Monday, May 24, 2010

Closing Time...

Signed, sealed, recorded!

Rhi, Ty, Token and I cheated out to the property this evening to formally "break ground".  I took a trip to Fred Meyer and bought us a new shovel and had my mom help me with a bow.  Totally cheesy, but we had a great time!

Jenni (my sister) is coming up this weekend from SF for the big dirt moving projects!  Can't wait!

Friday, May 21, 2010


Elizabeth-this is for you! My good friend Liz was kind enough to point out a while back that we hadn't made mention or given pictures of the outside of the house. This is the little drawing of the 1560 that they have up on the Adair website. We looked through many different plans, and although I honestly admit there is another house whose exterior I am much more in love with-the floor plan really fits what we are looking for. We are currently thinking of a taupe, cream and orange coloring for the outside.

Matt Edit:  Here is the actual house without the garage.

Family Friendly

The Adair office in Lincoln City is equipped with, practical thinking. I largely contribute this to our fairly painless meetings to pick out our flooring, cabinet, etc as well as sign our order.

Tyler liked the little tool set and Dora the Explorer Dominoes the best :) Its really nice that it doesn't feel awkward when/if you need to bring your child with you! Go Adair!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

House Order

We all went up to the Adair Homes office in Lincoln City on Tuesday to confirm our selections / upgrades / modifications and to sign the FINAL ORDER!

Plan changes include
-Additional exterior door through utility room for muddy paw-print access
-8' crawl space (daylight basement).  We will have no access to it from inside the house, but in the future we can expand to a 2 story house.  It also acts as the garage for a while, since we aren't building one.
-Relocating the water heater to the basement area.
Agreements have been signed, and our 60 day clock has officially started!  We have until 7/18/2010 to get the homesite ready, and already things are starting to progress forward.

 Tyler loves the tools!

I managed to find a potential solution to our sewer issues.  E/One Sewer Systems makes an 'all in one' product for tapping in to existing force-main systems.  While it doesn't 100% match with the requirements of the City of Toledo, I think I have enough documentation to at least plead my case.  These units go for about $4,000, which is about half of what we had budgeted for the entire system.  Granted, it will take a bit of manual labor to install.. and we will have to hire a plumber to do the force main connect, but it seems to be a great product and solution.  This thing pumps 8.5gpm at 185' of head!


Our bank did an amazing job of getting the paperwork done on our loan and is ready to close 3 weeks early!  We go in on Monday to the title office to sign final paperwork and the loan will get funded on Tuesday.  Thanks Becky!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sewer non-sense

Not much is happening with the home build at the moment, since really we are just waiting for the final order to be drafted from Adair, and also waiting on the bank to finalize the appraisal.

One issue that we are working through is the odd sewer system.  Our home-site sits about 30ft below the on-site sewer system, so we will obviously need to pump sewage up-hill to the pipe.  The main issue is that the pipe on our property is pressurized to 38psi. 

Converting pressure in psi to head in feet

h = p 2.31 / SG         (3)
h = head (ft)
p = pressure (psi)
h = (38psi * 2.31) / 1 (SG of water)
h = 87.78 ft

Tack on another 25' in elevation just to GET to the pipe... and our pump has to be pretty beastly.  There may be a couple other options, but we wont really know until we meet with the City next week.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Choices, Choices

Today we met with Josh in Lincoln City to make our choices on carpet, linoleum, cabinets, counter tops hard wood and trim. This is the stuff I've been waiting for...this is when I start to envision the home that we are creating. And when I start thinking on how I can take all our old stuff and revamp it a little to match new surroundings.

I occurred to us yesterday that we didn't know that kind of a "feel" or "theme" we were looking for in this new house. It was so easy to pick out furnishings a new things for our kitchen remodel in Portland. Our life in Toledo will definitely be a horse of a different color, so to speak. Mind you, I'm not putting down our soon-to-be hometown, simply pointing out what seem stylish to us in Portland may look a bit ridiculous in the wet lands of Toledo. Therefore, we thought the choices to be made today might be a little difficult.

It was really a piece of cake. In some ways, it was great to be given a certain number of options instead of endless ones. We talked over the choices that came with the Classic package and decided to upgrade to Adair's Traditions package. This gave me more choices in several areas. The hardest to choose on were cabinets and trim. We did an extra upgrade for hickory cabinets mostly for their nice showing of different hues and grains in the wood (visual interest!).

Trim, ah trim. This is a touchy, dear to our hearts subject after our house in Portland. That home has fake wood trim that not only looks bad anyways, but after remodeling our middle floor with nice bamboo floors and putting new cabinets in the kitchen, how do we put ugly fake trim back on??? Likewise, how do we shell out money for better trim without redoing the entire house? We had both set our minds to wanting clean, classic white trim next time around. Well, it was not part of either the Classic or Traditions packages and was over $2000 extra. Without saying so, both Matt and I were about to put our foot down and decide this was something we couldn't back down on when I had picked out everything else, Matt agreed to it but we were just stuck on our trim choices. Then Josh brings out a craftsman-style trim. Sold.

So although we are taking many different colors of wood and putting them together, we are putting faith in our assessment that they all look good together. Our kitchen in Portland was a contrast of light floors and medium-dark cabinets and we loved it. This time we are switching that up to dark floors and light cabinets with medium trim. I LOVE the floor-it makes me think of an old barn. Josh said he has just been waiting for someone to choose that, so I am glad we can give him the chance to see it live and in person in our kitchen!

