Country Retreat

First and Last Post for 2019

An antique Swedish toy horse, circa 1850, now greets me at the top of the stairs.

Tumble Moon status updates are currently being created. This year’s construction progress had quite a few hiccups, and then there were months where no progress was being made. Needless to say, it’s been an extremely frustrating year. Since it’s been a year since the last update, I have decided to break up 2019’s developments into multiple posts. This will take some time, especially since there will be a ton of photos to organize and then upload. So check back sometime in late January 2020. In the meantime, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Country Retreat

Tumble Moon (Update 11)

The bed alcove upstairs.

This update is three and a half months late. Not much has occurred since this visit at the very end of October, because we’ve been on hold waiting for the septic system to be installed. And the reason for this delay was because of a major communication hiccup between contractors. The electrical trench and water pipe were installed right through the area where the septic field was suppose to be. So we all got together and discussed the pros and cons of viable placement options. Meaning… Once we agreed on the new location, new plans had to be redrawn and then permitted. Then the holidays happened, folks got sick, and the weather has been working against us. Long story short, three point five months later, the septic system has now been installed, but we’re waiting on the electrician to provide an electrical outlet in the pump house so we can plug in a heat lamp to keep the water from freezing and bursting pipes.

Country Retreat

Tumble Moon (Update 10)

This recent photo is more about the sunflowers than it is about the house’s exterior updates.

Here’s the progress as of Friday, September 15. The interiors have now been painted, the stair bannisters and counter tops are now in place, the water pipes are now connected to the well, and the house now has electricity. The tiling of the kitchen backsplash, bathrooms, and hearth had just began on the day I was there, and as of last week, Friday, October 6, all of this had been completed. This week, the light fixtures and door hardware, which are there and waiting, should be installed, and I will also be ordering all the appliances. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait to place them until after the floor has been stained. The septic system should also be installed soon. The poor guy who will be doing this had to wait until all the water pipe and electrical trenching had been completed.

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Tumble Moon (Update 9)

This fifth site plan, with the exception of some adjustments, is what we have finally decided on.

The fifth and final site plan concept. The wood steps down from the porch have to end in a wood landing because the landing will be about 2′ above the slope below. This is too much grade change for the lower steps. From that landing down to the parking area are formed concrete steps with stone veneer applied to the top surface. There are two identical runs of steps (4 risers and 3 treads) and one 4′ x 4′ landing. We may not need the retaining wall you see near the bottom of the slope, because the lower steps are now going to be formed concrete.

Michael Parkey, the landscape architect, is currently tweaking this concept, and the final site plan should be ready for me to show you in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.

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Tumble Moon (Update 8)

Because the sunlight was so harsh, the garage was the best structure to showcase our chosen paint colors in a photograph.

Here’s the progress as of Thursday, June 29. All the cabinetry had been installed, and the carpenter was informed on how to proceed with the trim work. The painter applied floor stain samples and interior paint colors for our approval. Unfortunately the floor stain was not at all what it was suppose to be, but the selected interior wall, ceiling, and window/door trim colors were perfect. The design and materials for the front steps and the descent down to the driveway were finalized, and one final site survey was done. I know I’m forgetting several somethings, but the following photographs should illustrate how far things have progressed.

Country Retreat

Tumble Moon (Update 7)

Since this is my favorite one, of course it would be the most expensive. Only one car will be parked in front, so it would be in position 2. I don’t want a car blocking the steps. And if there is a second car, it can park in front of or in the garage.

My landscape architect’s accompanying letter:
Attached are three sketches for the driveway, parking, and porch steps.
 
There are two major problems that we are trying to solve. The first is the elevation change from the finish floor height (FF) of the house (assumed to be 100.0′) and the garage and parking area. The difference is about 10 feet. The second is the tight maneuvering space for cars between the garage and the house.

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Tumble Moon (Update 6)

If you’re wondering how to climb up to the front porch, stay tuned for my next post, Tumble Moon (Update 7).

Last week we all met at Tumble Moon to go over wood floor options, exterior colors, and interior paint, tile, and countertop colors. And most importantly to work out the site’s grading and how to develop the approach to the front of the house, which I will cover in a future post.

Country Retreat

Tumble Moon (Update 5)

The bed alcove on the second floor.

The house is now a structural reality. Charley McKenney and I met the general contractor Pat Fuhrmann today along with his subs to go over the custom cabinetry and the electrical needs for my tiny house. It was perfect spring weather with an incredible cross breeze blowing through the window and door openings. And the views from the windows are even more spectacular than I had imagined. Again, I should have taken my fancy camera with a zoom lens, but instead shot the following photos with my iPhone.

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Tumble Moon (Update 4)

Just a hint of what views can be seen from the finished house. I will have to take my fancy camera out there on the next visit, so I can zoom in on this view and capture all the lush landscape details of the Red River valley. This photo was taken with my iPhone which doesn’t have much zoom ability.

With the foundation complete, I and my architect, Charley McKenney, took Eco Friends Pest Control out to Tumble Moon to do the first phase of the termite treatment. The second and final treatment will have to wait until after all construction and exterior grading have been completed.

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Tumble Moon (Update 3)

Please don’t laugh. I know it’s just the garage, but it’s physical proof of progress. And this makes me happy.

Tumble Moon now has a well, pump house, and garage. Things are really beginning to pick up steam, and if I’m not careful, I could easily become overwhelmed. Even though I experienced the renovation of my home here in Dallas, building something from scratch is a whole ‘nother ball game. And then there’s the driving back and forth to Saint Jo in a single day (two hours there and three frustrating hours back) that will have to be done more frequently.