Sunday, February 28, 2010

One Day

We sat down last weekend and attempted to determine when we think we'll be finished with the house. Our inspection was scheduled for this past Monday. We anticipated spending a couple of days "fixing" whatever the inspector deemed necessary to fix and tentatively scheduled the insulation guys to come on Thursday. They had already told us it would take 4-5 days to complete the job so we had the sheetrock guys on stand-by for this coming Thursday. They anticipated two weeks to hang and then finish the sheetrock. And then from there we'd proceed with hanging doors, baseboards, mouldings, painting . . . so on and so forth. In the meantime, we'd need to hire a cabinet guy so he could go ahead and get started. Six to eight weeks . . . so close and yet so far away!

If I've learned anything at all from this process, it's that I should always expect the unexpected. My phone usually begins ringing around 7:00am each morning. Just in case you don't know, I AM NOT a morning person. At all. I never have been, and I've decided I never will be. At first, I answered every call. But then I decided those 7:00am phone calls really weren't all that necessary. So I stopped answering them and returned calls around 9:00 or so. I guess my builder finally figured this out because I noticed his calls began coming closer to 8:30 instead. I plan ahead . . . WAY ahead . . . and I expect things to happen when they're supposed to and when I've scheduled them to. Having said that, this is what happened this week:

The inspector arrived Monday morning. He spent a few minutes nosing around and then left. His comment was, "Keep up the good work. It looks great, and yall are doing a good job." And that was it! All of the horror stories I'd heard about the inspections just haven't been our experience. So all of a sudden we were ready for insulation, but the guys weren't scheduled to come until Thursday. So I called them and told them we were ready if they could start sooner. They were able to come on Tuesday. They finished on Friday morning. So then I called the sheetrock guy. He said the rock would be delivered on Friday at 3:30, and they would begin hanging it on Saturday.

We went to the house at 4:30 on Friday afternoon to meet the cabinet guy. It was pouring down rain and had been nearly all day. Needless to say, the sheetrock wasn't delivered. I was going to call the sheetrock guy to follow-up, but I later decided I just didn't feel like dealing with it. I figured the sheetrock wouldn't be delivered until Monday so they'd just get started then. We'd still be ahead of schedule.

Saturday morning I went to a meeting at church. Seth was taking the kids to see a movie. The meeting got started at 10:00. I didn't have my cell phone with me. At 10:15, my father-in-law took a call and then looked at me and said the sheetrock was delivered, and the guys were at the house. I panicked. We weren't ready . . . we had to move one of the electrical boxes to accommodate the cabinets in the mudroom. We still had to build the hearth out because I'd forgotten about that. And we also had to put some plywood up above the fireplace so we'd have a sturdy place to hang the TV. I hadn't told these "minor" details to the sheetrock guy yet. We couldn't exactly leave, but we figured it would take the guys awhile anyway so we didn't expect they'd get very far by the time we could get there.

Well, we got there around 1:30 . . . and they were halfway done! Seriously. Seth's dad began working on the "minor" details, and Seth met him when the movie was over. They got home about 5:30 and told me the sheetrock was done. Yes, DONE. Those guys finished the entire job in about six hours. The finishers will come tomorrow. So as of right now, we are nearly TWO WEEKS AHEAD of schedule. Now, you would think that would be a good thing. Except that I'm supposed to leave tomorrow to go to Georgia. Based on our original timeline, I had plenty of time to go, and then I could pick up when I left off when I get back around March 8 or so. But as of right now, we need the interior doors. I haven't even ordered those yet because I'm waiting on one more estimate. Not to mention baseboards and mouldings . . . and the absolute worst . . . the thing I've been putting off and refusing to deal with as if it will go away . . . PAINT COLORS! I have decided that this is going to be the hardest decision of the whole process (as if I even want to make anymore decisions at this point anyway!). I mean, we could start painting this upcoming weekend . . . but I haven't picked out paint colors! Yes, I am just a little stressed out right now.

ANYWAY. During the past two weeks . . .

The shingles are finished all except those around the dormer. Bricks will outline the face of the dormer, and those shingles can't be done until the bricks are laid.

