Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thought I was done!

When I finished my last posting on this blog.  I never thought I'd ever do it again.  I had just completed a terrible 18 month experience - building my Manasquan, NJ  dream house.  Read the blog.   Only a fool would have the experiences I had and then repeat it.  So, Here I am 31 months later.  Let the action begin with EntireInc-St Augustine, FL.
Pennington Point condo
Former home in Manasquan
New project actually started to take shape when we moved to Pennington Point from Manasquan August 2015. There is no beach at Pennington Point-DUH! So after a couple of months the need for a beach started to creep into my very being.
A trip to Florida, away from the cold of NJ in Mar/Apr 2016 made me realize I could kill two bird (escape the winter cold and walk to the beach) with one stone(build a home in Florida).  Ronnie and I explored the East coast of Florida from Amelia Island to Vero Beach.  We fell in love with St Augustine Beach.  With family already in the Jacksonville/St Augustine area it seemed a logical choice. The previous two winters we had spent some time in the Jacksonville area and knew we would enjoy living there.  Several house hunting trips during the past 6 months couldn't produce an existing home that we felt met our dream.  So in August 2016 we made an offer on a lot in St Augustine Beach - 4 blocks(as the crow flies) from the beach.

and in a nice year round community.  We closed on the lot about a month before Hurricane Matthew blew into town.  St Augustine was hit hard.  The neighborhood where we bought had no problems- No water in the streets,  No trees down, No house damage to neighbors.  Our lot sits at 10 feet above sea level and the 500 year flood level is currently at 9 feet.
We spent some time in September looking at homes being built in St Augustine and met Zak Adams, the owner and president of  Entire Inc homes of St Augustine. (see link above).
Over the past couple of months we have been working by internet with Zak, designing and finally arriving at the home we will build.
We went into the build process thinking a 2 story home and after a lot of talk with the builder and family we chose a single story, about 1750sq ft .
To be continued as the building process proceeds.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

It's almost over!

Time not only flies when you're having fun.  It zooms by when you're pulling your hair out.  So, I know it's been months since I posted.  It has been an experience I wouldn't wish on an enemy.  It's almost done.( I think I believed that 6 months ago) Not sure I believe it yet. We are only waiting for lot grading, a driveway, a couple of interior doors, a new front door, and some handrails for the entrances and the completion of exterior painting, and most importantly the CO (Certificate of Occupancy) from the town so we can live here (we're currently on a temporary CO).
Here's a walk through the house.   We love it.  Our Kids love it. The grandkids love it. So it was worth it!

Great room from the second floor.  TV cabinet not yet installed over the fireplace.
  Can be seen in a later picture. 

Largest of the 2nd floor bedrooms.  Later picture shows it decorated for the kids.
Looking from the fireplace to the front of the house.

Front door in background of Dining Room.  Front door if you recall was a custom made 42 inch mahogany door. It's being replaced on Wednesday morning this week because it split and warped. 

Turning around from the picture above you see the kitchen.  Custom made cabinets by Mr. Paul's Cabinets  Granite counter-tops throughout the kitchen, and all bathroom vanities:  

Continuing from the kitchen to the rear of the house, the driveway side entrance is on the right as you proceed to the great room.  The TV in it's cabinet is visible on the back wall.

From the 2nd floor overlook-The great room in one of it's many looks. Every visible piece of furniture and some others have been moved around to each of the available spaces in the room to capture a casual feel. This picture is iteration #8 or 13. I lost count and interest at #2. 

The largest 2nd floor bedroom  has 2 trundle beds and can sleep all 5 grand-kids when a blowup single is added.

This is the stand alone bedroom without access to the cupola but with peace and quiet.

The back (year round) porch gets the morning sun and is quiet and relaxing.  The windowed door on the left leads to the office room, seen in the follow on picture.

The office has also gone through numerous decorating iterations. 

The Master bedroom adjacent to the office has it's own bath and walk-in closet

Off the back porch, with doors from the porch and the great room, is a small mahogany deck with stairs leading down to small brick/concrete patio.

Thje front of the house with ladders in place to finish the painting.

The soon to be replaced front door shown for the roof brackets similar to the one on the side porch seen next

The driveway waiting for new straight curbing(that's another story) and a sea shell surface.  Promised for this week!
Finally a beautiful Manasquan sunrise. Come visit!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Lull between disasters

We were waiting for the boiler to be installed so we could get heat into the house.  Well it was installed about 2 weeks ago.  But the boiler needs electric and the electric is going to be under ground.  Very sad and unexpectedly, our mason did not show the day he was to dig the trench for the underground installation.  We learned later that day that he died of a heart attack in his sleep. He was an honest well liked craftsman and we were very saddened by his death.

Will be experiencing more delays while we search for a new mason.  After the hurricane finding available trades people is like looking for hens teeth.(a phrase my father used). 

42 in. mahogony door and transom.

Mahogony door prior to painting.
  The mahogony door was delivered and installed on Thursday of last week 12/13. It is going to be painted French Blue, so this is the first, last and only picture of it in it's mahogony nakedness.
Great room from 2nd floor looking at the back of the house
Not wanting to delay waiting for heat, the sheetrockers burned $$$$ worth of propane to get the finished and ready to paint.  The painter is waiting for heat,as is the floor installer & the tile man. 
Looking at the entrance from the back wall of the house

Metal roofs were installed on the cupola and the bumpout for the gas stove.

