Kitchen, bathroom vanities and driveway…

Kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities are here and in the process of being installed.  The kitchen appliances have also started to arrive which is exciting .

We were fortunate to get some warm weather this week so the driveway has also been completely laid down.

All of this puts us in a fantastic position to close on the house very soon which we’re very excited about!

Driveway

Driveway

Master bathroom vanity

Master bathroom vanity

Guest bathroom vanity

Guest bathroom vanity

Jack n' Jill bathroom vanity

Jack n’ Jill bathroom vanity

Kitchen & island 1

Kitchen & island 1

Electric and steam ovens

Electric and steam ovens

Kitchen & Island 2

Kitchen & Island 2 – microwave drawer on the far left

Kitchen & Island 2

Kitchen & Island 2

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Flooring and plugs/switches

Finishing is continuing to come along slowly.  We are ready for the installation of the kitchen and bathroom cabinets now.

We need to decide for the flooring, whether the 3rd coat of the Bona Traffic HD poly, should be a semi-gloss or satin finish.

Plug socket

Plug socket

Switches/dimmers in main open plan room downstairs

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Switch

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Thermostat

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Flooring has been stained with 2 coats of poly

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Pre-wiring speaker cover

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Close up of flooring

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Plumbing fixtures in jack n’ jill bathroom

Plumbing fixtures in guest bathroom

Plumbing fixtures in guest bathroom

Plumbing fixtures in master bathroom

Plumbing fixtures in master bathroom

Toilet in master bathroom

Toilet in master bathroom

Further update on finishing stage…

Finishing still continues – please see photos below.

Pantry double solid core door with chrome hinges and handles

Solid core door with chrome hinges and handle

Solid core door with chrome hinges and handle

One of a number of alarm controls located within the house

One of a number of alarm controls located within the house

Soaking tub, free-standing tub filler and towel bar

Soaking tub, free-standing tub filler and towel bar

Smoke alarm detector (the orange cover comes off)

Smoke alarm detector (the orange cover comes off)

1 towel bar each for the twins

1 towel bar each for the twins

Cubbie in guest bathroom

Cubbie in guest bathroom

Towel bar in guest bathroom

Towel bar in guest bathroom – all look rather bulky but we were more inclined to install these for their functional purpose than look

Update on finishings

Finishing stage is coming along slowly. Please see update below.

We hope to be complete begin-Apr.  One of the dependencies is the top layer of the driveway which can’t be done until there are 3 consecutive days of warmer weather when the vendor that sells the material is open.

Modern crown molding pic 1

Modern crown molding pic 1

Modern crown molding pic 2

Modern crown molding pic 2

Cubbie in the twins' bathroom shower

Cubbie in the twins’ bathroom shower

Graytint paint

Graytint paint

Plumbing fixtures have started to go on

Plumbing fixtures have started to go on

LED lighting in bathroom

LED lighting in bathroom

Control for electric underfloor heating in bathroom

Control for electric underfloor heating in bathroom

Painting has begun!

Painting has begun!

 

Finishing choices and progress Part 2

Some more photos showing the decision making process on finishes and progress below.

Our final paint choices in Benjamin Moore are:

  1. Graytint (most of the house)
  2. Mirage white (for our twin girls’ room)
  3. Bunny gray (for master bedroom & bathroom)
  4. Super white (ceiling and trim)
Choosing between some stain mixes

Choosing between some stain mixes

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Close up of baseboard trim

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Some oil based stains

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Ironing board

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Paint choices 1

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Paint choices 2

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Paint choices 3

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Paint choices 4

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Paint choices 5

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Paint choices 6

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LED lights in porch

 

Finishing choices and progress Part 1

Tiling has been in-progress and almost complete.  See pictures below.

Base trim has been installed.  So has door trim and most of the doors.

So now we are faced with the decisions of paint and floor colours.