The stucco is finished except for a few places that need "touching up." The first picture is the first coat of stucco. The following pictures are the finished stucco.The frames for the pocket doors were installed. You'll come to realize that I'm addicted to pocket doors! I love them! I mean, why waste perfectly usable space with regular doors? And I would've actually had MORE pocket doors besides the three that I have, but my builder finally had to stop the madness. He doesn't appreciate them as much as I do!
It's the small things in life . . . like having a gas hook-up on the back porch for the grill instead of filling propane tanks all the time and then running out half-way thru your grill time!And Katrina and Gustav taught us that being without power and standing in line for several hours just to fill the generator only to find out the gas station gives out of gas right when it's your turn is for the birds . . . so we have another gas connection on the back of the house to accommodate a generator when the time comes. Yes, I'm very well aware of the fact that we are pretty spoiled!The master bath tub is in place now, as are the windows.The bricks were delivered over a week ago, but the brick layers won't be available to get started until next week.
The facia boards and soffits are being put in place.We do have one "splurge" item . . . spray foam insulation. After MUCH research and phone calls and gathering estimates, we decided this would be a good investment that would yield much return in the future.Did you notice the Extreme Home Makeover logo? I didn't know this when I chose this company . . . but they worked with Ty Pennington on a house in New Orleans a few years ago. If it's good enough for Ty, it's definitely good enough for me!But my absolute favorite thing about these guys is that they CLEAN UP THEIR OWN MESS!Have I already mentioned that the entire house was sheetrocked in ONE DAY???

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Week in Review

Things happened so quickly this week that I could hardly keep up! All of the doors and windows (except the master bathroom) are installed. Mr. Joey worked everyday pulling wire with Seth helping him after work and on weekends. The AC units are in place, and most of the duct work is done. The bath tubs were delivered, and the plumber began roughing in the pipes.

WINDOWS AND DOORS The front door is a beautiful piece that literally fell into our hands. It was originally made for another house, but the dealer and the contractor had a disagreement, and the dealer decided to sell the door to someone else in an effort to just get rid of it. It "just so happens" that we made a phone call to a millworks store in Baton Rouge on the day that the doors arrived for re-sale. It also "just so happens" that the door is the exact size we needed! And so we bought it at half-price! It is made of fir wood. The other sets of French doors are made of Spanish cedar. They, too, are beautiful. And they really aren't French doors; they're made to look like French doors. You can see where the handle and look will be installed on the doors. They each open from only one side. There is a groove that is cut down the center of the middle of the door that gives the appearance of French doors.
Mason was super excited about the window in his room.
Hannah Kate is looking out into the backyard from the French doors in the family room.This is the door that we installed especially for Seth's dad. He just couldn't stand the thought of walking "all the way" to the front door so we decided to have a friends' entry a little closer to the driveway, and this was the perfect place to put it. It opens into the mudroom.ELECTRICAL: At last count, Seth and his dad had run 2,500 feet of wire. But I've since lost count so it's actually more than that now.
PLUMBING: The tub for the master bath and shower/tub for the kids' bathroom were delivered this week. I assumed (and incorrectly so) that the guys who delivered the tubs would haul the one upstairs where it needed to go. So imagine my dismay when I arrived to find my husband and father-in-law lugging the thing up the stairs, which, by the way, have no railings. Yes, it made my heart hurt!And our tub . . . well . . . it's still in the box.
Some of the pipes have been roughed in during the past couple of days.MECHANICAL
The center 2-story section of the house will be stucco. The wings (master bedroom/bath and garage) will be brick. The wire mesh stuff has been stapled to the house where the stucco will go. So we're actually ready for the guys to finish the stucco, but it's our understanding that they can not do this until the next inspection is complete. This particular inspection requires all of the electrical, plumbing and mechanical work to be done. So we're thinking we're maybe a week and a half or so away from this point.The firestops were installed this past week, too. The pieces of wood that you see perpindicular to the studs are the firestops.
Depending on the weather this upcoming week . . . yet again more rain! . . . the soffit and facia boards will be installed and work will begin on the shingles. WHEW . . .