It Started with A Dream. It’s Looking like a Home!

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. ~Erma Bombeck

Six years ago we started this dream of ours. Seventeen months ago, I decided to share this dream with family and close friends by writing my first blog. Then, I really got brave and opened the blog up to the world. Scary!

The whole adventure of building this home has been exciting and more overwhelming than we could have ever imagined. It has consumed our lives for the last year. We are ready for the journey of building to be over. We want to continue our dream . . . just dreaming in our own bed in our own bedroom in our own home. That time is almost here!

The Painters worked the week of June 16. They finished up on Monday, June 23. They touched up all stained wood and applied a second coat of paint to all the walls. They also put another coat of paint on the pantry cabinet and laundry doors and drawers. They will come back to do final touch-ups after we move furniture in. They finally painted the exterior of the laundry room door the bronze color to match the windows.
Laundry exterior door painted bronze

Laundry exterior door painted bronze

The plumbers worked the week of June 16, too. After they installed the line for the refrigerator ice maker, Bill decided to get the Kenmore Elite refrigerator we purchased over a year ago out of the box and get it ready so the plumbers could hook it up the next day. Panic quickly set in when he realized that the refrigerator cabinet he made was 3 inches smaller than the refrigerator we purchased.

Big ol refrigerator that didn't fit!

Big ol refrigerator that didn’t fit!

Bill called me and kept apologizing for getting the cabinet size wrong. He felt horrible. He was ready to rip out the cabinet and try and remake it! I took a deep breath and calmly said, “Shut everything down and come up to Jill’s and let’s talk about it.” I’m telling you, the further we get into this construction, nothing surprises me anymore. I’ve found that getting upset doesn’t do much good. That doesn’t mean I don’t get upset here and there. But, this particular time. I did not.

Jill just happened to be home from work and close by when Bill called. As soon as I hung up she asked what was going on. I told her and I said the last thing I wanted was for Bill to re-make a cabinet. We were too far to go back there. Besides, we were both sick of cabinet issues! Jill said she thought we should just see if Sears would let us exchange the refrigerator for one that fit. Deja vu . . . another appliance return! When Bill came up from the house he looked so pitiful. We talked and I said we need to see if Sears will let us exchange the fridge. Besides, I was not that attached to that fridge anyway. Bill had really picked that model with two freezer compartments. I just liked the inside of the fridge section.

Long story short and several hours the next day haggling a deal at Sears, we swapped out the fridge for a smaller Kenmore Elite model, paid a larger than we wanted re-stocking fee, purchased a second small fridge for the laundry room, and scheduled the delivery of the two new refrigerators and pick-up of the other fridge for two days later, Thursday, June 19. Let’s just say Lowe’s gave us a better deal than Sears on our appliance returns. If I had to do it all over, we wouldn’t have purchased any of our appliances a year or two in advance! Thank goodness all the rest of the appliances seem to be okay.

New fridge that fits!

New fridge that fits!

Here’s how one end of the laundry room is shaping up. In the pic below the gas dryer is on the left and washer on the right.

New smaller fridge and upright freezer on the right

New smaller fridge and upright freezer on the right

However, we are swapping them because of the door configuration. We can’t change the door on the washer but Bill was going to change the door for the dryer because I really wanted the washer on the right where it would be next to the pull-out drawer cabinet where I was going to store detergent and softener. But, it makes more sense for the doors to open up so I can move the clothes from the washer to dryer without having doors in the middle.

Old opening configuration of Dryer and Washer

Old opening configuration of Dryer and Washer

New door opening configuration of washer and dryer

New door opening configuration of Washer and Dryer

Bill will eventually change the door openings on both the freezer and small refrigerator. Bummer. Must not have told Sears which way we needed those opening. More jobs for Bill!

Speaking of jobs, shortly after the refrigerator deal, Jill and Jim asked me to get a punch list of everything else that needed to be done to complete our construction. They wanted to help us get a schedule set-up with a move-in date. This was a bit tense time as it meant listing everything that needed to be done, including all those PITA jobs assigned to Bill. Here is just a small section of what that list looks like. Right now it’s five pages long but it has all the subs listed and what needs to be done on the house only. Bill’s keeping what needs to be done in the pole barn in his head.
Punch List

Punch List

It’s an ever-growing and ever-changing list. But, it’s been great to have it as it keeps us all on track. Originally, Bill wanted to know where my name was on the list. That’s why I added my name under that one section. I took over some of the scheduling of subs while Jim was out-of-town the first week. Jim took over the major contractors after he got home. Bill continued to have the day-to-day contact with the subs and answered all questions on-site. And, in-between, tried to work on his long list of PITA jobs. I think Bill needs his own crew. And, some of the things are going to have to wait until after we move in.

Here are some of the things that the plumbers got done.

Vanity faucets installed

Vanity faucets installed

What they can cram into a small space under the kitchen sink: garbage disposal, instant hot/cold dispenser, filtering system, pipes and plugs.

All the stuff under the kitchen sink!

All the stuff under the kitchen sink!

Kitchen faucets installed

Kitchen faucets installed

Shower fixtures

Shower fixtures

And, they installed our toilets! I had read on a forum that as soon as the toilets were installed, contractors start using them instead of the porta-potty. We didn’t want them to do that! Ewww. Heck, Bill and I weren’t going to use them since the septic laterals weren’t installed yet. So, Bill shrink-wrapped the toilet seats! That Bill is so clever.

Shrink-wrapped toilet seats.

Shrink-wrapped toilet seats.

And look what Bill has in the pole barn! They hooked up his toilet and his hot water heater for the radiant heat. They have to wait until electricity is finished in the pole barn to finish the rest of this. Bill will be eventually installing walls around this bathroom.

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All the plumbers have left to do in the house is to install the handheld shower which was on back-order for over a month, install an extended gas line for the gas dryer move, and fix the reverse osmosis filtering system which is leaking and possibly not hooked up properly to the kitchen. We still have very sodium-lased water which we thought the RO system was to eliminate. We are also bringing in a water specialist to see if he can help us.

Friday, June 20, we got excited because six loads of dirt were delivered. We thought that meant our excavator would be coming soon to install the septic laterals and do some grading.

Loads of dirt delivered

Loads of dirt delivered

Sunday, the excavator worked and graded the area in the front of the house and the back patio area and left word that we could call the concrete guy to install the front walkway and back patio. But, no septic laterals. Sad. However, he talked with Bill about drainage pipes we would need to buy for the area between the house and pole barn. And, Bill wanted to buy all the stuff for the pop-ups from the gutter drainage that he was going to install.

The week of June 23 was slow. More hold-ups for work. We needed electrician before any more plumbing could be done. The electrician was swamped. Bill called him on Tuesday that week and he said he couldn’t get to us until possibly the end of the following week but no definite date. Jim said he’d prefer us waiting on the concrete until he was back in town so he and his dad could make sure it was graded properly.

So, I scheduled David to come and install the shower glass door and the shower grab bars. I got his name from Ferguson’s (where we ordered the door). David had previously come out and measured everything and gave Ferguson’s the info about door configuration before we ordered it. David came Thursday, June 26, to install.

