Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's Been Awhile

Ok, it's after midnight and I can't sleep.  Lot's of things are continuing, but doesn't quite feel like we are getting things finished.

I don't have any new pictures, but need to take some in the morning and post progress.

We had lots of rain this week (torrential downpours).  The gutters worked great, but the new grass areas had lots of pools of water. So we had the landscaper back out to survey and once things dry out, we'll do some adjustments.

The best news was that the electrical, plumbing and mechanical inspections all were done and we passed.  Then the building inspection was done late Friday and another pass.  So we can pick up our certificate of occupancy in the morning from the township.  Great News!

We still have a few small items to complete on the electrical side of things.  One of the garage lights (giant garage lights that Mike wanted) hasn't come in yet. The whole house surge protector still needs to be put in, with so many electronics in everything (washer/dryer/fridge/oven/cooktop) and the massive storms we've had this week, we think this was a wise decision.

The paint is done except for touchups in the interior.  But the touch ups have taken a lot longer than I'd like.  The we need to have the garage interior painted.  Then more touchup on the exterior.  I never thought painting could be so time consuming.

Ivan got the interior railings completed and installed.  Just need to have paint and stain done.  There is that paint time again.  They are looking great and I'll have some pictures minus paint tomorrow.

He worked today on getting the crown molding on the cabinets, along with the skins and end door panels.  I didn't get a chance to see them done today, so I'll get pictures in the morning too.

Oh, I almost forgot, he got the deck and railings installed last week.  It looks great.  Now we just need to get the gate built so Cocoa can go on the deck and we don't  have to worry about her taking off after the geese, deer or to just go take a swim.

We were suppose to close on the mortgage this afternoon and that didn't happen.  Got the paper work about 11 this morning and they wanted details on the cost, by each trade person, along with a release that they each had been paid.  I had most of the releases and email them.  Then I filled out the cost sheets and took it to the closing.  Of course that opened more questions.  So needless to say we didn't close.  I came home with several assignments, get the remaining releases and provide them credit card statements (or individual receipts) saying how much we spent out of pocket.  So I had to email them 6 months of two different credit card statements to show what we have spent, along with the remaining releases.  They got about 18 attachments with about 60 pages of detail.  I can't imagine that anyone will really go through them all, but they have them now.

Of course the cost detail that they wanted wasn't in the same excel spreadsheet format that I had, so I redid the details in their sheet.  If anyone is doing this in the future, I have a great sheet from Chicago Title that they might want to have from the start.  I imagine that most title companies have the same type of sheet, so this might be a good start for someone.

So I still have a few trades with a few items outstanding, so I can't provide them with all the releases they need.  So that is a separate mess.  Now you know why I can't sleep tonight.  They have rescheduled the closing for tomorrow, no wait that is today now, at 4:30.  So cross your fingers.

Well in a few hours I'll head over to the house and get some pictures to share on the progress.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get some sleep before then.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lots of Activity

Things are really moving along. This week we had gutters put in, this probably means that we'll hit a dry spell and not have rain for awhile.

The electricians started on their final work Thursday.  The landscapers are almost done, just a few small pieces remain.  The painting is done everywhere, but the garage.  Mike and I moved trash to a dumpster (our 4th dumpster) all day today.  Ivan worked on the railings most of the day.   He finished up building the railing and moved on to the priming it when we headed out this afternoon.  He plans to be back tomorrow (yes Saturday) to work on the deck.  Some of the interior and closet doors were also hung today.

So here are a few landscape pictures.  They put in the sprinklers, edging, rocks and grass sprayed in this week. 

Mike and I are now out looking at plants.  It's a good time to buy the perennials, shrubs and trees, as our favorite stores (Home Depot, Lowes & Menards) are having great sales.  I found some plants for $1.  YEAH!!!

This is a Nine Bark tree in the front corner of the house.

 Here are a few Dapple Willow shrubs that we got in the "sad plant" area for a $1.  We think they'll make it back with some food and water.

These are a plant called Tamarisk.  It is light and airy looking with some purple tips all over.  It is very soft. 

We got some very small plants that should grow quickly so maybe next year they'll look bigger.

I think these three are my favorite plants so far.  They are pink Hydrangeas that continually flower all summer.  I can't wait till they adjust and start flowering more.

Ok, this is a bare spot.  We need to find some very low plants so it doesn't interfere with the view from the bedroom, block the light into the bedroom or keep the windows from opening.  I hope to find some sale shrubs or ground cover over the next few weeks.  Anybody have any good suggestions??????

In here I put some hostas that I had taken out of the old house and planted at the road last fall.  They made it through the winter and I just moved them behind the garage yesterday.  I just hope the deer don't take a liking to them.

