Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pre-Drywall Scheduled!

While a lot has been going on inside, I haven't posted because I don't have any great inside pictures. I tried on Sunday but workers were inside...I unexpectedly got inside today, but didn't have my camera with me.

On the way back from an appointment today, we called our awesome sales rep as we were literally driving by the model home and asked him if we could go inside. He said he'd be there in 5 minutes and he was. There were some electricians in the house but it was toward the end of the day so not much was going on.

This was the first time I've been there since all the stairs were in and all of the rooms were framed. I was in awe of how large our family room is (actually our SR rep was, too, he mentioned that 4 foot extension really made a huge difference.) I'm also extremely happy with how big the bedrooms are. It was just so exciting to see the rooms all laid out. It definitely became more real.

Unfortunately, I didn't even have my phone on me while inside because it unknowingly to me had fallen out of my purse in the car so the only shot I got was on the way out:

Lots of stuff happening inside, I swear!

Sigh. I love it.

I'm also in awe of how long the front porch is...our SR remarked today about what a great choice that was for a cul-de-sac home as we'll be able to watch the kids play. We noticed the lot on our other side is now SOLD. The SR told us it's a younger couple (20s) with no kids. They are building a Sewickley with lots of upgrades. Apparently the Sewickley is a smaller model but with all the upgrades it will be very nice. I had to laugh thinking about what kind of birth control my 2 and 4-year-old will provide. At least there are no windows on their side of our house. ;)

Also, we scheduled the pre-drywall walk through for this Friday morning before we leave on vacation!! Hubby will probably do this alone as I trust him and don't really care to find a babysitter since we are getting sitters on Thursday and Saturday to move out of our current house. Ack! Moving! Must stop writing and go pack another box. Our storage pods arrive tomorrow.

I think we are planning to lock in our rate this week as there is supposed to be some kind of financial news coming out.

Fingers crossed...and thanking God for all of these blessings!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Roof Day 2

Just the one new pic from today (Friday) as the roofers were still working as of 5pm so my husband couldn't go inside. 
Roofers doing their thing
Meanwhile back at home, we are in full on moving mode as the storage pods arrive next week and we plan to be completely out next Saturday.
My husband has been his usual perfectionist self (love you) and is patching and sanding every single hole we ever put in the walls. The wall anchors from our shelves left particularly cavernous holes. Does everyone else do this?? I just might have to sit our buyers down at closing and explain how lucky they are that every time we found something shabbily done in this house, we fixed it right...how we paid for previous owners' mistakes to be righted...and how there will be no sign that there was ever a hole in any wall.
Besides being a perfectionist, my better half is also a DIY-er so there will be no moving company involved in our moves. He's orchestrated the moves of many of our friends so they have lined up to help him do the same, now that it's our turn. He packs a mean truck. :)

I feel like I have a 100 page list of things I need to do next week (forwarding mail, calling more utilities, finding all the docs we will need for closing, etc.) and yet, I'm updating my blog instead of crossing off items, ha ha.

Also, day 3 of 28 days of mandated cage rest for our dog is done. Only 25 more to go! Sigh. But, really her meds have improved her pain level dramatically, which is all we really wanted at this point.

I'll update the house this weekend if we head out tomorrow with my camera. Happy Friday night everyone!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Roof! (Well, part of one)

I didn't get to post pics last night because we spent the day picking up our 9-year-old dog from the animal hospital. She is on a month of cage rest (and lots of meds) to try to heal a possible/probable herniated disc. Has anyone done this before? How about when moving out of your house, taking her on vacation and then moving in with friends? Sigh.

Cage rest day 2 of 28. Poor baby.
Here we are at the end of day yesterday! More iphone pics from my husband, the lucky guy gets to stop there after work every day:

Garage/basement floor poured

Morning room on left/Family room on right

View from morning room into family room - kitchen to left

Front porch

Part of the roof is on! Windows are in!

Skies still blue :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Blue Skies = Day 4 of Framing & New Close Estimate

I swear SW Pa doesn't have clear blue skies very often, yet every time my husband texts me a picture on his way home, the sky looks like this:

Ahhh...I could get used to that. 

Look, a second floor! And a porch roof!  

Things are finally moving in the right direction here. We are one of two houses going up on our street right now, and they framed the other house first so we were feeling like whiny preschoolers impatient for our turn. (Wait, is this where my children learn it from?? ;)

My husband talked to the PM yesterday. We were anxious for an update as PM was on vacation last week and not much happened until the week's end.

View of morning room and family room

He said he is hoping to put the roof on tomorrow and have all of the mechanical stuff done over the next week. Wahoo!

