Building a Modern Day Craftsman

Web Log of the construction of the Cullman Cottage


This is my web log of the construction of a modern day Craftsman Home

The Cullman Cottage


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The Web Logs
Days 1 through 68 * Days 69 through 162 * Days 170 through 280
Days 283 through Day 307 * Days 319 through 350 * Days 351 through 403
Day 346 * Days 420 through Day 448 * Days 546 though Day 662
* Days 663 though Present

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4/10/04†††††††††††† Day 170I have finally finished all the wiring. Only thing left is for the electric company to set a pole and connect the house. I need to install the alarm system and I started that today. Depending on my real work I expect to finish by next weekend.Work got in my way this week so I didnít finish as I expected. I have been saying it would take me two more weeks for at least 3 weeks now.


†††††††††††††††††††††††††† I am still very aggravated about my builder walking off.The more I think about it the more I see things that happened that were not right. Little things but now I can see them in light of his walking off. Like the fact he was never on the job site. Things that would have been done wrong had I not been watching closely.


††††††††††††††††††† The more I look around the more I see that I am going to have to do or hire a carpenter to do. I canít do it all myself. Well I can but it would take a year and I have other things I want to do besides build a house.


4/24/04†††††††††††† Day 190Due to the mix up my updates have not been showing but today that seems to have been resolved. I just broke for lunch and we are working on the alarm system. Hope to finish the rough wiring today but may not.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Yesterday I worked outside all day with the backhoe man. He finished installing the septic tank system Thursday and yesterday I had him cut our driveway. I laid it out it for him. Then I drove the tractor some and moved dirt around. Shoveled dirt, moved boards and other stuff in the yard out of the way. Sit and rested some. JPhysical labor is not as easy as it was a few years ago.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† The Rumford fireplace casting have still not arrived. They were supposed to be here two weeks ago. I called yesterday and of course the person I needed to talk to was not there.


I found an older mason that learned from his trade from his Grandfather. That impressed me. I talked to him some and his work ethic really shined. Plus I have seen some of his work.He is Ďold schoolĒ and believes in doing it right. Anxious to get brick and fireplace material in so he can start on it.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Gas lines are STILL NOT IN. I wish I could run my business like some of these contractors run theirs! Plus they have left two small jobs not finished. I know they will show up once I remind them but I shouldnít have to remind them!


††††††††††††††††††††††††† I will try to get some photos up latter today. My Sony camera died so I have a new camera. I donít have it connected to this computer yet but I do have some photos downloaded onto the laptop.


5/18/04†††††††††††† Day ???Not sure what day number it is. A lot has happened since the last update. Big news is the wiring is complete!I am done!Of course there are always exceptions.I am still working on the basement wiring but that is a minor issue. It doesnít hold up anything.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† When I left a few minutes ago (around noon) they were unloading the drywall. It just started raining too! I hope they are done or very close to being unloaded! The hangers will probably show up end of the week of maybe next week. This feels like a big turning point. It starts to be a house at this point!


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Masons are working on the fireplace today (well they were. I bet they quit when this shower hit.) They are also doing a stucco finish on the foundation.They showed me a new problem that I had to correct. (since I am the contractor now I have to be carpenter too) The opening for the fireplace was wrong. There was a larger header in the wrong place and the way the wall was framed they were concerned about it getting to hot and catching fire. So I have had to cut out the header and remove some wall framing. Once they get this done I will have to go back and reframe it around the fireplace.Also the opening we cut in the floor for the fireplace was in the wrong place. So I have to crawl under the house, drag in some lumber and cut and install floor bracing. Will have to get my nephew over to help me do this.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† The concrete company is running 2-3 days behind in deliveries. I had to scramble and find a trailer and haul blocks and mortar today since the masons ran out. That was my fault however. I forgot to allow extra for the front porch walls. Speaking of which those are in place too. They look really good!


††††††††††††††††††††††††† We changed from a poured concrete porch to a wood porch on the front of the house. Itís much simpler for me to work with wood. Plus I like the look better. I found the building supply could get pressure treated tongue and groove flooring that is kiln dried. So that will make a very old fashioned looking porch.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Last thing. I got one of the nicest compliments today. Guy was delivering sand for the masons and I was signing the ticket. (money, money, money)He asked me ďIs this a new house or an old house that was moved in?ĒI am still grinning!


