Well, except for a few minor areas to apply some wood filler, the crown molding is done.  And not to brag or anything, but I didn't mis-cut a single piece of crown and all of my corners lined up about as good as I could have hoped for.  Yup...I rule.

I actually had a lot more crown molding left over than I thought I would.  I've got a full 8 ft. piece and 7 ft. of another piece left.  Maybe I'll have enough for some crown molding on the cabinets behind the bar when I finish the basement!  That is, if Teresa lets me have cabinets...or a bar...or a basement.

Next up...the base cabinet kick plates and some quarter-rounds in at the interior base of the front door, garage door and the glass door leading to the deck.  Fun stuff.

So we've had crown molding for our cabinets sitting in the basement since we moved in last August and I'm just now getting around to putting it up.

To save $1000, we installed the cabinets ourselves, which also meant the crown molding is a do-it-yourself job too since it came with the cabinets.  (it may have been worth it to pay the $1000...we'll see after I'm finished)

Everyone was telling me that crown molding is extremely difficult to cut and install correctly.  The corners need to line up almost perfectly, or else it looks pretty bad...and that means the angles and lengths of the crown cuts need to be pretty, I was a little nervous because this stuff isn't cheap, and I don't have a lot of excess if I screw up...and oh yeah, I'VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE.

But I did my research first.  You'd be surprised at the amount of prep work that needs to be done before you even cut a piece of crown.  I had to nail strips of 1x2's to the tops of the cabinets.  Crown molding doesn't get nailed to the cabinets, it gets nailed to the 1x2's.  I had to alter my compound miter saw by bolting a taller back edge so I could angle the crown correctly when I cut it (the existing back edge on my miter saw was too short).  I also had to chisel out the top 1/2" of the vertical lip edge on each side of every cabinet, because if I didn't, the crown wouldn't be flush against the cabinet where that lip edge was.

I'm a third of the way done, so here's what we have so far.

The 1x2's nailed to the tops of the cabinets.

My modified compound miter saw with the higher back edge for the crown to rest against.

The crown goes up.  You can see the edge of the top of the cabinet I had to chisel out.  Kind of a pain.

Behind the scenes.

A third of the way done.

So far so good.  Everything has lined up real well and the corners look good...and any corners that don't look so good...well, that's why I bought colored wood filler.  It's amazing how much better the cabinets look with crown molding.  It really looks good.

The cuts haven't been that tough.  It's just a matter of taking your time and making sure you're cutting in the right direction and the length is correct.  I find myself triple checking my measurements and angles before I cut anything.
A time lapse slideshow of the construction of our new house.  This is something I wanted to do from the start.

The fence was completed a couple weeks ago and it looks pretty good.

We wanted a similar setup to what we had in Fairview Heights where we had a fenced in backyard and the dogs could use their doggie door to come and go as they pleased from the utility area in the basement, without us having to worry about them running off.  And when Zoe gets older, the fence will keep her near the house and away from the lake should we turn our backs for a moment.

We went with a wooden picket style and it's a total of about 170 ft. long.  Again, not too big, just enough to contain the dogs and the kid.

The entire fence fit in the back of Mark's truck.

Our staircase wasn't completed until almost a week after we moved in.  We had to wait for the hardwood to come in, and the installer was also out of town for a few days.

The hardwood and bullnose pieces finally came in and the staircase was completed in mid-August.

We're getting there...
The only delay is the hardwood steps.  The rest should be done on Monday or Tuesday then the whole house gets cleaned for the inspector and our final walk through.

I still need to install the microwave and put up the crown and base moldings on the kitchen cabinets...which I plan on doing Sunday.

On the steps, the bullnose pieces ($60 each...good God), have to be shipped in and won't be in until later this week at the earliest.  I am not getting my hopes up for them to be installed until the week of August 3rd.  But we are told the unfinished steps will not stand in the way of us getting an occupancy permit and moving in this week.  So the plan is to move our stuff on Saturday, August 1st, and move in that same day.

The countertop has been installed in the kitchen.

Mirrors have gone up in the bathrooms.

A toilet makes an appearance in the hallway bathroom upstairs.

The upstairs hallway rail is in.

The shelves are up in Zoe's room.