You know that new house on the hill? We built it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

An Update from That New House

I've been meaning to stop by this blog and add a few notes. That New House has become Our House. I've started a blog, Okra Hill Farm, that documents our life here. Please visit that site to learn more about how we're using our land to garden, play, and raise a family. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy Soon-to-be Summer from That New House (and farewell)

When I began this blog over 7 months ago, I wasn't exactly sure what shape it would take. I ultimately decided to try to strike a balance between keeping our family and friends updated with the house's progress, while also providing information for other folks who may build a similar home down the road. I hope I've succeeded in doing both. It's been a fun journey, both the building of the house and blogging about it. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have!

With all that said, I have reached a point where I'm ready to close the chapter on the That New House blog. We're moved in and the decisions we make from here on are more personal preferences that suit our family than anything. I'm always happy to talk about our process and the house so please contact me either via email or by leaving a comment with a post (I read them all).

Before I wrap up, though, I would like to share my "What I would change if I could" about the house. Overall we love the house so I have to think hard about what could be better.

As a refresher, we did make a few changes to the plan before we started building; however, we did not use an architect for revisions because our contractor didn't need us to. We added a backporch between the screened-in porch and master suite; we increased the size of the den/guest bedroom downstairs by including the coat closet in the room; we made the kitchen island a rectangle instead of a T; and upstairs we made the large storage closet accessible from the landing (instead of one of the bedrooms). All of those changes have been perfect!

Now...what I would change now that I've lived here for over a month:
  • Increase the size of the laundry room (at least a foot or two wider and deeper to accommodate the large front-loading machines that I have and the extra refrigerator I want)
  • Install sound-proofing or muffling insulation in the living room ceiling (which is directly below one of my sons' bedrooms)
  • Rethink the electrical plan for the master bathroom in relation to where towel bars, etc. should be installed
  • Install under-cabinet lighting above the kitchen desk
I'm sure there are a few more nit-picky things that I could add but those are the ones that have stuck out to me the most. I'm so pleased that we went with this plan designed by Moser Design Group. It fits our family and the house will grow with us as we grow as a family. Thanks for joining us and have a happy summer!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Treatment of Windows

In our other two homes, we used white Venetian blinds on almost all of the windows. Call it plain or me lacking the design initiative to come up with another window treatment option but that's what we had. When we started thinking about this house, I knew I wanted to do something different after looking through countless magazines. I love the functionality of wide Venetians, especially in a neighborhood setting where you need that extra privacy; however, now that we're on 9 acres of land, that isn't as much of an issue. For the past month, we've used the convenient RediShades but now we have time to install something more permanent.

Here is the bathroom with the RediShades. I actually ordered bamboo shades for these windows but then decided that I'd rather have blinds (to allow in more light and give us privacy--even though no one is likely to be peeking in our bathroom windows). I need to go back to Home Depot and order wooden Venetians (we don't want white because as you can tell, there's already a lot of white in that space). Oh and there's the tub! Isn't she lovely?
Here are the bamboo shades I've chosen for the downstairs bedrooms. I love them! They add warmth to the rooms but don't take away from the beauty of those large windows.

The guest bedroom's large windowseat window is trickier. I plan to buy curtains of some sort but for now, this tablecloth works as a swag.
In the boys' rooms upstairs, I repurposed curtains from our previous houses for their windows. That's working great. I haven't decided what to do about the living room windows. I originally thought I wanted to use the bamboo shades there, too, but I don't want to lose that much of the natural light.

Leave this all to say, the treatment of windows is still very much IN progress.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tour of That New House

The Southernness of Shutters

As I mentioned at the end of the last post, the shutters are up! And having them in place really seems to give the house its Southern farmhouse charm. Walk around the house with me to see the final result.

I can't say it enough how pleased we are with the Moser Design Group plan. Eventually I'll write a post about the things we changed in the plan and now that we're living here, other modifications I'd make. But really, I'm tickled with the house!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A tale of a tub (and a driveway)

When we moved in that Friday, the house wasn't completely done. But honestly, whose new house is ever finished when they move in? Here were a few of the "need to be dones": clawfoot tub, shutters, gravel on the driveway, fixing scratches on the hardwood floor, shades for the windows, internet connections.

