Next up in our Dream Home series, we are covering Sheetrock and Insulation. To me, this is one of the most exciting phases of building a home…it turns a wood framed house into a “real house”. You can really start to see the transformation from a construction project to a home.
*If you’re just joining us, this is the seventh installment of a year long series documenting the building of our personal dream home. So far we’ve tackled:
So, talk about sheetrock (or drywall). Drywall comes in large 8′ x 4′ sheets and is applied directly to the wood framing of the home. It turns the wood studs into real walls! Yay! Tape is then applied to where the sheets meet to create a unified surface. All electrical outlets are cut out, so everything will show through the new walls. Our trusty installers even strapped on their stilts to reach the higher areas. Let’s take a look!
In some areas of the US, this is where you stop. The seams are puttied up and that’s it…you have your walls, all ready to paint. But in our area (north Florida) it’s common to add on top of the sheetrock with plaster to create a new surface. The plaster comes in bags, is mixed on site and troweled onto the walls. You can select the finish you’d like. There are too many to list, but you can see a variety here.
We choose 3 different finishes for different areas:
–Completely smooth walls in the Master Bedroom, Foyer, Guest Bedroom and others. Wood trim will be added to these and it will all look custom built.
–Smooth for wallpaper in the Dining Room, Pantry, Playroom, Pool Bath, Powder Bath and a few other feature areas. This smooth wall will be perfect for wallpaper applicaiton
–Light texture for all other walls and ceilings
Let’s take a look at the plaster going in.
So, now we have REAL WALLS and are ready to move onto the fun parts of the house! Up next…Trim. Yippee
hanks for following along in the process of building our dream home. Catch up on the series here or visit any of the previous posts directly below.
Next up in our Dream Home series, we are tackling Insulation. Not the most exciting topic, I know, I know…
With all the “fun” decisions to make in a new home, insulation might rank last. But, it’s crucial for the home and look at it this way: the more money you save by having an energy efficient home, the more money you can spend on fun stuff. Get this right and remind you husband of the low utility bill each month when you buy expensive shoes. 🙂 Win-win!
So, where do you start? There are a ton of insulation options and it really depends on the area you live in.
As the map above shows, different “R values” are require for different areas. What exactly IS an R value? Good question. R-values vary based on the type, thickness and density of the material being used. Insulation with a higher R-value will perform better than insulation with a lower rating.
Now that you know the R rating, what type of material should you choose? The most common insulation materials are fiberglass, cellulose and foam and come in the forms of loose fill, batts, rolls and spray.
Let’s talk about the major players, or most commonly used ones.
Blown In Insulation
See these holes in the plastic barrier? Thats where they blow the insulation in. The plastic barrier keeps it together before sheetrock goes up.
Benefits of blown in
Usually made of fiberglass or cellulose (recycled paper fiber).
Blown or sprayed into place with pneumatic equipment.
Ideal for hard-to-reach areas such as attics.
Can fill wall cavities and installed over existing insulation
Batts and Rolls
This is what you probably think of when you think of insulation. It works well and the pink is so pretty!
Benefits of batts and rolls
Pre-cut sections of fiberglass or rock wool insulation.
Designed for easy handling and use between framing, such as studs and joists.
Batts are available either with or without paper or aluminum foil facing.
Batts can be used in floors, walls, attics and ceilings.
Rolls come in continuous lengths ranging from 20 to 40 linear feet, so ideal where longer runs are needed.
Think about an Igloo cooler to understand how Icynene works. The foam is sprayed in place and expands right there. Action shots coming below. So fun to watch!
Benefits of Icynene
Latex or polyurethane spray foam insulation is sprayed into place with a spray can or specially designed equipment.
Can be used to fill small gaps and cracks.
Ideal for sealing around doors, windows and vents.
Sets quickly and can be trimmed, painted or stained.
So, what did we decide on? We chose to do a mixture of 3 types of insulation, traditional fiberglass insulation both blow into the walls, fiberglass batting used for sound considerations in the bathroom and bedroom wall and Icynene on the ceilings. It keeps the cost down, while providing us with a completely energy efficient home.
A great resource for determining the best type of insulation is this post by the Department of Energy. Unbiased, with nothing to sell you, they really tackle the differences between the types of insulation and can really guide you much better than I can. 🙂
Standard Batt Insulation for the walls…it’s pink and sooooooo pretty! Shame to cover it up.
Once we had everything selected, the day arrived to have all the installation done from our truly installers. Let’s take a look!
