We have been in our new home for just over a year now. We had our one year walk through and there are a few minor things that need to be addressed. Overall the house turned out how we wanted. There are 2 minor things that are not how I would like that can not be changed.
One is that the cupboards in the library are too shallow for us to put our board games in so we have to put them on the shelves. The shelves are quite full with all our books. We are considering have something built to go behind the sofa in the living room that we can tuck them into.
The second is that in my office the drawers are too narrow for me to hang files. They are about a quarter of an inch too narrow so I have to put all the files in the drawers in the library that are the right size. I was going to use the office for all of our paper work and it sucks to have to take papers back and forth.
Neither of these is huge just minor annoyances for me.
We have also added a jacuzzi and deck just a short distance from the house and a fire pit. Both have paths to them from the deck of the house. The fire pit is farther away and we have enjoyed making smores on more than one occasion.
After we moved in the first few months there seemed to be at least one day every week when a random person would be there finishing or fixing something. Soon that will happen again when they fix the minor cracks and things that happened with settling. The biggest thing I think is our heated floor in the bathroom stopped working so we have to wait for a person who has a special device to see through to the wiring to see where it may of disconnected int he floor. Only one person in area with it apparently. This is preferable to tearing out the whole floor. I am hoping it is at an edge maybe by the door so we don’t have to take to much out to fix it.
We have really enjoyed the house last year in the spring and summer. Steve hosted many BBQ’s for his coworkers. Ainsley also had a birthday party at home and they hung on deck and played on playset and trampoline.
The space and being surrounded by trees is very relaxing as is the sound of the rain on the metal roof. The pond has cranes, eagles, hawks, ducks, catfish and bullfrogs. I do not enjoy the bullfrogs and am worried based on how many babies there were last year this spring we will be over run. We took several egg balls out of the pond last year but there were still a ton of them. My oldest wanted to catch them and release them somewhere but they are considered an invasive species so that will not happen. Too bad the birds did not like to eat them. We also frequently have deer in the yard. They have grown somewhat used to us so in the summer they would get fairly close. We do not feed them (except for the landscaping plants they seem to like) so we keep our distance from each other but they are relaxed if we are deck and they are 10 or so feet away drinking from pond. We do feed the catfish and the ducks (fish food and duck food).
I am not sure I would ever want to build a house again. It was a long and stressful process. If we did at least I know which things I like now and which things I would want to change. I think Steve would do it again without flinching.
For now I am looking forward to spring and summer. There will BBq’s, fires, and jacuzzi time.
We are almost at the end of this journey and in our new home. In a little over 3 weeks the 3 plus years of planning, editing, and making decisions will be complete. It seems so close yet there is still so much to do and still a few things that could really mess things up.
The cabinets are almost all installed and they look amazing. There will be so much storage everywhere. The walls are painted and the colours are great. Peaceful and relaxing with the exception of the girls who chose teal and purple for accents in their rooms. The floors are a beautiful warm walnut colour. I just want to start moving our books onto the library shelves. I want to put my mixer on its popout stand but that all has to wait.
I am sure all the waiting and many hours and stress will be worth it when we are sitting on our deck enjoy the peaceful sound of nature with drinks and some snacks. Maybe even after the kids go to bed we can enjoy some time outside cuddling to keep warm under the starts with no other homes in sight. Our kids will be able to run out their door into their own playground and get lots of outside time without ever having to drive anywhere. We may become kind of like hermits.
Steve has told me he wants to start doing a Sunday dinner maybe once a month. I think it is a great idea but warn my cooking skills are few. I hope to take some classes now that I will have an amazing kitchen to cook in. I plan on having game nights, cocktail parties, bbq’s, and family fun days. It should be a place we can really enjoy and share with others. Next year on July 1st come on over for Canada Day celebrations. I will be sure to have lots of Canadian treats on hand.
This journey has been long and often times frustrating but it is starting to seem worth it. It has also seemed to move painstakingly slow at times. Right now seems to be one of those times. For now it is just deep breaths knowing the wait will all be over soon.
The siding is done, roof is on, drywall is up and soon the flooring will be installed. It is now looking like a house and much easier to picture the size of the rooms and what it will look like with our stuff inside.
Our pond is overflowing with all the rain and the sides are starting to look a little unstable in places. I wish there was a way to keep all this extra water and use it to refill the pond in the summer when there is not as much rain and the levels drop.
There have been a lot of very windy days here and so far all the trees on our property have been good. The ones around the house were my biggest concern because I don’t want the roof crushed. So far other than a few smaller branches there has been no problem. We will get an arbourist out to check out the trees in the areas by the house and eventually all or most the others.
I am looking forward to being able to sit on my deck and drink my tea while listening to the birds and the wind in the trees. There have been a few ducks visiting our pond and we hope they will decide to stay. They fly away every time the see us right now so is not looking good. We may throw some food in for the catfish on our next visit to see how they managed over the winter.
