This week we worked on many projects. We finished painting the first coat on the James Hardie siding. The design calls for a two-tone color system of Turkish Coffee and Black Bean. To save the siding crew from tons of headaches, we painted everything in the Turkish Coffee color and next spring we'll paint the appropriate panels with the Black Bean color. We applied a coat of polyurethane on about half the birch plywood flooring and need to complete this task this week.

On Saturday, Fred Lutz and one of his sons poured the pan for our shower and laid some of the tiles in the bathroom. I love the way the tile, which we got a great deal on from Menards, is coming out. The pieces were installed in a staggered pattern running vertically in the boys' bath and horizontally in the master bath. At first I wanted zero grout lines, but we decided to go with a small grout line and use dark gray grout to contrast with the bright white tiles.

On Sunday morning we went to Ikea and bought some cabinets for the laundry room. We had originally planned to have high-end custom cabinets, but felt they wouldn't get much use or visibility to justify it.

Corey Benedict, from Benedict and Associates, laid down the plywood sheeting in the laundry room, boys' bathroom and the office. I installed the rubber coin flooring in the boys' bath. I think I measured this piece 15 times before I rolled it out and made cuts. I was pretty proud of myself because it fit the room perfectly.

Late Sunday night I laid the tiles in the laundry room. We found a great apple-green tile for a colorful contrast to the black washer and dryer and white cabinets.

Next we will finish installing flooring in the office and master bath so the plumber can set the toilets.

Jason Hammond is at