Status: unfinished, but squirrel access denied

Here is this week’s house update:

The staircase is finished,

week 19-1

including the curved section upstairs.

week 19-2

All the cased openings and door frames downstairs are done and the study doors have been installed. John is looking forward to a little more privacy in his home office, although with the boys gone, I’m wondering about the need for doors—oh, wait, I’m still here. Yes, that’s it.

week 19-3

We also asked for a strip of wood to be nailed to the bottoms of the two construction doors after we saw a squirrel run out from under one of them last weekend (there was a two- to three-inch gap between the bottom of the door and the slab). Squirrels did a lot of damage to our previous Houston home, so we have no love for these destructive rodents.

squirrel guard 

One frustration in the process of building a house is being asked to make decisions based on photos, which can be difficult. At our cabinet and trim walk through, in every room, we were asked, “Do you want one-, two- or three-piece crown moulding?”

Blank stare.

So we relied a lot on our project manager’s input since he does this every day and since his background is carpentry. Eventually seeing just a small bit of it nailed up, however, gave us the clarity to decide to use three-piece crown only in the foyer/balcony areas and one-piece everywhere else. Check.

The beams in the area off the kitchen were torn down; they were just too much for the space. There will be some drywall repair, but that’s better than living with something you don’t like. Besides thinking that it will look better, the added bonus will be a cost savings resulting from using less material and labor.

week 19-4

Fortunately, we decided that less really is more before the beams planned for the master bedroom were installed; although we did keep the beams in the living room and they turned out nicely.

week 19-5

The mud room bench and shelves were installed.

week 19-6

We toured one of the builder’s other homes three weeks ago where the homeowner had used her kitchen counter top material as the bench seat in her mud room. We liked the idea so much, we’re investigating (and hoping) we will have enough material left over from our slabs to do the same.

The kitchen and bathroom cabinets are getting trim:

week 19-7

Medicine cabinets were added for most of the bathrooms:

week 19-8

Earlier in the week our rep at the builder asked us to purchase our exterior tile at Home Depot.


Exterior rustic style balcony tile looks like wood.

Exterior rustic style balcony tile looks like wood.

The reason we were given seemed lame, and we suspect it actually related more to an internal bookkeeping issue. We complied and made the purchase, but now we’re wondering what we’re supposed to do with 400 pounds of tile?

week 19-10

Most of the exterior brick work is finished, and for now, all I can think is how much I’m looking forward to the day when there will be no dumpster in the picture.

week 19-11


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