Shower glass door

Shower glass door

Shower grab bar

Shower grab bar

Hand-held shower head grab bar assembly

Hand-held shower head grab bar assembly

And, the HVAC guys came that day, too, and installed ductwork in the crawlspace. They said they’d be back the next day or sometime the next week. They left us the contraption that had to be installed on the roof. It was silver in color. Bill wanted to spray paint it to match the roof. And, since he couldn’t find any bronze colored shelf pins at any store we looked at, he bought brass ones and said we could spray those, too, with the same paint. I kept asking Bill is there was anything on the list I could help him with and finally he said I could spray paint. Of course, Bill set everything up and stood and watched me as I painted. It took me less than 10 minutes to spray everything. I told Bill that really didn’t help him.

Roof vents

Roof vents

Shelf pins

Shelf pins

Bill continued to work off of his list and kept finding more and more things that needed to get done. He installed the gas cooktop which he said was a bear!

Cooktop

Cooktop

Cooktop all in!

Cooktop all in!

He installed the trash compactor. Unfortunately, the handle screws are too long that he has to cut them down eventually. It’s always something.

Trash compactor

Trash compactor

He worked so hard to get all the kitchen cabinet doors, slides, drawers, and drawer fronts installed. I was reminded several times a day that big honkin’ drawers are not the easiest things to install correctly and evenly especially with soft close slides. But, he did it!!!!

Big honkin' drawer under wall oven

Big honkin’ drawer under wall oven

Three drawers in the island next to the dishwasher

Three drawers in the island next to the dishwasher

Sink base doors in island

Sink base doors in island

We decided not to put the tilt-out tray in the island sink base cabinet like Bill installed on the laundry sink cabinet below.

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Laundry tilt-out tray

However, Bill had already purchased the trays, so he installed one on each side of door interiors.

Trays mounted on the interior sink doors

Trays mounted on the interior sink doors

When Bill started to make his list for all the drainage pop-ups and drainage pipes he needed to buy, he noticed that the downspouts that the gutter company installed were the wrong size. They had installed 3″ instead of the verbally requested 4″. Bill called the gutter rep and said he’d take half the blame, but he really wanted the 4″ downspouts as the 3″ clog up too much. He asked that they be replaced prior to the concrete being poured. Those finally got installed on Wednesday, July 3.

Bill scheduled our carpenter’s wife Lisa to install our kitchen backsplash tile. They asked us to purchase the tile and the grout and Lisa and Tim would supply the mortar, caulk and labor. They started on the backsplash the afternoon of Friday, June 27. Tim came to help Lisa cut the tile but she did most of the installation.

Lisa installing the backsplash tile

Lisa installing the backsplash tile

Finished product

Finished product

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Lisa and Tim finished tiling Friday night as Bill worked on drawer fronts and I installed all the oil-rubbed-bronze window hardware covers and handles throughout the house. Lisa came back Saturday to grout and wipe down the tiles afterwards. Then she came back Sunday and put a sealer on the tiles and caulked everything. We are very happy with the results.

At the beginning of this week we finally got all the subs lined up and committed to work on certain dates so we could make July 12 our official move-in date. We are keeping our fingers crossed that each one shows up next week and gets things done. This week went like clock-work so we hope it all continues.

Monday morning, June 30, I contacted Rick about our bathroom cabinets. The doors needed to be aligned. They just wouldn’t shut correctly. And, the drawers in the hall bath were too close together and not opening without rubbing. Oh, and we found the tops to the window seats that he needed to pick-up. Rick came out that afternoon. He was able to adjust the drawers (still not perfect) but not rubbing. He wasn’t able to fix the doors on either bathroom. He said the doors were about 1/8″ too big. He ended up taking all six doors to our bathroom vanities with him to be cut down. I’ll have to check with him on Monday to see when he’ll have them back. Bill wants to install handles and knobs in the bathrooms this week.

BTW, here are the handles and knobs we bought for our master bath.

Master Bath cabinet hardware

Master Bath cabinet hardware

Poor Bill picked the hottest day we’ve had this summer to install a pole down by the lake. It was in the mid 90s with heat indexes over 100. That was a two maybe three shower day. He dug a hole three feet deep and managed to get that heavy pole in it and pour concrete to set it. He had electric run down by the lake and wanted the electrician to install an outlet on the lower part and a security light on the upper part.

Pole by the lake

Pole by the lake

Bill also decided to call the dumpster people to pick it up and get it out of here. I had already scheduled our residential trash pick-up to start on Thursday the 3rd. So, he worked like crazy to crush all the stuff down with the tractor scoop. A neighbor brought over some junk to load into it. Bill even took apart the grandkids’ old trampoline that bit the dust after blowing away into the woods. All those pieces fit in there. And, Bill also cleaned out all the dirty chicken coop junk and plastic and got rid of that. Bill helps everyone out! It was nice to say goodbye to this big blue container!

Full dumpster

Full dumpster

And, now we can drive two cars up to pole barn without any problems.

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Bill also went and bought drainage pipes and fittings and pop-ups before our excavator came on Tuesday, July 1. Then he laid them out. Look at all those drainage pipes! Cha-ching!

Jim assessing all the drainage pipes

Jim assessing all the drainage pipes

We finally got our septic laterals installed on Tuesday and passed inspection. Yahoo!!!!

Septic laterals installed

Septic laterals installed

Thank goodness he was able to get that part done before a big thunderstorm rolled in that afternoon. The excavator did come back on Wednesday, July 2, and did some grading in the front of the house and buried the drainage pipes.

Buried drainage pipes

Buried drainage pipes

Unfortunately, they ran out of pipes and Bill had to buy more, and then install and bury them. That’s how he spent 4th of July!

Our HVAC guys returned on Wednesday, the 2nd, to finish up. They installed the cold air return registers, but left us all the floor vents to install. That was something I could do!

Cold air returns

Cold air returns

Floor register vents

Floor register vents

Digital thermostat installed

Digital thermostat installed

HVAC system all built and working!

HVAC system all built and working!

Oh, and as if Bill didn’t have enough to do, he worked off and on trying to get the stove exhaust fan installed so the HVAC guys could get it vented. He had such a tough time drilling holes in the tile. The HVAC guys said most people installed the exhaust fan first and had the tile installed around it. We didn’t want that look, but there was a price to pay for doing it that way. Drill drill drill. And, then when Bill got the exhaust fan hung up, it wasn’t level and he had to drill some more. Poor Bill!

Exhaust fan going up

Exhaust fan going up

The last section clamped together

The last section clamped together

Because of the way the cabinet above the exhaust fan is situated, Bill now has to put some moulding around the top of the exhaust fan where it meets the cabinet bottom. Always something you don’t plan on doing.

To prepare for the electricians to come on Thursday, July 3, Bill and I tested every outlet and light switch to see what was working and what wasn’t. We had a problem with almost every room except the bedrooms with how they installed the light switches. Before we ever had electrical rough-in, I had put labels with what I wanted in the order I wanted for switches and stapled them next to the area where they would be installed. Well, they got the switches for the correct items installed; however, the order of the switches were either random or backwards. Very frustrating. For example, when entering the garage from the house, I wanted the first switch to be the interior garage lights, then exterior garage lights, and then the attic lights. What we got was attic lights, exterior lights, interior lights. Don’t mean to sound picky-picky, but we tried to think through how we would live in this house and what lights we’d be using the most and where to put them.

