Saturday, December 29, 2012

wrapping up the bits

This week was mostly spent wrapping up the bits of unfinished moving. We went over and scrubbed down the old house, did some yard work, moved the last of the yard art we wanted to keep and cleaned up the carport. It's all ready to go on the MLS after the first of the year. Let's hope it sells soon. My prediction will be march. Don't know why, just feel like that will be the right time. We'll see.

We did have a last visit from the contractor's workers. They finished up the sewer clean out, took back some cabinets odds and ends that were hanging around and primed the posts. Today, I'll treck off to the paint store to get some more of the trim paint so that I can finish painting them. Our "helper" guy told us that yesterday was his last day.

I don't think I've mentioned it before, but way back in July (just about the time things hit the skids building-wise), we found out that our contractors had decided to finish our house and close shop. We were pretty disappointed to have to find it out from one of the subs. and quite honestly a bit panicked at the time. They did manage to hold things together (mostly) for the rest of the job, but in retrospect,  it explains a LOT. Like, why no one worked AT ALL pretty much the whole month of august.......
We appreciate that they hung in there and finished our job, and we totally understand that things could have been much worse. They did send us a HUGE bill for labor, an item that was not only NOT in the budget, but not discussed at all, and we had no choice but to pay it.

They've left a few bits undone, and we've told them that we will finish them. We don't want any more surpirses bill-wise, and there's no need to drag this out. We'll be doing our own painting of the columns, kennel, and there's still that little issue of the dirt work the city requires.

Don't get me wrong, we LOVE. LOVE, LOVE our new house, and I don't think we would have done it any diffenently. We're just thankful for the bank breathing down their necks and pushing them a bit. It is a small town, and they do have a reputation to uphold, they're not dishonest, just overwhelmed. things progress, I'll still be here on this blog. It's just going to turn into more of a gardening and landscaping thing, as we (hopefully) make progress on our acre of mud!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

settlling in.......

This week was mostly spent finishing up the details of moving, hanging pictures and the like. The boys came and worked on the columns, but it's still too cold to paint them. (thinking I'm going to end up doing that this summer). They still have to dog kennel to do, and then we're officially done with the contractor, and none too soon. They've been great, but things have started to fall apart at the end and we'd just as soon be done. The electricians came and changed out the service panel on the old house, and also rewired the power to the shop and brought the rest of the sound system. We now have dolby surround sound that would blow your butt off the couch, thankyouverymuch. The plumber was here to put in the garbage disposal switch, and also fix a little leak a the old place. Our mail started getting forwarded, but our garbage can got forgotten.......

It snowed here this week too, unusual, and just really messy for a day or 2. Good excuse to finish up some inside stuff......

Things we're loving about this house.....
the laundry/mud room. It's serving it's purpose of being the mud collector and critter hang out place. Yesterday, we went over to the old house and cleaned up in the yard for a while. It was really nice to just throw the dirty clothes in the wash on the way by.
We're also loving our under cabinet lighting.....

lighted walk in closets

and the one thing I would TOTALLY do again.....
heated towel bar!!!!

We still have a lot of work to do on both houses. The old one goes on the market after the holidays. We're having a hard time trying to figure out who would buy it. Our problem? We keep comparing it to the new house........Not EVEN close. We just need to do our cleanup chores and let the realestate gals do their job.

This week, Merry Christmas. We're not anticipating much getting done, and we really need a break from contractors anyway. We'll be working on the porches, the old house, and setting the hot tub back  up.

