Building Old Salt Farm: Months 4 & 5 Update
We are so close! Old Salt Farm is almost finished, and we are counting down until we can move in–just a few more weeks! I was going to write an update a couple of weeks ago, at the end of month four, but since we were so close, I just decided to wait a bit and combine the two.
It’s funny–the last couple of weeks have seemed as long as the previous four months, probably because the closer you get the harder it is to be patient, at least for me. We are also really feeling the deadline of school starting, since our rented apartment is 45 minutes away from our new home, and their new schools. Overall though, I’ve been surprised at how quickly this build has gone by. I really thought time would drag by, but I suppose thanks to a pretty busy schedule, it’s flown instead. So without any more delay, here’s a breakdown of the past 7 weeks!
*Just a little disclaimer…all of these photos were taken on my phone, usually in the evening, when we would go over to see the house. They might not be perfect, but they will give you a very real peek into what we saw!
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Week 13: Tile flooring, cabinets, drainage, prep for cement, garage floor poured, window trim, grading of lawn area
The cabinets were started in week 12, which I wrote about in my month three post, but it was really only the kitchen that went in that week. In week 13, they installed them in the bathrooms and mudroom.
My husband and I rarely get ready at the same time, and when we do, I need the counter space much more than another sink. Now I have a makeup area, perfect for sitting down and doing my hair and makeup. And…my little girls’ hair too!
A counter will run across the entire length of that wall, and over the top of my washer and dryer. I really wanted to utilize that space, and I love the clean lines.
They prepped for the cement to be poured, and also started grading the lawn area. Up until this point our yard was kind of a mess–lots of piles of dirt and rocks. It made a huge difference when everything was cleaned up, and started looking like a real yard!
Week 14: Cement sidewalks and patios, hardwood flooring, trim/baseboards, laminate countertops
We met with the builder several times to decide how the sidewalks would look, and where we wanted the patio to go. When we first started drawing up the plans, I wanted a large covered patio, but we quickly learned how expensive they are, due to the fact that you have to put them on a foundation, because of the weight. It adds a lot of cost, and it just wasn’t in the budget. We decided on cement patio instead of a deck because of the maintenance issue. We live where there is a lot of snow, and it wreaks havoc on wood decks. I also priced out the decking that looks like wood but is low upkeep, and it wasn’t in the budget either. We have a sidewalk to the front door, along the side of the garage that leads to the mudroom (which is how our kids will enter the house after school and when they’re playing outside).
Handprints were a must! I was gone on a trip when the cement was poured, so my husband was in charge of getting the handprints done. He was so nervous, but did a wonderful job–I love them!
Trim started being installed, and I LOVE it! I went with simple 1×6’s for baseboards, and 1×4’s for around the windows. It’s perfect!
I spent the vast majority of our countertop budget on quartz for the kitchen and master bathroom, so I chose a laminate with a marble look for the kids’ bathrooms and mudroom. I really, really like them!
This week the hardwood flooring also went in, which was super exciting for me. I chose a 5 inch walnut distressed wood, I just love it. As soon as it went in, I had them cover every inch they could with cardboard to protect it, since there was still a lot of construction that needed to be done.
Week 15: Install sinks, measure for backsplash tile in kitchen, stairs in, knobs on cabinets, measure for QUARTZ countertops
My dilemma for the week was where to put the cabinet knobs. I put it up for a vote on Instagram, and I loved reading everyone’s opinions! In the end, I went with the placement on the left—which is they way I was leaning.
THE most exciting part of the entire week was the farmhouse sink. I chose the basic, simple, white version, which is my absolute favorite. It did make me nervous though–with the type of sink I bought, you have to cut into the cabinets exactly right to make it fit, and I had a few moments of panic.
Up until this point there were temporary stairs in place, but this week the real stairs went in! Eventually the treads will be stained to match my hardwood, and the risers will be painted white.
These go from the first floor to the landing…
and these go from the landing to the second floor!
Lots of measurements happened this week as well. Once the sink was installed in the kitchen, measurements could be done for the quartz countertops and tile backsplash.
Week 16: Painting, plumbing fixtures, master bath tile, quartz countertops
Lots and lots of painting took up most of the week, including my chalkboard wall in the kitchen! Eeek! I have two pantries that take up one wall, and I thought it would be super fun to paint it with chalkboard paint. The middle section will be perfect for grocery lists, and my kids will love being able to draw on the half wall just around the corner.
One of the highlights was definitely the installation of the quartz countertops. I had previously really wanted marble, but after so much research, and lots of internal debating despite the fact that they are easily etched and stained, I decided that they would not be a good fit for our large family. The next best thing was a quartz that looked like marble, and there are SO many to choose from. That’s a good thing…and a bad thing. It’s good because they’ve come so far in recent years and manufactured so many options, but it does make it more difficult to decide. I thought I had chosen what I wanted online, but it was amazing how different they look in real life. Once I saw actual samples, I changed my mind and went with one I didn’t expect. I LOVE LOVE it, and I’m so happy with it!
