Thursday, April 30, 2015

It's Starting to Look Like a House!!!

Now it is actually starting to look like a house...

April 30th

We went over there after dinner to take a look at the progress. First we discovered they had framed for a wall on the left most of the house (behind the garage & Al's shop & between the garage & Al's shop & a door to the outside from the shop...neither of which are in the plans nor did Al want. A quick text to Victor & a big OOPS! He called me back a few minutes later & said there was a communication error & it would be corrected tomorrow. This means some extra work because they have to move the center support beam for the ceiling & all the other beams because they will be placed in the wrong direction without that wall to support it all. Definitely a big oops but they gotta fix it...good thing we were here!

We walked around in the house & all the walls & doorways are now framed so we can actually tell where the rooms are. Our neighbors Carol & Jeff came out & we walked through the house together. We figured out where everything is including the pantry, utility room, my "studio/office", the linen closet & all the walk in closets are. Maybe another couple of days & we can figure out more about room sizes, etc. Right now it's a bit hard to navigate around the place with all the supporting braces in place. The photo on the left shows where the gate, wall & bell tower will be. It will lead to the courtyard & house.

May 1st

The big fix! We stopped over after the Happy Hour/Barbecue & they have fixed the support beams for the ceiling but they still have to remove the framing for the wall & the doors (turns out they actually framed for 2 doors that weren't supposed to be there. It sure is good that we are here to check on it every day to make sure everything is done right.

The bell tower framing & the exterior sheeting has been done. You can see that above on the right...that's Al walking through the Bell Tower. The wrought iron gate will be installed in this entryway.

It's almost starting to look like rooms (you really have to be inside to figure it out). The framework for the roof is almost done.

We will be heading over to the house daily after the workers have left. The goal is to check the work & make sure everything is done right so if there is a problem it can be corrected immediately rather than waiting until it's too late or harder to correct the problem. This is the main reason we wanted to be here as soon after they poured the foundation as possible.

May 2nd

Well, they were working diligently all day & the roof is almost done. They have also done a lot more odds & ends under the eaves, etc. It's really starting to look pretty good. 

The photo on the top right is the outside garage side of the house. 

The photo on the left is the front door with covered porch. This opens up to the courtyard which is between the garage/shop & house. 

The bottom right is the front hallway looking at it from the living room.

There are two arched entries, this one & the one going into the hallway where the linen closet & bathroom are which is between the master bedroom suite & the guest room.

They made more progress today than we thought so it looks like on Monday they should finish up the roof & perhaps start wrapping the house.

May 5th

They are really making progress. The tar paper (roofing felt) is on most of the roof & should be done tomorrow. Once it's finished they will start putting the shingles on. 

The plumbers were here today & they ran the lines into the house for the washer/dryer, kitchen & bath rooms. 

Most of the support beams are now down & OSB has been put up. We're not sure what will go up next where they are but time will tell.

The inside of the house is really starting to take shape & you can actually walk from room to room without any obstructions.


We have opted to keep one of the door's that was framed in error. I really want to have a door into the garage from the courtyard so I can go in & out when I'm gardening, etc. So we picked out the door today. While we were at the design center with Victor we looked at the cabinet door color we chose & I took photos so we can go look at furniture again. I want to make sure the wood in the dining room set compliments the cabinets & are in the same tones (ie: warm vs cool). We have already started looking at furniture but haven't made any commitments yet. We saw so many things it was overwhelming so we will start again maybe next week.

May 7th

I wasn't sure they would get much done today because it looked like it was going to rain (even though the weather man said no & it was drizzling in the morning). Well today turned out to be a very busy day over at Seagull Lane. 

Let me list all the things we saw that had been done today. 

  • First thing we noticed is that the shingles were installed on the roof
  • They started the wrap on the house
  • Gas lines were installed for the stove & tankless hot water heater
  • The electrician started installing the receptacles
  • The AC guys were there & started installing the duct work in the attic & will finish everything tomorrow
  • They have spread tarps & put up the scaffolding to start doing the stucco

I'd say that was a very productive day.

Tomorrow should be another very busy day at the house both inside & outside.

Tomorrow & Saturday we are going furniture shopping again. Since we sold ALL our furniture (except the entertainment center) we have lots to look at. We have already been to 2 different stores & have some things in mind but want to check out another store & then go back to Lacks to meet with the sales people to work on house layout to make sure what we are considering will work.

May 8th

Well, today was a busy day for us. A friend went to a furniture store with us in Weslaco. They bought some of their furniture there & he really likes them. It's a small local store but they have a nice selection. We found everything we wanted & they gave us a very good package price for the whole shebang. 

So we got back & were exhausted BUT we discovered they had been very productive at the house. I was very surprised at what they had accomplished. 

May 11th

  • Windows were all installed in all the rooms.
  • The Tyvek was completed all around the house.
  • The wire lath for the stucco was installed around 2/3 of the house & will be finished tomorrow.
  • The AC ducting has been completely installed in the attic.

The living room windows will provide a lot of light but the direction of the house was flipped so that we will not get the hot afternoon sun in the courtyard which means the living area will remain cooler. This was strategically planned by Al & Eddie when we were working on the sale of the house. 

