Thursday, December 31, 2015

Day 81: Trusses

On Day 81 our trusses arrived.  They were brought in on a big truck and dumped in the yard.  They are step one in putting a roof up.

In the week prior to that, W had started framing up the interior walls.  We ended up making a few adjustments to room sizes.  

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Day 74: Installing the Header Board

Immediately after the concrete was poured W sunk some bolts in the wet concrete.  The walls were "tied" to the concrete foundation with the rebar that stuck up into them.  These bolts allow the roof to be attached to the walls.

To these bolts he attached the header boards.  This required marking where the bolts were by laying a board on top and tapping it with a hammer.  Holes were then drilled where the indents were made.  The board was this placed on the top and attached with washers and nuts.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Day 63: Pouring the Walls

I actually went back and counted the dates twice on this one.  I really did not think it had taken so long.  In order to finish the insulated concrete forms, concrete had to be pumped into the walls.  Neither of the two local concrete companies had a pumper so we would need to rent one.  The two price quotes we had gotten were $1500-$2000.  This would be in addition to the cost of the concrete.  W called his contact at the company that would deliver the concrete and got the name of a man.  His price was less than a quarter of the low end estimate.  It almost seemed too good to be true.  In this case it was not.

This is the concrete pumper.  The concrete truck dumps the concrete into the hopper.  The pumper operator has a wireless remote that controls the pumper.

A long hose attached to the pumper and this is how the concrete got down into the walls.  It took three passes all the way around.  W was at the end of the hose.  My dad and an uncle were inside dragging it around.

Of course you know Leo was supervising as usual. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Rain Delay: Question Time

Terri asked:  Could you please share how many square feet the finished interior of the home will be?  Do you have a floor plan you can share?

The house will be 1650 square feet when completed which is 600 square feet larger than our current home.  It is 50 feet long and 30 feet wide.  It is a simple rectangle house with no fancy turns.  We wanted something that we could easily work on ourselves.  The house will also have an 8' x 10'  porch.  We have plans to add a garage and deck eventually.  Our first goal is to get the main part of the house done.

Sharing a floor plan is a bit trickier.  We have a floor plan but keep making minor (and one not so minor) changes.  I will try to give you a simple walk through though.  When you come in the front door, you will enter a small foyer.  I wanted a buffer zone as my current house does not have one.  To the left is the living room and kitchen.  This is one open area (20' x 30') with a vaulted ceiling.  The pantry is off from the kitchen.  Turning to the right from the foyer is a hallway leading to the rest of the house.  First on the right is a three-quarter bath (shower, sink, toilet).  The next door on the right goes into the craft room/office.  Across from the craft room on the left is the laundry room.  In addition to the washer and dryer, the laundry room will have the larger freezer, water manifold, and inside portion of the heating/air unit.  At the end of the hallway on the right is the only bedroom with a small walk-in closet.  To the left is the master bathroom which is the room we completely redone.

The house is a bit unconventional.  W designed it to suit us.  I will share more pictures as walls go up and the rooms are defined more.  At that point we will also quit moving things around.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Days 45-46: Framing the Windows and Doors

After the walls were up, the next step was to frame out the doors and windows.  This is an important step as the boards will keep the concrete inside the forms.  It will simply flow around the windows and doors.  We knew the sizes and number of windows and doors but wanted to make sure it was correct.  We opted to purchase a door and a window of each size so W could check the fit.  These were items we will have to buy anyway.  We just bought them a bit early.

He added a bit of the spray foam to areas that not joining tight.  You can also see that he started putting in some braces.  This ensures that the frame holds its shape as the concrete is poured in.

Coming up next is a one week rain delay.  One of the main things we cannot control is the weather.  W used that time to catch up on some other things.  I will be answering a couple of questions over the next two blog posts.  If anyone has questions, feel free to ask.  I will do my best answer them.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Day 44: Finishing the ICFs

W and my dad needed just three days to put up all of the insulated concrete forms.  Due to weather delays and other things going on, it did not even take all of those three days.  It was a fairly simple job overall and definitely DIY friendly.

