Hidden Bend Retreat, Romney West Virginia

Romney, WV

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lights, Water, and Cleaning

You can really tell we're nearing completion on the house, the builder's team spent the week cleaning, finishing up the painting, plumbing and electric. The septic field was turned up last weekend and the water is now working throughout the house. Note the water running in the kitchen sink picture.

Dave T. spent his time working on installing the remaining faucets, sinks, as well as turning up the last of the lights. Everything has worked out well and we're happy with the look. Here are a few pictures showing the progress.

The crew has been doing a thorough cleaning, including Matt working on the upper windows in the south wall of the house! You can also see a shot of the light that was installed on the front deck as well as the gate I'm working on to be able to keep the dogs confined to the deck. A second gate will be on the back of the house.

The structured wiring which provides two coax cables, an ethernet plug, and a telephone plug were completed as well, these are located in six different spots in the house, including one outside in what will eventually be the screened porch. These are all run to a single box in the basement where I'll be able to connect the phones, computer, and satellite TV feeds as needed. That shot also gives you a good view of the rope trim has been used throughout the house.

This next week should see most of the remaining work completed or scheduled. Insulation is to be installed in the basement and the pipes for the propane to the cooktop inside the house will need to be installed and connected to the tank. The whole house generator is on site and will be connected and tested as well once the propane is available. We'll also finish a pad for our hot tub so the builder can take out his heavy equipment.

The end is in sight!

Garage Doors Installed


The garage doors were installed on Monday and should work out well. They're metal with an insulation panel on the inside. The board and batten siding was also delivered this week and is ready for a first coat of stain. Hope to start this the week after next, the stain has been ordered and should arrive in a day or two.

You can see the stacks of wood in the garage bays. Plans are to spread the wood out on sawhorses in the garage and the shop above to apply the stain. Still undecided on the approach I'll take for putting up the siding , whether to rent scaffolding or some other type of lift or to just use an extension ladder.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rope Trim

One of the things we liked about the finish work from Snowy River Log Homes was the way they used manila rope as a replacement for wood trim in some places on the house. We think the rope complements the look of the log house well, especially when used in places where different materials meet. Here are a couple of pictures showing how the rope is used where drywall and log walls or wood tongue and groove ceilings meet. Ryan did a nice job getting the rope applied throughout the house.

Pocket Doors

I wanted to add at least one picture of Mike working on the pocket doors in the house. This is a very tedious job but they really look nice when they are completed. Early in the project, Mike told me that setting pocket doors was something he really disliked to do. Knowing that we had 3 to do on this project didn't give him a lot to look forward to.

The pocket door hardware came up missing and took quite some time to show up on site- makes you wonder if he wasn't working behind the scenes to give us more time to reconsider, lol. Here he is, concentrating on adding the pull/locking mechanism to the office door.

Kitchen Appliances and Backsplash

A lot of progress in the kitchen this week. The remaining appliances were delivered by Orsini's on Tuesday and set in place. With one minor exception, everything fit exactly as planned. We had to shave a bit of the island counter top tile edge to let the beverage center slide in to the island. You can see the picture of Randy just before he started to remove the tile with a diamond tipped angle grinder.

Other pictures show the backsplash tile as they were being set and then grouted. With the install of the undercabinet lighting by Dave the electrician and the sink faucet by Dave the plumber, the kitchen is nearly complete.

Previously, the pulls and handles had been added to the cabinets and you can see these best in the pictures of the backsplash work. They are black in color to match the hinges and have a wrought iron look.

The main thing left to complete in the kitchen is the hook up for the propane to the cook top. We also have one more overhead pendant light to add which was received this week after being back ordered for nearly 30 days.

Central Vacuum

I spent some time this week working to get our central vacuum installed. The process is fairly straight forward. The rough in for the inlet had been installed before we did the drywall in the hallway.

For the hose, we're using a Hide-A-Hose system. This is basically a 40 foot hose that is stored inside the pipes that run from the inlet to the power unit installed in the basement. The picture is of the power unit and the final few feet of PVC pipe. You have to make sure that your pipe run is long enough to provide the 40 foot of space needed for the hose, even if this means running the pipe in a loop before connecting to the power unit.

All the pipe is 2" PVC and the 90 degree bends are made with 2" gray PVC pipe normally used for electrical wires. These pipes have a much longer radius in the bend to make it easier to pull wire through them and the same principle applies for the vacuum hose. Will try to get a couple more shots of the piping and the hose posted next week.

