I woke up on Wednesday, January 30th to temperatures in the -20’s. Yes, negative twenty’s. Apparently it was too cold for indoor work so no progress that day. It was slightly warmer on day 177 and the carpenter was at the house measuring and cutting trim and stair pieces. Not exactly the bind-blowing progress we were hoping for, but at least something was done.
On Friday, day 178, tile work was started in the mud room and master bathroom. The lighting wasn’t the best when we were there but it occurred to us later that evening that the tile in the master bathroom wasn’t what we had selected.
What you see above on the left is what we chose back in May when we made our selections. The picture on the right is the tile that was installed. Lighting, dirty tiles, and the surroundings play a big role in the overall appearance, I get that. And don’t get me wrong, the tile on the right does look nice, but I honestly can’t wrap my head around how these two tiles are the same.
Seeing a completed fireplace was pretty exciting, but they removed one of our temporary garage doors in the process so the garage is once again wide open. No ETA on the permanent garage doors. They’ve been “rescheduled”.
At this point, aside from seeing the house completed, I don’t know that there will ever be enough progress completed in a week to truly satisfy me. It’s a painfully slow process and I’m beyond sick of living in a basement.
We started this week off with a few more inches of snow. In an attempt to kick the winter blues I did more landscape planning and ordered trees for the yard.
Meet the Aristocrat Flowering Pear tree.
We’ll be planting four of these along the east edge of the property. We have a corner lot so this should create some privacy along the street and make for an eye-catching view.
I’m looking forward to eventually having a large backyard that’s more than a giant mud pit. I also have a Solo Stove on order for chilly evenings when s’mores are in demand.
As for progress inside the house, we continued making trips to the house to drop off the rest of the light fixtures and faucets. We also did a bit planning to idiot-proof the installation process by removing the extra pieces for the light fixtures that could be mounted at variable heights.
We received a Friday morning wakeup call from our pal, Ricky. Apparently the plumber installed the wrong bathtub in the master bathroom. We were supposed to receive one with a fiberglass front but instead received one that requires the finishing carpenter to build a frame that can be tiled. Ricky calls this an upgrade.
The other bit of fun we had was when we stopped over at the house Friday morning to meet the carpenter and discuss our bathtub options. To keep a long, painful story short, one of the walls for the powder room on the first floor will have to be torn down and replaced. Yes, an entire wall. That’s because the opening for the pocket door is roughly 8″ off and there isn’t room for the vanity. The depth is currently around 17″ and the vanity is 22″. Well, shit.
There’s currently ductwork in the wall where the pocket door should be, which would explain how the door ended up in the wrong spot to begin with. That means they can’t put the door where it actually belongs without rerouting the ductwork that heads up to the master bathroom. We’re not quite sure what their plan is at this point and we haven’t actually heard this from Rick, only the carpenter.
So all-in-all, not a stellar week. Of the five available weekdays, workers only showed up at the house on two of those days. As it turns out, there always seems to be some sort of reason to not work on our house.
On Monday, January 21st, good ‘ole Ricky told us “2 months to go” which would put us at March 21st, 2019. I know people will say “I told you so” but I never would have expected this to go into March. And certainly not towards the end of March.
No one has been working on the house the past few days so we’ve had our moments of frustration this week. Yes, the cabinets were delivered on Monday, but why wasn’t someone there installing them? I know I’m growing impatient but I feel like a lot of good days have passed with no one working at the house. I simply don’t understand.
Rick also asked us to drop the light fixtures and faucets off at the house, in the basement. The basement that doesn’t have any stairs 🙄 For now they’re being stored in the garage. Let’s hope they survive.
Wavy siding fixed
Well hooked up
I also looked at paint colors that coordinate with Mindful Gray, which we chose for the entire house, and found Homburg Gray. What do you think, Jennifer? For your bathroom?
I also received an email this week for the annual David Austin Roses sale. I had been waiting for this email 😍 I placed my order for 4 rose bushes and 1 rose tree. I can’t wait for the day when I’m finally able to start landscaping and gardening at the new house. If you’re in the market for rose bushes David Austin can’t be beat. And if you order by March 29th you can get 15% off with discount code UCF.
