Home Expansion Progress + Update: Drywall + Skylights + our General Contractor

GAF roofing Camelot II designer shingles in Barkwood on lifestyle home blogger Diana Elizabeth sitting on the special delivery of roof shingles!Top: Similar (and here and here) / Jeans: Paige / Heels: Schutz
Sitting on GAF Camelot II roof singles in barkwood (c/o)

I have been taking photos almost every day of our home expansion process – then the holidays hit – and by the time I want to share it I realize we’re already 10 steps past it! We are moving so quickly since we started this project before November 1 and here we are, two months later and we’re almost done.

Rather than consider my time wasted, I mean, no, no way am I going to just not share these photos of the progression, I am going to post them so you can see all the steps to catch you up. This might also show you the steps of the construction process here and talk about what it’s been like working with our Phoenix general contractor. I am also answering some questions asked about this project from reader DMs.

What company did you go with? What’s the square footage?

Our Phoenix/Scottsdale based general contractor is Slade Gibson of Trinity Homes AZ we know Slade from church. I talked about how we chose our general contractor in this post.  We are adding on 425 square feet off the dining room area which was our patio (we have a second patio that will now be the main patio). This will include additional living space, a 3/4 bathroom and a space that will be a guest area with a Murphy bed flanked with bookcases (to make it less Murphy-bed looking).

How much are the skylight windows and how much to install?

I’ll give you two quotes because we have two different skylight projects.

When we got our new roof about 3-4 years ago that’s when we installed my office skylight. That was the ideal time to do it – the cost for the 34×34 VELUX skylight and install was under $1225. This is a stationary manual remote blind VELUX skylight, it does not open and I have to use a rod to close it. The type of skylight you purchase will determine the cost. I felt it was a very fair price and great to do while the roof was already being redone.

For this expansion project, I am partnering with VELUX and will be installing skylights that open with blinds. I don’t know the cost of those skylights, but the install cost for 4 skylights, size 2×3 is $600, and the sun tunnel install is $400 for two of them. Please keep in mind that this cost might be cheaper because it is new construction and everything is already open – and the drywall cost, paint, etc. is already in another line item on my project’s bill.

As a tip, I picked 2×3 size because of the spacing of the trusses and to make it more convenient than cutting into them and having to reconfigure any beams in the way. This is something to consider to be flexible and make it work with your budget. I had a quote months ago from a skylight specialist for the kitchen and it was $7500 but that was a different size of skylights so we aren’t comparing apples to apples. For a general idea on cost of skylights check out the VELUX page here.



So the last time I updated you about the expansion, I left off with showing you a slab of fresh concrete. That was before Thanksgiving. So in a month’s time, here’s what has happened…

Framing went up around Thanksgiving weekend

construction of home expansion in Phoenix Arizona

Then my garden got torn up – see the power wire that’s across the top of the house? We had to bury it because apparently asking for it to be moved couldn’t be done, it was not in code. I was like, well it was to code when you put it there in 1952! *wink* So we had two choices – wait 12 weeks and get a pole in our backyard alley (um, no and no) or pay $6k and have it buried underground and delayed 2 weeks.

trench for SRP burying lines construction of home expansion in Phoenix Arizona

We decided to go with the $6k cost and bury the electrical lines and boy was that an ordeal for us to plan. I’m just glad my garden beds didn’t get totally uprooted. The dirt is back over it and we seeded already so by spring you may not even know it happened. Lots of DMs about my garden looking like this, I know it’s crazy looking! It kind of makes me sick look at it like this and so glad it’s no longer like this!

Then the trusses were put up (the roof) then the walls

construction of home expansion in Phoenix Arizona construction of home expansion in Phoenix Arizona construction of home expansion in Phoenix Arizona construction of home expansion in Phoenix Arizona

Then the electrician came and added canned lights, plenty of outlets and switches and I had some additional outlet requests like having them outside up top for Christmas lights as well as low for gardening tools that require outlets. Also canned lights.

And then the windows and transoms came in, obviously hard to see the transoms since they are just solid glass but you can see the windows.  Also, the delivery of the VELUX (c/o) skylights (4), sun tunnels (4) and GAF roofing shingles in Barkwood (c/o) –

While we were gone for Christmas the roofing was installed as well as skylights, they are 2×3 sized.