Once the quartz countertops were in, the sinks weren’t close behind, and then finally the faucets. I had been waiting a long time to see them in person, and I wasn’t disappointed. I splurged on the kitchen faucet, and I’m totally in love. LOVE!
The appliances haven’t been installed yet, except the dishwasher. They needed to make sure it fit with the cabinets and sink, so it went in a little early.
The wrong master bathroom faucet arrived, so they had to re-order it, and it was finally installed this past week. I chose the same quartz for the master bath, and it’s perfection.
This is the girls’ bathroom, and the boys’ bathroom across the hall is identical, except it has a smaller countertop. We have a boys’ wing (two bedrooms and a bathroom) and a girls’ wing (two bedrooms and a bathroom) upstairs, and I think it’s going to be one of my favorite things.
Week 17: Mud lockers painted, exterior doors painted, blacktop poured
This week we were able to come in and start doing a lot of our own work on the house, including finishing up and painting the mudroom lockers. We taped everything off, and I used my awesome paint sprayer to make it go so much faster. It took quite a few coats, with sanding in between. We also added the wood braces at both the top and bottom of each locker so we can screw in the hooks. We had already built and stained the bench that goes along the whole wall–under the lockers and the large window in the middle. However…when we were ready to attach them after the paint dried, I just didn’t like them. I didn’t like the wood we used, and the stain didn’t look great on that particular wood. So, we will be back this weekend to finally finish them up!
They poured the blacktop driveway, and my kids were in heaven!! We brought out their scooters and plasma cars to use while we worked, and I can’t tell you how many times they zoomed down the driveway. Our house is on a slight hill, so you can fly down pretty fast! Yes, I tried it, and though I was a little worried for my life when I was about to hit the gravel at the end of the driveway, it was super fun.
The front porch posts were installed this week, and I decided on a wider, thicker post. Since I didn’t do railing, I wanted the posts to have more of a presence.
The exterior doors were also painted, and I chose black for all of them except the Dutch door. I also had them paint both the inside and the outside of the door, for a couple of reasons. First of all, I love the way they look on the inside of the house, and it helps them stay so much cleaner. Whatever that exterior door finish is, it’s terrible for dirt. Or rather, good for dirt, but terrible for me because it won’t come off! A painted surface (semi-gloss) is is much easier to wipe down and keep clean.
You’ll also notice that the exterior lighting was installed about the same time, hooray! I chose a black lantern style for all of my exterior lighting, and my favorite is the hanging lantern over the mudroom back door.
I LOVE this hanging lantern!
Week 18: Grading, landscaping and grass seed, stairs stained/painted, interior doors painted, kitchen backsplash, interior doors painted, lighting, kitchen island
The stairs got a little love this week. The treads were stained, and the risers painted white. The newel posts and spindles were also started.
If I had to choose one thing in our house that’s my very favorite of all, I think it would be the kitchen island top. We built it out of reclaimed barn wood that came from an 1800’s barn that was torn down near us. It’s so near and dear to us that when we move we’re taking it with us! Every single member of our family has helped in some way to make it, and it’s most definitely been a labor of love. It ended up taking a lot more TLC than we originally thought, and my husband put in the brunt of the work on it. The pictures don’t even do it justice, it’s so beautiful, and to say I love it is an understatement! I knew I wanted a wood island top as contrast for all the white in the room, it brings in just the right amount of richness and warmth.
The landscaping was completed, and we put down grass seed. It’s actually required where we live to get a Certificate of Occupancy, which I didn’t learn until just a couple of weeks ago. It’s been so unusually hot here that we were planning to wait another month or so, but we had to do it now. Cross your fingers that our grass will grow!
A few other things that happened…the interior doors were lined up in the garage and painted, the kitchen tile backsplash went in, and the lighting was started. Half was done in week 18, and the other half in week 19.
You can see the subway tile in this picture–I went with white tile and white grout. Brave? We’ll find out!
Week 19: Carpet, appliances, brick fireplace, lighting, closets, stairway–railing and spindles, door hardware, doors hung, appliances delivered & installed
What a seriously crazy week. Lots of people doing lots of stuff! The brick fireplace was finished, and the mantel is being built right now–hopefully it will be up by the end of this week or beginning of next. I LOVE the brick. Remember how I went to the brickyard with over 2 million bricks and I picked the most expensive ones? Well, there weren’t very many of them, so we had to make the hearth the size that would accommodate as many bricks as we had. I may have designed it a little bit differently had we more brick, but in the end, I’m really happy with it. I can’t wait to see it with the mantel! Once the mantel is in, we are going to put shiplap in up to the top of the ceiling.
I don’t know why lighting changes the look of the house so much, but it does. It was amazing to walk in and see the lights throughout the house, and realize…we have a house! When I post the home tour after it’s all finished, I’ll show you all the lighting, so you can see each room. I also plan to do a post on where I found all of my lighting–I love it, love it!
You should see our basement. Okay, maybe you shouldn’t. We got really lucky to have a basement in this apartment, but it’s tiny, and a lot of boxes are there for our move. It’s also the place where I’ve been stashing all the decor for the house. I didn’t want the house to be completely bare when we moved in, but I’m also looking forward to decorating a blank slate!
