Matt loves the look of a good cherry wood cabinet, and with this build he finally gets to live the dream. The fascinating thing about cherry is its propensity to darken in the sunlight. This means that the kitchen will continue to change, and the cabinets will grow even more beautiful with time. It's really something to look forward to! We've been doing business with a local Everett company called Encore Cabinets and have been highly satisfied with the excellent customer service and quality products.In addition to the cherry, there's the alder desk and bathroom, and the oak kitchen cabinets in the attached rental apartment. The smell of all this freshly cut wood is incredible!
The Master Suite has alder woodwork in the Bath…
And plenty of Beechwood drawers for the walk-in closet.
Downstairs is the street-adjacent office…
And the Two-Bedroom rental apartment with its oak kitchen cabinetry.
Here is the pièce de résistance- the cherry wood kitchen.
Endre Soos, owner of New World Builders, specializes in cabinetry and did all of the install. Here are a few close-ups:
It still looks unfinished, but we are getting so close to done!
You've heard the saying "You're only as old as you feel"? Well I've seen it in action! Matt is making quick progress on the house now, thanks in part to the assistance of my dad. To George Cebert it's all too easy to forget he's 80, even when I'm shouting a reminder at him while he's up a ladder propped against the side of the house. To him, it makes perfect sense that he should be installing siding 30 feet up, and he's not afraid to say so!
Oh well, I'll just appreciate his health and energy for what it is, and have the first aid kit at the ready…
Here's my hard working husband…
You can see the height is no joke…
And here's my daring Dad. I finally could take a picture once he was on his way down and I relaxed a little.
We all must learn to accept the things we cannot change. No more is this evident in building than when dealing with the weather in the Pacific Northwest. We can plan and prepare, but in the end, we are at the mercy of whatever conditions happen to be that day. Fortunately, it's nothing that a good investment in raincoats can't handle… and tarps… lots of tarps.
Despite adverse conditions, the trusses are installed. Next, we shingled the roof, and the exterior is ready to be sided. It's starting to dawn on me that this house is getting close to being complete!
I should start by saying that for my husband utilizing space well is a must in any home design, and this project is no exception! That's why we spent so much time drawing plans and blueprints which incorporate ample storage and an intuitive floorplan. Of course this is best illustrated by the master suite's walk-in closet, which will truly be a feature in itself. Also, very necessary with a husband with a wardrobe the size of Matt's.
The floor of the second story was finished, complete with stairs to the lower level.
Then we repeated the steps of the first floor, framing and building the walls.
Then came the truss delivery…
…So many trusses!
But with friends to help, we are having a great time! It was fun to have Julia pop by with her family. Julia was our first Eckerson Construction Bookkeeper. Her assistance was vital in keeping us on a budget with our first project on this property- the duplex we're currently living in. I can't believe that was 16 years ago! Time sure flies when you're having fun, right Julia?
Have you ever seen a friend's or relative's child for the first time in years? Then you know how to prepare yourself for a huge change in a seemingly short period of time. Consequently, this was the case when our youngest nephew Beau who came to help us build. Similarly, the house has gone from nonexistent to looking like a house in just a few months. Get ready… Here it is!
Now, the steps involved:
After the concrete floor was finished, first floor walls took shape…
The support beams, at the top of below picture, are each hundreds of pounds. Yet, they needed to be hoisted up to support the second story. Thank you Beau for helping Uncle Matt with this project!!
then the first story walls were nailed on.
We then installed the floor of the second story. This is where Matt and I are going to live, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it take shape.
Here's Beau, helping his uncle. It was great to have is youthful strength and energy contributed to this project, and his interest in construction is encouraging to see. Maybe it runs in the family…
Now we're on to framing. This is the exciting part, because we're going to start to see the house take shape. We chose Parr Lumber as our supplier. As local business owners ourselves, we appreciated that they are a Northwest family owned company that has been in business for over 80 years.
Finally, all the framing package was delivered…this little forklift on the back of the Parr Lumber truck placed the lumber right where we wanted it. How much work that saved! Now we're set to start framing. Quite exciting!
So, after seemingly countless steps leading up to this point, we finally installed the ground level concrete floor. Now we're getting somewhere! Of course this meant another appointment with the goliath concrete pumper.
First, as you saw, we filled in around the forms with dirt. Then prepped the area with a layer of plastic sheeting.
Back again! This time the pumper was used to create the floor of our rental unit, garage, and home office. Looking good!
Finally smoothed out and drying, the foundation is complete.
If you look closely, you can see that the concrete floor slab is poured in sections. This allows time to fill and smooth without the concrete drying before you can finish the surface almost to a polish. Now that I can better see the floorplan, I can't wait to finally start building the living space in this house!
Well, the foundation is OFFICIALLY DONE. I already had an appreciacion for the hard work it takes, but having a hands-on role in smoothing it gives me brand new perspective.
Here it is in all it's glory:
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention… once the foundation is laid it's back-filled. Which means when it's finished it looks pretty much the same as before it's started. All that hard work is hidden beneath the surface. Make no mistake though, it's EXTREMELY important. Today's lesson is that just like most things in life, a great house wouldn't be what it is without the unseen work behind it.
Have you ever noticed that the longer you sit still, the harder it is to start moving again? The same principle applies to concrete. It has to be constantly moving, or it starts to harden. This meant we had to act fast. As soon as the concrete was poured into the foundation forms we needed to shape and smooth it or it would be uneven and lumpy. No sitting still for us!
Many hands make light work they say…
Here I am getting my hands dirty. I have to say I was surprised to learn that smoothing concrete is a lot like leveling flour in a measuring cup!
So, this is a concrete pumper truck and it IS as big as it looks. In order to get it close enough to the foundation we had to have truckloads of gravel delivered and spread.
Since we rented it by the HOUR, we made sure to have everything prepped and ready- including extra hands- so we could get the footings for the foundation poured in as timely a manner as possible.
I discovered something about Matt as well. He's FAST! It took him just part of one morning to finish the pour and send the pumper truck on its way. What experience! I wonder what else I'll learn about him on the path to completing our new home…