We were glad to have a week of about 50 degree weather and the painting was almost completed.  The vertical cedar siding is painted "Almond Soy" and the horizontal siding is painted "Cork".

The gas stove is installed and waiting for: gas for the flame and electric for the fan.  Not sure when but the new mason promised me today that he would have the trench dug by Friday the 21st and the electrician has promised to be there to run the electric. 
Of course, I almost had heat last week after suggesting we run power off the temporary service pole direct to the newly installed boiler. However, when the HVAC guys came over to coordinate the connection of their system to the boiler, they discovered that insulation was installed into the chase for the air return and the sheet rockers had nicely sheet rocked it. Oh and did I mention that the custom stairs being built by G&G stair builders ( who went out of business 6 weeks after getting a 50% deposit from us. They've promised to honor our contract but they are already weeks late on delivery. I hope they're not using up all the scrap wood to make our stairs.

Almond Soy stain being applied to beautiful cedar siding

Looking at the house from the southeast side

Siding being completed on the long awaited door. which is primed white prior to it's French Blue finish.
In spite of all that's gone wrong, we are very happy with the house and the work that's been done.  All the trade people have been overwhelmed by the storm demands of new customers who are out of their primary homes.  They are doing the best they can under the situation.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Siding is done except for the front.  We're waiting for the custom made 42in wide mahogony front door. Hopefully in by the end of this week, then the siding can be finished.   

The cupola is board and batten siding.

The cedar siding on the original house and the board and batten on the addition will be painted when and if the weather permits.  Not sure we'll see that happen til spring.  Maybe a week of 50 plus weather days in December will occur it can be done sooner.

The sheet rockers are using a propane heater to keep the house warm enough to finish the taping but the painter wants heat in the house as does the flooring contractor.  I tried to see if I could expedite the process of getting heat and found there are many issues that were hanging us up. The electric needs to get turned on and that can't happen until the house electric line is run out to the service pole.  We want underground service so we need to get the excavator to get back and dig a trench to the pole. Oh yeah, it has to go under our neighbors driveway which we have to destroy and repair. Then we get a final electric inspection and apply for power to be turned on.  I'm told that's a 7-10 day process.  But we need a boiler installed before we get heat. Oh and the water has to be turned on and our water meter was stolen during the demolition phase of the original house. Promises of the boiler to be installed this week and the gas lines secured so we can apply for gas service.  Not going to hold my breath for all this to happen in the next 2 weeks.  

So while the house is ready for painting and floors and tile and finishing, everything is on hold for the heat.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Post Sandy

Stockton Lake Drive at 930am on Oct 29.
  Not a good sign
With some forcasters warning about Hurricane Sandy as early as November 23, we put a halt on the construction project. The house was wrapped in 30# felt paper and insulation was scheduled to start on the 25th.  We decided to wait until the passing of the storm before starting insulation. These first 3 pictures were taken on my last trip to check on the house before, the morning of the 29th of Nov.  The morning high tide had just peaked and I thought it would give me an idea of what to expect.   In the picture with the stop sign the water had only reached the beginning of Fletcher Av.  My expectations that the evening high tide would be no worse was completely wrong.
Fletcher at the corner of Potter.  The next high tide
would bring the water up to the middle of the windows

The National Guard is already busy
and we have about 10 hours to the next high tide.

As you can see in the following picture, the water from the evening high tide came up to just under 30 inches. Note the water line on the garage door.

Garage door shows water level to be just under 30 inches
The garage was filled with our appliances and some furniture we were storing for the move in.  Everything in the garage had to be discarded, 
Winds were about 90 MPH and the felt paper took a beating.
We lost some of the house wrap and most of the wrap on the garage, all the appliances and any of the furniture which was veneered.  But fortunately we had filled in the basement and the water level at the house did not reach the floors 

At the house the water level didn't
get to the height of the door opening.

Insulation placed in the house for disribution to the rooms
About 50% of Manasquan was under water and without power for almost 3 weeks.  We got contactors back on the job with generators 2 weeks after the storm and in the past 2 weeks we have the siding almost completed,  The insulation is completed, and the sheetrock up and ready for taping.

front 2nd floor bedroom well insulated.

Our sheet rockers like all of the people on the job
 are super workers and very good at what they do,
Even the wlls between rooms were insulated.
There's an eerie quiet in the house.

Ready for sheetrock
Insulted with R-30 in the walls of the great room.

House is recovered and ready for siding
Our siding guys

The original house is cedar clapboard.
It's primed a gray but it will be stained a tan color.

The new portion of the house is cedar
 board and batten. here it is seen without the battens.

Great room sheet rocked

Our builder Tom Bateman watching the action.

I guess you have to expect some of this.
The coax cable for the computer which was left hanging on a wall stud
 got sheetrocked into the bedroom closet instead of the next room over, the office.
Ronnie checking out the sheetrocked kitchen.

West side of the house showing the contrasting sidings.

Detail of the finished look of the board and batten siding.