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loft update

for those of you that don’t know, we have been building a new garage and a guesthouse in our back yard since summer. and by “we”, i mean my parents. the guesthouse has yet to be officially named. i’m not thinking, like, rosie or anything. i just mean we call it the loft or the guest house. do you have a better name for it? i tend to call it the loft mostly, or nana and gramps’ house, as my kids refer to it. but when they aren’t here, it will be our guest house. hmmmm….

here’s where it all began. well, this is a little into the teardown. it was a tiny little one car garage and the yard space on the side of it i called “the dump” – it was where all of our leftover construction material was dumped after building the main house. it was disgusting.

here my mom and i are cutting out mounds and mounds of overgrown morning glory that has infested everything in the back. then we had to clear out the dump and move thousands of pounds of cinder block, brick and flagstone.

here’s dad working away at the teardown. it went down in a day, i think. crazy fast.

here the dirt was being leveled. that didn’t stop us from enjoying our summer – see the fancy blow-up pool? delux.

getting ready to pour the stem walls.

stem walls done.

prep for foundation. this was taken from the girls’ bedroom window. that was the best spot to watch all the work.

here the pad/foundation/garage floor and driveway have been poured – the day before silas’ 1st birthday party! down to the wire, i tell ya! this is the view back to the girls’ room. on the other side of the pile of wood is the driveway down a hill to the street.

finally, framing began. here’s my dad, in masculine pink, helping to lift the huge beams. the blond hair belongs to one of the “supervisors”.

the first wall goes up for the loft! it went really fast from here.

see? wasn’t that fast? the entrance to the loft (or guest house) is from the top tier of our yard. you walk up those cement steps you see in the bottom right corner, then there will be stepping stones acros the grass to the wooden steps to the entry at the front.

here are 3 little monkeys hanging out above where the fireplace now is.

here is the beautiful shower with pretty glass tile accents.

just needs fixtures. and running water. and a glass door and glass wall above the half wall.

and a garage door! this was very exciting for me for some reason. we’ll get hardware for it to make it look a little more like a real carriage door. like handles and brackets.

and here’s where we’re at now. actually,a guy is working on finishing the railing up the stairs as we speak. i can hear his drill. i love how the railing turned out, not only aesthetically, but practically – it freaked me out to let my kids play outside for fear that they (silas) would escape my view and head up the stairs to a porch with no railing (he did). so this calms my fears.

what’s left to be done:
bathroom sink and potty
shower fixtures
finish details on railing
exterior paint
interior trim
bling out the gagrage via these guys

i’ll show you pics of the inside once there’s not a tile saw and random tools filling up the space!


New house: framing

I was really hoping to document this whole house build process as we went along, but it has all been going SO quickly and keeping me SO busy, I rarely even have time to post a quick picture to Instagram!  The framing on our house started at the beginning of September.  We got home from our annual Labor Day vacation and the framing had not only started, but was really moving along!


front door


living room window


view from the living room towards the school/media room


property view from the driveway entrance

So, as a reminder, our property has 2 (kind of 3) different parts: the main house (with the garage/loft attached) and the barn, so when you see all these pictures, it looks like 3 buildings.



beginnings of the barn!


Our framers have been so amazing!  They are a big crew and work quickly, but are also so patient with me whenever I have questions.  Here they are showing me where the stairs will go so I can envision it.


garage (my parents’ loft will be above it, attached with a glass bridge to the main house)


view from the barn (on the right) toward the house


I have never been able to stop this boy from climbing!  I just have to have him chill out a little around the subs because he worries them!

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view from above the garage, down into the first floor of the house (before the connecting bridge)



the backside of the garage, the loft getting framed in.


2nd floor going up on the barn and loft


My parents standing on their future front porch


GIANT beam going in between the dining and living room


the barn loft getting trusses – it went up so quickly!


barn fully framed and getting sheeted


the big window wall lifted into place


view of the big window wall from inside – the fireplace will go in between the windows


start of the bridge!


view into the kitchen




inspiration pic of the bridge connecting the main house and the loft


The second floor of the main house getting framed.  This is Sean standing in our bedroom.


master bath


barn deck going up


main house getting trusses


view from the upstairs hallway


It was so fun being INSIDE the house when the framers were putting up the trusses! (yes, I was being careful)


2nd floor up in all 3 buildings!


front porch roof


inside of the barn – where we’ll have a game/hang out space


inside of the barn – where the RV will go


underside of the porch roof – the beams will all be painted black with the tongue & groove wood stained


Silas’ room


one of the girls’ room


working on the loft porch roof


roof getting sheeted


view from the living room – main living space is vaulted to the second story



loft porch roof – so pretty!



So many pictures, but I wanted to catch you up!  This process has been so crazy – each step is so much fun and exciting, but also filled with more decisions and questions than I ever expected, so lots of stress in this as well.  I am shocked at how much of my days are spent in meetings for the build or shopping for products.  I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, but just barely!