Category Archives: stone

We will Rock you

Today we went to Frank Brother’s in Lodi to pick out rocks for our new fire pit.
The easy way to do this would be to buy a kit and call it good. There are plenty on the market, and some even in the size we’re looking for, but concrete retaining wall blocks look like concrete, and you basically pay a premium for the convenience of having something that looks like concrete.
Hand chiseling stone takes more skill than we possess right now, but stacking stone and using mortar doesn’t.
We will leave a 44″ diameter circular hole in the concrete underlayment for the lower patio. This is so that the fire will not rest on top of the concrete, exploding concrete is bad. The concrete will ¬†however provide a solid foundation for the fire pit walls and the stone of the walls will be lined with firebrick, to protect them from excess heat, and hopefully keep any rocks from exploding. Less explosions is good.
So, we needed pretty rocks!

The idea was to rent a trailer and go get a full pallet of wall stone, in a variety called ‘gray chocolate’. But alas the ball on our truck hitch is too beefy for rental trailers. We decided to go anyway and instead pick out a variety of stones and load the truck bed by hand with as many as we could comfortably and safely fit.

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That turns out to look like this, 1250 lbs of rock.

 

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Here they are unloaded on the sandstone steps that lead from the driveway down to the back yard.

We won’t know how much more we need until we get started ūüėČ

Wet sand – Backyard mirage

We went over to American Natural Stone for our 3rd visit this week, and ordered the patio pavers and polymeric sand today!
Decision phase over, and now that it’s settled I can drop fretting about whether or not it’s the best option. It will be OK.swhpss_saharachestnutlite_lgChestnut/Sahara Lite it is, a desert themed patio, with an Onyx soldier course. Cambridge Ledgestone XL and we’re getting 3 different sizes:¬†15 3/4 x 23 5/8
15 3/4 x 15 3/4 and 7 7/8 x 15 3/4, 10 pallets in total to cover approximately 1200 square feet. The Onyx accent pavers will be a regular 4.5×9 sized with the same texture as the bigger pavers. I will run them about 16 inches in from the edges of the patio, with gaps in the dark line where we have stairs leading to and from the patio.

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For the main patio areas we’re leaning towards pattern 3, simply because it has the shortest runs of non overlapping joints. I do like the more random feel of number 1 too though.
patterns Or maybe the Random pattern that Cambridge suggests.

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That’s it for updates tonight.
The kids have been in the pool 3 times a day for the past three days, summer is great!

Workday visit

With a house showing, a truck full of dogs, and time to kill I went over to the house just after noon today.
Pulling up I noticed a lot of vehicles. A Chippewa Stone truck, a HVAC truck, a plumber truck and 7 other miscellaneous pickup trucks, cars.

And a dozer.

Inside there was a lot going on.
The trim carpenter and his crew were doing finish work, partly following the path left by the hardwood floor installers.
The lockers now look like this:
lockers

The lower section actually slides out, (or did before the front edge of trim was attached) so the flooring underneath is laid in full sections, like the rest of the floor.
!!! NB: Shoe space !!!


Looking UP.

garage foyer light

That is the garage entry foyer light.
Meaning one of the teams in the house were installing light fixtures.

The light looks a little on the small side, or maybe the ceiling is just big.


Also:

kitchen counters

Kitchen counters!
They are beautiful.
The installers were rolling on sealer and stepped out of the picture just as I took it. The granite is still wet in this photo.

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Eric’s sink.

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All the pieces fit, it is almost like they do this for a living.

This is the counter area closest to the pantry door.


Next stop: office.

office wainscoting and floor

The header for the paneling is in place, as is the shoe molding.

office fan

Bubble glass  office ceiling fan!
I wonder if the other side of the blades are darker. I think that might look better.


master showerShower!

master bath

Bathroom sconces and bathroom countertops. Sink mounting in progress.
Now I don’t have to wonder how they did it.
Worker count in here: 1.


master fan

Master bedroom ceiling fan.

master wall

Master bedroom wall colour in the corner meets floor. Got shoe moulding here too.