So, I took pictures of every run of light switches, printed them out and marked how I wanted things switched. And, I printed out a separate punch list for the electricians to work off from. Here are two of the light switch issues. The house is dotted with these photos hung up above the switches.

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Bill had to get his pole barn ready for electric, too. He worked really late on Wednesday to prepare for them. He had labels stapled to walls throughout the pole barn. He was so excited at the end of Thursday to finally have lights he could turn on with a switch and half of the pole barn wired and working! Goodbye long extension cords running from the pole barn to the house laundry room door.

Let there be lights in the pole barn

Let there be lights in the pole barn

Electrical box

Electrical box

Label and outlets installed

Label and outlets installed

Conduit galore!

Conduit galore!

I had originally bought two of these LED exterior lights for the new house at Costco before we left Indy. I loved the look of them. We had planned to use them as the front porch lights. However, before we had our electrical rough-in months ago, we decided we wanted to install lights outside the garage, too. I tried to see if I could buy two more of these lights. Costco didn’t carry them anymore and Amazon had them for double what I paid at Costco. But, the biggest kicker was everyone was returning the lights to Costco according to the reviews. There was failure on many of them just after a couple of months. Bill and I decided we didn’t want to risk replacing them on the house before we even moved in. So, we decided to install them on the pole barn. Bill is very happy and keeps teasing how nice they look. I just hope they don’t quit working!

Exterior LED light fixtures on the pole barn

Exterior LED light fixtures on the pole barn

The electricians are returning on Monday, the 7th, with a large crew. We only had two guys on Thursday. They will finish the pole barn and house then and call for our electrical inspection.

Here is what is scheduled for the next two weeks:

  • Monday, July 7, electricians to finish house and pole barn and inspection called in.
  • Tuesday, July 8, plumbers to finish house and pole barn and inspection called in.
  • Wednesday, July 9, carpet installed in the bedrooms.
  • Wednesday or Thursday, July 9-10, colored concrete poured for walkway from garage to front entry and for back patio.
  • Wednesday night pick up cardboard throughout the house and put in burn pile
  • Thursday, July 10, post-construction cleaning crew coming to clean the house, top to bottom. If they don’t finish, they’ll return the next day.
  • Friday, July 11, window cleaning crew to clean windows and glass doors inside and out.
  • By Friday, hopefully final inspection approved and certificate of occupancy received.
  • Saturday-Sunday, July 12-13, move all our furniture and boxes and bins from the storage units to the house.
  • Saturday, July 12, new dining chairs being delivered. Sometime we need to put together our new dining table!
  • Monday, July 14, family room furniture, rug, and king mattress and box springs delivered.
  • Week of July 14, start unpacking and moving things from Jill & Jim’s to new house.
  • Wednesday or Thursday, July 16-17, concrete driveway and walkway from back patio to pole barn poured.

Whew! Lots to do in-between the above, too! We’ll probably move in without a lot of things done only because there is only one Bill. I’ve always known I’ve relied on this guy to do just about every handyman thing there is to be done throughout our married life. I just wish he had a crew of his own.

We eventually will get our garage doors replaced and it’s really okay if it’s done after we move in. And, we had one of our shakes blow off during the last storm. Apparently, someone didn’t install that one very well!

This will more than likely be my last entry until after we move in. Plus, phone calls to get internet service weren’t successful last week. I was told by AT&T that they do service our area (Jill & Jim and Joan & Jim have AT&T service), but there are no more ports available for new customers! Jim has a couple of friends at AT&T and has already contacted them. We’ll wait and see if they can help us out before I research other ways to get the web. I hate to think I’d have to do everything on my phone. Blah!

And, if I may ask, please send all good vibes this way and prayers for our strength through this final stretch!

Thank you to all who have followed us through this journey!

There’s Always Something New for Bill to Do!

It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man. ~Benjamin Franklin

A man grows most tired while standing still. ~Chinese Proverb

A man is a worker. If he is not than he is nothing. ~Joseph Conrad

I’m not sure I or Bill agree about any of the above quotes! Case in point, Bill can work too much and then be miserable. He is exhausted every night and it’s not from standing still. And, now, I think Bill could be lots of things if he wasn’t working.

In honor of Father’s Day, I’m dedicating this blog post to Bill! He has worked so hard this past year, he would really like to have a vacation or at least a day off. But, truth be told, he won’t. At least not until we’ve moved in. He’s a worker bee. 🙂

Since I last posted, in the first two weeks, we didn’t have any contractors except the carpenter for several hours. In that time Bill always found something new to do – whether he planned it or not. He finished trimming out all the closets and put extra supports under every shelf. He installed my built-in ironing board in our closet, too.

One of the spare bedroom closets

One of the spare bedroom closets

Another spare bedroom closet

Another spare bedroom closet

Built-in ironing board with door closed

Built-in ironing board with door closed

Ironing Board cabinet with door open

Ironing Board cabinet with door open

Shelves to the right; straight ahead will be a mirror

Master closet: my shelves to the right; straight ahead will be a mirror

My area: long hanging clothes to the right; double-hanging rods on the left

My area: long hanging clothes to the right; double-hanging rods on the left

My shoe rack to the right; Bill's corner shelves to the left

My shoe rack to the right; Bill’s corner shelves to the left

Bill's double-hanging rods on the right; Bill's shoe racks and shelves on the left

Bill’s double-hanging rods on the right; Bill’s shoe racks and shelves on the left

Here is our master closet layout with small photos of where they fit into the space.

Master Closet Layout

Master Closet Layout

Our carpenter wanted to finish everything up and the last things on the list were installing the window seats and the fireplace mantel. After several emails and a phone call, I found out that our windows seats were being worked on. We were told that they would be re-made to fit our spaces. Turns out when our sales rep took the seats back to the cabinet makers, they said they would have to totally be made over. The sales rep said that would cost him too much so he brought them back to the local shop and re-worked them himself. (He was a cabinet-maker before becoming a sales rep.)

Last week he brought them out and right away Bill noticed that the drawers on one side of each seat were a different size than the one next to it. When Bill questioned how the sales rep re-worked the seats, he told Bill that he cut down one side on each seat and was having the cabinet-makers make new drawer fronts for the smaller drawers. Needless to say, we were not happy about the looks of the window seats. We had paid lots of money for them and expected them not to look “re-worked.” When we told the sales rep we would not accept the window seats, he said he would have them totally re-made for us. We had already waited 4 weeks to get them back and if we had new ones made it would be at least another 4-6 weeks. I finally asked if we could just have our money refunded and he said yes. So, that’s what we did.

Bill said he could make the window seats at a later time. I told him that we can wait and see what else might work in those spots. My whole idea for the seats was to sit by the window, drink my morning coffee, and watch the birds at the feeders or wildlife by the lake. Maybe a comfy chair with a table will work. I have some ideas, but that will be after we move in.

With the window seats out of the picture, Bill had our carpenter (Tim) install the baseboard around those areas. Tim installed the new built-in microwave. LOVE it!!!!

