Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's been too long

Oy.  What a difference a month makes.  We have had road trips to New York (Aunt Shirley's funeral) and Tennessee (Buddy Walk).  And work, and life, and occasional sleep.  The whole time, progress was happening on the house.  Here's a catch-up.  Pictures are from 9/4/08 through 10/2/08.

When we were picking out the stain color for the hardwood floor, we tried to get a balance between the new cabinet color and the existing table/chair color.  The installers put down different colors so we could choose.  They were going to sand off the colors afterward, so we wouldn't have color samples showing through the final colors.

This is the boundary between the hallway and the laundry room. You can't see it from this perspective, but there's a dip between the two flooring types. The hardwood floor guys had a disagreement with the linoleum guys.

And here's the result. I added in the sawdust for illustrative purposes, but eventually dust bunnies will migrate in and want to settle.

We think the two sets of flooring guys got it worked out so there's no Grand Canyon, but we'll have to check.

The hardwood floor guys also stained our vent covers so they would match. I understand what they did, but the way they did it looks like some piece of abstract art that is supposed to be vaguely disturbing.

We decided that we didn't like the hardwood after all, so we went with a paper carpet with blue accent lines. No, seriously, this is the paper used to protect the hardwood floor. We have picked up our own roll of it to protect the floor when moving.

Afternoon sun reinforces the correctness of the hardwood floor decision.

Shiny floor!

Down in the basement, this is our water handling/filtration system. The big blue tank is the water pump (I think), followed by (heading left) a water spinner (or centrifuge), a serious filter, and an ultraviolet light purifier. And we have no instructions on any of this, but they say it works.

This is our nifty remote sensor for the cisterns. It came from Australia.

Steve chillin' at the new place

and inspecting our only damage from hurricane Ike.

The hall bath, with covering still on the windows.

How NOT to do doorstops. The builder has replaced the door, and we purchased solid floor-based doorstops.

Nice floor, subtle problem. This is the computer room, with the sun flooding the windows at a quarter after 3. The sun will travel to the right, throwing the light to the left. Right onto where the computer screens will be, against the brown wall. No other way for this to be laid out, but I still think this is our one big design flaw in usability.

Here's how the driveway looked for most of the construction - dirt, and plenty of it.

Then the county told us that we needed an approach coming off the road, and the builder put up guard rails, and we got gravel. Much improved!

We have even passed the housing inspection!

(Steve is in yellow, hiding behind his dad, with his mom close. Our friends Dick and Starla are on the right. Bettie's behind the camera.)

And then in a moment of silliness, Steve and his mom got into a "duelling cameras" fight.

And as of this writing, we have passed our final inspection (Wednesday 10/15) and been granted our certificate of occupancy. The house is ours! There will be more pictures, including moving day(s), but wow - what a journey. Thank you, God. Thank you, Bettie. And thank you, Tag the builder.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Small steps

The work these days is done in smaller increments.  Big things - digging a basement, raising a wall - those are behind us now.  There's still a lot happening, but on a smaller scale.

We have toilets!  And the self-lowering lids work as specified.  No seat slams.

We don't have a water pump yet, so we don't have running water. That's another step somewhere down the road. But one question I have is why the water heater is connected to the furnace . . .

I have mentioned that we're scavenging water from the roof. A preliminary calculation says that an inch of rain will provide about 1800 gallons of water, from the whole roof area.

A delivery of water is 2000 gallons, and about $65. We will be doing rather well, especially in the springtime. The two 5000-gallon cisterns are here, with round caps poking up above the ground. Bettie calls these "industrial". We'll have to do something to soften that look up.

Outside the house, they have finally covered over the leopard wall, at the carport.

Inside, the little closet in the master bedroom has shelves on two walls

We're still not sure what we're going to do with the sloped floor, if anything.

And saving the best for last, two views of the hallway. This is from the great room looking toward the carport, wood the natural color.

And now from the other direction, with stain, from Bettie's cell phone camera.

They will be putting on clear coats Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week, and the floors should be ready for traffic on Friday.

Most pictures from Labor Day, Monday Sep 1, 2008. Final picture from Friday 9/5.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Even when it doesn't rain . . .

But first, the cistern. This is big. I thought it was going to be plastic, but it's concrete, and in two parts. This shows the first one. It's situated behind the house, next to the carport. That way, it's less likely to interfere with the underground electric and cable. And the underground geothermal. And it connects to the underground water collection system. But I'm getting ahead of myself again.

These pictures are from August 12, 16, and 21.

When I saw this, I thought it might be a place where we could bury the Cardiff Giant. Yes, Mom and Dad, that made more of an impression on me than the Baseball Hall of Fame.

And the cistern is big.

So big they build it in sections.

They seal the sections with green goop.

They use a specialized truck to bring it and place it.

And the truck needs special bracing so it doesn't tip over when the boom is extended. I'm glad the construction is done, so they don't use this board for anything else.

This is what it looks like when it's all put together. And remember - this is only half of it.

This is one of the two roof water washers.

We're scavenging the water that hits the roof and passing it through one of these washers before it hits the cistern. It's like the first stage of a reverse osmosis system - this is where the big physical stuff drops out of the system. The intake and outflow pipes are higher than the floor, allowing us several inches of gunk accumulation before it needs to be cleaned.

How does the water get here? Glad you asked!

It collects from the downspouts and then funnels along the side of the house, and along the back.

Here's the part about the pouring. We have a sidewalk on the front of the house.

And a front porch, and the beginnings of a side patio.

While they were doing all that, they poured the bottom part of the ramp. We decided to have a switchback and extend the carport, instead of having it be an L shape and take up space beside the cars.

They're doing work around the bridge, too. This is a retaining wall. We'll probably try to get some ground cover to hold the driveway edges in place. But it won't be kudzu.

Inside stuff: the tub in the hall bath has been taken over by flooring:

Neat sunlight at 6PM. The floors are not finished yet - they'll glow when they're done. And the difference in shadow height is because the doors slide past one another, and one comes down farther into the beam of light. If they were french doors, the shadows would be the same height.

This is the laundry room. The outside door here goes to the carport. The cabinet will have a utility tub in it. The shelves are for stuff - books, keys, mail coming in, things headed out. In this picture, your back is to the master bath.

Here's the same room from the hallway door. This is where the washer and dryer will go.

These shelves are in the little closet of the master bedroom, the one over the basement stairs.

And here's what those stairs look like. The light over the landing is attached to the bottom of the closet.

Yes, we have a safety wall, and a handrail.

On both sides!

The kitchen is shaping up nicely

and the bedrooms have the fans installed.

And yet from the outside, not so very much different.