The drywall work continued this week but I don’t have anything remarkable or shocking to share. We did receive an email from everyones favorite expediter, Rick, earlier this past week which hints at what we’ll be seeing in the coming week:
next week we will fix the wavy siding on the west side. we will order all new siding and take care of that problem. Monday tuesday we will spray and knock down the finish on dry wall. next paint your entire home with primer.
The knockdown texture was applied to the walls on day 159, a Sunday if you can believe that, and the pictures we took on day 160 do show that the bad siding has been removed. No word yet on when the replacement siding will be delivered and installed.
Just when we think we’re gaining momentum and the end is in sight, we’re reminded that nothing really ever goes smoothly. This was definitely another low week.
The drywall crew continued their work by mudding seams and adding those neat little pieces of corner trim. We were honestly hoping to see more progress than we did but they weren’t onsite Friday or Monday. The heat is cranked so there’s really no reasonable excuse for them to not be moving forward.
Speaking of the heat, let me tell you a fun story, complete with pictures. As my one reader knows, when you live in Wisconsin you have a furnace that runs all winter long. When the furnace runs, condensation is released through a hose which is routed to a drain. The drain then takes the water away to the sewer or septic system. When you’re building a new house and the plumbers haven’t yet finished making all the connections, you have a drain that doesn’t actually drain. What happens then? The water backs up and you have flooding. This is what happened to us. We noticed earlier this past week that the basement floor was wet. We didn’t climb down the ladder to investigate and assumed someone spilled something and it was a non issue. WRONG. The water we saw was actually from the drain. The drain that had filled with water from the furnace was now backing up into the basement. Seeing that the water had reached the framed walls and drywall we spent Sunday doing some cleanup. Cleanup we should not have been responsible for but as I’ve learned, no one is going to care as much about your house as you do. We got a squeegee and tried to get as much water as we could away from the walls. We also got a bucket to collet the water from the furnace instead of having it go down a drain that wasn’t functioning. We then emptied the worlds tiniest dehumidifier bucket so that it could continue chugging away. Luckily the pump for the sump pump works so we were able to dump water in that crock to have it removed up and out of the basement. The pictures below were taken after a lot of the cleanup was started so it doesn’t look nearly as dire as it had when we arrived. I think the funniest thing, which is also not visible in the pictures, is the fact that someone ran a garden hose from the drain to the sump pump crock as though through some miracle of physics the water was going to flow up and over without the aid of a pump. We of course emailed our expediter and were told:
its conman to get water in the basement when the sewer is not yet hooked up. the concrete is solid and no we don’t have to rebuild the walls, their is a dehumidifier that will be set up an dry out the basement. please dont worry, their is no problem . but yes it may look like a mess
Conman. I’ll tell you who the conman is…
We were moderately pleased with our squeegee work and rig job but were now left to maintain our bucket system until the plumber arrives. I did stop at the house first thing Monday morning and was greeted by a full water bucket and dehumidifier. I was however pleasantly surprised that most of the water, except for what is closest to the drain, had dried up. Fingers crossed the walls that got wet also dry up nicely.
Another item we noticed while we were rigging up our bucket system was on the exterior of the house. While we were checking out the tubing we installed for the sump pump we looked and noticed a considerable section of siding that was wavy. And in the word of Rick:
he sider was contacted forward the pitchures. we will get that handle but not right away. i have to talk to him about it. then he will fix the siding.
Bless your heart, Rick.
So all-in-all, not a great week. We were also expecting the well connection to be made on Monday which also didn’t happen. sigh
This week we saw some decent progress as they started hanging drywall, finishing up the HVAC, and tying up some of the exterior odds and ends. The drywall has made a huge difference in how the interior of the house looks and feels. Having the heat set to 90 doesn’t hurt either.
With the holidays over we hope the crew makes quick work of everything that’s left to be done. We had been told it typically takes 60 days from when the drywall is finished to complete the house so it’s safe to say we won’t be in by the end of January. At this point we’ll reset our expectations and hope to be in by the end of February.