Saturday, May 22, 2010

Final Milestones?

As of this Thursday, the house officially has power. And, the french doors have handles.As of Friday, the heater/AC unit is working and has a thermostat controlling it all.
A simple wire and wood post fence is now built by the road, ready to host grapevines when the time is right for planting next year.
Most of a walkway has been built, connecting the landscaped stairs down the hill to the front porch.
And, on the other side of the walkway, you can see a new oak tree planted in the yard. (An apple tree, too, but it's out of view.)
The top step is now finished, with an elegant transition between wood and carpet.
Besides all this, there's now a functional ice maker, washer and dryer. And, the attic access door is painted and hung.

Matt's still anxious about taking care of more details, but we crossed a bunch off the list!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Done enough

Yesterday, we discovered that the house is done enough for the neighbors to come and admire it. Matt and I were glad to welcome some long-time neighbors in to check it out--especially Bob, who's been dealing with significant health issues and hasn't been around much. He approved of the house--and shook Matt's hand to show it. :)
We worked on the little tasks that remain--moving a few more things up, arranging things, touching up details, doing some landscaping stuff. I discovered that it's much more pleasant to do all this with an almost-finished house. 'Cause there's a fridge to cool your drinks and nice couches to take breaks on...

There are still a few big pieces remaining; the power has yet to be connected. Apparently, the right form didn't get filed after last week's inspection. The new plan is a Monday morning inspection check-off, and line installation on Thursday. Also, on Wednesday, the good folks from Jerry's Heating will come to do the last bits on our HVAC system.

Mom and Dad created some lovely quilt hangers this weekend, so we can hang quilts to decorate the big room. I made some pillows for the family room. Matt, Emily, Phil and Shan are up there today, taking care of more things. More and more little pieces will come together.

I have to say, these little details are way more fun that the early details: like rebar dimensions and footing depth. It's a joy to be in the house, and we look forward to using and sharing it even more.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Movin' on up!

Yesterday was a big and beautiful day. It seemed really special that on Mother's Day weekend, and on Nona and Grandpa's wedding anniversary we were finally able to move furniture into the house.

We started at Matt and my place, loading some stuff we had here, and moved on to Nona's, where most of the furniture and things we purchased (so many years ago!) with insurance money were stored. It was a tight fit, but with all the cars and trucks pictured here full, we were able to get everything up the hill.
(We learned a lesson, too: watch what you set under a van you're loading. We trapped our cooler under the sagging weight of the truck. Luckily, neighbor Gary loaned us his jack so we didn't have to drag it up the mountain...)

Up the hill, we started the fun process of unloading all the pieces. We fit quite a lot of stuff into that truck.
All of it made it down the steep little hill and into the house. (Okay, we might have broken one plate in the moving process, but the big pieces were all in place...)
Everything made it inside, too, even the big heavy pieces like the fridge and the wood stove.
Emily and Nona worked hard at getting the kitchen in order. Josh and Matt R. put electronics together. Matt P and I put some pictures up and I made the beds. Lea hung curtains. Shan organized the bathrooms. Mom and Dad reclaimed a storage rack from the garage. Phil and Dad took down plastic that was still hanging in high-up windows. Everyone hauled lots of things, put things in order and worked hard.
And, then, we shared a lovely evening of relaxation in our beautiful house! Nona made us an incredible Italian feast (lovingly reheated in the microwave, since we don't yet have our final power hook-up...).
I thought it was kinda fun that we had to use a card table add-on for our first meal at the dining room table. This is a house that's been built by a gracious community of extended family and friends!
After dinner, there was a game of Cranium in the living room...
...and a movie in the front room...
...and we celebrated Matt R's birthday with Nona's homemade apple goodness, ice cream and trick candles. (Mom says its all they had at the store... Really, we weren't TRYING to pick on him.)
And at the end of the day, the dishwasher did most of the dishes for us.

We're looking forward to sharing many more days in the house, and are grateful for everyone who's helped. It'll be fun to use, together!

Friday, May 07, 2010

like an archeological dig

Having passed final inspection, we called to get our power connected. Only to discover that we never started the proper process for electrical connection--something we ought to have done five years ago.

All of which has meant digging--to show the planner and the inspector the power line conduit we laid long, long ago. And which meant figuring out where it was buried, so very long ago. And lots of digging.

Also, there seems to be some different of opinion about the proper side of the power pole for a conduit to come up on; I remember that we had to move it to a different side five years ago. And Matt says we've moved it twice since then. North, east, whatever. Here's hoping no one else has other opinions.

But, now, having now passed through the planner and inspector, paid the bill for our power hookup, there now remain just 2 more pieces: a final, pre-installation visit from the inspector on Tuesday, and line installing on Wednesday. Here's hoping...