Electric outlets and switches, and the lighting in the tray ceiling are the only thing missing in this room now!


stair handrail

Stairs were also being worked on while I was there.
Notice the moulding at the bottom of the pillar.  I think that looks nicer than the crown on top.

stairs

Worker count in this area: 2 (3?).

floor dining corner

This is the same corner I took a photograph of yesterday. With more floor and trim.
The floor is gorgeous in daylight!

I think the reveal of the last of the Big Unknowns that were decided before we even signed the contract to buy the house turned out to be a nice one. It has character.


powder room chandy

Peeking into the dark powder room, there was sparkle!

The hole in the ceiling behind it is for a fan. The light might sparkle, but like every room in this house, it is actually meant to be used.
Do not like superfluous spaces. (Remembering the house hunt this spring with the countless formal living and formal dining room of so many colonials.)

powder room
This is where one of the plumbers were working.


boys bathroom vanity with counter

The boys’ bathroom vanity counter is in place and so are their two¬†sinks. The granite is very pretty.

I am not a big fan of Jack&Jill bathrooms in general (this is a T&C bathroom). But the boys do brush their teeth at the same time, and I have witnessed enough space squabbling with accompanying toothpaste leakage to think this might work very well for them.

Two people were installing wood floors in Ts bedroom, to the left, and another was assembling a ceiling fan in C’s bedroom to the right.


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M’s countertop and sink. Hers will likely be messier than the boys’. On the other hand,¬†the toilet will be a lot cleaner.

There were a few people in the unfinished part of the basement too.

One was moving the window screens from the area under the stairs where they have been stowed.

Another was doing something with red and blue pipe.

hot water heater Also, we now have a water heater!


Total worker count, no idea, they kept moving around, but maybe around 13. Plus Mike-the-Builder who was showing a couple around, discussing their future house.
Point is, it wasn’t crowded.


slope from driveway

Closing with the view from the concrete pad outside the garage, looking north. I want a split rail fence going from the side of the house here curving right and away into the trees and straight back to the far side of the septic mound. I estimate it will be 6-700 feet. *gulp

This is where the landscapers will install sandstone steps leading down to the backyard and patio.

Next week!

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Edited to add:

west side

This photo was taken on September 18th (the day after the others), just to show where we are at, dirt wise.

More dirt is scheduled to arrive early next week, so lawn installation has been pushed to Wednesday.

Stone!

We stopped at the house on the way back from our paint meeting with Katie.

The one item that was lagging behind schedule has arrived!IMG_2217
IMG_2216Several pallets in front of the house.


Got scaffolding!

prep for stone

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This is how the metal lath with partly applied scratch coat looks like up close.


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Looks pretty nice already, no more white house wrap.

The stone guys said that by tomorrow there will be definite progress to take photos of.


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As as a side note (ha ha) the siding on the west side of the house is finished.

Aaaand: The inside is ready for primer!

garage

The interior ceilings have been finished, as has the interior of the garage.


The photos below were taken the following day.
garage door

Speaking of garage…

It seems like both garage doors were supposed to look the same after all.

Here is also the first shot of the exterior stone.
The little area in the center is where the house number stone will live.


garage stone-2Left side of the garage is mostly filled in to the front porch, except the very topmost course.


stone
front

Stone and light – Design meeting #3

Our first stop today was at Chippewa Stone, in Medina and our second was at Whitmer’s Lighting, in Fairlawn.

The stoneyard visit took an hour and the lighting took three (!). And we still didn’t pick a main entry light.

We met with Interior Design Studio Katie, who helped us work through the stone yard’s selections of natural stone and quartz as well as the plethora¬†of lightning options. I’m combining the two visits in this post, so things that belong in the same area¬†get grouped together.

The first slab both Eric and I could agree on liking was Giallo Ornamental Light, which will go in the kids bathrooms, both the boys’ and Ms in the basement.

