Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Drywall's Up

We've reached a major milestone on the house: they've put up the drywall on the interior.

The exterior is still waiting on the installation of the iron work brackets that will support the porch roofs and the window awnings before they can finish installing the steel siding and the stone facia.

I'm still amazed at how efficient the house is. It now has all its doors on (with locks) and even with the house completely shut up it is still pleasantly cool on an afternoon where the temperature is close to 90 degrees.

At midday, when the sun falls full on the SE corner of the house, which is all windows on both floors, you can stand in the full sun and feel only the tiniest bit warmer. Then you open a window and realize just how hot it is outside. Once we have the awnings up, which will block most of the midday sun, there will be almost no additional heat coming in through the walls and windows.

The builder is also putting a radiant heat barrier behind the facia stones that will help reflect back the heat the stones accumulate over the day.

I'm really curious to see what our power bills are like. For contrast, in our current house, which is about 1500sq ft and insulated but with a dark roof, with the A/C set between 78 and 80 degrees, our September electricity bill was about $125.00, the highest for the year (this reflects the weeks of 100-degree weather, including the 107 the weekend of the ACL festival). It wouldn't surprise me if our bills next year are 1/2 that, with a house twice as big and a lower internal temperature (could we actually do 76 degrees?). And once we get solar panels installed, we might actually make money on electricity, who knows. [As I write this, at 6:30 a.m., our A/C is on--go figure.]

Going forward it's all finish work--trim carpentry, cabinets, interior painting, tile and counters, flooring upstairs.

Julie's been working very hard on selecting tile and fixtures and whatnot. We spent a good bit of Saturday at a stone showroom selecting stone for the bathrooms. We've decided to go with slate and travertine rather than tile because it's well within our budget allowance for tile and it looks great. We're trying to coordinate the stone with the exterior stone and stained concrete (and the stone countertops we have planned for the kitchen).

Here are a few pictures of the stone samples. The colors aren't exact--I think my camera makes them a little darker and a little greener than they really are, but you can get an idea of what we're thinking of.


Durango travertine, one option for the upstairs hall bath tub surround and floors.


Peach travertine, another hall bath option.


Jerusalem Bone travertine. More expensive than the others but very pretty.


Black rust slate, for the master bath shower stall. The shower stall is bright because it has a south-facing glass-block window that gets full sun all morning, so we thought a dark color would work well, keep it from being too blinding first thing in the morning.


Earth slate, for the master bath floor. This picture is a little green--the real color is more of a pure gray with buff highlights.


Autumn Dessert slate, another option for the master bath floor. A little lighter than Earth.

Julie will be working with our interior designer, Ed, to make the final decisions on all this stuff.


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