The building continues … |

The building continues …

Daily Staff Writer
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Karen Wray

Diary of a House.BY KAREN WRAYKaren and Brian Wray are building a custom log home in Silverthorne. Brian is a general contractor, however Karen has never built a new home. Karen has been keeping a diary of her perception of the home building process. This is the 14th installment.

Oct. 14, 2005 – The concrete/flatwork company poured the concrete steps from the driveway to the front door with a curved sidewalk. Took three men three days to complete and it looks fantastic! They varied from the architect plans slightly and made the stairs more curved and dramatic. We finally chose a Salmon color for the concrete. This has made for a very “grand” entry from the driveway – and a lot easier to get around the job site without sliding down the hill.Oct. 15, 2005 – We finally gave a deposit and finalized our door order. We went back a forth trying on solid vs. engineered doors. Decided on solid Alder, prefinished. We chose this based on the price of the baseboard, casement and front door price from the solid door vendor … we ended up saving approximately $2,000 on the entire order over the other brand.Oct. 18, 2005 – Brian drove to Fairplay and picked up 34 Aspen trees on Sunday from a rancher there who has 3,500 acres. He digs up the trees to sell all over the west. Brain had fun meeting him and seeing his collections of antique cars and trucks and learning about his family history on the property. Since Brian is a third generation Coloradoan, he always loves to meet other “old-timers.” We got a great deal on the trees since we were willing drive there to pick up. I was impressed when Brian showed up with the truck loaded down. About half of the trees were double or triple stem, and some were up to 20 feet tall. It took us three days to get them all planted, staked and tied down. We are very pleased with the landscaping overall. This load was the last of our trees and bushes, and we only need grass seed and wildflowers to complete the outdoor living spaces. The water feature continues to be a favorite of anyone who visits the house. We can’t imagine the property without it now. It is a focal point, and the sound creates a calming effect when we work at the house.Oct. 23, 2005 – The crew is almost finished with the board and bat siding and finished all the stair and loft rails inside. Looks fantastic. We have a carved eagle head on the beam that supports the loft and have debated eliminating it as it felt too big for the room once the roof was on. However, now that we have rails he seems a little more in balance. So we won’t make a decision until the cabinets and furniture are in place.

I spent the weekend finishing the stain on the deck rails on the top floor and staining siding. Brian vented the upstairs fireplace through the roof. I took apart the packing materials in the fireplace and organized the logs so we are ready to go. It took Brian most of the day to get all the venting to fit, I can understand why fireplace installation is expensive and feel good about our “sweat equity” we have invested.We met with both the cabinetmaker and tile installer this week to finalize details. We got very lucky. Tom, from Cutting Edge in Leadville, has moved our production date up to the first of November due to a delay in another job. We originally thought we would not get cabinets until Christmas when we will be gone to a family reunion. Now, we will probably be able to install by Thanksgiving when we are here to see it. Tom updated our kitchen plan to include a couple cool features including secret spice drawers behind our “legs.” He dropped of sample doors for stain approval … he did a great job matching our original choice from another vendor. He also did an extremely thorough job of remeasuring everything before he starts on production. He verified the crown molding height. Due to log settling (we expect to settle another 2-3 inches) we wanted to make sure we leave a little extra room.Oct. 25, 2005 – Got more top soil delivered so we can finish landscaping. I bought wildflower seeds and will spread them with hopes that in the spring we will have a lush flowering garden on all our berms. Most of the roof is now shingled, and the outside of the house is looking very close to finished … until you go inside and see that we still have no dry wall. Will be odd when you can no longer see through the walls. Wonder if the house will feel small?

Oct. 27, 2005 – Great week! We passed the rough electrical, plumbing, framing and fireplace inspections today. We also got our gas meter and will be able to start using the fireplaces for heat as soon as Xcel brings a meter to the house and hooks the main line to the transformer that is up on the power pole.For current pictures of the project visit WRAY can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13705, or

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