I haven't completed the vent for the unit which allows the fine dust to exhaust outside. The vacuum debris is collected in a plastic bag inside a canister on the power unit which should make it easy to empty.

For operation, there is a low voltage connection at the hose inlet upstairs to activate the unit, you basically pull out as much of the pipe as you need to use and then lock in place and start vacuuming. When done, you remove your tools, release the clamp and put your hand over the end of the pipe while it's still running which causes the hose to be sucked back in to the pipe until needed again. We're not quite done with the install but the tests are promising!

Will provide an update next week.

Granite Installed

The granite tops for the kitchen breakfast bar and the powder room were delivered and set on Monday. Process went quickly and the installers were in and out in less than an hour. The template generated by the fancy machine last week must have been spot on because the counter top fit perfectly between the tile counter top, log wall, and support post. The install was done by a company called Counter Intelligence. You can see a view of the breakfast bar from the great room, we plan to have two stools at the counter.

The last picture shows the powder room top with the copper sink we bought last year at the Log and Timber Home show. For those interested, the show will be in late October at the Chantilly, VA Expo center and should be good for getting more ideas on how to furnish and decorate the house.If you look closely at the last picture, you can see that the trim for the door was removed to allow the top to slide in place, it was replaced just a few minutes after the top was set.

Septic Work Under Way

The line for to extend the septic system to the leech field was installed this week as well. Pictures show some of the excavation work. The line was left uncovered for the inspector and the actual drain field was installed this weekend. Current plans are to turn the water on throughout the house on Monday if all goes as planned. The builder was ready this week but doesn't want to turn the water on until someone will be here for a couple of days in case there are any leaks.

Final Grading


The excavators, Larry and Doc, returned this week to bring the driveway and yard to their final grade. Gravel has been spread on the driveway which is a large circle that extends around the workshop and between the house before circling back to the gravel entrance road. A gravel parking area you can see in the second picture was also added near the house. You can see the new layer of gravel added around the shop before the two trailers we've been using were moved.

The builder's trailer has been removed from the property as his guys will be doing day trips from now on. Our trailer has been moved down closer to the house as you can see in the last picture.

There was still some more work to do on the backyard area as the trench for the septic line leading to the leech field was in place ready for the septic field install that happened this weekend. Should have some pictures of the final grade in the backyard next week.

Floors Finished

Here are a couple of pictures of the floors after they were finished. First one shows the red oak in the great room and throughout most of the first floor. The second picture is the pine which is in the loft area as well as the upstairs bedroom. We're really happy how they turned out, the oak is dark enough to show the grain but not too dark.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Floors Sanded & Finished

This week was a short week for me in Romney as the floor finishers arrived on Wednesday morning so I cleared out. I took some pictures of the prep work they were doing before I left. This shows the rooms after we'd cleaned them up and some of the sanding that was going on as we left. We've decided to have just a small amount of tint added to the poly being used to coat the oak floors that should help bring out the grain without introducing a lot of color or making the floor dark. We've spent a lot of time trying to keep the great room and kitchen area very light so didn't want to change it too much with the finish. We figure that we'll be able to add some color with rugs and other furnishings but one thing we saw in a lot of log homes was that they could quickly become very dark inside if too many dark stains were used. Will see when it's all done but so far, even on cloudy days, the rooms feel light and open.

For those who were interested in our paint and color choices, these pictures are a reasonable representation of the colors after they've been finished. All the paint was from Sherwin Williams, the colors are Evergreen, Burgundy, and Bonafide Beige. We still have some touch up work to do but it's largely complete. Next week, all the baseboard can be installed now that the floors and paint is done. Appliances are also scheduled to be delivered so we're in the home stretch it seems.

Stairway Railing

The stairway railing to the loft was completed this week and came out really nice. The rails and pickets are very heavy pine to match the size of the stair treads and we're really pleased with the look. By now, they've been finished by the same people who are doing the floors so will be interested to see how they came out when I get back there on Monday.

The pictures show the work in progress including a close up of Mike working on cutting out notches in the first floor post to fit around the stair treads. The last pictures also give you a view of the burgundy paint that we used on the walls for the stairway and the loft area.

More Visitors

While these are certainly not the first deer and turkeys to have visited the area, I did happen to get these pictures on the way in to the house on Monday morning. There were a total of 6 deer including a doe and a fawn no larger than a small dog but those two made it to the woods before I got the camera out. The turkey was headed up a steep hill and in to the woods as well after crossing the road in front of me.

I also included a picture of the house from the road leading up to the property, better view now that the chimney is done!