And so here we are. Finally.
We all woke up early, too excited to sleep despite being awake most of the night planning what was going to happen when it was light enough outside to get started. Despite all of this mental effort, we still did a very poor job moving into the house but more on that later.
As we were getting the car packed up we got a text that the landscaping/excavating crew had arrived (at least a day early but glad they showed up). They were going to take out a tree damaged during the digging of the septic system, spread a load or two of top soil, install the drip edges and dig a hole into which the back patio will be poured.
When we arrived the house with a very full car, the earth moving was under way and my wife started discussing her rock placement ideas with the site foreman.
The plumber, painter and tilers arrived around the same time and got to work.
By the end of the normal work day, the tile was done, the interior painting was more or less done, the plumbing was done and we had a pile of boxes to sort through. There were a few loose ends that need fixing like the dishwasher which wasn’t in position or fastened in, or the clothes washer and drier which was in the right area but it had no power and was not pushed into its final resting place while they figure out some ducting and electrical issues. The range wasn’t in position either due to the grout being worked on.
Carl, our mad wizard electrician, showed up at quitting time for normal folks and set to work on our priorities for the remaining lights and switches. The family had take-out dinner and Focal Banger while Carl got the kitchen switches and outlets wired up, the bathroom sconces working and a variety of other things. He stayed until we were ready to go to bed and, before he left, he and I got the range set up and working (and pushed into place).
I hooked up our WiFi router and got the repeater working up in the office. Rock solid 95/95 fiber internet. I am really excited we got that issue taken care of. Last year at this time I was calling congressmen and cable company execs hoping for a resolution by the time we moved and all of that paid off which is gratifying.
We woke up in the new place with rain pouring down outside but we’re ready to get unpacking and move on with our lives in this new house. There is still a lot to do before we’re “done” but we took a huge step closer to done this weekend.
As our world descends into a virus-riddled scene of election chaos, surprisingly our house build continues on. There has been a huge amount of work accomplished in the last couple of weeks due to the cooperative weather and efficient work methods. The supplies keep rolling into the site and then are immediately put to use in either sheathing, or conduit laying or slab preparation.
One of the main things that we need to get done before the snow flies, if at all possible, is getting the roof on. To that end, this week the gables will go on top of the structure and they are projecting that the roof will be sheathed by the end of the week. Gables are a big deal in that they are huge and will take quite a bit of engineering to get up that high but then they will likely need to do extended blocking and framing work to stabilize them and secure them to the current building frame. Once the sheathing is installed, they will tape the seams and either leave it like that for the remainder of the winter, or add another sealing membrane after the tape which will keep it snow-proof.
The other milestone we are preparing for is the electrical hook-up. The electrical contractor was onsite running conduit and working with our excavator to trench the conduit up to the house. Temp panels are being installed so that they can have power running to the site while they work. I suspect this will power tools, space heaters, lighting and such. We are working through the paperwork with the electric company to get this set up.
One of the things I have been wondering is how the screened porch and breezeway will work and this week we saw the explanation for it. The foundation poles that were poured months ago were completed, then buried in gravel and base layer dirt with the tops of them exposed. The rafter hangers will be installed on top of these and then 4x6 pressure treated wood will be hung between them. After that, the white cedar flooring will be installed on top of the pressure treated wood.
I was thinking that the screened porch might be done in the spring but it seems likely that they need to at least rough out the form of it so they can complete the roof that covers both the garage and the screened porch area.
After seeing the upstairs in drawings for over a year, seeing them take shape in actual space is remarkable and lends a very different sense of perspective. We finally get to see the view from the office window, get a sense of how the kid’s room will visually lean into the deep dark woods of the north. The east view of the house shows what people will see standing down there. Given the angle, it is unlikely that you will see much of the people in the house if you happen to look through the windows of the master bedroom and main bathroom.
At the end of a long day, this picture captures the season. Sticks for trees, purple sunset, and a view of where our patio on the south wall will be. Soon, the windows will be installed and, on that south wall it will be a sea of glass reflecting the sun setting over Stowe.