Sunday, March 23, 2014

Home Sweet Home.

Yesterday, 13 months to the day of our fire, we moved home. At long, long last! We left our computers for last at the rental and are doing some post move clean-up, now. After we disconnect and move our machines, we won't have Internet at the new house for a short time. But, when we are connected again and I get a chance, I'll get you all caught up with pictures of the progress from my last picture post up to the move. I've just been too crazy-busy getting the house as close to done as possible to keep up with posting pics to the blog along the way. Waking up in my own home again was one of the best feelings I've ever felt in my life. Not quite up there with the birth of my kids and seeing their little faces for the first time, but not too far down the hierarchy from that. :) Mel.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gas Update

Still no gas. Site coordinator went up the chain and the big boss was astonished that I first called for installation in November, but absolutely nothing had been done, yet. He assured us that the crews will be at my house every day until the installation is complete. Day before yesterday (Mon Jan 27,) they strung a bit of caution tape, dug a little dirt up where the meter will go and placed three traffic cones next to where the meter will be (which, btw, is nowhere near the road.) Yesterday (Tue Jan 28,) they came out to trench in the line but did not bring a trencher. My contractor was on scene to watch them work when hubby and I arrived. As I've stated before, this isn't my first rodeo, just my first in a long time. I started with my folks about 40 years ago and in the nearly 20 years that I've been on hiatus, my contractor has been busily building houses all over the state. Neither of us had ever seen what we saw yesterday. The crew poked several holes in my yard with a large piece of heavy equipment. This is not work that needed to be done for any reason, at all. They didn't bring the correct piece of equipment, the big boss said they were to be at my site working, so they found something completely useless and potentially destructive to do. Plus, we were told the crew was given until tonight (Wed Jan 29) to finish and since it's not a multi-day job, but a couple hour job, I suspect they are dragging it out on purpose. It should be noted that they have complained bitterly about the ground being frozen. It should also be noted that the ground was not frozen when I first called in November. It should also be noted that they do have the equipment to trench in frozen ground... this is something everyone knows without even realizing they know it. Proof? Ok, if there's a gas leak in one of their main supply lines (for example one carrying gas into an entire portion of a town,) they can and will trench down to it no matter how frozen the ground might be and they will not let it just hiss away down there or shut off service to an entire portion of a city for three months while they make up excuses for why they can't do the job. Meanwhile, as those crews bitched about the weather -- and it was cold, holy cow was it ever -- my siding crew was hard at work on the north side of the house and they were freezing, but they weren't complaining. Here's hoping the gas crew is out there, now, doing some actual work and that we have heat in the place tonight. We cannot progress on the interior until we can heat the house. So, we've been at a standstill they finished hanging our drywall.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Quick long-overdue update.

So, when I last posted to the blog, we were on the waiting list for gas installation and we had been told it "could be up to a two week wait." We still don't have gas. BUT, I have the best site coordinator on Planet Earth and he called then and pitched a fit for us and supposedly, we will have gas and thus heat by end of day, today! WOOT!!! Since my last post, we've wired the whole place, all the drywall is hung waiting for heat so we can finish it and half of the house is sided. It's been so miserably cold over there that I don't have many pictures and I'm eyeballs deep in wrapping up the content claim by the deadline, so I haven't gotten around to sorting and posting what I do have. I'll do a photo catch-up post when I get a chance... I promise!! :) Heat will definitely put us back on the path to home. Can't move forward without it at this point.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Busy busy busy...

Sorry for the lack of timely updates.   No lights yet, so interior shots are next to impossible and the bulk of the work has been going on inside... where we also have no heat and it's winter.  Hubby and I spent several unbearably cold days leading up to Christmas painting the basement walls with water-sealing masonry paint after the walls started seeping.  That was fun (or would have been if we were either penguins or masochists.  We are neither.)   Then the wiring began in earnest... this has been a family affair with my brother-in-law, sister, their son-in-law, a close family friend of my brother-in-law and us all there working side by side.   We have the basement and garage wiring yet to finish, a couple more cable outlets and we have the phone lines to run, yet.   After the wiring is finished and the HVAC guy finishes up a few more things, there's some framing yet to do, primarily in the basement, to enclose some things that could not be enclosed, yet.  Then insulation and drywall.   OH and we've been waiting several days for the power company to show up to activate our permanent electric service and install our gas service.   Not sure what the hold-up is on that, but hopefully, we won't be waiting much longer.  My assigned single point of contact is on vacation until next week, so I can't reach her to find out what's going on with that until next week.

The last few days saw some changes to the exterior, with Tyvec going on and the brick work starting:

Except for sinking ankle deep in mud trying to walk up to it from the street, it's more house than hole, now.  I'm told that we're within 45 to 60 days of completing the transition from hole to home.  This is the second time I've heard that in the last three months and I'm not home yet, so...  we shall see.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Lots got done yesterday and today:

The front porch was poured.

The garage floor was poured.
The front porch roof was built and the garage door framing went on. ("eyebrow" roof over garage, door & front windows are still coming soon.)
The HVAC team arrived bearing goodies that included my fireplace (pictured) and my furnace (not pictured because it's pitch black in the basement and I couldn't get a pic.)

In addition to the above, a couple of wall changes we wanted were completed, my sister and my brother-in-law started prepping to wire and quite a bit of the moat was filled in (not all of it, yet, unfortunately.)  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Not A Soul.

Update: 6pm.  Spoke with our site coordinator and, as always, feel much better for it.  He's on the same page I am about getting this concrete poured before we lose our break in the weather.  Everybody keep your fingers crossed the weather holds just awhile longer. 

As of 9am, not a soul at the job site.  No framers - who aren't finished.  No roofers - who aren't finished.  No cement truck or even prep crew.  Checked my email - no answers to the questions last week and no response to the photos I sent showing something I'm concerned may be a serious issue that needs to be taken care of before anything can progress.

I can't mark for my outlets, switches and light fixtures because wall corrections that were to be made  before the holiday last week have not been made.

I can't have my new electric service trenched in or my gas service installed because back-fill is not complete.  And we need to be trenched in before the ground freezes.

We're not weathered in - and can't be weathered in - until the front porch is poured, which was supposed to happen weeks ago, but hasn't.

I'm stacked to the ceilings in the rental and my van is packed full with electrical supplies I can't off-load until I can lock the house -- which I can't do until we're fully weathered.  AND I'm not done buying what we need for that, but cannot finish buying what we need until I have the space in my van back to go purchase more.

The weather has certainly been an issue with getting the concrete poured. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be unseasonably warm and dry.  And then it's supposed to get wet again and the temps are supposed to take a nosedive and it's likely we will not get good concrete-weather again until spring.    Our deadline, not just to be back in the house, but to replace content I have nowhere to put until after I'm back in my house as well as our deadline for alternate living expenses (iow, the rent that is more than double what our mortgage was and that we cannot afford)  is Feb 22.  At the moment, it's not looking good to make the deadline.

Panic is setting in.  Again.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Quick Pick Dec 1.

View of the back of my house from pool deck - Dec 1, 2013.
Home is so close, yet so far away.