November 2009- Wow! What a
job this turned out to be for one person. Please forgive the long
delay in updating the site but I have been spending long hours working
on the interior finish. My husband's health has made it necessary for us
to move in before the house is fully completed.
The lower floor is
complete and livable with the following exceptions:
No interior doors. 90% of trim
We do NOT have our stair railings
installed but since the upstairs is unfinished, no one is going to be
using them in the near future.
of the delay is a direct result of our lousy economy. The cost for
doors, stair railings, hardwood floor upstairs, and trim for the
doors, corners, and base was to be covered by our 401K savings. Our
financial advisors were reluctant to cash us out until we had lost
about 40%. At this time, I do not feel comfortable spending our small
balance on completion of the house. I am hoping that we will recover
some of our money when we sell our travel trailer and my husband's 4WD
truck. These are items we no longer need and the equity in them will
go a long way toward our goal.
a positive note, we are thoroughly enjoying our new home. Even though
it is small, the space is open and filled with morning sunlight. I
still have a lot of moving-in before we are fully functional but I'm
taking it one day at a time.
are pictures of the house at various stages of completion. There is
also a video on
Kitchen BacksplashStoryline Tile
Hand Painted Ceiling Fan
Bathroom Light Fixture
Custom Tile Design
October 2008- Sorry
for the long delay in updating the site. I have been really busy on
the house the last month and a half.
I completed the finish on the
bathroom vanity and utility cabinet before the countertops were
installed. They really look nice.
Our log beams were installed by Jeff
Miller on the 20th of September.
The red aromatic cedar needed to be
straight edged, planned to exact thickness and then cut to size for
the window trim. I completed all of the windows on the lower level
except the one in the kitchen. It will be completed after the
electrician has completed the wiring for a light over the kitchen
sink. (An oversight during our design phase.)
The next project required
scaffolding again so I rented another set. With the scaffolding in
place I was able to complete both sides of the fireplace with
ponderosa pine and the face of the fireplace was covered with white
pine. With my son's help, we manufactured a trim piece for the center.
I also completed the trim for the upper windows.
As soon as the upper windows were
trimmed out, I began the sanding, staining, and application of clear
coat to the ceiling, log beams and fireplace. This did take a lot of
time and I was certainly pleased to be finished with the project and
Our solid surface countertop for the
kitchen cabinets was installed yesterday and I am in the process of
completing the stain and clear coating process.
Well, that pretty much brings us
up-to-date. There are a few photos below and here is our latest video
Dining Area East Wall
Living Room East Wall
Living Room Ceiling
Update 13 September 2008- Still waiting for the log beam
installation on the vaulted ceiling but I have completed the
walls in the loft area. Just talked to the contractor and he is hoping
to be on site by the end of next week (18-19 Sept).
The two storage closets in the loft
are on hold for a short time while I finish the custom cabinets before
the countertop installers arrive.
I made another trip to Wilcox Timber
in Rusk, TX to pick up the aromatic red cedar needed to trim out the
windows and to face the floor joists of the loft. I also selected a
mantel for the fireplace and will be installing it after the log beams
are in place. The planks for the window trim will need to be run
through a planer and edged before cutting to size.
The porcelain tile for the main
floor has been ordered and we are awaiting delivery. I will be adding
a small half wall between the shower and toilet so the tile contractor
can build a slight wheelchair ramp into the shower.
I started this wall on Thursday, the
11th but experienced my first injury when the faming nailer fired
twice and the second nail ended up in my left hand. Needless to say, a
trip to the emergency room was required to remove the nail but
thankfully, there was no permanent damage to my thumb or wrist and it
is only slightly achy today. A good example of what can happen when
using older equipment. The nailer is 20+ years old and has been
repaired many times. Repair now is almost impossible due to obsolete
parts that are no longer manufactured. So the rest of the framing work
will be completed with a hammer and nails. For anyone that thinks the
accident happened due to negligence just let me say that I knew the
nailer was double firing and was being extremely careful but because
it is so heavy, my control was diminished. And yes, I know, I
should not have been trying to use it. Lesson learned!
Our electrician finalized
installation of the breaker box and meter box for FEC to bring power
to the house. The electric meter was installed yesterday so now the
electrician can return and turn on power to outlets inside the house
which will be a great improvement over extension cords.
As soon as hurricane Ike is gone, I
will get back to work but for today, I get to sit back. Below
are pictures of the cedar I picked up as well as our mantel.
Also there are a couple of pictures of the storage walls in the loft
Aromatic Red Cedar for Trim
Aromatic Red Cedar Mantel
Loft Storage Wall
Loft Storage Areas
We are coming along nicely now. Still waiting for the log beam
installation on the vaulted ceiling but I have almost completed the
walls in the loft area. My son-in-law and son have been a tremendous
help in getting the aspen installed in the loft ceiling as well as
getting the 1x8 ponderosa pine on the side walls of the loft. I still
have the storage area to construct at the far end of the loft along
with a cedar lined bench seat under the window.
Our custom cabinets are being
installed today. Raintree Custom Cabinets (Emory, TX) did a beautiful job on a unique door design,
perfect for a log home.
Our electrical contractor will be
here next week to turn on the power. When he and the electric company
have completed their tasks, I will request the CH/A system be
installed. It will improve the working conditions tremendously.
July and August in Texas are just too hot and humid to get much
accomplished without air. After the loft walls are completed, I will
go back to working on the cedar lining for the closet. The next
project will be to manufacture and install all the trim.
Here are a few pictures of the loft
area as well as the cabinets that were installed today.