Basement floor poured

Then the week after that he wants to do the pre-drywall meeting/walk through. Naturally, that is the week we are with my family on vacation. I say naturally, because the closing on our current home is set for that week, too. Thankfully, we are only vacationing 90 minutes away this year (which is a big change for us) so we can drive back for these things while leaving the kids with Grandma and Grandpa at the lake. You know, a little closing, a little pre-drywall meeting...possibly a date night and drink sans kids, ha ha.

Turns out the weeks of waiting in the rain and storms and more rain ... will probably push us back a little. Originally we had a Sep. 3 settlement date...then our PM got us all excited by saying it would be mid to end of August.

Now, he's amended that to the first or second week of September. Darn.

We are clear to lock in a rate with NVR, so we are watching rates closely and evaluating the whole points thing. Rates are updated at 11am every day, so one of these days when the feeling is right, we'll pounce. :) Gotta figure out when that Bernanke guy is going to talk again... ha. Regardless, I am trying to remember that when my parents built in 1979, interest rates were in the 12s. And I'm upset that they went from 3 to 4.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Peek at the Pool

Yes, I'm teasing you with promises of pics of the plan's new pool and clubhouse to get you to look at more pictures of our framed first floor. Feel free to scroll down if you just can't wait.

First floor up!

3 big windows on the morning room

Rock. Our future neighbors told us how lovely it was for them for several days in a row while the construction crew busted up tons of rock. Wondering how many times this will be repeated when the lots to our left sell...

Shot of back of house (husband peeking out of basement window)

Shot of our backyard...which we have been promised will be graded back to the toe of the hill so we'll gain as much flat space as they can give us. I have no idea where the "toe" of a hill is, however. I do know that since we are turned on our lot to face the cul-de-sac that our yard will be bigger on the right side of this pic.

Ha ha, more rock.

This was actually above my head - I just raised my camera above my head and snapped.

A shot of our front porch - it extends across the whole front of the house - about 4 feet deep.

Now that you've been patient, here comes Majestic Hills' new pool(s) and clubhouse. They are on the street below ours and the lots above them were just recently sold...soooo I sort of trespassed onto them to get an incognito shot or two. I didn't want the people swimming to see someone taking creepy pictures of them.

View from our street of the whole complex - we'll have key fobs to open the gate.

Kiddie pool and clubhouse

Adult pool

The whole thing again... we are just hoping we get in and close before it closes up for the fall. I have no idea if they will stay open past Labor Day or not...it didn't open until June sometime so fingers crossed that our HOA fees will be worth it for this summer at least a few times.

Okay, so we bought a refrigerator today. Luckily, Lowe's will hold it for us until closing so we didn't have to store it ourselves.

I mentioned before that when I look at other blogs I start to second guess our decision to do the Espresso cabinets with black appliances. Then, happily, today I found Dreaming of a Ryan Home Florence and her pics of what it looks like - just what we'd hoped - they blend right in with the cabinets.

Pic from http://florencewithryanhomes.blogspot.com/2013/01/looking-more-like-home.html

Another pic from the same blog with the stove and microwave visible. Our floors will be lighter but otherwise, a nice comparison to what ours will look like. I'm very happy to see this!!

Pic from http://florencewithryanhomes.blogspot.com/2013/01/looking-more-like-home.html

Here's hoping for a dry weather week so we can finish the framing!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Framing Day 2

Just a quick update today... before the thunder rolled in at 4pm, this much was done:

We are hoping to go out this weekend with the girls and my DSLR and get better shots. We're also hoping may they will work on Saturday to make up for all of the missed, bad weather days. But even if not, my husband wants to get some shots of the pipes in the basement in case he wants to dig up the concrete in the future for a wet bar. :)

His current project digging down under our current house to install a sump pump is apparently inspiring him for future concrete demolition projects.

Thankfully, our buyers are good with our sump pump solution to the dye test. Everything is clear then for us to close on August 9 and move in with friends. We've invited them over to our house tomorrow to figure out logistics as far as cooking, cleaning, groceries, etc. If anyone has any experience with extended living with friends, I'm all ears for advice! We're hoping this is a 2-3 week thing at most.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Framing Day 1.5

After several weeks of bad weather delays, our framing started yesterday morning (there were storms in the afternoon) and continued today... so a day and a half of framing down? I feel like other bloggers already had walls up by this day but I'm not going down that rabbit hole - we're just so relieved to get this going. Every day they can work is another day we don't have to live in our friend's basement ;).

My husband is able to drive by the house every day on his way home from work (and who are we kidding - he usually drives by at lunch, too, and sometimes on the way in to work) and texts me pics from his phone. We're planning to all go out Friday night so I can take my good camera but for now...iphone pics:

I know they are pretty boring to look at it but I'm sure many of you can recall the excitement of the house finally starting to take shape.

