Building a Modern Day Craftsman

Web Log of the construction of the Cullman Cottage



This is my web log of the construction of a modern day Craftsman Home. My wife and I fell in love with the Craftsman or Arts and Crafts style homes about 1997.We bought a few acres of land decided to build a Craftsman home on it.


We have designed two different Craftsman homes since. One very traditional and based on an Original Craftsman home and a more modern plan we found.Finally we decided on the more modern floor plan with a strong Craftsman exterior.My goal is for people to walk in and not know if this is a new home or old home that has been remodeled.Come back often and watch the progress over the next few months!


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he Web Logs
Days 1 through 68 * Days 69 through 162 * Days 170 through 280
Days 283 through Day 307 * Days 319 through 350 * Days 351 through 403
Day 346 * Days 420 through Day 448 * Days 546 though Day 662
* Days 663 though Present

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10/17/03 †††††††††† About to start the house and I want to get some photos of the land before anything was done to the lot.


10/18/03 †††††††††† Day 1Batter board were put up to layout and locate the house on the lot.


10/20/03 †††††††††† Day 3They started the excavation today!! Not much to see but the good news is we didnít hit rock. Well we hit some rock but it was minor. Just some soft sandstone so the backhoe operator was able to dig through it.


11/04/03††††††††††† Day 18Basement is about dug.The Backhoe man has been busy moving dirt around all day.Here are todayís Photos


11/06/03††††††††††† Day 20They finished the excavation today. Basement is dug. Footings are dug. The steel reinforcements are in place and there is a new pile of lumber and plywood. I am assuming tomorrow they will be building forms and ready to pour some concrete Monday.


11/07/03††††††††† Day 21Friday and it feels like a big day to me. A long day for my builders. They have finished the all the forms and as I type this they are working in the dark pouring and finishing the last of the footings. Once the concrete sets the next step is to lay the block!

††††††††††††††††††††††††† Also I think I finally found our front doors for the house. I have been looking for a while. Located an original in Fairhope AL. However still had to have it hung and probably needs some repairs being an old door. Located a dealer that handles a door I really like! They are 3 hours away but I can deal with that.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Here is some photoís from today.


11/14/03††††††††††† Day 28Block Mason showed a day early. Large crew of 8 and man do they lay blocks!Was impressed with how quick they work.Here are the most recent photos

11/19/03 †††††††† Day 33Itís Wednesday and the mason are very close to finishing but weather has delayed them. We have been very dry the last couple of months and are getting some much-needed rain. Of course this keeps them from working on the house.Hopefully when the rain ends there will not be anymore till after we get the house Ďdried in.í

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Order the two front doors yesterday. Took a long time to find them but they are now on order. Also sat down with Diane and talked about interiors. We had some ideas and let her expand on them and work on colors and flooring and all the interior design Ďstuff.í


11/20/03††††††††††† Day 34I was a bit overly optimistic. Masons did not finish today but I do think they will tomorrow.I took some photos but nothing to see. Just more block so I am not posting any new photos. Will probably wait till we have some wood going up.


11/24/03††††††††† Day 38Mason finished on time. Today they were started the framing!! I think they are waiting on the plumbers to start so we they can pour the basement Slab.

††††††††††††††††††††††††† On a side note. I went down to the barn to look for something and found that someone had run off the road and torn down about 40 feet of fencing and wiped out my gate. I wanted to redo it anyway butÖ. And of course no one bothered to tell me. At least my neighbor didnít have his horses out there right now.

††††††††††††††††††††††††† Then on the way home my transmission in my truck went out. SIGH.Oh well. God is in control! It could have happened a couple of weeks ago when I was in Chattanooga or any of a dozen other places that could have been MUCH worse. Plus the repair shop said they could have it back Wednesday so only two days without a truck! Thank you LORD!!


12/4/03††††††††††† Day 48†† PhotosI guess I jumped the gun, no real framing yet.They have waterproofed the basement walls, installed the drains and backfilled around the walls.Gravel has been hauled in and yesterday they got everything ready to actually pour the slab in the basement and the garage. It rained last night and a chance of rain today. I donít know when they have a concrete finishers lined up but I expect next week. But once this is done they really are ready to start framing.

††††††††††††††††††††††††† This is not my first house but it is my first experience with a basement. They just take longer to build than I would have expected.

