Two Months of Construction
If someone had told me last May that we would be building a new house this spring, I would have laughed at the very idea. But I celebrated the two-month mark of the project by compiling a slide show for my family. After all that effort, I thought I might as well share it here, as well.
We first viewed this acre of land on November 11. After driving around two small towns, we realized we weren't ready for city living and called the realtor the next morning. The SOLD sign didn't go up until mid-December.
At our first meeting with the builder, they told us that if everything went well we could hope for a March 1 start date. Everything did not go well, but we got our building permit on February 22nd.
This will some day be our front yard, but on February 28 it didn't look all that promising. If you look closely, though, you can see survey stakes indicating where the house is going to be built.
March 1 and the excavator has moved onto the property--as scheduled.
He began work on March 2nd and a day later we got a call saying they had hit blue clay. I dropped in after work to take a look and was suprised at how blue it was. According to the builder, blue clay is the absolute worst thing we could have found. I still shudder to think of what it cost to remediate the situation, but there was no turning back.
Despite significant water problems, the framing for the footings was in place by March 15. Seeing the shape of our dream home lying at the bottom of our very expensive hole was incredibly exciting.
The concrete was poured on March 18. Water was still seeping in near the top of the hole and draining out through a gaping hole they had cut into the bank of our steep slope.
Two days later and they started building the forms for the basement walls.
I was so excited that I stopped in again on my way home from work.
March 24 and the floor joists are being put into place.
The next day my husband was able to stand on top of our "overturned box."
It rained most of March. On the 29th I didn't even bother to go onto the yard, but shot this from the driveway.
Then I walked along the edge of the road to the other corner of the property and took this shot.
March 30 and I get t stand at my kitchen window for the first time! We sited the house as close to the slope as permissable. All of the trees behind our house are protected by a covenant because of the steepness of the slope that leads to a creek below. We like to say we bought a big yard and a small bird sanctuary.
March ends with the first two rafters in place.
April 1: Although I'm excited to see the rafters, it's the dormer roofs that I'm really waiting for.
Depending on your point of view, this is either the side or the back of the house. The architect's drawings call it the back, but we think of it as the side.
April 2nd and there are still no dormer roofs.
April 3rd and the most compelling feature of our house becomes evident. It was the interesting roof lines and the large windows that drew us to this house plan in the first place.
April 5: It's starting to really look like a house.
The next day one of the workers casually mentioned to my husband that "tomorrow" would be a good day to paint the fascia boards.
Since we were attending a family wedding the next day, we just stopped by so I could have an up-to-date photo in my camera to show anyone who expressed just the least bit of interest.
My husband skipped church the day after the wedding and I came afterwards. By late afternoon we had painted all the fascia boards.
Needless to say, it was not I who did the high parts. I hate ladders and with all the uneven ground, I was truly uncomfortable and unhappy most of the afternoon.
The windows arrived ad were installed by April 13.
The stairs went in the next day and I was able to get this shot from the open landing. With the help of two steeply-pitched (12:12) roofs, we have a 21' vaulted ceiling inside our front door.
I chose this tree as another marker for framing the view from the southeast.
While the plumber and electrician worked inside, we began painting trim boards for the exterior. There seem to be an awful lot of them, but we were assured that no extras were ordered.
Although there were no locks on the door by April 22nd, this was the first time Lloyd had to actually open the door to get inside the house.
Basement stairs are generally not very exciting, but given the extra costs involved in getting our foundation and basement up to code these provide access to the most expensive part of our house!
And here's proof that I do more than just take pictures when I'm at the house.
By April 29th the chimney for our wood stove had been installed and the electricity connected. The insulation was also put in that week.
April 30: I drove out after work specifically to document the two-month mark. Many people have commented on how quickly the work has been progressing.
After all the excitement of the first six weeks, things seem to have slowed down. But I still drive out there after work each shift (3 or 4 times per week) just to see what's happening.
Thanks for taking time to share my excitement.
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