We have a thing for red as the accent color in the kitchen, so I choose what I feel are some warm neutrals to go around the "pop" of color.

Our living room is based around this painting (its actually a pair) that Grammy and I bought Matt for his birthday many years ago. It has so many colors in it to pull out...some that have yet to be fully expressed in my decorating. So once again, I am hoping the warm neutrals I choose have a bit of their own presence while allowing me to put some pops of color in.

Thinking Of the Future

I can't wait to have my own garden. Last spring and summer it was so much fun to do at Grammy's house and I get excited just thinking about what I can do in Toledo with warmer weather. But...that's a long ways off, like next year. But I've already noticed a large number of foe that I will be contending with....

Build-me up and let me down

So the 6' rear retaining wall sounded like a great idea at the homesite, but apparently I was wrong.  Met with our site expert yesterday (my Dad), who showed my the error of my ways...

Option 1:  Go with a full-size retaining wall in the back (9' - 10')
Pros:  Since the back fill dirt can only sit on concrete (and not a wood wall) so as to prevent the house from rotting away... this option gives us the shortest distance between the ground level and the front door.  You see, apparently there is a great deal of math involved...  If the wall is 9' and the floor joists are 9" tall... then it's 9' 9" from the basement floor to the top of the floor joists.  Add another 1/2" of floorboards and 1/2" of flooring.. you have added another inch to the equation.  9' 10" from the bottom of the basement wall to the floor at the front door.  Simple enough.

Since the dirt level at the front of the house MUST be up against the concrete (and usually below the top to prevent moisture from seeping in to the floor joists), I am budgeting about 12" from the dirt level to the top of the concrete retaining wall.  

So what?  If the ground level is at 0 and we add the 12" of concrete wall, add 9" for the floor joists, add 1/2" for floorboards, add 1/2" for flooring... then the front door is 22" (1' 10") higher than the ground!  Good thing they invented stairs.  Were thinking maybe 2 treads and 3 risers.

Cons:  Holy expensive Batman... Concrete is a LOT more expensive than wood framing. 

Option 2:  Go with a 5' or 6' concrete retaining wall in the back, and add 4'-5' wood framing on top of it
Pros:  Cheaper.. much cheaper.  Like thousands cheaper.

Cons:  See equation above.  1' 10" didn't sound too bad.  Well for every 1' of concrete you take away, also add 1' to the rise in your staircase to the front door.  This is something I did not account for in the original layout.  If we pour a 6' wall and add 3' of wood framing too it.. we save a few thousand in foundation costs... however this makes the front door 4' 9" higher than the dirt level (and parking).  Holy awkward right?

OK I'm done ranting.  Were headed to Adair in Lincoln City today to meet with Josh and pick out all the insides for the house!  We've been struggling with a "theme", since our modern furniture and oriental accents hardly fit with our new farm-style arrangement!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Adair Final Home Site Evaluation

Josh from Adair - Lincoln City met me at the property this morning to do the final site evaluation and to take some grade measurements.  We messed with the positioning of the house such that total drop in grade was about 6' 6" instead of the original 10' as we had it set.

This will save us quite a bit over the long run, since our back retaining wall for the 'daylight basement' will only need to be about 6' tall instead of 10'.  Less concrete, less cost.  The downside is, we lost about 2' of driveway space on the upper section of the house, and we will probably have to cut at least one of the 'buffer trees' down (between us and the only neighbor).  But there are plenty of things we can do to create visual space between us and them.

Overall, I am impressed with the knowledge and professionalism that we have experienced with the Adair staff.  I often get impatient waiting a couple days for an email response... but most of that is just me... impatient.

Were headed up to the office in Lincoln City tomorrow to do the final "picking out" of the flooring, cabinets, counters, etc. etc. so that we can get the final order signed by next week.  Close date is set tentatively to May 28th, just in time for Jenni's arrival for a visit!

2 tapes = exact measurements!  Well ok... not exact, but pretty close.

View from the lower road.  Notice the bottom of the house is now about 3' higher than the road.  We will need to either fill the lower road up 3' to match the grade of the crawlspace, or build a gradual lower driveway up to the grade.  Not sure how much fill dirt we will have, but this shouldn't be too difficult.  Especially if it saves us $5,000 in concrete costs for the retaining walls!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Did you say Steak?

Rhi and I spent the better part of Friday afternoon with a 200ft tape measure and a few misc. stakes, trying to plan where the house was going to sit.  I would venture a guess that 90% of our time was spent trying to figure out where the back yard and the garden was going to go, and only 10% was devoted to house placement.

After all was said and done, we managed to stake out all 4 corners of the house... and I think it's about 95% accurate.  We're still waiting on Adair to come out and do the final grade analysis to determine how much dirt we have to remove... but this was a good waste of time!

NW Corner of the house.  The house goes from here, down to the lower section.

View from the Kitchen sink

NE Corner of the house.  House would take up most of this photo to the right of the stake.

Yesterday, my Dad and I spent some time review the home placement as a sort of reality check.  It turns out Rhi and I did a good job placing the house, as we didn't have to move it at all.

We did spend some time staking out the 36' x 48' shop!  It will be tucked back in the corner by the power lines.  And hopefully it will be tall enough to block out some of that power-line view!