Thursday, December 31, 2009

rough grade

the forms have been removed and the lot has been rough graded and the trash from the last couple of weeks removed. we were fortunate to pour the foundation last week. the lot across from ours cancelled their pour of the foundation and have not been able to pour this week because of the weather. also, two other homes on our street have sold and one was in the process of being demoed this afternoon with the other one to be torn down soon. lumber drops next week, and hopefully we will start having a glimpse of the home take shape

Thursday, December 24, 2009

house on a rock


the foundation is paramount to the home. without a strong, steadfast foundation, a structure will not endure the test of time.

"He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built." Luke 6:48

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

let it pour

the skies cleared up enough this morning for the concrete guys to give the green light. it has been raining almost every day for the past two weeks, and the weather just was not consistent enough to pour. however, with a small opening this morning, we were able to get the concrete down. after some time to cure, the framers will come next.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

finishing up foundation before pour

the preparation for the foundation is almost finished. the under foundation rough is complete, the void boxes are in, the rebar is in place. just some finishing work, an inspection by the engineer, and we are ready to pour some concrete. since it is a one story home, the foundation is pretty large. rain, rain stay away!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

piers are in and rough plumbing next

just a few photos with the plumbing work going in. the ground is extremely muddy, with more rain on the way. need some dry days to get that foundation poured! at least there is some progress right now....keep it going. top picture: view from living room looking south towards street. middle picture: view into master bedroom wing, facing east. bottom picture: view from kitchen sink towards living room, north.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

piers drilled and poured

the ground has now officially been "broken" with the drilling and pouring of the piers for the foundation. there will be a total of 50+ piers drilled, hopefully making this foundation one for the ages. the houston soil can reek havoc on a home with a slab on grade. hopefully this will prevent the great expansion of the soil from shifting the foundation!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

permit in hand - let the good times roll

above: view from front entry
above: view from back northwest corner
above: view from north to south looking down toward front door

above: view into garage

we were able to secure the building permit this week, and have begun laying out the foundation. the foundation envelope is done (see below pics) and will hopefully be able to drill the piers this coming week. we actually had snow this past friday, but it appears the workers worked through that. we have several decision to make now that the foundation is on its way, including: windows, exterior, beams, etc.

Friday, October 30, 2009

redesign of the plans

what do you do when the original design is 5' past the build line? you end up redesigning the home into an arguably better floorplan. though it was not what we wanted to do, it ended up being a positive thing. see for yourself

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

driving up to the house

a final rendering of the front of the house. i believe we have decided to go with a painted beam for the exterior/interior. this was done with the eichler homes of the 50's from which we drawn some inspiration. becuase of this, we the choice of beams used may need to be reconsidered. stay tuned for permitting news. again, another fine rendering by ramy hanna

Saturday, September 19, 2009


the list of things to do before even building the home is very long. it has taken quit a bit of time getting to the permitting phase. the city of bellaire has so many "above and beyond" requirements from the city of houston that it can be a daunting (and expensive) road. i believe we will hopefully get to submit our plans sometime next week. from there, it should take another 2-3 weeks for the permitting to either be approved, or.... hopefully with fewer builds, it won't take as long.

above is another ramy hanna ( rendering of the interior with furniture!

Friday, September 11, 2009

eye candy - yum!

few additional renderings. these are looking more and more lifelike. with the addition of light fixtures and furniture to come...can't wait! let me know your thoughts? any changes?

Friday, August 28, 2009

one day...gone

only took one day to tear the house down, remove the foundation, chop down a few trees and clear the overgrowth.  Wow, the lot looks so much bigger than i had imagined.  the fun is about to start soon....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

demo day is here

Eight months since getting the lot and we are finally ready to tear the existing home down. Hopefully the permitting process will be smooth and we can get this house framed and enclosed as fast as possible. Stay tuned for demolition pictures.

Update: 3:00 - pictures of the destruction!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

additional renderings

finalizing plans with a builder is not all that easy. there are so many variables to decide, the process can easily slow down to a snails pace. i believe we are close. in the meantime, additional rendering from our friend Ramy. These are close to being ready for import to full rendering where additional items and textures will be added. we are continually excited about this project, and are ready to breack ground...fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

front elevation

rendering for the home is coming along. we've had several meetings with potential builders and are slowly coming to the decision. hopefully within the next two weeks we will of heard back from all builders and make the decision how to proceed. the process has definitely taken longer than expected; however, we have enjoyed each step so far.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

hanna rendering

we have an extremely talented friend who is helping on some renderings for our lampton house. this is the first rendering which will be imported to 3-D. eventually windows, brick, trees, paint, etc will be added...just like building a real home. for a glimpse at our friend's 3-D rendering talent, check out his website ( or his blog (

