Tag Archive | building

weekend update and a step backwards on the house.

According to my schedule, this is the major pack week and we are major packing.  The boxes are accumulating, the stuff in rooms is disappearing and I have a ‘safe space’ for things not to be moved.  I said it before, but, my military sister with 10 moves in her adult life highly recommends emptying a single room and then putting in that room the things that you are personally moving in the car on the last day.  For us, that is Lars’s work, and everything going to pennsic.

What better thing to do the weekend before you move?  Go camping!  A very large part of me didn’t want to go but I’m glad I did.  I enjoy seeing everyone, Niamh and Zoe both won their fighting division, Zoe got a fighting award, and despite the soggy hot weather, it was a nice weekend.  Vacation mom made it 10x better by showing up and puttering with me at the event and then whisking the kids away in the morning so Lars and I could pack in peace.  I took zero pictures the entire weekend but a friend posted this one and I think it captures the beauty of the SCA.  Our social club with a renaissance theme. That is my tent in the bottom right, and, you are looking at the battle field where the kids enjoyed many pool noodle fights, bubble blowing, and general joyous noise.

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I was actually not wiped out coming home, we got a load from the house to storage, I grocery shopped for camp week lunch and snack and then we just chilled.  Monday we got up extra early and got kids to camp and by 10 am, a time we are usually just getting motivated, I was already done with room #1 and rolling forward.  I’m so glad we did the camp thing, they are happy, safe, and come home exhausted so I don’t feel bad packing up all their toys.

We took a batch of things to storage yesterday and then went by the house and happened to be there when the builders came in to look at ‘a situation’.   I had noticed a ton of little things in the house but not the giant crack in the wall or the fact that the counters were no longer flush to the wall – the cement truck pouring our patio ran into our back wall…. You can’t make this stuff up!  He was stung by a bee and hit the gas.  The cement company is covering it all and I trust our builders to take down the wall and true up everything again but the worry is this will impact move in.  Given I had planned for *something* to go wrong I put our closing on Aug 13, a full 10 days after they said it could be done because if I had to be homeless, I want to go to Pennsic and that is 2 weeks long.  I don’t however, want to wait longer because then we run into hotel or staying with people and some legal deadlines on closing documents etc.  I am going to hope for the best.

Today my energy is still up, we have a plan and Lars is now working in an empty room on a folding table and I’m back to laptop life.  I hope to get the hall closet, kitchen ‘extra’ and clothing done today.  I think keeping out 2 weeks worth of outfits should work.  I’ll do laundry, it will be fine.  I’m undecided on how many towels to keep out, but, if that is the biggest problem in my life I’m ok with that.  Back to work for me, hope you all enjoy your day.

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30 days to move in

I’m starting to count down instead of up because;

  1. we actually do close on Aug 13 and since it is July 13 so it seemed like fate
  2. we finally have toilets (and other plumbing fixtures!)

other countdowns of note;

12 days until we are 100% out of this house

2 full days the kids will have in the house they were born in

Pictures first!  (All photos in this post are taken by Niamh)

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sink and light!  and me, looking concerned at the shower door size

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Zoe touched it first!  She does the dishes 🙂

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I didn’t know this fixture needs 18 lightbulbs.  It will be bright as the sun….

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Our final selection for hall light, that was not an easy decision.

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a bit blurry, but, kids have faucets too. 

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The cute yet ineffective light – read below for the full situation

We have reached the phase of the project where things are getting complicated and annoying.  I’ve never built a house, who knew all the little things?!?  My complaints seem petty overall but this is not going to be an inexpensive venture – I’m compromising in my head by imagining if something would bother me if I walked into an existing house and just saw it that way – would it bother me then?

Yesterday in the middle of trying to pack for a camping trip I got the text that our patio was marked and since it would be made of cement and is of a pretty custom design, would we like to see it first.  Yes, yes we would!  One of the most hard things is figuring out size when out of context.  The patio looks teeny tiny, but, I measured and the 10×10 thing I need to accommodate fits just fine with room to spare on the *half* of the patio that it is intended to go.  Comparing the cement to the giant outside is unfair and makes my head hurt.

The nice surprise was seeing all the plumbing in.  I had actually forgotten what I choose it was so long ago.  The rain head shower is not as we imagined, we have to talk about that to the builders, and there is another odd issue with where they plan to put something in our yard.  With a quarter mile of empty space, I do NOT need our septic field directly behind our house.  “honey, look at our view from our upgraded windows!  It is a septic field!  Ooh la la so fancy”  I was under the impression it would be in the side yard, you know, the place that does not have 11 windows facing it.  It is a part-time job following the builders around, attempting to figure out what they are doing.

