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


Please Sign the NEW guest book*VIEW the Guest Book


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


House PLANS* Email me†† *†† NEW! Photo Page Index



10/05/04†††††††††† DAY 355††† DRIP DRIP DRIP

If you have been following my BLOG you can probably guess what is going on. Door #3 leaks. I am stumped as to why and no else can figure it out either. I have given up. Will try some gutters and see it that will stop it. If not then it looks like we will have to put a storm door up.


Good news is the trim man did show up Monday. Of course he wonít be back till Thursday. (Rolls eyes) But thatís about typical. I really understand he is busy butÖ.. The good thing is we love the trim and he got a few doors hung too. Itís starting to look like a house!


A neighbor is out of work and is going to help me around the house. He needs the money and I need the help. Friday he spent 10 hours caulking the outside of the house. We figure he might have gotten half of it done.


I installed (with some help) the stove and the stainless hood. That was tougher than I expected! Took most of the day. Today I tiled the guest bath and hope to grout it in the morning.


New photos


10/19/04††††††††† UPDATEJust a quick note to say I have not abandon the updates. I have been out of town for over a week. Obviously I didnít want to broadcast that. Will have some ďinterestingĒ photos to show soon.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† We started the house one year ago yesterday.SighÖÖ



10/24/04††††††††† DAY 373 MORE EXCITEMENTWell I came home to some interesting news. I have been given 30 days to vacate my current residence. So a moving date has been set! Ready or not!! (and it wonít be ready)


††††††††††††††††††††††††† The good news is the trim is 95% done. The hardwood floors are 95% done too. The reason the trim is not done is we have to have cabinets in place to finish. After the first cabinet fiasco we WAY behind on them. New cabinetmaker should start on them in about 3 weeks. About the time I have to move in. J


††††††††††††††††††††††††† The floors are not finished because we ran out of flooring. Some where along the line someone made a mistake on figuring the square footage. But this is a stock item so we should be able to pick it up Monday or Tuesday. Trim man is coming back at the end of the week to finish up the odds and ends.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† With our 30 day notice we have to kick it in high gear. Looks as ifwe can get everything done except the cabinets and the trim finished. That means no bathroom cabinets. No sink in the kitchen. The guest bath will be complete, so we will have a bathroom. I am thinking of buying a double laundry sink and putting it in the kitchen for now. Then move it to the basement. Sawhorses with plywood for counter tops. And just lots of stuff on the floor and in boxes!


††††††††††††††††††††††††† I have been talking to painters because there is no way I can paint all this trim in 3 weeks I have left. I have one that said he could start Monday. I think everything else I can do myself. Going to be a busy 3 weeks!


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Photos


11/04/05††††††† DAY 384HURRY UP AND WAITSeems as if there is a lot to do but we canít do anything. Painters have been busy and have by far been the most reliable people we have hired. I think they are finished inside now. Just have a little bit to do in the garage.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Trim man finally made it back. Just said he had some problems at home last week. All I know is he was in a foul mood! But he finished up everything he had to do and it looks great. He did good work too.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† I am down to small items. Like installing the door hardware. Ceiling fans. Touching up the stain in the office. We do have several walls that have to be repainted for various reasons. Thatís probably the biggest single job we have to do. I need to get plumber out next week and the guys to install the gas line to the house and install the vent pipe on the stove hood.


If you are thinking of building and being your own contractor read everything I wrote! I knew what I was getting into when I started but this has been a pain. Yes I would do it again but not any time soon!


Nothing new to show so no photos.



11/7/04††††††††††† DAY 387A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL?The list of things to do is getting really short.Well it seems that way anyway. Yesterday my wife applied the second coats of paint to some of the walls in the house that needed it. There were some skins and dings from installing trim and all the other work that has gone on. Thatís just normal. Plus some walls just needed a second coat. I tried to work with a headache in the morning. Big mistake! Ended up on the couch at home sick at my stomach. Makes me feel for those that suffer with migraines,


†††††††††††††††††††††††† The only two big things leftare to run a wire down the wall for the under cabinet lights which we both forgot to call for on the electrical plan and I need to wire up the panel with all the internet, TV and phone hookups. In case you missed it, I am installing what is called structured wiring. Everything comes into a central panel and is then distributed through out the house. I put phone, TV and internet jacks all through the house. I also pulled spare wires to these jacks. With todayís leaps in technology who knows what we will have available to us in 5 years?


†††††††††††††††††††††††† ANOTHER ANIMAL RESCUE.After lunch I made it back down and I spent a couple hours in the crawl space. I had to install a wire back to the fuse panel. I had somehow missed tying a wall out outlets to a hot wire. The easiest way was to run it back from under the floor.While I was in there Chester, my Chow/Lab mix decided to come with me. He managed to fall into the hole where they dug out for the basement. So I had to crawl back out and bring in a ladder to rescue him. Praise God he wasnít hurt or surprisingly scared. I think he was just totally confused as to what happened. Of course he wonĎt go back in there with me now.