We need to get a tree or grasses for the area to the left of the door.  Any suggestions????

Now onto some inside pictures.  The electricians worked on the first floor getting in fixtures.  This is the family entry, we used the same light in the front entry.  

This is the half bath light

And here is the half bath vanity.  I didn't want a pedestal sink, but the room is tiny.  I was thrilled to find this compact vanity.  It fit perfectly.  

Here is the master bath with the lights installed.  They look great, now I just need to find some mirrors.  I was thinking about buying the basic mirrors from Ikea and then adding some of the door trim around them.  They'll match and be reasonable.

Here are the shower doors.  They look great, I can hardly wait to take a shower.  Of course, we'll need the water turned on first.  The plumber doesn't come till Monday.  Won't be long now.

Here's the kitchen.  The lights got installed this week, along with the oven.  The fridge is just sitting there waiting for the plumber to hook up the water for ice.  The cooktop is in place, but waiting for the electricians to come back and finish up on Monday.

Just another pic of the oven.

This is the railing that Ivan is making for the stairs.  When done, it will be painted white and have a hickory railing on the top.  He's had a few challenges, but comes up with options for each.  So it is taking a  bit longer than he planned. But it is looking great.  Can't wait until it is done.

Here are the gutter guys we used.  They were great. They came about 8am, had all the tools and tons of ladders.  They were very efficient and I loved that they came with their own trash can and picked up all their trash.  So if you need gutters call Rice's Continuous Gutters from Kalamazoo.

Here is the sunroom.  The cieling fan is causing me grief.  I don't like the shape of the blades or the color.  The color is reddish and the other side of the blades is dark brown.  So I'm thinking of having the electricians change it out to a brushed nickel fan with light blades.  All the lights in the kitchen are the bronze color, but the appliances are all stainless.   So I think the fan will look good in the nickel.  Have to decide by Monday when the electrician is back.


Doug thinks we'll be done by Friday.  I'm not so sure.  The electricians will be back on Monday to finish the electric.  The plumber will be here on Monday to finish the plumbing. The furnace guy will be here Monday to finish the furnace.  Ivan is working on the deck tomorrow, finishing the railing on Monday and then spend the rest of the week on touch up painting, hang the rest of the doors, adjust the cabinet doors, add end panels and skins to the cabinets and start the punch list items.  I think that the rest of the guys will be working on trimming and painting the garage interior.  And of course lots of clean up.

We hope to have the electrical, plumbing, mechanical and occupancy inspections next week.

I'm seeing a move in our future.  It will be great to get our stuff out of Patti's garage and basement, as well as our storage unit still in Dearborn.  I'm sure Patti will be thrilled to get our stuff out too, then she can use her garage for a novel thing, like parking her car.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Counter Tops are Here

Painting was started this past week and they are working on finishing the paint on the first floor this week.

The counter tops were delivered and installed last Thursday.  The island weights about 700-800 pounds and was quite trick to get off the truck, into the house and on the cabinets. 


Here is the island and the counter on the sink wall.

Here's the laundry room and family entry countertops.

Then the moved into the master bath for countertops and sinks.

More updates to come later.  They are continuing to paint.

The landscapers started moving dirt around last week and are working on getting the sprinklers installed.  But today it is stormy and no outside work is happening.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stair Treads are finally in

This past week had lots of activity, but not much completion.  Although we now have, as Patti says, a runway for a driveway.  A lot of concrete was poured and has now sat for a week, Mike parked the truck at the end of the drive to be sure no visitors drove on his new cement.

Here are the stair treads.  They are solid hickory and I ordered them from the internet.  Ivan was a bit skeptical of them when I told him the price and that I was getting them from the internet.  But once he saw them and did the install, he was quite please with how they worked out.  We got them from  They are in Ohio.  Here are the pics, so far with the treads installed, but no painting done yet.

Here are the stairs, although the picture doesn't do them justice.

They spend a good part of the week covering and taping things.  They also set up a painting booth in the garage.  Here's a few of those pictures, not much exciting.

Here's the paint booth.

We talked to lots of people last week about grass, sprinklers, dirt, plants, etc.  Of course these are all the things we didn't plan for in the budget.  We decided on Scott's Landscaping and they are starting this week, we hope the weather cooperates. 

We also talked to Home Depot and Lowes about carpeting this week too.  We are waiting for a call to get measured for carpeting this week.

COUNTERTOPS are coming too this week.  They are scheduled for Thursday.  Can't wait.  We may see the shower door this week too.

Ivan will start the painting this week too.  Should be lots to post and keep everyone up to date.