Our one story home took six rows of the ICFs to get to our eight foot wall height.  Next it was time to start framing out the windows and doors.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Day 43: More Progress on Installing the ICFs

The second day of ICF installation went a bit faster.  In all six rounds of ICFs would need to be installed to give us a wall height of 8 feet.  By round three the windows were starting to come into play.  No blocks are installed where the windows will go.

As the additional layers of block are added, rebar and clips must also be added.  An important thing to remember is that the outer walls are being constructed by W and my dad (with supervision from Leo of course).  While the cost of ICFs is slightly higher than a wood frame home, I feel like we saved in time and labor costs.

At this point in the building process more neighbors were stopping by just to check things out.  W and I have been talking about building this type of home for a few years and more so as we were working on the foundation.  We are the first to build one in our area.  I feel quite accomplished at giving tours and answering questions.  I am sure there are some people who think we are a bit crazy.  No one who has actually stopped to check things out has not been impressed though.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Day 42: Installing the Insulated Concrete Forms

First here is a view of how the insulated concrete forms (ICFs) are shipped.

 They are shipped with cardboard tops and bottoms and straps to bind everything together.  Each one had 12 sections of ICFs.  I did keep the cardboard pieces to use in the bottom of raised beds or for future projects.  *We put a fence around all of the boxes to keep the chickens away.  Chickens love Styrofoam.*

This is a view from the top.  You can see how the Styrofoam interlocks together.  Inside are areas where rebar is clipped in.  You put it vertically and horizontally to improve the strength of the structure.  If you look further down into it, you may notice (on the left) spray foam.  This is what is used to attach the ICFs to the foundation just as a temporary hold during setup.  The spray foam is also used to patch any holes.  You will see more of the spray foam in a picture further down.  This channel between the two pieces of white foam is where the concrete will be poured.  Our blocks have a 4" channel.  Our exterior walls will be 9.25" thick 

In addition to the rebar, the sections of ICFs are held together with these clips.  These are put in vertically as well as horizontally just like the rebar.

Here is Leo showing off the results of his superior supervisory skills at the end of the first day of ICF installation.  The first layer was the worst slowest to install.  It was a matter of marking off where the doors would be as these areas are left open initially.  It was fairly simple to square up since the foundation was square and level.  The ICF corners are perfectly square.  Still the first round is the most important.  Work was also slowed down by the fact that it rained most of the morning.  It was nice to see progress no matter how little.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Day 38 - Deliveries

I do not have any pictures to share of Day 38.  It was busy but not necessarily exciting picture-wise.  We had scheduled a meeting with a man about the septic tank and were expecting a delivery of lumber (with pickup of other materials) as well as the delivery of the insulated concrete forms.  As it turned out everyone showed up at nearly the same time.

The septic tank man did arrive first.  He looked at the area and asked for our permit which I had tucked away in my home building binder.  He started to do some figuring and commented, "This is the cheapest one I have quoted in a long time."  That was music to my ears.  It turned out to be one-third of the cost W had estimated and less than half of what our contractor friend estimated.  He will also dig the hole for our gray water tank for no additional charge.

While he was still there, the trucks with the insulated concrete forms and supplies arrived.  I did not take pictures since there was very little to see.  Our contact person also came to oversee the delivery and answer any questions.  It was nice to actually meet him since all of our conversations had been over the phone or by email.  The delivery also attracted a few neighbors who were anxious to see our funny building blocks.

When they left, the delivery driver arrived with the lumber.  He unloaded everything and picked up the excess building supplies from the foundation.  That gave us some extra room in the yard and extra money in the budget.

It was a whirlwind there for a few hours.  Once again the yard was quiet.  Next up is the start of installing the insulated concrete forms.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Days 29-37

These days were spent on things that are a necessary if boring part of building a new home.  Here goes:

