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Building A Barden Home

My step by step experience with Barden Homes

Another Busy Week Of Construction on Our Barden Home

clock September 11, 2009 15:41 by author Donny Kemick


This week brought many aesthetic changes to the house!  Those ones tend to be much more exciting than the others :).  The stone was finalized this week, the drywall almost completely hung, the sewage hooked up, the electric hooked up, the siding progressing, the furnace set and in progress, master bath-shower in place, hot water heater, drainage and the garage door installed.

I decided to do photos again versus a full video.  They are faster for me to upload!  Here’s a rundown:


The stone on the exterior of the house was completed this week, which was very exciting for us to see.  It turned out really nice.  We’re very happy with it.  We also got a quote for doing the chimney on the back of the house, but the cost couldn’t be justified right now.  Maybe down the road.  I’d rather save that money for the deck!  You can see the finished product above.


It’s amazing how much it starts to look like a house when the drywall gets hung!  You saw some of the drywall in my last post, but they made a ton of progress in 4 days!  It’s sounding like they will be done in about a week and a half.  Then I get to start painting.

Here’re some shots of the drywall progress:

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After several weeks away from my job, the framers/siders came back this week to get rolling on the siding.  They made great progress.  My wife and I are very happy with the siding/trim/keystones/shutters.  Here’re some photos:

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Sewage Hookup

Last week the plumbers ran the PVC pipe up to the sewage main and tapped in.  They needed to come back today to hookup the sewage grinder-lift pump that we need to pump the sewage up hill to the road.  The pump sits below ground with a man-hole cover for access if needed.  Here are some shots of the tank and tank work:

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The interior and exterior drains around the foundation along with the basement + garage floor drains all drained out near the walkout part of our basement.  This obviously provides a wet walk down to the yard!  Today, while the backhoe was there, they extended our drain pipes away from the house quite a ways, so water shouldn’t build up around the house.  Here are some shots of the PVC going in:

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Furnace and Hot Water Tank

The GC made some progress this week on getting the furnace set in it’s final place and starting the major ductwork to the ducts placed around the house.  Looks like it won’t be long until we have heat!  Good thing, it’s starting to get cold!

The plumber got some of the work done for the Hot Water Tank, but hasn’t gotten it hooked up yet.  I think they’ll finish up on Monday.

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We Have Power!

The electrician has had his conduit underground and service in the house ready for a week, but the electric company finally came out today to get the wire pulled underground and to the house.  The contractors are VERY happy as they can now say goodbye to their generators and the giant extension cord that ran from my in-laws house to our house.

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Master Bath Shower

The shower that we ordered for our Master Bath is custom made by the manufacturer, American Bath Factory.  When we ordered it, we didn’t know that or the lead time they needed.  It ended up taking about 6 weeks to get the shower, causing pain and suffering to our plumber because they couldn’t rough in the plumbing.  Luckily, it showed up yesterday, just in time for the plumbers to come back today, plumb it, and allow the drywallers to finish the room directly below it and the walls next to it.  Here’s a shot of the actual shower we ordered:

Here’re some pics of the shower during installation at the house: (they didn’t finish it)

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Miscellaneous – Garage Door, Home Theater Wiring

The garage door was finally installed, less the motor.  We were happy to see it in place, especially from a security standpoint.

Like my networking, cable TV, and phone wire runs, I made sure NOT to leave anything out with my home theater cables.  Because we are mounting the TV over the fireplace, I wanted my cables run behind the scenes to the back of the fireplace, with ALL of the current options for connections including:

- 6 HDMI
- 2 Component with Audio
- 2 VGA with 3.5mm Audio
- 2 RCA
- 3 Network
- 2 S Video
- 2 RG6 Quad Shield Coax
- 2 Toslink fiber optic cables for audio
- 7.2 Channel Surround Sound Speaker Runs with 12 AWG cable

For the time being I just ran them to the hole I need them in, and dropped them down to the basement.  The plan is to then run them up the chimney chase, away from the heat and behind the TV.  I will do a full post on my Home Theater plans.


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Whitaker Corners Barden Home Tour After 3 Months of Construction

clock September 5, 2009 04:35 by author Donny Kemick

Yes, that’s a long-winded title!  For your viewing pleasure:

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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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