Thursday, June 29, 2006

Day 44

I'm not going to go into anything that happened at work today, because my head is still spinning from the tidal wave of information that I had to take in. I will say that it went really really well, and my boss decided to surprise me by telling me that I wasn't coming in to manage 1 team, I will now be managing 2 teams. Good thing I love a challenge.

Now, onto the house. Looks like drywall will be starting tomorrow, because there was some drywall in the garage. The insulation and vapor barrier was installed in the 2 front bedrooms.

...and we finally have our first appliance. A Water heater. (Unless a fireplace is considered an appliance)

I know its pretty boring, but anything new in the house means progress, and I like progress.
If they drywall tomorrow, I'll have tons of pics. Interesting stuff to look at this time, I swear.


It's 7:45 in the morning and I don't have to be at orientation till 9:00, so I figured I'd share a pretty incredible story that just happened yesterday afternoon.

My wife sent me a text message in the morning that said Zella had a pretty bad cut on her rear right leg, and she thought there might be something in the back yard that cut her. So, I told her I would check it out when I got home. Then, I remembered that my brother-in-law's dog, Brutus, also cut his leg when he was over here last week. Which made me think something in the backyard needed some attention.

When I got home from work I looked at Zella's cut, and it seemed to be healing already, thanks to her licking it. I talked to her like I usually do asking "Are you alright?" and "What happened?". She sat there intently, with her tail waggin, forgetting that she had an injury.

Judging by the height of the wound, I figured a nail in the bottom half of the fence might have worked its way out and that's what casued the cut(s). I grabbed a hammer from the garage and started the search for the "backyard dog murderer".

I started by the gate, and carefully looked at every nail and staple that was on the bottom row. I worked my way up the South side of the fence, then I moved to the west side... and when I got about halfway down the westside of the fence, I noticed that Zella had run over to the North side of the fence, and was standing there frozen, paralell with the fence. I figured she was looking at some people that were walking down the sidewalk, and was ready to give them an all out barking assault, like she does to all strangers who walk by.

I finally worked my way over to where she was, and when I told her to move, she wouldn't. She stood there, frozen like a statue. She never disobeys a command from me, so I said it again "Zella, move". She remained. I physically had to push here away from fence with both of my arms, and when I did...... there it was.... the one nail on the entire 250 ft of fence that could have caused a cut. Sticking out like a knife.

Zella knew exactly where it was, and judging by her actions, I got the feeling that she was protecting me from it. She knew it caused her pain, and she didn't want that to happen to me. Here eyes focused intently from inches away, as I pryed the nail out of the fence, and then pounded it back in, out of harms way. Almost, like I was beating up a criminal. When I was done, she trotted off wagging her tail, like her good deed for the day was done.

I knew that dog was smart, but seeing her perform a feat like that solidifies the fact that she isn't your average K9. For a dog to have intuition like that is pretty incredible. I have always been in awe of her many talents, but after that I actually feel privileged to be her owner. Even right now, she lays by my feet, not knowing that what she did yesterday was phenomenal. To her, she was just doing her job.

If you're wondering what Rambo was doing when all of this was taking place. He was eating grass and licking his butt. 2 of his favorite pastimes.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Day 43

Roof... Done

Electrical... Done

Plumbing... Done

My old job... Done

You know what I love about this view of the house? The lone little window on the side of the house. I think it adds character. Like having a mole on the left side of your neck.

I really really wish they'd put those last 2 basement windows in. Then the house would be 100% protected from the elements and protected from the little amigos who like to play in there on the weekends. Well, almost 100%, if you don't count the large gaping holes where the garage doors belong. ;-)

I can't wait for the sheetrocking and siding to start. When those two major tasks are done, the house will feel like its just minutes from being completed. Reality will probably start to set in, because right now it still feels like I'm dreaming.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Day 42

We finally have a front door. You can also see the shingles on the middle section of roof. You may ask "Why is there still some bundles of shingles sitting on top of the house Richard?" and I would answer, "Because the roofers still aren't done." Then I would throw in some colorful language that would make my Grandma wrinkle up her forehead in utter disgust, then she'd respond with "Oh for heaven's sake Richie, don't say that."

One interior thing that pleasantly surprised me today, was the delivery of the fireplace.

I walked through the house after work today and the plumber was still finishing up some sodering, and he filled me in on the timeline this week. He's been working with our builder for many many years, so he pretty much knows the rigamarole. He said that he did the plumbing on 62 houses built by Star Homes (our builder) last year.

