Frank Betz Sullivan from Start to Finish

jnjmomJuly 16, 2008

We have officially begun what our famiy has dubbed project4820. I am blogging the process elsewhere, but thought I would post pics and updates as we go. I'll try not to go over the top!!

If you missed my first post, we are self contracting a modified Frank Betz Sullivan. There have been some changes to this pdf, but this is all I have for posting:

(mainly we have moved the entrance into the house from garage to the hall instead of through the laundry room, we have tweaked the kitchen, moved and flipped some doors and are going to redo the laundry room plan).

We are still deciding on brick!! eeek!! But this pic will give you an idea of the elevation:

Yesterday, the bulldozer man came and mowed over the necessary trees and burned what couldn't be sold. Not a huge fire, but enough to freak out the neighbors -- look out people, here we come! Sigh...



ok, so I'll resize the pics to be smaller from here out...

Today: more burning and clearing, then they prepare to dig the basement.

Project4820 day 1.

Here is a link that might be useful: Project4820 blog

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Beautiful home!!!
How did you do to post a pdf??? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 2:13PM
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Marthaelena -- I guess I didn't post a pdf :o) I took my pdf into photoshop and saved it as a .jpg - sorry!! :o)

db - if you do end up doing this plan, I'd highly recommend walking through a few already built if you can find them. We've been lucky to walk through three - two on opposite ends of town and one about 45 min away. It helps so much to see the dimensions in real life - for example the hall was tight in the original plan. Picking the brick has been a headache for me. That's one of those final decisions that is stressful to make - no room for error!!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 4:03PM
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If you are anywhere near Joneboro, Tennessee, there are entire develments with Frank Betz houses. They have open houses weekly. The developer said he visited developments in Alanta. They are really great homes. One suggestion the contractor offered me was to add two fee to the depth of the garages.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 4:12PM
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Dug the footer yesterday. Pinning the corners today.
Block starts Monday (I hope!)

**sallen2008** Definitely plan on adding space to the garage - which adds space to the bonus room. I'm not sure how far I am from Jonesboro - would be worth a trip!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 1:56PM
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I love it! Best of luck on your build and I look forward to updates!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 4:24PM
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Two days of block done, they are really moving and grooving:

Hubby is a bit nervous about bay window area, looks a little odd dimensionally... Going to talk to him about it in the morning.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 7:18PM
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UPDATE - DH was right about the bay window, it was off, but the block guy fixed it.

Since my last post, they have finished the block, plumbed the basement, poured the basement slab, waterproofed, sprayed for termites, and started framing. We've had a few funny moments, but I'll save those for the blog :o)

They started framing on Wed, but they have already finished the basement walls, the first floor, uh, floor :o) and the back wall (though it's not yet standing).

1st floor:


Those pics were taken with a cell phone, so I apologize that they may not be as clear.

More pics to follow in the coming days :o)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 9:30AM
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You are coming along!!!!! What brick are you using? What color shutters...etc. Flooring? Love sharing ideas.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 6:28PM
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They really got alot done today, and here is where we are:

Sorry for DH's crooked pic :o) Big window is the dining room. On the left is the master BR.

From the back:

Large opening on left is triple french door in the breakfast room.

Have all the outside walls up except the front door, bay window, and garage. They put up a few interior walls as well.

MDC - the brick we picked out is called Brownsferry, and will be very similar to the elevation pic I posted earlier. We are also doing black shutters and a double arched front door.

We are doing hardwood on the entire first floor - well except for bathrooms and laundry - either brazillian cherry or oak. I'm using the ORB finish and hopefully (if we still have money left...ha) lots of crown moulding. My kitchen cabinets are going to be a cognac maple perimeter with either solid surface or granite with a rubbed white island with butcher block top.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 10:34PM
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About 3/4 of the way done framing. They are working on decking the roof today. Should be hanging windows on Wed. Didn't realize it from the plan, but now that they have the rafters up, there is a huge area for a walk-in attic. I think we may borrow some of that for my son's room though - hate to waste space!