I will try to get Steve to show me how to get my facebook photos on here then I can post some pictures of where we are right now.
There has been another delay because of the insulation. They had to build boxes around the many recessed lights before they could do the spray type. We are now looking at mid August for completion. I hope that we do get to at least enjoy a couple summer BBQ’s in our completed house before the year is over.
I had not been in the house since before Christmas and was surprised on Tuesday when we walked through. The outside has most the stone and wood siding on. After that is done the metal will be added. Inside the walls are insulated and some drywall is even up. This means that I can see how the light and the size of the rooms will be. Although the rooms without the drywall are a bid darker because the light does not reflect off the insulation. Our little sitting room is very bright and will be where I think Steve and I will spend a lot of time.
In the next seven months we will be packing up our house and selling it and moving into our new home. We are hoping our house sells fast but now that the completion date is moved out we may have to reconsider when we put it on the market. We may end up in a temporary house between. With a cat and 2 kids this could be tricky. Of course there are a few places that offer furnished places short term but they are price and we would like to spend as little as possible on that. We will need some new furniture and would be great to be able to put more down when we go from a COC loan to a mortgage.
Our drainage issue with the neighbour is being worked on. We believe we have should have no trouble getting the county on board to put the overflow from the pond back to the way it was. It will cost us a good chunk but we may be able to recoup some or all of the cost from the county as we did submit options that would of avoided this and our reps told them their plan would not work. There was also the fact that it took 7 months and a meeting with a supervisor to get our drainage plan hashed out and final permit approval. We were supposed to break ground in November and it was in March. During this time the cost of materials went up and increased our budget. So very frustrating.
Building this house has required patience which is something I am often short on. Steve and I have worked together and been a team and it has been mostly fun.
So the siding is now going up and the insulation is going in. We have not be able to go in the house for a few weeks. They are doing some spray insulation and the fumes need time to dissipate. It is taking a bit longer than expected because they can not spray around the light cans per the manufacture even though it says different on packaging. There is a concern that it could overheat and cause a fire. This would be very unlikely with the led lights we will be using because they do not generate that much heat.. The wood and stone siding have started on the outside and the roof is being put on. This is making it easier to imagine what the finished house will look like.
Also because it wouldn’t be fun if everything went smooth we now have drainage problems. The drainage system the county said we had to put in is not working. This is not a surprise to the builder or architect both of whom told the county that this would happen when the submitted our plans with 2 different options. The neighbours beside us who have been very nice now have a flooded area in their yard because of the drainage system failure. We are unable to do anything without the county approval. The first chat with the county we were told that we put the required system in and that was it. We think since then the neighbours have complained to the county so now they are meeting with our builder and architect on our site to see what is happening and find a solution. I am glad we will be able to fix it but not happy that we spent money on the required system and will now have to pay for another system that will likely be one of the ones we proposed in our permit application. I am assuming that the county will not be refunding us even though the concerns were brought up.
We have now selected flooring, kitchen cabinets, and kitchen counter tops. We are working on the backsplash. We are also closing in on the wall colours. I gave Dave all the samples that I liked and he is working from there. Steve and I both agreed on the flooring right away which was the first thing we picked it is hickory. The cabinets are a dark stain and the counters are a very light gray.
The last move in date we got was for mid July I am hoping that is still the case even though the insulation is taking a bit longer than expected. If it does work out we will be starting the BBQ’s in August.
We are getting our current house ready to go on the market by getting rid of stuff we don’t need/want. The kids have been great they have given away over 5 boxes of toys from their playroom. We have the donation truck coming on the 27th so I should be able to get a lot of other stuff together by then. I am hoping once we have it on the market it sells fast so I don’t have to worry about the kids messing up everything for the showings. Of course that would also mean we would end up somewhere for a short time before we move into the new house. I think we may end up somewhere else for a bit while they paint and replace carpet because it would be to smelly. Not sure what we will do with the cat during that time.
One day I will try and get Steve to add some photos so you can see all the stuff I am rambling about.
We now have the waterproof shield up on the house along with all the doors and windows. They are currently running heaters in the house to dry out the house before insulation and drywall. The electrical wires are almost all in and the plumbing piping and heat ducts are in.
We were hoping that the house would be complete and ready to move in by late May or early June. Today at the site meeting we were told that is is looking more likely to be mid July at this point. When we first submitted the permits the finish date was projected to be by February or March. Then the permit process was delayed by a few months and here we are now.
