Thursday, November 18, 2010

I learn something new every day...

Check out this contraption! This is what's called a "blower door test". It's used to seal a door off temporarily and determine the air-tightness of a home. They use the blower-door test among other things to determine the energy efficiency rating that a house can receive. Jimmy Nash Homes uses blown-in cellulose insulation, Anderson Low-E windows, spray foam around those windows, sealed duct-work, and, of course, a lot of folks are opting to install a geothermal system in order to be super energy-efficient. Almost all of his new homes have earned an Energy Star rating of 5 Star or 5 Star+. I can't wait to see how we rate! Jimmy's houses consistently score 25-30% more efficient than other builders in our area being rated by this standard. That translates to at least that much in savings per month in your energy bills, and potentially even more with the geo-thermal heating and cooling. This is so exciting, because we know that energy costs just continue to rise. So why not build energy efficient? New is better!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I admit I have a paint obsession. I love paint. Once, I had to break up with Benjamin Moore, but we got back together. I just couldn't stay away! Needless to say, it took me a long time to decide on paint colors. But I did manage to get them picked, and I love them all!! The best part about the paint is that no one else is allowed in the house while it's being applied. Not that you'd want to be in there anyway while they're spraying that trim paint (respirator mask, anyone?) but the fact is that's what allows them to get the furniture-like finish on the trim that Jimmy Nash Homes is known for. Who wants sawdust in their trim paint?? Not me and certainly other homeowners don't either.
So the painters get the house all to themselves for about two weeks. They cover EVERYTHING. Some things get extra special treatment. The island top came in during paint, so they stopped what they were doing long enough to get it on and then, whooosh...on went the rosin paper and three layers of plastic! Those guys weren't taking any chances! I was so glad I was there before it got covered up, because it would've been torture not to see it until they were done. Here are some photos of the paint in progress. We're getting really close to being finished, and I can't wait to show you the end result!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

You've gotta love these guys...

Jimmy Nash Homes has great working relationships with the subcontractors that provide work such as brick, drywall, trim, hardwood, paint, etc. (This list could go on and on!)They are accustomed to working with us, and know the standards and quality that customers come to expect from Jimmy Nash Homes. They all do fantastic work, and since our fireplace was finished up at the end of last week, I'd like to show you the end result. If you can remember, I was having a hard time deciding exactly what I wanted for the fireplace in the family room. Needless to say, we are just tickled with the way it turned out. I can't say enough about all these guys, and anyone that has visited a Jimmy Nash Home can attest that they are the best! Here's a little before and after:

We still have a few details to finish up, but we're getting close. As you can see, if you can dream it up, they can do it. We'd LOVE to see YOUR before and after! Thanks for reading and have a great day!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We've done it again!

We have another "model makeover" under our belts. After selling our latest model home, we chose to move into the Chevy Chase and give it the same treatment that we did the Ashland II. It looks FANTASTIC! It has a warm, cozy, sophisticated country look. Jean Ann, the folks at Norwalk, and the project team did a great job updating and decorating this gorgeous home. Here are a few pictures of the transformation. To see it all, you'll have to come out to beautiful Patchen Wilkes and take a look!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I'm back!

Dear Gentle Readers, I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth, and the house has kept rolling along despite my lack of documentation on "Polly's House." I was shocked and flattered when I had several folks ask me about the blog in the past couple of weeks. I thought my mom was the only one reading it! I'll be honest...all my creative juices got diverted to making decisions on the house. I loved every minute of it, but they are decisions none the less. Building a house is like putting together a puzzle and every piece that you choose impacts other parts, so I really wanted to be mindful of every choice I made. I tried to make it easy on myself by picking things I loved, but the problem is that I love a lot of different things!

