Friday, August 21, 2015

What a week

What a great week!  The roofing materials are being installed after a minor delay due to an inspection issue.  I hate the delay, but am thankful that the inspectors are following our progress closely.

There have been some exciting developments in our master bathroom suite as well.  The framing adjustments are done, and the closet we asked them to remove has been framed to our satisfaction.  We'll still have a very large closet for our hanging items, but now instead of an additional closet for hanging items we're going to have an open space to install or place dressers like this:

This is the idea

Once we have drywall we can measure the space and get to dreaming on what we'll do with that space. My original idea was to just have the builder not put in the bifold doors and keep their closet hardware, but Jason has been working to remove the header and the 6 inch bump outs on either side of where the doors would be. Since we're paying extra to remove the closet our builder has been accomodating.
From that to this!

It's funny the depth of a conversation you can get into over a 6" wall bump out, but it's the difference between being able to have something with drawers that is flush against the wall or having useless space on either side of the installed dressers.

When we had our design appointment we were disappointed to learn that the master shower was going to be a shower pan rather than a tiled surface, and even though the drawings we were shown had two shower heads in our upgraded bathroom selection we were assured that the shower only came with one shower head and if we wanted two it was extra.

It turns out that both pieces of information were wrong.  Our Seattle office has never had anyone opt for the alternate master until we came along, but ironically our neighbors two houses over opted for the same upgrade.  They are a couple days ahead of us in the build process so we were excited to see their rough in plumbing included dual shower heads.  We made a stop at the office to speak with the on site contact and she looked up their paperwork and saw that indeed they did not pay extra for a second shower head in the larger shower.  Two days later, what did we find but a shower plumbed for a party.  Additionally, all the other tub/shower pans have arrived, including the shower pan for the shower on the main floor and indeed, no shower pan was on site for the master.  We had an exchange with the designer yesterday and picked a 2x2 tile for the floor of our new spa shower.  Yippie!
Can you picture it?
a reminder of the scheme
The princess tub
Yes, you can see a house VERY close behind the windows of my tub where I intend to live for a few weeks once we move in, but we have already have shutters on order.  The large window will add light to the bathroom, but will be tilted in a way that the neighbors bedroom window won't have a view of any naked bodies.  We will likely set the shade and forget it.  If we need more light than the tilted window can provide there are films we can add to obscure a view without reducing light.   The builder offered that at a premium, but because money actually does matter to us we decided to wait and see, or rather wait and hope to not see.

At dinner last night I told Jason that I feel way more connected to this house than I did at the other one.  I loved that house, but this feels like our forever home.  He agreed on both points.   I only miss the comforts that the Hoquiam house provided, and really only because this apartment, while not dumpy or tiny just isn't home.  

Countdown to Christmas (aka move in time) 126 days.  

Friday, August 14, 2015

Get the windex!

Delivery Day

Roofing materials AND windows delivered!

I could also hear the exciting sounds of a nail gun working inside which gives me hope that by our Sunday walk-thru we'll have the Princess bathroom framed out properly!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Our girl

Her class went to Chuck E. Cheese this week and they have a "game" where you can take your picture. This is the one she took of herself.

It is perfection.

Monday, August 10, 2015


 It is hard to tell from this angle, but we were pleased to walk thru the house this weekend and discover that the missing windows have been framed in and the other corrections that were needed on the main floor are framed out perfectly.

The master bath has not yet been re-framed, but it's pretty clear to us from the progress and the installation of the roof trusses that the overall schedule is moving as planned and the bathroom reconfiguration will occur but will also not delay other critical scheduled activities.  

We project that the house will have the first layer of roof completed by the end of day Wednesday at the latest (unless they aren't working early this week which doesn't seem likely as all their equipment was tucked into the rafters over the weekend.

The shorter fireplace is going to be really lovely and we're very happy with our decision to remove the built-in shelves.  

We are discussing modifications to the front porch stoop.  We'll be talking to the PM about either adding a railing on the garage side of the stoop for safety, because by code they don't have to add one unless the stoop is 30 degrees above grade and ours is not.  The other option is to have a second step poured on that side and install a decorative but sturdy hand rail for visitors who may need assistance with entry.  This may not work because adding a step to that side of the stoop may not be allowed based on code - but we will inquire.

Going to the house with Lucy is a "special joy".  Let me translate that for you, I mean that she will no longer be invited when we do drop by until the house is at a stage where we can give her a sedative (video game) and she'll stay put.  She finds it boring and makes it challenging for us to walk around and get a feel for the space.  It's amazing how she miraculously has to use the restroom on an urgent basis EVERY TIME we go over there.  I'm telling you, we're going to name the place Laxative Lounge.   We'll still be going over on a regular basis, but we're going to kennel Lucy when we do.   

Monday, August 03, 2015

Joist 1 into Slot B

 How a new house comes together is pretty remarkable.  The builder has a set of plans for each house option with the different features that keep the neighborhood from looking like 1950's suburbia.  These plans are translated into specific measurements and then sent to the company that supplies all the wood.

After the foundation is completed, and inspected by the city (thank you) the first truckload of framing arrives.  It is delivered in bundles, and each bundle is a section.  Walls come with X number of boards for studs, headers, window trim and doors are already measured,cut and numbered. The framers follow a complicated set of IKEA instructions to put the pieces together.  It took them about two weeks to frame our house from basement to the 3rd floor.  (Roof joists arrive this week.)

We noticed that there was a saw on site, but it is for minor adjustments and it does not run all day the way you think it would if they were measuring each board for each wall.

This is very efficient and enables our builder to maximize their upfront design/planning efforts for maximum profits.  Now that we have learned this information it makes more sense why when we asked to have them NOT build the built in shelves that flank the fireplace in that the charge was $500.  Now that I know they had to change the IKEA instructions so that the wood would not be delivered and that the framers could just bang away with their nail guns it makes the $500 for "nothing" an easier pill to swallow.

However, all the paperwork in the world does not mean that the house will be built correctly.  None of the changes we requested and paid for have actually been put into place.  A walk-thru this weekend that should have been very exciting was a bit frustrating.   The main floor doors aren't the right size, the fireplace has been framed out per their standard plan.  Upstairs there are three windows missing and the alternate master bath was not framed in.


 Our builder has a capable team on site and they are managing the build of no less than 10 homes right now, and they have already stated that these won't be issues.  I know that all the windows will be in place, the bathroom will be perfect and the fireplace will be correct.  But as we did our walk thru it was hard to believe that these errors won't cause a delay in the completion.  Jason wondered did they order the right windows from the window company or will this be a cascading issue from start to finish?

I want to be excited by the progress and each step is supposed to lessen the irritation of living in what seems to be a shrinking apartment.  The good news is that the on site team is fully aware that we are monitoring the progress and have not threatened us with trespassing (yet).  In fact, they did say they'd rather know about these things when we notice them than find them later on.

However, I was VERY excited to stand and the hole that will be the window in the kitchen and look out on to the view. It makes my heart soar!

kitchen view!
I'll be happy when the framing issues are resolved and my fingers and toes are crossed that this is the only major bump in the road.  We are certainly on target to have the house sealed up before the fall rains set in.

Jason has projected (speculation) a close date of 12/18 for the house.  We won't really know until October so I'm trying not to imagine Christmas in the new house. Oh but wouldn't it be wonderful?

Merry Christmas!