Friday, November 6, 2009

Project Day 116 - The House is ALMOST ours!

Today we will make the final payment to the builder. Hip-hip-hooray! As you can see, the building process was just a few days short of four months from start to finish!

The county in which we built doesn't provide Certificates of Occupancy. So, after the builder receives the final payment and the bank is satisfied that we have paid the builder, we are free to move our belongings inside. That approval should be within a few days. But, we will not be able to move into the house for about a month because we are waiting on some utilities.

OK, back to the moving process...Yesterday afternoon, Dave loaded the final batch of stepping stones into the trailer so that we could get an early start this morning. First stop was to deliver the final payment to Tomorrow's Homes. They have just been awesome to build with. We cannot recommend them highly enough. The entire building experience is one that I wouldn't hesitate to do with them again--but glad we don't have to!

Next stop--ALMOST our home.

We cannot move anything into the house until the builder and bank give us approval. So, that should be early next week. We have until November 19 to empty the POD. We also wanted to verify that the car will fit into the garage--backing in the utility trailer. As you can see--success.

We had hoped to move into the house early next week, but we have postponed that for a few weeks. We will not have a phone or security system. In addition, we will not have access to the computer until the phone is installed. We received a letter that the phone will be installed sometime prior to November 25. So, that's quite a while from now. We hope it will be sooner, rather than later.

When we arrived at the house today, we saw little blue flags up and down our street. As I later found out, these flags were installed by the water company so that the phone company will know where the water lines are located before they dig to install new telephone cable. The flags are a good sign that the phone company is moving forward with the installation!

That's our driveway in the background of this photo.

Over the next few weeks, we will move items into the house. We should be completely able to move in in late November or early December.

Thanks for taking this journey with us. We hope you have found it entertaining and informative. Grace and peace to you all.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Project Day 115 - Delivering POD and LP Gas

Here comes da POD! Here comes da POD!

It was a bit tricky getting the POD on the gravel. We had asked the driver, Kevin, to place the POD near the driveway. He assured us he could move it after it was on the ground. So, we let him drop it farther back on the gravel than we had wanted.

Keven placed plastic "boards" under the wheels of the POD's frame so that it could "walk" forward on the gravel.

But, instead, what happened was that the wheels just "ate" the "boards" by spitting them out behind the wheels. So much for that plan!

Kalli watches all the wrangling from her new temporary fence area.

Kevin offered to put the POD back on the truck and move it forward, but we felt it was too much trouble for the gain of its placement.

Kevin arrived a little later than we thought he might. Seems he was pulled into the nearby truck weigh station. His cab didn't have the proper DOT regulation numbers on it. So, the company will have a slight fine to pay. I guess he was really nervous that he'd be delayed or they'd find something else wrong with the POD delivery. But, all was well, elsewise.

And, off he goes!

No sooner had the POD truck driven away when the AmeriGas truck arrived to fill our tank. Now that's timing!

After the gas fill-up, Dave was able to check the contents of the POD. Seems everything made it just fine with little or no shifting of its contents! Yea!!

Today, I packed an ice chest so that I could make lunch in our new house--for the first time. Kalli knows the routine, even if it is in a new house--she still wants nibbles!

Dave enjoys his first homemade lunch on his new porch! And, Kalli moves to the new location for a handout!

Tomorrow we will make the final payment to the builder. Then, we can move in!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Project Day 114 - Installing the Temporary Fence

After our obligatory stop at Mickey D's, we were on the road bright and early. Dave is working as fast as his body can go to get the patio and temporary fence done so that we can move our stuff into the house. He's still pretty sore from his fall yesterday, but there is no resting at this point.

We brought Kalli again to get more accustomed to her new stomping grounds.

We realized today that the builder forgot to order the gutter guards. So, the gutter installers will be back to install them in about a week. Too bad that there was this oversight as the leaves are falling rapidly and I'm sure the gutters will need cleaning when the crew returns.

Here's a series of pictures as Dave worked through the day.

Here's what I was working on...the computer.

Dave puts more pavers on the side of the house as our sidewalk to the front.

Dave rigs up a come-along connected to the LP tank and the fence. He's so smart!

I captured Kalli's first use of her "outside" doggie door. Happy dog! She's off the leash!

Here's the gate to sidewalk on the side of the house.

Kalli observes the neighborhood and wishes she could escape to chase the squirrels.

After Dave finished the temporary fence, his final task was to see if the GMC fits into the garage without taking off the luggage rack. Yup. We were a little apprehensive, given the steep slope of the driveway. But, she fits perfectly.

Dave is thoroughly exhausted and thinks he'll buy stock in Tylenol!

