Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Ooooo fancy!  The house has been tarred and waterproofed (which I've been somehow termed that "rubberized"), this protective coat was added on top of that and now it will have foam attached to that.  Very cool right?  The drain tiles are in at the bottom of the walls on the outside, and the pea stones have been added in for drainage.  Here are all the pictures for what I'm talking about ...

We confirmed the windows order today - again.  We ended up making a few more changes but I like how it's all done now.  The only one that worries me is a window in Riley's room, but Jim said that I can come over before he frames it and show him exactly where I want it.  Isn't that awesome?  I feel like I have some wierd superpower that allows me to just move windows wherever I want in a house.  Take that awkward fitting furniture!! 

We are waiting on the testing engineers to inspect everything before moving to the next step, which is backfilling in these holes with dirt.  After that, sewer and water.  Jim hoped we'd do that this week, but the rain delayed the inspector and now it's on next week, hopefully Tuesday if everything goes as planned.

I like seeing progress, but I'm getting pretty anxious.  Jim says his new "realistic" due date for moving in would be February... fingers crossed!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The bar goes here. Or here. No no.. what about here?

When our house is done, the basement won't be "finished".  A few years from now we'd love to be able to do that.  So we need to plan now for then, since we have to put drains in the basement floor for things like sinks, toilets and then hook ups for other potential appliances. Since the basement floor will hopefully be finished this week, now's the time to finalize our thoughts.  We had a plan, but now things seem different when you have a physical room to look at.  So why not jump right in and figure it out!

The basement walls are pretty much done, they still need to be rubberized (or whatever that is). 
Dave and I jumped down in the hole.
There's Dave getting in.  It's a bit freaky to be honest... one you get in there it's a little tight. We walked the little path and jumped through the basement window.

Here's the window from the inside of the basement once we get in.

We spent some time in there with spray paint and our plans to get an idea of where things need to go.
Dave's thinking hard... bar placement as well as poker table and entertainment area are
very serious business to a man.  Very.  Serious.
Dave's standing in the bathroom right now and staring at where the sump pump will go.  The thing next to him on the left is the wine cellar.  It's actually the foundation for the porch - but Jim thought it'd be cool to open it up to store wine in... love him.
This is where the stairs are going to come down and we are going to put the bar there, eventually.  Dave's nervous about that but I'm confident it's really the best place.  Don't worry, he used graph paper to draw it out when we got home with paper poker tables and la-z-boy recliners to make sure it all fits. 
You know I'm not kidding. 

Now we have the perfect spot for the sink drain that Jim's going to put in before pouring the concrete.

The "bar"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hello basement walls!

There's been a lot going on at the Ardmore house over the past week!  I've been crazy busy at work and with the kids, so I haven't had much of a chance to hang out with my buddy Jim while he supervises everything (or sits and waits), but I have gotten a few pics here and there.
Here's one of the big trucks that came in with all the forms on it for the basement walls.  They put the big wood rectangle forms in place and then they pour the cement in between them and let it sit to form the walls.  It's pretty cool to see how it all works.

This represents how I feel right now....

Now, here's what the basement looked like once the "footings" were in and the wood was stripped from them.  The big pile of stone represents the garage. 

Then, they start putting the big wood forms in place to hold the cement that they are going to pour....
Yes, that pile of rocks is still the garage (that 5 years from now we are going to wish we made a part of the basement ... but we didn't due to lack of funds... c'mon lottery!!)

Here's a good shot of what the forms look like waiting for cement -

Here's the cement after it's poured in:
Pretty cool, right?  I think so.

Now, a day later... WALA!  The forms come off and the basement walls are there.  Can you see me hanging out in my bar down there?  It's right in the middle... where the stairs are, do you see those too?  ;-)  I do!

Then the garage was poured to make those walls today.  Here's a picture of a very important feature of my basement... the wine cellar.  It doesn't look like anything, but it's that square with the open space.
And, here's the window required by code now-a-days (which I love)...

See that?!  Starting to look like it's going to grow up to be an actual house someday!!