Friday, December 14, 2012

ok, I have a good excuse

we were up to our eyeballs in moving. When we finally got the go-ahead, it became all moving, all the time. I'm happy to say, we're about 99% done now. There's still a few bits and bobs a the old house, and we have the yard stuff to move, but, as of last saturday, we were sleeping in our new house.
As you an see, the doggies have made themselves QUITE at home...... On sunday, we finished moving the pilates equipment and set up our computer and office.....
I had to take advantage of the new bath tub. (it's awesome), on sunday night, because we were both beat!
This weekend, we'll finish up a few things on the new house.... hang some pictures.....
put up the mailbox, drain the hot tub so that it can be moved next week, move the rest of the crap...... All in all, though, it's pretty well done and comfy!
The old house goes on the market on thursday. Fingers crossed!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

that's a lotta deck!

well, there was some really good progress this week, but still not the final occupancy inspection. Monday brought the electrician to finish the floor outlets and a few odds and ends. He was supposed to be meeting the electrical inspector for their final, but we're not really sure if that happened or not. I left for about 20 minutes and when I came back, everyone was gone. The permit is not signed off, so we just can't be sure. The plumber was here monday too. He told us he'd be finished on monday, and then tuesday, and then wed or thurs, and finally, promised to come back on friday and finish. He spent all day monday messing with the heating system. This carried into tuesday. On wed, he finally installed 2 toilets. Thursday was spent finishing the last toilet, installing the pedestal sinks in the master, and the bathtub. It's really beautiful. He never made it friday to finish the laundry sink, fridge ice maker, caulking, and some other misc. plumbing stuff. Hopefully monday. The final inspection was SUPPOSED to be monday, then tuesday, then wed.....then they had to inspect the deck, and the inspector told them they couldn't have their final until the deck is completely done. Now it's supposed to be THIS monday, but they have a quite a bit to finish still, so ......maybe by friday. We've been told we can move in, but that's pretty difficult with critters and all, since contractors are still coming and going, the deck is not done, and we have no window coverings. We're waiting for the window blinds at least. They're here, hopefully to be installed this week. We're keeping ourselves busy by moving all the OTHER crap. You know, the stuff you don't use that often, but you just HAVE to own.... There's still a million little details, like, wrapping the porch posts and painting them, having the window screens delivered, building the dog kennel......none of those will hold up the inspection, but they'll all take time. Fingers crossed for the big move next weekend.'

Saturday, November 24, 2012

OK to launch!!

When last we left our intrepid house builders, we were waiting on the painter to finish the walls and floors. I'm happy to report, the painting is done and touched up. (and beautiful)
This is the painted concrete floor in the "fitness room". Kinda cool, huh? There is also a sealed concrete floor in the laundry/dog room, where we spend the day yesterday building our boot bench.
The general actually told us it's OK to start moving in, although we are missing some rather critical parts, like plumbing fixtures. We took that to mean we could start moving some of the big pieces, and our thanksgiving weekend has been spent building office furniture.....
...having furniture delivered and unpacking what's been here a while.... as you can see, doggies are quite comfortable with their new surroundings.
I also spent the better part of 2 days cleaning up after the cleaning lady. We seem to have distinctly different standards. Like, I have a thing for dead bugs in the light fixtures, she does not...... Anyway.....
Hopefully the plumber will show up on monday to finish, the electricians have a tiny bit of stuff (floor outlets in the fitness room), and they're expecting the final electrical inspection monday morning. The window blinds should be here by the end of the week, with a possible friday install....... We have set a new set of rules now. No one goes over there empty handed, and, if it doesn't have an immediate home, it doesn't go. Eventually we'll have to just take the rest of our fine collections (crap) over there, but right now we're trying to do it systematically. Ok, everyone send "plumber show up vibes"!

Friday, November 16, 2012

we're getting there.......

After a brief moment of panic, when the painter decided he wasn't going to finish until the day before thanksgiving, things managed to get back on track. The painter somehow found his motivation (thanks to the general contractor for providing it). He came on tuesday at 4:30 am to start the walls. He painted the front door...... LOVE my red door.
And continued to finish all the walls. On friday, he sanded and stained the concrete floors. (the moment EVERYONE has been waiting for). He'll be back over the weekend to apply the clear coat, and done on sunday, so that the plumber, electrician, and carpet guy can come and finish their bits.
Other developments this week included the pouring of the sidewalks and finishing the driveway......
Look at all those cars, and that's just half of them. It was crazy-busy here on thursday and friday!! The rest of the week was pretty durned productive too... The boys started on the deck and are almost done with the support frame The final mirror was installed in the jack and jill The fireplace was hooked up and started (ANOTHER remote!) The stove was hooked up and not started (too man paint funes) The HRV system was finished and fired up the carpet guy came and glued down tack strips in preparation to install carpet on monday. Things are finally happening....finally The most important thing.... Cable, internet and phone are done and ready!
Next week, there's only 3 days, so we'll see where we get. We're supposed to have the plumber, electrician, carpet guys, finsh carpenters, and cleaning lady, not to mention working on the deck....and the couch will be delivered on wed! yeah!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