Here is a link that might be useful: House Blog

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 10:55AM
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jnjmom...I saw your blog, your front door is similar to the one I want. Who makes it/where did you buy it? We are building the Frank Betz Westmoreland.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 12:56PM
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We ordered ours online - the link is to the cheapest place I could find it - however, this one doesn't have the beveled and insulated glass. Talked to a local door maker and he said that while that is preferred, people have done without for 100's of years :o)
PS - I haven't received it yet, but I could let you know in a week or so how it looks in person.

Here is a link that might be useful: Door Super Store

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 3:25PM
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You are coming along!!! Don't you love the roof line. What is being done now....???

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 7:47AM
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I do a better job of updating the blog than this thread :o)

We are completely done with the framing now and all the rough-ins have begun as well as the brick. Have the cabinets laid out, bath fixtures bought, and second garage window in (was sent without casing). This pic doesn't show it, but the roof is on as well.

The roof took a week longer than planned because we had our first run in with a loser sub. Second roofer hired did a great job.

I was a titch frustrated last week when it didn't seem like things we clicking, but we're back up to speed now :o) Updated pics to come soon!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 8:33AM
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About 2/3 of the way done with brick -- it's Pine Hall's Brownsferry with Santa Fe mortar (ps - don't ask me about the $750 in quoins that we'll have that you can't see with this brick!!).

Front door is hung - and it's great! Very pleased with it. DH has designed all the arches in the house to match, gotta love those engineers :o)

I do love the roof line, but it left us so much walk in attic space that we added about eight feet on to the back bedroom upstairs (plus still have a big attic area). It's huge, but it will serve now as the bonus room and the room over the garage will become my sons bedroom.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 2:12PM
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Excerpt from the blog today:

10.24.08  Yes, I realize I havenÂt blogged in awhile, but momma always told me if you canÂt type anything nice, donÂt type at all. IÂve been mild to partly irritated at my amigos for about two weeks. We are four days away from a month long bricking project. However, theyÂ.areÂÂd..o..n..e Somehow, they actually thought it would be ok to line up other work when they were doing mine. So, most of the last two weeks I have only had a three or four man crew. NONE of which speak English. I miss my framing amigos. They at least tried to speak English.

Like, yesterday, I thought about talking to them about why they didnÂt finish the one piece of my house I need to finish my roof. But they only understand every third word, so who knows what they hear. So instead, I took one of their bottled waters and told them to add it to my tab. I think they understood that.

On a happy note, the brick does look muy bueno:

They are coming tomorrow (Dios Mio), and should finish that one little speck of house you see, and also the retaining wall, then it's Adios!!

I actually hadn't been out to the house in a couple of days before yesterday and it was so good to see progress. It's hard when you are staring at a blade of grass to see any growth, but go away for a couple of days and you'll see it. Sometimes it's easy to get consumed by a project, any project, and we stare at it until we are exhausted. At that point, we need to step away, take a deep breath, and get a fresh perspective. The Lord gave me a sweet gift today, but I'll share more about that tomorrow...

Project 4820, day 102.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 11:38PM
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WOw! Our brick is somewhat alike and our front doors too! We must have excellent taste...haha! Hang in there! I almost gave up on seeing drywall! Now that it is in, I feel the end in sight! :) Keep posting those pics.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 1:21AM
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Wow! It's really coming along- what a stunning house! And I see your Spanish is getting better...

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 7:39AM
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Here's a pic of my little surprise the other day - see the blog for commentary:

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 4:54PM
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OH MY.......... Can you say....blessed! I think that is a Christmas card in the making....haha!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 9:07PM
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Yeah, too bad all the brick scaffolding was still up and I had to take the pic with my cell phone. Sheesh! :o)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 8:06AM
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They finished the insulation today. Sheetrock will be delivered on Friday and they start hanging it on Saturday! I can't wait to see walls!!

