Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It's Almost A House!

May 19th - Week 4

Ok, now that we actually have walls...or almost, it's time to stop saying "it's starting to look like a house". It is almost a house now. 

Today they were working on dry wall. Al was impressed with the progress they made in one day & of course I was too but what do I know? Al being involved with construction for the VA for most of his life knows more about it than I do for sure.

They have most of the dry wall completed & Victor says they will finish tomorrow & then start the tape & texture. 

The top right photo is the living room & the photo on the bottom is the kitchen/dining area taken from the living room. Yes, I can actually say they are rooms now. I find it hard to believe they started the house 6 weeks ago & we are starting week 7 today.

He said that he spoke with the concrete people & they are going to work on the grading for the driveway tomorrow & then pour the concrete on Thursday assuming the weather holds out...crossing fingers!

He also said they have started building our cabinets & they should start putting them in next week....wow, this is really getting exciting.

May 22nd

Today they are finishing the taping & they grading the driveway. It has to get
inspected but once it is they can pour the concrete. Hopefully the driveway will be poured next week if mother nature cooperates.

I couldn't go into the house but I watched from the driveway & was amazed watching them move around the garage on their stilts. Just watching them walk around on those things made me nervous. Al chuckled because had seen it a lot when he was supervising the construction projects for the VA.

This afternoon we met with someone to get a quote on shutters so we can see the progress on the tape & texturing inside the house. We picked out the shutters we want (same as we put in the coach house) but we are waiting to get a paint sample of the walls & trim to decide on the color.

When we arrived the guys who were doing the grading for the driveway were just packing up to leave. They had finished all the work & now we just have to wait for the city to inspect it & put their blessing on the work. Hopefully they will do that on Tuesday & they can pour the driveway on Wednesday.

The 1st step in the taping has been completed throughout the house. They also installed the pocket doors on all the walk in closets. We are actually getting a feel for the rooms & what the room size is going to be like. Since nobody has ever built this floor plan before we are the "guinea pigs" & we also did not have any homes or model to go by.

Victor told me today that by the middle of the week the exterior doors will be put on & the house will be locked up every evening after they finish working. That means we have to go over each day before he locks the place up to check on the work ;)

Typically they have been working on Saturdays but since it's Memorial Day weekend I doubt anyone will be working tomorrow but who knows. Time will tell! Some of the contractors have been known to work on Sundays which really amazes me. Perhaps that's why they get the houses built in such a short time frame!

May 27th - Week 8

Yesterday the city inspected the driveway grading & it passed so first thing this morning (about 7 am) I heard the concrete truck driving past our coach & by the time I got over there at 7:30 & they had just finished the first pour & Victor was over there supervising. He was way ahead of me & had already texted me some photos of them working & I got them as I was taking my own photos. He knows I'm keeping a journal on the blog so he has been great getting me photos when I
haven't been around. Seems like I missed the pour of the foundation & the first pour for the driveway...Oh well thanks to Victor I have photos & I did get to watch this process after the initial pour...close enough!

They were knee deep in concrete & some of them were already starting to do the troweling where the driveway meets the garage & working their way out. Al explained to me that the troweling removes the excess water from the

After breakfast we had to head out for errands so we drove by the house to see the progress. They had finished troweling & were doing some final clean up & touch up. It was already looking really good...you'd think these guys have had some practice doing this

By the time we got back from errands the driveway & side walk were both finished & it looked great. 

The guys doing the stucco were busy finishing up the brown coat & were working in the courtyard area when we drove by. Next week they will do the finish (top coat).

May 28th

The Exterior brown coat was finished today & they also started adding the exterior trim around the house, doors, windows, etc. The exterior is starting to show some personality. 

Inside they sprayed the texture on all the walls & ceiling. While it doesn't look like much was done today it was a productive day for them.
Texture on the left has been sprayed & doesn't look like much but it's there & Al really likes that it's not overly textured. We are having an egg shell finish so it will be easier to clean the walls with a light texture.