Then right before the New Year, insulation went up and then the drywall hanger came and did this all solo, it took him two days.

drywall up for Phoenix home expansion general contractor scottsdale arizona

The room really started to take shape after the drywall was up, nice bright and white! I could see the shape of the room areas much better and see the height and the skylights. It was funny because the drywall hanger said, “You have a lot of windows in here,” and proceeded to count them. It’s true, I have a fear of not having enough light incase you couldn’t tell, it’s the photographer in me. I mean, how else can I show you things if there isn’t enough light?

Below image, straight ahead that wall is the guest area – Murphy bed and bookcase home, to be ordered. When it’s not used as a guest area we will have a desk there for Benjamin to work at if he wants to enjoy the view, or I can work there too.

drywall up for Phoenix home expansion general contractor scottsdale arizona

This might be a better view of the closet and the 3/4 bathroom.

drywall up for Phoenix home expansion general contractor scottsdale arizona

Then the patio door (in blue) off the dining room will be taken off so you can access this room off the dining room, it will be completely open. This area will be more of the entertaining area for adults, and our current living room with a sectional will be where kiddos can hang out since they outnumber us when we entertain. That other space also is more closed off for sound.

See how fast this is all happening? It’s like I can take a photo every day and there is something new so I just show it on Instagram Stories. There’s a highlight of my expansion stories on my IG page (@dianaelizabeth_) if you want to catch up.

The holidays just hit so quickly and I had these sponsored posts (thank you for being patient and supportive as I make a living) and now I’m like wait this project is going to be done I better share the behind the scenes of the process.

drywall up for Phoenix home expansion general contractor scottsdale arizona

Our general contractor Slade of Trinity Homes AZ is fantastic, I highly recommend him. He’s based in Scottsdale and he has done remodels in Scottsdale and Phoenix area, expansions and built homes. He has been very great with communication and speed. When you spend so much you want to make sure you not only get everything you want, and time is also money so you want the project done quickly. When we first met with Slade he gave us a line by line quote the next day and here’s what the best thing was – I could control part of the budget with my finishes. He had an idea of how much I spend (I’m a bit of a champagne taste girl) and he put that in the quote so I could see if I saved money in one area, I could bring the cost down. Hence the sponsorship with VELUX, GAF and Build.com which I am so appreciative for – especially for the surprise $6k bill from SRP for burying the line.

Tell him you are a reader if you end up needing his help. He has been worth every penny to us and I would recommend hiring a GC. We thought we’d try managing every trade ourself but forget it, we wouldn’t even know who to contact in what order or if something went wrong, adding to that cost. Having one point of contact saves time, headache and it gets done quicker. Not to mention you need the city to come out and inspect for certain steps before you move on (we wouldn’t even know WHEN to call the city to schedule!).

If you recall, this is what the expansion is going to look like when done (second image), the garage is phase 2.

home expansion project in central phoenix with general contractor trinity homes

And here is the floor plan – (ignore the 4 skylights, that didn’t work). French doors will be out swing.

central phoenix home expansion contractor Trinity homes

OK, and now I think we’re caught up! The only thing different today is that the drywall is being textured and finished but it pretty much looks the same for today, tomorrow we’ll never know! I’m off to select paint this week!

To keep up with the expansion project post on the blog, click the tag #home expansion

If you have any questions about the project or expansion process, anything at all, please leave it in the comments and I’ll respond!

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.


  • Michelle

    Looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing the progress. I’m sure you can’t wait for the finished product – I’m excited to see it myself.
    Amazing how fast a vision can come together and be realized, well done, friend.

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Thanks for your help and feedback through this. I can’t wait for you to see it completed the next time you visit!

  • Christy Kelman

    Can I come visit one day? I would love to see it in person :)

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Hi Christy, we might have some neighbors over once it’s done, if so I’ll definitely let you know – would love for you to stop by and see it in person! :) xx! PS – I heard you can get a variance for zoning if you want to build beyond the set zone.


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