Monday, September 28, 2015

Apartment Christmas

So, we've had some good news and some ok news. Frankly, the not knowing is worse than news I didn't want to hear. We will most likely close the first week in January.  I had hoped to move in in mid December and be ready to rock and roll by Christmas.
the dream
But the logistics of that scenario are staggering.  It can be done, but it involves a precise scheduling of furniture, appliance and box delivery that all could be upset by weather or bank delays.

The January timeline will mean that we have a quiet Christmas and save our vacation time for the move.  The very good news about this plan is that Lucy will have consistent day care and Jason and I can work hard for a couple weeks (together) to put our home together.

Unlike, when we moved into this apartment we'll both have time off so we can decide where to put things as a team, and we can do double duty on certain tasks. The new house doesn't have to sit empty with no work being done while one of us is here at the apartment with the movers.

Work at the house is moving again.  There was a delay with HVAC inspections and lack of a siding crew, but tada siding is going up.  Once the house is "buttoned up" electrical can begin again.  After the electrical is signed off by the city, then they insulate, inspect, and drywall can go up!  

Once the drywall goes in it's all finish work.  Painting, flooring, cabinets, connecting the plumbing, appliances, millwork, tilework, a final painting, inspection and then KEYS.  The finish work will only take two months.

The onsite manager said that the current calendar is pretty firm, but they'll let us know if things slip or speed up.  I don't have much faith that all of a sudden everything will go better than expected.  But, I am starting to trust the timeline.  Even with all the little issues (framing!) they are true to their original timeline that they talked about.

I'm just ready.  I need a long soak in a HOT deep bathtub.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

If only...

If only we had money to burn we could get Lucy a bed that she would 100% hate but that would be fun for us.

Calgon Take Me Away

The waiting is getting to me this week. I think I'd be in a better place if there was steady progress, but things start then stop then nothing really happens for what seems like days and days. Since we last posted the HVAC system has been installed (which is no small event) but the vents in the bathrooms are still incorrect. We have gas lines, but the electrical work is still at a stand still. The neighbors at lot 60, the house that is about a week ahead of us in the schedule, have had their siding delivered and it is being installed. That means we should be next. We have a garage door finally but we still have an odd open section on the upper floor on the south side of the house. I'm not sure why it hasn't been sealed up. The HVAC stuff went in thru the garage and up the stairs. I know they will seal it up when the siding comes but the gaping hole is odd. We did get a chance to walk thru the house that is next door to us and it is coming along VERY nicely. They have all the flooring installed with the exception of the carpet, and their cabinets, counters and tile is installed. They picked a similar bathroom countertop to ours and it was nice to see it installed. So far, I like the finishes they chose best over all the other houses we've walked thru. I'm still so in love with ours which is a good thing.
I'm just ready to be done with this project. We have hopes well, the desire to be in the house by Christmas, but my hope is fading with each day of little to no progress. It's disheartening to drive by and see no one working or to walk thru at the end of the week and see that they've made one or two changes. This last week they framed out the bulkheads in the basement. oooh. So, the awesome news there is that the ceiling height in the basement is about 9 feet tall and the massive bulkhead on the one side only drops the ceiling in that section to about 7' 6". We'll put in a tall storage cabinet and it will be perfect. PERFECT. Still - I miss having space that feels like mine. This office feels like a dumping ground for all the random things in our world. Maybe I need a nap, but what I really want is a soak in my princess tub. Oh, speaking of which - I noticed the tub is facing away from the window with the view. Sigh. There isn't anything to do about it now, it's been plumbed so when I lay in the tub I will face a wall. I guess a fabulous piece of art will be in order. UPDATE: A quick check of the inspections with the city shows that there has been a delay due to inspections. BUt, as of yesterday the HVAC and Mechanical systems have passed their inspection and the rough in electrical inspection has been scheduled - so I'm hopeful that after this next inspection the crews will be ok to start working in earnest again.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A tale two kitchens

We've spent time in a few of the homes that are our floor plan to get a good feel for what we want and what to expect. During these visits to other people's not quite finished homes we've learned that we wanted a different cooktop, we wanted the expanded master bath option, and a larger deck. We've taken photos along the way and it's been helpful to review these from time to time to not only pass the time but to trigger questions for the builder.

Lot 44
We have a weekly call with the project manager, but this week it was cancelled due to his being in meetings all week. Since they asked we fired off a few questions such as is it too late to add a nickel covered power plate in the floor in our giant open space? Since the electrical hasn't really started we're hoping it's still a possibility. I also followed up on something we noticed in "lot 44".

They also opted for the cooktop and wall oven configuration (likely for the same reason we did, we saw it in Redmond and LOVED it.) But when we were in lot 44 we observed that the height of the vent hood was very low to the point that it may impede Jason's joy of cooking. We can't have that, because I miss his shrimp scampi and he is far better at eggs than I am.

Redmond House
I reviewed the photos of lot 44 and Redmond and thought I saw that the countertops in lot 44 did not extend out over the cabinet box. I studied the photo and was 100% sure that it looked wrong. Before I fired off a friendly but nervous letter to the design center contact to determine what was standard for our builder, I researched the standard counter depth overhang. It is amazing what you can look up on the Internet. My extensive research (10 mintues) tells me that a 1.5" overhang is standard. That is enough to cover the depth of the drawer and door fronts that are added to the cabinet boxes.

I hit send and seconds later Jason finally replied to an earlier comment I made to him about the issue. He said "Study the other pictures, this one seems like an illusion. I think the overhang is there." Well shoot. I went back and looked at the other photos and sure enough - overhang. I recalled my question and have a bit of egg on my face.