It is nice that all the things we were responsible for getting are now in.  More than half the lights are up even.  The appliances are paid for, the knobs and pulls are all labeled and waiting for install, and the lights… well, they are all there.  The 3 I got for the kids’ rooms are incredibly dim, so dim they are not lights, they are ceiling ornaments.  I got a refund yesterday at least but that does not really solve my problem.  I think I can fix it… just need a ladder and some time.  The pendants I ordered look great except somehow they don’t perfectly cover the hole in the ceiling where they electric comes in.  Finally, the kid bath has MASSIVE electric boxes to cover with their lights and the ones I got are normal sized.  Something about code and outside wall…. whatever, they really should have told me this in advance – I dragged the family out to get 2 new ones to cover, it will be fine I’m sure.  They also bounced my choice of light for the closet.  Be warned, you can’t have ‘exposed light bulbs’ in a closet per code.  Code that every designer ever seems to ignore in the pretty pictures.  Fine, the pretty light will be installed right AFTER we move in :).  If I sound a tad frustrated I am because while they seem to make all the decisions they feel like about where to put septic fields without consulting they are calling me constantly about minor things that have easy fixes?

And like I need another thing going on – last week someone reported our car in a hit and run.  The police called, it wasn’t us at all since the car in question was sitting in the driveway, and we thought it was over until yesterday we get a letter about ‘our accident’.  No, I wasn’t packing for a camping trip, and didn’t already detour an hour for cement review, sure I can spend an hour disputing the insurance claim against us.  A hit and run is a big deal, I don’t want that on our record.  I sent pictures of every angle of our car that is perfectly fine.  I hope that does it because I don’t have time for this.

So yeah, it is morning, I did manage to pack but now it is raining.  I’m not keen on rushing out to set up in the rain but we will be on our way soon.  I’ll have fun once I’m there and when we get back it is time for the packing phase.  12 days is not all that long,  send good thoughts that we can get it done with sanity intact.  If you are local and feel like coming to help you will have my perpetual gratitude.

Day 132

Current Situation; Siding is (finally) going up.  Floors at 99%, COUNTERTOPS are in.  Me- 100% of knobs/pulls now ordered and 28 of 35 light fixtures ordered/in the house

Next; (me) buy the last few light fixtures, (them) finish in process things,  get the driveway and patio put up lights and ‘trim’

Status; 900 of 1000 – My toilet mark might actually be the finish line, who knew they were last?

Progress pictures first;

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storage room, the future home of our extra fridge and freezer and all my sewing!

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countertops!!!!

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Front hall floor, I happened to get a pic before they covered it all up like the other floors.  I like my Navy walls more and more

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Shower.  still needs the glass wall but the tile is done

I was good to my word and on Tuesday, after putting in the laundry and telling the kids I had to focus, I hit the list of things to get done for the house hard.  There are so many categories of things but I’m making progress.  Luck was with me because I found a few great deals on knobs on Amazon – tip – look at the 10packs, they were all way less expensive than buying the single of the exact same thing.  For example, I needed 6 for a particular bathroom, 6 single pulls were $20ish and 10 of the same thing was $14.  If you only need one, get one, but I saved about $100 overall carefully over buying.  I know I could have saved more if I was willing to have basically the same thing in every room because the savings were even greater at 25 pack but I like different things in different rooms.

The fun continued with lighting.  We dropped the kids off with friends and went to Menards.  They weren’t really having a sale, but, we loved a few things that were ‘the last’ so we got the floor model.  The poor sales lady was very gracious even though it looked like she was tortured up on the ladder getting the fixtures down.  We kept finding great deals and by the end, we had all but a few on our list.  I needed to pump the breaks because I wanted to do a budget check, and, see some sizes in the house so we brought all the boxes to the house and put them in the rooms they belong for install.  It was a bit of a force of will by the end but I’m happy with our choices.  The last few are being tricky, I need the master bath and 2 outside lights and those ‘matter’ and we also need the laundry room, master closet, and a hallway – I can’t quite decide if I should get the ones that matter first and just make the other 3 work in the budget left, or, the other way around.

I also did a ton of paperwork.  I mentioned this in my vacation post but just in case you are building or moving it is a good idea 1 month out as you pay bills,  call or go online for each thing to update the address.  You might need to stop or start service and you might get a nasty surprise like your internet service isn’t available at your new address!!!  Yup, that’s us.  Well, we have a month to deal with it.  I’m busy now but less busy then I’ll be the week I’m moving so this is a thing I can more easily do in advance.  A mail forward will catch the stragglers but I don’t want that to be the only method.  I’m also planning on doing our Christmas card super early this year as a change of address note to all the family and friends.

