4 courtesy of