Paint: We got lots of paper sample swatches from paint stores but we found that it was too difficult to look at these alone to decide on the few that we wanted.  So we are now getting the painter to paint around 25 different sample colours in the house (primer and 2 coats) so that we can decide which colour looks best in our house with the natural lighting it has.  Unfortunately the LED lights are not hooked up yet so we won’t get to see how the colours will look at night.

Floor: We are after a brown-grey (gray) type of colour on our red oak.  It seems there are two ways to achieve this that we are trying to get samples painted on our floor to choose from:

1. Mix white/ebony stains in different ratios and then apply 3 coats of water-based Polyurethane.  This results in more of a gloss finish.

2. Fuming or bleaching the oak (i.e. using chemicals to change/remove certain colour) and then applying a single coat of oil based finish.  This results in more of a matt finish. The advantage of this it seems is that any touch ups can be done easily but the downside is that it is more expensive.

We are now at a stage where everything we decide on can actually be seen – so keen not to make any dubious decisions that will ruin the look!!

Master bathroom tile arrival

Master bathroom tile arrival

Jack n' Jill shower tile installation

Jack n’ Jill shower tile installation

Jack n' Jill shower tile installation - complete!

Jack n’ Jill shower tile installation – complete!

Jack n' Jill floor tile

Jack n’ Jill floor tile

Master bathroom floor tile

Master bathroom floor tile

Master bathroom shower tiling

Master bathroom shower tiling

Guest bathroom floor tiling

Guest bathroom floor tiling

Guest bathroom shower tiling

Guest bathroom shower tiling

Powder room accent tiling

Powder room accent tiling

Base trim on upstairs landing - not the best angle but will try and post more of this at a later stage

Base trim on upstairs landing – not the best angle but will try and post more of this at a later stage

Door and trim

Door and trim

Paint sample selection process (trying to match with kitchen/bathroom cabinet colours)

Paint sample selection process (trying to match with kitchen/bathroom cabinet colours)

 

 

Drywall and flooring

Drywall has now been installed on the walls of the house.  The “taping” (I like to think of this as smoothing) of the drywall is in-progress.

The flooring (Red oak) has also been installed.  The next step will be to apply a stain  for colour and then applying several coats of polyurethane for protection.

The stain will be interesting. Natural wood floors do not give you as much of a choice as engineered wood in terms of colour but I’m hoping that the builder will be able to mix some stains to get something that is brown-greyish.

Lots more decisions that we are working on right now. Namely:

  1. Trim: what kind of moulding to use for the base (skirting board in the UK), crown and casing (around doors and window).  We were originally going to forgo the crown moulding but we decided to do this after the builder found some more modern looking trims.
  2.  Paint  colour: I didn’t realize there are more than 50 shades of grey to choose from!
  3.  Quartz countertop
  4.  Mirrors
  5. Pendant lights that are installed over the kitchen island
  6. Chandelier that is installed in dining room area

Please see updated pictures of the house below.

Kitchen

Kitchen

Master bathroom shower

Master bathroom shower

Master bathroom - that's my builder in the baseball cap

Master bathroom – that’s my builder in the baseball cap

Master bedroom

Master bedroom

Laundry room

Laundry room

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bathroom

Bathroom

Shower - that opening in the wall is a cubby for shower gel, shampoo etc.

Shower – that opening in the wall is a cubby for shower gel, shampoo etc.

Bedroom

Bedroom

Landing / upstairs hallway

Landing / upstairs hallway

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bathroom

Bathroom

Staircase

Staircase

Coat cupboard

Coat cupboard

Kitchen

Kitchen

Mudroom looking into garage

Mudroom looking into garage

Blower door test

The blower door test was conducted today now that the spray-foam has been installed.  I was happy to learn that the result was ~2.5 ACH50 (i.e. 2.5 air-changes-per-hour at 50 pascals).

See video in my last post to learn more about the blower door test.

This means that the house is pretty air tight.

A further blower door test will be conducted after the house is finished and the result can only get better than this hopefully.

See photos below.