Stair ceiling and walls in loft
Utility Room Pantry and laundry sink
Open Pantry view
Bathroom linen and clothes hamper
Kitchen cabinets view 1
Kitchen cabinets view 2
Kitchen cabinets view 3
Update 25 July
2008- Wow - its been
a whole month since I posted an update. It's been pretty hectic
around our place lately. I drove to Rusk, TX and picked up
aromatic red cedar for the closets. I have edged all of the boards,
planed them and now have to run them through the table saw with a dado
so they can lap when installed. I stopped on the cedar when my crew
(son-in-law, brother, grandson, and son) were able to arrange time to
help with the vaulted ceiling. I rented 13 feet of scaffolding
for 2 weeks and we succeeded in getting all of the R30 insulation and
1x6 aspen planking installed in one week. The second week, my brother
and I erected the fireplace framework. I will rent the scaffolding
again when I am ready to install the planking on the fireplace and
apply the finish.
I have also selected Raintree Custom
Cabinets out of Emory, TX to build and install our kitchen, utility,
and bathroom cabinets. I am now looking at all of my options for
countertops. Our budget will determine which material is selected. Click
here to view our latest video.
Here are a few photos of our latest
Update 23 June
2008- Sorry for the
delay in updates - had to take a couple of days to build a fence to
move my horses to a fresh pasture. But, I have completed the bedroom
and the wall behind the stairs which includes a small alcove for the
telephone. The process of selecting a cabinet maker has already begun
and I am waiting on bids from several. I have also ordered the
aromatic cedar for the closets and will drive to Rusk, TX one day this
week to pick it up. I will also be picking up additional insulation so
we can begin the vaulted ceiling in the living room. Once the ceiling
is completed, the wall above the fireplace can be covered and the
fireplace enclosure can be completed. I do not intend to attempt the
vaulted ceiling without assistance from my family. We will also be
renting the necessary scaffolding to ensure safety. Below are pictures
of my current progress.
Update 11 June
2008- Progress is
moving along now that the work can be accomplished by one
person. During the last four days, I have completed the area for
the refrigerator in the kitchen but decided to wait until I talk to
the cabinet maker before completing the wall for the cabinets. Instead
I installed the planks for the long wall in the bedroom. This was a
time consuming effort since I created a herringbone pattern to give a
little character to the area. I plan to complete the remaining bedroom
wall this week. The interior of the closets will be covered with 1/2 x
6 T&G aromatic cedar. The material will not be picked up until the
end of June so, while we are waiting, I will complete the wall under
the staircase. My husband was able to locate scaffolding for
installing the insulation and ceiling in the vaulted area. We will
also be completing the framework for the fireplace and installing the
planking on the gable portion of the end wall while the scaffolding is
available. Ponderosa Pine is being used throughout the kitchen, living
area and bedroom.
Ponderosa Blue Pine
Update 5 June
2008- Once again,
our work has been delayed due to family priorities. My daughter-in-law
has been fighting a mysterious illness for several years and after the
work the first of May, she underwent major bypass surgery. My son's
job also became too demanding for him to have any spare time to
assist. However, my son-in-law spent the last few days helping
install the ceiling in the kitchen area and under the stair landing.
We also installed the insulation in the loft (at least until we ran
out of material). Below are a few pictures of our progress.
Update 5 May 2008
- Well, plans change quite frequently around
here. Due to other commitments, the interior completion has been
greatly delayed. My husband was up to walking around in the
house for a few minutes and told me that I needed to install the
ceilings before the wall coverings. This was due to the width of
the nailing strip for the ceiling. So, instead of attempting the
installation on my own, I opted to wait until my son could take a
couple of days vacation as it really is a 2-3 man job.
My son-in-law and I installed
most of the R-19 and R-30 insulation needed in order to complete the
ceilings. We were short on the material.
On (May 1st) Thursday morning
we began installing the bathroom ceiling. All of the ceilings in the
house will be covered with 1x6 T&G Aspen. My son-in-law
and grandson came over to help which really made things move right
along. We completed the ceiling in the bathroom and utility room
while my grandson made a big dent in cleaning up the debris pile.
Friday, my son and I were the only ones working but we were able to
complete the walls in the bathroom.
Saturday, my brother and
sister-in-law drove out from Dallas to help. They completed installing the insulation
in the bedroom ceiling joists while my son and I completed the walls
in the utility room. We knew we were running short on our 1x8
T&G White Pine so I picked up some plywood to cover the area
behind my floor to ceiling pantry and cabinets.
On Sunday, my brother came back to
help. The three of us were able to complete the ceiling in the
Here are some pictures of the
Update 16 March 2008
- My son and grandson were
able to help for a few hours today and we succeeded in finishing the
insulation on the high gable wall behind our fireplace. I also
have decided not to continue on with the fireplace until I talk to the
contractor that is going to install my log beams as the fireplace
structure may create a problem for his installation. So, I will begin
on the walls in our bedroom this week. I will be installing 1x6
tongue and groove ponderosa pine planking and expect it to be a
relatively easy process.
Below are a few pictures of the
house at this time.
Update 13 March 2008
- This is our first update on finishing the interior. Our
electrician was here the same day as the roofing company and completed
the first phase of wiring. We do not have electricity to the
house yet so we are still working with extension cords.
Satterwhite Log Homes delivered our
finish materials on 6 March so we are all set to get started.
Our first effort was installation of all insulation in the downstairs
walls. This has not been a quick job because of other family
priorities but most of it has been completed. I was able to get
the insulation in the gable wall above the fireplace today. The
wall is quite high and for safety reasons, I must have someone with me
to steady the ladder. I had almost finished when my stapler
jammed. It was NOT a quick and easy fix. My husband gave out and
had to quit so I will try to finish tomorrow. I also plan to start on
the remainder of the fireplace framework tomorrow.
A trip to the store is required to
pick up "tile backer board" for the wall directly behind the
chimney (purely as extra fire protection).