At long last we are in the drywall stage. It's a huge relief because it feels like we are at the top of the mountain. Hopefully the downhill won't take as long as the climb! So far, it looks great. Several people told us that it would feel smaller once the drywall is in but I think it feels bigger to me. Probably because the walls are now white and not busy - covered with wires, pipes, etc. They started on Thursday afternoon and will probably finish on Monday or Tuesday. They are working today (Saturday) on the master bedroom and bathroom. I have not had a chance to take pictures upstairs but there are pictures of the family room and kitchen posted in the Construction Pictures on the left.

We are moving back into the house in approximately 6 weeks. We're hoping it won't be too much like camping when we do get back in there! We figure that it's worth it to live with a little mess to avoid another month of rent in our rental. Also, we are feeling the squeeze of having 2 kids in our little rental house.

This week I have to figure out the countertops - either Silestone or honed (dull) black granite. I think the price will be close to the same but I have some concerns about the maintenance of granite which I want to discuss with the installer.
I am also looking at paint colors. We are repainting everything in the house except for our exisiting upstairs hall bath. I have a general idea of what we want but need to buy some samples and put them on the walls. It's definitely better than picking from a tiny color sample.
More pictures to come later this weekend!


Insulation and.... Drywall!

We have completed our mechanical inspections and will start insulation tomorrow. That will probably take 2 days and we'll get our insulation/close-in inspection on Wednesday. Our builder will be stocking drywall on Wednesday so they can begin on Thursday!! Needless to say, we're incredibly excited about drywall because it feels like the top of a peak and then we're just on the downhill! Drywall will take about a week according to our builder.

After drywall comes the floors which will probably take several days since there is a lot of patching and matching to do. The floors aren't finished until after the painting and trimwork is done though. We have picked out tile for our master bathroom and laundry room. The rest of the house will be hardwood to match our existing floors.

On the outside, a considerable amount of work has been done on grading the backyard and installing drain pipes for the gutters (not yet installed). We have also had a drywell dug which we are now wondering if it's not deep enough since the water doesn't drain. Keep in mind though, we have clay soil so the bottom of the drywell is like a rock! Our contractor added a drainage ditch behind the garage to help handle some of the drywell run-off. Hopefully all of this will help the water issues in our yard although I don't think it will be entirely well-drained even after all this. There are just too many places for the water to come from and flow into our yard.


Finishing up mechanicals!

We are in the final days of finishing up our mechanicals. In fact, we had our inspections today and we're all systems go for insulation and drywall next week. The siding is almost finished and the roofs over the back and side doors are on. The blog came in handy because I posted pictures of the roofs, our architect looked at the and then called our builder to tell him to take off the fascia boards on the front! They definitely look better without it.

We also had our new security system installed. We were very disappointed in the customer service we received from Brink's (whichwe have used for 7 years) so we called Slomin's based on some recommendations from friends. So far we have been very pleased with the service and are getting a better monthly monitoring rate. Unfortunately, in our area a security system is somewhat of a necessity. It's great to be able to have them run the wires around the time the mechanicals are finishing up so that you can limit the amount of work they have to do later on.

Since the exterior is almost done, we are considering our landscaping options. It would be great to have g We have to satisfy county codes concerning stormwater management. We are working with Hambleton's Landscaping service, our architect, and our contractor to satisfy the requirements. Our down spouts are going to be redirected to the road (where possible) and to a new drywell in the backyard. We have already dug the drywell but it has been completely filled with water ever since so it may not be big enough!! Fortunately we dug it during the rainiest time so we can see the worst case scenario. We are also going to install a rain barrel on the back of our garage to catch the garage run-off (which is also the wettest corner of our yard).

Be sure to check out the pictures of the progress!


Lots of Mechanical Progress & Siding

This week we have made a lot of progress on the mechanicals. Electrical, plumbing and HVAC are all 80-90% done. Jim C. is pushing everyone to be done by the end of this week so that we can get a mechanical inspection done. After that insulation starts and then we do a final close-in inspection, then... DRYWALL!!!

We did a very helpful walk-through with the electrician on Saturday afternoon. We talked about switch locations and cleared up several things which we had questions about. We purchased bathroom fans, ceiling fans, and other light fixtures over the past few weeks, so the electrician knows exactly what he is dealing with. One major question remains over where the kitchen island will be located exactly, so Jim C. is going to build a mock island so it can be located perfectly and the lights can be centered over it.

The siding will also be going up this week and will hopefully be mostly done by the end of the week. They started the siding on the garage before the monsoon weather hit and now they will continue it this week.

Also, since drywall is not far off, paint is not far off either so I am busily trying to pick some possible colors and get some larger color samples. Fortunately our rental house has wonderful natural light and white walls so it's easy to get a good idea for colors without even leaving the living room (good because we have a newborn baby boy!).

More to come on landscaping issues... We have about 9 weeks left until we move back in so let's hope the house is liveable!!!