We work with Creative Kitchen and Bath for our bath and kitchen cabinets. Samantha was just THE BEST when it came to helping me all the cabinet choices that we made. My style is a little out of the box, and she helped me find that balance of sticking with what I liked and keeping it from getting out of hand...I can go a little crazy! I might have mentioned before that we have different packages from which to pick options. What I loved about these cabinets is that they are package 1 cabinets (with the exception of the laundry room which are package 2.) How fabulous is that that you can get full overlay maple cabinets, even white painted ones, within the base specs of a home? I thought they turned out great...

Laundry room:
Guest bath:
Gilly's bath:
Garrett's bath:

So as you can see, we're getting to the fun stuff. I'll take the next couple of posts to get you up to speed on what's been going into the house. It's been moving like crazy!

Have a great day and thanks for reading,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fast horses, good Bourbon, and....

...holding open geothermal loops??? Yes, I'm sure you knew about the relation between Kentucky limestone and the first two categories, but if you're like me, you had NO idea that hitting limestone is a good thing when drilling holes for geothermal loops. Most of the bedrock here in the bluegrass region is composed of limestone. I like to think that's what all that dust is made up of coming out from under that drill truck, and more than likely it is. However, I always thought you DIDN'T want to hit rock; that it would cost more money to drill if you did, and in some cases, that is true. Granite, for example, is a very hard rock and the drill costs can be twice to three times the cost of drilling through, say, limestone. On the other hand, you don't want loose, silty soil because the possibility is greater that the hole could collapse in on the loops. So, in a nutshell, we're in the perfect location for geothermal heating and cooling systems. Limestone is easy and cost effective to drill through, and it helps to hold the holes open around the loops.

What is geothermal heating and cooling and how does it work? Well, I had to do a little research myself when we decided to install a Waterfurnace geothermal system with the guys from Arronco. The Earth's temperature remains a constant 45 -75 degrees depending upon which area of the Earth you live. A geothermal heat pump moves heat from the Earth into your house in the winter, and pulls the heat out of the air and moves it back into the Earth during the summer. All this occurs within a series of pipes, or loops, filled with liquid that transfers that energy via an electric "changer" that then flows that heated or cool air through your home via traditional duct work. Now this is a very simple explanation, so I would recommend looking up geothermal heating and cooling to get a more in depth study. However, I do know that a 40-75% savings in heating and cooling means money in our pockets every month. That is easy to understand! Also, keep in mind that there is currently a 30% tax credit on the total install (no cap)of a geothermal heating and cooling system. I never knew I could get so excited about utilities! So if you are thinking about building, think seriously about installing a geothermal heating and cooling system. With substantial monthly energy savings, a 30% tax credit, pay back starting day one, and the use of a renewable source of energy, you can feel confident that it's well worth the investment. I know we did. And hey, with Keeneland opening in a couple of months, you can take a couple of those extra bucks and play them on the ponies, "Go Baby, go!" Oh wait, in this case, it's "Drill, baby, drill!" Okay, okay..time for me to sign off; I'm getting silly. Have a great day today and come back soon for concrete, hardwood, and tile!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A quick update...

Sorry I haven't posted for a while, but it has been more than a little hectic around here for the last month. I wanted to write a quick post to show all the progress on the house. The brick will be finished this week, and they had all the drywall up today when we got back into town. It's really coming together outside and in. I'll have a longer update later this week, and let you know more about the new model home out in Patchen Wilkes. See you soon!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Be the first... build one of our three new plans slated for Patchen Wilkes. Aren't they fabulous? I love the English cottage look of the Kittyhawk, the bungalow feel of the Kodiak, and of course, the all-out charm of the Nantucket. And can you guess which one is going to be our new model home?? You're right!! The Nantucket! (The gray one with green shutters and the great front porch.) I'm so excited that it's going to be started very soon, AND on one of our new larger lots. We'll be moving into the Ashland II, which is currently getting an update from Jean Ann and friends: new paint, furniture from Norwalk, and some other surprise updates. I love the Ashland II. It is a great family home with 5 bedrooms if you have a large family, or four bedrooms with a bonus room/office/play room with a great view of the pasture. The last time I was there three foals were out there frisking around...kicking heels, running, bucking. The mares were observing as only mothers can do. I could hardly leave because they were so entertaining! So be sure to come see us when we move. I'll let you know when that date is when I find out. Patchen is hopping, and now is the time to get your pick of the best remaining lots. Don't wait too long or you might miss out!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Windows, doors, and shingles, oh my!!

