Saturday, February 22, 2014

February 22nd - Awesome news!

This past week Skylar and I were working on the finish work at Adam's house and our supervisor Nathan let us know about something we've all been dying to know about. He found out from his boss the EXACT date we have to be finished with the MAJOR work in order to not have to do landscaping: March 20th. If we can finish all the "construction" type things then we will have the open house April 3rd and can move in at 5:01 that day (after it's over at 5:00). 

What is the major stuff you ask? Decks, stairs, handrails, rock, painting, plumbing and cabinets. All of the touch up things we will take care of between the finish date and the open house. Here's where we stand on all the major construction things:

Decks - 21/2 out of 5
Stairs - 1/2 out of 1 (we get stairs in our garage)
Handrails - 0 out of 5
Rock - 4 out of 5
Painting - 4 out of 5
Plumbing - 4 out of 5
Cabinets - 4 out of 5

And by the end of this week, the last four categories should be complete. Decks, stairs and plumbing are all jobs Skylar does, so I expect that this week and for the remaining four-ish weeks he will be spending many hours at the house trying to finish all of those things before/by March 20th. 

So. There is still lots to be done but it is VERY doable that we can be done by March 20th. Very. Even though we'll be finished by then, we probably won't move in until the middle of April. I'll still be in classes and it will give us time to collect things we still need before we leave our apartment and finish other things at the house that aren't a part of the program (painting the garage, building extra shelves, etc.).

Here is house number 4 out of 5 with rock!

See those stickers in the top windows? We have to climb into the attic access to get them off. Too busy to do it before now.

The first and second houses now have carpet which means we will be getting ours very soon! Pictures of the inside of the house coming soon...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February 8th - Crown molding and rock progress

We got some good news today. Let me start this story with some backstory: When we started building in June, we didn't have landscaping in our list of tasks when calculating how long it would take us to build the homes. Reason being, our goal was to finish January/February. Right now we're looking at the end of March, beginning of April. However, if we finish that late in the season the city may turn on the water for sprinklers and then by contractual agreement we have to do landscaping for the homes. That means approximately 2 more months before we can move in. Not that I need to say this but obviously we don't want that to happen. These next few weeks are crunch time. We're trying as hard as we can to finish the homes by the middle, and hopefully not the end, of March so that we can move in before we have to do landscaping. Right now, we've been told by the Fire Marshal that April 15th is usually the date to turn on the water for Saratoga Springs. If we finish by mid-March, we should be good. If not...hello June! Sayonara March. 

Adam and JC did a LOT of work on our stone this week. In total they are about halfway done. Like I said, difficult rock to place correctly. But by next Saturday we're hoping we'll be done with our house and moving on to the LAST house! 

You can see the rock outside of the tent now!

And there's even more in the tent

I know what you're thinking, We've already seen your uppers! Well look again, there's crowning molding on the top now!

Better view

Again, what's next? Finishing rock, finishing finish plumbing, our deck outside, carpet, paint touch up...lots of little things to come!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February 1st - Finish plumbing almost finished, rock started

There are a few things I wish they had told us at all of our "construction meetings" when we first started the Self-Help program. One of which would be how long different things would take depending on what materials you chose. For example, there were many different styles of rock available to choose from and we happened to choose a style that takes exceptionally longer than other varieties. Why couldn't they tell us that? We had the power to speed up the process and we didn't even know it.

With that said, I am still loving the style of our rock so far. It's surprising how much the rock can really change the over all look of the house. Do you know what else really changes the look of a house? Finish plumbing! Ie: sinks, toilets, dishwashers, etc. (I think flooring will have even more of that type of an effect but for now, it's plumbing).



Master bathroom (with a mirror!), Hello!

Now, if you were to drive by our home you might be concerned by this makeshift tent and think, Oh no! Someone is squatting at the Rackham's house! But never fear. It is a necessary tool for rock. The mortar that adheres the rock to the house has to bond at a certain temperature (something above 45ยบ) otherwise the mortar will freeze, the rock will fall off, Adam will be upset about having to do the whole thing over again and there will be many tears shed. 

Since it's the middle of the winter, JC built this incredibly efficient tent, where they warm the part of the house they are working are with a propane heater and trap the warm air in the tent. After they have finished working on that part of the house, they have to keep it warm for at least 45 minutes, so the mortar doesn't freeze while drying/bonding/adhering/whatever.

Here's a peek inside! 

Goal: By next week, the rock will be finished so I hope to have a picture of the entire exterior.