Slowly but slowly the house is coming together, and it's looking mighty fine. The past week was focused on finishing the driveway pour, hashing out details on the landscaping, beginning the baseboard and (associated) door installation, and (of course) more sealing (enough with the sealing already, right!).
driveway done! (almost...)
They poured the curb and approach this past week, and it looks muy bueno. And last week's driveway pour has dried to a nice light grey. We still need to finish the drive from the concrete to the garage with grasscrete-ish material.
Been hashing out material details with the builder on the landscaping. He was able to locate a local (and less expensive) manufacturer of elongated concrete pavers and set out some samples for us to gawk at. We're liking 'em. The pavers we would install are toward the top, and the different colors we could get are on the standard-sized pavers toward the bottom. They are made by Pavestone, and they are 3 inches by 18 inches and have other complimentary pieces if one wants them. They don't appear to be as elegant-smooth as the others we were flirting with, but our budget isn't as elegant either... However, these have enough of a different/modern twist to them to be worthy of the house.
doors and baseboards
I told the Green House Lady (who hasn't posted to her site in awhile, not even to brag about her non-existant electric bills!) that baseboards were going up before drywall, and she thought that was odd. And it is odd. Most commonly, drywall goes up first followed by the baseboards. However, since we're going for more of a clean look, the baseboards, slightly thicker than the drywall, are going up first and then the drywall will be butted against the top for a quarter-inch reveal.
First things first, the doors and associated frames, to which the trim butt against, have to go in. Here are a herd of them waiting in the garage for love and attention:
And as a practice run, the baseboarder has been baseboarding the garage, which will have a similar finish to the house:
I don't think we mentioned this earlier, but the builder insulated the garage. He's a wee bit of a gear head and knows about our little cars, so he's taking special care of the garage. The insulation will be great if we ever decide to air condition the garage, a must for working on cars in the Texas heat.
None of the door-doors are installed yet, but two of the three pocket doors (master bath and master closet) are in:
And here's a detail of the trim around the door:
Kinda hard to see, but the trim is flush with the door jambs.
And have a start on the baseboards for the stairwell:
more sealing? are you serious?
Yes, more sealing... Sealing is great for fixated personalities, and we have fixated personalities (me more so than the bride...). Spent a chunk of the weekend doing a final and methodical inch-by-inch once-over on the inside of the house. The twist this time was building a home-made (half-assed) blower door with a good-sized fan, a sheet of plastic, and tape.
The idea is to create a negative pressure inside the house (the fan is pulling air from the inside and blowing it outside) such that any leaks in the house will really be sucking air. And this jerry-rigged booger worked like a charm. I could feel the egregious leaks with my skin (a couple were blowing like a Motel 6 hair dryer!) and could easily see minor leaks using a smoky incense stick:
It might be a little hard to see, but there's an incense stick coming up from the bottom-center of the photo. At the tip of the stick, there's a trail of smoke that veers to your left indicating a draft (and therefore a leak!). That hunk of metal you see there, a hanger, tends to be an air leaker. I wound up silicon sealing all the open edges of these in the house.
Wished they made purple foam sealer. Purple would look great here.
The good news is that using this method I was able to identify a few terrible leaks we had missed with our earlier efforts and discover that the storefront window in the powder room is terribly-horribly (literally rattling-in-the-frame) sealed (need to talk to the builder about that...). The other good news is that after crawling over much of the interior of the house with incense (incanting "Searching top to bottom down. Leak, I'll find you. Leak be found!") I didn't find too many leaks. Yay! The other windows, the Rhinos, are tighter than Warren Buffett on a trip to Vegas.
Today I'll be back out there (the bride is working at a power plant in Primm, Nevada, this weekend...) sealing on the outside around the exposed eaves of the front and back porches and carport. After that, I think we'll be done sealing for awhile...