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House Construction Update





Updated: 2014-09-30T23:15:54.710-07:00

 



And....we have grass (lawn, that is)

2008-10-23T09:41:19.222-07:00

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Sorry for the lack of posts, we have been very busy both with the yard and on other things as well.
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We finally got the planter area in the middle of our front yard filled with bark (took a lot of time for me to spread out landscape filter fabric and then move 23 yards of bark by hand). You can see the planter I am referring to in the middle of this photo.
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I think you should also be able to see the grass starting to grow in the dirt areas, and this is very exciting for us. I weeded about an acre of yard area by hand and then spread the grass seed and fertilizer using our riding mower and a tow-behind spreader I borrowed from my sister and brother-in-law. We then turned on the sprinklers and crossed our fingers!
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It has been about a week, but it looks like the grass is starting to come in OK! Another month or so and I can start thinking about mowing....



Play structure finished!

2008-10-23T09:41:51.600-07:00

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OK, so between the hot weekends (working morning and evenings only), trips out of town, and other scheduled events, we finally finished the play structure for our son. Because of size limitations we built our own instead of getting a prefab one. We probably saved a few hundred $$$ this way, but it was also a LOT more work. I think it turned out OK, but when doing a project like this you always learn that you could do things better a second time.....
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We used Rubber Bark (blue!) around the structure - didn't want to use bark or rock. We were in a hurry to get stuff delivered at the time, but I found out later you can get it much cheaper ordering online than delivered by the landscaper. Should have known.....I didn't think the price difference would be all that significant, but it was.



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2008-12-11T12:46:17.151-08:00

(image) Sorry for the lack of updates - been really busy! Mowstrips are in for the front yard areas as you can see in the photos above and below. Sprinklers are all installed except for the drip system - I am doing that myself. We put in a little flagstone section to allow for easy walking from the drive to the sidewalk.
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(image) In the back yard, the play structure is under construction. I have been working on some of the driplines in the planter areas as well.
(image) Although not reflected in some of the photos (they are a bit dated, it got too dark for me to take photos after I was done today), I have also been placing more weedblock fabric in the front yard planter areas.



Front yard starts soon, back yard poking along

2008-12-11T12:46:17.493-08:00

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Here is a couple photos stitched together (sorry, not the best result ever) showing the, um, "raw" nature of the front yard. In general, the disked area will be lawn and the weedy areas will be planter areas. The landscapers should start their work soon, maybe in the next few days.

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I have been working on putting in all the weedblock fabric in planter areas. After that comes driplines. Then bark and rock. Then maybe we get to sit back for 10 years and wait for the trees to mature. :)



They have finished the backyard

2008-12-11T12:46:17.779-08:00

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You can see the trees have been planted and staked. they did a final tilling of the soil and smoothed it out.

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There is the stack of "rubber" bark (shredded tires, I think) for the play area. We need to build a play structure and get it in, then we can add the rubber bark. It is going to be in the pinched oval shape behind the closest tree in the photo above.
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The square area right behind the play area is where the sandbox is going to be.
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We have a couple more trees to plant, then I need to put down the landscape (weedblock) fabric, then we need to spread some bark.



We have grass!

2008-12-11T12:46:18.346-08:00

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The grass is in! Looks so much better with grass than dirt and weeds. They are to be finished tomorrow with the backyard (for their scope of work - I will still have lots to do). Tomorrow they are planting the trees and doing touch-up work. We are thinking of having them also do some work in the front yard as well, given their level of service. We'll have to talk about that and see if we want to proceed that way....



Getting there....

2008-12-11T12:46:18.690-08:00

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So here is our new side patio and garden boxes in the side yard. I built the boxes with redwood and went overboard with the brackets, but they will NOT come apart like others I have seen.

(image) You can see here that the sprinklers are in for the lawn, PVC is stubbed up in planters for me to run dripline later, the concrete mow strips are in, and the Benda-board is mostly in for the pathways. Sod should be in the next couple days, and a few new trees as well. We also bought some trees on our own to save with costs and we will put those in as soon as they are ready for us to do so.




Back yard work begins!

2008-12-11T12:46:19.094-08:00

This may only have spotty updates, but there is some work going on around the house.
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We have started work on the backyard. Here is the before picture from earlier this year:



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And here is what it looked like today after work was done:

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I had sprayed Roundup to kill all the weeds last week. The contractor disked the entire back yard area and imported soil for some landscape mounds. They also started trenching for sprinklers. Hopefully all the work will be complete in 2 to 3 weeks!




Moving time!

2007-08-01T14:01:29.777-07:00

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We just got word from our builder that the inspection went fine and we can start moving in!
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Almost ready for move-in!