Blown in Icynene for the ceilings. So fun to watch them in action installing it.
Mix of traditional batts and blown in fiberglass went everywhere else
We are so happy with the outcome. Again, insulation is certainly not the most exciting part of building a new home, but it needs to be done and done well. When you get your first few electric bills in the mail after moving in and they’re lower than you expected so buy yourself something! 🙂
Next up will be Sheetrock and Plastering. Yippee! Thanks for following along in the process of building our dream home. Catch up on the series here or visit any of the previous posts directly below.
It’s that time of the year again. Give your porch a Fall makeover to celebrate the season. How? It’s easy! Let’s walk through it together!
Get a Plan
Do you like the all white, monochromatic look? A more traditional Fall color scheme? Look through some images on Pinterest and see what you’re drawn to.
Assess & Buy
Do you already have a few things on hand? No reason to buy everything all new. See what you have and make yourself a quick shopping list. I personally like to overbuy and return what I don’t use. It makes life much easier.
The key to a great vignette is the mix. Don’t use too much of one thing. Mix it up! Color, texture, materials, everything.
Keep tall things tall and short things short. Again, the mix is what you’re aiming for. See the photos below for a few examples.
Here are a few of my favorite Fall porches, including my own!
Windows. What do you think of? Luxurious silk drapes, shades in bold patterns, fresh plantation shutters? Sure, that’s the fun part, but what about the ACTUAL windows, the panes themselves? They are often overlooked and not given much thought. They’re more than just what holds your beautiful window treatments and are certainly not created equally. With our dream home under construction, we needed to decide on windows. Let’s walk through the process together.
Selecting windows can be daunting. Such a prominent feature of your home, they really set the style for the exterior…and interior. For this project (our personal home) we wanted to start with best. Andersen Windows was the logical choice, but which ones? I had a vision of what I wanted the house to look like and started there. We visited our window showroom and dove into the selection process, head first. I like to see, touch and feel the products before selecting, if at all possible. So, what are the considerations? Let’s take a look.
For a project as important as our dream home, we wanted to really look at our options and consider a variety of styles of windows: see casement, some double and some specialty. Bringing the plan along with you to the showroom, going over each and every window to determine the KIND you’ll need, is critical. There are requirements for windows that you may not even realize, as different rooms call for different styles. The basic kinds of windows are:
Double or single hung
Although your plan will determine many of the selections, there are many areas to customize to your liking. I wanted to be able to open the windows in my kitchen, for example, so we selected the crank out style Casement windows. They remind me of the old Jalousie windows we had growing up in Miami, which was an extra bonus. (I love when a design element can spark memories and really make a connection for the homeowner…me!) For the breakfast nook, we decided to keep the windows fixed, since we likely wouldn’t be opening them with a table directly in front. The kids’ rooms upstairs called for easement windows, for example, which make getting out of the room easier in case of a fire. There are many considerations and your dealer or contractor can help you determine which you need.
There’s even an online tool here that explains the differences in detail.
Now that we know the style, let’s think about the materials. There are 5 basic materials to use.
Wood– Strong and beautiful with the best thermal performance. These never need painting
Composite – 2x’s as strong as vinyl, holds up under extreme temperatures and own’t flake or peel.
Vinyl – Used as a protective clad for wood windows
Aluminum – Virtually maintenance free and resists the elements.
Fiberglass – Weather resistant. Used on the exterior with wood on the interiors.
Now that we have a style and material selection, we needed to decide on which series from Andersen to use. Each series offers different things. Let’s take a look:
We chose to go with A Series windows, which are Andersen’s best performing, most energy efficient windows and a mix of materials! Wood interiors with fiberglass and composite exteriors make for a durable, strong, lifetime window. Done and done.
For color, we knew we wanted to go with white, hands down. Andersen’s white is more of a crisp grayish-white, which is really striking. They have even worked with Sherwin Williams to offer an exact match for the trim paint, which you can ask any dealer for, or see the color here! Anyway, the white windows fit with our overall “Hamptons Chic” vibe. They offer great colors, including on-trend black, but white was definitely for us.
Our original color scheme. I mean, it has to be white for the windows, right?
Grid patterns can definitely change the look of your home…really! Also known as “grille” patterns, this is pattern that’s on top of the glass part of the window. There are a few standard styles, but really you can create whatever you’d like!
Since I wanted to stay true to the vision I originally had, we stuck with a traditional colonial pattern. My decision was reinforced when I came across the Style Guide, showing several popular style homes and what the windows look like that go into them. Let’s look at that next!