Built-in microwave above the wall oven

Built-in microwave above the wall oven

Microwave door open

Microwave door open

And, then Bill and Tim built the fireplace mantel. Bill built a prototype first and then he cut the wood. Here’s how it turned out. Excuse the mess.

Fireplace mantel

Fireplace mantel

Family room with fireplace mantel

Family room with fireplace mantel

This past week has been a very busy one at the house. The plumbers showed up early Monday morning and worked every day M-F. They spent a lot of time in the crawl space hooking up all the pipes. When they finally came up from down under, I got some pictures. They installed two reverse-osmosis systems which are tied together. (Bill installed the shelves for the tanks.)

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse Osmosis Systems

They installed the gas water heater.

Water heater

Water heater

And, Friday they trenched and installed gas lines from the house to the pole barn (for Bill’s radiant heat system). Bill always seems to be in the mix of things. He’s the one in the dark shirt helping the plumber get the stuck trencher out of the mud.

Trenching for gas lines

Trenching for gas lines

During the week Bill worked on getting the laundry cabinets doors, drawer slides, drawers, and hardware installed. He also installed the laminate counter-top, laundry sink, and laundry faucet.

Doors on laundry cabinets

Doors on laundry cabinets

Drawers installed in my LARGE pantry cabinet

Drawers installed in the LARGE pantry cabinet

Counter-top, sink and faucet installed

Counter-top, sink and faucet installed

Pantry cabinet with doors and hardware installed

Pantry cabinet with doors and hardware installed

View from the kitchen

View from the kitchen

Sink doors and hardware installed. The blank area will house the ice-maker.

Sink doors and hardware installed. The blank area will house the ice-maker.

He also started installing some of the extras in the kitchen cabinets, like the blind corner cabinet shelving system. He said the Rev-A-Shelf directions were horrible!

Blind corner cabinet shelving

Blind corner cabinet shelving

Thursday, June 12, our granite was finally installed! We’ve never had granite before. I really like the looks of it. I’ve gotten used to what you can and cannot do with granite since I’ve cooked at Jill and Jim’s this past year. I still sometimes forget about softly placing dishes on the counter-top. 🙂 We had them put a sealer on all the granite pieces and we hope it helps to keep it looking nice and stain free as long as we clean it.

We are very happy about how it looks with our cabinets. The kitchen counter-tops are Sierra Ridge. It turned out to be lighter than I thought it would be, but I’m happy it is since the cabinets are dark.

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IMG_4748The island granite is Crema Bordeaux.

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This is close-up of island with Blanco Cafe Brown sink:

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Here is how it looks together:

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Master bath with Golden Sand granite and Porcelain rectangular sinks:

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Second bath with Golden Sand granite and oval sink:

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The gutters were installed Friday.

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Our carpenter’s wife is going to install our backsplash. Here is the front-runner in our tile selection. Small subway tiles which have a little variation in color. I didn’t want anything too busy.

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After the granite went in, we were relieved that the mirrors I bought over two years ago at Tuesday Morning in Indy will fit in our master bathroom. I didn’t want to buy new ones. Excuse the dust, cardboard and tag on the mirror. 🙂

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Plumbers will be back most of next week, too, to finish up. The painter is coming back next week to touch-up paint and stain indoors. He also has another coat of bronze trim outside to paint. And, the exterior of the laundry door needs to be painted bronze. HVAC needs to return for venting and hook-up our kitchen chimney exhaust fan. And electricians need to finish up. Ground is still so wet so we don’t know when we’ll get those septic laterals dug. Still a big hold-up for us. After the septic is done, the same excavator will do our final grading and then we can have the concrete poured for walkway, back patio, and driveway.

There is an end in sight! But, depending on weather who knows when that will be!

If We Knew Then What We Know Now

A house is made of walls and beams, but a home is built with hopes and dreams.

Oh, my goodness! This house is taking longer and longer to finish! Bill and I have said more than once . . . “Maybe we should have just gone up the road and contracted with that builder who could build a little shack in 60 days!” Well, yes, we could have had a house like that. And, we probably would have been moved in by now. But, would it have been the dream home we envisioned? Never! And, so, we keep plugging along hoping to see the light at the end of the house-building tunnel sooner than later.

General construction and scheduling frustrations are enough to put one over the edge. You can just imagine what we felt like the last couple of weeks when adding the following to the mix.

  • Ran out of trim material
  • Storms and torrential rain soaked the already wet ground
  • Microwave trim kit we special ordered along with our microwave over 2 years ago was the wrong kit and both have been discontinued
  • Granite delivery delayed for 4 weeks

Let’s talk about what did get done. The painters have worked a lot. On good weather days they painted the exterior lap siding and caulked and caulked and caulked and painted some more.

Siding painted - trim not painted

Siding painted – trim not painted

Back of house painted

Back of house painted

On bad weather days, the painters worked indoors putting second coats of paint on bedroom walls and patching up nail holes on any of the trim that the carpenters had installed. And, they did more staining and polying. That came later.

Wednesday, May 7, Bill and the carpenters worked all afternoon and into the early night installing the kitchen cabinets and island.

Night view of cabinets/island without doors and drawers

Night view of cabinets/island without doors and drawers looking from the family room

Cabinets/island from dining area view

Cabinets/island from dining area view

Close-up of exhaust fan cabinet

Close-up of exhaust fan cabinet

Close-up of cooktop cabinet in the middle flanked by dish drawers

Close-up of cooktop cabinet in the middle flanked by dish drawers

Upper cabinets above cooktop

Upper cabinets above cook-top

Side view of island without trim or book shelf

Side view of island without trim or book shelf

Here I am feeling how the space feels. I loved it!

Here I am seeing how the space feels. I loved it!

The carpenters said they would come back on Saturday to install the tongue-and-groove on the porch ceiling and install the beams in the family room. And, Tim (carpenter) suggested that if Bill could get the 12 sheets of plywood purchased, stained and polyed, they would work on our closets the following week.

Bill bought the plywood the next day and was determined he was going to stain and poly it himself. He spent a couple of hours building two platforms to hold the plywood while it dried. He started staining on Friday, May 9. Big big job! Unfortunately, the first batch of plywood Bill bought and loaded and unloaded from his trailer he found wasn’t the right plywood for the job. So, he took 11 pieces of the plywood back (one of them he had already stained) and spent the bigger bucks to get the better stuff. Of course, that meant loading and unloading the wrong stuff and loading and unloading the right stuff. The man is totally exhausted every night.

Staining away

Staining away

Stacks of plywood needing staining and polyed on both sides

Stacks of plywood needing staining and poly on both sides

Bill soon found out this was going to take a long time to finish this job by himself.

Saturday, the carpenters showed up and installed the porch ceiling.

Installing the tongue-and-groove porch ceiling

Installing the tongue-and-groove porch ceiling

We decided to put trim around the edges because the soffit was wavy (metal)

We decided to put trim around the edges because the soffit was wavy (metal)

Finished porch ceiling

Finished porch ceiling

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Tim and Mike started on the beams in the family room.

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The farther they got, they knew they didn’t have enough material to finish the ceiling beams. They inventoried what was left and this is the last beam they could install.