††††††††††††††††††††††††† I have been looking into structured wiring. I wanted to wire the house with a network so I would have easy access to internet in any room. In researching this I discovered structured wring methods and all the interesting things you do with networks, video and telephone systems. If you building by all means check into this! My favorite feature is being able to send a DVD or Video signal through the house to any TV. So you donít have to have a DVD player on each TV.


12/8/03††††††††††††† Day 52Framing is really started! I just left the site and they have most of the floor framed that is not over the basement. Canít do that part till they get the slab poured because they have to put up posts in the basement to support the main flooring system. Speaking of which, they plan to pour the basement and garage slabs tomorrow morning. Itís been to wet to get a truck in the back and then out again. Itís supposed to rain tomorrow night but it appears dry enough today to get the trucks in.Will try to get photos tomorrow. Itís busy morning for me so I may miss the fun.


12/11/03††††††††† Day 53†† Slabs were poured just ahead of the rain. Yesterday it rained or really more drizzle for most of the day so no work went on. Actually had snow for a while. Those of you that know snow is not common in our area. I expect today they are working on framing up the floor over the basement. Work should progress quickly now! I caught some nasty bug going around and just now felt like sitting in front of the computer for the first time in a couple of days.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Here are photos from 12/9/03


12/15/03††††††††††† Day 57†† Rain, rain, please go away. More rain coming in tomorrow afternoon but framing is well underway. They have all the floor joists in place except for just a very small area on the back porch. Most of the decking is down and they should finish floors and start putting up walls tomorrow! Weather permitting of course.


12/18/03††††††††† Day 60†† We have walls! Once they got the flooring finished they started framing the walls. In two days they have probably 75 percent of the walls up. Looks to my untrained eye that they could finish up the wall framing tomorrow. There area a couple (?) walls left to build in the living area. Then all is left and then the garage. A day maybe day and half to sheath the exterior and then itís on to the roof.

††††††††††††††††††††††††† They had trusses delivered for the garage today. They are trying to rush up the delivery on the rest of the trusses. Those have to be made custom; the garage trusses were a standard. The thinking is if they can get them and the crane scheduled they could have the roof on by Christmas.

††††††††††††††††††††††††† Today I was sitting at my computer working when out of the blue I realized a mistake they made in the framing. No allowance was made for the beams that extend out from the walls and support the rafters. It wonít be difficult to fix but it bugs me that I have it detailed in the plans. But no one reads the details, just the floor plans.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Todayís photos.


12/23/03††††††††††† Day 65†† I am feeling as if I am behind on my updates. Raining again today and I will be SO glad to see a roof on this house! Speaking of which we have trusses (rafters) up on the garage. The trusses for the main part of the house were delivered today. Tomorrow, Christmas Eve, they plan on setting those in place. Assuming the crane was available and I didnít think to ask today.

The have the beams they missed in the house. I noticed today that the beams on our bathroom walls are still missing but they donít have to be installed before the trusses unlike most of the others they installed.

Since we will have exposed rafters the roof decking is exposed. We spent a good bit of time tossing around options on how to do this. Itís not going to be cheap but we agreed on a way that will give me the look I want and still not cost an arm and leg.

I also printed out some photos I had taken of a Craftsman home we had fell in love with in another city. I think that really helped my lead carpenter understand what we were looking for.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† We were looking around the house the other day and my wife caught a mistake. Bad thing was it was my mistake. I had drawn in the traditional square windows on either side of the fireplace.Problem was I located them centered of the fireplace but I forgot to allow for the exterior wall. I dimensioned them from the outside and didnít think about the inside. When you stood in front of them it was obvious one of the was wrong. So they had to move the window and the fireplace opening.

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12/24/03††††††††††† Day 66 Christmas Eve†† Carpenters worked some today to my surprise. Told me that the crane was scheduled for Monday. If it got stuck in the yard they (read me) were responsible for getting the expense of getting it out. I thought Monday sounded real good!

Mainly wanted to post updated photos. Starting to look like house.

Oh, got some good news yesterday. I have access to a bucket truck to use when painting the house. That will save me a LOT of time!


12/26/03††††††††††† Day 68Day after Christmas and I get a call from my future neighbor saying a crane is in my yard?? Drove down and found my General Contractor (the head man) there and sure enough there is a crane. Turns out this was the only day the crane could make it. Carpenters had a much-needed day off. Rather than call them Kevin meet the crane there and the two of them placed all the trusses on the top of the framing.

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????††††††††††††††††† I lost some of the web page and had to recreate it. So I donít know what day these photos were taken

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†††††††††††††††††††††††††† More photos