It’s been awhile since I have posted on this blog. The story has not ended yet. I have gotten a few requests to update the progress of the construction. I will continue with the completion of this house after we have settled our dispute with the builder.
As the last contractor left his morning, (thank you Ralph!) there was a calming peace in the house. I think it was the satisfaction that the house is finally completed! In spite of all the ups and downs of this process, it was all worth it. I look around at the finished product and am beginning to realize, I Love This House!
The plumber finished up the last several items that needed parts to complete. We have a working dishwasher now, all 3 bathrooms are now fully functioning, and the hot water heater is complete. The glass company delivered and installed the shower doors this morning. That was the final installation to complete the bathrooms. We chose simple, clear glass doors so that we didn’t take anything away from the tile. I love the tile work in the bathrooms and want everyone to be able to enjoy it too!
There was 1 kitchen cabinet on back order. It came in this week and was installed to complete the kitchen.
I put each photo separately so all of the details of the kitchen could be noticed. I love the way the kitchen turned out. It was probably one of the biggest stress factors when we took over completion of the house. The kitchen designer and I worked hours on getting the layout to our satisfaction. Walking into a big box store and starting over was not something I planned on doing. I am glad that the guys that did the installation were so great and picked up the details of the installation because during the original designing process, I was told that the carpenter installing will have to remember this or that. I hadn’t made notes about any of those details because I didn’t need to. The carpenters did an amazing job!
The exterior of the house is completed. It is not correct yet, but it was finished as well as can be expected with the disaster we were presented with several months ago. I have had the architect and siding contractor look at it so we can see how we can get it completed as the plans called for. That is something we will address at a future date.
Now that the house is done, it is time to get the yard in shape. We have done basic landscaping in the front and have gotten grass seed down around the house. We opted to put down contractor grade seed just to get the grass going. During the periods of cooler temperatures this summer, we have been spreading a better grade grass seed to get a solid coverage of grass. We had intention of bringing in top soil and reseeding in the fall, but at this point, we are just hoping to get the grass going in the soil that exists in the yard.
Now it is time to unpack and decorate!
The rooms are painted, the molding completed, the plumber finished, the lights all work, appliances installed, siding repaired and if I don’t go to the basement, it looks like we will have a home in a matter of days! We have to wait another 2 weeks to use the storage area that had the water issues. That is our storage area and the concrete is not cured yet. In the meantime, the basement looks more like a storage area than a rec room. There is still work that needs to be done in the basement. The ceiling, walls and molding still need to have the painting finished. The fireplace is not installed yet in the basement either. Another 2 weeks and that will be done also. We survived a severe rain the other night with no water inside the house!
The tilers were at the house all day today and completed the tile work. The master bathroom had tile, reminiscent of beach glass, cover the wall over the vanity. Two oval, beveled mirrors will go over the sinks.
The upstairs bathroom wall was tiled with 4″x 6″ subway tile and a double row of 2″ square frosted glass tiles.
The final step of the living room fireplace was also installed today. Small, 1″ herringbone tiles now surround the fireplace between the box and the mantle. It matches the larger herringbone tile in the back of the fire box.
And the pièce de résistance, the kitchen back splash! We used 4″ x 6″ subway tile with a border of 3 rows of 1″ square frosted glass tile, again to resemble beach glass. Over the cooktop is a beach mural of twenty 4″ tiles, surrounded by beach glass. The tiler did an amazing job installing it! I was very excited to see it completed.
We are waiting for the granite counter top for the island in the kitchen to complete the living area. The painter is painting the Azak trim that was not painted on the exterior of the house. I hate to jinx this project but, it looks like we could be closing in on the completion of construction! That means peace and quiet and time for us to finally enjoy our new home!
In a push to finally finish this renovation off, there have been lots of people coming and going. The majority of the painting is complete. The basement is a finished rec room, but since we were still under construction when we moved in, it became a storage area until I can begin to put things away in the newly dry basement storage area. The new concrete floor has to cure for a month before we can put the shelves in there. So the painter cannot get to all the walls in the basement. The rest of the interior has been completed though. We do have portions of the exterior that still need to be painted. The exterior brackets were painted to match the cream color gutters and coil used for trim. The balance of the Azak installed outside was never painted to match. The painter will be finishing that next week.
After the kitchen cabinets were installed, I had the idea to try to match the mantle in the living room to the cream cabinets on the wall in the kitchen. They are at opposite ends of a large open concept kitchen/dining room/living room. The painter finished off the mantle to match the window and door trim. I got a can of glaze and tried it on a small portion of the leg of the mantle. If I didn’t like it, he could repaint that portion of the mantle. I ended up glazing the entire side of the mantle.Working in small sections at a time, I applied a liberal amount of glaze and wiped most of it off with a clean rag. The key to getting even coverage is to replace the rags often so that you are always using a clean rag. By reusing the same one over and over, you are reapplying glaze to the wood from the rag. I wanted to remove as much glaze as possible so that it looked old and not stained brown. In the photo below, you can see a slight difference between the baseboard trim and the mantle. I liked the finished product.
