The Studio Series: Part 2

Part 2: Getting Underway

Last month I gave a little bit of history behind our in-law suite/ studio project. This is the second post in the series about our progress to date.  

In April of last year, I was still going back and forth with the county and the township on our driveway location. Everyone agreed we had to have a shared driveway between our two plots of land, but one entity said it had to be straddling the property line, and the other said it had to be 5 feet from the property line. This sums up the last two years of back and forth. Maddening. Luckily, in this case, it was easily solved with an easement that had to be filed and stamped by the county recorder.

My next lesson: putting in a 700-foot driveway is no small feat. The prices were all over the map. Some were triple the price of others. Then we had to get someone to show up as promised and do the work. After the driveway came the utility lines. If there is anyone more fun to deal with than counties and townships, I assure you it is utility companies. They have their own pace and timelines, but we got everything approved and then had the utility lines buried along the drive. 

gravel driveway winding through the woods

Finally, in late summer, we broke ground. Our builder is my brother, who understands the delays that can happen while going through this process. I don't know if anyone else would have had the patience to wait it out and advise us along the way. I'm from a family of builders, so I know the process pretty well at this point, but I still need a lot of advice and feedback. The interior designer in me has the whole thing visualized and done, but it doesn't work that way. 

The beginning of the building process can be dramatic. Within a week in late fall, the structure was framed. Another two weeks and we had windows. Or so we thought. Pella was back ordered 14-16 weeks this summer, so we decided to try a new composite window called Auraline from Jeld-Wen that was 4-6 weeks out instead. We looked at them in the showroom, and they seemed solid. 

hardware stripped from auraline jeld-wen window


black composite shards from auraline windows in mans hand

When they arrived on site and were still wrapped, we noticed some cracked panes. When we went in after the windows were installed, they were in pieces and damaged beyond belief. Hardware was stripped out, the sashes were cracked, and at least a few panes were broken. Not good, but we could swap out the entire unit as long as the frames were intact. Upon closer inspection by the superintendent and the window rep, the frames were also cracked. So now we have what we jokingly call our "construction windows" while we wait for the new ones to arrive. The lead times were shortened at Pella, so we went for what we know. Wood windows. At this point, they are due any day. 

building in progress with roof and windows no siding

We have HVAC, plumbing, electric, and security roughed in, and the roof is on. As soon as the windows arrive we can replace them, insulate, drywall, and install the exterior siding. Then on to my favorite part, the finishes. 

Stay tuned for more updates! Next up will be the planned finishes.

handwritten jenny sign-off



Color & pattern inspiration for July is inspired by the moment just after the sun sets but the sky is still glowing.
This is one of our most popular color palettes yet, and it's all about summer. See it here.
A walk through the garden with Jenny, and a quick look at the floral and garden themed prints designed for products.