LD, of course, wanted to help Dave install the fence. LD's a hard worker and works at warp speed. Dave opted to work more slowly and ask for LD's help with things that Dave can't do alone. LD has been a huge help in getting the fencing unloaded for us. Dave couldn't have done it without his assistance.

Tomorrow the POD will be delivered to the house.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Project Day 113 - Laying Patio Pavers

After we got home yesterday, Dave continued his busy day by loading stepping stones (pavers) into the utility trailer. He wanted to get an early start today.

And up early we were. It was still dark as we were getting into the car. Dave walked between the POD and the utility trailer and tripped over a cement block that was in his way. He came down with a THUD. I was right behind him. It was a hard fall. His "good" knee (the one that still has ligaments attached) took the brunt of the fall. But, he also wrenched his shoulder and hand. He lay there for a while. But, being the trooper he is, up he got and we proceeded onward. I know he was in a lot of pain today.

We brought Kalli with us so that she could start to get used to her new home.

Dave unhooked the trailer and unloaded a few more fencing items from the back of the GMC.

We also see that the gutters have been installed.

We didn't stay too long at the house as we need to head back to Hoschton so Dave can load more pavers and fencing. Tomorrow he plans to install a temporary fenced-in area so that Kalli will have a place to do her business and she can keep an eye on the neighborhood.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Project Day 112 - Screening Porch, Grading, Seeding, & Installing the Washer/Dryer

Because of the many activities taking place today, this entry is not necessarily in chronological order as the day unfolded. Instead, each activity is presented from start-to-finish for continuity.

The Screened Porch

When we arrived this morning, the finishing of the porch was well under way. It was great to see Robbie, Chris, and Bobby again.

As you can see, they started by installing the inside paneling.

I had to chuckle as I saw all three guys working diligently to measure and cut a hole in the siding for the electrical outlet. Does this remind you of the old joke: How many guys does it take to....

As you can see Robbie did not replace the fender on his trailer that was "removed" when he collided with the dumpster in our yard.

Chris and Bobby have the fun job of trimming around the doggie door.

Robbie and Bobby build the steps.

After the paneling was finished, Chris and Bobby began to roll out the screening and secure it in place along the outside frame.

The screening is stapled to the outside framing.

For comparison fun, I shot this photo to show one panel with screening (left) and one panel without screening (right).

Chris is outside adding the furring strips to cover the stapled areas of the screens.

Robbie hung the screen door.

Robbie demonstrates his skills with a broom.

Dave's porch is now finished and he couldn't be happier. Honestly, this is one of the features that makes this house so special. It provides extra living area and helps to provide a feeling of spaciousness.

Installing the Washer and Dryer

I'm sure you'll enjoy this section as you observe Dave and Brad installing the units. The two of them were a site to behold and provided much comic relief.

As you may remember, the guys couldn't install the dryer because we did not have the proper venting hose and extension. So, Dave and I picked that up at Home Depot the other day. Brad and Dave work to get the extension installed inside the dryer unit.

Such cavorting on the garage floor!

Chris helped to bring in the washer.

Heave-Ho the Dryer-O.

Once the dryer and washer were stacked, the connections in the back needed to be made. Brad was the delegated "installee" as he was the only one thin enough to get the job done. (Believe it or not, Dave and Brad are both behind the units in the next photo.)

When Brad was ready to plug in the dryer, he found out that we had a 3-prong plug and needed the newer, 4-prong plug. So, he sent Dave to the hardware store to get the correct plug. Unfortunately, Dave got a short cord. As you can see, without Brad's clever acrobatics, Dave would have been sent shopping again.

Whallah! A successful installation--thanks to Brad.

The Final Grading and Seeding

John and his crew arrived early in the day with a truck load of hay and the grader in tow.

John began grading by the front door. His crew would break up the clumps.

John worked his way around the house.

Notice how John maneuvers the grader with precision between the power pole and guide wire. Phew.

John spread the seed throughout the property with a hand-crank device.

You can see the seed coverage in this photo taken near the back porch steps.

As John spread the seed, his crew covered the seed with hay.

The Oak Tree in the back yard still stands.

The final step in the grading process was to smooth out the gravel rock and bring it to the edges of the slab for the RV wheels and the sidewalk.

John and his crew depart late in the afternoon.

Brad does a final sweep.

Robbie, Brad, & Dave check a job well-done!

Brad has a final touch to decorate the yard!

The surviving cedar tree in the front yard is all decked out!

At the end of a very long day, we head home to Hoschton. One final job for Dave was to secure the items in the POD.

The POD will be picked up and taken to storage for two days. It will be delivered to Lavonia on November 5.

Over the past couple of days, Dave loaded more stepping stones to deliver to the house tomorrow morning. He plans to spend the day laying the stones and getting ready to install the temporary fence to keep Kalli corralled. We plan to leave early in the morning to head to Lavonia.