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Filtering by Tag: Royal Crest

Ohhh sweet nectar...

I don't know what that means precisely, but it usually means something good. And oh yes, my friends, this is good. Here are some pics from the framing. I think they've done this all in one day so far.


House front with office on left, library (dining room) on the right.

House front.

Left side with as yet unframed guest bedroom on the far left. 

House front looking towards as yet unframed garage.

Slightly zoomed in from previous shot.

As yet unframed guest bedroom at left front of house. 

Guest jack/jill bathroom with home theatre in back.

Ohhhh yeah. Zee Home Theatoooorrrrrr.....

Back side of house looking towards the breakfast nook. We'll be getting 6 more feet of concrete added to the little sliver of porch you see there. 

Back patio looking in to living room where worker is cutting wood.

Another shot of the front left. 

Looking at the back patio wall where the outdoor kitchen will be placed into the home theater. 



and empire? (that's a Heinlein reference, in case you were wondering.) (and you were). Read a book, sheesh.


here are some more photos we took on Saturday after they finished.

Front porch/door.

Looking down the front perimeter from the left side of the house.

From front door looking back left towards home theatre.

Front door looking towards back patio.

Left side with two guest bedrooms and bathroom looking towards home theatre.

Home theatre with sunken front with the intent to create a modest stadium seat arrangement and hopefully get the center of mass of the screen down to eye level at the primary viewing position.

The next few shots are of the back patio which is outlined by the slightly lower margin. That back square is the spot for the fireplace and a current bone of contention. After seeing it in person, this doesn't look like it will adequately accommodate the fireplace I envisioned, so I'm asking the builder what we can do to include extending the slab portion across to the depth of the solitary square. I want to have some low brick or stone walls on the right side for seating and possibly a slot for firewood storage. 

As you can see above, by extending the length of the kitchen, we essentially lost porch space outside the breakfast bar area. If we extend the slab out even with the fireplace square, we should have some usable porch area on that side as well. 

The two pictures above show the master bath/shower. 



The Dominion?

...or perhaps the demesne? The seat of House Hightower? The Dominion of House Hightower. Adequately pompous and douchey if I do say so myself. And I do be do be do.

Now that we have that out of the way (for today, at least) on to updates. This part will be really short. There aren't any to speak of, not really. We did have a meeting with Ben the Builder on Monday to discuss changes to the back patio. Our original request was based on the home theater extending towards the backyard and thereby providing a longer wall to put the outdoor kitchen/fireplace against. When we changed the direction of the home theater towards the left side of the house, we lost about 10 feet of wall. Unfortunately no one (including RC) thought to have another look at the outdoor kitchen and what affect the shorter wall would have.

With only about 10 feet of wall to work with now (there's a door in the corner), it would have been ridiculously tight to have the countertop, sink, barbecue top, and fireplace all in that space. We settled on having RC create a square pad at the outer border of the covered patio to place the fireplace, giving us 10 feet of space for the sink, countertop, and barbecue grill. That way we will maintain the view (for what it's worth) out of the living room and keep everything flush (ish) against the left wall. The fire place angles out at 45 degrees to cover the main seating/table area that we intend. Our porch isn't overly spacious at the moment, but it will be adequate for us two and the dogs, and it should be okay for entertaining.

We envision expanding the patio size outwards and adding some landscaping features over time. These are mostly upgrades that we intend to tackle ourselves. If we do expand the patio with concrete or equivalent, that is one exception where we might hire someone because we hear it's more cost effective if you are going to pour a large amount of concrete. I'm not sure how expansive we will want to go at this point. We will definitely want more space, and we're thinking about a hot tub at some point in the future as well. I don't see a pool happening, neither one of us would use it enough to justify the expense.

That is one nice element of having the one acre plot and well water. We can see eventually adding a koi pond and some japanese/asian influenced landscaping (I'm especially fond of their minimalist approach that engenders multiple interpretations) but still being able to maintain a big enough yard for the dogs to do their thing.

