We’re done.

What started with a bulldozer in July ended today with a permit allowing us to occupy the premises.  

Eight months and three  is what it took to go from tick infested brush to finished livable house.  Sure there are a few things to finish but it’s all stuff that can get done during the course of living in the house.

I didn’t do much work on the house myself.  But the last thing I did before I left for vacation was install the house numbers.  We ordered our modern house numbers online.  Each is milled from solid aluminum and the installation was fairly simple and straight forward.  The consensus was to arrange them vertically.  We preferred putting them on the garage, centered vertically with the lower window.  The apple trees should not obscure them, even when fully grown.

Now we can order pizza with some semblance of hope that they delivery guy will find us.

Also before we left we got to see the Silestone countertops and kitchen sink installed.  They look great.  The grey expo finish looks like cement and is a lot glossy-er than I had imagined.  Generally speaking the kitchen looks virtually identical to my rendering.  I have not seen it with the door fronts on yet, though.

Silestone grey expo quartz countertops installed.

Blanco kitchen sink installed. Single bowl will make it easier to clean pots and pans.

Spy photo of cabinet door fronts installed.

Spy photo of ship's ladder installed for attic.

Obviously  a  lot more got done since we left, but it’ll have to wait until we get back to see.  Then the fun part starts (other than figuring out how to pay for everything).  All the fun (and sometimes sad) stuff that it takes to turn wood, steel and glass from a house to a home.

Mantel Update

Tentative mantel location.

Tomorrow the masons will install the cultured stone around the fireplace.  I’m hoping it will turn out well.  One last item to take care of before they start was locating the mantel. 
As you know, we’re going to use a piece of cherry from a tree that was on the property for the mantel.  We’re attaching a 2×6 to the fireplace chase, and then we’ll lag the mantel itself to this 2×6. 
The EDGE60 installation manual defines some minimum clearances that affect how close the mantel can be to the unit.  The mantel in our current house is about 53″ from floor to the bottom edge and it’s about 4″ tall.  The guys mounted the 2×6 today at about 60″ from the floor.  I stopped out to take a look and it just feels too high for our liking.  I checked the manual and we need about 8.5″ from the top of the unit to the bottom of the mantel, assuming the mantel sticks out 6″.  I made a black mark on the wall indicating this level…..It falls about 3″ below where the guys mounted the 2×6. I left a note indicating we’d like to move it down that much.  I’m hoping it’ll all look good.  I’m sure it will.
The stonework should take two guys one day to do.  I left a note letting them know we want a “dry stack” look to the stone which means no mortar lines between stones.  We’ll see, hopefully it’ll look good.  The masons did say the stone we picked out was probably the most difficult to work with and get it to look right, plus the would have started from the top, and in fact they would have selected a different type of stone….not sure what kind.   Long story short, probably a good idea we’re paying them to do it since everyone will see the fireplace.
Elsewhere, the septic system got inspected and will be approved later this Spring once things dry out a bit.  The leech (sp?) field needs to dry out, be over seeded, and straw laid down.  I did ask the government if we could over seed with flowers or natural grasses….they said I need to use a typical sun / shade type grass seed.  But they also gave me a link to The Ohio State University website where I can get some additional recommendations.  Additionally there is a septic service that we’ll have to contract with for the life of the system.  They will be able to help guide us as well.  Planting or letting trees grow in the field is a no-no.  I just hope we don’t have to make it look like a manicured lawn.  We’re trying to minimize our impact and would like to minimize the amount of high maintenance lawn area.  I think a field of black-eyed susans or cone flowers would be awesome, but the government may have a different idea.  Long term (years from now) installing a “living machine” would be an intriguing option.  I saw one at Oberlin college and it’s pretty cool.  Living machine’s use plants and holding tanks to treat wastewater and sewage just like nature does (biomimicry essentially).  This would eliminate the need for a septic system (or rather is a type of septic system).  It would cost a lot but is a nice alternative to get back some of our real estate.  I could imagine a nice system in an outbuilding, maybe adjacent to a green house or something.
The water supply inspection has been put off, pending gutters being installed.  We need the entire collection system up and running, gutters are obviously a big part of that.
I’m getting grief from the gutter guys that we don’t have ice guards installed on the metal roof.  They’re guaranteeing that all my gutters will be ripped off by snow and ice sliding down, which is probably true.  I’m going to drag my heels because there are a fair number of options out on the market.  I need to research them and make a decision.  Then I have to talk to my roofing installer and see if they can install them.  Honestly, it’s nearly March and we haven’t had much snow this winter, with three weeks to go in Winter I don’t think we’re going to get anything substantial enough to destroy anything.  And if we make it that far then I’ll have all year to decide on something.  In fact if nothing meets my needs aesthetically and functionally, I could design a system myself and have it fabricated.  Maybe if it’s effective enough I could retire and sell ice guards.
Ok, that’s it for today folks.  Catch you next time.

Permit Day

I’ll bring you up to speed on the project in the coming days and weeks, but more importantly, I’m pretty sure today is “permit day”!  Which is both exciting and terribly frightening in many regards. What “permit day” means is basically the government says “Yeah, go ahead and start doing what you plan on doing and we’ll keep an eye on you.” What it means to us is that weeks, months and even years of planning go from “what ifs” to reality.  Exciting because what was once imagined becomes tangible.  Frightening because there are 1) still a lot of “what ifs”, 2) mistakes and poor planning (hopefully both are in small quantities) come to light real fast, 3) there’s a lot less pressure in the “what if” phase.