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Building A Barden Home

My step by step experience with Barden Homes

Barden Home Construction Progress Update

clock August 20, 2009 04:54 by author Donny Kemick

There has been quite a bit of progress inside the house over the past week or so, with the electrician getting much of the house roughed in, the stairs inside set in, the HVAC piping being run, heating components delivered, the plumbers winding down on their rough in, the Internet-TV-Phone wiring run, and the remaining concrete poured.  Here’s some photos of the progress:

Electric (An Update Post is Coming On This)

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As I noted above, a full post on the electric is coming soon, so I won’t elaborate much here.

The Stairs Are In Place

It was very difficult to get an all-inclusive shot of the stairs in the foyer because I couldn’t get back far enough!  There are some shots below though.  Having the stairs in is a huge help to the contractors, and to me.  Every time my family and i go inside, my little girls wanted to go upstairs, but couldn’t.  Now they can see where their bedrooms are :).

Our plan is to stain the steps and run carpet down the center.  We’re actually still debating the carpet, but I would really like to have it there, because it’s easier on your feet, quieter, and less slippery.

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HVAC and Heating Components

The GC’s crew has been running the HVAC piping and returns for the past couple weeks, so they are ready to work with the heater in the basement.  The heater and ducts were delivered over the past couple of weeks:

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I just wrote a post about the plumbing status so I won’t rewrite everything here.  They have finished most of the rough in work, but are waiting our master bath tub and shower delivery to finish that part.  They also have all of the outside work left like, the grinder pump, water lines, sewage lines and some hose connections.

Internet, Television, and Phone Wiring (Detailed Post Coming)

Because my business has a division focused on IT Services, I have a technology background, and therefore wanted to run my own network, TV, and phone cabling.  This was to save the cost, and so that I could run a ton of cable.  I kept telling the GC that I would be running a ton of cable.  I don’t think they believed me until they saw the mountain of cable running to the wiring closet :).  I ran 5 cables to each outelt (3 Cat6, 2 Quad shield Coax), so I bout 2,000 ft of each cable.  I ran out of cable!


The Garage Floor and Porch Concrete Was Poured

The remainder of the concrete was poured on Tuesday of this week, so we now have a garage floor, and porch floors for our 2 front doors.  We’re going to wait to pour sidewalks for a year to give the ground some time to settle.

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Upcoming Posts

As I mentioned above, I will be detailing some the items I touched on above in some follow-up posts, but here’s a list (In no particular order) of the posts I’m planning on:

- Full Electric Update
- Heater Details
- Air Conditioner Details
- Internet, TV, Phone Wiring
- Shopping for and Selecting Bath Fixtures
- Shopping for and Selecting Lighting Fixtures

Check back or start getting the RSS feed to read the upcoming posts!

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Barden Home Soffit, Fascia, and Siding

clock August 20, 2009 03:29 by author Donny Kemick

DSC00538So, once again it’s been a while since my last post.  Because of a couple delays, there hasn’t been a whole lot to write about.  I did take some photos last night though, so I wanted to share those and where we’re at.  We have made some progress over the past week, believe it or not :).

The framing crew for our Barden Home is also the crew that installed the windows/doors, and will be doing all of the soffit, fascia, and siding.  They worked straight through until about a week and a half ago to get the house enclosed and water tight. They’ve since had to work on a couple other projects, so the soffit, fascia and siding have been delayed a bit.  Here’re some shots of their progress on the Soffit, Fascia, and Siding:

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So, Why Not White Trim?

When we selected colors for the house, we knew from the beginning that white would not be one of them!  Our last house had a light tan siding with white trim everywhere.  While it looked nice from a distance, the trim looked terrible up close because it was white.  We even scrubbed the entire house every year with soap and brushes!

One of our goals with the new house is to minimize ongoing maintenance, and make the house as resistant to aging on the outside as possible.  So, we went with Tuscan Clay for the siding and Monterey Sand for the Trim.  They don’t provide as much contrast as white would have, but that’s OK with us because over time we think the white will look dingy anyways.