Last beam before running out of material

Last beam before running out of material

Originally, we had planned to run beams along the green area to enclose it. It was supposed to be like a coffer vaulted ceiling. However, after seeing how the beams looked as is, we all agreed not to enclose that part of the vault. It would have been too weighty and dark. The guys did some figuring and came up with the amount of material we needed to finish the ceiling beams. Bill called Fehrenbacher on Monday and got it ordered.

Since the carpenters couldn’t finish the beams, they installed crown molding on the kitchen cabinets.

Crown on the cabinets

Crown on the cabinets

Sunday, May 11, Bill started installing cabinet doors. The large cabinet to the right below is the refrigerator cabinet.

First cabinet doors installed

First cabinet doors installed

Then, he installed cabinet doors on the double-deckers. The top ones will have glass in them.

Second cabinet doors

Second cabinet doors

Monday, May 12, we had a full crew – geothermal drilling crew, painters, granite measuring, and garage door rep. Bill decided to ask the painters if they could finish up the staining and polying of the plywood and told them more trim would be coming in a couple of days and he wanted them to stain and poly it, too. Cha-ching! More money for materials and more money for labor. I was happy that Bill relinquished control of the staining since he had his hands full with cabinets and other stuff.

There was a big storm that hit the area on Friday, May 9. The worst of it hit south of us. Unfortunately, the geothermal guys’ shop got hit and they didn’t realize that their battery charger for their machinery wasn’t working until they came out to start digging. They spent a lot of time waiting for batteries to charge.

Geothermal diggers

Geothermal diggers

They worked sporadically Monday through Thursday that week and they made a big mess with all the mud.

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Mud was everywhere since they had to go across our rock driveway. What a mess! But, thank goodness, they were able to get the loops drilled with no other issues.

The granite guy came late morning and got everything measured for the kitchen counter-tops, island, and both bathroom vanities. It was all quite interesting how it is all done digitally. I got a call from our granite salesman two days later and said we actually saved almost $800 from our original estimate because after measuring we needed less. YAY!!!! But, the bad news was we have to wait until June 12 before they install the granite. That is holding up getting the plumbers here. They can’t come until after granite and sinks are installed. Ugghhh!

Granite measuring

Granite measuring

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The garage door rep showed up along with the customer service rep from the company from which we purchased the doors. They determined it was a factory-finish default and they would replace our doors. I hope the next doors don’t start cracking and peeling.

The painters worked everyday the week of May 12. They kept busy with staining and polying in-between rain showers. They worked indoors painting or patching. Bill picked up the trim material mid-week and they started staining that, too.

Tuesday, the carpenters returned and since there was no finished material yet, they installed all our door hardware.

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Front door hardware

Front door hardware

The electrician called Bill early Wednesday, May 14, to tell Bill they could come and work that day. The crew (7 guys) was at our house by 9:00. Thank goodness, Bill and I had opened and inventoried all our light fixtures, ceiling fans, outdoor lights, and flood lights, on Sunday. However, we didn’t have light bulbs yet as I had just ordered LED bulbs from homedepot.com the day before. They had the cheapest price. LED bulbs are not cheap. Try buying a whole house full of them! They will pay for themselves in the long run in energy savings and won’t have to be replace for a very long time.

Fan installed in one of the bedrooms

Fan installed in one of the bedrooms

Vanity lights in hall bathroom

Vanity lights in hall bathroom

Vanities installed in master bath

Vanities installed in master bath

Fan installed in Family Room

Fan installed in Family Room

Entry way ceiling light and sconces

Entry way ceiling light and sconces

Chandelier in dining area

Chandelier in dining area

Under cabinet outlets installed

Under cabinet outlets installed

Lights in the laundry room

Lights in the laundry room

Exterior lights (front porch and on each side of garage doors)

Exterior lights (front porch and on each side of garage doors)

Let there be light!!!

They used the bulbs we bought for the outdoor lights for the chandelier (we will replace with LED)

They used the bulbs we bought for the outdoor lights for the chandelier (we will replace with LED)

Can lights in kitchen

Can lights in kitchen

They installed all the outlets and light switches throughout the house. Also have electrical outlets on each side of island, next to the sit-down area of our vanity, and each side of the fireplace (where the mantle will be).

Light switches

Light switches

Outlets on side of island

Outlets on side of island

Outlet for my sit-down vanity

Outlet for my sit-down vanity

They wired up the wall oven and placed it in the cabinet. The carpenters later had to notch out an area on each side to fully install it.

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Even though these guys are so fast and efficient, we forgot how messy they were. They would rip open a box and throw it on the floor. They would cut pieces of wiring and throw the rest on the floor. And, remember all that mud outside? Yep, they drug it inside. I was so upset how it all looked after they were gone, I didn’t take any pictures of the inside mess.

The next morning after Bill moved a lot of the light fixture boxes out to the garage, here is what the garage looked like.

Mud mud mud

Mud mud mud

Boxes and boxes and boxes

Boxes and boxes and boxes and mud

I spent hours Thursday, May 15, tearing down cardboard boxes, separating trash from burn piles. Bill was emptying trash, burning, and trying to get the pole barn back in order. I swept mud and trash inside until my knee and back gave out again. Bill worked for hours afterwards sweeping and vacuuming the garage and inside the house. The next day I helped Bill stack trim in the garage and do more straightening up of the house before the carpenters came the next day.

Bill sweeping garage

Bill sweeping garage

Saturday, May 17, the carpenters came to finish up the beams, install the microwave and microwave trim kit, and do other things on the punch list.

Finished ceiling beams

Finished ceiling beams in Family Room

How the beams come down the vault

How the beams come down the vault

Trimmed out the island

Trimmed out the island

More island trim

More island trim

Trimmed out the garage windows

Trimmed out the garage windows

Trimmed the entry doorway from the garage to house

Trimmed the entry doorway from the garage to house

Installed the last door!

Installed the last door!

Installed the large beam that separates the family room from kitchen/dining

Installed the large beam that separates the family room from kitchen/dining

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Trimmed the garage attic drop-down stairs

Trimmed the garage attic drop-down stairs

Trimmed out the utility area in the garage

Trimmed out the utility area in the garage

While the carpenters were finishing up the trim items, Bill and I went for a Craig’s List find. I never really liked that oak antique desk that I originally bought to put in the entry and then decided to put in my computer area. The painters had stripped it but hadn’t painted it yet. Remember this?

Antique desk

Antique desk

Well, the Craig’s List find was a desk I LOVE and it’s going right inside the garage entry door. It will be the drop-off area. Drop off mail, purse, charging station for electronics, and house a land-line, if we decide to have one.

Craig's List desk

Craig’s List desk

It is a very heavy piece of furniture and looks good in its new home. In fact, it is the first piece of furniture we’ve already moved into the house.

New desk finds a home

New desk finds a home

So, the carpenters and Bill were trying to install the microwave trim kit and when they opened it all up, they found that it did not fit the microwave. The size was all wrong. Geesh! So, Bill asked me to find the receipt for it and he boxed the trim kit back up and we went to Lowe’s to see how we could handle returning an item we purchased over two years ago!

Turns out they discontinued that trim kit and so Lowe’s could not get us one. All of the Bosch appliances we ordered were special orders. Customer service didn’t know what to do for us. Finally, they called a sales rep from his dinner break and he came back and worked with us for a couple of hours. At one point, I found a trim kit online, but Lowe’s said if we didn’t buy something else from them, they would not refund us for the special order. Apparently, there is a 90 day limit on special orders. Read the fine print. I didn’t. Good to know.

