A New Frame Of Mind

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Wow. All I can say is…wow.

We spent what felt like years getting to the construction close date. Then we spent another couple months getting to a completed foundation. Then…two weeks later…BOOM. House.

I’m definitely a little late on this update. Excuse, holidays, excuse, not feeling well, excuse. Now that we have that over with….pictures!!

These first two were taken with my phone when framing was partially complete. I somehow didn’t make it out there with the good camera/tripod for this stage, but here you go!


The next pictures show our view from our 2nd floor, which can be seen from our master bedroom, game room, Charlotte’s room, and the 2nd story deck. At first, I strongly hesitated to post these pictures anywhere because they just don’t do it justice. On the other hand, the view is such an important part of this story. This is why we bought this piece of land. The most exciting and highly anticipated moment of this whole process so far was the day they built the stairs and we were able to catch our view for the first time. So, I will post these pictures with the following two caveats: 1 – They don’t do it justice. 2 – The lake is currently 50 feet low, so we’re just happy we can see any water at all right now. Please pray to the rain gods!!!

Christmas day was beautiful so we took the opportunity to get some good shots of the house….tripod, quality camera, and all. It had already been completely framed for a week or two at this point, but its hard to find a day to get good pictures since there are always people out there working on it. Christmas day was our best shot 🙂 The picture below is also on my House Progression page.

This picture pretty much represents where we stand today on the exterior. There is progress being made daily on the interior, but these pictures would bore you. A/C duct work is almost complete, water and gas piping has been run, and all the electrical is in progress. Basically they’re working on everything that will soon get covered by dry wall.

In my free moments, I have been spending a lot of time on Houzz and Pinterest. Now that our house exists in reality, not just on paper, I am getting beyond excited to finally move in and start decorating. I am no doubt driving Brent nuts with my flood of ideas, but he also spends his fair share of time fact-checking every step of the construction process, talking about and planning for our sound system, and doing comparison shopping on kitchen appliances, lighting fixtures, etc. The good news for us is we are running a week or two AHEAD of schedule….not what we would have predicted!

Until next time, I’ll be the one keeping Houzz and Pinterest in business 🙂

Building A Solid Foundation

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Literally. You wouldn’t believe the amount of fill dirt, rebar, steel, sand bags (yes, sand bags), and of course CONCRETE.

Every step of this process makes it more exciting. More real. This past week, the concrete was poured and we now have a foundation to build our house upon.

The day it was being poured we were all 3 fortunately able to make it out and stamp our hand prints in the garage. There was a brief debate around resell-ability with such a personal touch, however, we do plan to be here for a very long time, so we quickly decided to go for it.

After allowing a couple days for it to dry, we met our builder one evening who was waiting with tailgate chairs and a cooler full of drinks. It was so great to sit in what will be our dining room, sip on a beverage, and imagine what our lives will be like out there. We are beyond thrilled. Here are a couple photos of the slab.


Front view of our house


View from the back corner of the house

Next week, the framers will start doing their thing. As anyone who has lived in a developing neighborhood probably knows, this is a very fast process. Possibly as early as next weekend, our first floor will be framed. Which means we’ll catch our first glimpse of our second story view of the lake and surrounding hill country. Now that is one blog entry I can’t wait to post!


Laminate Wood Warning!!!

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I have had it. Next spring could not come soon enough. I need out of this house.

Don’t get me wrong, our rent house is great for our short-term stay. It has enough room for our family of 3, is in a great neighborhood, and is a fairly attractive home. But. I. Need. Out.

There is a long list of small to major annoyances which will (hopefully) not exist in our new house, but that is for a future post. However, right now I’m going to delve into the item at the very top of this list – the laminate flooring. It is in our living room and master and it is LOUD! If you’re wearing shoes, every single foot step is magnified 10x. And the worst of it is the dogs. I have 2 pugs and they are clingy. That has never bothered me, in fact, it is what I like about them. I love that they adore me so much to follow me around and they are wonderful cuddlers. However, when I am walking back and forth through the house, the sound of 8 dog feet (that’s FORTY dog nails!!!!!) is driving me BANANAS! The noise from the echoing wood is enough to send me to an early grave. I find myself getting annoyed with the dogs and have to constantly try to remember that it’s not them. It’s the evil laminate wood flooring. It’s kind of like this:

So – should you find yourself tempted by this flooring option (hey, you get the look without the cost!), I urge you to do your research. As I have said before, I am no expert. Perhaps the laminate wood in this house was installed incorrectly and/or was the cheapest of the cheap. On the other hand, it could also be an inherent problem with any type of laminate flooring. Just make sure you look into this issue before you pay to have it done. Had this been my house and had I known how awful it would be, I would have either paid the extra for real wood, or just tiled or carpeted these areas. Its so not worth it!!!

It Finally Feels Real

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After months of finely tuning our floor plan, countless hours of making interior selections, and weeks of waiting for building permits from the city, we are finally seeing physical proof that our house WILL exist one day! Last week we drilled for water AND found some…phew! And by we, I mean Tom Arnold the driller. (No I’m not making that up). But really, while water is very important, its still just a hole in the ground. However, this week, the foundation people started doing their thing. So far, the batter boards have been assembled. For those of you who are construction-lingo-stupid, like myself, that is the frame that goes around the foundation and as far as I understand, will remain there until the concrete is poured and dried. A couple nights ago we just had to go check out the progress, even though it was dark and slightly past Charlotte’s bed time. Below is a fun pic we took! Excuse the crap quality. This was taken with my phone.

This was in front of the highest corner of our house. The foundation height of the back left corner is essentially flush with the ground. The front right corner is 7.5 feet off the ground! I guess that’s what you get for living in the hill country! And you know what else you get from living in the hill country? Amazing views 🙂 For a full picture of the batter boards/foundation frame, taken the next day and in sun light, check out my House Progression page. Its the one labeled 10/30/2012.

Later this week they will be delivering/installing the fill dirt and next week the plumbers will install the drain pipes. Hopefully with in the next couple weeks we’ll have concrete poured and we can have drinks on our future home!

How It All Began

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As you may or may not have already read in my “About Me” page, several years back we bought a piece of land by Lake Travis. Back then, we didn’t live in Austin (my home town) but knew we wanted to get back here once we started raising a family. Lo and behold, as we are an all-or-nothing kind of couple, we moved back when our daughter, Charlotte, was 6 weeks old. Once we had our heads on straight post-move, and started getting to sleep more than 3 hours at a time, we decided it was time to get our dream house underway. One year later, we have finally broken ground, and finally feel like this is actually happening. Who knew you couldn’t just think up a house and have it magically appear? No. Many, many, many steps and decisions and hurdles present themselves before you get to where we are now.

What I hope to accomplish by starting this blog is initially to document the house construction process and all the craziness, stress, but mostly excitement that surrounds this time in our lives. After this, I want to share my experiences with transforming this house into our home. I have always enjoyed interior decorating, organizing, etc., and that is what I am most looking forward to with the new house. We are currently in a rent house and therefore, my project freedom is limited. It will have been almost 2 years by the time our house is completed and let me tell you friends, I have a LOT of pent up creativity ready :p

One other thing you must know about Brent and I is that we are total lake rats. Really, we love any kind of water…beach, lake, pool, or puddle…but we are especially in love with Lake Travis. So naturally, when land shopping, we looked as close to the water as we could afford. We’re not right on it (sure, let me pull a couple mil out of my back pocket!) but we’re close enough to have a 2nd story view and a <5 minute walk to get to the water and community boat ramp. PS – my current header picture is a shot I took from our land, but incase I’ve changed my header by the time you’re reading this, here is it again!