The next step is the basement floor.  After that's poured, they'll rubberize the basement walls from the outside (ya know, I don't know if rubberize is a real word?  that looks funny, right?).  That makes sure the water doesn't come in.  Then they smoosh tiny rocks up next to the house to help with drainage and throw the rest of the junk-dirt we have in the yard to fill in the holes- and get rid of the dirt/garbage without paying for it to be taken somewhere.  Shudder.

So, once that's done... we'll see lumber.  Maybe next week?  I can't wait for that part!! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My house is getting it's feet!

Today, the basement floor is supposed to poured.  The "footings" are in, now it's all waiting on the city inspector.  Again, he has to stare down in the hole and give the thumbs up that it looks how it's supposed to before moving forward.  The city inspector was supposed to be there last night and didn't come.  Then, he told Jim he'd come at 6:30am on his way into the office.  I came by around 8:30 and he still wasn't there.  Jim was sitting there the whole time waiting.  I brought him a present... some nuts and Bad Ass beer [told him sorry our house is driving him "nuts" and thanks for being such a "badass" negotiator for all the foundation issues].  I wish I had brought him some coffee instead after knowing he'd been sitting there already for a few hours.

Here's what it looks like this morning:

See that big pile of stone/dirt?  That's the garage space.  If we had 10 more grand-ish, we could make that even more basement.  It's about 500 more square feet.  A few years from now, we are going to wish we had that money and could've done it... but we don't.  And the basement size is already large so I think we'll be fine (says the girl with low funds in the bank account).  Perhaps it's time to buy another lotto ticket.

I'll be meeting Jim later this afternoon to confirm our windows order so that can be placed.  He says that it should pick up speed now.  I'm anxious, but again, realistic.

Friday, September 9, 2011

He sold that bottle for WHAT on ebay!?!

Once again, I was a little confused on the next steps for the house.  Today, John finished digging the garage and added stone there to hold it up.  He spread out the junk to the back yard - which will eventually be covered with clay and then soil on top to hold the junk in (I know, I know... trying not to think that my yard is a pile of junk).  Here's what that looks like:
Here's the "junk"

In that junk is bottles, which I've known all along is being picked by a neighbor ... today Jim told me the neighbor was able to make $100 a bottle on ebay for some of them.  Say WHAT?!  Well, I kinda thought that... but to be honest, that seemed like a lot of energy (haven't just had an ebay stint a few months ago that required more energy than I found reasonable for the few bucks I made).  However, I did decide to go ahead and join the crowd.  I picked a few bottles and bagged them up to clean off later:
I went on ebay ... I don't see too many old bottles being sold for more than $5-$15 unless its very rare.  I got some Borden old milk bottles, but there was one cool liquor bottle that apparently is worth something.  Borden milk bottles are being sold on ebay for $3.95 ("or best offer" it says next to it) or a whopping $19ish bucks (no bids though).  Who knows, I'll wash them off and put the cool ones up in the house one day.  I don't plan on selling them.  If I want more, I can just dig up my front yard.

Otherwise, I met up with Jim at the end of the day and he was waiting for the surveyor.  The survey guy (from the bank) comes to confirm his work was completed, so they can move on and get paid.  While he was waiting, I just kept picking bottles.  It got to be fun after a while.

Here's what the basement looks like right now:

I have my stats right now... it's 480 yards of stone.  Since 1.9 yards equals a ton, that makes it 240 tons of stone, or 48,000 pounds of stone.  That doesn't include the garage, that was completed today.  Once that's done, we'll be close to having 3/4 million pounds of rock.  Take that.

Next up is the "spread footing".  It's like big concrete feet to hold up the house.  Those supplies are supposed to come tomorrow morning.  Once the survey is confirmed by whoever needs to know (city, bank.. etc), then we can move on next week.  I do remember Jim saying "oh yeah, the walls will be up by Thursday" (and now it's Friday.. and we are into next week.).  Lucky I know to double his timing by now.  It's kind of like when Dave says he's going to work on the boat "for an hour."  C'mon.  I know that means it will be AT LEAST 2 hours, if I'm lucky.

Tomorrow, it's a meeting with Jim at 10am.  That's the plan anyway.  That's where I'll stare at the budget numbers and freak out, again.  Perhaps a bloody mary will be in order.
Ok, to end my ramble tonight, a little tribute to my sweet old doggie, Anakin.  Today was a hard day for her and I, but she proved to me that she still wants to hang with me for a while longer and I'm pretty happy about that.  I love her and I'm happy she's at my feet while I type.