2007-07-31T09:18:26.955-07:00

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Again, sorry for the lack of updates, but we are getting close to the end and there are not a lot of drastic changes going on.
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I think we should have the fire department inspection today for the sprinkler system and other assorted items. If all goes well, I think we should have the county inspection tomorrow and we may be moving in this weekend!
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We have run into a few glitches along the way - a bench seat with a drawer that won't open after the countertop was installed, washer and dryer that are too deep for the space available, a dishwasher and microwave that were damaged during transit, etc. We are just making some calls to get these items resolved.
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The recessed lights are pretty dim throughout most of the house. I was the one who purchased the trims and bulbs, so this one was on me. I'll need to address this after we move in as time allows. The lights work, so let's just get the inspections finished and deal with it later.
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Tile guy finished installing the tile yesterday but has some final cleanup work to do in the next couple days. The guy doing our wiring for speakers, satellite TV, etc., should be here Thursday to finish up a lot of his work. Painters should be here Thursday as well, I think, for most of the final remaining painting items as well.
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AT&T should have our phone hooked up this week. Dish Network should be here Sunday the 5th for their installation. Softcom should be here for wireless broadband installation on August 15th along with the alarm company for their finish work.
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We are getting close!
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Countertops are in

2008-12-11T12:46:19.666-08:00

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Just a couple photos of the countertops after installation. Master bath (above), kitchen and laundry (below) are shown. One small section of kitchen countertop (right-center portion of photo) still needs to be installed, I'm not sure why it wasn't before.
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Now it's time for plumbing fixtures!
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Electricity hooked up

2007-07-16T06:38:14.882-07:00

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A quick visit to the house over the weekend showed that SMUD finally hooked up power to the house. There was a new digital electric meter on the side of the house with a reading of 00000 (not sure how many zeros, but you get the idea). When our builder returns from vacation next week he should be able to turn on the main and have power. Means we'll have water, too!
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We picked up the sinks for the master bath and half-bath late last week and dropped them off at the house. I think countertops should be going in as early as today and we wanted the sinks there so they can do the cutouts correctly.
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The painters had obviously visited as well - the fireplace mantel/surround, baseboards and windowsills had all been painted.
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Nothing too exciting at the moment

2007-07-10T07:32:16.994-07:00

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Sorry for the lack of posts - our builder is on vacation for another couple weeks and we are just waiting for a few things to get done.
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I think some of the countertops should be installed this week (laminate ones in the laundry area) with the Corian ones in the kitchen and bathrooms slated for next week.
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All the baseboards have been installed but need painting.
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Flooring is finished - we were just waiting for the half bath to be buttoned up.
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We are still waiting for about 20±ft of the driveway to be paved. The county requires that any portion of the driveway in county right-of-way needs to be paved.
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SMUD has pulled the power cables through the buried conduit but they have not been hooked up to the house and no meter has been installed yet.
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I have Dish Network and the alarm guys set to come out at the end of the month for installation. I still need to schedule the phone company and a local internet provider for wireless high-speed internet. No DSL or cable internet available out there, unfortunately.
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Flooring is in!

2008-12-11T12:46:20.296-08:00

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As these two pictures show, the flooring is in. All that remains is the trimwork around the edges, etc. Sheet vinyl in the laundry and 2 bathrooms is also in, but I need to get a better photo than the ones I have.
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The tile around the fireplace is also finished - we just need to get the mantel installed.
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The rear yard fence is almost finished, all that awaits is the gates.
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The following photos show the finished driveway. We had a loop put in near the front door around a landscaping mound and the septic tank (where the wood crates are). The septic tank location semi-dictated the size and location of the loop, but we think it turned out well. We also widened the driveway, especially near the garage (parking and turn-around space). We are waiting for the portion of the driveway in the county right-of-way to be paved; should be any day now.
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Flooring installation starts tomorrow

2007-06-26T06:16:01.029-07:00

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Again, sorry for the infrequent updates. We are waiting for subcontractors to get product in or get finished with their work. We are also currently staying in Davis (with my wife's parents) which is convenient for us at the moment but not very close to our new house. I think we will spend the rest of the week with my parents in Galt then stay in Davis again for a while. Not sure how long we are going to need to keep this up....
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Flooring installation starts tomorrow. Not sure how long that takes, but I think they are going to start with the bathroom areas so our contractor can put in toilets, etc.
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The tile guy should be done with everything but the kitchen backsplash by the end of today. Backsplash has to wait until countertops are in, and we are not exactly sure when those will be installed.
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If we do not have power by today we will need to postpone the alarm finish installation, as it was set for tomorrow morning.
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The fencing guys were off finishing another project yesterday (and maybe today?), but I think the fence should be complete by the end of the week.
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I also think that our driveway should be going in today. I'll have to make a call and see how that stands as well.
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Fence going in

2008-12-11T12:46:20.520-08:00

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The back yard fence is going in - they have drilled all the holes and are assembling the fence and setting the posts. It was getting dark tonight when I got there, so no good photos to share.
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I went out the next morning (6/22) and got one on the way to work. They got most of the back portion of the fence installed on 6/21.
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The guy doing the grading work has put in a couple decorative "mounds" to break up the flat front yard area. We'll plant some trees and smaller plant life on them when we have water available.
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All the crown molding is installed (had to finish a couple areas after cabinetry was finished). The glass block shower is in, too. I think he might have gone a little higher than I would have anticipated, but it will keep the splashed water inside the shower, I guess.
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Fencing to start in a couple days, power soon?