The sliding glass door that will be installed in the kitchen was delivered today. They will be back at work again tomorrow so the door will probably get installed then. The entry doors & garage door have been ordered but I don't know when they will be installed.

May 13th

There has been a lot of progress but most of it is not something that is visible. The lath has been run all around the house & ready for the next step before the stucco is applied.

The sliding door from the kitchen to the courtyard has been installed. Victor said they don't install the screen until all the construction is done so it doesn't get damaged.

It looks like most of the electrical has been done along with fixing some wiring the electrician's put in the wrong places. 

"The cable guy" ran the cable for the internet, cable tv, etc. When we went over this evening to check out the progress we discovered that our original plan for the location of the cable for the internet is on the wrong wall. We didn't know at the time that my computer work station wouldn't fit on that wall. After looking at the framework & the window location my computer is going to have to be on the opposite wall from where the cable box is located.

I sent Victor a text & since he wants to do the pre-drywall walk through tomorrow we will go over where the cable should be located at that time.

May 14th 

Pre-drywall walk through was done today with Victor. They were waiting for the city inspector to come before they can put the insulation & dry wall up. They did inspect the seals, framing, etc & Monday they will start the insulation.

May 18th

Yesterday we met with someone to get a rough estimate for some Plantation shutters installed on the windows. He was very impressed with the way they were building the house. He thought they were doing a great job & it looked like they did a very good job framing the house...good to know ;)

They are back at work today & things are moving along nicely. On the inside they are busy installing the insulation. Although we can't go in now we saw Victor this morning & he told us they were busy working on it first thing this morning. Once they finish it has to get inspected again before they can do the dry wall. The wall insulation has been completed by the end of the day. They still have the ceiling insulation to do but that will probably happen tomorrow.

On the outside they are doing the next step in the stucco. They use a 3-step process.  Basically the three coat system consists of paper and wire (Lath), a scratch coat (being done today), a brown coat and a finish, or “top” coat. This is why it is called a three coat system, lath, scratch and brown. The finish coat is not considered a step because it is needed on every type of application that is used, so they are mainly referring to the stages up until the finish coat. 

It is very common to find the three coat stucco process in many of today’s modern homes. It is highly water resistant and very structurally sound, consisting of about an inch thick layer of cement on the exterior of the home. Today they are doing the Scratch coat & they have to wait a week before they can start the brown coat.

We had A LOT of rain Friday night so Victor isn't sure they can do the driveway yet but he's talking to them today. He has 2 other houses that need concrete poured so it all depends on the contractor. I should know later today or tomorrow. He would like it poured so they don't track mud & dirt into the house....me too!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Construction on our new home begins

Esperanza started moving dirt in our lot for our new home but they will not do anything else until after the March 31st closing on our home in NM when we release the contingency.
"And so it begins..."

Well, I called Victor when we left the title company & told him that we closed on our house in New Mexico & he could start building our new house. He assured me they would get started right away & they did start moving dirt today!

April 1st:

I got an email from friends around the corner in Mission. The message said "And so it begins" They included a photo of our lot with the equipment getting the lot ready for construction. Victor is true to his word that he would start right away!

Al is making trips to Mission with our trailer & will be taking some photos of the progress until we return permanently in April. He is leaving on Friday for his next trek to Mission. We are hoping there are only 2 more trips after that but we won't know for sure until when he packs the trailer up again next trip.

April 3rd:

Well, the lot sure looks different today. Amazing what they can do in 2 days...no more green!

The pad for the house has been leveled & it looks like they are beginning to layout the framing for the concrete.

April 13th:

Some delay due to rain so the concrete hasn't been pour yet but Victor is hoping to get it poured by the end of the week. From the pictures that Al sent me it looks like they made some progress before things got washed out!

April 20th:

Concrete being poured

Well, now the fun really begins! Yesterday we were on the last leg of our trip back to Mission when I got a text & photo from Victor saying that they had started pouring concrete. I was very surprised because I didn't think they would be able to pour for another few days. Then I got messages from 2 other people telling me the same thing along with
Spreading the concrete
more photos. By the time we pulled into Retama they were almost done pouring the concrete. 


By the end of the day they had finished pouring, spreading the concrete & brushing it out. Having watched them in action on another house being built down the street I wasn't surprised at how efficient they were but it is fascinating watching them work.
The concrete is finished

They have several trucks bringing in the concrete while they have workers spreading & brushing. It's really quite a site to see all the trucks coming through the community with concrete & how efficiently they work getting it all done.

With the concrete finished I can now envision the layout of the house.

The concrete will cure for a few days & then they can begin working on the house.
Framing Day 3

April 29th

Framing was started on Tuesday & as of today this is what they have finished. This photo was taken in the afternoon so they had already done a lot of work in just 2 days.

It's not completely framed but by tomorrow they should be finished with the framing & moving on to the next step. It really is pretty amazing watching the progress they made from the time they start the framing on Tuesday. Framing should be done tomorrow & at that time they will begin working on the exterior.

April 30th

WOW! Drove by after Ladies Breakfast & time at Cinderella & they are already starting the Exterior sheeting & Tyvec.