[Her sleeping earlier today after a seizure and a vet visit] 
12 years, that's a long time to have my girl!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Say goodbye to the new pants.

So today, I bought a few new pair of pants (see the previous post for my reasoning... ahem... or necessity).  But, after meeting up with the builder at the end of the day over at the big hole in the ground (aka, dream house to be)... I may be making some returns.  He jolted me back to reality with dollar signs.

Jim introduced me to John in person, the guy responsible for coming to the rescue for our foundation and coming in cheaper than everyone else.  Cheaper should be a subjective word in this situation though, considering this whole mess will be over and beyond our house loan (that has been a moving target of doubt), which is why the pants may just have to go back to the store.  Self confidence versus money for foundation?  Tough decision honestly.  I could use a little confidence boost right about now!!

After staring in the hole to see the 450 tons.... I'm pretty sure he said TONS (my head can't comprehend that so don't quote me)... of stone.  Could that be true???  He started throwing out numbers and all I heard was "blah blah blah money blah blah blah bank blah blah blah dollar signs blah blah I'm trying my best"

Here's the "basement" full of stone:

They had to put 4 feet of stone in to be sure the lake basically didn't come up from the ground.  Great thought, right?  We are on a pennisula and basically the water/lake level under the house at 12 feet down.  They had to use a pump to get rid of the water while they packed down the stone.  Don't worry, it's guaranteed for 30 years not to sink in the ground. [Stop laughing.]

Here's John staring in the hole... it's too blurry to see because Jim is talking nonstop to me (see him using his hands to explain things to me while I try to take a picture).  You can see the piles - yes, more dirt - behind the big hole.  That's basically junk that was even deeper under the basement next to the water.  It was icky and I have to say, it made me a little nervous what's really in the ground over there... geesh.  I saw shoes, more bottles, black icky clayish type mush, random junk.  No bones though (I don't want to crush Denise's dreams that Hoffa's in there... but I didn't see any).
  Anywhoooo... I have enough to worry about.

This is the big machine parked at the top of the basement.  I'm actually pretty impressed that they accomplished this today with all the pouring rain.  I thought for sure they'd say they couldn't do it, but they did.  So glad they could.

Tomorrow they are digging out the garage portion of the space and putting even more stone in there.  While they are doing that, another company comes to start laying in the walls for the basement.  He thinks they will be done tomorrow.  I'll go by and check in on it tomorrow and see what really happens.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rain rain go away!

I expected with all the rain that not too much would happen on the house today... but I was surprised to see there were actually work trucks there this morning.  Late this afternoon Dave gets this text from Jim:

 "We hope to steone tomorrow.  We will have at least 3 feet of 3 inch st?ne and. Approy 1 foot of 21a. We can meet once i get the basement going"

Jim does not text... definitely does not have a "smart phone" and I think it's funny when he tries to text.  I sort of understand what he's saying.  Sorta.  No matter what he says, I start to get all shaky and nervous.

When I'm stressed, my wine and junk food consumption increase and exercise decreases ... if I'm not careful, I may BE the size of THE HOUSE when this is all finally done!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Is that a mirage? Or a work truck?

Yes!!!  It IS a work truck!!!  It's small in this pic, but it's there!
8am Tuesday morning and there's finally, FINALLY, activity again on our house!

Jim met us there and gave us all our new quotes and told us that this week, they'll be digging out the rest of the dirt for the foundation, getting the stone installed and basement floor done.  If we are really lucky, there'll be basement walls up (I'm not pushing my luck on that one).  We are supposed to meet with him tomorrow late night to settle up our window order since those take 4 weeks to get in, and also tell him where our "future" basement bar and bathroom will be (maybe in 10 years we'll have money again and can do that, so it'll be prepped just in case).

I'm just happy there is movement again... it's hard to stand still when you've waited so long to move forward!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Do you see it? I don't.

Maybe if I squint really hard, click my heels together and say a little prayer... a work truck will appear on the lot like there was supposed to be one today. 

Do you see one?  Nope, me either.  Consider myself not surprised.  Will there be on Tuesday?  Tune in to find out.... (insert soap opera theme music here)....