Friday, October 28, 2011

Bring food, make friends.

I worked from home today, so I started my day by bringing Jim and his guys some coffee and donuts.  The sun was out, but it was freezing.  I saw smoke coming out their mouths when they talked and they weren't all smoking.  I was happy they were there and seemed to be running around getting stuff done.

Jim couldn't wait any longer for the company to come deal with the backyard, so he had rented a machine and had one of his guys do it.  He wished he would've thought of that before.  Now the backyard looks awesome, nice and flat.. higher up than it was and just waiting for some clay fill and top soil.  Jim's not sure we'll get that part done this year, it may have to wait until spring.  Now, I know those of you who know the property want to know how he'll get the material back there in the spring.  Good question.  I'm not sure yet, he'll either squeeze it little by little between the houses, or he'll beg the neighbor to let him drive over the lawn (unlikely).  I'm guessing it won't be until spring, but I'll talk to him again about it to see what he thinks.

I came by at lunch and brought pizza, wings, breadsticks and a cooler full of coke.  And, I admit it, I put 4 cans of Coors light at the bottom and told them it was for when they were done.  I know, I'm desperate here.  They loved that... duh.  It's Friday, c'mon.. I figured it would make them want to come back next time!!  Perhaps I filled them up with too much carbs and gave them incentive to stop early.  Hmm.  That could've backfired.

However, it didn't seem to.  Riley and I went by and checked it out at the end of the day.  We walked on our house and giggled.  I told her to imagine with me and she did, but got a little carried away.  It seems a little small to me actually.  Now I'm worried that all those rooms aren't going to fit!  I'm sure it'll be better when the walls are up. 

Lastly, when it comes to bribes... I tried that on the neighbors too.  I sent them presents today to apologize for the mess and thank them for all their patience.  I need to live next to these people, and I have this quirky need for them to like us.  I'm hoping bribes help.

So, here are the pics:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Now we're talkin'....

I was happy to see, that even in the rainy overcast cold weather - Jim and his worker bees knocked out some serious business on Ardmore.  Finally, a floor.  My house is getting a first floor!!  It's about time.

Jim was waiting to get the backyard settled, but the company didn't show up today to do the backyard.  Apparently they wanted to get paid something before coming.  Sounds normal right? See, with this loan we can't pay anyone until they are done.  DONE.  It makes it pretty difficult to get people to show up sometimes.

Anywhooooo... Jim's contractors did, so they decided to start framing the house and worry about the backyard now until Friday or Saturday (when the new company says they are coming).  The only issue is that they can't frame the garage until the backyard is done (because the machine needs to go over that part of the house to get in the backyard since it's such a tight squeeze).

Here's what I saw when I went at the end of the day...

The machine was moving (obviously) so this is a bad picture, but Jim rented his own machine to at least smooth out the side of the house for the neighbor since there were piles of dirt there.

Jim and Wally.... apparently contractors don't like it when you take their pictures so they look away. 

This is where the bar goes, the stairs to the basement should be done tomorrow (yippeeee).

See the floor!!!

From the back to the front view (again, blurry)... but the lot is a mess, tons of lumber all over.

I'm just thrilled the house is getting a first floor... I keep telling Jim, I need it to look like a house soon and then it will seem more worth all the aggravation!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Basement floor: check!

It can only get better from here, right? RIGHT?? Right!!!

Now, it's supposed to rain tonight, tomorrow and Thursday.  Regardless of that, I'm hoping that we get the fill spread in the back, the clay fill added and top soil finished off before the weekend.  Jim also has to fix the egress window, which got shifted today with the cement pouring.  Of course.

The rain's not supposed to be an issue for the cement, but that makes me a little nervous.  Jim ordered the brick to arrive in 2 weeks.....

Friday, October 21, 2011

The rain finally stopped, I hope!

I was excited to see people working today on the house!  The sky is still cloudy but I'm really hoping the rain has stopped for a while. 

First of all, we got our side samples, brick, as well as roof.  This is what we are thinking we'll go with, althoug it's really not easy to see (my phone camera is not the best).  The windows are going to be white trim.  I'm not sure about the roof, I'm worried it will be too dark.  So now when I'm driving around I'm staring at people's roofs... it's odd. 

So, when I came upon the "house" today, Jim and 3 guys were working.  First I went to check out the back yard... here's the view from my canal to the street.  It's a pile of pushed junk.  They can't get back there to do anything else on it until they get the egress basement window in (which they were doing when I was there). 

I was happy to see that the pea stone has been added to the basement, the plastic is down and it's ready to be cemented.  Poles are up, wood is on.  However, Jim told me that the guy he wanted to do the job is not free tomorrow... so he'll be there Monday.  Hmph.  Ok then.

Here's Jim and the other guys trying to figure out how this egress window works from across the basement....

This is the window waiting for it's frame:

Here are the cylinders that I took pictures of yesterday, but now they have pea stone in them, and they'll be finished off with cement.

Here I am making fun of them because they can't figure this window out.  Jim's the guy in blue laughing at them (or "directing" them).  I picked up the paper directions, which were on the ground next to them and offered to read them, maybe it might help them out... ha.  Typical guys... the instructions are in the trash and they are arguing about how it works. 

 Random wood and stone shot....
Farewell boys, good luck!  I'll check back tomorrow to see if they got it in.  That window has to go in before they can do anything in the back.  They have to use that space between the window and the other house to squeeze through to bring in the clay fill and top soil to cover the backyard.  Another day gone... tick tock!  As I was leaving, Jim yelled out "Don't worry!  When we start framing, we'll knock this out in 2 weeks!"  I looked back and said, "Sounds great... we'll see."  (insert sarcastic face here)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Soggy. Soggy. Soggy & Windy.

