Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow in Florida

Sawdust is all we have for snow, but it's plenty of fun!

Builder's Trampoline

The boys create a make-shift trampoline at the building site.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Electricity at last

We're connected.
Edison would be proud.
Boys are thrilled.
Fans are spinning.
Lights are shining.
Faces are smiling.

Grouting the bathroom

Remy sent Martin to start grouting the bathroom today. Once it's done, we can finish off the plumbing. We're looking longingly at the tub, eager to fill it with warm water and splash about. The Latin music was good today, and Martin is a sweetheart, but he does not sing as well as Remy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kitchen appliances

After months of painstaking research and numerous visits to local retailers (they all knew us by name), we have finally selected our major kitchen appliances. Rather than elation, we feel resignation at the negative reviews all major brands and models received; they're just not built to last anymore. Maybe we'll beat the odds.

Interim electricity...coming soon

Our electricians have been hard at work this week getting everything ready for inspection (here they are in the cupola). Once plugs and switches are in, and all fixtures are hung, the county will allow electricity into the house in order to test installation and to finish construction--severing the umbilical extension cords.

We passed inspection, so next week the regional utilities will pull wire through the conduit in the ground from the transformer to the meter box. Lights-Camera-Action!

The four ceiling fans on the porch are ready to start moving some air.

Bathroom door going in

The bathroom door is in. Friends note the many windows in the bathroom and wonder how they will have a closed session in the facilities. Who needs privacy in the middle of the woods?

Maybe we'll organize some shades for those who enjoy seclusion at potty time.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Front door is in

It's starting to look like a habitable house. In preparation for getting electricity connected, we need to be able to lock the house, so the front door is in....barely, as we forgot to allow for the thickness of the tile when we roughed in the opening. Fortunately, we could just get it squeezed into the space provided.

Sub-flooring for the loft/attic

In preparation for the electrical inspection, we need to cover all exposed wires, so the loft/attic area which was created by putting a ceiling on the bedrooms got a sub-floor today. We also put a knee wall up so that nothing falls through the ceiling into the bedrooms.

Granite Installed

Granite arrives and is carefully unloaded. It is heavy and fragile.

One half of the long-run of counter top is in place. Dad Kiker spent days carefully installing the cabinets to be level and with extra-strong reinforcements to hold the granite in place without cracking.

The island is maneuvered carefully into place.

We're pleased with the look of the granite. It is subtle yet beautiful. The installers did a great job of perfecting every corner and line.

Baby doesn't think that we need a dishwasher. He'll take care of our dirty dishes.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More electrical

Our neighbor with the big machines dug a trench for our electrical line to run from the transformer to the house.

It was a big day of earth moving and sand mountains--
boy heaven.

We will have the installation inspected next week, and should have power in the house soon thereafter. Good bye extension cords.

Exterior doors

Before we can get power into the house, we need to be able to lock it up, so we've brought the exterior doors to the building site for installation this weekend.

AC going in

The guys were out today installing the air conditioner. Come May, we'll be singing their praises.

The duct is still on order, so we'll feature the interior when that arrives.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A trip to the granite fabricator

We made a trip to the granite fabricator today to drop off the kitchen sink, and get a sneak preview of the cuts made so far. Ooh, and while we are here, why not demo the $100,000's worth of equipment? Isn't everything in life toys for small boys?

The kitchen island is all polished up and ready to go, awaiting delivery and installation Friday! We're just a little excited.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Plans for the Addition

Last year we began working with John and David at First Day on plans for an addition. The plans have been sketched, and our Florida engineer is on the job. We intend to begin as soon as we get the certificate of occupancy for the first structure. It's kinda like running a marathon: if you stop, you may never want to get back up again.

The 20 ft x 30 ft addition will be attached to the end of the screen porch. It is a 1-1/2 story structure that will include a master bed and bath on the first floor with a living room, and a loft upstairs.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Small details

As we near the end of construction, there are many small details which require attention. Here we are trimming around the plumbing vent in the loft space.

We caulked around all electrical wires penetrating the bedroom ceiling into the loft space in order to meet Florida fire code.

Busy painting trim to go around the windows on the interior.

Doors installed

We finally got the hang of hanging doors. The first one was agonizing, but the next two went quite well. Pictured are the two bedroom doors and the bathroom door. Any suggestions for finishing the doors? Paint? Stain? Nothing?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Granite template

Shad created a template for the granite and had the stones shipped from Jacksonville to Ocala. Remy helps to make sure that we get the right swirls in the right spot on the counter tops. We're fortunate to have so many people looking out after us. Granite will be cut this weekend and installed next forthcoming.

Reward for late nights

A fabulous sunset, our reward for working late at the building site.

Bathroom - only grout remains

The bathroom is tiled, complete with marble trim. Only grouting remains, and, well, a sink and toilet would be helpful.

Remy did a bang-up job, and we're thrilled with the results. His trim around the window and posts is perfect, more than we could have hoped for, and certainly more than we could have achieved without the skill of the master.

We shudder to think about how close we came to attempting the tiling ourselves. Thank you for saving us, Remy!

Back at it - electricians at work

Our faithful electricians have been hard at work, hanging fixtures, installing plugs and switches. They are hoping to have electricity in the house by end of next week.

Christmas Break

We didn't know what to do with ourselves on Christmas break. The house building has ruined us, making it difficult to disconnect from the relentless thrill of owner building. Fortunately, our family offers a prime lure, and we enjoyed time with our loved ones.

Recreation on Florida waterways

We took a little break to go canoeing and kayaking on the Santa Fe river with Remy and Remy visiting from Germany.

After a night of camping on the land, we went fishing at Cedar Key on the Gulf Coast.

Here are happy boys with the catch of the day, a stingray.