Monday, November 26, 2012

So much to do, so little time

We've recently come to the realization that we have less than a month till closing.  Which means about three weeks to pack, to plan our first moves in the new house, to coordinate our assistance, to go crazy from the stress of it all.  Right now I'm focused on the first moves.  My list so far:

Paint the boys' rooms (more if possible, but those rooms are must-do)
Install ceiling fixtures in boys' rooms
Install garage door opener
Baby-proof the cabinets
Put locks on all the windows (no falling children, thank you!)
Install gates on staircases
Install cabinets, counter, and hanging rods in laundry room
Install light-blocking mechanisms of some sort (haven't come up with a master plan yet)

Possible, if needed:
Change doorknobs (some will need locks, and I'm not sure what we get automatically)
Additional shelves in closets
Seal bathroom tile
Paint/seal garage and storage room floors

The problem with reading so many blogs is that I can no longer remember where I saw anything!  I know I've seen in several places that people have sealed the tile in their sounds like a good idea, but my husband wants to know why and I don't know what to tell him.  :)  Sealing the concrete in the garage has also been mentioned, and I would imagine for similar reasons, but again I don't remember why.  I've been tossing around the idea of painting the concrete floors in the garage and basement storage areas, on the grounds that a painted surface is easier to clean.  Can anyone shed light on these topics for me?  And what else do people recommend that we haven't thought of?

Friday, November 23, 2012

On the bright side(ing)

Wednesday was a pretty rough day around here as we ended up putting our elder statescat to sleep after a bad week of health problems, so visiting the house wasn't even on our radar. But we were in the area for our family's Thanksgiving, so we left a little early to be able to check things out. The baby fell asleep on the way there (which was good, since I knew he wouldn't nap at the party!) so we drove around the neighborhood a bit to check things out. We were surprised to see workers on two of the houses, on Thanksgiving day! One was Ryan homes, the other was a different builder that is in our neighborhood. Both were framing crews. Apparently some crews work even on holidays or Sundays, but it's their choice not the company (per the PM).

Lo and behold when we drove up to our house...SIDING! And SHUTTERS! It looks great!

Spot 3

Spot 2

Spot 1

Spot 4 (and my thumb blocking the sun!
And the dumpster finally photobombs me.  Had to happen eventually!)

North side


Of course I took a bazillion pictures inside, with the intent of making more of my pano shots, but Photoshop is having a lot more trouble with perspective now that there are flat walls. It doesn't always realize that a corner isn't just another seam in the drywall. So here are a selection of single shots for your viewing pleasure.

Dining room/halls, with our capped stair walls

Morning room


Master bath

Interesting Stuff around windows - to protect corner edges?

Here's where our big TV will be, with the fancy speakers

Room under the stairs for more storage, maybe some shelves...or the litter box

Leak in the basement (PM says something about a balloon in the pipe to keep
water in the tubs, to check for leaks, he's not worried is what I'm saying here.)

Garage full of goodies!

Wyoming Cherry Bordeaux, as requested


Doors, doors, and more doors
This week is finishing drywall and painting, then the following week we should be getting trim and doors and cabinets installed.  At which point the doors will be locked, and I'll have to stop at the model to get a key.  :(

Monday, November 19, 2012

Snug as a bug in a rug

Due to circumstances outside my control (darn preschool events and bronchitis and sick pets!), I was unable to get out to the house for my usual Friday update.  I was really bummed, but also really stressed, so it was probably just as well that I didn't try to add one more thing to the to-do list.  So as a family we went by the house this weekend, and FINALLY saw some work done!  I'd say we're about 97% insulated...they obviously can't do the attic until the second floor ceiling is installed, and the two storage areas in the basement still need to be done, but the main living areas are all set.  Several people have mentioned the need for spray foam behind outlets etc, and I think our PM was way ahead of us there.  There was bright orange foam everywhere I looked, including places I wouldn't have thought to put it.

Drywall has been delivered, piles and piles of it, as well as mounds of joint compound.  Boxes of siding are sitting out in the yard waiting for their day in the sun (ha!).  I didn't think to check the color or take pictures of it until it was too late, though.  :(

And now, for thrilling and exciting pictures of Spray Foam Stuff!
Insulated garage (and drywall on the floor!)

Spray Foam Stuff around the pipes...on the right is our laundry tub, no idea
what the left is but I need to find out!

More Spray Foam Stuff around pipes, I believe I'm on the main floor here.

Insulated front hall, and if you look close there's a line of
orange Spray Foam Stuff along some pieces of wood.

Some sort of Spray Foam Stuff along the window in the living room

Spray Foam Stuff behind the box where our morning room light switch will be

Spray Foam Stuff around pipes in our kitchen ceiling

Spray Foam Stuff around the pipes in the laundry room

Spray Foam Stuff where the HVAC stuff comes out of the wall (and stuff)

Our siding, and does anyone else think the location of the cable box is a liiiiitle close to our driveway?
(The PM is already on it)

We have a front door!  It'll be black eventually.

I fully expect this blog post to shoot to the top of the rankings anytime someone googles Spray Foam Stuff now.  :)  Hopefully today they got a lot done on our house, so that the next time I go the pictures will be a liiiiitle more exciting!

