Welcome to the Donovan family house update, what you will see below are various pictures of the major steps of the project along with cost of the major items for those that think that Sean is crazy when he will attempt to build a 1,000,000 house for 400,000.

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Brick Courtyard and fountain done:

Marble fountain took some doing, it was a challenge even with the backhoe but the end result was worth it, Jamie Perkins my concrete guy was a big help:

We have been working on some other outside projects, my friend Harold gave me hand getting our marble lions set, they were too heavy for the backhoe (3000 lbs each) so I had to rent a forklift:

We have been in the house since March of 2006 and had our first christmas there, John Dennis took the photo not bad for a 4 year old! ( well he was when this was taken)



Snow in March helped us make a few snowmen, if only I had not misplaced that magic hat..


I have been working on the addition on my moms house which is moving along nicely:

We have also been working on the pond and waterfall:

I worked on the sidewalk about the same time, it turned out really nice:

I spent the winter working on the decks of both houses:


Pegasus the resident horse now 30 (that's really old), laid down on a hill and could not get up, but with some help from the famous blue strap and the backhoe he's back up and very much alive:


Wall tile in all the bathrooms pretty well done:

I spent last weekend doing the custom plumbing in the master shower: 7 body jets 3 shower heads, took some doing..:-)

Fianlly got the chandelier swinging, thank goodness for the light lift, it weighs 280 Lbs!  (lowers the whole light down to the floor on a cable for bulb changing/cleaning/service) Still needed the scaffolding to attach the medallion to the ceiling.
It took 3 of us almost 6 hours to hang all the crystals.


I spent this weekend finishing off the foyer as part of a valentines day present for Nelly, she was a bit surprised:


I bought the inlaid marble top in India and had the table made by a local tradesman while I was there. It takes one man almost 6 months to do all the inlaid stones in the marble you see above.

Since the hardwood is finished upstairs we went ahead and got the pool table setup and spent sunday putting gaming table (inlaind wood table from Sorrento has backgammon,chess, and a roulette weel inside) and pub furniture together, hopefully I can keep focused on the house. :-)

I worked outside during the day and spent the evenings doing some curtain work:

Kitchen cabinents done/ drywall done and ceiling painted! interior doors trim and flooring all hardwood and tile pending

update no pics until tomorrow:
Tile going in now, hardwood all down. Granite countertops/sinks etc. installed.
All trim in place, we opted for a 4 piece crown throughout the entire house and a real nice chair rail and shadowbox combination in living room/game room/dining room and foyer. March 2006 is projected movein date:


Built in computer /desk area in kitchen:

Brick and stone finally done:

dining room after drywall:

Garage after drywall:

2 post car lift pending.. :-) really

and here it is at long last, nice not having to lay down under the vehicles anymore!

Kitchen eating nook with family room in background:

1/2 of master bedroom closet:

Living room window view crummy lighting sorry:


Electric and plumbing rough in done!


I spent the weekend putting garage doors in and installing the well pump:

Back of house:

Front of house:



Mama checking out one of the staircases recently installed:

Vaulted ceiling in living room:

My mom's house on same property is moving along:


Everything below leads up to what you see above:

^^ Future 4 car garage.

Momma, (7 months pregnant) standing somewhere in the kitchen

^^ Master bedroom view down to garage in the distance

1st and 2nd floor waiting on nature..:-(
total cost $33,000

20 loads of wood chips for future landscaping, retail value ~$3000

^^^Front view of finished project (per plans, total cost for plans $1,300) 6000 sq feet total above grade plus another 4000 square feet in
the walkout basement.


Plat of 42 acres in Waterford (building site)  600 feet of Catoctin creek and nice mountain view,  total cost $560,000 ouch..

Some of our visitors:





In the works, future 1/2 acre pond with island, project cost $8000

Recent flood helped the pond fill up but it got a bit muddy, Spring is kicking along at 20 Gallons per minute so the water should clear up soon:

This is the water from one of several springs that run year round that will feed the pond, it is currently redirected around the outside to keep the water out of the middle. The large pipe will take the water out of the hole and redirect it under the dam that was built up to keep the water in.

One swimming hole 20 cubits wide and 40 cubits long, big enough for 2 children from every nation..:-)

Well the rain finally let up after what seemed like 6 weeks so I was able to make some progress:

^footer ditch I dug with backhoe for four foot garage wall                                             100 tons of stone {5 trucks} total cost about $1,250
                                                                                                                                    spread around outside perimeter within 1/4" level for
                                                                                                                                    basement walls to sit on

Well it wasn't done all by machine..:-(

after one of my cleaner days:

Foundation finally going in!! Superior Walls precast concrete walls, total cost 28,500


                                                                                                                                                                        garage door entrances^^

                                                                                               ^^^^Master bedroom closet
Well after another 3 weeks of rain we managed to cheat mother nature and get the slab poured:

We did a monolithic pour for the floor and footings for the various columns in the basement, total damage on this item $11,500

Steel underway, framing to follow:

rain rain rain rain and more rain ...story of my life...


Well framing has begun at long last after several months of delay and yepp... more rain:

First floor deck going on:

First floor deck done:


First floor walls going up today! 10/8/2003 Momma standing in the window opening of master bedroom closet {it was a bit dark

Weather and other complications have induced new delays but we are about 1 week from being done with framing 1/1/2004 roof is about 50% complete:
View from the back of the house:

and front:

Garage side:



2000 tons {~100 dump trucks} of blacktop millings from Rt7 improvements {initial driveway base} retail value
~$25,000 total actual cost free! (took some smoozing}

What I do when I am not working on the house :-) {fixing sisters car after ill matched battle between radiator/ undercarriage and  parking lot sign}