Friday, September 30, 2016

Ok, here are the much delayed pictures of the finished house.  Before we moved in, which is why there is no furniture or dog hair.

Lets start in the basement, this is the view from the bottom of the stairs, facing into the basement.  The daylight coming in from the left is from the window well that is in the morning room bump out.  

Full view looking out from the mechanical room.

Looking down the hall into the great room and kitchen (you can see a little bit of the island).

The guest bedroom in the front of the house.

Down the hall to the front door.  The french doors lead to the study.

The study.  Good bit of room actually.

The Kitchen

Looking into the morning room.

The master bathroom and the massive shower on the left.  And as you can see, there is a seat on the right where you can watch your significant other while they shower.

Looking into the master bedroom from the sitting room.  Bathroom door is on the  right and closet on the left.

And finally, the sitting room.  This is what really makes the smaller bedroom of the Pisa livable.  If you omit the windows from the one wall, you have another wall for furniture.

I know some people will want to see other things so I am linking a video tour here too.  

If there is something specific you would like a picture of, please just leave us a message.  And message with any questions.

Oh, almost forgot....
Here is a picture off the deck that sits between the morning room and the sitting room.  Nice size, about 15x12.  

And the fence to keep me and the dogs from wandering off.

And as you can see, we did not get sod, we got hydro-seeded crab grass.  Oh well, a good yard will take me a few summers anyway.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Sorry folks, I have been remiss in posting since we moved.  I promise I will get finished pictures up soon.  Keeping it short, we love the house, yes, there are a few minor issues, but those are being fixed and it is feeling like our home now.  Honestly, the first week or so it felt like we were living in someone else's house.

Back soon with pictures.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Stress is not building a home, it's selling s home.

I am beginning to feel that the worst part of this entire process is selling your current home.  You sink cash into some modest updates, fresh paint...clean for hours on end...vacate for hours on end with dogs in tow.  Only to be told the dining room is too small or the bedrooms are not big enough or they really want hardwood (like you could not see from the pictures that we have tile and carpet.

Then you have to thank the spoiled  little millennial brats for looking and you hope they liked it, while all the while you are cursing them under your breath for wasting three hours of your weekend.

It is stressful as hell.  No wonder some people never move.

Rant over for now.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Last chance to look inside the walls...the pre-drywall walk through.

Wow, this is moving fast.  Our PM called to tell us it as time for that last peek inside the walls.  During the walk through we went over all the light fixture placement, what each receptacle and switch was for, covered all the questions or issues we had spotted previously.  He also covered all the changes we had from the standard plan and answered all the questions or concerns I had,   He also let me know when the drywall would be installed so I could get in there and insulate the outside walls in the garage,

The garage is now insulated all around, except for the el cheapo uninsulated thin panel steel door, which I will at least insulated before winter.

Since they will be dry walling this week, I stopped for one last inspection around the house.  I made sure to check all the windows to make sure they spray foamed around them.   Things look good.  Now we just need to sell the house we are in now and pack the rest of our stuff.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Let the walk through begin....

No sooner had they gotten all the exterior panels up, the roof shingled, the windows in and the basement floor poured than we got the call that Guardian wants to do their walk-thru.

Now this is an easy one, but you need to keep in mind where you think furniture will be, what direction you want to face when watching TV, where you might put the desk in the office.... that kind of stuff.  We walked through the house with our Guardian rep and she marked out where we would want to put the TV's, the modem and router in the office, where the speakers should be in the ceiling.  Oh yeah, and where our keypad for the system would go.  When you go from room to room, thinking about how you will lay it out and how you will spend your time in that space, it begins to feel more like a house than a bundle of sticks.  And Susan and I both noticed that as we stood in various rooms and spent some time in there, they no longer seemed too small.  Kind of an odd mental illusion I guess.

At this point our Project Manager popped in to see what we thought.  Bad timing for him.  While we are generally very happy with the progress and the quality of the construction, there were some issues I had noticed on previous visits and a few things Susie noticed that we decided to address at that point.

Like wall studs that were cut into...

Now our PM said this was done to straighten bowed studs and that none of them were on load bearing walls.  I am going to be checking that on the next walk thru.  Not real happy about it.

There was a gap between exterior panels...

But that was fixed a day or so later.

Then there is the issue of the walls that are not supposed to be there....

These little walls divide the morning room/dining room from the kitchen.  But they are not supposed to be there.  They serve no structural purpose.  And we had asked in the pre-construction meeting if we could remove them.  "No problem" they said.  Well, it became our Project Managers problem when Susie noticed them.  Now we shall see if they are still there at the next walk thru.

In a little more than a month, we went from having a hole in the ground to being totally under roof.  We have our pre-drywall walk thru tomorrow.  Will be taking tons more pictures so I know where things are in the walls and to document any issues.  And our project manager thinks it will only take and hour.  Yeah right.

Selling a house is hard work

If someone had told me back in December how much work it was going to take to get our current house ready to sell (not to mention how much $$), I might have said forget it.

In addition to painters, carpet cleaners, counter top installers and cleaning people (who did such a piss poor job Susie basically had to redo most of it), we have been working on decluttering and packing.  And keeping the house clean.  I think that is hardest of all.  Now that we are on the market, we have to be able to hide the evidence that not only are there no dogs in the house, but no people either.  Just want to get the thing under contract so we can just pack up everything and not worry about boxes in view.

OK, rant is over for now.

On to the important things.  Progress on the new home is amazing.  We went from just concrete forms a few weeks ago to a full foundation walls....

Next thing you know, there is a floor down...

From having the floor and a couple wall panels, one week later we have this....

And by the next weekend, it is all buttoned up...

And guess what its almost walk thru time.....

Monday, March 21, 2016

Getting the old house ready to sell or how the heck did we get this much stuff.

The one thing I would bet most people don't consider when they sign on to build a new house is a realistic estimate of what they will need to do to sell their current home.  I know I sure as heck didn't.

I mean I expected there to be some cleaning and painting involved, but when our real estate agent came in and gave us an honest evaluation of the value and what we need to do to get top dollar, I was stunned.

Now, a little background.  Its just me and Susie and the dogs, so no kids or kid stuff.  We have been married going on 25 years and have lived in this house which we built 16 years ago.  Since that time we have accumulated WAY to much stuff.

In the past two months, we have taken numerous trips to Goodwill to drop of clothes and household items we no longer use.  We have rented a 10x10 storage locker for things we need out of the way to stage and sell the house. As Cindy says the less stuff in the house the better.  I have replaced all the bright brass door levers and cabinet knobs with aged bronze (you know all that stuff HGTV says is trendy).  We replaced all the overhead light fixtures (again to get rid of the bright brass) and donated the old fixtures to a construction recycling center.  We are replacing the 16 year old carpet in the main rooms on the lower level with Pergo (only slightly more than carpet in terms of cost, but will hopefully give us more bang for the buck).  We have painters coming in to paint the two story entry and the other rooms on the 1st floor.  We had a wonky retaining wall rebuilt.

Was I expecting to have to do all this?  No.  But am I will to do it to get more than average for our house?  Yes.  Will it pay off?  Jury is still out on that.

So, some advice, have a pre-sale inspection done like we did before you do anything to your house.  Ours only showed the wonky retaining wall.  And depending on the age and how well you have kept up with updates and painting, I would be prepared to put $5000 or more into your house to get it ready to sell.

Oh, one more tip.  Check Craigslist for moving boxes.  We found a couple very near us who bought a lot of moving boxes from Home Depot and were looking to get back some of their investment.  I got 8 large garment boxes and close to 80 other boxes (small, medium and large) for about $70 bucks.