Furniture-palooza

Well that was crazy. We ordered almost all of the furniture for our new house in the last 24 hours. How did that happen? Late Friday afternoon we received an email from our builder. Apparently, they had been working very diligently behind the scenes on getting a local retailer to provide furniture to stage our new home and give us a discount on anything we purchased.

In one way they struck out and in another way they struck gold. They didn’t find a store willing to stage, but they did find a store willing to give us a discount for anything we purchased. Let us refer to it as Rude&Bored (R&B). This is something along the lines of discovering a unicorn, as R&B does not have sales nor do they give discounts to designers. You pay full price or wait until something goes on clearance and take your chances in the outlet store.

Of course we jumped all over the opportunity and went to the store to meet with a design associate. I expected to have a long conversation about what pieces we needed and some preliminary viewing/shopping. Instead, we dove right in and selected everything we needed for our living room (2 sofas, 2 chairs, coffee table and rug). We also made plans to meet this morning at the house and walk him through it, then head back to the store for more shopping.

We spent 90 minutes at the house and, after a quick stop for lunch, met at the store. Four hours later, we were making a huge down payment on a huge order. The only significant items we didn’t order were the study desk and our master bed (both of which my husband will be making) plus our mattress. We also tapped out on patio furniture. So we are going back next Tuesday afternoon after we have a chance to recharge. What a whirlwind.

Moving Into High Gear

The weather wasn’t great, but we sucked it up and managed to get in a walk yesterday afternoon. We took an extended break at the turnaround point, when we stopped to visit with our friend who was taking some measurements outside of his new home. It ended up sprinkling on us during the second half of the walk.

This was after my husband spent three hours at our new house, giving a tour to my uncle. He happens to live nearby and drives past our home almost daily, so he’s been very interested in the progress. By the time we finished our walk and headed to the house together for our daily check-in, it was after 4:00. I was elated and somewhat terrified to see that the second delivery of drywall was in progress.

The basement and main floor drywall was hung almost two weeks ago and I had been anxiously awaiting for the rest of the drywall to arrive so that work could continue. It was supposed to come last week and then Monday and then Tuesday. I was started to despair. They had finished unloading one truck and were nearly done with the second when we arrived. The terrifying part was watching them lift it with a crane and pull it in through the window.

The siding guys have been hard at it for the past week. They’ve put up all of the Hardie on the house and the workshop. Yesterday they were working on the shiplap inside the conservatory. It looks awesome. When we returned today, they were just wrapping up work. The only areas of siding left are a few small metal sections and the vertical shiplap next to the front door. Now we just need warm and dry weather so the landscape work can get started.

Just Another Dusting

We received a tiny dusting of snow early this morning. That was followed up by rain the rest of the day. I guess it was inevitable, since my car is clean. At least it’s not rain turning into snow, followed by ice.

Despite all my big talk, I spent very little time out photographing the snow this winter. Since April is less than a week away, that window is closing. I blame the house. But then, I blame the house for everything.

Stress, weight gain, shoulder injury, anger issues. This house building thing has pretty much pushed me to my limits. I fired off a tersely worded (email) novel on Saturday, listing all of the decisions we still have to make. Of course it got forwarded it to a larger audience.

I’m just over it. There is still a ton of work left to do and just over ten weeks remain until the show. Meanwhile, I’m trying to wrap up everything that needs to happen before we close on our house in Phoenix in just two weeks. In honor of this morning’s dusting and all the images not taken this winter, I’m featuring a few more from my late December outing in the yard. Bring on the spring.

Losing the Circus Tent

While we were busy getting ready to sell our house in Phoenix, work on our home here continued briskly. Most significantly, the last areas of siding are now going up, covering the yellow insulation. The stair tower and the northwest corner of the house were completed this week. Based on their progress so far, I’m hoping it will be finished by the end of next week. Unfortunately, they managed to disconnect our internet in the process, so we haven’t seen updated solar numbers since Wednesday afternoon.

