Friday, September 13, 2013

We are finally moved in!

Well, the actual day of the move was over a week ago, but we still don't have everything unpacked. My goal is to get stuff out of boxes and a first pass at putting it all away by October 1st.

Now that we are living there, we are finding all kinds of little (and sometimes big) issues. Like when the plumber hooked up the dishwasher, he forgot to connect one of the 2 hoses. First time we used it it flooded the kitchen. Some of the door knows are not fully installed correctly. They ordered and installed the wrong cooktop for the main kitchen. One of the light switches had been covered over while building the house. Just lots of stuff.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Well, things are progressing on the outside at a good clip. It looks like a bunch of gophers or somethings have been digging in the yard. They are putting in the irrigation system and there are trenches dug all over the place. It looks like they will finish that phase up in a few days and will then get to the sodding and planting. We are actually going to wait for a few weeks to put out many of the larger plants, just to let the weather cool off a little bit.

Inside there is not nearly as much progress happening. Our list of must haves before move in has had about 10 things completed and probably another 10 partially done (out of 43), but has also had 6 or so more things added to it, so they need to get busy to have things ready for our move. Right now I am not optimistic about making the deadline, despite assurances from our contractor. We'll see.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


I have had a few posts recently that have been mainly text, well this one will be mainly pictures. We'll start with a panorama of the house as seen from the southeast.
 photo Panarama_House_20130823_zps63ec3cb7.jpg

Next we have a close up of the back side of the solar array which shows the propane tank installed. This one is not so interesting, but we have been waiting for the propane tank for a while so I wanted to show it off.
 photo Propane_Tank_20130823_zpscc51755e.jpg

One of the things I never anticipated when we first discussed this project, would be the need for a retaining wall since the ground has a substantial slope to it. Looking at the land you really don't notice it, but it has about an 8% grade across the whole thing. So when we put the house in at ground level in the back, it was almost 4 feet above grade level in the front. No big deal to build up the pad and level the house, but the landscaping needs a retaining wall to keep the root system of the big tree from being buried and causing problems. This is our retaining wall. You can also see it in the panorama above. (BTW, the blue tint to the cap is the primer, but the final color)
 photo Retaining_Wall_20130823_zps3d7efbeb.jpg

Finally we have a picture of the Jacuzzi in the master bathroom. The base cabinet is not finished yet, but you can see the backsplash and the tub itself. The window is currently clear glass, but will be replaced with frosted glass before we move in.
 photo Jacuzzi_20130823_zps3ba72476.jpg

OK, I had to add one more, the pool in the backyard. With the outdoor kitchen and the pool house in the background.
 photo Pool_20130823_zpsb8f6943a.jpg

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Move in date set

I know I have promised high res pictures for over a week now, but I need to get some time to go out and take them. I hope to get some this weekend. Besides, there is a lot of little progress being made each day now. The outdoor kitchen is almost finished. Door knows, drawer pulls, and cabinet knobs are being installed. Most of the tile and rock work inside is done. The landscaping has been planned and will start to be installed next week. The holes in the walls and ceilings where they had to go fishing for wires are being patched. Cleaning crews are coming in and doing a cleaning to make it easier to see what needs to be done. Lots of little stuff.

The list of 43 things is still mostly there, but many of them are "mostly" done now and I am told that by the weekend maybe half of them will be finished.

We are now confident that things will be done soon and we have scheduled an official move in date of September 4th. The movers will come to our old house that morning and move everything we have boxes, packs, or marked to the new house. The plan is to spend that night in the new dome house!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Outdoor Kitchen is getting close

Last night, about 6:30 we went out to see what had happened at the dome. The original plan was to go swimming then, but the weather was actually threatening storms and there was lightning in the area, so we scrubbed those (not that it actually rained very much). When we arrived, there were still two pickup trucks there. They were working on installing the granite on the outdoor kitchen. I think they were planning on staying until they finished last night, but I'm not sure. I am just surprised they were there.

There had also been a lot of work done on the front retaining wall. The rock covering was about 75% done and all the cinder blocks and the wall cap were in place. It looks nice. Later this week I'll post several pictures with links to higher resolution photos of stuff around the house. It really is all starting to come together.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Part of the Driveway is done

 photo Driveway_small_zpsed1db705.jpg
They got the top half of the driveway poured this morning, amid confusion and a lot of mess. The road in front of our house is being resurfaced, and, of course, today and tomorrow are the days they are right in front of our driveway. I drove by about 8:30 this morning to see how it was going and I saw 6 concrete trucks and a pump truck all trying to get in the driveway and stay our of the way of the scraper working on the road. I just kept driving and did not stop to get in the way. When I went back this afternoon this much of the driveway was done. Apparently they also tried to deliver the granite for the outdoor kitchen this morning (I actually saw that truck driving up) but decided to scrub that delivery due to the mess. They are going to try to get the granite in tomorrow while the workers frame and rebar the rest of the driveway. Then maybe Saturday or Monday they will finish the pour.

My wife and I sent our list of 43 things to the general contractor that needed to be done, in our opinion, before we could move in. These ranged from the obvious "Finish the Driveway" to picky things like "install transition flooring to go from tile to wood flooring" We meet with him tomorrow to discuss the list and get his time estimate. I'm guessing 2 weeks, but we'll see. Somehow it seems like it has been 2 weeks away for the last month or two!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Starting interior details

We are continuing to make progress toward getting moved in. They have been working on the interior details this week. Show molding around the flat walls, Correcting the placement of a few plugs, switches, and vents. installing the floor in the pool house. Lots of little details.

Big things are still happening outside. The driveway is mostly ready to be poured. It is fully frames and all that is needed is to add the rebar and then the concrete. The plan is to pour the majority of it Thursday morning and then finish the rest over the weekend.

The outdoor kitchen is mostly done now. The stonework still needs to be routed and the granite and appliances need to be installed. That should happen this week. Then the outdoor lights will be added next week.

They have begun the process of digging the french drains to help channel the water where we want it. At least it will if it ever rains again, which I am beginning to doubt. The pond in front of our land is down to about 6" deep, from the 3' it was a month ago. All the catfish we had found in it are most probably dead. The big turtle has been caught and moved to a larger pond. It had a shell diameter of about 18". All that are left now are frogs, the biggest of which have bodies about 5" long, not counting legs.

All in all progress is still being made fairly quickly. My wife and I are about to sit down and develop our punch list of stuff for the contractor, and we sort of expect it to be done during the next 2 weeks. This makes move in during the week of August 19th.