  1. We picked up the shower insert.  It is too large to fit through a standard door and had to be set into the house before the walls go up.  We opted to get a one piece unit.  It was only $100 more than a four piece unit.  Our shower is also solid surface.  We knew we wanted a durable, one piece shower.  This was one area where we were happy to spend the extra money.
  2. We ordered and paid for our insulated concrete forms (ICFs).  We ended up going with the Fox Blocks brand.  All of the forms are basically the same.  We discovered by accident that a Fox Blocks distributor was located within 2 hours of our location.  They were also able to recommend a concrete pump operator who was experienced with ICFs (a huge plus).
  3. We called to get an estimate on a septic tank.  We live out in the country so our water comes from our own private well and a septic tank is a necessity.  We arranged for someone to come give us an estimate.
  4. We ordered a delivery of lumber and arranged to have the extra building materials picked up.  To just schedule a pick up would have cost $65.  Delivery for the needed lumber was free, and the company would pick up for free if a delivery was being made.
  5. We did some planning and practiced patience.  We started looking at other supplies we would need.  We also just took some time to catch our breath.  That was a good thing because day 38 was hectic!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Day 28: The Foundation is Done

My job on this day was to keep Leo out of the concrete so unfortunately I do not have any step by step photos.  The workers arrived early and the concrete trucks came soon after.  It took less concrete than originally estimated (saving $200+).

It was an all day job though.  The workers smoothed the concrete, let it set, and then smoothed it some more.  When it was dry, they cut expansion joints in it.  This allows the concrete some room to expand and prevents the chance of it cracking.  The foundation is wonderfully level and looks great.  The job cost about a third of what our main sub-contractor estimated.  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Days 24 & 25 - Repacking the Dirt

With the rough plumbing done the dirt needed to be repacked before the concrete foundation could be poured.  Our sub-contractor rented a tamper which W and I picked up.  He came by on Day 24 to do the first round of tamping.

After the tamper we put up the sprinklers again.  This time that ran overnight.  The next morning the sub-contractor came back to run the tamper over it once more.  At the end of the second tamping we were officially ready for the concrete to be poured.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Days 22 & 23 - Rough Plumbing

We hired a plumber who will handle all of the plumbing from start to finish.  He and his assistant were here over two days to do the first stage which is the rough plumbing.  All of our lines are run in the foundation.  They are essentially pipes within pipes.

These pictures above were taken at the end of day 22.  Remember all of that dirt that was so tightly packed.  It had to be dug up to lay the pipe.  The catch was that it had to be packed before so that the dirt underneath the pipes would not settle later and ruin the slope.

At the end of Day 23 all of the rough plumbing was done and the pipes were covered.  The plumber was great!  He ran all of the normal plumbing, a pipe for the dryer vent (the green one on the left), and lines for the gray water system.  The angled green pipe on the right is for the air conditioner.  He will be back later for phase two of the plumbing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Days 18 - 21

After all of the dirt was hauled in and packed with the tractors, it needed to wet to pack it more thoroughly.  We started the sprinkler running.  Then on Day 19 rain moved in.  It was not heavy, drenching rain but good steady soak in rain.  That was perfect for the dirt.  Not very exciting as far as construction posts go.  It was still a necessary step.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Day 17: Packing Dirt & a Visit from the Health Department

W got up and shoveled dirt into the spot where the last of the block were set.  Then he hooked up three of our garden sprinklers.  Water will help pack the dirt more tightly.  It is necessary for the dirt to be packed well so that the drain lines set by the plumber will not shift at a later date.

Rain would be even better to pack the dirt.  In spite of all the chances of rain, we never got enough to do much good.  Sprinklers had to do the job instead.

A worker from the health department came out to let us know where we could put the septic tank.  Fortunately the area we wanted it was acceptable.  Another item off our checklist.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Day 16 - Part 2: Errands and the Last of the Block

After all the dirt was put it on day 16, we left to run a couple of house related errands.  The first thing we needed to do was pick out a shower insert for the three quarter bath and also choose a tub for the main bathroom.  We started at one of the big box home stores and selected a couple of options that would work.

Then we went to a locally owned store.  First of all the service there was great.  We found a shower insert that was one piece which is what we really wanted.  It was only $100 more than the four piece we had looked at in the previous store.  The tub was nearly double the price, but it was large enough for my very tall husband to sit in.  He is not a big tub person but does like the occasional soak if he has sore muscles.  We only plan to do this once and a good tub and shower were on our list of priorities.  Best of all the sales person printed out a copy of the layout which our plumber will need to make sure the drains are in the right place.