Monday, May 4, 2009 that is....

site plan, floor plan and elevations

well, we are finalized with our drawings. have the architect and engineer's stamp of approval. so what next? well, we are continuing to wait on two bids for the home. we have sent it to bid with a construction company that specializes in modern builds, and has a great sense of how to effectively execute the modern home. on the other hand, is a builder who has an extensive advantage in material purchase and experience in many new green building techniques including sip panels, spray insulation, and other materials. our tenant is moving out at the end of this week, which clears the way for ...clearing the lot. slowly but surely we are crawling forward. hopefully by June, we can be up and going...witha possible completion before summer 2010.

Friday, February 27, 2009


we are getting close to finalizing the design. here are some sketches of the courtyard area and also one of the living/dining/kitchen area. there still is a lot of decision to be made...both for things not seen (framing, insulation, hvac) and those things seen (siding, brick choice, finishes, appliances, etc.). literally thousands of choices to be made.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

3rd draft computer schematics

here is the third iteration of our floor plan. things are coming together nicely. the master bath has been reconfigured, as well as the dimensions of the kitchen and study. also, the a/c work in the master closet has been reworked to keep the wall facing the entrance door clean. given the hard economic times, we are hoping that the lending will work out as planned a few months ago. if not, then it has been fun :) fingers crossed- and lord willing....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

computer schematics

we just finished our markup of the computer generated floorplans and elevations. As you can see, the plan has been flipped. also, the general layout has changed slightly from the initial handrawn floorplan. there is a jack-n-jill bath configuration for the two smaller rooms in the back, the masterbath is not switched with the master closet. the master bathroom configuration is going to change from the above, and it should be incorporated in the next draft. the kitchen is being tweaked, as well as the roofline on the garage, and the layout of windows. we will have 25 ft beams running throughout the living space/dining space, which will look great. the beams will be somekind of engineered beams. also, there is talks of wrapping the ceiling in the living, dining, kitchen with either wood planks or sheets of maple, birch,etc. the living, dining, and kitchen will get hardwoods which will require the slab to be dropped about 2.5 inch es so that the installation of the wood floors with the tiles will be flush...without any kind of joints or edges. things are progressing and there is talk of breaking ground in march....we will see. next drafts should be back by the weeks end. [click on picture to enlarge]

Saturday, February 7, 2009

first round of floorplans

well, we had our first meeting with studioMET regarding the schematics of the home and the floorplan to the right is the result of our initial meeting. [click on picture to enlarge] when we started the process with studioMET we gave them a list of things we wanted in the home. some were specific, and some were just a list of feelings we wanted to evoke when someone comes to and into the home. we plan on flipping the floorplan horizontally so that the "C" formation faces east or up on the floorplan above. other features we like are the study that can turn to a 4th bedroom b/c it has a closet and a connected bathroom. also, we totally dig the carport. just for reference, the space of the kitchen, dining and living room is approximately 22x40 feet. for those that have been to our townhouse, it is roughly the size of our second floor but 6 feet wider. also, notice that the living, dining room has a wall of windows...probably sliding glass doors since fold-away windows (like nana walls) would thoroughly break the budget.

below is the list we initially came up with for the architect, let me know your thoughts on whether you think the design embodies our list:
~mid-century inspired design

~1 story~2500-3000 s.f.

~indoor/outdoor feeling

~courtyard feeling

~home that runs the depth of the lot

~at least 3 bedroom

~at least 3 full baths

~possibly a study that could convert to room if needed

~possibly a small sitting area

~main living space (kitchen, dinning, living room connected) towards back of home so you don't walk right into the main area from the front door

~master bedroom towards back of home

~large kitchen space

~low-slung roof

~stone/cmu on the front elevation

~possibly 3 car garage, or 2 car garage with carport

~exposed beams

Friday, January 23, 2009

Schematic Forthcoming

Well...we are in the early phase of design. Studio Met will be getting us the initial schematic drawing in about a week or two. Hopefully our first meeting a month ago conveyed enough of what we had in mind. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

soil testing

soil testing occurs today. this is done so that the engineers can design a good foundation for the home. being in houston, the ground is usually either sand or clay, and causes great expansion both in winter and especially in the summer. designing the correct foundation can either "make or break" a home. also to take in consideration is the likelihood of flooding on the lot. luckily for us, the lot is not in the flood plain, which will eliminate several costly issues.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

architectural firm decided

well we finally made our decision for the architect for the lampton house. drum met of houston, texas ( or their general construction site ( we look forward to working with the principal architect su nguyen.