Tuesday, February 15, 2011

360 degree tour

The pace has slowed down on the construction due to my window predicament so I have been able to take a little break and play around a bit.  I wanted to give you all a little guided tour of the garage and the upstairs Treehouse.  Make sure you check out my old / new recycled newly hung doors, they look fabulous!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Getting back to the positive side of things minus the window setback I started this project with a big promise to myself to actually practice what I preach.  There is so much waste / damage that occurs when building a house that I have attempted to cut down some of that waste on a small / medium scale.  Of course, I would love to build a completely "green" house, but when you start running the numbers it's SO expensive (corporate corruption at its best) so I attempt at most things like buying local products to save fuel consumption and using products with low V.O.C.   Throughout the project I will re-post some Reduce, Reuse, Recycle items, below are the beginning steps.

This is my trash trailer from now until start of project.  Not even half full!! I know this is not a glamorous picture, but only plastic and treated lumber will need to be thrown away.  All scrapes from framing have been used in my wood burning fireplace or burn pile and all extra lumber has been returned to lumber yard. 

Most all my lumber for fascia boards and siding will be milled from lumber yards locally.  These wood boards above are my fascia boards that once upon a time grew miles from my project,  Uncle Bill is the mill owner who runs a small operation in town.  He owns a portable saw mill that can go out to locations where people would like trees cleared from there properties.  Instead of just cutting down and turning into fire wood,  he cuts down the logs, splits them down to planks, dries them, then plains them down in his shop to whatever size you need.  It is quite a process to see in person and to know the actual person who "made" your tongue and groove cedar siding.  A plus factor in reusing someones trees is that he mills only top grade lumber and he is local so my carbon footprint for lumber transportation is decreased.

I have used alot of recycled elements already, remember these great stairs.  We have also begun modifying our recycled garage entry door and front entry door.  Both were bought for $75 bucks total at Second Use, a salvage yard  in Seattle, and will look good as new after installation.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What are we doing anyway?

Don't know if you noticed, but I added a little button in the upper right corner.........I thought it would be fun to clue everyone into the process a little more.  The list below is a condensed list of some of the general contractor items I have on my agenda for the next month.  I will update and check things off from time to time.  Just click on the button on the right or check out my page marked "checklist" at the top below the title.  There are so many items to remember and it's starting to get overwhelming, so this will help me and might be fun for you!! 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Finding Happy Medium

Problem solved, and new windows have been ordered.  Things happen, I knew they would, nothing can go perfectly, but it gets the best of your nerves some of the time.  Truth be told, I'm kind of relieved that I got to go back to the drawing board.  I was forced to look at the overall picture again and really think about the pros's and con's to vinyl vs fiberglass/wood and I found my happy medium for the first time since researching windows for this project.  I found a new line that just came out in January that Milguard (a local and large business that should stay in business for a long time, lets hope) made, I'm still using a vinyl window however they now offer 4 new colors that have been tested to resist heat/cold/humidity etc. with a life time guarantee warranty.  One of my struggles this entire time was only having A or B to choose from. It is very limiting when your attempting to build a high end custom house on a track house budget..  All these decisions will effect the second phase of the project which is the main house.  

For anyone new reading this, I'm starting with this Guesthouse/ Garage as a starter project to get my feet wet in general contracting, after we have completed the Treehouse as I call it we will be tearing down a 1400 sq. ft. house and building a 2100 sq. ft. custom main house with similar design but a much larger budget.  (Lets hope!!)

I wasn't thrilled with white vinyl windows for the main house, but was going to make do. However with the discovery of the new vinyl color options I also found a new line that Milguard just came out with. It is a higher end wood interior window that has a color selection that matches the vinyl perfectly.  So from the outside everything will look the same, and from the inside you never notice the difference from one space to the next.  Things happen for a reason, and yes I lucked out and now my only setback is waiting an extra 2 weeks.  I think I can handle that, don't you?

Lets hope my luck continues, my rough in plumbing is done, and have a final inspection today, wish me luck!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Spiraling down the rabit hole

Well folks...the saga continues.......yesterday my windows were scheduled to be delivered.  They didn't show up I got concerned and found out that the company decided to close there doors instead. They are a good company but with all the economical setbacks they just cant stay open.   I just can't win with these darn windows I'm so frustrated, pissed, scatterbrained, annoyed.......HAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!! So what to do, what to do...............

They were made and ready to ship, now they are lost in distribution never to be seen again.  Fortunately, I haven't paid a penny towards them, so I can walk away with only frustration.  Now I'm debating on slashing vinyl windows forever and re-evaluating everything all over again.

Oh boy..........

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I wish I didn't feel so strongly about windows...

Windows...........I have some big dam windows.  Most modern houses use aluminum windows for there clean simple lines and sleek modern edgy look. After much research my selections for my budget is limited. There are really NO options when most window's energy codes don't meet your areas standards.  For example: Milguard (which is a company I can afford)  makes an affordable aluminum window and interestingly enough is produced locally near Tacoma WA.  However, my energy efficiency codes for Jefferson County will not allow me to specify them.  They don't pass code even though they are produced in the state.........strange huh.

My options are:

1. High end residential commercial grade aluminum windows with triple pane glass and extra argon gas to meet energy standards.  ($$$ way out of budget.)

2. Fiberglass windows meet my energy codes and there price is average, however the frame size compared to a aluminum frame is double so the design profile is compromised. ($$ in budget.)

3. Vinyl windows also meet my codes and there prices are very reasonable, the same issues come up with frame size as fiberglass. ($ meets budget and would save money.)

Most of the time I shrug decisions like this off and find something that I can live with, but this one had me stumped.  Windows are a huge deal to me, I need something efficient both cost and heat loss/gain but  modern and simple.  Well, I decided to go the with number 3 route. I weighed the pros and cons and there was no way I could afford option 1 so if your going to have the same look and code requirements why pay more right? The windows are on there way and there is no going back.  Hope I made the right choice, you win some and loose some, it still has me bummed .

Someone out there needs to bridge the gap......come on window gods make more options!!