Next on our errand list was a trip to the health department with the form we received along with our building permit.  We needed to complete an application and pay a fee to have someone come out to our property to tell us where the septic tank can go.

Finally we returned a roll of unused twine to a building supply store.  That was $13 back into the house account.  At this point every dollar is important!

Back home the block layers came back by to finish the last section of block.  We paid them for another 130 block.  All of the extra blocks (around 150) will be returned for a credit.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Day 16 - Part 1: More Dirt

We ended up needing 10 loads of dirt in total to fill up the space inside the blocks.  I did not complain as dirt is much cheaper than concrete.  After each load of dirt W and one of the sub-contractors used small tractors to compact it.  When they were done, Leo had a blast running around in the sand.  He would run up one side of the dirt, dive off the edge of the blocks, and run back around to do it all over again.

He needed a short break every now and then.

Finally all of that running wore him out!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Day 15

On Day 15 we started having dirt hauled in to fill the space up to the point where the concrete slab will be poured.  We had already had two loads of sand brought in.  Part of that went into the mortar for the blocks.  The remainder was put in the foundation with a front end loader.

Four loads were hauled in on this day bringing our total up to six.  The cost for this is per load.  I am continually amazed that people just keep bringing stuff to us without any money up front.  I know I have the money to pay them.  I suppose it is just part of the construction business for them.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Day 14

Day 14 brought a bit of unexpected news.  Our sub-contractor and the block layer stopped by and discovered that the wrong mortar had been sent and used when laying the block.  I had no idea there were different types.  Apparently there are and it makes a big difference.

They both agreed that it could be remedied by pouring a bit of concrete into the blocks in advance.  This would have to be done anyway.  I am sure these unexpected issues will continue to come up along the construction journey.

I am thankful that it was discovered before we were ready to pour the foundation.  Otherwise the block might not have held, and we could have ended up with concrete all over the yard.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Days 11 &12: Block

The predicted rain never arrived so we were able to go right to the next step in our new house which was the block.  We ordered the block and had it delivered.  Then we paid a sub-contractor to lay the block.  Most commonly the amount is based on the number of blocks - so much money per block.  One section of block could not be put in at this time to allow for the dump truck to back in and dump the dirt.  You can see that section on the right hand side of the picture below.  We paid for 500 blocks at the end of the second day.

The block layers leveled each row as they went.  In the end it was perfectly leveled to the original string line.  Our cost per block was higher than the normal job since many of the blocks had to be lifted over the pieces of rebar that were sticking up.  Even with all of this the job came in at about half of what we expected the cost to be.  That was a nice surprise.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Days 9 & 10: Deliveries

On Day 9 we got a delivery of blocks.  There are 830 in total.  A separate delivery driver brought bags of mortar mix.  The blocks will be stacked from the poured footer up to the string line.  The block layers are paid per block.  Our cost per block will be a bit higher than normal as the blocks must be lifted over the rebar sticking out of the footer.  This is a bit more time consuming.

We also met with a plumber.  He was recommended by our sub-contractor (and new best friend).  The plumber will do everything from putting in the drain lines to hooking everything (toilets, sinks, etc.) up.  He also provides a one year warranty on all of his work.  W can do plumbing, but it is not his favorite thing.  We decided the price and warranty make it worth hiring out!

On day 10 two loads of sand were delivered.  It started raining right after they delivered it which is why this picture is so dark.  The sand goes into the mortar.  The leftover sand will go into the floor of the house before the foundation is poured.

I did not realize all of the small steps that go into a house foundation.  Everything is going smoothly so far.  Rain is in the forecast.  It may slow us down a bit depending on how much and when it rains.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Day 8 - Pouring Concrete

On day 8 we were ready for concrete to be poured in the footer.  First there were bulkheads put in at each step of the footer.  You can see that below.  It is the piece of plywood held in place with two metal stakes.  This helps control where the concrete goes and keeps it in place.

The footer was poured in sections.  The height of the concrete was checked multiple times for each section.  It needed to be the proper height to ensure the next step (block) will be correct.

The finished footer

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Days 4 and 7

Days 4 and 7 (5 & 6 were the weekend) found us continuing to work on the footer.  Rebar was set in the hole that was dug previously.  Due to the amount of weight that will be on the walls, the sub-contractor put in extra rebar.  The pieces sticking up are for the block to sit over.