WEEK 20: water, electricity, mantel, garage doors, finishing touches
The mantel will go in this week, so you will see it when I do the final home tour. Now we are waiting for electricity and water, which have taken much longer than expected. Once they’re on, then the inspection will happen to issue a Certificate of Occupancy. When we have the CO, it’s time to finish all the paperwork, appraisals, and and all the normal stuff when you buy a home. We are so, so close!
We are almost HOME!!
Kierste Wade is a published author, blogger, and mom to six. With more than 20 years DIY and project experience, she has been sharing ideas on her blog since 2009. Focusing on simple and doable projects, she loves to share attainable ideas for all things home, holidays, and family. Kierste has been featured on Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV, American Farmhouse Magazine (print and online) Taste of Home, Country Living, and more.
When we put in grass seed in our last yard we prayed for it to grow. It came up amazingly well. When our neighbors asked what we had done to have it come up so well, we told we prayed:)
We are praying, praying, praying too! So glad yours did so well..hopefully ours will be the same. :)
This has been so much fun to follow along. I can’t wait to see the final result as I’m sure you can’t wait to get moved in.
Thank you so much, Debbie! We are so excited! xoxo
Your dream farmhouse is coming along fabulously! I look forward to seeing it all finished and how you decorate it. Question: Where did you purchase your exterior lights from? The link on this page isn’t working properly. Thank you~
So sorry about that! I just fixed the link, so you can check it out! (They’re from Amazon..)
I love the stairlanding overlooking the family room…I can just see your kiddos gazing through the railings on Christmas morning! :) Such a happy home you are building! It is perfectly you!
That’s so funny–my husband and I were JUST talking about that, lol! Thank you so much for your kind words–they’re so appreciated!! xoxo
You have done such a beautiful job on the house. I love every single detail. So happy for you and your family!!!!
Thank you SO much, Jen! I really appreciate it!! xoxo
Love it! : ). Where did you get your outside hanging lantern light fixture? ; ). Does it swing much in the breeze?
I got it on Amazon!!! There’s a link in the post if you want to check it out. And I have no idea how much it swings, since we haven’t moved in yet. I can give you an update once we’re in, though!!
I love how you are finishing out your farm house! Thanks for sharing with us all! I love that you found a laminate for the kid’s bathroom that has that marble look. Now did I read that right that you said you were taking the island top with you “when you move”? Is this home going to be your forever home? I was just curious.
You did read that right! While we certainly hope we are going to live in this house for a long time, you just never know! We do know this is most likely not our forever house, so in the event that we do move, it’s coming with us. :)
Was the farmhouse sink you got the one from amazon? Your’s looks so much deeper than
9.5….. Love it and been looking for something deep.
No, we didn’t get ours from Amazon, it was ordered through a plumbing company. I just didn’t have that exact sink to link to so you could see it, so I did the one from Amazon instead. Mine is by Blanco, and I’m actually not sure how deep it is. Let me check for you, and see if I can more of an exact item number for you to track down!
Kierste!!!! Your house is amazing! I love everything you have done! I’m so happy that you will soon be in YOUR house. Home sweet home!
Thank you SO much, Jodie!! xo
Hello, I just stumbled across your blog today from another one I was reading. I apologize if you have posted this somewhere and I overlooked it! Did you by chance use a specific house plan when you built? I am just curious to see the layout as we have been looking at hundreds of house plans and cannot find one we would like to build. thanks!
Hi, Jill! We took an existing plan and made a bunch of changes. If you’re interested in seeing our plans, I can email you a basic copy of the layout so you can see it! It’s right around 3800 sq ft. (without the basement), with 5 bedrooms and 4 baths.
Just came across your blog and love your kitchen layout. Is there anyway I could get the dimensions of your kitchen. I am redoing mine and have a hard time to find a layout I like and your kitchen is very similar to mine., Thanks
Sure! It’s about 14×15, but it’s completely open to the dining room next to it, which is also about 14×15, so the whole space is around 28×30. Hope this helps!!
I just commented on another post (island benches) about the island top and with a few clicks and searching your week by week posts I found it. How is it secured to the island top and how is the overhang portion supported underneath on the bench side? I want a top larger then my base and the drawer side does not have much overhang and the sides won’t be much wider either, similar to yours but the bench side would need support underneath. Curious what you did. I’m having my kitchen painted in July and I’m in search of a new island top which may be a DIY project rather than ordered to size, but the overhang has me puzzled.
Hello! The island top is secured by cabinet screws, through the cabinet into the island top. We actually don’t have overhang support–we talked to the people who did our cabinets and the contractor and they gave us the amount of inches we could do without support based on our cabinets. It would have been the same if we did granite or something similar as well. We just stayed within that limit, and we’ve had no problems whatsoever! Depending on what you use, I would speak with cabinetry or countertop professionals to see what their recommendation for your cabinets would be. Good luck! Sounds like an exciting project!