Breaking Ground & Home Reveal

Let's just dive right in. I think it’s about time I debut #ScyeCasa. Drum roll please...

Isn’t she pretty? I have to pinch myself sometimes. I feel so fortunate that Scott and I have the opportunity to build our dream house and can't wait to bring this baby to life. I'm loving the contrast between the white board and batten siding, black windows, and black metal roof. The pool, on the other hand, will have to wait another 30 years. Our architects like to tease us...

In my last post, I wrote about the demolition of the previous house. Once that was completed, site work immediately followed. We set up tree protection, temporary electricity, and ordered the porta potty. I called the land surveyor to come out and do an envelope survey to plot out exactly where our house would sit. A few days later, I drove by to find the foundation guys working hard to put up the forms. That’s when the excitement really kicked in...this is really happening! It's been almost a year since we purchased the property, so we're VERY ready for things to gear up and one day soon, move in!

We were a week into site work when it all came to a screeching halt. There were issues with the slope of the lot, slab height, and the City of Austin's new ordinances. Our architect and builder had to figure out the best way to solve the problem. It seemed that grading the lot would work best. This was about a week delay while we waited for approvals from the city, and the weather was perfect, of course. Then came the tsunami. We don't get much rain for months and then it comes all at once, so we had to wait for the rain to stop and soil to dry before grading could happen. 

While all of that was happening, I was able to select and order exterior materials. We went with aluminum RAM windows and Western sliders. Because the lead time is 6-8 weeks and they're one of the first things to be installed after framing, I had to order them asap. We finalized the material and profile size of our canopies / awnings for the exterior that will hang over our front porch, outdoor storage area, and bbq space on three sides of the house. We were debating between three sizes. These pictures were taken with my iPhone so a little dark.

1) 6" aluminum canopy - pricey and too slim

2) 8" aluminum canopy - most expensive but best in scale

3) 12" wood canopy wrapped in aluminum - great price but too wide.

In order to get the wood to support the weight of the canopy, they needed to have a larger profile, hence the 12 inch profile. Even though this size wasn't ideal, the thousands of dollars saved was huge, and the added inches weren't significant enough to pay the extra money for the metal awnings.  At the last minute, we were able to work with the structural engineer to construct a wood awning that would support the weight of the canopy and have a smaller profile. These photos are of the 9" canopy.

Our front porch will mostly be concrete with a brick surround. It was important that I pick out what brick before the foundation guys did their thing, mostly to know the thickness. If you're looking at our house from the street, you can see that the front facade of the porch will be covered in brick. If you're standing on the porch looking down, we'll be installing a brick border around the edges to be flush with the slab. There are various options of faux brick out there if you want to save money. We only need about 150 square feet, so I decided to go with real brick I found at Acme Brick. It had been removed from the exterior of old buildings in Chicago, which I thought was neat, and it wasn't too expensive. I think each brick cost around 71 cents and we only need about 300 bricks. I love the color variation from brick to brick and that it's not too red.

We also nailed down our lumber resource, Eastside Lumber, which I’m really excited about. I hear that daily lumber runs are common so having them close by is huge. Our rep, Donald, has been a breeze to work with. I’m in the middle of reviewing garage door options, which I’ll need to order asap. All that's left is finalizing exterior doors, lighting, and the screened in porch. 

Choosing those materials certainly helped distract me from the schedule delays. Last week there was a break in the rain and we were able to complete grading and build the forms. These picture aren't much to look at but still wanted to share. 


The last 10 feet of the forms represent the patio or decking materials, so we'll still have a decent sized back yard.

This part of the job finished up on Friday. I scheduled the land surveyor to come out yesterday to complete the form survey that the city will need to complete the building layout inspection. 

Next up: plumbing and electrical. I'm told there's a shortage of plumbers in Austin (or Texas?) who are also behind due to the rain. I'm still hoping we'll be able to do a walk-through with him later this week. Slab should be poured in 2-3 weeks. Yay!

Move in date - December 2016! This might be a stretch, but I remain optimistic.

Have an awesome week!