5/21/04†††††††††††† DAY?? Have not slowed up long enough to see what day it is yet. I have been off all week and this has to be the toughest week yet, well for me anyway. The masons finished up today. It all looks great too! I have run errands for them all week. I have hauled concrete blocks and mortar mix. Arrange for delivery of sand. Played carpenter, cutting holes in the house for the fireplace to go in. I now have fix the roof before it rains.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† The weather is HOT! Were in the low 90ís and today cleaning out a trench we dug yesterday for the electrical service has been awful. My clothes were just wringing wet with sweat. Standing waist deep in a ditch shoveling dirt in this heat is NO FUN!At least a funny story came out of that.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† I had to go to town to buy something (a daily thing now). I decided to get some lunch while I was there. Since I had no money I went to bank to cash a check. I reached in my shorts pocket to get something and to my surprise I found 1/2 ď of dirt in my pocket with my change. When I got outside I checked and each pocket was full of dirt. My eyeglass case was full of dirt along with my wallet and everything else.



6/12/04†††††††††††† Day 239 I HURT!With that out of the way lets see. I have been laying the ceramic tile on the back porch today. Finally have that water proofed and the cement backer board down. So no more leaks in the basement. I noticed that the power company FINALLY approved my service entrance and have connected everything up Just need to ask them to move the meter form the temporary pole to the house now


††††††††††††††††††††††††† I guess the big news is the drywall is up and finished. I have taken next week off and we will paint inside the house. Our goal is to paint the whole inside. No promises but that seems reasonable to me. Trim of course is not installed so we donít have to paint or stain any or it yet.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Will try hard to get some photos up tonight. I didnít realize it had been so long since I updated. I have been so busy with work and the house that I havenít even thought much about the web site.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Latest PhotosI have a new camera and I seem to be missing a lot of photos. I will take new ones this week.


††††††††††††††††††††††† Lunch break is over. Time to get back to work.


6/16/04†††††††††††† Day 243I still hurt J††† Things are really moving along now. We have applied 30+ gallons of primer today on the interior walls. The house and ceilings are all white now. And I have to brag on my drywall finishers, the walls look excellent. I donít remember any areas that need touching up. There probably will be some but looks like they will be very minor. Tomorrow we start putting on the actually colors! Thatís when I will get excited. We still have to prime the garage in the morning but then itís on the real painting.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† The tile is laid on the back porch. We need to get it grouted but itís sealed and no more leaks into the basement. This week we want to get as much painted as possible.I also got the conduit buried. Tomorrow I will call the power company and hopefully they will pass everything and move the power over.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Needless to say we are tired!


6/17/04†††††††††††† Day 244I am to tired to hurt†††† 38 gallons of primer on the walls and ceilings.About 3 gallons of water, Sprite and Pepsi in me!We started putting on colors also. We put what I call a banana cream on the ceilings on the den, kitchen, office and living room ceilings. It a really pretty color! Itís more of a golden yellow, looks like cream almost..


††††††††††††††††††††††††† We also put the color on the Dinning room ceiling. Makes me want to play with Barbie dolls. JI am not complaining because I want to see it against the wall color, but itís a pale pink. The walls are to be a terra cotta color with a cherry stained wood wainscoting. So without everything in place I donít want to judge. But it is pink.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Two more days in the week and while there is no way we can paint all the inside I hope we can get a couple more rooms done tommorow. Probably the Master Bedroom and the Living room. If they have the Dinning Room wall color done (they ran our of the base color they mix from) we will definitely paint that.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Newest Photos


7/23/04†††††††††††† Day 280I canít believe I have not updated this in a month. But not much has changed either. Itís tough to work a job and work on a house in you spare time.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† All the walls are painted. The pink is gone in the dinning room. We toned it down after looking if for a few days. It was just to pink and we toned it down a bit. The rest of the colors are wonderful. The house flows from room to room. No opening a door and finding some surprising color. It just flows.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Once the paint was done I started working on the wiring. I have almost all the outlets and switches working now. I have a couple of rooms where were doing a wood paneling and I have to get that installed before I can install the outlets. I actually had some stain mixed yesterday and tried it on a sample of the wood I wanted to use. It looked great but the mahogany wood didnít look good against the maple that is going on the cabinets. I am going to see if I can find some Birch and try that.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† The back porch is tiled and grouted too. It really looks good!


††††††††††††††††††††††††† At this point we need to finish the walls. Finish installing switches and outlets. Install cabinets, trim and floor coverings.Doesnít sound like a lot but I am guessing 2 more months. SighÖ I am tired and I am ready to be done!