 View from cul-de sac:

Morning room (we could only get the single door onto the porch because we have the 4 foot extension on our family room. This always made me a little sad but considering how much our 2-and-4-year leave our current sliding glass door open, it probably means fewer bugs escaping into our house.

View in basement under morning room

Half of the morning room walls are up. The morning room windows will face east so we will actually get morning sun in it... depending on how much the hillside behind us will block it as it rises. This will be interesting to see when we're further along. 

As I type this, my ever-industrious better half is sledge hammering through rock in our basement to get the last few inches down to install the sump pump and bucket into the ground under the laundry room. The buyers want to come look at it in the next day or so. We are just praying that this is all resolved shortly so that the bleeding of money can stop.

I am continually amused by the random stuff that finds its way to you once you sign some papers... our current township called my cell phone to inform me that before we can leave the township we have to pay them the $2.10 in local income tax they claim we own them from 2010. Besides the fact that my husband remembers sending them a ridiculously low check like that before, just. really. You didn't care that we owed it two months ago, but now that we're leaving it's all, heeeeyyyy, we need our two bucks.

But who cares, we're framing!! Yay!

Baby Steps

Old House update first...
The township ordered us to dig up both floor drains (garage and laundry room.) The plumber found an interior French drain running into the sanitary sewer line in the laundry room. The township mandated these be cut off and capped. We opted to have my husband install a sump pump himself to save thousands. So the end effect is, the we-didn't-know-it-existed interior French drain that was apparently keeping our basement dry all these years is still draining, but now will drain properly into the storm sewer via the pump, instead of into the sanitary sewer, which is and always has been, illegal. We think doing the pump work ourselves will keep this project at around $1500, instead of much more. We could not avoid paying the master plumber for the work the township mandated. We are still waiting to hear if the buyers are okay with all of this work. Considering we are paying for everything, I think they are getting an awesome deal.

Every time we write a check for this house, I visualize some new piece of furniture in the new house disappearing - poof! poof! poof!

Onto the new house.
Finally, finally, finally something happened yesterday morning:

This was our site at lunchtime.

Of course, it started thundering in the afternoon...ugh.

Today, however, while 95 degrees out, has been dry. As soon as the framing is complete, the PM has promised us a more accurate finish date, which will be nice to have since we are staying with friends after our old house closes on Aug. 9. I imagine it will be a little like being back in the college dorms again, except this time with 3 preschool girls thrown into the mix.

Work fast, people!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Dye Test Hell

I wish I had some framing pictures to post, but alas after several weeks of rain, thunderstorms and more rain, we *still* are not framed. Our PM assures us this will happen next week but I'm getting uncomfortable about our closing date and how many weeks we are going to be staying with friends.

But to take my mind off of that, is that fact that we FAILED our dye test on our current home today. It was built in 1972 (mind you, before either of us was born) and apparently whatever geniuses built this house may have routed a French drain into the sanitary sewer, a huge no-no. The plumber and public works can't find any evidence that this was done after the fact as there are no marks in the concrete suggesting it was cut open, so it must have gone in at first construction. IN 1972!! The local government just started requiring dye tests in 2006, after we bought the house in 2004, so the owners right before us would not have had to pass one in order to sell to us.

So as of now, I am waiting for a call back from the plumber to hear how his talk with the public works director went...and if this will cost us hundreds or thousands of dollars. If the pipes are active and not bone dry, we will need a sump pump installed. If they are bone dry and appear to not be active then we may get away with just sealing them off...however, considering how dry our basement is I'm betting it's likely that the drain is working and draining straight where it's not supposed to be. At the very least they will be jackhammering up both the garage and laundry room drains to check, which won't be cheap either. Plus the dye test itself was almost $200. Is this normal?!?

I can't see any logical way to fight this, but can I at least plead how unfair it is for us to have to pay for someone's mistake 40 years ago??

Let's not even discuss climbing interest rates, which were below 3.5 when we first started this building process. I'm just not going to think about it today, I'll think about it tomorrow (h/t Scarlett O'Hara.)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Waiting on the weather...

We're trying to be patient but I'm honestly a little bummed because we thought we'd be done framing by now. Instead, thunderstorms every day last week and ran this week prevented much of that work from happening...blah.

But we have beams. Our PM told us that today they could finally bring in the tall (metal) crane without the fear of storms and I guess you need the beams before you can frame, right? Small steps...

Well since tomorrow is the 4th of July, I'm guessing work will be minimal until next week. I'm going to try to relax and enjoy the holiday. Happy Independence Day!