{Series Part 6} How to Build a House: Interior Beginnings

Heya! Remember me? I'm Sarah. I'm building a house and trying to tell you about it. Spoiler alert, I already built the house and am living in it. Like my bed, and dishes, and toilet paper are all there. For real. And if you follow along with me at all on Intagram or Facebook you knew that because I'm way better about posting a quick pic there than I am about typing out a post. But I'm here today to update my building story in an official real-deal blog post. Yay!

Last we left off we were just finishing up the exterior and now we're going inside. Feel free to grab a snack or take a pee break for a sec.... it's going to take me a minute or 20 to scroll back a thousand pictures or so to find some visual aids. :)

Ah here we are. March 2014. A giant cement shell.

So, I covered the cinderblocks a bit in the exterior post but they kind of count for the interior too. The day they went up I actually got to walk—through the mud, Big Gulp cups, and swearing burly men— into my house. They say building a house is like a roller coaster with its ups and downs. This was an up day for sure (or maybe down? That's the fun part of a roller coaster isn't it? Weird.). Lots of progress in a very short amount of time (such a rarity in house building!) and really fun to experience.

Soon after the cement/block guys left, the framing guys came in along with a ridiculous amount of wood. There were just piles and piles of it in the yard under tarps. (And small piles accumulating in my neighbors' yard. Ahem. But that's a story for another day.)

They began by mapping out all the interior walls on the floor and adding firing strips to all of the exterior walls so the drywall had something to attach to. It kind of reminded me of a really bad maze at a paintball park or something.

And then they continued to frame for what seemed like 12 years.

I must have made 5 or 6 early morning before work trips to the house to meet framers who had questions for me. There were several things on the plans that the architect added that I either don't remember adding or just wasn't aware of.  Like columns down the hallways ala Grecian temple or something. No thanks. Framer guys called that out and were like, "Do you really want this?". They even knew it was weird. Good call nail gun guy. Good call.

I also lengthened a kitchen wall and adjusted some things in the dining room and master bath. That translates to me walking around a construction site in work clothes at 7am with a man holding 2x4's in various locations and asking, "Here?", "How about here?". And then me flying to work while eating breakfast in the car and trying not to spill Cheerios down that crack between the seat and console.

Once all of the wood was up (seriously, FOR-EV-ER) they treated it for termites and the electrical, plumbing, ductwork, and insulation went in. The green stuff is the termite treatment.

Our fireplace also arrived.

And a giant truck showed up to dig our well.

Then the exterior doors began to arrive. By "then", I mean like weeks later. Seriously, no one is in a rush to build a house. It was important for the doors to arrive because we couldn't instal drywall with giant gaping holes in the house.

This is the front door. I hated the front door when I saw it. I couldn't believe our builder just ordered a door without asking me. He argued that this was the door drawn on the plan. It was, however, I just assumed that was a placeholder door and I would get to choose the actual door I wanted when it came time. Turns out you can't return custom doors either. After a bit of arguing I basically caved for the sake of time and they installed this door.  It's growing on me, but certainly not what I would have chosen. Lesson learned... Don't assume anything!

And finally! The drywall arrived! It was like Christmas I tell ya. Like a dirty, dusty white Christmas.

And after they drywall guys finished and cleaned up it was even better. It actually felt like a real house. A real hot real house. Florida in the summer with no AC isn't friendly. In fact it's real sticky. Real sticky... and sweaty.

Once drywall was complete, tile was next. We chose to only do tile in the bathrooms. I shared a few Instagram shots along the way as we were choosing including this one. That dark option on the bottom left didn't make the cut but the other two did. Standard subway for shower walls and marble-look for bathroom floors.

Instead of the dark option, I went with a marble hex tile I found on Amazon of all places and I'm so glad I did! The tile guy just wasn't seeing my vision so I took matters into my own hands and Amazon primed that stuff. :) It was cheaper than home improvement stores and the color was much nicer. I know, because I tried to buy a couple pieces locally when I thought we might not have enough and they looked yellow in comparison to the Amazon variety. I returned them.

We used this on my shower floor.

And in a boarder around the shower along with subway tile and a half round marble boarder I bought at Home Depot.

The tile went relatively fast compared to some of the other steps in construction. So I'm going to leave up there for now on a high note.  Next post will be the rest of the finishes and then finally getting into some fixtures and pretty stuff. The bonus of having me write these posts months later is that I can already tell you how everything is holding up! ha.  Stay tuned.