Finalized my kitchen plans. That was awful, for both of us (meaning me and cabinet guy). But I really feel like I'm going to have a great kitchen, even if I couldn't get the white cabinets I wanted. :o)

They finished the soffits on the house Monday, makes a big difference:

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 8:07PM
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Wow! I love the look! I can not wait to get all the soffits in on our build. Makes the house POP! :)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 11:10PM
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From today's blog:

11.19.08 -- Captain Sheetrock and his band of scary men have finally hung all the drywall. Only took them a week and half...sigh. Haven't seen Child Support Boy all week, nor has the spawn of Captain Sheetrock ever surfaced. There has been a sighting of Drinks Too Much Man, but it was short-lived. We have two new helpers - a hero of small stature who weilds a mighty nail gun, we shall call him The Stunted Hammer, and his partner in crime, an elongated fellow who answered the distress signal prompted by tall ceilings - he can usually be found on scaffolds or stilts - we shall call him Lord Long Legs.

I'm sure the combination of cold weather and his rotating crew will impede Captain Sheetrock's progress. But for now, we won't see much change anyway for the next few weeks. I'm leaving tomorrow to go to Pennslyvania (Auntie Amber's on her way, baby J!), but I will save some of the pics I took today to update the blog while I'm away.

So for today, I will bless you with the living room:

Looking back to front:

Looking front to back:

Looking from loft down:

Stay tuned...

Project 4820, day 128.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:46PM
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WOw! Great to see your progress from the inside! :) Loved the humorous names you have bestowed to your crew!!! HAHA! Looking good!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 9:30PM
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Skipping a few blog posts - just wanted to share another pic -- this is the master:

I'm actually standing in the hall going into MBa, flanked by closets.

Taking pictures, updating this thread and blogging, distracts me from the fact that this is going to take forever, lol... ;o)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 11:07PM
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Well, as I'm sure many of you experienced, we were kinda at a standstill around the holidays. Things are moving again as the painters started today. Hoping to start trimming in another week, and start hardwood floors soon after that. My cabinets are done and my cab guy is out of room at his place, so he has to deliver my cabs early. They will just have to sit in the garage until we are ready to place them - about three weeks... eeekkk!!

They look great though:


They have made a good bit of progress on the outside since I posted last. The gutters are done, gas line ran, land graded, back patio formed, sidewalk formed, driveway half-formed ;o) :

Project 4820, day 175.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 11:42PM
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Looks beautiful. I can't wait to see your finished kitchen. Love the brick too!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 6:12PM
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It is simply a beautiful HOME :) now! Can't wait to see all your colors and flooring, etc. When are you thinking you will get in? LOve your cabinets!!! :) I can't wait to see your pictures when you put it all together. I know you are getting excited too!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 7:18AM
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I love your kitchen cabinets and island top.
Would you mind sharing the details?
Thanks and Good Luck- your home looks beautiful!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 10:47AM
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cheriepres - Neither can I, honey!!

MDC - thanks!! ;o) Still not making a firm prediction, don't want to be disappointed. I'm hoping for end of Feb, but DH says maybe endish of March...boooo!! I am getting excited - and just so thankful that everyday something is getting done -- oh! and that we have heat now!!

crescent -- My cabinets are custom made locally. They are white maple with a chestnut stain. The island top is alternating maple and oak with an small ogee edge that my cabinet guy made for $500 bucks! It's about 30x42. I had him stain it to match my cabs (bracing myself for tomatoes!!). I knew I would NEVER cut on it, and I like the looks of the darker (more expensive) woods. The island itself will be painted white so I asked him to stain the top. :o)

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 2:56PM
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Painters have the first coat on everything and trim guy has doors hung and almost all of the windows trimmed.

Hardwood should be delivered tomorrow as well as crown started.

As it ended up all of the bedrooms are this color:

Living room:


    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 11:23PM
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Most of the flooring is now done. Still need tile in the utility room, master bath, and 1/2 of upstairs bath. I really really wanted the tile on a 45 in the baths but have since come the realization that this is what they do for punishment in hell. I do love the way it looks though:

So, we did the upstairs tile straight. Cabinets were installed today, but I'll come back and post the rest of those later.