This is not common for most houses.  We need the foundation to be extra sturdy and to stay put.  A little extra money up front will save us in the long run.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

Construction Has Started: Days 1-3

What a difference a week makes.  On September 8 we were still waiting with no clear idea of when construction would start.  By September 12 W called to let me know that the sub-contractor would be here the following week.  Later in the day he called again to tell me that work would begin on September 15 (Tuesday).  We spent Monday running errands, finalizing the building permit, and trying to stay calm.  Okay, the last part was mostly me.

The yard on Monday before construction started. 

At the end of Day 1

At the end of Day 2

At the end of Day 3

The first three days have been spent squaring everything up and digging the footer.  Our house will be made of insulated concrete forms (ICF) so the foundation needs to be able to hold up the weight.  Most of the weight (200,000+ pounds) will be on the outside so the footer is done a bit different than on wood homes.

I have been getting a crash course on home building.  If you can see the string, that indicates where the floor of the house will be.  The front is not too high, but due the level of the ground the back will be much higher.  That translates into more blocks (and more money).  A level foundation is a necessity for an ICF home.  This is the portion of the construction that is out of our control.  It needs to be correct so we are paying what it costs to have it as near perfect as possible.

This is a new adventure for both W and myself.  I am nervous, excited, and maybe a bit stressed.  I hope you will follow me on this journey from Day 1 until completion.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Still Waiting...But Being Proactive

We are still waiting for the guys who will do the foundation. We are getting a good lesson in patience.  Even though we are in a time of waiting, we are still doing a few things.

First up on our list this week is to get the building permit.  When the foundation guys are ready, we will be too.  This is an easy step but is also the first big expense.  Of course as soon as those foundation guys show up, that amount will seem like spare change.

Second is making a price list of building supplies.  I know we will not cover everything in this first trip to the home supply store.  This will cover the basic items that we will definitely need.  The larger plan is to make purchases from this list when coupons are released.  Building a new home is not cheap, but we do plan to save where we can.  Those dollars add up over time and turn into less money that we need to borrow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Our sub-contractor is still working on another house.  (We knew we were in line behind that one.)  We are in a waiting period right now.  We did manage to do a couple more things on our pre-building list.

First I ordered a book of building codes. We talked to the local building code enforcer and found out what book he used.  We opted to order a new version that covered gray water systems which we plan to have.  I ordered a used copy from Amazon which arrived this past week.  It is a bit overwhelming, but this will be easier than constantly looking things up online.

Second we met with someone from the power company to see where the power line would need to run.  This allows us to know where the panel box will need to go in the house.

Progress is slow, but at least we are still moving forward.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Building a House with Styrofoam and Tape

I use the title as a joke, but in fact that is the basic start of the walls of our new home.  The truth is that the house we will build is made with insulating concrete forms (ICF).  You can see more about it here and here.  The outer walls will be forms that have channels which are filled with concrete and reinforcing bars.    The building cost is 2-4% higher than building with wood.

The savings come later as the home will be very energy efficient, safer in extreme weather, and has a very high fire rating.  The home needs 44% less energy to heat and 25% less energy to cool.  This was a contributing factor in our decision to build this type of home.

I am certain we will attract a large amount of attention when we start building.  It will be exciting to watch the house come together with such unusual building materials.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Question Time: Likes and Dislikes

I knew when I decided to start this blog that I not only wanted to share the process with all of you but that I also wanted to get your input.  The first question is actually a two part one.

Question 1a:  What is the thing(s) that you like best about your home?  This can be anything - layout, appliance, color, flooring, etc.  It is fine to see things in photos in magazines.  Hearing what actual people like because they have it in their homes is better.

Question 1b:  What thing(s) do you dislike about your home?  I know that no home will be perfect.  We all have something we wish that was different though.

