The one about the tree house: it's taking shape

I haven't done a Tree HousE update in a little while, but work is being completed daily at the property. It also seems like Luke and I are making some sort of decision regarding the materials of the house each and every day as well.

Since our last update, we ordered hardwood floors for the main level of the house. We took advantage of a good sale from Lumber Liquidators. We went back and forth on whether or not to use hardwood, engineered wood, or laminate, but we decided that we wanted the real thing for the longevity factor. We know our family will be hard on our floors, so the fact that we can sand them down and refinish them over the next 40-50 years is appealing.

After going to the store and looking at dozens of different types and colors of wood, we picked a 3.25" wide maple floor made by Bellawood. We are really excited to see what it will look like in our great room, fireplace room, and hallway.

We also ordered our front door! Luke and I go to Lowe's and/or Menard's weekly (sometimes more than once per week) and just walk the aisles. We happened to be in Lowe's a few weeks ago and saw that their entry doors were on sale. They carried a brand we had our eye on, the Pulse line from Therma Tru, so we were excited to learn that a door that was going to cost quite a bit of money elsewhere was on sale. You can buy an entry door for a couple hundred dollars, but of course the one we just had to have was the most expensive (as in 4-5 times as expensive as your standard entry door). However, we reasoned that we had worked too hard to make sure this house was the modern vision we had in our head, so we decided that a modern front door was really important. It will be a focal point of the home for people who drive by and for anyone who enters, so we wanted it to be exactly what we had in mind. Hopefully, this will be the first, last, and only front door we have to buy for this house and that the money will be a worthwhile investment.

This is basically what it will look like, except there will be two sidelights instead of just one. We might paint it bright never know.

Luke met with the person who will be helping us order our windows this week to begin finalizing our order. This will be our most expensive purchase to date, and we don't want to screw it up! It is a tedious process...going through each and every room and verifying the size and shape of every window in the house... if we want the window to be fixed or if we want it to open...if we want the window to have grills or be plain glass...lots of decisions! Thankfully, Luke took on this responsibility. We decided to go with black windows on both the exterior and interior of the house to keep the modern look consistent. We also opted not to have any kind of grills (or dividers) in the glass so that we would have unobstructed views of our property.

As for the house itself, the I-joists (I think that is the name....) have gone in for the great room over the crawl space. The basement walls have been framed in, which is really exciting and creates actual shape to the rooms down there. It is fun to walk around actually see where furniture might go or how big the actual space will be. I am still giddy with excitement that there is a room in the basement called "The Mom Room" and it is entirely for my stuff. I can have my desk, my computer, my sewing machine, my beads, my craft supplies, my snacks, my wine... all of it will be there in a room that will have a door with a lock. I am so excited about this, and to see it framed in really gave me something to smile about.

The floor trusses will be delivered this week. These will go across the basement ceiling and allow the rest of the house to have a floor. Once these go in, it will really start to take shape. I am not sure, but I think walls on the main floor will be coming pretty soon, which I am super excited about. We will get our roof ordered shortly after, and then it will really be a house.

Many times throughout this process, I stop to think about how crazy it is that we are actually doing this. A year ago, we thought we were going in a completely different direction with a general contractor who promised us something he couldn't deliver. When we were told in August that he was no longer interested in this project, we were devastated. In fact, it ranks right up there in one of my top 5 disappointments in my life. I remember feeling like he had punched us right in the gut and that because of him, our dreams could no longer come true. Approximately 3 weeks before he quit the project, he told us that we could be moved into this house by in...right now. It was hard to accept that April would no longer be a reality for us, but here we are...making progress, each day getting closer to the only reality we ever cared about which was living on this beautiful property together with our babies. I know we will look back on the experience and be relieved that "the other guy" didn't receive a penny of our money nor one word of praise for this project.

Here are some photos from the last couple of weeks.

 We have had a pretty rainy Spring so far, which has been a little bit of a bummer. Here is the crawl space before it was finished (and dry).
 Beginning of basement framing.

Working on the crawl space.

 I-joists up over the great room crawl space. Luke is looking out over the basement.

Basement interior walls are framed in. Those beams show where the stairs going down to the basement will be.

 Luke standing in the crawl space in the great room.

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