Blower door test fan/equipment

Blower door test fan/equipment

Computer that calculates the blower door test result

Computer that calculates the blower door test result

Meter displaying pressure difference between outside and inside house; and the initial blower door test result (note that the volume of the house is used to calculate the air changes per hour)

Meter displaying pressure difference between outside and inside house; and the initial blower door test result (note that the volume of the house is used to calculate the air changes per hour)

Spray-foam, landscaping and pre-drywall

The house has now been spray-foamed ready for a blower-door test to check how air-tight the house is.  We are hoping to create a tight thermal envelope by spray-foaming “up and over” the house.  This includes the roof rafters in the attic to the external walls to various internal walls for extra sound insulation.  We also ended up spray foaming the basement ceiling (as well as the basement floor before the concrete slab was poured).  This could be a very expensive physics experiment if the blower-door test doesn’t yield a good result!

Here’s a decent video about air tightness and blower-door tests:

We also have a lawn in the front and back yards (gardens), and a few shrubs/trees. Apparently we have the same turf as in the NY Yankees stadium!

The next stage is the dry-wall (sheetrock).

Lastly we are ready to start deciding on finishes – lots to keep us busy still:

  • Countertops
  • Paint and colours
  • Tiling
  • Wooden floors – we have already decided on an Oak floor in a stain of our choice
  • Trim ranging from what goes around the doors to crown molding
  • Doors
  • More – we probably just don’t know it yet

Latest pics below.

Tree and front lawn

Tree and front lawn

Back yard lawn 1

Back yard lawn 1

Back yard lawn 2 - that "thing" in the middle is a Propane tank

Back yard lawn 2 – that “thing” in the middle is a Propane tank

Spray foam 1

Spray foam 1

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Spray foam 2

Spray foam 3

Spray foam 3

Spray foam 4

Spray foam 4

Spray foam 5

Spray foam 5

Spray foam 6

Spray foam 6

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Spray foam 7

Spray foam 8

Spray foam 8

Pre-thanksgiving update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  A lot has been going on.  Not quite ready for dry-wall yet.  The next stage will be spray-foam insulation.  Before that we are trying to ensure that nothing else has to go into the roughing/frame before the spray-foam is applied.

I had an inspection carried out on the house yesterday and everything has checked out OK which is great news.

My biggest worry at this stage is how the ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator) is going to work.  We are tightly insulating the house with the spray foam so there will be need for decent mechanical ventilation.  We have some fans in the bathrooms but also an ERV system with separate fresh air inlet and exhaust outlet; connected to the ductwork of the house.  But I am waiting until our Geothermal and HVAC installer is back from his Thanksgiving vacation to find out how he has designed the system and how I would control it.

Here are some very recent photos:

Recessed LED housing installed

Recessed LED housing installed

Home run wiring for Cat6/Speakers running into basement

Home run wiring for Cat6/Speakers running into basement

Some dry-wall (sheetrock) installed specifically for spraying foam onto

Some dry-wall (sheetrock) installed specifically for spraying foam onto

200A electric service located in garage

200A electric service located in garage

Further views of recessed LED light housings

Further views of recessed LED light housings

Further views of recessed LED light housings

Further views of recessed LED light housings

Basement framing - spray-foam will be applied in-between the framing

Basement framing – spray-foam will be applied in-between the framing

One of the Geothermal Ground Source Heat Pumps

One of the Geothermal Ground Source Heat Pumps

One of the Geothermal Ground Source Heat Pumps

One of the Geothermal Ground Source Heat Pumps

Hot water heater that is hybrid electric and by-product of geothermal

Hot water heater that is hybrid electric and by-product of geothermal. Got a large one to avoid potential issues with hot water running out when folks are simultaneously showering…

Attic ductwork

Attic ductwork

 

Attic ductwork

Attic ductwork

Attic ductwork

Attic ductwork

Attic entrance/exit

Attic entrance/exit

Attic entrance/exit

Attic entrance/exit

Pullout ladder for attic entrance/exit

Pullout ladder for attic entrance/exit