Neighbor watch:

Jessica's lot has a hole! (and my shadow!)

For Isz:
The alcove wall from the front hall/living room

The alcove wall from the kitchen

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why do you build me up, Buttercup

...just to let me down?

We stopped by the house on Sunday evening to see whether they had started insulation, but no such luck.  I shrugged it off at the time, because I know that the electrician was still working on Friday morning and if he hadn't finished when the inspector got there, no inspection.  So I assumed that was the case, and that the inspection would probably happen Monday.

Today, though, I was expecting to see insulation at the very least, and drywall or siding at the best.  What did I see when I pulled up this morning?  Nothing.  Zip, nada, zilch.  No insulation, no drywall, no siding.  Not even deliveries of the supplies for any of those things.  It pretty much looked just like it did on Sunday.  Oh, there were people walking around inside, and a generator/compressor type thing was running by the garage, but without the supplies I don't know what they could have been working on.  Does this mean we didn't pass inspection?  Without our case number I can't look on the county website to find out.  I would really, really hope that our PM would let us know about something like that.  If it weren't for the fact that I have no voice at the moment (bronchitis, blech) I'd have been making some phone calls...and as soon as my voice is back I will be.  We were really hoping they'd be able to shave a few days off our Dec 19th date, but this is not the way to accomplish that!

All that aside, I have not been noted on the last post, my pre-drywall gazillion pictures were taken on Friday and I spent most of the weekend stitching them into meaningful pictures.  And let me tell you, I'm glad I did it immediately, because they STILL started to blend together into one massive pile of studs and wires.  For those of you who can't do video (I started to, but the iPhone's video lens isn't wide enough for my standards), I highly recommend turning your pictures into panoramas.  It is SO much easier to figure out what's where if you can recognize the room based off of two walls and a window or door, as opposed to one wall and possibly nothing else!  The newest iPhone OS (6, I think?) has that feature, or if you have Photoshop there's a pretty easy to use tool in there.  If anyone would be interested in how I do that, let me know.  I've definitely learned that there's a couple tricks to getting a good panorama out of a series of stills.

Here's a selection of my panos...I didn't crop them to tidy rectangles so as to save as much pertinent detail as possible.  As you can see, some have more distortion than others, so even knowing the tricks isn't always good enough if you don't follow them!  :)

Basement door, under morning room

Basement, from morning room looking towards smaller storage area

Basement, from morning room looking towards smaller storage area

Basement, in the larger storage area looking at where all the mechanicals are
(I believe this is under the study)

From living room, through dining room, pantry/powder room, kitchen, into morning room

From family room, through study to garage

The wall of the laundry room where the pipes are (also the hallway wall)

Kitchen, the electrician is standing in for our stove  :)

Kitchen ceiling - there is a LOT going on up there, so take lots of pictures!
This is only one out of five or six that I stitched together.

Family room, looking through staircase and mudroom to garage

More kitchen, looking through powder room/pantry, dining room, living room

From the master bedroom, looking to the opposite corner

Mudroom (with no closet, per our non-standard request) and staircase

Staircase from study, with lots of HVAC showing

Added for Isz:

End of family room, with study door on left

Family room into study/staircase

Thursday, November 8, 2012

[Insert clever title here]

[I was drawing a blank.  The one I wanted to use will be better on a later post!]

We had our pre-drywall meeting this morning...pretty uneventful, but we got to see a bunch of stuff we hadn't seen yet.  The electricians were on the job running wires everywhere, and since they were far from done I didn't take as many pictures as expected.  The PM is letting me come back tomorrow, when they should be done, to take pictures so we'll know where everything is in the walls.  The inspection for electrical is hopefully going to happen tomorrow sometime, and then they'll begin insulation Sat/Mon and drywall by the middle of the week.  Siding will start going up at the same time as the drywall.

In other news, we were able to lock in our interest rate at 3.25% with a credit towards our closing costs.  They did put 3% on the table, but half the savings would have been negated by the additional closing costs so we elected to save our cash.  Our PM has given us a quasi-official close date of Dec 19th, which is perilously close to Christmas (and will make it harder for me to put a picture of us in our home on our holiday card!) but with any luck they'll be able to get it done sooner.

Spot 3 - we have shingles!

Spot 1, with morning sun (yes, it streams through the morning room!)

The back, with our fixed basement door

Morning room and basement doors (and our PM!)

Our fixed basement door, from the inside.

This is plumbing of some sort.  And an electrician's backside.

One of the few things not caught by our inspector.  PM says they'll put something under it.

This was kind of interesting...apparently since they build these houses so tightly for the Energy Star certification, they have to install vents in the ceilings to help circulate air within the home.  There are several of these black air ducts in the attic, doing nothing more than connecting one room to another.

This is the side of the house where our garage is.  Because it was side-entry, the other side of the house is as close to our property line as possible, while this side is a good bit wider.  I'm standing in the back corner (well, not ALL the way back, but on the side line) and our PM is up there at the top of the lot on the property line.  This is the area where I plan to have my garden, so hopefully he can do a good job getting it as level as possible.

And my neighbor Jessica's lot has been cleared!  Come on, girl, start blogging!  Or I'll do it for you...  ;)