Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Back Patio is Finished

There is not a whole lot of work being done on the inside of the house right now (for which I am very curious and concerned), but they are working like gang busters on the outside. The pizza oven is completely finished, the outdoor kitchen is almost done, the outdoor kitchen covering is making nice progress, and they finally poured the last little bit of the back patio.

They have been hauling in a bunch of dirt to build up the area underneath what will be the driveway. I suspect they are sort of dragging their feet on this to let people who have heavy things to deliver get them done without driving on the newly poured driveway and possibly cracking it. That time is very close since they got the retaining walls done and the last bit of the back patio in as well. They also delivered the flooring for the pool house so that is ready to be installed as well.

So where do we stand on the progress meter? By the end of this week was the "be finished with the inside" time given by the contractor. It looks like he has shifted his focus to the outside now and I predict at least one more week (probably 2) before we are ready to apply for the certificate of occupancy. That makes it August 16th by my count, which is, of course, the Friday before the kids start back to school. That is the absolute worst timing in the world, but then again I should have listened to Murphy long ago and predicted that as a move in date.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Keep Good Records

This post is not going to be about our house, but is intended as advise for those of you considering building your own home (be it dome or traditional). As we draw nearer to the completion of the house, many of the decisions we made over a year ago and now being installed. Things like we have two different finished of cabinet knobs, oil rubbed bronze and silver-nickel, and we need to remember where we want each one. The appliances are being installed, is that really the dish washer we picked out? Just simple basic things that we did not always keep good records on. Please remember to take pictures of your selections and to keep a record of those in your files including where they go. Maybe use a blog like this and include pictures and descriptions as you are making selections, maybe print them out and keep a file folder with all your selections, but keep good records. So far, I don't think it has cost us anything, but it easily could have.

Pizza Oven

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I admit the pizza oven is not quite complete, but it is very much close enough to see exactly what it will look like when it is done. The side you can't see does not have any rock on it yet, but hopefully tomorrow they will finish that up.

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While they are working with the rock, the front entrance is getting a lot of attention. The small walls that define the front porch are in place and the rock vernier and the stucco caps are in place, as are the pillars supporting the awning. There are no front steps yet (which makes that first step a real douzzie) but they are coming. There will be lights on the ends of the walls and a wrought iron gate across the opening with stairs going down to the driveway from there.

They have started making good progress on the outdoor kitchen and by the weekend we should be able to better visualize how it will look next to the pool. Hopefully by this time next week I will be talking about possible move in dates.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wood Floor is installed

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We have all the wood flooring installed now. They still have to add the transition pieces to connect the wood to the tile, but they did manage to get it all installed this weekend. Early next week we'll deal with the Jacuzzi, back fence, outdoor kitchen, the remaining AC units, and retaining walls. After that comes the driveway. Somewhere in there they still need to put the appliances in place, add the molding around the baseboards, do paint touch ups, and other little things. It really is looking like we'll get the certificate of occupancy by the end of July!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

AC and Flooring

Well, lots has happened in the last week. They got two of the Air Conditioning units (out of 4) installed and started. This allowed them to deliver the wood flooring and it is being installed this weekend. They also have begun work on the outdoor kitchen and have virtually finished rocking the front of the house. The kitchen appliances have been delivered, but are currently being stored in the garage. The front door should have the lock installed this afternoon, so the building will now be secure. There is a chance that be the end on the week (July 26th-ish) we may be able to apply for our certificate of occupancy.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

We have Power

I'm actually way late on this post, since power was actually connected on Friday. Last night we went out to the house around 10:00pm and looked around using the lights in the house. The pool pumps are now working and so are the waterfalls and bubblers.

The air conditioners are supposed to be installed on Monday and the wood flooring will be delivered on Tuesday. Give it 72 hours to acclimate to the house and on Friday it should be installed. I suspect it will take a few days to get all the wood flooring in, so by the 23rd or so we should have flooring across the entire house.

We also now have about half our door knobs installed, the other half will hopefully go in either today or Monday.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Front Entrance is almost finished

The crews have been working diligently to try to finish up the exterior of the house. The front porch covering is now sealed and has the scratch coat applied. The interior faces are stuccoed and the exterior should be rock covered by the beginning of next week. This opens the way for the electricians to finish wiring the exterior lights and then we can get power connected. With any good luck that will happen by the middle of next week.

The air conditioner trim work has been mostly done by installing the grates over the ducts in the house. The return air grates are not in place, and they missed a half dozen closets, but they got most of them. Now once we get power, they can set the AC units and we can get on with the flooring and other interior work that needs power.

There are piles of cinder blocks and fire brick that have been delivered the last few days to build the various retaining walls and the pizza oven. Yesterday we also got a load of lumber which I think is devoted to the outdoor kitchen. I am hoping to see that go up next week as well. We still have a small section of the back patio that needs to be poured before the retaining walls can go in, lest they have to wheelbarrow in the concrete to the patio.

If we can keep this level of activity, then I think the timeline I gave in the previous post is reasonable, but there is always the potential for bad weather or other things to get in the way. by the end of next week I will be able to give a solid picture of how viable that schedule is.