not gonna make it

After a very productive weekend last week,things came to a grinding halt. Seems we were all waiting for some missing door hardware. It finally showed up on wednesday, and the finish carpenters were able to install the final pocket door. Now the painter can come back and finish the trim and paint the walls. There were only 2 semi-productive days of work this week, though, and there's plenty left to be done. Finished this week.....the solatube covers, appliances are in place (not working, just there), ironing board is installed, the cabinets in the laundry are built, and the door hardware is in (minus the OTHER missing parts).
Bulldozer guy came back and prepped for sidewalks, too.
Still left to do, painter to do all the walls, finish trim, and paint the concrete floors, plumber to install all the fixtures, bathtub faucet, laundry sink and finish heating system, electrician to re-install bathroom lights, finish undercabinet lights, floor outlets, switches in entry, and the can above the pantry that quit working already, hrv folks to fire it up, and install the vents, fireplace folks, same thing, carpet, mirror in jack and jill and glass doors in kitchen, deck in back, sidewalks in front,return extra stuff, cleaning. Think all that will happen next week? Think ANY of that will happen next week? Think I can just get them to hook up the stove before turkey day? We've now blown our good weather window for the sidewalks and dirt, so WHO knows when the next break will be. Our contractor is less than helpful. We call him the "magic 8 ball" of emailers. He never gives you a straight answer. When I asked him if the painter would be here today, his answer was "he'll be done by monday or tuesday". Um, that's NOT what I asked, and the painter (who likes to start super early, is not here yet at 8am, so it's probably not happening today) So, magic 8 ball, will ANY work be done this week? "the future is uncertain" "try again later" See, I can do it too!

Friday, November 2, 2012

movin' on

So, this week brought the promised tile guy. (LOVE the tile guy). He came on monday and finished the master bath trim, fireplace, other bathroom backsplashes, laundry backsplash and best of all the kitchen backsplash. Love, love, love this combination of greens with the pewter grey grout.
By tuesday, the russians were on a roll with the trim. They finished all of the windows and doors and on wed., wrapped up the baseboard. No work on thursday, out of materials and waiting for parts, but on friday they were back to finish up the windows where they had run out of trim, put on all the cabinet hardware (kitchen and bath), install the medicine cabinets, and the upper cabinets in the laundry room. They still have one set of pocket doors missing hardware, but it's on order, and there's probably a whole day of finish dribs and drabs to do anyway. (mirror in the powder room, cabinet around the heating system, in-wall ironing board, tp holders and towel bars and the like)
The washer and dryer were installed and put in place, but they'll need some more work before they can be hooked up. Tomorrow, the painter will start, and he's promised to "stay until it's done". He will too. Great guy, the painter. Next week, finish the interior painting, covers on the sola tubes (finally), appliances installed?, plumber, electrician, HRV folks, fireplace folks. YIKES! IF all that really happens, it will be more work in one week than we had all last month, and that turkey day move in is looking a BIT more optimistic, maybe.......

