Sunday, September 17, 2017

Tenth Week Was Very Exciting

It's funny how time can be both blistering fast and agonizingly slow at the same time.  This week was completely full of both, but I'm here to tell you it was exciting all the way.

As of late Saturday, the cabinets were installed, the trim and molding installed, the garage door installed, and about 90% of the brick installed.

Yes, only 90%.  And that was because the brick masons ran out of brick.  Now they have to return and get all their gear set up, to knock out the last 10%.  As fast as they are, they can do it in a day or less, but running out of brick was probably not in their plans for a perfect week.

A couple of minor issues with pocket doors and a slightly too large refrigerator cabinet was corrected quickly, and most of the construction debris was picked up.  It still looks like a ...... don't get me started about how messy construction sites can be.

Meanwhile, we already purchased our refrigerator and will now buy the wine chiller for the beverage center.

The office furniture we found on Craig's List was just too good 'a quality to cut up for our home-office, so we sold it, actually at a profit, but still a great deal to the people who purchased it for their business.  I plan to build exactly what we want for our home-office, and it won't look like the offices at a branch bank.

I also happened on a really nice quality Treadmill which I plan to set up in the garage/shop/gym/and hang-out room.  Yes, the garage is so nice being over-sized and very prominent, it will likely be the new hangout when Judy and I are working on projects.  So much so that I plan to have A/C ducts extended into the garage.

Finally, we closed out the week by being invited to the Terra Mariae quarterly luncheon for residents. It was fun and we got to meet a lot more of our neighbors.  Yes, I took photos and made them into a video.  Here's the link:  Terra Mariae Luncheon

Here are a few photos of the week's progress on the house.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Down To Two Big Green Eggs

When we got our first Big Green Egg in 1999, we never thought that one day we would own three Eggs, much less six of them.  But by 2016 we owned six.

When we made the decision to 'downsize' our lives and move closer to family in Louisiana, we decided that two Big Green Eggs were enough.

So we gave away Lily, our oldest, to a neighbor who expressed interest in ceramic cooking.  Lily had been diagnosed with a seriously cracked base, fire pit and fire ring, all of which I repaired with some PC7 epoxy, and she was able to continue on as a great cooker.  Even so, I thought she may not survive the rigors of moving in a very rough/bumpy moving van.  So Neighbor Mark took her under his wing and he quickly let me know that she was performing well.

When we sold our house, we thought it important to give the buyers Maggie Mini so they could start off being Eggheads.  After all, they were not only buying a house but were getting the famous Chicken Coop which they planned to continue using as an outdoor kitchen.

When I cooked some Magnum Loads for them to try, plus show them how to fire up and cook on a Big Green Egg, they immediately wanted to buy the Large Egg.

So, three down and three to go.

An Egghead friend from Jacksonville, Florida wanted to buy Mini-Maxine but he lived too far away to come get her.  But Hurricane Irma forced him to evacuate to Mobile, only two hours away from our new hometown of Covington, Louisiana.  He let us know that he was coming take Maxine to a new home.  They arrived over the weekend and were thrilled to get her, almost as much as Maxine was happy to be off to a new adventure.

I treated them with some Magnum Loads, and they brought us some delicious BBQ from The Shed in Ocean Springs, Misssissippi.  The ribs had to be the best I've had in a long time.

No photo of the BBQ they brought, but trust me - it was delicious.

So we are now down to two Eggs: Lola Large and Shirley Small.  We hope to end up with two Large Eggs in the New Coop we plan to build at New House.

It was great to see Gene and Tanya again, and to meet their two sons, Grant and Graham.  

And I guess a road trip to Ocean Springs for some BBQ is in our future.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

9th Week - The Parts Keep Falling Into Place

Probably the one thing that stands out for this week is the partial clean-up of construction debris.  It was such an eyesore that it took the fun out of seeing all the other progress.

The problem was apparently due to the huge dumpster's rear door not being closed properly.  Any attempt to haul the dumpster away would have resulted in its contents falling out the back.  It was corrected the hard way, by hand-removing tons of debris enough to lock the door in place.

It was then hauled away and the dumpster quickly started to grow again.

Meanwhile, the drywall crew finished their work, followed by the texturing and painting crew, the trim crew, and even the garage attic stairs installer.

There's still more to do to finish up the trim, but things are moving right along.

There's no official estimate on when we can actually move in but some of the neighbors are saying we could be ready to move in by early December.  That would be great, but we don't want to rush any important steps, possibly causing one step to be done poorly or missed entirely.  And All of them are important enough to be done right.  Fortunately, our builder thinks the same way.

Bricking starts next week.

Here are a few photos of the week:



Wednesday   (waiting for drywall mud to dry




Sunday, September 03, 2017

8th Week - We have Rooms

The workers just keep at it in spite of the rain.  But toward the end of the week, the rain was no longer a factor to the crew who installed the insulation and finally the drywall.