Perfect timing. We pulled up just as the guys were covering the front doors with Tyvek and plywood in order to protect them during the rest of the build. They were gracious to give me a few minutes to take some pictures. All the windows are installed on the first floor, and the second floor should be finished tomorrow. The windows pictured here are on the front porch, and wood panels will be done underneath them in order to echo the panels on the front door. My original thought was to do two straight-top French doors in Cliff's office, but Jimmy and Jim suggested the wood panels below to make the windows appear to be French doors. See, the look for less! (I'm telling all my design secrets now!) But honestly, it's just another way that Jimmy and his team offer up suggestions to make a house work. I love it!

They also completed a large section of shingles today, but it rained so much that I didn't want to traipse down through the mud in order to get a picture. I'll do that tomorrow along with some interior shots, so you'll have to come back and see what those look like.

By the way, the Blue Ridge is under contract! If you haven't been out to see this phenomenal home, get out to Patchen-Wilkes right away before we move. Check back Friday to see our pick for the new model and where we'll be going until it's built. Very exciting stuff!! See you there!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Twenty-nine...and counting

So much for no change orders. When we starting building, I told Jimmy that I wasn't going to have ANY; as of today, I am up to number 29. That wouldn't be so bad, but the fireplace change has officially held up the build...yikes! (I really, really want to be in by Christmas!!) In my defense, they move so fast that until I saw the framing for the fireplace, I had no idea that they were getting ready to install the gas and wood burning flues for the family room and basement fireplaces. We had originally decided to do wood in the basement for when we finish it out in the future, and gas in the family room because of, well, I don't know why. I honestly didn't give it that much thought obviously, because now I'm changing it to wood. I love wood burning fireplaces. Of course, that opens up a whole 'nother avenue of what kind of surround to do. I am considering slate, brick, stacked stone...lots of choices! I also have to figure out what kind of mantel I want to do...white, black, gray, stained, one tier, two-tiers...more choices! Here are some of my inspiration pictures. (And a picture of the fireplace framed.) I like them all, but I want to keep the style of the house consistent. That's hard to do when you like everything! I'll show you my final choice when I make up my mind. (Thank goodness I don't have to do that today!)

Changing the subject...we have some of our plumbing done for the kitchen, laundry and wet bar. They drew the outlines of the kitchen cabinets, island, and bar on the floor, which was pretty cool because now I see how they lay out and what size they are. Check out those photos below:

Also, we have felt on most of the roof, so we'll be ready for shingles soon. The brick guy was at the house today while we were there, and they are supposed to get started on Monday! I can't wait to see the brick!! So come back for more exciting changes. There's lots going on and I can't wait to share it with you!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It takes a village....

We are getting closer and closer to being under roof. There are only a few boards that have to be done on the back side of the house, and then they'll start putting on the shingles. Exciting!! I love the way the house is starting to look like, well, a house! Everytime I go by there is a little more detail here or there, and it's all starting to come together.

Speaking of shingles, would you believe I picked them AGAIN? Jimmy and JP were so sweet to put up two samples for me, but you know what that meant...decision time! I had picked Weathered Wood, but then I changed it sight unseen to Driftwood because that was Jimmy's pick. I trust his judgement on exterior elevations way more than I trust my own. I mean, let's face it...the man knows what he's doing, and he's been doing it a long time. HOWEVER, once I saw the two up, I really like the Weathered Wood even though I knew that it was way more brown than what I wanted. SO, I called in a trusty friend with a good eye for design, (Thanks, Steph!) and we held up the Hardie and brick samples to be sure. Without a doubt, Driftwood was the way to go. It's ordered, I can't change it, and I love it! It takes a village, folks! Let's see, I had Jean Ann's opinion, JP's opinion, Emily's opinion, Gilly's opinion, Cliff's opinion (of course), Jimmy's opinion, Luis's opinion, Stephanie's opinion, oh, and Dan's opinion (and he knows roofs)...whew! I think that was the hardest pick yet. I have lighting, paint, and carpet to go...I can do it!! Although, I really don't want it to end, because I've had so much fun. Good thing this is my job!

