Ready to dive back into house talk?
I know it’s been a while and I’d love to gloss over that, but so many of you have been wonderful followers and incredible cheerleaders, and you deserve an explanation. So here’s the deal – there’s a little part of the home building process that I don’t think we hear about often enough. I’ll call it The Burn Out. And I’m not quite sure how to describe it without sounding like an asshole, so let me just say this:
Building a house is all-consuming. YES, it’s amazing and incredible and our end result has truly been a dream come true and I feel so SO grateful and lucky to have this beautiful, amazing home that we love so much.
But don’t for one second think this sucker didn’t suck the life out of me.
It’s been a long road and 100% worth it, but oh my goodness you guys sometimes I just feel so BURNED OUT over it all! To the point where I don’t even want to talk about the house, let alone write about it.
And I know that makes me a terrible blogger.
But hopefully you can see that it also makes me a real person.
I think focusing on any one thing so intensely for so long is going to have that effect on anyone. So please know my break in posting never means that I don’t want to share with you – it’s just that sometimes I need a little white space to get back to a place where I can give it my all. And I feel so grateful to those of you who patiently wait for me. Thank you so much.
Alright, back to house talk!
The next phase in our home building process was the installation of our driveway and the front stoop – basically all the concrete stuff. To refresh your memory, here was the exterior of our house when you last saw it (before the concrete truck rolled in):
Installing the driveway at this point was really one of those things G and I went back and forth about. We live in Wisconsin and it was getting dangerously close to being too cold outside for the concrete to set properly. But then again – did we want to go through our entire winter with a gravel driveway? We had a hard time imagining that. (How the heck do you even shovel over gravel?) So we rolled the dice and had the concrete poured. The one thing we did decide to wait on, however, was the concrete in the back of the house for our outdoor patio. Winter was closing in and we obviously weren’t going to be using our backyard outdoor spaces anytime soon, so we decided to delay that project (and that expense) until spring.
G and I really liked our concrete guy. Our builder (Classic Custom Homes of Waunakee – they’re amazing) subcontracts with a great guy named Dave (of Dave’s Concrete & Bobcat Service in Wisconsin). Thank goodness he and his wife were so nice because one of the first things we had to chit-chat about was undoing some of his hard work.
Here’s a look at our front stoop before they framed it out for concrete steps:
And here’s a look at the original framing for the front steps:
Basically the stairs’ width ended at the side of the sidelight instead of ending at the end of the entire stoop. As soon as I saw it I was perplexed because I couldn’t for the life of me think of what I would possibly do with that open space in front of the stoop to the right of the steps if they stayed this way. We maybe could have done staggered flower beds, but I totally suck at keeping flowers alive, and we live in Wisconsin so they’d be dead half the year anyway. G and I just weren’t feeling it, so we asked Dave to reframe the stairs and bring them all the way across the front of the stoop.
Meanwhile, here’s a look at the cement pad in front of our house all framed out! Since we had to go with a sideways garage (due to our narrow lot) we needed a large parking/pull out/turnaround pad at the top of our driveway.
G and I also went back and forth about the size of this concrete pad (and the width of our driveway) a bit. You know that saying “It’s not set in stone” (meaning you could always change it later)? Yeah…no. This literally would be set in stone. No turing back (and no turning around at the top of our driveway) if we didn’t get it right! Of course every extra foot seemed like another extra $1K (it wasn’t, but you know how it can feel) so G and I had to strike that balance between function and budget. In the end, it was G’s call on how to frame it all out. He’s always been the yard/landscape/driveway guy (while I take care of the inside) so I really wanted this to be something he’d be happy with, and he made some really great decisions.
The top of the driveway and our front steps all poured! (This picture below is taken from our front door.)
A look at the first section of our driveway poured:
And the rest of it (plus our gorgeous garage doors!):
Straight and narrow? No way, José.
Slap some wings on that sucker:
Another look up top:
I’ll get to the retaining walls and grading in a future post, but here’s a look at it all with the front (future) yard finally all smoothed out:
And our port-a-potty:
Thank you so much for following along – more to come soon!
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