The really good news I heard from him was the fact that the sheetrockers are starting Friday. This Friday. Day45 Friday. Which means all the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC will be completed before then. He said they'll need 2 days to finish sheetrocking, and the siding crew will need about 2 days. I asked him how long it would take after the sheetrock was installed to finish up the rest of the interior. 30 days? He laughed at me, and said.... "No way, much sooner then that".


Much sooner?

He said they've built houses in 60 days before when they're in a crunch.

Wowzer, looks like we may have a full month to move in, which will be nice, so we can take our time.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Day 41

Plenty of work was done today, but none of it is really picture worthy.

The roofers put in a full day, and got about 50% of it done. Which means they should be at 100% tomorrow, just as long as the rain misses us.

The electricians were pretty busy too. They ran all the outlet and switch wiring, tv and phone cable, and the CAT5. They don't have it wired up to the box in the basement, but since tomorrow is their last day, I'm gonna assume that will be done by the end of the day.

The plumbers got both showers mounted and got all the drainage PVC pipe put in for the 1st floor sinks, showers and toilets. It looks like the only thing they have left to do, is to run the pipe for water. I'll be interested to see if they run copper, or the "new and improved" nylon pipe that is supposed to be better then copper. The good thing about nylon is that it won't break when water freezes in it.

They still haven't put in those final 2 basement windows yet, which is a little baffling. I'd really like it if they got those in soon, so the siding could start.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Day 39

Well... sometime after 3:00 pm on Friday, and 10:00 am this(Saturday) morning, the window crew showed up and went to town.

They have 2 more slots to fill on the back of the house.

I walked through the house this morning to see how the electrical was coming. They have all the boxes mounted for the switches and outlets, and they have all the can lights mounted in the kitchen. No wires have been ran yet, but I think the house has to have shingles before they can put the wires in.

The plumbing guys ran some PVC pipe to the two upstairs bathrooms, and even got the toilet flanges mounted. This week should be lot's of fun to watch.

I start my new job on Thursday, so its going to be busy times for the Kneifl Hacienda.

Mom, Happy Birthday. I'm proud to say that me and the rest of my family chipped in and got my mom a tattoo for her birthday. OK, so its not a Tazmanian Devil on her arm, it's a tattoo of makeup. Eyeliner I believe is the correct term. She got tired of putting it on everday, so now its permanent. How bad would a tattoo on your eyelid hurt? I'm thinking pretty bad.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Day 38

Not much has happened in the past few days. They did manage to get the tar paper laid down on the roof, but I didn't want to bother posting a picture of that. Imagine the same picture as below, only with a black roof. I was at the house this morning and saw that they hadn't even delivered the shingles yet or the siding. So, I doubt any of that will be done today. Hopefully the window guy will come and get that out of the way.

Met with the Electrician this morning for an initial walk-thru. We pointed out where we wanted the lights, outlets, phone jack and switches. Pretty painless stuff. He said they'll be at the house Friday, Monday and Tuesday and will have the wiring completely finished.

I have a feeling next week is going to bring a lot of action. I'd like the exterior work to be completely finished, so the interior work can get crackin full steam ahead. But, we'll see.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Day 34 and 35

They started sheathing the roof on day 34, and finished it up today on day 35. See that pallet of black stuff next to the dumpster. That's rolls of tar paper for the roof.

I talked to the builder today, and he wanted to know the color of windows, siding, exterior trim, soffet and shingles that we wanted. I think he's going to try and get the roof on, and the siding done this week. I will be really surprised if that happens, although, if the rain stays away, it could be a possibility.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Day 31

Roof trusses are on. You can finally start to see what the final product is going to look like.

This is a picture from the side of the house. That lone window is at the end of the hallway that leads back to our bedroom. The roof is actually pretty high, which will make for a nice vaulted ceiling in our great room.

I'm guessing they're going to put the roof sheathing on next, which will be nice because then the elements won't affect the interior wood. I know the wood really isn't affected when it gets rained on, but it will just make me feel better to know that after the sheathing is up, everything will be staying dry.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Day 29

HOLY CRAP!!!!!! This is the first day I had a funny tingling feeling inside when I saw the house. Then, I farted. But, right after that, I got goosebumps. It's really becoming a house now. All of the framing is done, with the exception of the roof.

All the rooms are shaping up. I can see where we're going to sleep, and the bathrooms, and where Rambo will first slobber on me when I'm just leaving to go to work, and where he'll slobber on me when I come home from work. Look at all those walls.