Make sure you come out for the second and last weekend of the Home Builder Association's Grand Tour of Homes on Saturday and Sunday. We have two fantastic homes open this year: the Blue Ridge in Patchen and the Madison in Still Meadow. You HAVE to see the reclaimed barnwood floors, the stacked stone fireplace, and the stained beams in the family room and owner's suite of the Blue Ridge. The townhome, of course, is fab as well. It is the traditional "Southern" style that we all know and love. The brickwork that was recently completed in the basement is pretty cool. I love how it looks like a wine grotto. All it needs is a wine rack, a wine fridge, and a tasting table! Come see us in both locations and be sure to register to get your name included in the drawing for a king size mattress from our good friends at Wildcat Mattress. We love 'em!

Have a great Friday and a great weekend!

Friday, June 4, 2010

What are your plans for the weekend?

Be sure to come on out to the Home Builder Association's Grand Tour of Homes this weekend June 5-6 and next weekend June 12-13 from 1-5 p.m. Did you know that our very own Jimmy Nash is the current president of the HBA? You can go to their website,, and find lots of good information, including a list of the homes on the tour and a map. There are 46 homes on this year's tour ranging from $117,000 to over $1 million. We will be holding open the Blue Ridge, which is our brand new model home, in Patchen Wilkes, and the Madison, our luxury townhome in Still Meadows. If you haven't visited these homes yet, you're in for a treat. I'll be at the Blue Ridge this weekend and Still Meadows the next. Be sure to come visit both communities and see what's new and up-and-coming. I hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Going coastal!

Jimmy Nash Homes has some great new things going on in Patchen and in Still Meadows. We now have three different styles you can choose from when building a new home: traditional Southern, Artisan, and Coastal. Of course you can go with all of the same style, but you can also mix and match to your taste. These are custom homes, so you can choose what YOU want to put in your home. It's a great way to customize it to fit your taste in interior and exterior styles. Here are some of the selections for the Coastal style:

I think those crystal door knobs are just fantastic! This is a great way to get an "old house" look with all the amenities you want in a new home: energy efficiency, low or no maintenance, spot-on exterior and interior design. We have a new build coming out of the ground right now that will be the first Coastal style home in Still Meadows. It is the Megan, a great open plan with a first floor master. I will be posting the progress on that home as it comes along, because I think the Coastal look on that plan will be awesome.

As we head into this weekend, let us be thankful for those men and women who have served our country and have died for our freedom.I hope you have a great holiday!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baskets, pineapples, acorns, and squares....what do all these have in common?

We had a two hour selection meeting today so we could solidify our choices so far, approve and reject some change orders,and pick the stair system and hardwood. Of course, I was excited, but Cliff, well, not so much. I heard him mention this was his last one. I take this to mean that he trusts me with my selections. That has to be it, right? He's just not into debating the different shapes of newel posts and balusters. (There's your answer!) And that's OK. I'll be glad to take on the interior choices. He will be making the selections for the deck and patio for sure, and I'm OK with that. We all have our areas of interest. So you can see our choice for the stairs below.
I really had a hard time deciding, because I love, love, love our package 1 stairs. They are what's in the Blueridge model home (if you haven't seen it yet, you need to). However, we have an open stair system and they are located very near the square columns in the dining room, so I thought they might be too bulky and "square looking." (And you wonder why Cliff didn't enjoy this discussion??)
We all ready knew what we wanted for the hardwood so that was the easy part. We decided to go with the 4' common hardwood with a provincial stain. I love the common grade because it retains all the grains and knots that give the wood a lot of character. You can actually mix the 3", 4", and 5" together for the same package level, but I wanted a cleaner look so we went with all the same size. I cannot WAIT to see what they look like on the floor. If the reclaimed barn wood appeals to you, but it's not in your budget, this is a good way to get the same "look" without the cost. I love it! Like a ninny, I forgot to take a picture of it, so I'll post it when I show you some of the new "coastal" selections tomorrow. They are PRETTY sweet...see you then!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Are you thinking about building a new home?

