A Journey Through Home Building

From the Blog

Jul
24
Posted by Mike at 10:01 pm

After a couple weeks of not doing much on the house, I’ve started working on the drawers for the kitchen cabinets. I built the base cabinets a while ago so we could get our granite installed, but I’ve been dragging my feet on finishing the rest of the cabinets up. But, Amy won’t let us entertain until they’re done so I’m on the job again.

I decided to use poplar for the drawer boxes because it’s relatively inexpensive and soft which makes it easy to work with; especially when making dovetails. Hardwood can crack and can be difficult to fit together. My supplier only had 3/4″ thick material in stock so I bought that and planed it down to 5/8″. They also only had certain widths so I got 5-1/2″ and ripped it down to 4-1/2″ for the upper drawers. The lower drawers will all be 11″ tall so I have 8-1/4″ material for those. Then I cut a 1/4″ groove a half inch from the lower edge to receive the bottom of the drawers. For that I got some 1/4″ melamine with maple coloring.

Once I finish the drawers, I’ll start work on the uppers and the panels for all the doors and drawers and for our built in refrigerator. Lots more fun to come.

By the way, here is a video of me routing the dovetails for the drawer boxes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4hgQyPNDt8

Jul
23
Posted by Mike at 10:43 am

We are just about done with our master bathroom. We opted not to put a bathtub in the master since neither of us really take baths (we do shower however once a week whether we need it or not. And, we have bathtubs in both of our other bathrooms if we really want to take a bath). We decided not to have a huge master since we just use it for a half hour each day. But, we did put in a pretty large walk-in shower. We also opted for a water closet for the toilet with a pocket door for privacy. Then we installed two separate hanging sinks with a hanging cabinet between them.

Getting the shower ready was a pretty big process because we needed a shower pan. Ideally we would have sunk the shower pan into the concrete floor, but that needed to have been planned months before and would have caused a week spot in the structural floor. No doubt there would have needed to have been some changes in the structural engineering which took place more than a year ago. So I poured the pan on top the regular floor. After pouring the concrete for the shower pan, installing a rubber membrane, and pouring concrete over that I was ready to tile the floor.

For the shower floor we opted for a cut river rock. We’d both stood on a full river rock floor and it actually hurt our feet. The material we selected is cut flat and affixed to a nylon mesh in 12″ x 12″ squares. That worked quite well and allowed the stone to curve with the contours of the shower pan. I installed that and grouted it in a couple days. For the wall we again used the 12″ x 24″ tile, but put it horizontally (unlike the bathroom downstairs). We went all the way to the 9′ ceilings which ended up being a lot of tile. Amy grouted all the walls, caulked the corners and cleaned the tile. Now all we have to do is seal the tile, install one piece of base trim and we’ll be done… for now. Amy would like to tile the entire north wall of the bathroom which I agree would look nice, but I didn’t have it in me to finish it now. It’s been added to the list of future projects.

Jul
07
Posted by Mike at 1:08 pm

Well, we did it!  I just picked up our final CO (Certificate of Occupancy). So as far as the city of Arvada is concerned, we are DONE!  No more inspections (and hopefully no more fees)! Now that does NOT mean we are completely done with the house. We have a long list of things we still need to do. So we’ll be busy for the next couple months, but at least we won’t have the city looking over our shoulders.

On a personal note, I must admit that receiving our CO was one of the proudest moments of my life. I’ve always had a dream of building a house. When I walked out of city hall with that piece of paper that proved that I’d actually fulfilled my dream, I became a little emotional. I obviously could have never done this without the amazing support and hard work of Amy. I know it was never her dream to build a house, but she put aside almost two years of her life to help me realize one of mine. I guess it’s only fair since I helped her realize one of her dreams when she met me.  🙂

I’ve been slacking on the updates lately since we’ve been dealing with this CO deadline. So I’ll try an add a few updates from the past month or so and add new ones as we move forward. Thanks for following along.

And one last note. Amy and I realize we didn’t do this alone and sincerely appreciate all the help, encouragement, and enthusiasm our friends and family have given us along the way. Can’t wait for you all to come and enjoy some time with us at our new house.