Monday, December 17, 2012

Our Builder...Kurk Homes

Big Pile of Dirt Update!

Here is our big expensive pile of dirt!  The good news is...our plans were approved by the HOA and we're back on track!  The new plans are in the hands of those redesigning our foundation.  We're not expecting much movement until after the new year.  We may have a big dirt sale if our builders can't reallocate this pile.  And let me tell ya'...dirt aint cheap!  You will never, ever, ever hear me use the phrase, "dirt cheap" again!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Walk-out Daylight Basement Design

This is the walk-out daylight basement design.  We have 4 guest rooms, one of which we are using or a workout/craft room.  We added a wetbar with room for a full size fridge, for easy access to beverages etc, when pool side.  Also, it will be convenient for our coffee drinking guests.  Jose and I don't drink coffee, don't even know how to make coffee but the coffee maker and all supplies will be in the wet bar so guests will be able to help themselves to a cup of joe first thing in the morning.  We may switch the workout/craft room with the ensuite bath so I can have a nice view while working out.  Hopefully the view will motivate me to work out more.  Putting in an email to our designer tomorrow.  We loooooove this house!

New Main Floor Design

This is the new design for the main floor. We've flipped the house, raised the roof in the family room, omitted the 2nd story, and enclosed the stairwell to lead down to a daylight, walk-out basement which elimnated the need for the 33,000 retaining wall.  YEAH!  We can walk out to the pool (we don't have yet) and get in the boat (we probably won't have for a while) which will be housed in the dock (we also won't be able to build right away because we added 500 square feet to the house today:) But... we love this house!

Construction On Hold

I haven't posted in a while because its been a frustrating 6 weeks.  First, it was the foundation pad which was going to require a retaining wall, then it was the sewer board not approving the wall to go over the easement now it's the home owners association.  As of Monday November 7th we were issued a cease and desist order from the HOA.

We had to build a high foundation pad for drainage purposes and apparently it's caused a big old stink which has resulted in more than one hissy fit and many sleepless nights.  Sooooo we have a big pile of dirt just waiting for a house. Hope to have a resolution soon.  We are now 2 months behind schedule. Tomorrow we meet with the architect for a redesign to include a daylight basement instead of a second story.  Stay tuned for the latest drama over the Alba residence.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

 Mom and Dad came to visit today.  They went to Galveston while we went to work:(
Here we are with Patootie (one of the stray cats we've started feeding, probably going to take him to the land with us)!
This is Socks, one of the other stray cats that we have fallen in love with, probably taking him to the land too:) 
Here's our lovely new bathroom!

Where are we going to put the pool?

Sooooooo happy to see some progress, so sad to see the big beautiful tree gone.  Wish we could have kept it:(

Finally!  Dirt is moving, trees have been cleared we are starting to see some progress!  Woohoo!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Here's the Roof!

We picked out our shingles today!  Hopefully the HOA will approve our exterior choices and we can begin to see the dirt moving soon.  I have to give a big shout out to our builder, Kurk Homes.  They came highly recommended and we are very glad to be working with them. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Exterior Paint and Stone...Decision Made!

We made our first big decision today...(insert drumroll)...Our exterior Hardi color is...Sherwin Williams Meadowtrail!  It's the olive green shade on the left. 
And here's the stone...(obviously not our house) but this is what our stone will look look, color, cut & pattern
Finally!  After months of polling family and friends, driving around taking pictures and painting Hardi board with quart size samples, we have made a decision!  Woohoo!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Brown Choices for the Exterior

Here is the brown pallette we're considering from the Sherwin Williams Historical Collection for the exterior.  We go back and forth between the greens and the browns.  We think both look good on the lake.  It's just a matter of picking one.  Once we've narrowed the field I'll probably buy a sample of each and paint on some Hardieplank scraps.

Paint Color SW 2835 Craftsman Brown from Sherwin-Williams for the body
SW 2835 Craftsman Brown from Sherwin-Williams for the body

Paint Color SW 2833 Roycroft Vellum from Sherwin-Williams for trim
SW 2833 Roycroft Vellum from Sherwin-Williams for trim

Paint Color SW 2836 Quartersawn Oak from Sherwin-Williams for accent (garage doors)
 SW 2836 Quartersawn Oak from Sherwin-Williams for accent (garage doors)
Any thoughts and comments are appreciated.  I loved reading everybody's suggestions reguarding the greens.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fifty Shades of Green (and Stone)  HELP!

Sherwin Williams shades of green we are considering for the exterior Hardie plank. 
   We are looking for a middle shade of olive or sage to compliment the Texas Sandstone on the exterior.

These are the three different patterns/cut/color variations of the sandstone we are considering for the exterior stone as well as the interior fireplace and the surround of the two tier bar in the kitchen.

