Thursday, May 28, 2015

Insulation for the House

Before we can drywall and brick the house, we had to have a framing inspection. Then there is another inspection after insulation is installed to the exterior walls, and then drywall can begin.

Because we chose ICF, our insulation was already in place. However, there were some exterior walls upstairs that we had to insulate.



We actually had the exterior walls started prior to the inspection. It was a mistake that was caught before it was too late.



Usually insulation in the attic is blown in after the drywall is up. But we chose to use spray foam insulation to encapsulate our attic like we did in the last house.

Foam


This has so many benefits. It allows the HVAC units located in the attic to work in a better space than 140 degree air. This helps make the unit last longer. We will also have less dust because no blown in insulation. It was so hot upstairs prior to insulation that having it now makes such a large difference. We'll only have to turn on our A/C to circulate air, not to cool it!



We had a dry spell in our area for weeks! This was a good thing for building, but we wanted it to rain to test the roof. It finally rained and we found a leak.



Luckily, it was because the roofing paper on the front porch was not covering an area.



We had to fix this before we could apply the spray foam to the underside of the roof. We hadn't shingled that part of the roof because it will be metal. And we can't put the metal roof on until the brick is up. So, for the meantime, we had the roofer come back out and put the fancy ice shield for roofs so that it will buy us time until the brick is complete and we can get that metal roof on.



Once the exterior walls were foamed, the crew moved to the attic.



Here is a short video of the crew working. We had a two-guy crew. Spray foam is a chemical that is applied wet and as it dries, it expands.



There was a lot of space to cover. It took them a week to complete fully.



Once they completed the job, they performed a quality test. We had this done on the first house. They closed off all pipes and suctioned the air to see if there were any leaks. We have a tight house!



At the top of the ICF walls, the framing crew laid a thin piece of foam before laying wood on top. This was to help prevent the air leakage through the first and second floor.



After the insulation was complete, we had another inspection. We passed, which means drywall can start. The crew started today and boy do they move fast! I'm sure I'll post something by Saturday with an update with complete walls!



After the insulation test, the crew cleaned the house. It was so nice. It hasn't ever been this clean.



Not only is the spray foam energy efficient, it also binds the structure together to make it even more solid. And surprisingly, it's not that expensive. I would definitely recommend it. This is our second time using it and we love it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day 2015 Weekend

Mr. JCrew is our traveler. We haven't taken a vacation, EVER! We've taken little trips back home to Florida, but we haven't counted those because we haven't done any "excursions."

We especially haven't taken trips since we've had the boys. Traveling with babes is hard. But Mr. JCrew has been itching to go on a vacation and thought the boys were plenty old enough (they're 2.5y and 3.5y).

I am a home-body, but I like little day trips. I put together a fun overnight trip. We started off going to the hot air balloon festival in a nearby town.



The balloons took off at 6:30AM.



We got there early to see the crews get ready.



They allow you to get as close as you want. Our first year to go was last year, and we went at night. It's cool to see the balloons lit up at night.



My favorite Reading Rainbow show growing up was the episode showing all the work that goes into getting a hot air balloon off the ground.



I still think this event is so neat as a grown up. The boys love it too.



It is an all-day event with vendors and games. We stayed and the boys got hot air balloons of their own.



Little JCrew then wanted to get his face painted. He did so well.



He really wanted to be Spider-Man.



That face paint lasted all day until he wanted to wear his ninja turtle mask that night and we had to clean his face.

The next day, we woke up to the road-trip part of our vacation. 


The boys did really well riding in the car. No videos, just occupying themselves. Mr. Brigglesworth turned a Gatorade bottle into a clarinet. Drove his brother nuts, but he had fun.



We were driving to Nashville. First stop, was the Zoo!

We have not ever taken the boys to a zoo. We've talked about it a lot and they are very into animals, so this would be perfect.

Little JCrew said he wanted to see the Giraffes; they are his favortite. I didn't know that was his favorite animal. Right now, I think his favorite word is "favorite" as we like to call everything our favorite.



He wouldn't let me get a picture of him with the giraffes though.



Mr. Brigglesworth talked about monkey's prior to the trip. He wanted to ride a monkey.



When we first went by the monkey's they were quiet in the tree. By lunch time, they were so loud! We went back to see them and they were swinging from the trees and making so much noise. It was appropriate that Mr. Brigglesworth was attracted to the monkey's. They are just like him!