Here's the story about the clawfoot tub...remember when we bought it? Well the tub sat patiently for the longest time as we decided how we would go about getting it refinished. Finally I convinced Ashley to go with the deal where the man offered to come pick it up, finish it and bring it back to us. But this was right at the beginning of April and we were hitting crunch time. The man picked it up and had it ready to be delivered Friday of move-in; however, the ball bearing on his trailer broke when he reached Columbia, leaving our tub almost stranded downtown. Martin, Ashley's cousin, rescued it and Ashley picked it up from him later. Keep in mind this is a CAST IRON tub. Heavy thing!

That Sunday, Ashley and his dad settle on their method for getting the tub off the truck and into the house, which involved a handtruck, cardboard, carpet, and a lot of manpower. Here they are, coming in the front door.
Through the living room.
Through the bedroom heading into the bathroom. No, I don't have a picture of it in place. Once the tub was put in place, we had to wait on the plumber to attach the pipes and faucet. I'll share a picture once I have real blinds in the bathroom (right now we're using these marvelous temporary paper shades).
Another piece of the house that was needed was a sidewalk. Ashley and his friend Josh finished laying the pavers after we had been here for a week or so. It looks great, even with kids' toys and clothing strewn about.
We also needed a properly surfaced driveway. Ashley's dad assisted us again with this one--two loads of sand and two loads of gravel helped get it started.
As you can imagine, my boys were pretty excited about dump trucks and dirt.
Our favorite piece of heavy equipment has to be the skidsteer (or Bobcat as we usually call it). Here's Ashley working on the grading.

The basically finished product. Ashley's dad is fantastic at creating a smooth surface--we definitely appreciate his handiwork here!
It's hard to see here but we've made a circle driveway--and now we've added a shade playspace to the left.
Who knows what the deal was on the guys who were supposed to come put the shutters up weeks ago. What I do know is they came last Friday at 3:30 p.m. and were done in an hour. Again, you'll have to wait for a later post to see pictures (I haven't taken them yet). Without the shutters, the house looked like a classic farmhouse; with the shutters its Southern-ness shines through.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Beginning the end of the beginning of a new chapter!

I just downloaded 311 pictures from my camera. That's what happens when you move and don't have the Internet to share them. So now I'm beginning the work of trying to put it all together to complete this tale of our building Glen View Cottage. Bear with me as I bring y'all up to date!

Here is the house as it stood on Friday (April 15) when we moved in. Sparkly clean but no shutters; landscaping but no clawfoot tub. More on all that later.
The kitchen pre-unpacking. LOVE IT.
From the living room looking to the kitchen on the left and the dining room on the right.

Master bedroom (mostly a fan shot...not sure who cares about this but there it is).

In the midst of my unpacking. The kitchen is MY thing to unpack so while Ashley and a few guys loaded up the bulk of our rental house, I went ahead with a load and started the big job. Notice all the diaper boxes...I've been saving them since October. They make great moving boxes!
Halfway through the morning I got really hungry but realized I hadn't packed myself a snack. So I dug through my boxes and found Nutella and saltines. Perfect for a porch sitting snack when you combine with a glass of well water from the faucet!
The pantry is amazing. I've never had a pantry before so it's taken me some time to figure out how to organize the space. I think I have it where I want now (pictures later) but here's my start.
AH the trucks arrive with our stuff!
A special thanks to Ashley's friend HL for helping us move in.
and Ashley's cousin Martin (who requested that I take his picture so he could be on this blog). There you go, Martin. Thanks!
Saturday night I couldn't wait any longer and invited over a group of friends who all have kids our kids' ages. We had spaghetti for supper and then spent a lot of time playing outside. It was so great to be able to entertain. And our friends helped make the house feel like home.
That night was a full moon and my friend Susan sent me a text, telling me that the house looked beautiful with the moon behind it as she left. So of course I dashed out and took a picture (much like I have done with my boys accomplishing their big firsts).
And here she (I think our house is a she) is on an early morning, nestled in the spring haze.

So that will get you started on the actual move to Glen View. Next will come what's been going on since then (clawfoot tub delivered, driveway graveled, shutters installed). Stay in touch!