Spec House


















































































































































































































































































































































Here are some pictures of the spec house we are building.  Jeff designed the house with the help of an architect and bought the kit from First Day Cottage.  It is 3 floors, 500 sf/floor.  There will be 2 baths and 3-4 bedrooms.  We are hoping to put the house on the market late spring/early summer.

**Click on the pictures to see a larger image**

November, 2005 - Breaking Ground

Jan 28, 2006

Today we got the goal posts up and square.  Work on the 2nd floor also began.


February 2, 2006

The roof starts taking shape!


February 11, 2006

By the morning of the 11th the roof beams were complete and the T&G was laid on one side of the roof.  The 2nd floor flooring was 60% complete.

With a crew of 5, we had a very productive day!  The street side T&G was finished (with windows and doors to be cut out later).  Jeff got most of the flooring completed.  Two ends and half a roof and we'll be closed in!

2nd floor interior walls

1st floor interior walls


February 15, 2006

Ron and Chad finished the roof on the 14th.  Today Jeff joined them and they worked on the end walls and cutting out some of the windows & doors.  Jeff is taking Wednesdays off for several weeks, which should help move things along! 
1st Floor - Living Room
The opening at right is going to be a door onto a deck.
1st Floor - Kitchen (left) & Dining Room (right)
1-2 windows still need to be added here


February 22-23, 2006

Although we've had a mild winter, the end of February has been bitter cold and windy - not the ideal conditions for putting on typar, insulation, or roofing!  We're still making good progress though.  One end is just about closed in with the T&G and the typar & insulation have started to go up.
The code guys made us put on 4" of sheet insulation instead of 2"

All wrapped up!


March 1, 2006

Spring is coming... we hope!  All the T&G is up.  The basement & first floor exterior walls are insulated.  We hope to make some progress on the roof this weekend, depending on weather.  The guys decided to leave the smaller 2nd floor bedroom open, so it can be a den or office.  So now we're a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with a den.

Basement siding

Our front "door"

The interior stairs are getting put together.  No more ladders!

Ahhh!  Heat!

The second floor bathroom has been framed out

The den/office area

This is the start of the bathroom ceiling

Which makes a nice storage area off the den.

The master bedroom

The tool of the month

I don't like sanding much.  Anyone else notice there is a ton of wood in this place?  At least I get to wear the cool glasses!


March 2-8, 2006

Upstate NY is getting a little warmer... well, at least into the 30s most days!  One word of advice for future builders - get closed in before winter - not after like us!  If we didn't have that "pesky" wedding to worry about last summer, maybe we would have started a little sooner! 

Things are going well and are really starting to take shape!  We've got one half of the roof on and the other side is mostly insulated.  The main & second floors are studded out and one set of stairs are in.  Now we are beginning to make some of the design decisions - closet/door locations, bathroom layout, etc.  It's fun talking through the options and finding the best solution.  Jeff & I will probably start looking at exterior stain colors, so I can get started on staining the shiplap before it's time to put it up.  We're also having a debate on whether to put a white wash on any of the interior walls - no final decisions yet!  

Roof progress - March 4th
Notice how the guys are strapped to the roof?  Safety first!  :-)

Who said Jeff could take a break??

The 1st - 2nd floor stairs.
Ron used the router to add some nice edges to them.
The master bedroom is all framed out.  We'll put the door to the right of the cinderblock.  The 2nd floor bathroom with some more walls up.  The door will be to the right.

It appears we were being haunted on the 4th.  I thought that only happened in old houses.  Maybe we are building on an old burial ground?

Yay!  We have (1/2) a roof!


March 11, 2006

We got lucky with a nice warm Saturday.  We took advantage of it to do a little shopping and pick out the exterior stain. We went with a grayish-green color.  The boys set up a drying/storage tent and Jeff and I got to work on staining.  We're happy with the color! 
Ron worked on getting the electric set up.  Should be hooked up with NYSEG in no time!
Oh yeah - and the drying tent fell down the next day!   


March 25, 2006

Today we woke up with about 2" of snow, which melted quickly.  The main objective was to get the other 1/2 of the roof up with Bens help.  We also burned up the scrap wood.
We had a supervisor stop by today after getting chased by a large dog down the road.  He was looking pretty muddy by the time he left!
Ron has also done some interior work since the last update - a couple windows and doors were installed.  Looking good! 


April 12, 2006

The good news is Jeff and I went to Florida for a week.  The bad news is we left our digital camera in the rental car.  So, we're pictureless for now.
Aprils been moving a little slow with vacations, sickness, etc.  We do have over half the windows in and the side door off the living room.  Ron had some troubles figuring out the windows with the 4 inches of exterior insulation.  Speaking of insulation, the house is almost completely covered with 4".  We've run out of insulation so a trip to the store is needed before it can be finished.
The well pounding truck is finally gone after being here for over a week.  Last we heard they were 150' deep with no rock and no water, so they had to use casing the whole way.  It'll probably be a little more then we estimated, but that's the problem with wells - they're unpredictable! 
So it'll be interesting to see what the guys worked on today...  I'll take mental images.  Sorry I can't share!


April 26, 2006

Yay!  We are back in action with the camera.  Pretty impressive that the rental car place found it AND returned it!  :-)  Now I've got about a month of pics to catch up on.  So, here I go! 
Our well has been dug - bill came today.  163' deep- 4' of that was withOUT casing (over $2000 just for casing!)  Not much we can do about it.  
The flooring is all laid on the 1st and 2nd floors.  We've decided to use the siding T&G on the basement floor.  With the shorter spans, the thinner wood is pretty tough.  Ron's had a lot of nice ideas on trim and finish - using up all the extra scrap we can.  The router will be the Tool of the Month for both April & May.  Plumbing also started today.  I also got some flower bulbs today to put in big pots - gardening I can take with me!
We're in crunch time now.  The bills are getting high, and the Home Equity Loan is getting low.  The master plan is to put the house on the market June 1, so we'll so how May goes! 