The Nashville Zoo had a lot of areas to get close to the animals. Our first encounter was with birds.



These birds sing and fly above you.



There was a petting zoo with goats and the boys liked brushing them. 

My favorite encounter was with the kangaroo's! They were babies. There was one that was a year old that Little JCrew got up close to.



I told him he couldn't pet it, but the roo just kept getting closer.



Finally, the keeper said he could pet him, and it made his day!



Mr. JCrew then started sneezing. He must be allergic to Kangaroo. Guess a trip to Australia is low on the list.

My favorite animal is the elephant.


They did a great job with their exhibits. Each exhibit has multiple places for you to view the animals. If the animal is not in view from where you are, you can walk around to another spot and see them.



We kept following the elephants around until we were so close and then the elephant decided to use the restroom. I include this picture because it is the memory that Mr. Brigglesworth brings up if you ask him about the zoo. The elephant was pooping! (and he was, but no picture of that.) Of all things to remember about a trip. Such a boy!

The zoo had a tunnel to act like a meerkat.



The boys weren't tall enough to see on their own, so they asked for help.



The meerkat's were active, so it was fun to see them.



Even the flamingos were active. We had two in the water running around and acting goofy.



After the zoo, we went to the Bicentennial Mall. It's a park downtown.



The boys had fun walking around and pretending to be statues.



There was a globe and Little JCrew started singing, "He's got the whole world in his hands" song.



We then went to check in to our hotel and swam in the hotel pool. The boys thought the bed was awesome!



For dinner, we went to the Aquarium Restaurant.



It was so fun. We sat so close and saw so many fish!



We had more little things planned for Monday, but we were worn out and ready to get home. We didn't hit up the Rainforest Cafe, but we did go see it and look inside. We will definitely go back for that.

We hope you had a great weekend! Time to get back to the grind.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Month 4 Metrics

We have another month down in the construction phase of our new home. We're 141 days in now and some exciting things are about to happen all at once.



We had three weeks of stand by trying to get inspections lined up. One inspection held up all the others. The weather has been great, if only we weren't sitting around. We didn't have a drop of rain for two weeks!

We're currently behind on schedule, and my prediction is that we're two weeks behind. The original schedule said we would be done with insulation and drywall by May 15th. We're close, but not there.

As for budget, we're currently on track. On May 1st, I paid two big bills I didn't expect. I had to put 50% down for the garage doors and the cabinets. In my budget, I had a lump sum paid upon delivery. So those payments put us over for the month, but in the long run, we're good.



And I still have two payments to make this month that I don't have calculated; that's insulation and drywall.



Overall, we are good. I originally had us moving in to the house mid-July, and now it's looking like mid-August.

Kitchen Cabinets - Boxes Cut Out

There are a lot of things happening with the house right now. It may look as if not a whole lot is going on, but there are things behind the scenes.

I provided the update on inspections. We passed the HVAC, gas, framing and brick. This meant we could go ahead and put the remaining siding up that touched some windows and porch ceilings and we could start insulation, drywall and brick laying.

The siding guys have come and done their thing and it looks awesome! They have done such a great job. But my Tuesday got a whole lot better when my cabinet guy sent me pictures!



I REALLY REALLY like my cabinet maker. He was not my first pick either! I was going with one guy that was excellent and affordable. As you get to talking to other contractors, they ask you who you've picked for other jobs and I tell them. Our audio guy warned us about my first pick cabinet guy. He was notorious for being late which held up jobs waiting on the cabinets. I shrugged it off.

But getting together for the cabinet guy to do a walk-thru with me became difficult. He stood me up three times! Wouldn't answer my calls after our agreed to time. I then let my builder know I was going to be looking for someone else to build my cabinets.



I had been to other places and received quotes, but they were higher than my budget. It was around that time that I remembered a post card I found in the house at the construction site for a cabinet maker with a hand-written note. When I first found it, I chuckled and said I already had a cabinet guy. But I am glad I found that postcard and made the call. It has been a pleasure ever since.



The guy came out the next day; walked the layout and designed a plan. He then posted drawings for me to review. We signed a contract, I paid him 50% and they got started. He said it'd be six weeks to completion.



We are now on week two and the kitchen is cut out. I am very excited to see the progress. It's just boxes now, but they are beautiful!!



I have the most confidence that the cabinets will be ready right when we need them. They won't be the long lead item they usually are.


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