We’re in!

We had the closing of our house on Thursday, April 18 and moved in on Tuesday, April 23.  We spent the rest of the week unpacking boxes and getting things set up so that we had the basics covered.  Now I’m going through the mountain of boxes in our garage, trying to find a home for the things I unpack.

The finished house (image by me)

The finished house (image by me)

It may currently be a mess, but it’s ours.  And nothing like that poorly built rental we were living in.

All in all, building a house was a good experience.  It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  So if you’re looking to build, don’t just pick the first builder you come across.  Talk to several.  Talk to the people they’ve built houses for.  Find out what they’re like to work with from people who are in a position to know.

Then when building begins, start making decisions about things like your brick, the paint colors, the interior finishes before the builder needs them.  That way you aren’t the one holding things up while they wait for you to make a decision.  Plus, if things have to be ordered, getting an early start on the decision making process will allow you the time to do so without holding up the construction process.

I reviewed an excellent book about building, written by Amy Johnston, here.  There are other books out there, but this one was one of the better ones I read.

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I’m totally unprepared.

I’m nowhere near ready to move before the end of this month.  Usually I’m much more organized about preparing for a move, but I have no idea what’s going on with this move.

For instance, it hit me a few minutes ago that I don’t know who provides the water at our house.  It’s got to be a rural water association, but which one?  Then there’s the question of whether or not AT&T is going to hook up a phone and internet at the new house.  They don’t seem real inclined to help me, which is strange because I’m trying to give them money!

I can at least say that I’ve got a moving company coming to give me an estimate this week.  They’re coming from just outside Jackson and I’ll probably end up using them because the local moving company can’t be bothered to return my call.  What is it with people not wanting my money?

I’m questioning whether or not the house will be ready by next Thursday.  I just don’t see how everything is going to get done between now and then.  There’s still so much that needs to be done.

  • Install the shower door in the master bath. (But first, gotta wait for the shower door to come in!)
  • Finish the wood floors.  (Still have two rooms and a couple of closets left to do.)
  • Finish the tile floors.  (Grout all three bathrooms, the kitchen, and the laundry room.)
  • Trim the floors with shoe molding.  (They’re nearly done with this.)
  • Install the toilets.
  • Tile and grout the kitchen back splash.
  • Tile and grout the master shower.
  • Install the laundry room sink.
  • Hook up all the sinks to the plumbing lines.
  • Install the two water heaters.
  • Install the freestanding vanity in the smallest bathroom.
  • Put the cabinet doors and drawer fronts on.
  • Put the cabinet pulls on.
  • Paint all the cabinet doors and drawer fronts.  (They primed them yesterday, so this is at least in process.)
  • Brick the front and back steps.  (Also in process.)
  • Install the dishwasher, vent hood, range and garbage disposal.
  • Install the door locks.  (DONE!)
  • Tile and grout the laundry room counter tops.
  • Tile the fireplace surround.
  • Install the gas log fireplace.
  • Install all the faucets.
  • Hang the mirrors.

This is a lot left to do and there’s only a week left before we close.  I just don’t know how they’re going to get it all done, since this is the detail-oriented stuff that takes the longest to do.

Tomorrow I’m going to call AT&T again and find out what their problem is.  Then I’m going to call DirectTV to set up installation with them.  If I’m feeling the need to be a masochist, I’ll call the local moving company again to try to get an estimate.  The first two I’ll definitely do.  The third?  Maybe.  We’ll see.

Almost there.

The kitchen cabinets have been antiqued. Now the drawers are going in. (photo by me)

The kitchen cabinets have been antiqued. Now the drawers are going in. (photo by me)

The antiquing has made the details really stand out. (photo by me)

The antiquing has made the details really stand out. (photo by me)

The wood floors are going in and the light fixtures are all in too. (photo by me)

The wood floors are going in and the light fixtures are all in too. (photo by me)

The tile still needs to be grouted, but it's all down. (photo by me)

The tile still needs to be grouted, but it’s all down. (photo by me)

The tile for the backsplash and master shower. (photo by me)

The tile for the backsplash and master shower. (photo by me)

We’re only about a week and a half out from our closing date (provided everything goes off without a hitch).

The tile still needs to be grouted and the hardwood installation needs to be finished, then the shoe molding has to be put in.  The toilets have to be installed.  The backsplash in the kitchen and the master shower still need to be tiled.  The sinks have to be hooked up and the vanity for the third bath has to be put in.

The cabinet doors and drawer fronts have to be put on and drawer pulls and knobs added.  The kitchen appliances have to be hooked up.  The storm damaged roof still has to be replaced.  The brick layer has to come back and put in the front and back steps.  Then minor touch ups have to be done and we’ll finally be able to move in!

The end is in sight!

We’re nearing the end of our house build!  You have no idea how happy I am to be able to say those words.  We’ve had to deal with delays and unforeseen problems – two solid weeks of rain, preventing them from getting drywall delivered and hung  and a freak hail storm that necessitates putting a new roof on our house – but the finish line is in sight.

The painters have been at the house all week and the interior looks fabulous.  The granite counters are going in tomorrow, and the lights are being installed as well.  Our driveway is formed and ready to be poured (possibly as early as tomorrow).  The garage door was installed today.  The floors are scheduled to start on Monday.

Things are moving quickly now and I couldn’t be happier about it.  I’m ready to move into my house!

All that's left to do is install the counters and the backsplash and glaze the cabinets. (photo by me)

All that’s left to do is install the counters and the backsplash and glaze the cabinets. (photo by me)

Living room (photo by me)

Living room (photo by me)

Tomorrow I’m going to Home Depot to pick up the mirror I ordered online.  The matching vanity is due to arrive in a few days.

The vanity I ordered from Home Depot. (image from Home Depot's site)

The vanity I ordered from Home Depot. (image from Home Depot’s site)

I can’t wait for everything to be installed.  You have no idea how impatient I am for this project to be done.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this experience, it’s to expect delays.  You can’t control the weather and that is the biggest delaying factor I can think of.  Other delays come when items you need aren’t in stock and you have to wait on them to come in (like my kitchen sink!).  But seeing the final product makes it all worth it in the end.

Moving right along!

Things are moving along on the house.  The kitchen cabinets are nearly all done.  They’ve started putting up the crown molding.  Baseboards are going in as well.  They’ve even hung a couple of the closet doors.  I cannot wait until everything is done.

Kitchen cabinets (image by me)

Kitchen cabinets (image by me)

(image by me)

(image by me)

I have a meeting with the insurance agent Thursday afternoon to get the insurance policy on the house squared away.  The lawyer for the closing has been chosen.  We’ve locked in our mortgage rate for the next 45 days – hopefully the house will be done before the 45 days are up!