Selecting Our Colors

The siding supplier has a great online tool for picking colors, though we found that our actual siding and trim color had more contrast than they show online, and the overall colors were a bit lighter.  Here’s as close of a representation as we can get:


More Photos To Come

When the framers return to finish the siding I will most certainly post additional photos. 


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Our Barden Home’s Electrician

clock August 11, 2009 11:22 by author Donny Kemick

DSC00533 It’s been quite a few days since I’ve posted an update, primarily because there hasn’t been a whole lot of excitement on the project.  The plumber roughed in the majority of the 1st and 2nd floor last week, making it to the basement, which he will finish up next week.  The framing crew has been off for several days, and from what I gather won’t be back until next week.  It’s really too bad because the remainder of the week looks to be nice.  The GC’s guys have just about all of the HVAC stuff run, and received some heating components today to hopefully finish that off.

Selecting Our Electrician

We’ve been fortunate so far in the selection process for subcontractors because our GC has relationships with so many.  In the case of the electrician, he did have someone that could do the work, but we also knew a local electrician that we really wanted to work with.  He’s a friend of the family and my best friend’s father-in-law.  After determining the number of outlets, etc… we found that our friend’s quote was within budget so we decided to move forward with him. 

The electrician is semi-retired, and has been an electrician for many, many years.  It’s hard to find a home or business in our small town that he hasn’t done some work on.  His experience is undeniable.  We’re very happy to have him doing the work.

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You…

The one advantage to sticking solely with the GC’s subcontractors is that they all know each other, and have worked together before.  It’s been noticeable when I run up to the house to see what’s happening.  Because my GC is from another town and state, pretty much all of the subs have been people I’ve never heard of.  Bringing in a “foreign” electrician likely makes the GC and his other subs a little wary.  Completely understandable.  I just hope they all work together well! 

Working WITH Your Electrician

While I’m sure any electrician will work with you to determine what the best layout of outlets, switches and lighting is, we’ve been very happy with our electrician, and how he’s helped us see the practical placement of various switches, etc… Our initial placement of some items was less than ideal, but it wasn’t until he explained a potentially better placement that we noticed it.  That has helped a lot.

One small thing that he brought to our attention was the value of having a sub-feed box on the 2nd floor of the house.  Imagine that you are running late for work or school and you blow a breaker in the bathroom.  Without it, you have to run all the way to the basement to correct the problem.

He also recommended that we ensure the contractor grade light/fan combos that go into the bathrooms had glass lenses versus the standard plastic ones.  The plastic ones always change color as the bulb stays on.  This was something we noticed in our previous home, but never thought of when selecting the fixtures.

One area that my wife and I neglected was outdoor lighting beyond the lights by the doors and garage.  He recommended and we agreed that we should have some spotlights on the rear and walkout side of our house.  We hadn’t even thought about them until he mentioned it.

Get Your Light Fixtures Early!

In our arrangement with the GC and bank, we are responsible for selecting and buying the light fixtures for the house.  For some reason I had it in my head that we wouldn’t need them until well after the drywall stage.  I was wrong!  The electrician needs some of them to determine how high or low on a wall to place the roughed in wire for the fixtures.  Examples:

- Lights on the sides of the garage door
- Lights next to your actual man doors
- Lights over vanities in bathrooms
- Some other lights throughout the house

This caught us off guard so we had to really buckle down and pick our outside lights.  They range in price, quality, and style so it was a very difficult decision for us.  If you would like your inside lights to coordinate at all, as we do, we really have to pick all of our inside lights to know which vanity lights we want.  We still need to pick the vanity lights.

Support Local Businesses and Shop Online

My wife and I have been trying to look around town for the items we need before we shop online because we’re already using predominantly out of town contractors.  We’ve been able to find some things locally.  He didn’t have much luck with lighting.

Here’re some great websites for lighting that we used and continue to use:


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