We had seen it as a rendering, and we had seen photos of the house taking shape, but that was no comparison to seeing the completely framed home in person. When Alex and I drove into Winthrop, we craned our necks to see the tip of the roof (and were happy to see that the house wasn't visible from the main road). But driving up West Chewuch, we finally got to see the structure we had been working so hard to plan. And we were thrilled.
Gary had finished framing the entire structure, including exterior walls, interior walls, and roofs. The massive SIPs panels, with their rigid foam cores, already seemed to be keeping the house cool in the blazing heat. The windows and doors aren't installed yet, but we were able to walk through the rooms and see what the views are from each room. We were pleasantly surprised that the interior of the house actually felt a bit bigger than when were walking around on the slab. Overall, we are extremely pleased with the layout, the use of space, and the exterior profile. We especially love the porch on the south side of the house, where Alex is already envisioning sitting with a freshly baked scone.
As a group, we are working together pretty smoothly. There are probably quite a few groups of two couples that own vacation homes, or even rental homes, together, but we are guessing that not many attempt to design and build a home themselves. We are serving as our own general contractors, which is saving us some money and gaining us some personal satisfaction, but is a ton of work, especially since we live so far away from Winthrop, in Seattle. Dave has emerged as a natural leader in the designer and general contractor role and has a tremendous capacity to track the details and coordinate with subcontractors to make sure they do the work the way we had planned it.
We've also been able to put in a little sweat equity lately. Alex and I did the acid staining and sealing of the concrete floors, and last weekend, the four of us varnished the massive glu-lam beams that support the porches and carport, and we primed the soffits. We'll be heading back up this weekend to paint these surfaces. (Unfortunately, our neighbor Michael reports that the masking we had put on last weekend didn't make it through a violent rain storm that swept through the Valley a couple of days ago.)
Andy is installing our septic system now, Rich and Ann are doing the rough-in plumbing and electric soon, and Gary is coming back in two weeks to install the windows, doors, and siding. The roof should be going on shortly after that, and we'll get the drywall installed as soon as our drywaller has an opening in his schedule. It's all coming together!