Electrician is almost done as well, still have a load of lights that has been delayed, so those will be hung later, but the large majority is finished. Painters are painting, trim guy is almost done, and countertops are to be templated on Friday!

Here's the kitchen before cabs -- after pics to follow:

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 11:50PM
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**cross posted in kitchens**

I can finally see some light at the end of our construction tunnel :o) They installed the cabinets in our new construction yesterday and I'm in love!!

I put so much time and energy into this layout, placing everything, thinking through the plan, the cabs, the stain, etc. Even with all of that, there are probably things I would do different and I'm not even cooking in it yet, but overall I'm very pleased. I'm so thankful for this forum, I know I don't comment alot, but I read so much and have gotten quite an education here - so thank you!!

Left side:

Right side (before oven went in):

This shows a better shot of our pantry and microwave cabinet (which sits on the granite):

Cooktop cabinet and wood hood:

Island (still to be painted in a rubbed cream finish):

View from the hall (before they hung my kitchen jewelry):

Cabinets are maple with a chestnut stain.

Can't wait to see it with the granite!!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 11:50PM
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Casa linda.

Love the front elevation and the way your home sits on the lot.

Many members here are curious as to owner-builder costs compared to building thru a builder. Are you willing to share your costs?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 2:05PM
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Sure, I don't have a problem with that. What costs are you curious about? Total project? If so, I don't have those numbers yet :o)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 7:25PM
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I think it would be helpful if you could post your costs within the major trade groups, ie, grading, foundation, framing, roofing, soffits, brick, insulation, sheetrock, trim, painting, cabinets, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, flooring, windows and doors, etc.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 4:39PM
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John -- shew, ok, here we go -- I think these numbers are fairly accurate:

Site Work (including clearing land, backfill, gravel for basement, digging footer, septic and grading the land): $18,280 (this is a place where we spent a good deal more than we thought we would because of some unforseen issues. We ended up doing a retaining wall, needing more gravel than expected etc.)

Foundation (including concrete footer and in walls, block basement, waterproofing, slabs for basement and garage and porch): $19,457.18

Plumbing (rough in for basement, fixtures (except kitchen), tubs/showers (except tile shower in master), does not include final): $7,320.87

House Materials (including windows, doors, lumber pkg, cabinets, brick, sheetrock, door knobs (exterior), water heaters, fireplace, crown & trim, garage door, wood flooring -- still more to be added here like interior door knobs and stair case): $92,644.33

Appliances (double oven -- 30" Kenmore elite, 36" gas range -- Kitchen Aid Arch II, and hood vent -- still need DW & Fridge): $2,281.85 (thank you ebay!!)

HVAC (2 ton upstairs and 4 ton downstairs): $6k and I think we still have some to go on this

Electrical: somewhere around $9k I think.

Labor: Framer - $14k
Roofer - $2500
Brick - $10k
Soffit and trim - $2430
Insulation - around $4k
Draywall - $5,195
Gutters and screens - $2500
Paint, 1st pymt - $2850

We are figuring on spending another $25k or so. DH isn't here so I just went off the numbers he has been posting on our spread sheet. Let me know if you have any specific questions. HTH!!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 9:32AM
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A break in winter weather has allowed us to get our concrete poured -- woo hoo!!

And, of course, we had to make our mark:

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 12:42PM
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From today's blog:

02.13.09 -- Sorry for the lag, it's been a long week to say the least. Two trips to Nashville and five days later and my countertops are in! Plumbers finished the kitchen today, and then I forgot my camera. Pics of the kitchen to come tomorrow (or whenever I get to it).

Also today, electrician came and installed more lights. He only has a few things remaining on Monday and he will be done. We have about 1/2 of a deck, all of our stair treads, and a fireplace mantle and hearth. Our HVAC is nearly completed, we have all the faucets and showers installed, and we have TOILETS!! Woot!!

