Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It looks like a state park.....

So after 2 weekends of chainsaw, tractor and fire we have a swath cut from the pasture, through the woods, to the stream. I must say it is beautiful. It really does look like a park or something. It is very gratifying to see a huge pile of brush out in the field ready to be incinerated. I can't wait for Fall to come around and have a big bonfire with friends, family and beer. That can be the moving in party. Did I mention beer?

Good night,


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

SIPS....say what?

I've gotten two responses when I mention that we are building with SIPS. Their eyes light up and a grin crosses their face. Or, silence and a deadpan look. It seems I've come across a lot more silence than excitement when talking to subcontractors. So, in case you aren't sure what I'm talking about, here is a little bit about SIPS. Structural Insulated Panels or SIPS, "extremely strong super insulated structural panel building component used for exterior walls, roof/ceilings, and floors. R-Control SIPs are made from engineered wood facings laminated with structural grade adhesives to termite resistant expanded polystyrene rigid insulation." - noarkcontrol.com The energy savings is the main reason we are interested in SIPS, "testing at Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL) showed that R-Control SIP walls are far superior to conventional stick frame and batt insulated walls. A 4-1/2” R-Control SIP panel was 45% better than 2x4’s with R-13 batt insulation and in fact was also better than 2x6’s with R-19 batt insulation." - noarkcontrol.com. Less energy is required to heat and cool than conventionally built houses. Time savings and less labor needed is another positive. "A study conducted by the RS Means unit of Reed Construction Data shows that residential builders can reduce their framing labor needs by as much as 55 percent by using structural insulated panels (SIPs) instead of conventional “stick-building” methods." - noarkcontrol.com There are more advantages to SIPS, but I think you get the idea! For more information, check out their website!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kitchen Inspiration and the beginnings of a house

One of my mom's favorite stories about me is the time I told her I wanted to be a writer when I was a little girl. She was so proud of me and asked what sort of stories I would write about. "No, a horsey rider," I said. So, please forgive me, I am not a writer. I have the bad habit of omitting important details in my stories, so not to bore people. But, what ends up happening is that I tell a story devoid of any interest and it ends up boring anyway. So, either I should stop telling stories or inject so many details that it is over the top...

Hopefully I can find some middle ground in documenting our adventure in house building. We sold our sweet house on the hill two weeks ago and reality is slowly setting in. We've got things to do, subcontractors to call and plans to finalize. Today I am calling electricians, plumbers and HVAC people. I sent out a request for good people to call on and I was so excited to hear from my acquaintances who they had good experiences with. Because, I'm finding out quickly that building a house is quite the experience!

The picture above is inspiration for our kitchen. I created it on Olioboard. We purchased the lights a few weeks ago off of Craiglist. They were used in the Little Rock Airport and were removed sometime in the 60's. They have a beautiful vintage enamel green color and are in beautiful shape! We are going to hang two of them over the large butcher block island. The guy we bought them from would only sell me four at $30 each because the ones on ebay are selling for about $100. Allrighty then. The kitchen sink we picked up on the side of the road. Really. I know that makes my mother-in-law squirm, but I had to have it. It is huge, cast iron and weighs about two hundred pounds. $20 bucks. I'm searching for a wall mounted faucet and I love the one that has a built-in soap dish. I think that is pretty fitting, don't you?

We purchased a kitchen-aid dishwasher a few months ago and are chomping at the bit to purchase the rest of the appliances. You'll notice that we are opting for a side-by-side refrigerator. We had a french door style with the freezer on the bottom at our other house and I was not a fan. The freezer would become jammed pack and it was nearly impossible to find anything without going on an archeological dig. Also, more than I'd like to admit, the door drawer wouldn't close all the way and things would begin to thaw. Because of that, I became OCD about making sure it closed and had a good seal. Of course, it will be an energy star appliance and I'll fill you in on all the things we are incorporating to make it energy efficient and green soon!