We ended up ordering a true built-in Bosch microwave the next day after we went home and measured to make sure it would fit. It has a door that pulls down instead of from side to side. And, Lowe’s did us well. They credited us the full amount for returning the convection microwave and trim kit – which they will have to sell on clearance. And, they threw in a 3-year warranty. We had originally purchased a 4-year warranty which was non-refundable.

New microwave

New microwave

I did a little magic with my computer and plucked in a pix of the microwave where it will eventually be installed. It is due to be delivered in another week.

What microwave and wall oven will look like

What microwave and wall oven will look like

And, you can see from the above picture Bill has been busy getting doors installed on the cabinets.

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Since last week was a beautiful sunny week, the painters worked Monday and Tuesday and finished up spraying poly on all the plywood. And, they started painting the trim the bronze color. It is finally looking how I had envisioned it!

Bronze trim around the windows

Bronze trim around the windows

View from the road

View from the road

Close-up of front window trim

Close-up of front window trim

Front door trim painted

Front door trim and columns painted

Part of the back trim painted

Part of the back trim painted

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Trim around the garage doors painted bronze

Trim around the garage doors painted bronze

We asked Jim to call the excavator about digging the septic laterals. He said the ground was still too wet. Really???? He said if the rain held off until after Tuesday, May 27, he should be able to dig. Keeping our fingers crossed that it will happen. But, the forecast shows rain every day this week.

Thursday, May 22, our shower door was delivered. The installer was supposed to have called me Friday. I guess I’ll get in touch with him this week.

Shower door

Shower door

Tim the carpenter came Thursday afternoon and started installing closet systems. The guy is fast.

Double-door closet

Double-door closet in spare bedroom

Bedroom closet

Bedroom closet

 

Coat closet

Coat closet

Linen closet

Linen closet

Of course, you might know, they ran out of material for cleats for shelving. Bill spent Friday and Saturday cutting down extra trim pieces Jim and Joan had that they offered to us. Bill sanded off the stain, re-stained and polyed the pieces. Tim was supposed to come sometime this weekend to start on the master closet. He showed up sometime today and we didn’t know it until Bill discovered these cleats installed.

Where Bill's shoe racks will be

Where Bill’s shoe racks will be

My shoe racks and double-hanging rods will be

My shoe racks and double-hanging rods will be

Shelves will be and fold-up ironing board

Shelves will be and fold-up ironing board

Bill says he is going to trim the closet systems. And, he is adding extra support under every shelf. He finished one this weekend.

Bedroom closed trimmed out

Bedroom closet trimmed out

Bill had to buy more material for our fireplace mantle. He’s in the process of sanding the boards, then stain and then poly. Never ending! I think we finally came up with a mantel that I liked. 🙂

Of course, Bill continues to do PITA jobs. We’ve had squeaks in one of the front bedrooms for months. Bill had screwed all the subfloors after the framers nailed them down back in the fall. Last week Bill got under the crawl space to see if he could fix the problem. He put up blocking, put shims between the rafters and subfloor, and glued it all. Then he took out the screws that were in there and put in longer screws. He thinks he fixed it!!!!

Bill trying to fix squeaks in bedroom floor

Bill trying to fix squeaks in bedroom floor

And, we have AC now! The HVAC guys came Friday and flushed the geothermal loops with water and installed our temporary controller. Duct system isn’t finished yet, but air is running and it’s cool.

Temporary HVAC controller

Temporary HVAC controller

Our list is going down. Just some major things still need to be done before we could move in. Bill still doesn’t have his electric in the pole barn yet. Hoping for late June. But, we’ll see.

I’ll be glad when this weed filled pile of dirt is gone.

Big 'ol pile of weed covered dirt!

Big ‘ol pile of weed covered dirt!

 

Troubles Turned to Blessings in Disguise!

Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures. ~Joseph Addison

I’ll apologize right off the bat for waiting a whole month between blog posts. But, to be honest with you, there wasn’t a lot to blog about until recently. Now things are moving again in the right direction.

When I last posted we were waiting for the painter to get done with the interior painting and staining and cabinets. Well, we continued to wait. The painter is cheap and good at what he does, but he sure tries our patience as far as showing up for work.

Early Monday, April 7, we received delivery of the cabinetry that we ordered for our bathrooms and window seats for the family room. We peaked inside to see what the colors looked like; however, we left the cabinets in their wrapping for three weeks until the trim carpenters opened them up.

The painters showed up Monday and Tuesday that week for a couple of hours each day. Then, they came Wednesday and Thursday early in the morning to spray the laundry cabinet doors and drawer fronts. They were gone those two mornings before we got down there. Shayna worked Monday and Tuesday, April 14-15, applying poly on kitchen cabinets and painted one coat of paint on the laundry cabinets.

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Sometime during the April 12-13 weekend, we discovered that our pretty mahogany-stained garage doors weren’t as pretty as they were before. Looking really close, it looked like paint over-spray all over them! Nooooooo!

This is how they looked when they installed them.

close-up of garage door

close-up of garage door

This is how they looked a couple of weeks ago:

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Two possible suspects for over-spray: subs who installed the Hardie Board (they sprayed primer paint on the ends of each cut); or our painter who sprayed our laundry cabinets outdoors. Either way, we weren’t happy about what they looked like. Those doors were an expensive upgrade. Bill wanted to see if he could get the paint off of them. More on that later.

We were really anxious to get done with the interior of the house so we could bring in the trim carpenter. We were being held up on the interior waiting for the painter to finish and were being held up on the exterior work because of weather. The painters did not show up the rest of the week or the next week! Promises were made by the painter over and over again, but they would always be a no-show.

Jim called our trim carpenter on Saturday, April 19, to see if he was going to be able to fit us in his schedule. He made an appointment to meet with Bill and me on Monday, April 21, to do a walk-thru. I printed out all the pictures of how we wanted our trim to look with examples of beams, mantel, headband, etc., in addition to a list of all the wood materials (and doors) we had received from Fehrenbacher Wood Specialities.  I also had printed all the cabinet layouts. During the meeting Mr. Carpenter kept shaking his head and saying, “I’m not sure if I can fit you in or not. The timing is really bad for me right now.” He even said maybe he could get a crew in and bang out all the trim and then come back later (a long time later) to install the cabinets. The months June and July were mentioned!!!! Are you kidding me?  He said he’d go back home and look at his schedule and see if he could squeeze us in. Early the next morning, he called me and said he was so sorry but he knew we were in a hurry to get the carpentry work done now and there was no way he could take on the job.

There was no time to mope around so Bill, Jim and I moved on getting another trim carpenter right away. I went through our bid construction binder and found we had only received one estimate (Mr. Carpenter) when we sent the bids out in the fall. Bill looked through our spreadsheet of contacts who we sent bids to in the fall and came up with two names. Neither one had sent in estimates then. He text Jim and he immediately set up appointments with both of them to come out and do walk-thrus: Mr. Carpenter #2 was scheduled for the next day (April 23) and Mr. Carpenter #3 was scheduled for that Friday (April 25).

