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Building a Dream House: Progress!

Hi! I’m Melissa. I write about food, family, and farm life at Lulu the Baker. My family and I are hopefully about to fulfill one of those good, old-fashioned life-long dreams: we’re building our Dream House.

After that crazy October where nothing seemed to happen at the Dream House, we’ve had three wonderful months of building and growth! The short days of winter don’t leave us with enough light to visit the build site after school, so we’ve only been stopping by on the weekends, and we’re astounded at the progress that’s been made each time we pull up.

One of the first things the workmen did after everything thawed out mid-December was to put up vapor barriers pretty much everywhere. They put down a bright blue sheet of plastic on the basement floor, and covered it with more gravel and a rebar grid to ready it for pouring concrete. And on the outside of the basement walls, they put a ridiculously thick covering of black plastic. All of this is to help keep moisture from seeping into the basement when the house is finished. At this point, in order for water to seep through one of the outside walls, it would have to go through the vapor barrier, a layer of Styrofoam, 8 inches of concrete, and another layer of Styrofoam. My fingers and toes are crossed that it’s enough!

When we stopped by a few days before Christmas, we were delighted to find not one, but two enormous concrete trucks parked at the end of the long driveway, getting ready to pour the garage stem walls! The kids had a blast running back and forth along the top of the property checking out those veritable iron giants. It was really fun to be there when people were actually doing work. So often we stop by on Saturday mornings or Sunday afternoons to see the work that has been done since we last visited, but we’re not often there when the action is happening. It’s a little more thrilling to watch the huge trucks drive back and forth, and to watch the craftsmen at work.

The most exciting visit to the Dream House thus far happened a few weeks ago. My husband had the day off work, and when the kids got out of school, we decided to swing by on our way to the movie theater to see what the house looked like. And lo and behold, much to our surprise, the foundation of the basement had been poured and the interior walls had been framed in! I’m usually pretty good with spatial orientation; I don’t get lost very easily, and I’m generally good with directions and whatnot. But I’ve had such a hard time from the very start of this project picturing this house in my head. I’ve just struggled with being able to translate the 2D plans on paper into a 3D house in my mind. So this was really my first glimpse into what the layout of the house will be, how the rooms will flow, and what kind of space we’ll have. And it was a thrill! I got to see my studio, which will have a huge window overlooking the hills to the North, the guest room, with its many windows, and all of that delicious storage space!

A final and unexpected surprise came last Friday, when my husband drove out on his lunch break to see what the workmen at the Dream House had been up to in the past week. And they’d been busy installing decking for the main floor! Now that the decking is installed and the workmen have somewhere to walk, we have a whole list of exciting changes coming up! They can begin placing the ICF for the main level of the house, which means we’ll soon have exterior walls on the main floor. They’re also going to be backfilling that huge gap between the earth and the basement with literally tons of gravel. As soon as the hole is filled in, they’ll begin framing and pouring the slab for the porch and the garage floor! Big changes are in store in the next few weeks—again!

2 Responses to “ Building a Dream House: Progress! ”

  1. So exciting! I like the sound of “guest room with its many windows”! Can’t wait for your next post.

  2. Marcelle, I wish you were here to see the progress in person! I’m so glad you get to follow along via these posts!

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