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings but I know that Saturday the cabinets start going in.

May 30th

We drove by the house on the way out to run errands & nobody was working. I
texted Victor & he said they were on their way. I guess they were loading the cabinets & they had to come from Alamo. What a surprise when we pulled into Retama & saw they were there & Victor was right behind us.

We decided to stop by & say hello. He said he was there to make sure they had the right cabinets & check things out. We chatted for a while & he asked if we wanted to go inside & see the cabinets...silly question, of course we did!

The first picture is Victor. I thought it was time to put a face to the name. This is
the "Orchestra leader" who makes this all run smoothly & he is doing a great job. He is also my backup photographer (this is an example of him going above & beyond) when I'm not there & something is going on he knows I would want to post here. He told me he had planned on taking photos for me today but now I was able to get a photo of him because we are always there when everyone's gone.

I need to explain "the process". While there are people working on the house we cannot enter the house but once the workers are gone (either before they start in the morning or after they leave in the afternoon) we can go in & look around.

We walked in & I really wasn't expecting to see them hanging on the wall already but they had already hung some of the cabinets in the kitchen. The owner of the cabinet shop was there & he told Victor that Pro Build had delivered 2 doors the wrong size so Victor has to get those replaced.

I also was pleasantly surprised at how they did the linen closet but I was thrilled when I saw the cabinets in the master bathroom. Lori had told me they would only have drawers on the bottom but it turns out they have drawers in the middle (we have double sinks & cabinet doors). Of course he kidded me & said he could have them cover them if we don't want them...funny guy!

Victor said that the cabinet guys wood be working all day & finish up on Monday. They will be installing all the cabinets & the doors. He also said the garage door would be installed next week.

Things really are moving along very nicely & he assures me he is still on schedule. I'm sure glad that we didn't build here when his predecessor was supervising the construction. From what I've heard he never got homes finished on schedule & there were more problems with the construction. Victor seems to
be doing a good job of getting things done & on time...of course there are things that come up beyond his control, like the supplier not delivering the right items even when Victor ordered the right ones. Al & I realize that things happen beyond Victor's control but he makes sure things work out & he's usually right on top of it so it's not delaying the process.

We will come back after our Memorial Day party to
check out their progress...more pics later!

The photos on the left were taken after the guys left for the day.

Option Selections

I thought I had posted this but it appears I forgot. These are the selections we made for the counters, floor, cabinet, etc.

The selections shown include: tile for the master bath
shower & back splashes in the kitchen; Granite for the counters; Tile for the floors, Outlet covers, wall paint & the cabinet door.

The counters throughout the house are granite. I wanted one that was not too dark & this counter has a nice blend of colors with gold metallic. We opted for tile floors throughout as well rather than having carpeting in the bedrooms. We selected a light color because the cabinets & furniture were going to be a bit dark.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Our New Furniture

Well we are getting closer to it being a house but we can't have a house without furniture.

I don't remember exactly how many days we spent shopping for furniture but
we checked out several stores, sat in lots of sofa's & looked at a bunch of bedroom sets.

Yesterday we spent most of the day at Craig's in Weslaco. Our salesman, Eloy, was wonderful showing us things, moving tables, etc. We finally bought everything we need...well we thought we did. We forgot to get some stools for the island in the kitchen. We will still need to get accessories such as lamps but we have to save something to shop for next month ;))

What we ended up getting for our great room: a dining set with server; reclining sofa & love seat with a coffee table. We also ended up getting a new entertainment center that is beautiful & goes very well with the rest of the furniture. Since we have a great room (kitchen, dining & living all in one L shaped room. We needed to find wood that would compliment the cabinets in the kitchen. We had to do a lot of furniture moving to find just the right stuff but we were finally able to get everything that works well together. That was the big advantage of buying it all in one place.

