Sunday, November 16, 2014

Building a House Month 7.5: Would You Like Walls With That?

When we last left off on October 27th, the house had plumbing and electric in place, a failed fire inspection had caused things to slow down a little, and the insulation would waiting in the garage.

I returned to the house on November 5th in between trips to Orlando and Boston. I walked through with the builder and his assistant; they had questions about where we wanted the cable hookups in all the rooms. Though we will have hookups in the living room and all three bedrooms, I know the living room is the only room that will likely have a TV in it as long as we live there, and I don't think we'll ever pay for cable. The builders also delivered the good news that our HVAC, electric, and plumbing inspections had all passed: we were ready for drywall.

November 5th 

Our house had its very first leak. A plumber had to be called in to fix it. 
2nd bathroom 


Master bath
The builder also told me they were planning to start on drywall that week and finish the next week. He told me once drywall goes in, we can expect 75 days until closing. In my mind, I calculated a late January closing: perfect. However, when I ran that by the builder, he said more like late February because they would "lose a lot of time for Christmas." Even with losing a week for Christmas, 75 days should still put us at the beginning of February. I don't know if he was just being conservative in his estimate, or if construction workers take off a month at Christmas, but I told him March 1st was the latest we could close on the house (our lease at the apartment ends 3/5/14), and he seemed to think that was doable. I was a bit disappointed in the news because I don't want to wait, but I was also relieved to hear we might not be wasting as much rent money on the apartment as I had suspected (we cannot break the lease without more financial penalty than just paying the lease off). The builder also told me he would be living across the street from us in a house that was closing next week. I wonder if he realizes that I will now be at his door anytime something goes wrong?

Brendan and I visited the house together on November 10th and saw the first stages of insulation and drywall going in: 
November 10th 

Skylight with insulation 

Master bedroom with insulation 

Hallway view 

Hallway with drywall

Kitchen area with drywall

garage with drywall

Laundry with drywall

Breaker box 

We returned again yesterday on November 15th, and we were able to meet our neighbors on the right side (The Johnsons). They seem like a nice couple. They have two young boys and a dog. I said a silent prayer that the dog isn't the yappy type. They told us that they were supposed to close in August but ended up closing in October. We knew the building process would probably be slower than expected, which is why we signed the apartment lease through early March, though we were told to expect an early January completion. 

November 15th 
Inside, the drywall is about 90% complete. 

View from entry 

Master bedroom 
And the big development: we have cabinets! Of course, they haven't been stained yet.

Cabinets and kitchen island unstained
Master bathroom:
Master bath cabinets unstained
The second bathroom is the one place still needing drywall.
Second bathroom cabinet 

Living room 

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 3

Garage with attic 

Yesterday, our lender CCed us into an email to the building office asking what our expected closing date would be, and the building office wrote back and said "looking at the end of December." What? I wrote back relaying the conversation with the builder the week before, in which he said the end of February. The office emailed the builder asking him to confirm the closing date, but he hasn't responded yet. End of December would be way too early for us. We won't be in town for a good half of the month! 

So, in summary, in less than three weeks, our house got insulation, drywall, and cabinets, and we will close on it sometime between the end of December and the end of February. According to my research, up next is primer paint, brick, interior doors/baseboards/decorative trim, and paint. 

Stay tuned!

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