Posts Tagged 'Bubba'

Week 5: let the frames begin

Monday, August 11. It’s drizzling, gloomy, overcast day in Bluff Park. Not the best of weather for framing, but the framers get to it…

The amazing Lauren and Rachel Burns… and balloons!

The amazing Lauren and Rachel Burns… and balloons!

…while we’re enjoying sunny, unseasonably temperate weather in Washington D.C. hanging with Bubs, Lisa, Lauren and Rachel.

After spending the weekend taking in a few sights, eating too much, and being fairly glued to the Olympics, Liane and I hit the National Building Museum on Monday with Bubba and Lauren for the Eero Saarinen exhibit (he of The Arch and the lovely Womb Chair).

Meanwhile, back “home,” Will is kind enough to capture the results of week 5, day 1 for us: half the first floor done before calling it on account of rain.

We’re back in business!

Half of the first floor floor.

Half of the first floor floor. Photo ©2008 Green Bottle Workshop LLC

Over the phone the next day, Will lets us know that we’ll need to commit one way or the other to the outdoor fireplace, which will go on the east side terrace. Even if we decide to do it after the house is finished, a footing will need to be poured, and that has to happen now. We all really, really want to this to happen. So, after minimal debate (and encouragement from Bubba), we give ’em the go-ahead.

At week’s end, we say our goodbyes in Baltimore, fly back to Birmingham and head straight for the lot. Will had said that the framing stage is typically the quickest part of the building process. Never having done this before though (and knowing that the weather hadn’t been fully cooperative while we were away), we weren’t quite sure what to expect when we pulled into the “driveway” at 1133.

To our amazement, here’s what we saw:

It's not a lot. It's a house!

It's not a lot. It's a house!

Looking through the kitchen and into the downstairs bedrooms.

Looking through the kitchen and into the downstairs bedrooms.

A closer look at the east-facing bedroom.

A closer look at the east-facing bedroom.

So much progress in so little time!

We’re actually able to see the layout of the first floor. And, we’re also getting a much clearer sense of the scale of the house.

It’s different to what we’d imagined.

Bigger. A lot bigger.

The extra digging during the foundation process has the house sitting high off the ground, making it feel pretty monumental up close. Pulling into the driveway though, it feels just right. Not too big, not too small. Perfectly tailored to the lot.

We leave on a high, planning to return the following evening.

Just 24 short hours later, we arrive to find this:

Is that the front window?

Is that the front window?

Steel beams offer extra support for the large front and east-facing corner windows.

Steel beams offer extra support for the large front and east-facing corner windows.

There it ith! The footing for the outthide hearth!

There it ith! The footing for the outthide hearth!

The west side (dining room TK).

The west side (dining room TK).

Back o' the house and the entrance to the standspace (formerly known as the crawlspace).

Back o' the house and the entrance to the standspace (formerly known as the crawlspace).

Inside the completed crawlspace.

Inside the completed crawlspace.

Again, we just can’t believe it. In just 5 short days (4-and-a-half if you count the weather interruption), we’re able to see where the middle volume and kitchen will live, the downstairs bathroom and bedrooms, and the living room.

The entire first level is almost done!

Gas prices had us just about to swear off coming to the site every day. But, with so much happening so quickly, so much for that.

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Week 4 (part deux): the inspector arrives!

"I am here to fix ze problem with yer benk dreau."

"I am here to fix ze problem with yer benk dreau."

Finally! The inspector has inspected. We have the next bank draw!

And then some.

The bank has mistakenly (suprise!) issued us a substantial larger amount than they were supposed to at this point.

Of course we’re keeping it.

This unexpected extra bit of money will hopefully allow us to start reaping the benefits from our DirectBuy membership, which has, so far, left us feeling like cult members who haven’t yet been thoroughly brainwashed. Seems you can’t use credit or debit cards when placing orders, so we’ll need a substantial bit of cash in hand whenever we order anything. Tricky… and made even trickier by their lengthier (than average) lead times, and the fact that we’ll likely never have a substantial amount of dough in hand prior to a draw, and…

Well, we’ll figure it out.

At any rate, this is one instance where our bank’s incompetence has actually worked in our favor.

OK, so lunch yesterday at Jackson’s with the Green Bottle gang had us dining on Baltimore BLTs, Fish Sandwiches, Pizza and Crabcakes… and looking at options on the exterior Hardie Board cladding, our kitchen, and the middle volume.

For the kitchen, we’ve settled on white Akurum cabinets from Ikea, a glass backsplash, and the Euro-Style Stainless suite of appliances from Jenn-Air arranged thusly:

Kitchen layout with middle volume.

Kitchen layout with middle volume.

The middle volume extends from the kitchen area and wraps the overhanging room above in birch plywood with two glass handrails and a small window. One of the birch panels will be on a pivot or hinges allowing it to be opened and closed, like so:

Middle volume door opened.

Middle volume door opened.

Will and Matthew also presented us with an option that left the mezzanine open to the space below by employing glass panels at handrail height. Very nice as well. But Liane and I really liked the versatility offered by the birch panel option. The pivot panel will allow us to better manage the privacy of a space, which we foresee adapting to and accommodating our future needs (an office, a media area, an extension of the master bedroom, a nursery).

Also, we thought it looked really cool!

As for the Hardie Board cladding on the exterior, we went with this arrangement:

Cladding selection.

East Elevation: Cladding selection.

So, framing starts next Monday. Hurray!

In the meantime, we’re off to D.C. until next week on a much, much needed mini-vacation (visiting Bubba, Lisa, the girls, Uncle Billy and Aunt Debbie).


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