Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Synchronized Team

selfie at the jobsite
 I can’t even begin to explain how exciting this process of building our house has been! There is an incredible vibe at the jobsite.  The crew is energetic, enthusiastic about the job, fully engaged in the process of both construction and creativity, and seriously hard at work! Every single time that I stop by the jobsite, whether just to swing by and check it out, or if we have our weekly meeting, that vibe is present in full force. 
 There are electricians, plumbers, roofers, climbing all over that house, wonderfully synchronized. And each is doing a stellar job, always putting out their very best work.  The pride they have in their work is impressive, and as both the architect and client, I am extremely grateful! 
Our weekly meetings with George Fullerton, our contractor, have been so productive. We have reviewed the window orders, the Nanawall order, electrical outlets, lighting locations, exhaust vent locations,  sink locations, hvac equipment location and access, and on and on…  It feels like this job is running incredibly smoothly...completely in sync.  All the jobs that I have worked on with Artisan Builders seem to run smoothly, but this one even more so. It could be because I have literally obsessed over the details, knowing full well that if there is something that strays from the vision I have of this house…it could literally make me cuckoo for a very long time! No…I don’t have an obsessive personality or perfectionist disorder at all!!! Ha!
During this last month, windows and skylights have been ordered…so the countdown is on! I have been crazily selecting and purchasing all sorts of things for the house! It’s been a whirlwind!  Here is the multitude of things that I’ve been working on:

Tile for all the bathrooms....Checkmark!
Stone for the exterior wall at entry and the wall at the master bedroom... Check!
Sinks for bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry....Check!
Ethanol fireplace boxes for the master bedroom /bathroom fireplace.....Check!

Ceiling fans....Almost Check! I just need to finalize with my rep, Katie.
Lighting (pendants and sconces and cable lighting).....Almost Check! More for my Lumens rep.
Appliances......Almost Check! I need to finalize the order with Jon Brown, my knowledgeable rep from Pirch which is all about great products and even better customer service. Not to mention the delicious iced Jalapeno cilantro lemonade they serve!

Doorbell..... Check!
Plumbing fixtures....Almost Check! Again, need to finalize with Jon at Pirch.  The Tour de force item on our order is the breathtaking BIG free-standing bathtub. It will be like sinking into heaven!  From the brochure, here is a sneak peek....

Jeff and I have worked so well together on all of this.  I typically do the initial research and narrow down selections, and Jeff has been involved with finalizing all the decisions with me.

And thankfully Jeff is handling the research and selections on sound systems, televisions, alarm systems, and water filtration. Teamwork at its best! Over the years, I have seen this architecture and construction process drive a wedge between couples…and other times it’s a bonding experience.  I’m delighted and relieved at how fun this has really been, and that as Jeff and I work together to see our dream home come to life...we are sync. 


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Framing Finale!

 In October of last year we brought the house down to its naked bare bones.  And from there began the rebuilding process. This week we reached a noteworthy milestone in the Casa Gertruda project. On Wednesday, I got the following text from our framer, Turtle:
 "Framing is done!"
Just reading that, my heart jumped a beat! Even though I am at the house meeting with the framers just about every day, that text still caught me by surprise. We were really at the end of a huge chapter!

In the last few weeks, skylights and the fireplace in the master bedroom have been framed, the master bathroom shower is framed, all the niches in our accent walls at the entry and the dining room are in place.

Master Bedroom fireplace

Master Bathroom shower

Gym (blocking for ballet barre)

In the gym/meditation room, we put blocking in the wall that will have a ballet barre for all those barre workouts I plan to do!  That way, as I am out of breath, using the ballet barre for support, and feeling like I might collapse from physical exertion....the wall won't collapse with me! I'm hoping Marlea, my soon-to-be 21 year old daughter who has loved ballet since she was 4, will join me at the barre when she visits.  And I did say barre not bar!

One of the last things to be framed were the "canopies" at the front corner office window and above the dining room rear multi-fold doors.  They add detailing, sun and rain protection, and accentuate these design elements. They will eventually be wrapped in metal with metal "ribs" underneath (see the rendering at the beginning of the blog to visualize).

Canopy at office corner window
Canopy at dining room
Turtle nailing the last straps to Casa's framing
So as we close this chapter, we are ready to begin the next one.  Artisan Builders will take it from here as they will be at Casa Gertruda full time starting Monday morning.  I got the coolest text from George, the General Contractor (Artisan Builders) on Friday:
" (now that framing is finished) I'm checking out your new house. This is an awesome layout.  I'm going to build you two (Jeff and Karen) a masterpiece." 
It's pretty great when your contractor is as excited about the project as you are!

And I was thinking today that like one of my earlier blogs suggested, football season and "framing season" aligned pretty neatly.  We started Casa when football season began, and we wrapped up its framing the week of the Super Bowl.   And though I don't know if the Patriots or the Seahawks will win, or if we have yet heard all of the deflated ball thing I know for sure...for next year's Super Bowl, Jeff and I will be happily hanging out at Casa Gertruda.

And though the footballs may not be deflated next year...the home bank account most likely will be!
By the looks of it so will be well worth it.