Sunday, October 28, 2012

a big step ahead

and a huge amount of frustration....... The big step this week was the arrival of the countertops. They were installed on monday, with only a little hiccup. Good thing we have corian. It could be taken back to the shop and have an inch added to it. Had that been granite.......up the creek. (we have the russians to thank for that - they altered the island AFTER the template had been made. Not a lot, but enough...)
This was a huge development, because it allowed the plumber to put in the faucets and the dishwasher. One more step ahead. On monday, the tile guys will come to do the backsplash, finish the fireplace and bathrooms, and we're going to ask them nicely to put up a bit of backsplash in the laundry room. The frustration???? The russians, of course. Our finish carpenters don't really seem to have any sense of responsibility, speed, we need to get this done? You name it. After telling me that they would be back on monday, they were no-shows. Our general said "they had something they had to do". Tuesday, they were here bright and early, but only because the general was meeting them here. At the end of the day, they packed up all of their tools and told me they'd be back wednesday "around lunch", which meant never. Thursday, after a stern talking to from the general, they were back again, but on friday they had "something they had to do, AGAIN". They did get the interior doors put in, except the ones that are missing hardware, and some of the trim, but not nearly enough. I'd guess they're about 10percent done after 2 days of work.
The idea of possibly moving in before thanksgiving is quickly slipping away in a fit of frustration. There is still SO much to be done, most of which, according to the general comes "last". There's NO WAY that they'll be finished and inspected in 3 weeks, especially if they only work 2 days a week. Will they be here tomorrow? Probably not, they haven't worked on a Monday yet. (allergic? me too). At least we can count on tile guy. He'll be here with bells on! And the plumber, who is spending a bit of time here and there, even though he doesn't have to quite yet. The shutoff valves are all done for everything, the kitchen is done, the non-master bathrooms have faucets, the showers are in, and the "behemoth" bath tub is assembled and in place. You just gotta love a plumber who doesn't like to work in the rain and the mud. (he'd rather work inside on our job where it's warm - fine by me)
What will we get this week? Tile guy, for sure, maybe the plumber will get cold again and come do the bathtub faucet, hopefully the sheetrockers will come and finish their touch up stuff, (they're holding things up), the solatubes will get their covers, the deck MIGHT get started, as well as the sidewalks. And, if the russians grace us with thier presence, some trim MIGHT get done. I swear, if they work all 5 days this week, I'll pass out. Oh, and, I have 2 appointments for window blind quotes, and the washer and dryer will FINALLY be delivered on friday. OK, exactly when IS last? It's a looonnnggg list......

Friday, October 19, 2012

now THAT's progress!!!

FINALLY!!!!!! Visible and measurable progress. Our week started a bit slow. Monday brought us the drywallers doing some touch-up and the concrete guy figuring out the driveway, porch and sidewalk to the house. On tuesday, the russian contingent returned to finish the floors. They worked until midnight, but they're done, and they're beautiful! great room
master bedroom
On wednesday, the glass shower doors were installed and the driveway work continued with gravel deliveries and more forms built. Thursday brought the return of the "other" russians, the finish carpenters and they got to work on finishing the kitchen uppers.....
The driveway was also poured and finished.
Friday was just as productive. After covering all the newly laid and cleaned floors, the guys got right to work on the built in bookcases...
and then spent the afternoon wrapping up the island so that the countertops can be installed monday.
All-in-all, this was the busiest week we've pretty much EVER seen and we're very happy about that. It looks like the momentum might just continue into next week as well. Monday at 9, the countertops will be delivered and installed. The finish guys and the plumber are both supposed to be here to work on trim and showers. Tuesday, the electrician will be back to put in the under cabinet lighting. Don't know WHAT the rest of the week will bring, but once the countertops are done, the tile backsplash in the kitchen can be installed, as well as the bathroom backsplashes and the fireplace can also be finished now that the floors are done. We have an appointment tomorrow with the painter to check out colors for the concrete floors, and a couple of window blind folks will be stopping by to give us an estimate as well. There's still a BUNCH left to do. Sheetrockers need to finish texturing their fixes, painting to be done everywhere. TRIM (that 4-letter word), Deck on the back and sidewalks (UGH - thank you city planners) in the front. I saw somewhere that there are 34 days to black friday. That thanksgiving move in is looking promising. Turkey and hand trucks anyone? I'll buy the wine!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

We're getting there.....