Today we went over plumbing fixtures. I have been told the tub I have selected will not work and was shown an alternate tub. It is one that I sat in and while it looks pretty it was not comfy. Was very narrow and as I am not a narrow girl it felt uncomfortable. I find this frustrating because if the tub is not comfortable it will not be used. I was looking forward to a tub that I could actually fill high enough to cover me and have a back that was inclined at an angle to relax in with out kinking your neck. I now have to go to another project the architects worked on to sit in the tub to see. I am pretty sure it is the same as the one I sat in at the show room and did not like.
This is causing much frustration and stress for us because we want to sell the home we are now living in and be closed and done with it when the new one is finished. I am thinking we may have to pack a bunch of stuff up and put it in storage for a few months to have the house less cluttered and more open house ready in the next few months. Then we will have to hope that we put it on the market at the right time. Houses in this area tend to sell very quickly in a week or two. Which means we could be out a month or two after we list. This would then put us in a short term rental which is hard to find or very expensive.
Add to all these things a horse show I will be at for just over a week in January in Arizona then 2 shows in Vegas one in March and one in April and that is about a month when I will not be home to get things sorted. Packing and moving was much easier before kids. I am going to gather as much as I can this week for the donation truck coming to pick up on the weekend.
The framing is almost done and the walls and roof are going up. It is fun to see how much things change with our weekly or biweekly visits to the site. We have just finished picking out all the plumbing fixtures. Toilets, sinks, faucets, shower heads, and a bathtub are all selected. The plumber has come and started putting pipes in too.
Later this week we are finally going to start looking at interior elevations. We know we want hardwood floors through most the house and I would like to go with greys and blues for cabinets and counters. I am sure our architect has a plan in his head I hope that it is not way off of what I have in my head. I have gotten several samples of paint, tile, and flooring. By the end of next month the windows should be in and house should be wrapped up for the winter. Maybe we will have a sleepover there once it is closed up. We should be moving in in just under a year.
We are well into framing now. This phase will be done by the end of August or sooner. The framers are scheduled to finish about a month ahead of what we expected. It is nice to finally have something be done early. I am hoping we can take advantage of this time savings and get things moving so it is done a bit earlier. End of May next year would be great.
We have meetings on site every Tuesday and talk about progress and which things need to be done next. I am experiencing a bit of frustration with the speed at which our architect is doing things. I know he has built many homes and has a method to his madness but I would like to see things move along a little faster. I wonder why we did not meet to figure out lighting, electrical, plumbing and maybe some of the interior finishes while the permit was delayed. Then we would have everything ready to go so if like in the case of the framing something was ahead of schedule we could take advantage.
Steve often goes after work to check out the progress. You get a good idea of what your view will be now that the windows are all framed for the main floor. The deck is roughed in and I can see many mornings out there with my tea. We hope to be out there a lot this summer to enjoy the property.
We are considering getting a play structure for the kids and/or a trampoline and may take an inflatable pool out there so they can swim. There is the port a potty on site now so if you need a restroom you can go. I do not really like the port a potty but in a pinch it will do. Steve has purchased a shed and a John Deere riding mower. He now mows the lawn every other week or so. It is a lot of grass and takes a few hours. So far the novelty of the riding mower makes it fun.
We have pictures and will try to get Steve to post some. We also have a camera on site that takes pictures every few minutes and soon there will be live video on site to keep an eye on things and for security. So we will be able to look at what is going on anytime. Steve may be a bit distracted at work watching the live feed.
Our foundation is coming along. Next week the first lumber drop will happen and framing will begin. It is estimated that the framing will take 2 1/2 to 3 months. By fall we should have the framing done and the house sealed up in time for the bad weather.
We are also now starting to make decisions on finishes. We met with the architects and decided on exterior materials and colours. The builder will be getting some samples together in the next couple weeks for us to look at. We are going to start deciding on the interior finishes and all the appliances soon as well. Next week we are meeting with the architect to go over the lighting details for the house. The following week Steve will be meeting about the wiring. I will be in California and hope he does not go too crazy with all the wiring and tech in the house.
We have been taking pictures of the construction as it happens and Steve should put some photos up soon. So far the building has been going well.
In other property news Steve has bought a John Deere rider mower and spent the weekend mowing the lawn. It also has a little wheel barrow type thing you can tow on the back. Steve is loving riding the mower right now I am not sure if it will wear off at some point but for now he is having a great time mowing the lawn.
So last week on Monday the building of our house finally started. We went to our first site meeting this morning. It looks like a big muddy mess right now but the foundations, trees, and fences are down now. It will be another week of clean up of debris then the start of putting the drainage in place.
We are starting with the drainage because the foundation guy has another job right now. The long delay in starting because of the permit process made us lose our spot with him. Not at all his fault he needs to work so it will just be a few weeks before he can start. The foundations should be done by mid June. After that will be framing.
Steve is going to get the pictures from the camera he set up and I am sure will post a few. The builder will be putting webcams up for security on the site and we will have access to them. That should be fun to watch.