Kids bahts counter

As a refresher, their bathroom vanities are espresso stained maple, and their floors a light ceramic tile.

kids bath floor grout and vanity



bathroom lights The kids will have this light above their mirrors and vanities, but upside down so suicidal bugs will fall out and not accumulate in the glass chamber of Doom. The boys will each have a 2 light version, and M will have a 3 light over her mirror.

All three are getting the same ceiling fan in their bedrooms, with modified boob light >_<

Kids fansThat was it for today’s kiddie selections


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Chocolate! What’s not to like.

This is the counter for the laundry room. The cabinets in there will be white and the tile floor has the same small grain look as the counter. The photo of the tile is a little lighter than reality.

Laundry floor


On to the master bath. Here we went with a Caesarstone Classico in Nougat.

I’m very happy with how this worked with the striped floor especially.

Katie had samples of our flooring and vanities, among other things, in her awesome bag-of-holding. Here they are all together:

Master bath counter and floor

Master floor shower wall and accent     Master bath floor and shower floor

These are the other master bath selections, shower wall with accent to the left, and floor, shower wall and shower floor mosaic to the right.

I did not get a picture of our bathroom sconces, because I forgot. They will be similar to this one in shape, mounted vertically on each side of the mirrors in the master bath.master bath sconcesAnd finally the crazy ball that will go over the master tub, it will be one size down from the one showed.

master bath chandelier


Here is our master bedroom fan, followed by the bigger great room fan with dark blades.

master bedroom fangreat room fan


The office will have this fan with seeded glass (so we’ll till get those cool patterns thrown on the walls from the bubbles in the glass) and an old bronze finish and darker blades than the picture shows.¬†


Onward to the kitchen!
Katie found our backsplash! It’s a crackle subway tile in three different shades of green, I think it will look awesome!¬†Something along these lines with a third of the tiles darker, and a third lighter than this.¬†Emser Tile Cape Cod 3

Since we have white cabinets Eric wanted a darker counter while I leaned towards light. So we tried finding something in between. We saw this and really liked it:

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It even had some olive in there, but there were only two slabs left from this lot, and both were claimed. They had another batch but it was a lot darker and busier, not for us.
A few rows further back we found something else we both thought looked nice. Again they only had 2 slabs so in a worst case scenario we will only get it on the island, and then go with a calmer medium dark gray¬†Caesarstone quartz on the perimeter counters. In this slab¬†we have some light and medium gray with darker gray veins and there’s also some taupe in there and a green tint.
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When we came to the kitchen lighting, Jason, our sales rep at Whitmer, mentioned this ‘really different¬†Area51 series’ in passing, we passed it in the store and I made a remark that it reminded me of ‘Alien mucous. It’s a snot light!’. After a moment¬†followed by ‘I like it.’
Eric actually agreed, it wasn’t as crystally as he had feared.
The cage around the glass blobs will be a dark antique bronze instead of white, and it will have two buddies to dangle with over the island. It really looks a lot cooler in person and the green of the glass works well with the green of the backsplash.

snot light kitchen¬† The hard part was finding a kitchen table light that played nicely with it. After some old school catalog browsing we found something we hope won’t look too out of place. Also with greenish glass.

We’re going with the bigger one, to the left.kitchen table light


There will be a flushmount light by the garage entry, and a small classic crystal chandelier in the powder room.

Eric claimed he will never look at this light, and if he has to use the half bath, he’ll keep his eyes closed.
I honestly don’t care as long as he hits the inside of the toilet :p

We did pick out a very cool looking chandelier for the ‘formal dining/reading area’ form a catalogue, but I forgot to take a photo.

The one light we have left is for the main entry. I want a metal hoop¬†ball pendant/chandelier, with a crystal pendant in the center, but I haven’t found the right one yet. I¬†might try to make one and when that thought strikes, it’s difficult to settle for something less than that image that evolves in my head.