†††††††††††††††††††††††† Will try to get some new photos this afternoon.


11/12/04†††††††† DAY 392 (6 DAYS TILL WE MOVE)


WE HAVE BEAMS!I have spent the last two afternoons building he coffered beams in the dinning room. It has taken more time than I expected. Itís not hard. Just slow.Lots of hand fitting, cut and then recut to get them to fit just right.


All the phone, TV and Internet components are on order, well I think it is everything anyway.They are supposed to move my service Thursday so next week I have to get everything in working order!


Here is the promised photos and then have to get to work on the house!!



11/16/04†††††††† DAY 396(T MINUS 2 DAYS AND COUNTING)


††††††††††††††††††††††† THE RUSH IS ONAs expected yesterday the house looked like a bee-hive. HVAC men showed up. Plumber was there. Me and my neighbor were there installing a drain line. Wife was in and out. Will be similar day today.


Robert helped me yesterday install a drain line that had to run under the driveway that is supposed to be poured Thursday. So we had to get that in place. Today I want to get closet rods and shelves installed and start working on the phone, TV and networking of the house. Those are the two biggies yet to doneÖ well that I have to do that is. I expect the plumber will have the water on today.I expect my wife will spend the day packing here and probably moving some boxes to the new house.


I have a feeling it is going to be anotherL O N G†† D A Y !Off to the building supply.



11/17/04††††††††† DAY 397 (T MINUS 1 DAY)


HOUSE OR HOME? When does a house become a home? If you moving in on one day I think that is fairly simple. If you doing like us and moving over a week I am not sure.Today however I noticed that I found myself more protective feeling of the house. I was not as comfortable with people just coming and going through the house. I was not as comfortable just leaving it unlocked so workman could come and go either. I think that is sign my house is starting to feel like home. Tomorrow we try to have everything out of the trailer into the house and spend our first night.


No construction work on my part today. Just spent the day moving stuff. I had guys in finishing up the Gas lines and they discovered something (Notice I didnít say problem?)Seems we have the wrong regulator on the propane tank. Long story but when he told me I knew exactly what was going on. That means we donít have hot water or canít cook yet. A quick call to the Propane supplier and they promised to try to send out a guy to fix that tomorrow. If not they would be our Friday. So we may to do without hot water and have to eat out tomorrow night.


We are supposed to have cable and phones transferred tomorrow and still have not even started wiring up the panel or the outlets in the house. Just to much going on at once!


11/22/04††††††††† DAY 402 (DAY 3 IN THE HOUSE)


†††††††††††††††††††††††† HOME SWEET HOME†† We survived and are in the house now. We moved all day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The plan was to be moved out Thursday but it didnít happen. The house looks like a mini-storage exploded but we are in.We have said it the point we both hesitate to say it.Honey, have you seen _________?

†††††††††††††††††††††††† Our gas company we have used for propane for years was a real pain about getting gas connected. Long story but the had to replace a regulator on the tank. Someone showed up on Thursday and left a note that no one was here and didnít do anything, despite the fact we had left them two numbers to call just in case. He called later (my cell phone no less) and said it might be Monday before they could come out. After promising to have it fixed Friday. Needless to say I was hopping made.Then we get a call at 5pm saying their service man was on the way. He didnít have to come out but he chose too. Knowing he would have to work in the rain no less. The fellow was a gentleman and double-checked everything for us! I am still not happy with the way they did me but as I said, their serviceman was great.


†††††††††††††††††††††††† Once the gas was on I spent a couple of hours putting up the shower curtain around the clawfoot tub. It was one of that jobs that wasnít hard but just time consuming.It was close to midnight when I finished but it sure was nice to be able to take a hot shower!


The cable and phone did get moved as they were supposed to on Thursday. It took me till today (Monday) to get them wired inside the house. Today I spent all day wiring the panel. I THINK I have everything ready to start my network. Tomorrow I will install the network outlets in my office and hopefully start to set up my office. I can hardly walk in there.


I canít upload this to the web site as I am on my laptop and I have never set up the FTP program on here. Hopefully tomorrow.


11/23/04††††††††† DAY 403 (DAY 4 IN THE HOUSE)


†††††††††††††††††††††††† I have started to tackle my office. I am maybe halfway? Well I wish. I finally have my network up and running. I have one outlet in the house working in my office. I need to order some cables as soon as I figure out exactly what I need. But it seems to work very well. Plugged in the computer and it recognized it and started to sync with my laptop which is running wireless.


†††††††††††††††††††††††† I forgot to mention the address mix-up. I am in a rural area and our street address is assigned by the local 911 Board. I had to have an address months ago when I started building. This week the phone man showed up and told me that my address was somewhere over in the cemetery. Seems I am on the Ďoddí side of the road and the cemetery is on the Ďevení numbered side. He couldnít connect the phones till we had a correct address. This after we have sent in a change of address to the PO. Itís always something!!