Style guides for many popular home styles are provided by the window manufacturer and are so helpful! When I dove into these, it really reinforced my selections. In retrospect, I probably should have started there. Each home style is broken down and suggestions for color, style, grids, etc are offered to create the look you’re gravitating towards. Let’s take a look:
I immediately recognized the Cape Cod style as most similar to the “Hamptons Chic” look I was going for. Once I clicked on the home, it showed all the components. Talk about a confidence boost! 🙂 This is exactly what we selected!
There are 14 styles identified and broken down by components. You can find them all here.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
Before we pulled the trigger and placed the order, we sat down and looked back over our choices, reconfirming we had all of our ducks in a row. Did we have the right material, color, grid pattern? Did the series we selected offer everything we needed? Yes it did! The A Series was the clear choice. We resisted the super helpful chart below, which reconfirmed our selection.
We placed the order with our local window company and counted the days until they arrived.
Our trusty installer…my husband 😉
The windows arrived and we jumped right on the installation!
We couldn’t be happier with the results…these windows are amazing! Solid, heavy and perfectly proportioned. Let’s take a look at them installed.
Even Lulu the dog likes the windows!
We couldn’t be more excited! These windows look amazing! They are just perfect for the vision we had and are so solid and strong.
Thanks for following along in the process of building our dream home. Catch up on the series here:
After a short material delay, we are (finally!) back on the project of building our dream home. Yay! Up next is…ROOFING. One of the main components of the exterior, it’s sometimes not given much thought. But it totally should be, it’s important! Metal, asphalt shingles, barrel tile…there are a bunch of options out there. Let’s dive right into them and see what we decided on.
There are a ton of different roofing materials out there, but the main choices in our area (North Central Florida) are:
We’ve decided on asphalt shingles from our favorite supplier. We typically use them on our spec and custom homes with great results. They look rich, last and are cost effective. I’ve honestly never been disappointed with them on any house we’ve done over the past 20+ years. So…now that we’ve decided on the type of roofing, let’s work on…
Although the shingles we’ve selected come in a wide range of colors, we are really narrowing it down to just a few in the gray color family. Here is a rendering of the color combination I originally had in mind for reference.
Black, gray or a dark charcoal are the only options for the color combo we are going for. Let’s take a look at the colors we are considering.
We then narrowed down to these two.
Now let’s see how they look on a house. Most roofing companies have a visualizing tool on their website and it’s super helpful. The one we used can be found here.
So, what did we ultimately decide on? Shadow Grey.
We couldn’t be happier! Shadow Grey asphalt shingles were the perfect choice! Installed perfectly by our trusty roofers.
So, now we have a roof. Up next…windows and rough-ins. Yippee! Thanks for following along in the process of building our dream home. Catch up on the series here:
When you love Football and Interior Design (like me!), this can be the best time of the year! What better way to spruce up your home than to give it a Football Facelift? The real question is, can you actually add a few touches to your home without it looking super tacky? I think so! The key is to keep it light, general and not too heavy on the actual team. For example, if you love the Florida Gators (like I do!) then adding orange and blue touches throughout, with a few key Gator pieces, is enough. Everything doesn’t have to be logo-ish. Know what I mean? Restraint is your friend. Let’s walk through it together! (Make sure your scroll all the way down, the best is saved for last!)
So…you’re thinking about building a detached garage? Oh the possibilities! Workshop, gym, “She Shed”…the options are endless! No matter what your intention is for the space, there are some universal rules I think you should follow, along with a few points to consider.
Let’s jump right in!
1. Coordinate With Your Existing Home
Coordinating the look of your new garage with your existing home is a hard and fast rule. There’s no way around it. You can either MACTH your home with the same materials, or COORDINATE with it using complimentary materials.
A few things to consider:
Using the same exact materials as your original home MAY NOT yield the same results. Brick lots change over time, paint fades, and so on. Unless your home is brand new, the chances that your new materials exactly match you home’s materials are slim. Consider color matching the paint currently, rather than using the original color.
If using a natural material, accept the fact that the new material may not match exactly, but know that it will coordinate well in the grand scheme of things.
If you can’t live with the differences that may arise, consider pulling just one material from the home and using it, alone, on the garage. For example, your home may have brick, siding, some stone, etc. Consider using just the siding alone…or just the brick.