The drywall has been hung in the basement and on the main level. We need another delivery before they can start on the second floor. The tile has been completed in the main house, except for grouting the master bath. Speaking of which, the waterproofing for the master shower has been installed. The epoxy flooring in the workshop is also in progress. Apparently, solid white is the toughest one to do, so it’s taking them a while to get it right.

Meanwhile, we are deep into the weeds on some (seemingly) minor details. This week’s biggest debate has involved vent covers. You know, those things that go over the air ducts? Most people have plain metal ones or wood, if they want to get fancy. Not us. Once we found out that flush mount wasn’t really an option (because we didn’t specify them during framing), we settled on a cool design. There’s still a number of minor design choices to finalize, as well as some material options. But it’s definitely dwindling. Which is good, because we have just under 11 weeks to go.

Transfer Case Woes

We arrived home from Phoenix late Tuesday night. My first task for Wednesday (after picking up the beast), was to get my Cayenne to the dealership to find out what was wrong with her. Good news – it didn’t take them long to diagnose the problem. Bad news – it was an expensive repair that required a part to be sent overnight. Good news – it was covered under the warranty.

The transfer case needed to be replaced. Since this is a massively expensive repair for an expensive vehicle with less than 20,000 miles on it, I googled it when I got home (via a loaner Cayenne). Seems like this has been a problematic part for Porsche due to some design issue. So I quizzed the service guy when I picked up my baby this afternoon.

He admitted they had been performing transfer case replacements with alarming regularity over the last few years, but assured me that the problem had been addressed and that I should now be fine. I certainly hope so, because I do not want to be facing a $4000 repair after the warranty runs out. For now my baby is back and purring like a kitten. She’s also the cleanest she’s been all winter. That won’t last.

Another Brutal Round

Once again we managed to accomplish well over a week’s worth of work in a little over three days. I actually got to take a shower a full two hours before the cab was scheduled to arrive this time. We caught a bit of a break because the people buying our home decided to buy most of the furniture, so we didn’t have that to deal with. The remaining pieces (primarily the guest bedroom furniture and a desk and chair) will all go to charity.

We were so wiped out after working all day Saturday that we crawled into bed at 7:30 pm. Consequently we were awake at 3:00 am on Sunday. That trend shifted slightly over the next few days, with a 4:30 am rising yesterday and 5:30 am today. During those days I managed to pack 15 paintings, 2 mirrors, 2 large and oddly shaped pieces and around 30 boxes. I also took two car loads of stuff to charity.

Today I stripped the bed in the guest bedroom and bagged up most of the linens, towels and bathroom rugs. I now have 4 large plastic bags in addition to the furniture earmarked for charity. The only things not packed are a few kitchen essentials, limited articles of clothing and one set of sheets and towels for us to use when we come back in April.

I can honestly say there wasn’t anything I planned on doing that didn’t get done. It would have been nice to eat out once, instead of relying solely on delivery for meals, but that’s a minor quibble. We only have a few days to wrap things up in April, but I’m totally ready for it. I just wish I could say the same thing about the new house.

Once More, With Feeling

We took my dad on a tour of our new house today. He hadn’t seen it since the basement floor was poured last summer. I think he was impressed, but honestly, it’s hard to say. At one point when we were driving around afterward, I noticed my car seemed to be behaving oddly. It would lurch when accelerating at low speed.

Great, just what I need to deal with. But not today. We dropped off the beast just before 5:00 pm and headed to the airport for our flight to Phoenix. Fortunately, we just made the train to the main terminal. Then we just caught the tram. Things were starting to look up. Or so I could hope.

Our flight to Phoenix was smooth and landed on time. The airport was way less crazy then when I arrived in February and we were at our house just before 10:00 pm. So this is it. The last big push before we come back to close on the house. I have just under four days to get everything packed and ready to go. It’s gonna be gonzo. I’m ready.

We Will Rock You

Drywall, aka “rock,” has commenced at our new home. Why do they call it rock? It’s short for Sheetrock, which is actually a specific brand of drywall. It’s a Kleenex kind of thing. The drywall guys are swarming the house and the music has changed from Russian to Mexican. I felt sorry for Vladimir, who was working alone on the second floor, tiling our laundry room.