The drywall definitely made a difference in how we saw everything.  One day the rooms would look smaller and the next day larger.  No, I don't know why, but others agreed with me.  No matter, it is what it is and we were finally able to get a visual idea of just how much room we have to put our furniture. in when all of this is finished in probably December, but maybe January.

The brick layers are still unable to get in and do their work but they should be able to start next week.  By then it should not only be dryer, but cooler.  Fall is in the air.

The quality of the work remains very high, and we really appreciate that.

Here are some photos of the week:




Our Builder - Martin - He makes sure everything is right


Still very wet


They managed to get the first of three 'tape and float" jobs done to the drywall.  The want at least three days to dry between the coats.  They will be back next week.

Hopefully, the brick layers will be on site too.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

7th Week a Very Good Week

Given the damage and disruption to so many lives by Hurricane Harvey, I must first apologize for thinking that any progress made to our new home is important enough to share.  While so many are suffering, I'm bragging.  Somehow that just doesn't seem right.

But I committed to keeping a weekly log of the progress on our final home.  I would be remiss by not following my goal to record and report what the workers have done,  often under very wet and sometimes even dangerous conditions.  

I think this week was the first time our house actually began to develop a 'personality.'  Yes, to us, our 'house' is a 'home' being built from the ground up.  Anyone and everyone who contributes positively to its becoming a part of our lives deserves to be recognized and thanked for their efforts.  And although we may never see them again, each speck of concrete or board or nail or pipe or wire or window or roofing tile and so on they installed is like them leaving their personal and professional mark.  And so far, they have earned our respect and thanks for a job well done.

This week they started off by finishing installing the concrete ridge tiles on the roof.  I think that was the 'touch' that actually gave it personality.  After that there a lot of things going on including electrical, plumbing, A/C and Heating, natural gas, lighting, and ending up with insulation.

Meanwhile, the drywall was delivered and readied for installation.  And the bricks were delivered, hopefully to be installed this coming week.

Also, I drew up a proposed outdoor kitchen design and details as to its construction, either by the builder if the price is right, or me if I can't afford them.  I still have some snap left in me although I may need help with some of the heavy beams and roof.  I submitted the design to the Home Owners Association review committee and it was approved unanimously.

The outdoor kitchen, (temporarily referred to as the New Coop) is designed to reflect the same roof lines of the house.  I really like the French roof lines.  It just seemed the right thing to do.  The interior will be designed to accommodate only two Big Green Eggs, a 36" gas griddle, and maybe later on a wood fired brick pizza/bread oven.  Of course there will be a sink and refrigerator and under-counter cabinets.  It will also have a very large, industrial ceiling fan in the ceiling.  The plumbing and wiring for the New Coop is ready to be tapped into when it is built.

Anyway, here are a few photos that should reflect the progress of this week.






Needles to say, we're excited about the upcoming week. 

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sixth Week Very Progressive

The rain continued off and on during the week but the workers went on with their work.  And they did a lot, including the rough-in electrical, lighting, plumbing, guest tub and natural gas.  Also, the roofing shingles were finished and some ridge tiles. The attic ventilation turban was also installed. And even the A/C is installed, vented to each room and ready to hooked up to the outside condensing unit.

The bricklayers may be there this coming week.

Here are some photos.







They are moving right along and every day it feels more and more like a house.  Meanwhile, we drove to New Orleans to confirm our choice for granite countertops.  We also picked out the wine chiller we want to install in the Beverage Center.  And we finalized the design of our new outdoor kitchen.  Yes, it was after we saw the roof line with the popular French Cottage look.  It just seemed natural to use the same roof line for the outdoor kitchen.  

I had planned to build it myself but we decided to see how much it would cost to have them build the structure itself and leave the cabinets for me to build.  We want it done right and with them building the structure it will greatly speed things up.

Sunday when we thought nothing would be happening became a surprise when Joyce and Allen called to say they were there sweeping up construction debris.  So we quickly joined them and about an hour later the place was looking half way good.  There's still some mud stuck to the floor but it will come up easily.  It felt good to walk around without so much debris about.  Thanks Joyce and Allen.

And it looks like I will be getting an EGO Battery Powered blower to go with my EGO Battery Powered Lawn Mower and String Trimmer and Edger I still have to purchase..  Yeah!  I know I said I wasn't going to be doing 'lawn-care' duties, but it seems that the HOA guy's large equipment does not do well for a 'manicured lawn' look.  What's another $1,000 when you just blew through lots of Thousands?  I just hope Bill Collectors can't get to me in Heaven.  That would be Heaven.

The upcoming 7th week is going to be exciting.  Especially if the builder has a good price on building our outdoor kitchen.  That would really make my day/week.