The walls go up

drywall 10


Step by step, the house continues to come together- each stage bringing more reality to what the spaces will really look and feel like. The white on the walls also continues to bring the amazing light inside as well.

drywall 11


Filling in…

December was a bit slow in Wishful Thinking land, but January has gotten off to a busy start, filling in the many pieces both inside and out.

As of this week, all the rough electrical has been signed off on by the inspector, meaning there’s now a full court push to get insulation in and the walls closed up.




Insulation going in…







January has also been busy exterior-wise. Though the stucco guys are still hampered a bit by the temperature ups and downs of winter, the siding guys came and conquered in double-time.


january-exterior-sidingThis siding is a lighter shade of gray than we would have preferred, but it was the best choice of the options available and it still works with the other materials.

The stone veneer is up next (sitting in palettes in above pic). It will cover up the white Tyvek-covered areas.


Also up is the new concrete sidewalk and driveway. Unfortunately, we’re expected to get rain for the next two weeks straight, so that’s probably not happening any time soon.

There is still much work to do at Wishful Thinking, but we are really moving forward now.

The guts

With the house beginning to be closed up and the interior walls all framed in, it’s time for the other trades to start working on the house.

161118_wishful_plumbing-beginsTo the right, you can see that the plumber has been hard at work connected the second floor drains downward.

Recall when the concrete slab was poured, plumbing drains were put in beforehand so that now the plumbers have something to connect to without having to worry about the concrete floor.

It seems a little crazy to me to go through all the trouble of framing all the walls when the plumber is going to come and cut big holes in everything, but I guess that’s how it goes…

This pic, BTW, is looking at the door into the master bath and those are the pipes from the second floor bath coming down.



The other trade hard at work inside is the electrician. He started a week or so back starting to place outlet and switch boxes around the house. Then in the last few days, he started rough wiring them.

Up until now, power for the lights has been coming from an elaborate extension cord hooked up to the temporary power pole installed by the utility company. The has allowed for a string of hung lights in the work areas. It’s still going to be a long time until real power is running to the house, but at least we’re starting to get there.


Interior windows


In our last post, I focus on the windows from the outside. They certainly create architectural presence in that way. But today we’re going to focus on their effect on the inside.

To the left you can see our friendly craft nook- we’ve looked at this space a few times in our journey. Now with the walls closed up and the windows going in you can really start to feel the ambiance of the space. It’s not big, but it should be plenty large for the spare square table, the art wires, and the craft cabinet. Though part of me is tempted to scarf it for a book nook.



Above is a different look at windows: this time the west-facing windows in the stairwell. While this is just where the stairs will go, this area is surprisingly open. The bottom of the stairs is open railing, the landing has an enormous opening into the craft area, and at the top (you can just see the hint of it at the right) is the tiny book nook I actually do have: a little 3×3 area just off the stairs, just under a window that’s crying out for me to sit in it with hot tea and my Kindle.

Windows of light


The windows have arrived and all been installed at Wishful Thinking. There are many windows and nearly all of them are a custom size/shape, but all of them are beautiful. If you’ll recall back to the beginning of this blog, the house is characterized by “clerestory” windows on the first floor: those being the high short windows you see in corner closest to us as well as the few along the far right of this picture. The effect inside is a full solid wall but with a ton of ambient light.

They also allow the contractors to start closing and locking down the site so more meaningful work can happen on this inside. So, currently a temporary door sits in the opening: we even have a key to our not-yet-functional house.

Here’s a view of the back:


I realized I neither take nor post a lot of pictures from the back of the house- mostly because I don’t always bother to walk around there.Here you can see that the stucco contractors have been hard at work trying to finish their piece before the weather turns.

The other piece rushing forward before colder weather is the back yard grading. When we dug out the spot for the house, a *lot* of dirt was pushed back into the yard. Frankly, we were pretty excited about this, but the building inspectors have not been. So before everything turns to ice, the building team has to bring in a team to haul out almost all of the dirt and re-grade the backyard. Oh well. We still killed all of the undergrowth we didn’t want.

Walled In


{Picture above: southwest exterior corner. South side of the house is pretty empty since it faces a three story apartment building.}

The walls are not only up but filling in at Wishful Thinking and we’re starting to see what the finished spaces will really look like.

It’s been painfully difficult to visualize all the spaces and how they will come together. At one point as we looked at the slab, I would have sworn to you that there was “no way” all the rooms were going to fit. I kept wondering if there had been a mistake.

But it’s all starting to come together. Yes, some spots are smaller than I had envisioned, but others are larger and I’m starting to see how we might actually live here.

craft-nookThis continues to be one of my favorite spots in the house: this nook behind the stairwell (the structure on the left) that will house the craft table. The high west-facing clerestory windows look lovely and there are a few built-ins in the back of the stair wall.

I can imagine the art wires that will cross the wall under the window, holding the multitude of artistic offerings our children constantly create.

You can also see where the smaller of the two slanted walls will be.



Here’s the other slanted wall- the long east wall in the main room. The slanted walls are a complete conceit of our architect and have no functional value. For a while I wondered whether we should just simplify and eliminate the slants, but I’m really glad we didn’t. In a world of cookie cutter aesthetics, the slanted walls are completely unique and dynamic.

Besides, I’m highly amused at how much grief this is probably giving the framers….. an amusement I imagine having every time someone looks at the walls and says, “Really?”




It’s hard to show the space in photos just because there is no visual content for the viewer. So it’s hard to express how exciting it is to see the spaces coming together – being able to walk into my walk-in closet and be amazed at how big it is.

(Note: said closet is probably tiny vs. most new homes, but my closet is 1’x3′ right now… the new one looks absolutely gigantic to me.)

You can actually see said closet in the back of this picture behind what will be the 1st floor half-bath.


We hope to finish up framing soon… *fingers crossed*. Then we can really move into the fun stuff.

Going Vertical


We’re really moving now at Wishful Thinking. With the slab finished and the steel installed, we’ve been able to move onto the next step: framing.

After a brief delay because when you’re two months behind schedule because of weather, somehow the contractors aren’t just waiting around for the day you finally need them…. But luckily, the walls have started to go up. The pic above is what it looked like before we left for vacation….


And this is what it looked like when we came back….


And this is what it looks like now: 1st level exterior walls are almost complete.

It’s been rainy, so we’re still losing time here and there, but it’s lovely to see so much progress.


And now you can really start to see the space come together: especially where all the lovely windows will be. Progress made.