Builders Grade Product Guide   Tuscan Chop Austin White Sandstone with color
Saw Cut Austin Brown

Builders Grade Product Guide   Tuscan Chop Rattlesnake Sandstone
 Tuscan Chop Rattlesnake
Builders Grade Product Guide   Tuscan Chop Austin White Sandstone with color
Tuscan Chop Austin White Sandstone with color

For those of you with a background in Interior Design or if you just have a knack for choosing the complimentary color combinations or if you just want to put in your two cents worth, we would appreciate hearing all opinions.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lawn/Garden Hydrangea Help

My favorite flowers are blue hydrageas.  My wonderful husband gave me this gorgeous blue hydrangea for our one year anniversary.  He's so thoughtful!  He got it in a pot instead of a bouquet so I could plant it in our front yard at the new house.  I've never kept a hydrangea alive in a pot. I've always had good luck with them in the ground in Tennessee but this is a completely different gardening zone.  I probably won't be able to plant it until April or May.  Any advice from my master gardner friends as to the best way to take care of this until then? 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Design Process Over! Ready to Build:)

We have been working with the designers at Kurk Homes for about a month on the floorplans and exterior elevations.  Since we are are doing a custom build, we got to design the house of our dreams (within budget of course). We were working with an odd pie shaped lot that has a sewer line easment about 50 feet from the bulkhead.  We have 100 feet of water frontage but only about 50 feet at the street.  It was quite challenging to get all the space we wanted, especially the garages on this lot but our designers did it.  They were amazing!  We were thrilled with the end result.  I got my dream kitchen and closets and Jose got his dream garage.  Since we were able to do split garages I can keep all the Christmas decorations and miscellaneous memorabilia in my garage and Jose's garage can be completely devoted to the two cars that are restorations in progress, his workshop, and a parking spot for the car he drives to work.

I'm sure I forgot something but since this is the house we plan to retire in, we really tried to think of all the things that bugged us about all of our previous residences.  For example...I hate cleaning shower doors so our master shower was built with two shower heads, a seat and no door, not even glass bricks.  We knew we would always want to dine lakeside especially when we have friends and family over so we built one dining space open to the kitchen with plenty of room for our table and china cabinet.  My sister-in-law, Geraldine and my sister Camille both have open kitchens in their homes and both entertain quite a bit.  I love how their kitchens were open to the family room which became the inspiration for the kitchen, dining, family room space.  We opted for a corner fireplace even though I didn't wear my coat a single time last winter.  I had to have somewhere to hang the stockings at Christmas. And on the offchance we might have a cold day and we will want to build (and by that I mean turn on the gas logs) a fire.  We wanted a ton of storage on the first floor. There's plenty of room for all of my shoes, summer and (unnecessary in Houston) winter clothes in the same closet at the same time!  I've never been able to do that! The laudry room has a utilitly sink, extra fridge with ice maker, (yall know how I like a little drink with my ice) washer and dryer and room for my hanging racks to dry clothes!  It's as if I've died and gone to laundry room heaven.  We put the office/library on the main floor with built-in bookshelves floor to ceiling on one whole wall.  We just haven't decided which wall yet.  We have a pretty big corner desk so we have a couple of options for the shelves.  We'll meet with the cabinet maker to finalize at a later date.

Upstairs we have three guest rooms (two queen bedrooms and one with two twin beds) two bathrooms and a gameroom that will function as my workout/DIY craft/hobby space.  There will also be a sofa in there for additional sleeping space. We really would have liked to have that room on the main floor as well but we figured if I'm too old and feeble to make it up the stairs I probably won't be working out or crafting. As you can see there's plenty of space for our family and friends to stay comfortably!  So Y'all come!  It's BYOB (Bring Your Own Boat) until we can afford one.  Hopefully, summer 2013.

House Plans 2nd Story

House Plans Main Floor

Rear Exterior Elevation

Front Exterior Elevation

Jose and I purchased this property on Lake Houston to build our dream home together.  Initially, we had no intention of building of new house.  We were perfectly happy in Katy Texas, both unemployed just hangin' out, loving our new life of being together 24/7 after two years of commuting every two weeks.  Then Jose got a job.  The commute was AWFUL! Most evenings he was lucky to be home by 7 pm.  So...the search began.  We looked in Kingwood, Humble, Atascacita, then we found Lake Houston. We originally were looking to purchase and renovate but the time & expense nixed that idea pretty quickly.  So the hunt for the perfect lot began. 

We found several, narrowed it down to two, got input from our families and our builder (Kurk Homes), then went with our gut!  We bought in Indian Shores because of the beautiful trees and stunning sunsets!  We put the house on the market, it sold in 7 days and we moved to a rental in Crosby so we could be close to our land while we were building.

I decided to create this blog for several reasons...1) I want all of our family and friends to be able to see our progress along the way,  2) I may need some input and guidance, 3) For posterity's sake, 4) So yall will know when to make travel plans to visit us in the new house.  (Our creepy haunted rental in Crosby isn't exactly welcoming right now.  You have to crawl over boxes everywhere.  Our neighbor informed me two weeks ago that a little boy died in this house upstairs so I'm more than a little ready to get into our new digs), & 5) Because I've always wanted to try the blogging thing.

I always thought I'd be blogging about restaurants not building a house but here goes!  

Our piece of heaven on New Moon Trail!