 Two reminders: look at all the other photos you have and be thankful you weren't a jerk when you asked your question.

our cooktop
Now, onto other things we noticed about the two kitchens. The Redmond kitchen has a bit more color with the grey back splash and the darker countertop.  Lot 44's cooktop is top mounted which is fine - but we loved the look of the kitchenaid in the Redmond house, so that is the one we ended up ordering.   I truly believe that Lucy has passed the age where the knobs are toys.  I also think the stainless look blends more with the over all look.  Without putting any thought to it, our fridge and cooktop are from the same line and will look superb together.

The folks at lot 44 spent far more $$ on their built in wall oven/microwave oven thing.  It's beautiful, and a part of me wishes I could have it, but the idea that one part could fail and you'd have to replace it all hurts my soul.  So, similar to the Redmond House pix above ours will be two separate systems housed together.

our selections
Personally, I think the Redmond kitchen is more interesting than the lot 44 kitchen, but when I look at the things that make that kitchen seem more interesting I'm worried we made mistakes.  Our tile is WHITE, our countertop is WHITE.  I hope the style of the tile and the darker grout provides enough pizazz to keep it from looking like a hospital.  Our cabinets have a different profile than either of the other kitchens, so I feel confident we haven't selected a cookie cutter kitchen, and I am over the moon in love with our flooring.  The hardwood is fabulous and will warm up the space quite a bit.  See, as I write, I'm talking myself back in love with our selections.

I love where our house is and how it sits on the lot, so my next statement is just an "if only" type comment.  The Redmond House had the kitchen on the right side of the main room, and our house will be the opposite.  I liked how the Redmond House was laid out from that perspective, but on our lot and with our amazing trees in the back it simply wouldn't work.  It's funny that I feel so strongly about it, because the lot in Redmond was so small that they had to trim trees at the property line to clear for the build. Specifically trees that were growing at the edge of the property line were trimmed to remove any branches (and big ones) that protruded over the property line.  It looked kind of bad. We have trees on the back side of our lot, but they are far enough away from our useable yard space that they get to live on without impediment and we get to enjoy a reasonable outdoor space.

It has been hard this week because it doesn't seem like much has been happening.  I"m so ready to be planning the last piece of this project (the move in) that even a few days of little to no visible progress is frustrating.   This will all be over soon and the Apartlandia portion of our lives will seem like a sweet memory.  Or not.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

My tub

  It's dirty, but it will be an oasis within four months!

Exterior (sept 2)

Cold Beer and a place to watch tv!

With our end of summer camping trip cut short due to terrible air quality conditions, we were able to send Lucy to day care Monday and spend the day finalizing decisions on appliances as well as do some shopping around for furniture. We sold our washer and drier as well as our refrigerator with the Hoquiam house. The new house also comes with a budget for these items and a new living room couch and a basement man-land set up.

We have all the funds set aside for these new items but we want to make sure we have most of our proceeds from the sale of the first house still in the bank for when the lender evaluates us for the new mortgage. Therefore, while we intend to spend the money on these items we don't want to do it before we close on the house. However, we also don't want to move in without appliances at the very least.

It turns out we aren't the only people in this situation and some of our local retailers have a plan. The store where we've purchased all of our other appliances let us put down a $500 deposit on a washer/dryer and fridge and will charge our card on the day of delivery for the remainder of the items. PERFECT. We can complete our mortgage transaction and have the appliances delivered and installed before we move in! Woot Woot. I'm super excited about the refridgerator. It will be counter depth and therefore flush with the cabinets. We do lose some interior space, but we intend to get a second "pop fridge" for the garage so we won't be sharing space with soda, beer or popsicles.


 Our salesperson suggested that we take a gander at their scratch & dent selection right before we have our items delivered.  This is an amazing idea.  This second fridge will live in the garage so it doesn't have to look perfect, it just has to work perfectly.

the couch in real life
So, with those items handled we zipped off to the Macy's Furniture store just to look around.  I had my design heart set on a sectional couch from Pottery Barn that I thought would look so amazing. Willingly I wandered around Macy's but was pretty sure I wouldn't find anything that ticked all the boxes that the PB couch ticked.  Well - wouldn't you know it, we found one.

It's a sectional with a corner wedge (check) in a dark grey (check) that has a comfortable seat (check) and low arms (check) and a straight back (check) and it was ten inches shorter on each side than the PB version.  The extra length is nice for when you have five people on the couch, but those moments will be rare and the extra walking space will make our room feel even bigger.  Oh and the Macy's couch was a thousand dollars more than the PB couch.

WAIT!? A thousand dollars more, are you STUPID?  Nope, I'm pulling your leg.  Our whole order was a thousand dollars more than the projected cost of the PB couch, but we also got a huge sectional couch for the basement with three seats that recline to snoring positions AND a very beautiful new coffee table for the main floor AND a leather side chair to complete the look upstairs.

The side leather chair
So with the light grey walls, the WHITE fireplace, the wall of windows and our dark grey couch & super comfortable leather chair our new living room will be soooo super pretty.

I have a similar rug to the one in the example photo picked out, but it won't be blue.  I have two samples and will be taking them to Macy's the next time we go visit our selections to determine if either of them work with the design.

In the basement, the cozy couch that Jason picked is brown and we'll be reusing the red wool rugs that we had in the other house.

The main floor will be comfortable and sophisticated and the basement will be super cozy and warm.

Macy's won't put the charge for these items on their card until they are delivered.  So, like the appliances we can have them arrive the day after our closing date and before our items are delivered by the moving company.

I have hope that our new home will come together quickly.  I'm tired of apartment life.