We both fell in love with the entertainment center so we decided to keep the old
entertainment center we moved from our house in New Mexico & put it in our den along with the new sofa bed & end tables we bought. We originally picked out tables we thought would work for the living room but once it was delivered they looked terrible. They allowed us to pick out something better & we found a lovely set that works just great. They were a bit more but well worth it.

We also bought a very nice bedroom set. We looked at so many of them in the other stores & some were very unique, some were gorgeous but nothing that was perfect, some were both & some were outrageously priced. Our salesman showed us a new set that had come in. It was simple, the wood was not too dark or too light & it was very nice, functional & Al liked the way it was made. Ok, we're broke now but we have the whole house furnished except for the bar stools & lamps.

After we got home I called Eloy & said he would check to see what he could find that would look good with the dining set we bought. Since it's going to be next to the island it has to blend.

We went this morning. There were some on the floor that were metal & very nice but I didn't like the colors with the dining set. I saw one across the room & it looked very nice. Turned out Eloy didn't check that because there was only one in stock. Turned out it was perfect. It was metal with a light colored added seat but the back had wood that matched the dining set as though it was made for it. We both liked it & it was cheaper than all the others so we decided it was "perfect". 

The manager gave us a good deal on the stools & gave me the beautiful
centerpiece that was sitting on the dining set we bought. They will be ordering the stools so we have 2 brand new ones & they are ordering the Lazy Boy Sofa which should all be in before we close on the house.

The photos probably don't reflect the accurate colors but it was the best I could do. Trust me when I say that it all works & will look good in the house....well we are pretty sure it will!

I think we will look around for lamps over the next month but Craig's is so good to work with & their prices are so reasonable I can't imagine finding anything better anywhere else but we have to look. I did see a store called "The Lighthouse" on the way home & looked at their website....aye carumba I almost had a heart attack. I'm sure not going to be buying lamps there.I'm including a photo of the old entertainment center we moved from New Mexico just so you can see what is going to be in our Den/Guest Room. It will make it nice & cozy & probably more functional than the guest room in our house in New Mexico.

June 6th Update

Stopped at Lacks this morning just to look around at Lamps & see if we could
find a storage chest for the bedroom. Victor's cousin's wife works there so she helped us. That place is so huge that I was getting dizzy but we actually found a really nice lamp that would work well with the bedroom furniture. Elsa told us that all the accessories were 50% + 10% off through the end of the month. With Elsa's input we opted to find something light to contrast with the wood rather than trying to find something to match or blend with the wood.

Once we picked out the lamps we started looking for a storage chest to put at the foot of the bed or under the window. They had several to chose from BUT some were pretty pricey ($2,000.00) & many were just the wrong color wood to even look good. The very last one we found actually turned out to be perfect. It is all wood with some metal trim & legs & it is very unique. The wood slats are different tones but all complimented each other & would pull the red tones from the bedroom set. The photo I took in the store is horrible but it will give you an idea. Once we have all the furniture in the room I will take some better photos. The best part is that the chest was the cheapest one there & cedar lined. We were going to wait another couple of weeks since the sale was on until the end of the month but on the way out she said..."If I get another 5% knocked off would you buy it today"....she didn't have to ask twice. We turned around & paid for it. Our friend Coco said we could leave everything at her house until we move into the new house.....YIPPEE!

We found a really nice lamp for the living room. It really is very unique & will
add some color & pizzazz to the room! We aren't sure if we will be able to use 2 side tables between the sofa & love seat & on the other side of the love seat but we bought 2 tables & decided to get 2 lamps. If we can only use one of each in the living room the others will go into the den. If they both fit in the living room great, then we will find a table & lamp for the den at a later date. There's no immediate need for either of them.

The Lazy Boy below is a sofa bed & will be going in our "Den" & hopefully the entertainment center that we brought with us from New Mexico will fit in the room. If not it will get sold & we will figure out what to do at a later date.

Victor is still saying the house will be done the 2nd week in July! Gosh I wish it was next week but I guess we can wait....like we have a choice ;)