Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Adding a Personal Touch

You've probably been wondering if we have moved in to our new home yet. Not quite. Still a few chores to be done. Maggie and I have personally been busy with a couple projects. Below you will see project #1. We added our house number, 105, to the door and we laid some slate tile down in front of the door. This was our first ever attempt at laying tile. We are pleased with our first attempt.

Project #2 was putting in the closet systems in the master closets. Those are now done. Next is the closet in the guest bedroom.

The painters are doing some touch up work and adding the finishing stain to the stairs. The siding and trim crew are completing the last of the outside work. We are hoping to have our final inspection from the building inspector soon so maybe we can move in Friday or Saturday.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Celebrities Visit Switzer Home!

You may recognize these two characters. Yes, they're Ray and Joel,
the famous globetrotting tennis comedians. Now retired and living at Still Hopes Farms, they were once world renowned for their on-court antics. Ray (left) was also a world-famous "Chick Magnet"...until he met Joel, of course.

Is that the lady of the house peeking through the front door?

Now Joel and Ray travel the country side in their spare time making celebrity visits to unsuspecting "green" home owners. They heard about the green revolution and
are anxious to check it out first hand.

We were thrilled to have them visit our new green home, especially at night so we could
take this opportunity to prove to everybody with these photos that yes,
the lights really are turned on now...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel!

The front door has been re-hung, it's just waiting on the hardware now.

The HVAC people have been busy. You know they're close to being finished when the thermostats are installed.

The bamboo flooring is now installed everywhere, including the upstairs bedrooms. So now all the flooring is done, with the exception of the shoe moulding which should be installed Friday or Saturday.

The treated wood interior skeletons for the columns over the stone piers are now all in place both in the front and the back.

And the railings and back deck steps are almost finished.

The best news is that the building inspector came out late today and approved the electrical work so the power company will be turning on the power Friday...yeehaw! There will now literally be LIGHT at the end of the tunnel!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Earth Day has come and gone and we are not in our new home yet. But progress is being made and that's what's important. The carpet was installed today. Here is a picture showing it in the Media Room. The carpet is made from recycled plastic bottles, looks and feels great, and was no more expensive than normal carpet.

The columns on the stone piers are being constructed.

The railings on the rooftop terrace are almost finished.

The bamboo flooring is finished downstairs. The appliances are being hooked up, including the range hood. The hood is from Zephyr and was chosen not only for its looks but because it was one of the few that met our requirement of a minimum air exhaust capacity of 700 cfm.

Maybe moving in Monday or Tuesday...will keep you all posted!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Goodbye Flea Market!

We waved our final goodbye to the Barnyard Flea Market and RV Park in West Columbia where we have been camping for the past three months. Although our new home won't be finished for a few more days, the park said they had had enough of us and so back to the gypsy life we return. (Actually, they ran out of room as they had a big group coming in that had space previously reserved.)

The staircase is almost finished. The stair treads and rails should be stained in the next day or two.

The bamboo flooring and light fixture installation upstairs are almost finished.

The kitchen counters are being installed. We decided to go with Zodiac Mossy Green from Dupont which is 50% quartz and 50% recycled consumer glass. These food-safe countertops are non-porous and so won't need sealing like granite does.

The back deck is in the process of being finished. The wood we are using has been treated with a new more environmentally safe copper-based treatment from Phibrowood.

The heating and air conditioning system is also now being installed. The air handlers will be located under the house in the crawl space. The crawl space is encapsulated with insulation blankets and will also be conditioned with the HVAC air flow. The conditioned crawl space will prevent mold and mildew and add to the energy efficiency of the home by keeping the cold damp air out from under the house and thus from entering through the floors. This, in turn, will keep the floors warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

And, over the weekend, the concrete is setting up in the driveway and front porch area.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bamboo, Concrete and More

The bamboo flooring has arrived and the installers have begun. We got a great deal on the 30-year warranty bamboo from Lumber Liquidators. Normal price was $2.99 per sq. ft. but because they had just purchased a large quantity from a bankrupt supplier, we were able to get it for only $2.49. What a deal! Bamboo is 20% harder than oak and 160% more stable. That means it won't shrink and expand like normal hardwood floors do as the weather changes. Bamboo is environmentally friendly because it replenishes itself within five years versus twenty to thirty years or more for trees.

The flooring installers are starting on the second floor because it is normally best to do the finishing of the interior from the top down so that the staircase gets less traffic on it once it is finished.

The electrician has also been busy installing the light fixtures including this ceiling fan in the great room. We purchased all of our ceiling fans during the winter when they were deeply discounted.

How do you like the media room paint (below)? It's called Blackberry. The darker a paint is the harder it is to get in a no VOC (volatile organic compounds) formula. This one only came in low VOC, which is acceptable for a LEED certified house.

Below you can see the electrician has been busy in the kitchen installing our Energy Star appliances and the pendant lights over the island counter.

Below, Maggie, Shelby, and Grandma (Mike's Mom) peruse the formation of the staircase from the second floor landing.

And just today, the concrete has arrived for the front porch, entrance way, and driveway.

We're still shooting for a move-in day of Earth Day which is next Wed., Apr. 22. Everybody keep chanting "Earth Day, Earth Day - Switzers' Moving-in-Day"!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Interior Colors, Stone, Gutters, and Mulching

The scrap wood is finally being mulched and will be spread on the property.

The painting is continuing inside. And of course the paint has no-VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds). The painter has commented on how wonderful it is to paint without having to inhale all those strong fumes. Another convert to the "green" way of life!

The stone is finished around the fireplace and the bookcases are going in.

The stonework is finished around the ovens.

The gutters have been installed and are being tied in to the underground rainwater harvesting cistern.

The stone columns at the back porch are finished.

These gutters empty onto the interior corner of the flat roof where we will put another rainwater collection system that will provide water to the rooftop garden.

The stone is finished on the chimney.