The fireplace is now ready for the tile to be installed between the wrought iron and the mantle. The installer has completed the installation and tested it. We are ready for autumn! We also have a small Franklin stove being installed in the basement. This one is a bit more complicated to install due to it’s location and proximity to fresh air. The installer will be finished with that in the next few days.
The electrician spent a full day here to complete the loose ends that needed to be finished before we can have a final electrical inspection. All of the appliances are now installed (giving me no excuse not to cook anymore), all of the lights are installed and any junction boxes that were installed until we knew what we wanted to do have been converted to outlets. Timers and dimmers are also installed!
The plumbers also were here all day to finish off the showers, sinks and kitchen appliances. We now have 3-1/2 working bathrooms, a kitchen sink and dishwasher! I never thought I would see the day when I got this excited about sinks and appliances!
While I am writing this post, the carpenters are installing my bathroom vanity. Tile work should be completed next week as well as the delivery of my kitchen island counter. The question everyone continues to ask is… “Aren’t you excited that this is almost finished?” With all of the setbacks, I’m not sure excited describes what I am feeling. It is more like relief.
…. when the original granite guy pulls into the driveway at the same time as the new granite guy. I visited many granite warehouses in the search for my kitchen counter top. That was my main priority. I really didn’t give much thought to the counter for the master bathroom. About 6 weeks ago, I went to the local granite fabricator and picked a piece of marble from their remnant stack. What are the odds that both installers would pull into the driveway at the same time? The kitchen was supposed to be installed last Thursday, but was delayed due to a delivery conflict from the supplier. My original installer was a company I had used before. The new installer walked in and asked if he was doing the kitchen also. Both companies wondering why they were not given both jobs. Yes…. awkward!
The master bathroom vanity is coming together. The lower cabinets were installed last week and with the marble added today, it is looking great! The next step is the upper cabinets.
The kitchen granite was installed today on the wall cabinets. There was not enough time for them to install the island. They will come back to do that. I am hoping for tomorrow because I am getting anxious to see it all come together. I chose the granite over 5 months ago and was really not sure how it was going to look. I love the contrast of the dark granite with the light cabinets. It also coordinates very well with the floor tile. The back splash will be the same tile as used on the floor, but the size will be 4″X6″ subway tile with a mural over the cooktop.
The siding contractor worked on finishing the siding yesterday. The exposed beams are covered with coil, the exposed corners have been fixed, and the top of the chimney was been covered with coiled and capped with steel. Now the exterior looks finished!
There really is a light at the end of the tunnel!
Could it be possible that after all this turmoil, that the house is coming together? YES! There are still contractors constantly coming and going, but that means that there is finally major progress. The kitchen cabinets are installed and the granite company has been here to template for the counter tops. I have even started unpacking some of the boxes containing kitchen items.
The painter has been finishing up the smaller jobs and fixing the errors of the previous contractor. The entrance hall is complete, the bathrooms complete and most of the molding painted or touched up. I was very surprised to walk in the other day to find the mantle refinished. It looks amazing! The mantle was the original one that we saved from the house. It needed some additional height added to it, but the refinishing of it just made it fit right into the current house. When it is completely assembled and tiled, it will make a wonderful centerpiece to the room!
The water issue in the basement has finally been addressed! The water was coming through the walls due to an improperly installed exterior french drain. The contractor began on Friday removing the floor in the basement addition. They spent the day jack hammering the floor out. All of that concrete and stone had to be carried out of the basement. They installed a french drain, covered it with stone and tied it into the existing drain in the basement that will feed into the sump pump. The walls have been sealed and now the floor will be cemented again.It has taken a lot of patience and coordination of schedules, but it is coming together. I am very pleased with the way the house is turning out. Some of the biggest issues have been taken care of and that has relieved a lot of stress.
In the last month, this project has turned into our full time job. We worked around the clock to get enough completed to get a temporary certificate of occupancy. We have had some great contractors come to work and help us get the work done to get the temporary CO. The refrigerator is covered with lists of what still has to be completed. Most of the painting is now finished. There is still trim that needs to be finished or touched up. The stairs is stained and we are now putting the final coat of paint on the risers and spindles. .
We are still dealing with the water in the basement. We have recently found out that the exterior french drains were not installed properly. The gravity feed should drain the water to the corner of the house. Since the pitch of the drain is incorrect, the water is sitting against the foundation. We have a water remediation company scheduled to fix the issue.
We are also on the schedule with a siding company to have the siding issues fixed.
After delivery of my cabinets was canceled, we went to a home improvement store and reordered the kitchen cabinets. We chose KraftMaid cabinets and were able to replicate the original design. The granite installer was originally my contractor, so the counter tops are still the same. The cabinets were delivered on Friday and installation began yesterday.
In spite of progress being derailed, everything is coming together and we are hoping to have everything done in just a few weeks.