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Building A Barden Home

My step by step experience with Barden Homes

Did Your House Project Stop?

clock November 7, 2009 17:55 by author Donny Kemick

NO!  Although it felt like it for about a month, thanks to the gas company’s delay in making the tap for my house.  You’d think they would have wanted the business, but they took their good old time.

No Heat = No Progress

With fall here, the inside house temperature was swinging up and down quite substantially causing a huge variance in moisture.  The carpenters informed me that hanging doors and trim with such a cool, moist internal atmosphere would result in gaps and negative results when the house dries out and heats up.  So, we waited, and waited, and waited, and harassed the gas company, but ultimately they took over a month to make our connection.  I would never recommend Columbia Gas to anyone, if they have a choice.

Where Were We?  Aaah Yes, Drywall!

The drywallers finished up very quickly.  They have some work left to do in the way of fixing up some corners and small dings, but they were done much quicker than I thought they’d be.

They did a great job and did some very cool texturing on the ceilings that we requested.  The owner of the drywalling business does free-hand designs in the joint compound, leaving a very cool, and custom medallion around light fixtures.  I will admit, they are very hard to photograph due to their depth and lighting. 

Here’re some shots and a video:

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Although the carpenters weren’t around, I was able to paint the house in about a week.  I had some help from a local painter on the trim and some big areas of the house, but I painted over half of the house myself.  It was quite a job, especially with one person.  All together, I painted:

  • All upstairs closets
  • The play room
  • My oldest daughters room
  • The laundry room
  • My youngest daughters room
  • The spare bedroom
  • The kids’ bathroom
  • Master Closet
  • Master Bath
  • The study (my office)
  • The mudroom
  • Downstairs bathroom
  • The dining room
  • The living room

It was a ton of painting and really late nights, but I got through it.  If I’d have known that the gas company was going to take so long, I would have taken it a bit easier.  I had the painter do:

  • Family room
  • Foyer
  • Downstairs closets
  • Upstairs hallway
  • Kitchen
  • Breakfast nook
  • Trim & doors
  • Some outside painting

Aura Paint By Benjamin Moore Is The Best

The painter I hired to help also has a paint shop in my town.  He’s a Benjamin Moore dealer and was really excited about their new Aura paint.  This paint is said to coat any room, even unprimed, fresh drywall in 2 coats.  It’s supposed to self-prime, and never flash when repainted or touched up. 

It has a color-lock technology that is supposed to be very durable and washable without flashing.  I was intrigued by the product, especially if I could save going around each room one time, by not having to prime. 

The paint is NOT cheap, but if you figure in no primer, and 1 less trip around the entire house, it’s really not that expensive.

This paint is quite honestly the best paint i have ever used.  It covers like you wouldn’t believe!  I highly recommend it!

More to Come

Now that the carpenters are back, hanging doors and trim, along with setting the stone on the fireplace, I should have more regular updates…  I hope.  My job is really busy right now.  I’ll try my best!

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A Busy Week at Our Barden Home

clock September 4, 2009 17:54 by author Donny Kemick

This week was very productive for our new Whitaker Corners Barden Home.  At the beginning of the week, the insulators got the house ready for the harsh winters we have.  Later in the week the subcontractors working on the utilities got everything run to the house.  Today, the drywallers started and got a good jump on things.  The stone on the front of the house moved along this week too, with the first batch of grout being added today.  On the Utilities Day the plumbers were able to fit our Pedestal Tub for it’s final locations as well.


Monday of this week brought the insulation crew from somewhere in Ohio.  They worked super fast and were done by lunchtime on Tuesday.  They weren’t able to do the attic yet because it’s blown in and there wasn’t any drywall up then.  They’ll make a trip back to finish that up.

One of the most impressive and surprising steps the insulators took was calking and spray-foaming between EVERY spot that two studs met or there was even the slightest gap.  They even caulked around the floor!  To reduce noise, they insulated around my office, the laundry room, and the bathrooms.  I was really happy to see that.

Here are some shots of their work:

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With some planning last week, we setup Thursday as “THE DAY” for the utilities to be run.  It was like pulling teeth getting everyone together on the same day!  Because our Electric, TV, Internet, and Phone are being run underground, there was some added chaos.  We ended up needing 3 separate ditches that run from the road to our house.  That allowed us to avoid having cables hanging over our heads in our yard.  Some overall excavating shots below:

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The first task of the day Thursday was getting the road bore done.  To do that our Excavator had to dig on both sides of the road because the water line was on the opposite side of the road.  he broke through the blacktop and the water authority cut the road on the house side.  Once the excavator was done, the local water authority bored the water connection under the road to my side, so our plumber could connect.  The little work the water authority did cost me $825.00!!! 

Next, the plumber ran copper from the valve by the road, down to the house where they drilled through the concrete foundation wall and ran the main valve inside.

Here’re some water-specific shots:

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In our area, and probably in most, the plumber that makes the Gas tap-in has to be on an approved list for the area.  Because the plumber for my house is from another state about an hour away, they aren’t on the approved list.  I had to find a local plumber to do the job, but that was fairly easy.  It did make things a little awkward on Thursday though as I had 2 different plumbers working on utilities! 

For the gas tap-in, the new plumber ran plastic pipe down to the house, where the meter goes, and left his work there for the gas company to approve and connect.  We were allowed to run the water and gas in the same ditch as long as they were 1 foot vertically and horizontally apart.  The water line was deeper, and to the left of the gas, if you are looking at the road.

Here’re some gas-specific shots:

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The electrician kind of got the shaft in my opinion because they dug his ditch last on Thursday, so he wasn’t even able to start running his conduit until around 4pm.  He had to have it all in by the next morning, which made for a long night for him.  He was up for the task though and got it done.

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There was a big debate as to whether the plumbers from out of town and the excavator could come back the next day.  They all seemed to want to push it off until next week.  Some how things came together and they came back the next day to run the sewage line. 

The initial plan by the plumbers was to run the sewage pipe from the walkout area of the house, across the back of the house, and up the side of the driveway.  That didn’t seem to make sense to me considering the proximity to the gas and water ditch.  Running the sewage strait up the hill to the road seemed like a better route.  So, that’s what they did.

Unfortunately, the grinder/lift pump was not installed, but they at least made the sewage tap, ran the inside plumbing to the outside, and backfilled. 

A few sewage-specific photos:

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Our Bathtub Is On Site

I mentioned in my last post that we ordered our Master Bath tub and shower online.  The tub ways over 500 pounds, so it took 4 people to get it upstairs to be fitted.  Looks excellent though! 

The shower is taking forever to arrive and slowly becoming an irritant to the general contractor.  I hope it shows up early next week…  Some tub Shots:

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Exterior Stone

The GC worked on the exterior stone most of the week and made great progress.  They are all the way to the top of the house now, and even started grouting.  I think they’ll be done on Tuesday.  Here’re some shots of the stone:

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Last But Not Least, Drywall

The drywall was delivered early in the week, but they didn’t come until today to start hanging it.  They moved pretty quickly finishing the kids’ bathroom, the laundry room, one full bedroom, the entire master closet, part of the 2 other bedrooms, part of the playroom, part of the master bath, and part of the master bedroom ceiling.  For one day, I thought they made great progress.

Here’re some pics of the drywall:

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So, What Now?

It’s labor day weekend, so the crew won’t be back until Tuesday, but when they return, I expect them to work on:

- Finishing grouting the stone
- Finishing hanging the drywall hanging
- Insulators to come back and blow in the attic insulation
- Setup of the grinder/lift pump

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