The regular tile guys are gone, having completed everything except the laundry and bathrooms. The wiring for the bathroom floor heat has been installed, but with a one man crew, it’s going to take a while. Apparently, only Vladimir and his son Victor, who owns the company, do the sloped and/or heated spaces. So the drywall guys are staying out of those areas for now.

Given the speed with which they are working, I don’t know how long that division will last. Yesterday was only their second day and the basement was nearly complete, along with a significant portion of the first floor. Hanging the drywall is fast work and I think there were six guys doing it.

The taping, mudding and sanding is much more meticulous work and likely will involve a different crew. That process will take weeks and the house will be pretty miserable to enter while it’s in progress. Yesterday was bad enough, with just the residual dust from cutting the drywall. The effect of hanging it is transformational, though. It’s finally starting to look like a real house.

Finally Some Fun Stuff

We went shopping yesterday. Our original goal was to purchase just one mirror, at Design Within Reach. We had seen it some months ago and the store was having their semi-annual sale, so we decided to just go and pick it up. Didn’t quite work out the way we planned, but things rarely do these days.

First of all the mall was crazy busy and it took us a while to even find a parking spot. Next, we found out that not only did they not stock the mirror (or anything else, for that matter) but they had a ridiculous delivery fee. I guess they expect you to get a whole truck full of stuff, not just one mirror. So I felt the need to find something else to purchase. We settled on a set of four red chairs for the conservatory.

Next we decided to head to Peter’s Billiards to check on lead times for ordering our pool table. Again, we picked out the table quite a while ago, but had no need to order it. The pool table needs to be in the house for the start of the show on June 8th, as the staging company obviously doesn’t supply one. Peter’s was also crazy busy, because they were having a sale. A huge sale.

We ordered the table and then we ordered a sofa for my husband’s study. As we were walking to pick up a copy of the order, I spotted a counter stool that was perfect for our new kitchen island. So we ordered four of those as well. We got a great deal on the pool table, a small discount on the stools and zip on the sofa. (It’s one of those brands that’s price controlled)

In the end, a very expensive day. But it’s nice to be in a position to finally order actual furniture for the new house. We probably won’t be getting anything else for the house right now, since my husband will be building a couple of things (our bed and dining room table) and we want to see how it’s staged before we get any living room furniture. But we do need to look at furniture for the conservatory. I don’t think the stagers are going to know what to do with that space.

Progress on the Home Front

We had another realtor set off our alarm in Phoenix on Monday morning. The panel is ten feet from the front door and it’s on a 60 second delay, so I’m not sure why they are having such a problem with it. I’ve confirmed that our realtor will be there for the inspection and appraisal, so we don’t have this problem again. The listing has officially been updated to “under contract,” so we probably won’t have any more people coming through. The Monday showing was scheduled before we signed the sales contract.

We’re flying back down to Phoenix in a week and I’m busy making a list of all the things we need to get done while we’re there. I’m trying really hard not to have a panic attack about it. Meanwhile, on the home front, our fur baby is back to his usual crazy antics. He seems to have recovered completely from his cold in near record time. Plus side – less long naps on my lap, minus side – back to being bitey.

The tiling of our new home is almost complete. Basement and main floor are done and covered with paper. We actually got a small bonus area of tile, as they mistakenly did the working garage mudroom. It’s only about 100 square feet, but they are going to eat the labor cost and we just have to cover the tile, which is cheaper than what we would have paid for epoxy. Grouting of part of the second floor was being done yesterday. The only areas not tiled are the (heated) bathroom floors and the laundry room.

Most of the interior doors have been installed. More drywall was delivered yesterday, although they have yet to start actually installing any. Hopefully that will start next week. We are buttoning down a few final selections. We picked the granite for our dry bar yesterday and we’re visiting a few tile stores this afternoon to finalize the guest kitchen backsplash and bathroom tile. Three months to the finish line.