Our master bath is complete, can't wait to try it out:

My shower stool:

My shampoo nook:

Jason and the stair guy/carpenter extraordinaire built the hearth today and the trim on top of the potty room and shower in the master bath. It's getting close. Two weeks from Sunday. Eeeekkkk!!!

Project 4820, day 214.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 1:02AM
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I have been following your story and much like you ..we are going to build a frank betz home ..hopefully this year. I am in the preliminary stages of getting a few things changed from the greywell/glenview house design..I took the layout of the glenview and the outside appearance and size of the greywell and had a architect design it. We are going to be our own GC and my husband owns a plumbing co so we will be doing the plumbing a friend will be doing the electrical and HVAC. I was wondering. How much did you both do yourselves and how much did you contract out..any advice when planning your budget and pricing things for the bank?
Any advice would be very welcome!

Your home is coming together so nicely and looks wonderful! Congrats to you both!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 8:20AM
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mclendon -- We actually did very little of the hands-on work ourselves. My DH helped one the framing guys expand a room, he framed the arches, laid tile in two bathrooms, and that's about it (well except for all the stinkin cleanup!!!). This has cost us right at $90/sqft. We were hoping we'd be closer to 80 - but we've added some expensive finishes -- tile shower, granite countertops, hardwood on entire bottom level (except baths), expanded kitchen, etc. Our land work was about $10k more than we budgeted, so that accounts for $3/sqft right there. So, as far as advice, I'd have two or three bids done on your landwork if you have anything other than a straight flat lot (we have a basement).

I'm not sure where you live or your financial situation, but it wasn't hard to get the bank to give us the money we needed, so I'm not sure on that one. They just asked us questions about what we were planning and we gave them answers and they gave us money ;o)

Thanks for the compliments -- we are hoping to be in this weekend!!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 5:01PM
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Floors are done:

Floors aren't quite that dark, though I wish they were. We actually ended up going lighter than we planned in order to tie in the Mahogany door and Maple cabinets.

Dining Room:

Also got carpet laid this morning:

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 11:53PM
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Thank you for the quick response. Love the updated pics by the way. When you get a chance, would love to see more. We are in Burlington NC. Unfortuneately..banks around here look at you like you have 3 heads if you want to GC your own house..I have only found one local bank that has agreed to do it. Also..on your windows..what brand and style did you use..these people are trying to push me towards the aluminum clad or vinyl clad and with the windows on our house having several transoms like yours..they are quoting me like $1,600.00 per window..I just think we dont need the high end windows with their own wood trim..isnt that what the trim carpenters can step in and do?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 8:47AM
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I have a bunch of extra pics on the blog if you want to see more.

On windows -- we went with Ellison vinyl windows. Wood was way outta our budget. Our entire window package was about $9k with our most expensive being the dining room window at $1800. The trim for arched windows was alot than we thought -- like almost $100 a window!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 10:48PM
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Looking great!!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 12:08AM
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I am a newbie to this site as far as posting and moving about..can you tell me how to find the blog?

I will have to look up and see if Ellison is available in my area..I have thought about MW vinyl classic..I have seen this is a lot of the nice homes being built around here lately.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 8:32AM
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Oh, sorry!! It's the link in my first post, but it's easy for it to get lost in the shuffle. I've posted it again.

Here is a link that might be useful: house blog

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 8:58AM
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mclendon2009 did document a lot. Thats wonderful! I know you will be glad once you are moved in and settled...looks like you have had a tiring last 9 to 10 months. Thank you for all your pics and let me just say WOW..isnt it amazing what a couple can accomplished with a bit of God's help!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 1:53PM
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what is the stain you ended up with on the floors? Looks great!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 2:03PM
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Trying to reach jnjmom who built the frank betz sullivan. My husband and I are getting ready to build it and would love to talk to you. My number is (703) 447-8254 or if you can contact me via email @ - I'd greatly appreciate it. We love all your pics and they have been so helpful.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 7:34AM
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