LEED Green Home

LEED Green Home
View of Carport with Two Hotrods


Week of November 5, 2007: We're progressing on installing the kitchen and bathroom cabinets (no they're not blue, that's just the protective coating.

I'm still helping, this time painting the walls (w/ low v.o.c. paint). Thank God we didn't have to paint the ceilings!

As part of the awareness campaign associated with building a leed home is teaching the public. These signs along our property line were a great non-invasive way to generate interest and start the conversation about what we were building.

Week of October 15, 2007: The roof top units have arrived and are being installed.

Since we won't have a crane or boom on site anymore and the weather will be getting colder soon, we get the concrete carport and driveway installed on a nice sunny morning.

Inside, we're heading down the finish line but there is still plenty of work to be done. Painting, cabinet installation, plumbing fixtures, bathroom tiles, lighting...

In my anxious state, I now turn to helping with the painting. The contractors have taped, sanded and primed. I jsut need to "dust" the walls and paint. We used a low voc paint and even to my hypersensitive state of smell right now, it was barely noticeable. My only problem with painting was getting up the ladder or scaffolding to the second floor because the stairs were still not installed.


Week of October 7, 2007: We're almost 2 months away from move-in day which means about 3 months from Baby Peluso's arrival. About a month or so ago I ordered all the kitchen and bathroom cabinets from Ikea. Seeing as how Alphonso put me off limits to helping with siding - or anything else strenuous, I decided I would put all the cabinets together myself. Besides, there is still Gianluca I need to take care of during the day. So, Nana does her share of taking Gianluca for the day while I work in the Pheasant House driveway next door assembling cabinets. As anyone knows about assembling Ikea pieces, it's relatively easy. Throw a bulging belly between you and the cabinet.... and it's not so easy.

The rest of the household has gone a little crazy. Renzo still has a feeding tube in his neck and refuses to eat on his own. Sandy decided she wants to learn how to drive, Alphonso feels the need to put his leg in a hole and Gianluca just can't take it anymore!

But to be quite honest, I can't take it either. Living in the Pheasant House is not all the glamour it seems to be. The week before we moved in, I had visions of ripping out the original shag carpet and putting something new and inexpensive in. A fresh coat of paint in the rooms we would occupy, lovely evenings entertaining in the Family Room with the fireplace, backyard bar-be-ques..... HA!

In order to save money and the environment, we lived with plywood subflooring as our finished floor. (We could not find a company to recycle the Pheasant House shag carpet before we moved in so it ended up in the garbage. What would we do with new carpeting after we move out in seven months and start to remodel the Pheasant House? ) There's a reason you install sealed wood. The plywood would get so filthy and uncleanable! When you got out of bed, you'd better have your shoes right there - no slippers in this house! That concept was very hard for Gianluca to grasp. When we lived at the condo, I'd go nuts if anyone walked in the house with shoes on. Now I would scream if he walked in the house without shoes on! And not until you really live in a house do you notice where the previous owner's grime really built up. Which is why we lived out of our cardboard boxes for seven months instead of unpacking-except for the food. It doesn't make matters better when you're pregnant and every scent or odor makes you want to vomit.

While I'm ranting, the only other thing that threw me over the edge was the fact that the baby was on the way and the house was not ready. With only a month between move-in day and baby's arrival, the panic attacks started coming and I convinced myself I would go into premature labor, have the baby, and not have one article of clothing to bring the baby home in, let alone a carseat or bassinet. ( I had all of Gianluca's baby items stored at my mom's house since the condo went on the market.)
So at 6 months, I ran out to the store and bought a few outfits and a bag of diapers and kept them nearby.

Now that that is off my chest, I will move on.


Week of October 1, 2007: A lot has been started. The cedar siding is continuing to go up. Windows have arrived and are being installed. All the windows are Pella's Impervia windows which are made of a fiberglass composite. They're quite heavy and it takes a good four guys to carry them. Deliveries still need to be made to the second floor so one window will remain off until all the big items are inside.

Alphonso continues to plug away with the sidingwhich at times seams never-ending. From certain angles of light, the stainless steel channels glimmer and look beautiful.

Alphonso has one of his classes make a site visit. (He teaches both at Columbia College and the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).) The tour coincides with the contractors installing the blown-in cellulose insulation (recycled newsprint) in the interior walls. Unlike the foam insulation in the exterior walls, the contractors shave the wall while installing this insulation.

Inside, wood framing at the jambs are being installed in preparation for the steel door jambs. We are using a product that will blend the gypsum wall seamlessley into the door jamb. This eliminates the need for door trim later.