I think it never stopped raining yesterday and today's weather is amusing "Soggy. Soggy. Soggy & Windy."  I'm not sure I've seen the weather described like that before...
Nothing got done yesterday due to the pouring rain of course, but luckily a little was accomplished on Tuesday.  A little.

The window was dug back out to put the actual frame in, however, the one that was delivered was the wrong size.  Another one is supposed to be delivered soon.

The "sonic tubes" (another fun term I am amused with) have been placed to hold up the back porch and roof.  Now the pea stone and cement needs to be poured in to make them solid.  It's that blue circle thing sticking out of the mud.  I know it's hard to see, but there are 2 of them.

The plumbing in the basement has been inspected and it's ready to have the pea stone added, then cemented.

Now that the weather is "soggy", I don't know that anything will get accomplished again.  I'll go check later.. but I'm really hoping this rain stops.  I need that house to get above ground soon, for my sanity!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lumber delivered.

The lumber has been delivered.  Part of it was there last week, more of it was dropped off today.  It feels like things are going slow motion right now.  Nothings getting done and our household is in a funk, which I'm trying hard to get us out of!

Jim's status this morning is that the basement plumbing is done.  Now, we are waiting for the city inspector to say that basement plumbing job is approved, which is supposed to happen tomorrow.  The bank inspector is supposed to drive by then and see for himself that the lumber has been delivered.  Once he tells the bank it really is there, then they will say it's okay for us to get the money for it (which is one reason this process is as slow as molasses).  The bank doesn't hand out money until there is a receipt to show it's been paid for.  How are we supposed to be pay for things prior to having money?  Exactly.

If it doesn't rain every day this week (I know it's going to but I'm praying it won't...), then we might get something accomplished.  The plan is that Jim is supposed to get the pea stone dumped into the basement after the plumbing is approved.  Then, the fill from the backyard has to be moved, the big piers have to be pounded into the back to support the back porch/roof.  The basement is supposed to be poured, as well as the driveway.  Depending on the weather, that is supposed to happen this week ----- but, I think that's pretty ambitious.  Knowing how this process has been going already, I will just be pleasantly surprised if it happens but realistically down about the fact that it probably won't. 

I know, I totally need an attitude adjustment!

Here's the lumber just sitting there... waiting.. longingly to be made into a house.  Sigh.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I've lost my mojo.

I have lost my house building mojo, and I'm afraid my overall mojo went with it.  I'm waving my white flag to the negative nelly's, glass half empties and super real realists.  As I handed another unexpected check to Jim last night, I asked him... "So, when does this get fun?"  He replied "When I hand you the keys."


I was determined to have fun during this process.  I was going to prove all those people wrong that kept telling me "building a house is miserable."  What can possibly be miserable about getting to create a dwelling that fits you and your family exactly how you want it to!?  Well, I can tell you now, it's the paperwork.  It's the checks, the empty bank account and debt, the stress of feeling like you're being pulled in 20 directions, the concern you aren't doing it right, the disappointment that it's not going as planned, the aggravation that it's taking too long, the neighbors complaints, the silly arguements and raised voices, the fear that you made the wrong decision and the time it takes away from your other real life activities.

See what I mean, I've lost my mojo.

I stopped looking at paint colors, carpet samples, furniture positioning.... measuring and remeasuring.  I stopped picturing myself next summer, in a new completed house.  I stopped imagining and envisioning.  Now I'm just concerned and I don't like it.  I need an intervention, an attitude adjustment and slap in the face.  I need a reminder that this will be worth it.

I'm hoping that when the lumber is delivered, which Jim told me could be today.... and I start seeing a structure above ground, a renewed energy will appear in me.  I drove by this morning and just stared at my open space....

I'll try to drive by again later, maybe if the lumber is really there... and I see activity, it'll pep me up.  For now though, I've got the house building blues...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

House-birth is harder than child-birth!

There's definitely correlations between birthing a house and birthing a human, I've decided. 

It took me 2.5 years to get pregnant the first time.  That happens to be the same amount of time it took for us to start building this house.  There were ultrasounds (architect plans), tests (foundation soil borings, inspections, surveys), I felt nauseous every day (as I do now), I gained weight and craved junk food (ditto).  I worried every day if my baby would have all it's parts... and what if my house is missing parts?!  There was ridiculous arguing going on due to hormones.. now there's just ridiculous arguing.

At the beginning of being pregnant, it was fun and exciting... then I just wanted that baby OUT.  Same situation here, it's all fun planning it.... but I'm ready for house delivery.  Get that house out of me!  Something like that frustrating.

And we've got at least 5 months to go.

Ah... so here's where we at now (besides nauseous, fighting, fat, worried and broke... definitely broke - I suppose that happened a little bit when preggo too, not as extreme as this!).

The steel beams are in:

Some of the house has had "foam" installed (to keep out moisture) and some has not (the part you are seeing in the picture is foam-free).  It needs to be backfilled so you can no longer see the basement walls, but before that can be completed - the basement part of the garage has to be filled in with stone.  It looks like it needs a few more truckloads of stone.

We need the lumber delivered and then framing can begin.  I hope that happens next week.  I hope.  I really really want to see a house forming here soon!  See... back to the pregnancy thing.. it's like when you got your first ultrasound and you saw a baby in there - not just a little bean that looked like it could turn out to be a baby.  Right now, the basement is my bean.  I want a baby.  Damn it.