If you've been on the fence about building a new home, now's the time to take advantage of historically low interest rates and construction costs. Typically, if one is high, the other is low, but what we've been seeing as of late is pretty unusual in that BOTH have been low for some period of time. Combine those factors with the benefits and energy efficiency of a new home, and you've got a lot value there. As of June 1st, we will be seeing an increase in construction costs. (So if you have that contract in front of you...SIGN IT!) Of course, if you are considering building in the future and you can't get started before June 1st, you might see this as a negative. Not so! This is a good thing, folks! It means our economy is chugging back to life. It means our suppliers are feeling confident enough to pass their increases on to us. And of course, it means that Jimmy Nash Homes will continue to the best value in town. CNBC predicts that new home costs will increase 3-5% before the end of the year, with an 11% increase in 2011. Will 11% make a difference in the cost of a new home? Absolutely! So the time to build is now. And of course, give me a call if you have any questions. I'd love to help you get started on your new home!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Choosing cabinets, tile and appliances = no blog post

JP was right when he said things would start moving once they started framing the interior walls. I drove by yesterday and caught a glimpse of some 2nd floor framing as well. In the week that's gone by since my last post, we've picked cabinets for the rest of the house (I'll have to post a pic later, since I forgot to take them at the meeting), and I picked out the tile. Cliff left that up to me, so I sure hope he likes what I picked! We also had to pick out appliance size so they could order our cabinets. What a fiasco since I decided to change our original appliance do you EVER decide!! I've been up 'til all hours researching appliances. Have you ever heard of a Bluestar? They're supposed to be the mack-daddy cooking machine. I'm intrigued by them because it has a 22,000 BTU burner on which you can do true wok cooking. The Bluestar also has an 1850 degree infrared broiler. However, they do not come in a dual fuel, and since I do love to bake, albeit not that often, I'm pretty sure I want an electric oven. So, at this point I have not decided on which range to go with..or maybe I do a Bluestar cooktop and tuck an electric wall oven underneath...but then we don't get the broiler..maybe I'll just go with the Electrolux Icon...but then we don't get the Bluestar cooktop..did I mention you can get the Bluestar in 170 different colors? You can imagine the looks on the faces of Jean Ann, Emily, and Samantha when I told them I wanted a turquoise range...SEE WHAT I MEAN!!! This appliance stuff is HARD!!! I'll let you know later what we go with. For now, here's a peek at our tile...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Movin' right along..." (Sing with me now!)

Front Porch and Bay Window

Master Bedroom
Family Room
Stairs looking from the Family Room
Cliff's Office and the Front Door

It's amazing how fast the walls go up once they start framing. Being able to walk around in defined spaces and see how the rooms lay out is so exciting. My friend Sanya and I even had the paint decks out and "arranged" furniture in each room. Ha! I know those guys thought we were nuts. Yes, I know it will probably all change once we actually get a roof on, but a girl can have fun, can't she? The kids had fun they are in the basement. They collected wooden "tokens" and Gilly pretended to be Mr. Crabs. I had to find a bag so she could bring her "money" home with her. I'm not sure about the weather, so I don't know what's going on at the lot for the rest of the week, but Cliff and I have a meeting at ADI on Friday to finalize our appliance choices. Someone's going to have to talk him down when we get around all that stainless steel! I'll let you know just how THAT meeting goes. Toodle loo!