First, a few friends we met in Florida...

April 22nd, 2006

A view of the outside.  There are a couple siding boards on the corner

North basement wall - On the left will be a bathroom, on the right will be a bedroom

South basement wall - bedroom on the left,  utility room on the right

Kitchen cabinets

Master bedroom wall progress with trim detail.  This wall is put 1/2 way between the studs with trim on both sides.

Window trim detail

The boys finishing the 2nd floor flooring - using some muscle

One of my projects... with a thumbs up from Jeff :-)

April 26, 2006
More Master Bedroom wall - Thanks Ben!

Baseboard detail

Current basement stairs

Future basement stair treads

Electric and plumbing work


April 29, 2006

We've got some more plumbing done and the basement floor is started.  The kitchen cabinets are laid out in their approximate location.  We're going to make an island with one of the base cabinets and probably put the other in a bathroom as a vanity.

Master Bathroom

The basement flooring using the 6" T&G.  I really like the way the wider boards looks.


May 3, 2006

Ron put up some siding and started working on the basement stairs.  We love the stain color, but in certain light it looks very close to the roof color.  We hope some white trim will help break it up.


May 4, 2006

Ron and Chad did some more work on the siding and stairs.  It's nice not having to walk the "plank" to the front door or use the ladder.  Our storage bin (shipping container) is getting picked up tomorrow. 
Ron had a visit today from the new code guy.  He won't approve our dry stacked foundation, even though it was reviewed and verbally approved by the guy before him. 
Jeff's Wednesdays off are over, so we're trying to put in extra time the next few weekends.  We've been pretty lucky with awesome weather.  It's hardly rained at all this spring!


May 20, 2006

The good news is there's been some good progress over the last couple weeks - more plumbing, electric and all the windows are in.  It's really starting to come together!
The bad news is our favorite code guy put a Stop Work order on the house until we resolve his concerns with the basement.  So the boys are a little grumpy.  Looks like we'll be having a little "vacation" from working...

The plumbing in the kitchen and a close up of the pipe covering

Furnace room conference, front bedroom, and basement bathroom

The railings for the first and 2nd floors are in.  We ripped 2x4's - it was cheap and it looks pretty good!

Second floor landing...

Second floor bath


June 23, 2006

We're back in action!  Got the go ahead to start working again this week after 4 weeks off.  You may be wondering what we had to do to the foundation to get it approved.  Well, we did nothing structurally - just talked to the right people in the right places. 
During those 4 weeks we did get the electric turned on - no more generator!  :-)  Ron installed the first lights today.  The plumbing, heating and electric are moving right along.  The floors and walls are almost all installed.  The guys should be coming to do the driveway in the next week or so.  Jeff starts working part-time next week so he'll be working with Ron more.  Hopefully things will move quickly for the next month so we can wrap things up! 
Electric running outside the house
More basement walls and heating

The furnace room (with real lights!)
And our all-time favorite picture of the spec house - signatures from the code guy!!!


July 17, 2006

I was having some web problems, so I'm way behind.  The house is going very well.  On the inside we've had our plumbing and electric rough-ins approved.  We're about done with adding wood - mostly just trim left at this point. 
On the outside we rented a skid steer, dug postholes, backfilled around the house and did some rough grading.  Most of our deck laid last week.   Today we finally got the driveway in and they did a lot of grading for us.  It's starting to look like a lawn!  Ron is going to continue working on the deck and siding this week. 
It's all really taking shape.  After working on the inside for so long it's great to see the outside progress.  The best part is I'm almost done staining those $%#* exterior boards!

July 12th - Basement bedrooms

Kitchen progress

Basement and 2nd floor bathrooms


July 14th - a deck!

July 17th - a lawn and driveway!


August 10, 2006

We're in the final stretch!  Ron and Chad are nearly finished with all the exterior work.  It looks awesome!  The deck with railing and roof made a huge improvement to the look of the house - we all love it.  The guys did the gable ends diagonally, which helped use up the smaller pieces of siding.  It really adds a lot.  We're using white trim to accent the exterior.  Not too much has happened on the inside.  We've mainly got finish work there - lots of trim, sanding and installations.   This house may actually be finished soon - and when it is we are going to have one hell of a party!  :-)
August 6th


October 29, 2006

Alright - now we're really in the final stretch!  The list of things to do is in single digits.  The final inspection will be this week and then the house officially goes on the market!  The house looks great!  We added our own furniture and rugs to help tone down all the pine.  We specifically didn't stain/paint any walls or ceilings so the new owners can do what they want.   
As we should have known, we're over budget and way over our time estimate.  It's been a fulfilling project, but it's been a stressful year at the Landry's!  The next year isn't looking much better - we'll be fixing up our current house, building our own house, and then putting our house in the market.  After that's all done, we're going to sit back and enjoy life for awhile!  :-)
And now... the final tour...
First Floor

Kitchen/Dining Room

Living Room

Second Floor

Master Bedroom


Master Bath (almost done!)

I just wiped down the tiles, so it's a little splotchy.


Stairs down to basement


Bedroom (1 of 2 in basement)

Utility Room

Floor Detail

Here are some pics of the floors as requested by other First Day builders...  We really love the detail Ron did at the top/bottom of the stairs.

Exterior pics to come...

October 29, 2006