2. Decide What You’ll Use It For
The possibilities here are endless and not limited to just one purpose. A detached garage can be sectioned off into separate areas, designated for different purposes and the garage door bays make this super easy! Maybe one area is set for a gym, while the other areas are for storage, as in our example shown here. (Garage built by Evans Construction & Design) You can add full walls to portion off the areas completely, knee walls for separation or keep it all open.
3. Milk the Storage Possibilities
In addition to the normal garage stuff, you might have tons of stuff to store, so let’s work it into the plan here. Storage trusses open up the attic space without breaking the budget. Storage trusses have a wide-open area in the center, about 12 ft. wide for a truss with a 24-ft. span, and a 2×6 floor frame that’s designed to support the extra weight. If you need more storage space in your garage, storage trusses are a no-brainer. Ask your contractor!
4. Make It a Drive Thru
Whether you’re planning on storing a boat/RV/trailer, or using the space to work in, garage doors that open on both sides are something to consider.
Obviously, it makes parking a trailer infinitely easier…you just pull through! But it also helps in other applications. If you’re planning on any dusty woodworking operations, you can’t beat the flow-through ventilation provided by two big garage doors.
As a bonus, if you ever have a backyard get-together, you can open the back garage door and turn your garage into party central. 🙂
5. Get the Electrical Right & Consider AC
Installing a sub panel and AC are not the sexiest topics, but are really some things to consider.
Air conditioning in a garage may seem like a luxury, but there are a lot of advantages. Honestly, you”ll end up using the space more if you have it designated for anything more than storage. Even gym and workshop areas benefit! AC reduces humidity, which helps keep equipment and tools dry and rust free.
If you want to use your garage for a shop or plan to install air conditioning or other power-hungry appliances or tools, you’ll have all the power you need. And it’s more convenient to have the circuit breakers in the garage. If you pop a breaker, you don’t have to run to the main panel to reset it. Plus, you can easily add more circuits without having to run wires all the way to the main panel.
It’ll cost you a few hundred dollars more for the load center, circuit breakers and heavy-gauge wire that runs to the main panel. But for convenience and future flexibility, it’s hard to beat a separate panel in the garage.
6. Customize for YOU
Now, this is the fun part! You’ve decided on your purpose(s), designated areas and gotten the structure right. Now it’s time to make the space reflect you! Interior walls don’t have to be boring! Check out how our client finished off the gym walls in his garage below.
Lighting, color, hard materials, window finishes…all the elements of a home come into play here, as well. This is your space, make it look like it!
If you’re interested in building a detached garage in the North Central Florida area, let us know! We’d be happy to help! Evans Construction & Design
Here’s a handy dandy graphic for your Pinterest boards. Save it for later! 😉
We had the pleasure of working with a fun Gainesville family to renovate their entire Kitchen, Dining & Family Room a few years ago and now we’ve been called back in to redo their Kids’ Bath. This bathroom is a workhorse of the home, serving two (beyond adorable) kids and visiting guests, all in one. The home is on a beautiful little lake in Gainesville, surrounded by lemon and orange trees, and is totally picturesque. A wonderful family like this deserves a great Guest/Kids Bath, right? Evans Construction & Design can help!
Classic, fresh and clean was the scheme for this bath. We also planned to rearrange it a bit, moving the shower down to the end where the door once was. This creates a more private bathroom with just one entrance and allows for a larger shower.
We are so happy with how it turned out. Let’s take a look!
Paint is hands down the hardest choice for clients to make. There are too many choices, too many samples and too many opportunities to make a mistake. Are you picking a paint for an accent wall? No pressure, pick your color, have fun. But if you’re selecting a main interior color to cover all walls? Ahhh! You need a classic.
Over the past 20+ years (no math, remember?) I have collected several colors that work EVERY SINGLE TIME! They look good now and will continue to, years from now. My advice is to only get a little trendy with your pillows, not your main walls. Choose something classic and you won’t regret it, pinky promise.
Rice Grain (SW 6155) I know, I know, you want gray. Everyone has gray and it’s the newest, hottest thing. But “just because everyone’s doing it”…you know the rest. If you’re starting from scratch, by all means, go with gray. But for many of us, we have existing things to contend with. Cabinets and floors that lean “yellow”? Guess what, that gray is going to visually pop them out and they’ll look even more yellow. Kind of like wearing a red necklace against a black dress versus wearing the same red necklace on a hot pink dress. Know what I mean? If you have a good amount of “yellow” to deal with and it’s not going anywhere, something like Rice Grain might be your best choice. Too dark for you? Slide one down the paint chip and go with SW6154 Nacre. It plays nicely with oak, maple, dark woods, you name it and becomes a rich looking backdrop. Pair it with cream or off-white trim for a timeless look.