This was probably the busiest week in a LONG time, although not without it's frustrations. On monday, the tile guys returned back from vacation! Go tile guys!!! They finished the master, and got to work on the jack and jill.
Tuesday, they continued to grout what they'd done the day before, and I got my opportunity to be "picky homeowner" when I hand picked the tiles for the fireplace. The dragonflies are up! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them. They also put in the countertops for the built-ins next to the fireplace.
Wednesday is when it all blew up, quite literally. I haven't seen so many vehicles here since the city hooked up the water. (that consisted of 5 trucks, 9 guys, and 2 that actually worked) From right to left here.....the general contractor, the tile guys, the electrician, some russians (floors) and the gutter guys (yes, we have gutters, and not a moment too soon). Everyone was working on their own thing, and most were done by noon, leaving the russians to totally mess up the place.
The started sanding the concrete floors without covering a thing. There is currently a 35 gal. garbage can FULL of concrete dust in the garage. It looked like mt saint helens blew up INSIDE the house. All over the new cabinets, tile, light fixtures, switches, you name it, it was full of gritty concrete dust. Check out the windows, that's dust. Needless to say, this is where I got to be "cranky homeowner". I got out the g'bee voice and expressed my displeasure. The russians came screaming down with shop vacs and cleaned up as much as they could, but, we're going to be living with concrete dust the rest of our lives. It's very pervasive, hard to get rid of, and gritty. Thanks (NOT).
No one worked on thursday, except tile guy, who was finishing his grouting. Friday brought us the return of the russians. They finished sanding, (this time they wet sanded everything. HELLO!!!), and started actually putting down the hardwood. I'm still not convinced they know what they're doing, and that scares me, but what they got done does look good, if you look past all their trash and crap they left laying around.
They still have a LONG way to go, though. I'm pretty sure they're going to run out of glue, so that'll be a stall. Hopefully they'll have enough flooring. There seems to be a lot of waste and that makes me a little scared........ Next week, wood floors continue, monday, the sheetrockers will be back to do some touch-up and fixes, on wed, the glass shower doors will be installed, and the rest of the parts for the kitchen will be in. Hopefully, they'll start working on the trim. Everyone seems to be waiting for floors and trim. Painter guy will probably be doing the laundry room floor, and the washer and dryer are due on friday. PHEW! I hope half of that happens.....we'll see.....

Friday, October 5, 2012

you gotta love a guy with a bulldozer!

This week, it was all about moving dirt. On Thursday, bulldozer guy pulled up with his big-boy toys (3 large pieces of equipment) and started to push the dirt around. He worked all day and was able to do a great job of flattening out the property, covering the trenches (FINALLY!), and preparing for our 176' sidewalk to nowhere.
See that giant rock there? It's about the size of a volkswagen bug. We asked him to move it on the other side of the driveway so that the landscapers could eventually put it in place. There was one time he flipped it with the dozer and it shook the whole house. THIS house, not the new one. It's a big one (and all white granite) We also had some kitchen action. The island was set into place in preparation for the countertop installers. (unfortunately, they cancelled their appt. - next week, I guess)
The electrician was also running around, working on details....he installed the speakers for the sound system, a bunch of dimmers, timers and switches, and the pendant lights for the island. (I know, it's missing a light bulb)
The biggest development of the week was getting the floor heat on! It needs to "cook" for about a week, and then the hardwood floors can be installed. I have to say, I can hardly wait to live with this floor heat. Right now, on the first day, it's about 75degrees in there and if you stand in one place for a while, your feet get warm. It won't be QUITE like that when we live there (that's a bit too hot), but it's really a nice, dry heat. And, yes, this contraption that looks like that mousetrap game you had when you were a kid, is the heating system in the laundry room. No worries, it's going to be built in with cabinets.
One more thing....our Morris chair is here! It's going over to the house in the crate. It's beautiful, though.
So, finally, all-in-all, there was SOME progress this week. Not enough in my book and the russians are still MIA, but things are picking up. Next week........tile guy will be back on monday to finish the master, jack and jill shower, and built-in tops, and to measure for the kitchen backsplash. The russians SHOULD be here on wednesday to start the floor installation. Once the floors are done, then the next step is trim, and EVERYONE can finish. Fingers crossed.....AGAIN!