This will be my only new home post this week.  I really hope you will take the time to your answers.  We have not yet started construction so this is the perfect time for me to get honest input.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Where to Build a New Home

At the same time we were designing our home, we were thinking of where to build it.  We already owned a piece of land beside our current rental home.  My parents gave us the opportunity to purchase the rental home and property.  This would give us the required one acre of land necessary to build a home.  Due to zoning a minimum of one acre is required.  We are allowed to keep the current house while the new one is being built.  We just have to remove the old house when we move into the new one.

Something new to us is a Quitclaim Deed.  This allows property to be transferred between individuals.  It can be done for much less than going through a lawyer.  The downside is that there is no warranty so it should be done between family members that you trust completely.  You can get more information by going to the courthouse in your area and talking to someone in the clerk's office. We were able to get a sample with the necessary paperwork to attach.  I just had to type it up with the information on the property and give it to my parents to be signed and notarized.  We returned the paperwork to the courthouse and paid a $12 fee.

We like the area we live in now.  We already have an established yard (for the most part) with my raised beds and our chicken/rabbit/duck areas.  We are fortunate since land in our area is very expensive.  We did make a trade off in that we will have a bigger front yard than back yard.  Most of the back yard living space is taken up with our animals and garden.  These are things that we love so we do not mind looking at them as we sit on the (eventual) back deck.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Designing a New Home

Rather than purchase pre-designed home plans, we wanted to design our own home.  We wanted something simple yet functional.  To make it easier we purchased software.  This software is the current version of what we purchased.  W has been the chief designer and found the software to be mostly user friendly.  It was certainly easier than trying to draw it out.  He was able to easily move things (walls, cabinets, etc) around to achieve the desired look.

We chose a single story house, because I plan to get too old to climb stairs one day.  We wanted a large open living room and kitchen area.  We also have a large pantry and a laundry room big enough for a freezer in addition to the washer/dryer.  The house will have one bedroom with a second room that could be a bedroom.  This second room will be my craft room instead.  We will have 1 3/4 baths, a small walk-in closet, and a foyer.  I wanted a buffer between opening the front door and the rest of the house.  We will be adding a small front porch at the time the house is build.  Future planned additions include a back deck and a garage.

Our current home is 960 square feet.  The new house will be 1650 square feet.  It is not huge compared to the size of most homes.  We chose this size due to the fact that there are only two of us.  We never have house guests.  The house will have a good layout.  The poor layout is my main complaint about our current house.  We also wanted a house that was affordable to build and maintain.  Large houses are nice and are fine for some families.  We downsized twice from our original design.  I need to see things so we looked at a house that was very similar in size to what we chose.

Writing it out makes it sound like a very simple process, but it was tough.  We went back and forth for months.  Just when we thought we had the final design, we made another change.  Pinterest is good to a certain extent.  I quickly learned that trying to design the "perfect dream" house was impossible.  I am sure no one loves absolutely every single thing about their home.  We included all of our top wish list items and finally called it done!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Join Me on a Home Building Adventure

Welcome to my new blog that will follow the adventures of building a brand new home.  Let me give you a little background on how we got here and what you can expect from this blog.

W and I started our married life in a 20 year old single wide mobile home.  It was nothing fancy but suited us fine.  A few years later my parents began renting their old home to us.  Our current house is around 125 years old.  I wish I could say it was a grand old home, but it is not.  The house started off as a general store and was even a "club" about 50 years ago.  Sections were added over time.  The house is not even close to square and has no insulation.  I can be well assured that I will never get carbon monoxide poisoning as the house is full of cracks.  Still with all of its downfalls, a part of me will miss this old house.

Knowing all of our current home's problems and the costs of fixing those problems, we opted to build a new house.  We are taking an alternative route.  For several years we having been saving money as our goal is to avoid a mortgage.  We also plan to do much of the construction ourselves.  W has done construction work, and I was my dad's construction assistant so we are not going into this blind.  We do have a contractor to help with some parts and will sub-contract other portions of the build.  (More on that as we progress)

My plan is take each of you along with me on this journey.  I will begin by explaining the pre-building steps.  Also plan to see many polls and questions.  I know many of you already have homes.  If not you have ideas of what you would like in a dream home.  I would love your input.

These first few weeks will be a bit boring as the actual construction has not started yet.  Hopefully by this time next month I will be sharing pictures.  Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you will follow me through the ups and downs of building a home!