Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Starting to decorate for Christmas.  Still have a bit to do, but then again there is plenty of time.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Olly Olly Oxen Free

Well, I guess it has been a LONG while since I've been on here.  Boy, life sure is running away with me.  Not too much has changed in the last few months, but thought it was time for an update.

We are getting ready for our 10 month follow-up.  We were originally scheduled for Thursday, the 8th, but hurricane Sandy pushed them back.  We are now scheduled for Monday, the 19th.  Not too many major things on our list.  A few things are:

  • some of the interior doors don't latch - although strange enough, hurricane Sandy must have straightened the house because they latch now
  • the front door has trouble locking and it all started after our final driveway coating - guess the machine shook the house a bit too much
  • the dishwasher doesn't always dispense the soap so after it is done and you open the door, the little door over the soap pops open the soap falls out
  • our fireplace has a blower on it and it rattles something fierce
  • the grass never grew around the edges of the house - too much clay and they didn't lay any soil down first
  • cracks are showing up in the foundation, but I think they are just cosmetic, but better to have it noted now
  • our basement door is hard to lock
  • the front steps have a gap between the first step and the porch that water will get into and freeze, which could cause the concrete to heave.
That's about it.  Glad we haven't had anything too serious.  Drywall on the other hand will be fun.  We have huge cracks above a few of the bedroom doors, a couple of big cracks in the morning room, and nail pops galore.

The only major thing we have had to had fixed was the ponding of water in the backyard.  The developer (different company than Ryan) did not grade behind our house correctly and we had standing water the entire length of our backyard and about 5 feet out from the property line.  We brought it up several times before settlement and were brushed off.  After our neighbor put in a sprinkler system it just got worse.  Pushed again and finally demanded that the developer meet with us.  The county's Land Management office ended up coming out as well.  They told the developer that he either had to regrade the entire common area (tree save) behind our home or he could put in the french drain we were demanding.  He chose to put in the drain instead of having to yank out 60+ trees to regrade.  So then because we didn't just want a french drain in our yard, we paid to add rock for a dry river bed.

Here is the before and mostly after:

You can see there is quite a slope here.  Can't believe they didn't expect water to pool.

Just a few of the things they dug up while putting in the french drain - according to Google maps, there was a house here a few years back and I guess they had a junk yard in the back.  Lovely.

Lawn Mower Motor

Motorcycle Tire

The developer finished his part - we just wanted to "beautify" it a bit.

Almost there - next will be mulch and plants, but that will have to wait till spring.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What A Stud - y

The study to workshop conversion is just about complete.  The only things left are to paint the trim/door and add stairs to the garage side.  Tile was finished a couple of weekends ago, the framing and door went in this past weekend and during this week, Taz put up the door casing and added the floor moldings.  Stairs will probably be started on Friday and hopefully done by Sunday.

Taking down the drywall

Taking out a couple of studs and adding new studs and the bulkhead

Putting in the door

Putting on the trim

The finished room

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Study Floor - Check!

The study floor is DONE!  Saturday we pulled up the carpet.  Sunday Taz and our friend laid the tile and then Monday, Taz put down the grout.  Again, this is a vinyl type tile, but is thick enough that you can use grout if you prefer.  I think it will help to keep out saw dust and stuff in the workshop.

In Progress

Tile done - waiting to grout

Grout is done!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


So how many people do demo to their house 45 days after moving in?  Well, I doubt we are the first, but here is our project.

We love how the Victoria Falls has a workshop off of the garage.  The Rome doesn't have that option, but there is a study off of the family room that is in the exact position as the Victoria Falls.  So our plan since the beginning was to punch a hole through from the garage and put in a door just like the mudroom entrance.  We got the lowest grade carpet and pad put into that room so that we could pull it up and put down tile.

Yesterday the carpet came up and today the tile is going down.  We chose a peel and stick tile that is thicker than regular peel and stick and you can use grout between the tiles.  They look just like ceramic but will be a lot more durable in the workshop.

I thought I had a picture of the room before the carpet came out, which surprises me that I missed that room.  I also didn't take a picture right after getting the carpet out.  Boy - I'm falling down on my picture taking duties.

So here is the room before carpet, during construction - so it looked about like this when the carpet came out.

And here is the tile going down and pictures of the kind of tile we are using, since I know you fellow bloggers will be asking.  And before I forget, it is from the Orange store (HD).

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lawn Care

It is almost that time of year to start a lawn maintenance program.  Hubby just bought two hoses (front and rear) and two sprinklers.  He also bought some fertilizer and a spreader. (Wow - who knew that lawn care could sound so naughty!)  Our "winter" has been extremely mild, so I'm sure that bugs will be a big issue as well has an early, hot summer to burn our new lawn.  Being that I have never lived in a single family home and it has been over 10 years since Hubby has lived in one (and at the time wouldn't have really cared about lawn care), we are hoping we can at least keep the grass green.  I am known for my black thumb, so I will have to probably trust Hubby on keeping our grass green and alive.

So any recommendations for lawn mowers, weed whackers, or lawn care products (we already know NOT to use Scott's brand anything), we would appreciate it!

As for landscaping and gardening, I have an idea of what kinds of plants I will put in and most definitely taking OUT the holly bushes our PM planted.  Other than that, not sure what else I will do with the yard.  My daughter is really hoping for a vegetable garden, so we'll see.  She is growing pole beans at the moment, for her science fair project, we will at least let those attempt to finish growing if I haven't killed them by next week.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Settling In.

Well, we are slowly unpacking and getting things put away.  I still think it will be awhile before some rooms are completely ready.  Still need to figure out decorating ideas, but if we can at least get boxes unpacked and everything organized, I'll be happy for a little while.

Finally got better pictures of the family room that is completely unpacked.  I have also set-up the guest bath (in bedroom 4).  We had our first overnight guests on Friday night before they headed to the airport.  The guest bedroom is completely hodge-podge, but it is the last item on our list of things to replace.  We also had our first "critter" visit.  I'll post him last in case anyone is squeamish. He was not a welcome guest and I attempted to use hairspray on him since we didn't have bug spray. Thought it worked, but he showed up again the next day, but haven't seen him since, so hopefully he is finally gone for good.

And last but not least, the master closet is finally done!!!  It even has clothes in it now.

Next on our project list is our mudroom bench and wall tree.  Hubby is trying to decide what kind of wood to use.  Haven't found anything we like yet that isn't waaayy to expensive.  For some of the nice pieces of wood, we might as well buy a pre-made piece, but then it wouldn't look exactly like I want and wouldn't fit as snug in the space.

Our old house (townhouse) is now on the market.  They have been going under contract pretty quickly around us.  I know ours needs some work, but hopefully they will think it still shows nicely.  We had thought about renting it or fixing it up and then selling, but with me being out of a job for so long, we had no money left to fix it up.

Now, on to the pictures (the part you soooo look forward to the most!!).

Family room - the paint is the same color on all three walls, even though the center looks lighter.

Sunrise off the morning room after a VERY light snow (less than a dusting).  We sure haven't had much this year.  Especially compared to the 2 FEET we had in one storm last year.

Guest Bathroom

Master Bedroom Closet - Martha Stewart closet system from Home Depot
Shelves and shoe racks to share and double hang for me

Double hang, shelves, and drawers for me

plus 2 long hang sections

Hubby's double hang, shelves, and drawers.  The dresser can now move back into the bedroom (mostly empty).  Guess I need to buy more clothes to fill it up!  ;)

And last - the "critter" - turn away now if you are squeamish




He would have fit inside a quarter.  But when you live on street with a name like ours, then I guess we should have known that we would see a few of these.