The other "update" is that we will meet with RC on Saturday morning to discuss finishes/colors (brick, flooring, countertops, cabinets, paints, orangutans, breakfast cereals, etc.). We have a good idea of what we want, now we just need to find out if we can afford it. Our price already includes granite countertops in all areas except the laundry room, and hardwood floors in the office, library (dining room), and living room. The relative quality level of the finishes will affect the price however. I don't think we necessarily care about the fu fu level (real estate term) on the cabinets, but we do want nice countertops and ideally we would like one of the more visually striking very light (almost white) colors to offset our dark cabinets & floors. I have a feeling that won't be available in the level 1 list. As I understand it there are 3 levels of granite countertops (at least for RC) and we were quoted the price for level 1s as part of our overall home price. Hopefully we can find something we like without adding to the budget.

The Framing...

a new TV series from CBS, possibly. John Deter was a honest cop, and in this town, the life expectancy of a honest cop is about, well, let's just say it's less. Less than normal. Because honesty is not valued as highly in this town, is what I'm saying. Because, criminals, obviously. Anywho...

In the context of this post it's considerably less dramatic as I'm talking about 2x6's and home construction. RC put out the frames for the foundation and they will ensure it's up to atomically precise standards with ye olde surverory rangefinder things on legs here in the next day or so. Aeyong had dropped by and snapped the pics (including the future home theatre, and yes it's spelled theatre, because I said so) and we'll go back and make sure the numbers match up with what we requested. The home theatre (see, you're not even noticing it now), is really the only critical room as far as precise measurements go. If the other rooms are generally close to what was promised we'll be fine.

I'm still working on a title for our home. I've read too many epic fantasies and played too many video games to not have a formal name. If I can't have a moat and a drawbridge I can at least have a pretentious title with a seal or something equivalently douchey.

Oh kids...

how ya doin? Anywho, not much new here. We're going to drop by the property (I haven't come up with an appropriate title for it yet, but I want it to be palatial, majestic and rocking, so I'll probably go with "our place") this evening to check stake placement. I got a voicemail from someone with RC, I think it was the dude who went over the blueprints with us (I should probably remember his name), and they need us to approve the positioning of the stakes so they can proceed.

I'm not sure if they got the updated blueprints, so before I give them the approval I will ask whether this factors in the correct home theater dimensions. I'll probably take our rangefinder with us to shoot the stakes and see if it matches up with the dimensions we're expecting. We wanted to go last night but we had an ill timed thunderstorm sweep through and I didn't particularly want to go four wheeling in the mud.

Once we approve the stakes they should be able to proceed. I guess foundation is next, although we don't know the precise schedule. We'll be meeting to discuss finishes and colors in the near future as well.

On the gear front, Winter NAMM was recently held in LA and although there's plenty of new gear to be had, I haven't seen anything especially interesting that I want to drop some plastic towards. The most important upcoming event is the impending release of the new version of Axe Edit for the AxeFx as well as firmware 10.

This firmware is supposed to employ a newer approach to analyzing and tone matching amps and cabinets and it apparently has resulted in more precise and accurate models. I honestly thought they couldn't get much better about 4 firmwares ago, and after being proven wrong four times in a row, I've quit setting limits on what they can achieve with that magical black box. Another plus is that Cliff Chase (owner and lead designer of the AxeFx and Fractal Audio) just bought a mint Dumble 100W Amp (at a hefty price, enough to get a new Corvette if I understand correctly) so I expect that to be modeled and added with FW 10 or a later update.

The Dumble is one of the all time most sought after boutique amps, used by guys like SRV, Robben Ford, and Eric Johnson. It will be interesting to get a chance to try it out, so to speak. There are no other big gear events or purchases on the horizon. I'm trying to limit any expenditures until we're settled in the new home and get an idea of where our budget is at. Plus, we're going to be paying back the loan we took on my 401K for the 2.5 years, so that's a significant deduction from my monthly take home pay currently.