Bill and I really liked Carpenter #2 and his son who came with him. They were not intimidated by our stained trim package. Not many people are using stained trim or doors these days. Everyone is going painted white. He said he could help us design and build our closet systems, too. He and Bill talked about mitering the baseboards for all the corners and he said it was no problem. Carpenter #2 said he would send us an estimate and schedule in a couple of days. In the meantime I found Carpenter #2 had a Facebook page for his business and I was impressed by what I saw.

Carpenter #3 came after he got off work Friday evening. He works full-time for a construction company (mainly commercial work) but does carpentry work on the side. In fact, Jim said he was the handyman in their old neighborhood and everyone loved him. Jim had never met him. As soon as he arrived, he got out of his truck, introduced himself, and immediately asked how we liked our garage doors. I said that we loved them until we got the paint over-spray. He went up to the doors and looked around. He told us that he had five of the same doors on his new house he just got done building up the road from us and they had to all be replaced because the finish was cracking! He started pointing out that ours were cracking, too. Told you there was more to our garage door story. And, there is still more . . . Later. 🙂

Carpenter #3 was younger than #1 or #2 but was knowledgeable. He looked at our door frames and questioned why they were broken down (easier for painter to stain but more for carpenter to install) and had his own idea of installing baseboard corners. Bill told him they had to be mitered PERIOD. He said he would drop by our estimate over the weekend and give us his schedule of when they could do the job. Before leaving, Bill gave him a piece of our wood so he could practice cutting miters for the baseboard. You got to love Bill!

Bill and I decided if the price and schedule were right, we’d go with Carpenter #2. Famous last words! Sunday afternoon Jim got a call from Carpenter #3. His price was low. Two thousand lower than Carpenter #1’s initial estimate (which would have gone up a couple Ks after our walk-thru if he had taken the job). And, he and his brother and another guy could start working Wednesday afternoon after they got off work. He said they would work Wednesday-Friday evenings, all day Saturday and all day Sunday.

Bill called Carpenter #2 and asked if he had an estimate for us. He emailed me his detailed estimate later that afternoon. It was almost double the price of Carpenter #3 (and $3K more than #1’s initial bid) and he didn’t give us dates of when they could start.

After much consideration (and reassurance from Jim that all their old neighbors raved about his work) we decided to go with Carpenter #3. This is where Blessings in Disguise comes into play as you’ll see in the upcoming photos.

Now, all we had to do was get that painter back out to finish the inside BEFORE the trim carpenter came on Weds. We devised a punch list for Mark and gave him a deadline. One of the items was to repaint one of the upper walls in the family room which we thought was painted the wrong color. See what you think.

Same or Different?

Same or Different?

Mark worked Monday and Tuesday, April 28-29, long days. Turns out the walls above are painted the same color. He even applied paint to both of the walls again to show Bill. Apparently, the light causes an optical illusion. Bill said Mark even exceeded his expectations of getting interior stuff finished. He applied poly to the stained screen frames, he stained and applied poly to the rest of the windows and the sliding glass door. He painted the laundry cabinets and toe kicks which were missed the first go-around.

Laundry Cabinet Toe-kicks

Laundry Cabinet Toe-kicks

During the last couple weeks of April, Bill worked in his workshop re-arranging and organizing it in preparation for the electrician and plumber. We bought new storage cabinets.

New Workshop Storage Cabinets

New Workshop Storage Cabinets

Putting one of the big cabinets together.

Putting one of the big cabinets together.

Bill had bought several boxes of discontinued hardwood flooring at Lowe’s over a year ago for $5 a box. He finally put them to good use and installed new tops on some of his cabinets.

Updated cabinets with new tops

Updated cabinets with new tops

Big cabinet all ready filled up!

Big cabinet already filled up!

Bill decided to sand and poly his work bench, too! He built this years ago at our last house.

Cleaned up the work bench

Cleaned up the work bench

Vectren came out and installed our permanent electric mid April. We still have the temporary post, too, which the trim carpenter is using. After he’s done, that will be removed. They ran our electric and gas lines to the house, too.

Tearing up the road to bring gas across from the other side of the road

Tearing up the road to bring gas across from the other side of the road

There's the lines

There are the lines

They ran the lines up the yard to the left of the driveway and then under the driveway by the garage to final hookup to house.

They ran the lines up the yard to the left of the driveway and then under the driveway by the garage to final hookup to house.

Permanent electric installed

Permanent electric installed

We're all set

We’re all set

Wednesday, April 30, we had our HVAC installed. They said they’d be back to dig the geothermal when the ground wasn’t so wet and we had electric hooked up the our new HVAC unit.

HVAC installed

HVAC installation

And, the trim carpenters started that same day. Tim Baker is Mr. Carpenter #3. OMG! He is like an energizer bunny. Tim arrived around 1:30 that day and started working on baseboards. Guess what? He sure did a great job mitering those corners!

Mitered baseboard corners

Mitered baseboard corners

Linen closet baseboards

Linen closet baseboards

Soon Tim’s brother (Mike) arrived and Tim put him on installing the interior doors.

First door installed

First door installed

Then Neal arrived and Tim put him on installing cabinets.

Neal checking out the first cabinet - the upper corner cabinet

Neal checking out the first cabinet – the upper corner cabinet

Bill was there to help with the cabinets.

Bill helping Neal installed cabinets

Bill helping Neal install cabinets

Tim asked if I would come down to approve the window trim he did on the first window before he continued. I was ecstatic when I saw it! He said he figured I liked it by the look on my face.

Sample of window trim and sill

Sample of window trim and sill

The guys worked until about 8:00 pm that evening and returned the next day with a fourth guy. They took off Friday, worked all day Saturday and took off Sunday. They got a lot done, but still a lot more to do.

Three upper kitchen cabinets installed

Three upper kitchen cabinets installed

I’ll never be able to reach anything on those top upper cabinets. Jill took a picture of me reaching up, but the photo was blurred. I could only reach up to the bottom two levels of the corner cabinet. 🙂 To show you how tall these are, here is a picture of Bill reaching up. He can reach three levels!

Bill reaching up to wall cabinet.

Bill reaching up to wall cabinet.

 

Close-up of window sills

Close-up of window sills

Close-up of window top casing trim

Close-up of window top casing trim

Door trimed out with upper casings the same as the window trim and we have plinth blocks on the lower part of side casings

Door trimmed out with upper casings the same as the window trim and we have plinth blocks on the lower part of side casings

Headband installed in most of the areas

Headband installed in most of the areas

Double closet doors in one of the bedrooms (garage entry door still to be installed)

Double closet doors in one of the bedrooms (garage entry door still to be installed)

Sample of window, door and headband

Sample of window, closet door and headband

Front door trimmed out

Front door trimmed out

Drop down beam in master bedroom hallway

Drop down beam in master bedroom hallway

Laundry cabinets being installed

Laundry cabinets being installed

Laundry cabinets ready for doors

Laundry cabinets ready for doors

Master bathroom vanities going in

Master bathroom vanities going in

Master bathroom with desk area in-between vanities

Master bathroom with desk area in-between vanities

These vanities were such a tight fit and our 5″ baseboards wouldn’t fit under the toe-kick. So, Tim “ripped” the bottom part off the baseboard in the whole bathroom to match all around. I’m not sure if you can see or not, but we also had electric run so I could have a plug on the side of the right vanity. The electric was in the wrong place, but Tim cut the drywall and moved it over. That part will be covered up with granite backsplash. These guys were great at coming up with solutions that worked and still looked good.