Rever Pewter (BM, HC 172) is probably the most popular color of all time. No scientific research here, but it’s my guess. Everyone wants it and it doesn’t disappoint. I’ve used it in bathrooms (see above), Kitchens (see here) and main living areas. It always looks fresh, clean and crisp. Yes, it’s gray, but its a very warm gray. It bridges the gap nicely between warm and cool colors. Pair with white or off-white trim and you’re in business.
Rockport Gray (BM, HC 105) is a rich, warm gray that doesn’t overwhelm the space. I have it in my personal office (photos to come soon) and son’s room. It’s a bold choice for all walls and safe for a room. Pair with cream, off-white or white trim.
Swiss Coffee (BM, OC 45) is light, airy and fresh. If you’re looking for “White”, this is a great option. Warmer than actual white, but it reads as a white. Does that make sense? Pair with ultra white trim and it really shines.
Agreeable Gray (SW 7029) is a nice alternate to Revere Pewter, #2 above. Still clean, fresh and neutral but a little “less”. I recently used this in a tween bedroom and it looked amazing. 🙂 Pair with white or off white trim.
Bleeker Beige (BM, HC 80) is another classic, timeless neutral that works wonders. It’s rich and almost creamy looking. I’ve used in more times than I can count and have never been disappointed. All my anti-gray rhetoric above in #1 applies here, too. 🙂 Pair with off-white or white trim.
Divine White (SW 6105) is one shade lighter than my old go-to, Kilim Beige. It’s newer, fresher and more in line with today’s homes but definitely still a classic. White is in the name, but it’s far from that. Pair with off-white or white trim.
Here they are, all together, perfect to Pin to your Pinterest board. 🙂
So there you have it. 7 great paint colors that I have used and abused. Do you have any go to colors to share? Please comment below!
What exactly does “breaking ground” mean? How do you go from a flat little piece of property to an actual standing structure? Let’s take a look together!
If you’re just joining us, this is the fourth installment of a series documenting the building of our personal dream home. We started off with INSPIRATION, tackled the FLOORPLAN, then discussed LOCATION. Now, let’s dive into the fun part…BREAKING GROUND.
One of the neat things about building a home almost anywhere in the US, is that the majority are built using the same standardized building process. One reason is that building codes are typically very similar across the country. Another reason is cost, since this process produces a home pretty quickly at a reasonable price. If you ever watch a house being built, you’ll see it goes through the following steps:
Installation of windows and doors
Rough electrical and plumbing
Bathroom and kitchen counters and cabinets
Carpet and flooring
Hookup to water main, or well drilling
Hookup to sewer or installation of a septic system
So, where are we now on this project?
Well, we’ve “cleared and scraped the lot“, which basically means two different subcontractors came in and did their thing. The tree people came in and cut down all the pine tress that were planted many years ago to harvest, took them away and left all the pretty oak trees for us. Then, the site guys came with their big equipment and cleared out and flattened the area we will build on.
Next, the area was “formed up and filled“. This means the house was measured out on the ground (exactly how the floorplan dictates), footings were dug around the perimeter and filled with concrete. Fill dirt was brought in by our fill guy and a stem wall was created to get the house to look nice and tall. Then, any plumbing or electrical that needed to go through the foundation was put in, like drains and floor outlets.
Next, our concrete people came and poured the concrete slab. Pretty exciting! I reminded myself of my own rule, which is “a concrete slab always looks too small”. (See my post on “3 Things That WILL Happen When You Build” here, which includes this one!)
Now, we are “framing“, which means the framing crew builds the walls and roof. This is definitely the most exciting phase, since you start to really “see” the house taking shape. The floor system, walls and roof systems are built, then OSB sheeting is applied to the exterior walls. The house is then “wrapped” with a protective barrier, known as house wrap, that prevents water from infiltrating the structure.
So, now we have a real life house! I couldn’t be happier with the progress and how the layout is taking shape. It’s always scary to build a completely new floorplan that’s unlike anything you’ve ever built before. Yet, here we are doing exactly that! I’m excited to see this house start to come together.
Thanks for stopping by and following along with our project! If you’d like to recap, you can find the first 3 installments in this series, “Building Our Dream Home” here, here and here.