Thursday, June 30, 2011

16. Interior Railing

It's time to do the interior railing!
There are two styles that we are considering for our home. The first is a solid-color, white railing as featured in the photo below.


This is the stairway from our new Stillwater model home in Saratoga Springs.

The other option is a two-tone railing where you combine the beautiful hard wood with white.


Photo via House Beautiful

Tell us which one you would choose! Visit our Facebook page and cast your vote:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

15. Stairway

Because we have a beautiful dark hardwood going throughout the main floor, we have decided to carry that style up the stairway for a more elegant look. We also will be carpeting the stairs with the same carpet that spreads throughout the upper floor. We love the look of carpet-covered stairs and we're also in love with the benefits.
Here are some advantages to putting carpet on your stairway:
  • Safety - Adding carpet to a wooden staircase makes for a less-slippery surface. This can prevent an accidental slip down the stairs. It also reduces the sharp corners which could cause injury.
  • Noise - The padding and carpet on the hard wood surface makes for a quieter trip up and down your stairway.
  • Style - Carpeting the stairway can be a great way to liven up a stark staircase. This can be especially useful in a dark, narrow stairwell if you use the carpet to brighten up and accent the hardwood underneath.
There are two ways to achieve this look. You can either do hardwood stair treads and risers, or tread caps with carpet down the center. The diagram below shows which part of the stairs is a tread, and which is the riser.

We have decided to accomplish this look with the tread caps on our stairway.
Here is a look at our stairwell so far. We have just begun the finish work on it. You can see where the tread caps have been installed. These will soon be smoothed and stained to match the hardwood floors below.

Check back again soon to see the final product!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

14. Finish Work

We're moving right along! We are starting on the finish work in the house. But first, let's take a look at the most recent exterior progress. There has been a bit more stone added, as well as the start of the James Hardi Board.

Now, on to the finish work. This house is full of the latest trends and styles. One of the main things that gives it so much character is the attention to detail in the finish carpentry. Adding these custom features makes this house more elegant and appealing. Here are some examples of the finish work that really make this house pop.

The Board and Batten dresses up the walls in this girl's bedroom. A 6-inch shelf has been added to the top for space to display items and decor.

We added columns to the hallway to really add interest. It helps break up the plain wall space and turns a would-be-boring hallway into a work of art.

The window seat, accented with Board and Batten, is not only beautiful but functional as well. The seat is on a hidden hinge that allows you to lift it for storage room.

This is a panel of beadboard added to the walls of the boy's bedroom. We lined up the beadboard with the window and carried it all the way around the room. It is going to be painted an accent color to match the bedding and really brighten up this space.
 Make sure you stay tuned to see how all of these beautiful details turn out. The finishing touches will definitely turn some heads and make this house stand out from the crowd.

Monday, June 13, 2011

13. Transom Windows

We need your help deciding whether or not to install transom windows in our Parade Home. Transom windows are a small window built-in above a doorway. See an example below:

Transom windows used to be built solely for functionality. They allowed air to travel through the house without compromising security. They were also used to allow natural light into other areas of the home that didn't have windows, such as hallways.  

Transom windows are commonly found in homes up to the late
20th century when the innovation of central or forced duct heating became prominent in new home construction. Since then, the original functions of transom windows haven't been necessary.  As a result, transom windows are now seen as a stylistic architectural accent, mostly used for visual appeal.  

What do you think? Should we install transom windows in our Parade Home or not? Cast your vote on our Facebook page at:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

12. Exterior Materials

It's finally time to add the exterior materials! As seen in the rendering at the top of the blog, this home is made up of a combination of James Hardi Board and stone.

These pictures (above) show the protective plastic for the exterior materials that help keep moisture out. The James Hardi Board will be installed on the white area of the home and the stone will be installed on the black area.

This photo shows the Hardi board installed on a similar craftsman-style home. Hardi board can be installed horizontally, vertically, or in a combination as pictured here to add interest.

There are many advantages to using Hardi board versus other building materials. It is well-known for its durability. Due to its composite makeup, Hardi board is designed to last up to 50 years against cracking, rotting, hail damage, termites and many other possible problems.

This photo shows the start of the stone being installed. We selected a cultured stone for this home instead of a natural stone. One of the main benefits of a cultured stone is that it weights a lot less. This is beneficial because it places less weight on the foundation of your home.

Cultured stone is faster and easier to install than natural stone. It is also easy to find, and simple to replace. In most cases, it is less expensive. It is becoming more popular because the cultured stone today looks more real than it ever has before. In fact, in most cases, people can't tell the difference.