The hall bath was a bear to install, too! They really didn’t allow any give or take on these cabinets. Tim and Bill decided to use a piece of our trim to use as a spacer to bring the cabinets out a little from the door. Looks fine and worked. Bill said Neal is a perfectionist. I’m glad!

Hall bath cabinets going in

Hall bath cabinets going in

Hall cabinets installed

Hall cabinets installed

I didn’t think this huge master bath storage cabinet with seat was going to fit. But, Neal made it work!

Master bath storage cabinet

Master bath storage cabinet

A couple of things happened which we had to remedy.

Here was an oops I discovered where two doors met.

What's going on here?

What’s going on here?

But was quickly fixed. Tim laughed when I took the picture below and said while winking, “That’s always been like that!” I laughed and said, “Sorry – I have a picture to show otherwise! But, I love that you fixed it!”

Fixed casing

Fixed casing

Bill left Neal for less than 5 minutes. When he returned he saw Neal drilling some holes in an area where we have water lines! We had a picture for the carpenters of the kitchen wall before drywall to show them where we had blocking and water lines. Bill had to open the drywall up a little to see if there was damage. Neal had nicked the pex tubing.

Water line knicked

Drywall cut out to assess water line nicked

Bill called the plumber that evening and asked if he could come out the next day. Bill ended up texting him a close-up photo of the tube and the plumber said it was fine because the tubing is so thick and it was only nicked. I hope that is true when we turn on water!

See the cabinet to the left of the large pantry cabinet below? Looks like that is going to be moved to the garage bump-out area. When our electricians came to installed the electric to the new HVAC system and our well pump they said we couldn’t install anything permanent in front of the electrical panels.

Pantry cabinet installed

Pantry cabinet installed

We talked about installing the cabinet after all the inspections and we moved in, but . . . I decided this weekend that I still didn’t have a place for my mops and vacuum cleaner. So, those are going to be stored to the left of the pantry cabinet and we’ll also have room for this piece which I decided not to use in the entry cause it just didn’t go with everything else in the family room.

Antique desk

Antique desk

We are going to have the painter paint it the same colors as our laundry cabinets. This will sit opposite where my computer area will be in the laundry room so, I’ll use it as my mail/bill desk.

Thursday, May 1, I called David Ferrero to see if he could measure and install our glass shower door which we would order from Ferguson’s. David came out Friday morning, May 2. Lindsey at Ferguson’s called me Monday, the 5th, with price and we placed our order for the door and shower grab bar. Should be delivered in about 2 weeks.

Electricians hooked electric to the new HVAC system and well pump (the blue tank) on Friday, too.

Electric hooked up to HVAC and Well Pump

Electric hooked up to HVAC and Well Pump

One of the biggie problems over the weekend was that our window seats didn’t fit on either side of our fireplace. All of the engineers in the family gathered down at the house to see if there was any way to remedy the situation. Bill and Tim talked about cutting the stone down on the lower side where the seat would go. But, if they did that and got the seat in, we wouldn’t be able to open the drawers. We finally came to the conclusion that the initial measurements by our cabinet sales guy were off. I was given the privilege of delivering the bad news to our cabinet sales guy. Gulp!

Rick came out Monday, May 5, and measured over and over. He said sometimes these things happen. He said they’d make it right and he’d put a rush on getting new ones made. Bill helped Rick take the window seats away.

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Things could have been a lot worse. We can move in without window seats. If this had been the case of bathroom vanities, we would have had a major setback. Not worth getting upset about it.

Remember the garage door saga? Bill spent many hours Sunday, May 4, trying to clean off the paint on the garage doors. He was able to get a lot of it off but he discovered even more cracking of the finish. Monday, he called the company where we ordered the garage doors. We discovered they have a life-time warranty against cracking as long as you are the original purchaser. But, gosh, should these be cracking so quickly? These weren’t cheap doors! Anyway, they are going to be sending the Chi door representative out to look at the doors. What a pain!

Since we had a warm sunny forecast for this week with no rain Monday-Thursday, we asked Jim to text Mark the painter and asked that he start painting the exterior of the house. He said he’d pick up the paint in the morning and be out. He didn’t get here until 3:00 pm, but he came and painted several hours. Finally going to get rid of that “baby poop” greenish primed color. We think the color is going to blend in well. It will be a little darker once the second coat goes on.

First coat of paint (bottom section)

First coat of paint (bottom section)

Close-up of paint (on right side). Looks like he missed a couple spots.

Close-up of paint (on right side). Looks like he missed a couple of spots.

Front section painted one coat

Front section painted one coat

Looking better

Looking better

And, our excavator septic installer showed up Monday and Tuesday to install the septic! Yay! Bill said they have to wait until the city says they can dig the lateral lines. Something about it still being too wet and waiting until results from more soil testing samples come back.

Digging

Digging

Septic Tank

Septic Tank

This view shows location in front of house

This view shows location in front of house

There is some deep digging going on

There is some deep digging going on

Piping

Piping

Dig dig dig

Dig dig dig

Built the back pad up for our back patio

Built the pad for our back patio

We have two painters today, so they should be able to get a lot more done. And, the trim carpenters plan to work this afternoon/evening today and tomorrow installing our kitchen and island cabinets. We have the granite people coming on Monday, May 12, to template counter-tops and bathroom vanities. They told me that it will be another 2-3 weeks after that when they come back down and install. They are coming from Indy. That will push completion date out further because we can’t have plumber install all his stuff until the sinks are installed (we are getting our sinks from the granite company).

Bill lined up the cabinets and the island parts so everything will be ready for the carpenters.

Kitchen/island cabinets lined up ready for install

Kitchen/island cabinets lined up ready for install

Closer view of island parts

Closer view of island parts

I cannot wait until these are installed and we can see what they will look like. Bill has to get the glass for the small upper cabinets and install it into the doors before installing cabinet doors. He can start installing doors and slides after cabinets are installed.

The carpenters plan to work all day Saturday doing our beams and mantel in the family room and installing the tongue-and-groove porch ceiling. They still have the garage entry door to install along with more trim and headband in the kitchen after cabinets go in.

Tim also said he could build our closet systems. He and his wife invited Bill and me to their new home last weekend to see his trim work in their home. Gorgeous! I told him he was our blessing in disguise! I’ve looked at houzz.com for closet ideas and printing out photos to show Tim. I’ve sketched out the closet plans on graph paper and will show Tim today what I’ve come up with so far and see what he will charge us. We will buy the materials and Bill will stain and poly the wood to match the rest of our house.

Master Walk-in Closet

Master Walk-in Closet ideas

All the other closets

All the other closets

The last item in this post is about our well. The well guys came out yesterday, May 6, and hooked our well to the pump. They had Bill running it for 15 minute intervals to get some of the gunk out that might have settled. But, we have water!!!!!

We hope we will be in our final push soon. We sure cannot wait to move into this new home!