Here's a view from the front/left of the house. That pile of wood at the bottom of the pic is the roof. If they put those up tomorrow, I may just have heart attack. The good kind.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Day 28

I was right. First floor framing started today. They got most of the garage done, as well as the entire back wall.

The picture below shows the house from the back. They even managed to put Tyvek wrap up on the exterior wall. You see the two big openings on the left hand side of the house? The bottom one is our walk out sliding glass door from the basement. Right above that is the walk out slider that comes out to the deck. The other openings along those walls are windows.

The roof rafters were sitting out front too. I think that's a pretty good sign for things to come this week.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Day 27

Are you ready for some wood being erected?

Cuz day 27 is bringing the wood like Ron Jeremy.

Check out the basement framing:

They're getting after it now, thank God. I love to see progress like this after only one day of work.

Here's a view of the top floor.

They almost have all the floor sheathing down, which means 1st floor walls are gonna be appearing in the not so distant future.

I hope this lumber is gone tomorrow when I get off work.

That would please me sufficiently.

Day 19 thru 25

Are you prepared for some boredom? If so, read on...
On day 21, while I was in Portland, they delivered this pile of lumber to the house:

I was excited because I figured the framing was gonna start, and I'd be able to see it in progress on Wednesday (Day 22).

I was wrong.

It sat... and it sat.... and it sat. The entire week was nice. Yet, the wood sat.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Day 17 and 18

Day 17 was sunny all day, but no work was done.
Day 18 brought concrete, lots and lots of concrete.
For the garage...

and the basement...

I leave for Portland on Monday, and return late Tuesday night, and I know I'm gonna miss out on the first stages of framing. That's why my wife is going to step in and take over picture duty. Let's hope she possesses the same photographic prowess that I have so eloquently displayed thus far.

While I'm in Portland, will I call home every hour to find out what has been done to the house?

Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Just to be fair. Here's a picture of Zella, my 80 lb female black lab:

Day 16

Another wonderful sunny day, and they're back to work on the house again. They backfilled the outside walls and put a little sand in the basement where the sliding glass doors are going to be (on the lower hand side of the house):

And they put lots of sand in the garage. Must be ready to pour some concrete:

In case you're wondering, the garage is going to be an oversized 3 stall, 940 square feet mammoth. A man's man type of garage. I used to live in an apartment smaller then that.

Day 7 thru Day 15

Basement walls still curing through day 9. Then the rain came. Day 10, 11, and 12 all had rain, which means no work and no progress. Day 13 was a holiday, Memorial Day, so I didn't expect anything to get done. You wanna know what I did on Memorial Day? I ate enough Mexican food to feed the entire Chinese army, and splashed a few margaritas and beers on top of that. My intestines still haven't forgiven me.

Before cast your stones at me for partying on a holiday that was meant to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers, let me explain. My brother-in-law's girlfriend recently passed her boards, and we were celebrating that great accomplishment.

Day 14 was more rain.

Day 15 was really sunny. All day. But, no work was done. I was puzzled by this, but I'm keeping faith in my builder to get things done on time. I'm sure he knows what he's doing.

So, here's a picture of Rambo, my 120 lb chocolate lab, staring at me.

What do you think he's thinking about?

Advanced calculus? or Where the hell his bone is?

Day 6

The basement walls needed to cure for a few days, so they didn't do much work. But they did manage to pour some pea gravel around the perimeter of the house. That gravel will protect us from basement flooding.

As well as getting the plumbing put in the basement. See the PVC sticking up next to the wall on the right? That will be my future basement bathroom. Ahhh... if only that PVC could talk in about 5 years. The things it will see, and the horror stories it will be able to tell. *sigh*

Day 3

They poured the basement walls! In one day. I'm very happy with the progress at this point. A few days ago this lot was flat and full of weeds. Now it's shaping up into something more then a glorified mud puddle.

Day 2

This is the progress after the hole was dug, and they poured the footings. Lot's of rebar sticking out. I hear that's good for structural integrity. This is a view from the lower level.

This is a view from the top, which would be looking at the front of the house:


Finally, a blog. The 1st purpose of this will be to show our family and friends the progress of our new house that we're in the process of building. The builder told me that he would have the house done in 100 days. I'm putting him to the test and documenting every single day, right here, on the web, for everyone to see. Starting with Day 1. I actually don't have a picture of day 1, which is just a hole in the ground. A really really big hole. But, I do have pictures starting with day 2.

The other purpose of this blog is to keep a record of all the idiotic things that I think about when I get bored at work. I need a permanent way to document the ramblings, and figured this would be a great place to put them.

I apologize in advance.

Proceed at your own risk.