Today is the 4th of July but our parade plans got rained out.  Instead, we watched Iron Man 3 and bbq tonight.  (and I might just go get 1 more light I saw at Menards…)

Day 125

It was a coin flip to either talk about our epic journey back to MN, or, check in on the house.  For the record, we arrived on Sunday around 6 and after dinner, we went to go check the house because I could not wait longer!

Current Status; We have PAINT.  The painful decisions of paint color and location made with consults both near and far turned out great.  The stairs are also in! Trim and cabinets continue to get installed/finished.  Flooring prep work underway. (me) 15 of 27 lights procured, chosen exterior stone, doors, and siding finally confirmed for the 4th time

Next; (me) buy more light fixtures, knobs for all the things (81 total).  (them) floors, cabinet install finish, get the driveway and patio soon and all the fixtures come soon.

Status; 775 of 1000 – still no toilets! paint and stairs make a big impact but the fun finishes are coming soon.

 

We got 3 colors included in our quote, that is actually a decent number when you think about a more monochrome and cohesive design style.  We choose Agreeable Gray, Dover White, and Navy for our main floor and public spaces upstairs and each of us choose a bedroom color.  It was $100 per color but it was also a way for the kids to really love the move and be ‘ok’ with all the chaos coming in their near future.  My designer friend advised taking their choice and subtracting 2 numbers to get a lighter tone and I only had to do that for Niamh – she went for a really really strong pink but it looks much better two shades lighter.

 

Fiona actually really liked the color I choose for my room ‘secure blue’ so in her opinion she picked our room color and I’m ok with her thinking that since it saved $100, and, I obviously like the color. img_7148

Somehow I didn’t get a picture of the front hall in navy but it came out very sharp with the white trim.  I also neglected to take pictures of the vast spaces now painted gray or white but I did get a close up of the stain color “Koa” chosen half because we wanted it to stand out against our medium dark floors and half because it reminds me of Hawaii.

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btw.  that is Agreeable Gray in the background

We also got back on track with selections and trecked up to the stone showroom to choose our exterior stone and address stone.  It was an easy decision because thanks to my designer friend I actually have a good idea of what to do with the exterior.  In brief; pick one color and one accent and stick to it – do not go crazy with all the color options of siding. img_7150

Finally, it is hard to take pictures of stairs but here is what I could do.  Imagine them without protective paper.

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more agreeable gray and in the center of the picture you can see a corner of the navy hall.  Top right you see Dover White in the loft area

I’m getting a little tired of the process, the builders work is great but their system is very scattered and I’m constantly following up or reconfirming something I thought was set.  The story of the siding is annoying and long and I hope ends well, we will see…  There is one vendor I just don’t like at this point because she is so disorganized but small price to pay for the amount of custom work we are getting.  I’ll be on top of them again since I’m back and other than parenting, a 1-weekend camping trip and packing this house up, I’ve got nothing else to focus on.

 

Day 102

We have cabinets!

And doors!

I also picked colors and fingers crossed they will look good.

I’m going to ny so no pictures for a week but by the time I’m back I expect siding and maybe even flooring. There was a pile of wood that will become stairs so fingers crossed! 9 weeks to move in, the list is still long but working through it.

3 quotes; #1

In my ‘work life’ of social media I end up seeing and creating sooooo many quotes and memes that this is a semi-hard challenge.  The other hard part is picking 3×3 bloggers to tag so I took some time to think and I’m ready for the challenge.

Rules; Thank the person who challenged you, post a quote, tag 3 others, for 3 days in a row.

Thanks to my blog friend in Ireland who tagged me.  Fancy Paper posts are always fun and a glimpse into mom (or mum) life in a different country.  Its pretty much the same with some key differences and that is the thing I love about the blog world – genuine looks into the story of the lives of real people.

Quote; It is Always Darkest before the Dawnpexels-photo-927017.jpeg

 

Chosen half because it is in a song stuck in my head, half because I’m in a semi-constant state of anxiety about one house or another.  I trust a dawn will come.  It always has in the past.

Tagging; This is the hard part, I’ve had some poor luck with this part of a challenge before.  I am picking a trio that I read all the time and I hope will accept.

  1. Webner House – a Dad in Ohio with some cool thoughts on things.
  2. With Love Kate – a fellow Kate I found when we were both pregnant with #3 and I love her journey and decorating style and general can-do attitude.
  3. Home sweet Abbott – a new blogger who just got married and is building a house with a ‘due date’ about the same as ours.  Her building posts are fun to line up with mine because just like parenting and pregnancy and work etc – we are mostly the same but just a key difference or 3.

 

I hope to get 3 in 3 days here.  I at least have more downtime with the house in ready to sell mode all I need to do is maintain and be ready to leave at a moments notice.  Good thing I have a laptop and a phone and a nice car to sit in.  Cross fingers for the showing this afternoon, I have a feeling this might be the right one.