Wednesday, February 29, 2012


We had fun picking out our lights at Williams Lighting Gallery with Pat.  And I'll have to say Steph's selection for exterior lighting was by far the coolest.

[Check out these LED exterior lights.]

[Yep, they're leaves!]

[And one more on the back porch.]


The exterior of our passive house has really changed into something special over the past couple of months.  The challenge was picking out a color.  We had a friend of ours put some samples together but we resorted to a color we saw on a local home with HardiPlank.  Since we could see the color on a house we knew what it'd look like on ours.  We're in the woods and surrounded by trees so we thought selecting a color that would blend in with the natural environment during every season made the most sense.

[First level of HardiPlank and first coat of paint.]

[A view from the southeast.]
[A view from the northeast.]

[A closer look at the garage doors.]

[From the driveway with the second story started.]

[A closer look at the gable ends.]

[A peak with some snow.]

holmes on passive house.

Check it out, Mike Holmes from HGTV's "Holmes Inspection," endorses Passive House.

"...As builders and renovators, we need to mix the old construction theories that worked with new technologies, and get rid of the middle era that didn't work. Look at passive houses. These homes represent some of the best kinds of energy-efficiency options, because they use the environment to their advantage..."

Check out the whole article on 

[Mike Holmes discussing energy-efficient options.]

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Over the past several weeks since the bamboo install our kitchen has really transformed.

[Kitchen with finished floors.]

Prosource delivered and installed the cabinets within a couple weeks following the flooring install.  The color we chose for the cabinets really pull out the dark tones in our floor.

[Cabinets installed.]

And just two weeks ago, Five Star, a Lowe's installer, delivered and installed our LG HiMacs counter tops.  We got a sweet deal on these and it seems like Lowe's is always running a sale on acrylic tops.

[Counters installed.]

And to wrap things up, appliances arrived last week.  We're happy with the way the kitchen turned out over all.  Originally, we had an island but due to the floor plan and size of the home, a peninsula made for the best use of space.

[Appliances installed.]


It took awhile.  My friends David and Rob, my dad and myself learned what putting "blood, sweat and tears into a house" really means.  After taking 7 days from work and even a few extra weekends to install our bamboo floors we wrapped up the install.

[We started in the master bedroom.]

[A little more than half of the master the first day.]

After the first day it was smooth sailing until I hit the first challenge; the door frames.  We had to undercut some of the door frames so that the sections of bamboo could be fitted nicely underneath.  We carried the bamboo into our upstairs hallway and all the way to the stairs.  The guest rooms and stairs were later carpeted.

[The first door frame.]

After wrapping up the upstairs, down the stairs we went and to start on the first floor.  After a lot of hard work nearly every board was locked.  The transitions and stairway landing were installed by my builder and carpenter.  I'm really happy with the install and glad I opted to save Steph and I a bunch of money.

[Starting the install on the first floor.]


I know, its been a while, and there's been a lot of changes.  One was our shower in our master bath.  The original shower installation didn't turn out how we planned on it being so it was demoed and Todd Mason with Mason Tile and Granite worked his magic to deliver exactly what were looking for.

[Pebble tile on the shower floor.]

[On the walls, pebble accents.]

Todd was able to work in a decent slope on the floor to help with water drainage.  It looks great!