2007-06-19T15:07:09.689-07:00

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Sorry for the infrequent posting - we are temporarily staying with relatives on a very slow (21.6k) dial-up connection and have been very busy with selling our house, working, and keeping up with stuff for the new place.
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Tile is going in slowly but surely, with part of the master shower tiled in a day or so ago.
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The ditch in the front yard for power and phone has been backfilled. We should have power and water in the next couple days now, I think!
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The backhoe operator also dug a few tree holes for us along the driveway and in the back yard. We should get some trees in them before too long.
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We have a local guy coming in to do some touch-up grading, clean up the backyard area, and work on the driveway. He will get going tomorrow and start with the back yard, as the fencing guys ahould start on Thursday with putting in the back yard fence. Be nice to get that in soon so we can start looking at back yard layout, etc.
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We are also looking at getting a lawn tractor/mower for the significant yard we are going to have to keep under control.
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I am sure there is stuff I am forgetting, but that's a taste of what's going on right now.
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Tile and kitchen cabinets going in

2008-12-11T12:46:21.407-08:00

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Kitchen cabinets are going in! We got a blue island for a little splash of color.
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The tile work in our son's shower/bath area is in, but needs to be grouted. The accent tiles are from http://www.sreeve.com/index.html - my wife has loved Sherri Reeve's work for years and we wanted to incorporate it into the house somewhere. Things are moving along!.
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Cabinets going in and front porch railing on

2008-12-11T12:46:21.889-08:00

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You can see that our front porch railing has been installed by our builder. He used Trex, not wood, so there should be a lot less maintenance over the years.
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http://www.trex.com/default.asp
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I got the mailbox installed today as well.
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Most of the cabinets have been set into place, including these in the dining room (buffet with frosted glass uppers).
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The kitchen cabinets are the only ones not in place yet (below). I think those will be put in on Monday. We need to get the door hardware over the weekend so they can install it next week.
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And we have a screen fence....

2008-12-11T12:46:22.104-08:00

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Dad and I put together the screen fence I had planned for the area to house the main AC unit and garbage/recycling cans. Took several hours this afternoon to get the panels cut shorter and attach all the hardware, etc.
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We did not finish putting in the mailbox. I did not drive the base into the ground straight enough (hit some gravels/cobbles? from roadway construction, I think) to get it to work. We are either going to have to straighten the base (remove and redrive) or find a workaround. I think I'd rather remove it and try to redrive it straighter.
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The local power company did get the power poles set today. Hopefully we can have power soon!
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Cabinets delivered - installation ???

2008-12-11T12:46:22.349-08:00

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And we have LOTS of cabinets. 3 rows of them taking up a good-sized chunk of our garage, in fact. I think I heard that there are over 150 boxes with cabinets/parts in our garage.
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Reminds me of the closing scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark".
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House is painted!

2008-12-11T12:46:22.617-08:00

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Finally a painted house! Still some touch-up work to do later, but it is, for the most part, painted.
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They put on the remainder of the exterior lights today (in areas that were awaiting painting). In this photo the paint and stucco look like a pretty good match, which it is. Sometimes they look a bit different - all depends on the lighting due to the difference in texture and "shine" between stucco and paint. The color came out just as we'd hoped.
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Home wiring being organized

2008-12-11T12:46:23.088-08:00

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Well, phone and data connections are getting closer to being finished. Here is a shot of where we stand so far. I'm going to have to figure out where everything is going! Looks like he's doing a great job labelling everything, so it shouldn't be too difficult to follow. I think we still need a router in here somewhere....
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The water heaters have also been installed.
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http://tinyurl.com/2g8ze8
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And we are going to have to read the manual to figure out how to work this thing (heating and air conditioning control), I think. Actually, it is probably pretty easy to use once you start playing with it. Looks nice, though, and turns a nice blue (backlight) when you are making adjustments.
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http://tinyurl.com/263xad
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Back side of the house coming together

2008-12-11T12:46:24.792-08:00

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OK, lots of things going on right now, which is good! The two back patio fans and all the lights have been installed, as have the downspouts.
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The two AC units have been installed as well.
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All the lights have been installed in the garage. The fire sprinkler system shutoff valve and pressure gauge is in the white box on the far wall.
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Central vacuum toe kick plates have been hooked up. Now we just need the cabinets. They are holding us up at the moment, unfortunately. I do need to do a lot of cleanup work this weekend to get rid of the garbage in the garage and clear out room for the cabinets to be stored and our belongings to wait for the move-in date.
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And last (but certainly not least) is the hope of electricity coming soon! SMUD has marked the power pole locations and called USA (Underground Service Alert) to check for utilities in the area. After the power pole is installed the phone company will use it for their service as well.
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Some green showing up

2008-12-11T12:46:24.971-08:00

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Only major change yesterday was some of the house starting to turn green. Stucco color coat is going on, and they should be done in the next day or two. Painting comes next (for the siding), but it has been breezy here over the past couple days and that will need to die down first.
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The AC units should be going in this week as well. After painting is done, then the outside lights/electric plugs go on and the exterior is pretty much complete. I think he is going to install the water heaters this week, too.
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