Building a Modern Day Craftsman
Web Log of the construction of the Cullman Cottage

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he 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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 5/3/05    Day 546 (149 DAYS IN THE HOUSE)

I have not abandon the site. Itís just been rough period of time. First, there was nothing going on with the house. Then my father went in the hospital with congestive heart failure. He has battled this for 20+ years. It turned out he had a serious infection in a graft where he had an aortic aneurism repaired 3 years ago, this was the caused the other problems. It was a 7 week roller coaster ride. He would get better and then a set back. He was in intensive care for 7 weeks until he passed away. Two weeks latter my wifeís Grandmother passed away. Needless to say the web site became very unimportant during all this time.

Now on to a brighter subject. Suddenly we had people crawling on top of each other and we have some progress on the house. At this point the only people we are waiting is someone to paint the exterior and a couple of minor cabinet and plumbing jobs. The rest are things we are going to do ourselves.

The counter tops are installed. The cabinets are finished, it is done! We didnít think we were ever going to get our granite for the countertops. It turned out that the fabricator ordered our granite and when it came in he rejected it. He didnít like the look of it. The hold up was waiting for new the new slabs to come in. Turns out there were on a boat from South America or some where. I thought this was a local granite but that was not the case.

Once they received the granite they jumped right on it. They called one morning and basically said we have the truck loaded and ready to head up. I had to scramble around and clean up the kitchen and remove all the temporary counter tops. I realized my wife had no idea they were being installed so I decided to just surprise her. I did too!

The counter tops turned out beautifully! I wasn't to sure about the color, I just couldn't picture it with the cabinets but I ... well we couldnít be any happier with them. It turned out beautifully! They were worth the wait.

We have the cabinets and mantle installed in the Living room. They are waiting on us to give them a coat of paint and to decide on what I want to do about trimming around the ceramic tile. Then we take the doors back to the cabinet maker and have the glass and grills installed in the doors.

In the Dining Room the cabinets are installed and complete. Well almost complete that is. I have my columns I built standing inplace but they need to a coat of finish on them. I have the material in the shop to build the beam that goes overhead. Once I get that complete I will make the tops for the columns and install them permanently.

The yellow wires are for the light switches. They will run down inside the columns and be mounted on the side of the cabinet. That will be the last thing that is done. If you look close you see that I still have to make the trim for the walls.

At the moment I am working on the outside of the house finishing up the last little bits of trim so that we can get the house painted. Plus we just signed a contact to have the swimming pools built! That won't happen till late summer but thats the hottest part of the year here. Plus I will have it all next summer!

 5/17/05   Day 578 (181 DAYS IN THE HOUSE)
Beams are finished!

Just a quick update but I have the beams finished! It took 2 days just to tape up the room getting ready to spray the beams. I thought it would take the better part of a day to do that. MAYBE all day but no more. This was a much bigger job than I expected! Spraying the beams and door trim took maybe three hours? Including pulling all the masking down. Somehow just doesn't see fair!


The columns are in the basement. I applied the final coats of finish on them last night and hope to install them in this week. One more project out of the way!

 6/17/05   Day 640 (I never dreamed it would take this long!)
Columns are finished!

The columns are in place and trimmed out finally! This is a job I expected to be done litterly months ago. Amazing how nothing goes as you expect. Of course it doesn't help when you come down the Asian death flue. Never heard of it? Well it's like the ordinary flue except after a couple of days you are afraid your going to die.... then you are afraid you not! :-) Needless to say whatever I had set me back close to two weeks. I just wasn't able to do any work on the house.


I have been working on several odds and ends. I had a day off this week and since the columns were finished I started in on the Master Bathroom. I have the baseboard heater in now. It doesn't put out as much air as I expected but it should work. I mainly wanted if for the winter. I hate stepping out of a hot shower into a cold bathroom. Even if it isn't cold it always feels cold. So I wanted a little extra heat in the bathroom.

We put down heat strips under the ceramic tile in the bathroom. We did this in the last house and there is nothing like a warm tile floor! They only use about the same amount of electricity as a light bulb so they are not expensive to operate. But the kits are not cheap. I wired the heaters and I was concerned because if you damage a wire when installing the tile there isn't anything you can do. Thankfully the heaters worked perfect. This fall this is going to sooo nice!

The next big project is tiling the shower. I have never built a tile shower in a wood frame house and it is harder than doing one a slab for sure!! If you don't do it correctly and it leaks, the only option is a to take a sledge hammer and tear it out and start over.

I will take photos as I go and add an update once it is done. Don't give up on me. I will see the web site through to the end (if I ever finish). It's just hard to live in a house and work on it. The pace has slowed and the updates are not as often because their isn't that much to show. But we are getting close to the end!!

 7/18/05   Day ???
Inch by Inch!

When it rains in pours. My mother has come to live us, she has a very aggressive cancer. She is not able to drive and after some time she finally agreed that she couldn't live the way she was and has moved in with us. Life has a way of throwing you the unexpected. We are finding the house (plan) to work very well. The arrangement provides us with the privacy we wanted.

At the moment I am working on the tile shower in our bathroom. I have dreaded and put this job oiff for months. I have done one once before and swore I would never do another!! Someone, who shall remain nameless, convinced me that I could do it. This time I did more research and learned some of tricks I didn't know last time. Putting in the floor with a proper slope is the worst part and there is nothing fun about it!

The floor actually turned out pretty well but there were LOTS of problems installing it and it is not 'right' by my standards. There are some other problems but a good craftsman makes mistakes, he just doesn't point them out so I won't either. I am just starting to tile the walls. That is easy and (so far) is going very smoothly. I have to say I will be ecstatic so see this job done!

Biggest news is they are supposed to start digging the hole in my yard today that will hold the swimming pool. Once this is done it may be another distraction from work but I won't complain! :-)

Photos will follow