Excavation has unearthed some amazing rocks.  Many will be used for retaining walls and stairs.

stonefront stonefront2

stone4 stone3 stone2 stone

Retaining wall at back of the house

Dale, who runs the excavator placed this chair rock at the top of the wall

August = Septic

How quickly the summer is flying by.  We thought we would be living in the lake house by now but there have been some delays.  We are happy that our septic system is currently being installed. It was another very important and expensive portion of our build – $30,000.



Windows were a substantial part of the budget, like $30,000.  We believe that investment will pay off.  Aesthetically, we are very happy.  We went with Integrity, by Marvin.  They are made with Ultrex which supposedly makes them much stronger than vinyl or wood. This is an investment and we don’t expect that we will have to fuss with them much during our lifetime.

The features I like, besides the durability, is that they tilt in for easy cleaning and there are 19 colors to choose from.  I went with a black trim exterior and white primed interior.  Originally, i was going to do black (Integrity calls it ebony) on the interior and exterior but in the end cancelled the ebony finish on the interior for 2 reasons.  First, it cost more and i was trying to make some cuts and second I wasn’t sure I would like black ten years from now.  It is a trend that I love today.  With the primed white I can paint them any color I want.

There are so many things you have to consider when selecting windows.

Panes:  On the double hungs and casement windows I went with 6 over 0.  That means that on the top, there are 6 little panes and on the bottom, there are none.  I decided to go with 6/0 because I drove around a lot and looked at older homes.  Many were 2/2 or 6/0.  I figured if it was in style in the 20’s and 30’s and it is still in style in 2016 that it had some staying power.  And mostly, I just like the look.  If you have an architect they will show the panes in the elevation drawings.  If you don’t, draw your house and play with how the panes will look before you order!

Divided lites:  I grew up calling them mullions but they are the little dividers to create the individual panes.  I went with simulated divided lites (SDL) because they look like the traditional mullions but sit on top of the glass instead of separating each pane.  You can get the ones that are sandwiched between the glass for easy cleaning.  When I wash my windows I am sure I will wish I bought those.  You can also get the ones that snap out – removeable for easy cleaning or store them away and have an instant modern look.  ADL are the authetic divided lites, which are they type all of our grandparents had.

Types of windows:  in our house we have mostly double hung because they are easy to open and allow for the most ventilation.  We have a few casement (think crank to open) for compliance easement reasons and a few square awaning.  The Awning give you less air flow but they are adorable and remind me of a little cottage so I had to have a few (4 to be exact.)  We also purchased french doors for the porch and walk out basement.

I may not be able to afford light fixtures and interior doors but I have good windows!  My plan all along was to have a well built shell and the “pretty stuff” can always come later.

P.S.  Triple check your order!  Our builder is busy so I helped by double and triple checked the order before placing it.  I found a few mistakes which chan easily happen because there are so many small details like color, size, hardware,screen color!  Here’s on that made me think for a few minutes – iIn which direction do  you want your casement windows to crank out?





VIP – Very Important Porch

Quite possibly the most important room in the house, the porch, is started.  It is 8 x 36′ and spans the entire front of the lake house.  It will be screened.  There will be french doors that open onto the porch, an extension of the living room.  We expect to spend many hours on the porch with family, friends, dogs, sunsets and cocktails!


This is where the french doors will go.


Our old porch was 6′ deep and this one is 8′.  



Dan installing braces


Bella and I get to relax and watch.




Rob & Scott


Houston, We Have Started the Garage!

The original plan was to pour the basement of the house, cap it and then build the garage.  We would build a studio apartment over the garage and Dan and I would move into it sometime between July and Aug.  We would live there until the house was finished.  And you know what they say about the best made plans.

It is the week of June 27 and the garage has just started.  Let’s just say there has been a significant delay with the cement guy.  A few weeks ago we made the decision to abandon the garage idea sna go full out on the house with hopes of miving into the basement of the house by Aug 1.  We are 1 month out and no plumbing, septic or electric.  A lot to accomplish in 30 days.  It can be done but I am preparing myself in case we miss that deadline.

It was pretty good to see a little work started on the garage this week.


6.27.16 24 x 24′ garage


There will be a small covered walkway between the garage and mudroom – the crew got that started too.


Down in the basement they were able to rough out a small utility room for the plumber and electrician. Dan milled the birch support beam.


When the crew goes home we clean up the site and work on some project, usually landscaping. Here Dan is prepping for seed.



June 30. Side yard is seeded, mulched and watered. The crew will have to work and travel over this area but if a little grass takes, it will help with soil erosion.

I consider us very lucky to have a garage.  It is going to be so helpful.  Dan and I will do a lot of the work on the garage once the frame and roof are up.  We will put on the siding and anything else we are capable of.  This will let the crew focus on the house.

Our First Night

On Friday, June 24, Dan and I spent our 1st night in our new home.  It felt good.  No, GREAT!  It was a short camp-over but successful.


That’s me – applying another coat of sunscreen!


My cot is set up and ready to go.  Dan searched around and could only find this “Barbie” raft for his bed.


Dan’s outdoor rinse station – washing up for supper (ham sandwiches.)


Bella claimed my bed as soon as I had it made.


We enjoyed an exciting evening of cards and visited our neighbor’s campfire for a little while.

We found a blow up mattress that one of the kids had covered in duct tape.  Dan didn’t have much confidence in it.  It stayed inflated for about 3 or 4 hours and then I could hear him bumping around on the ground.

At 5 am we got up, left all our bedding behind, jumped into the car and headed home to our  “house on the hill” and coffee pot.  Later in the weekend we bought a queen size blow up mattress.  Our next sleepover will be luxurious.