Archive | April 2013

Approval!

The inspector was here today and gave approval for occupancy. Of course I’m excited. I think I’ll sleep on the sofa there tonight. If I get enough of the bedframe pieces cleaned up, the cats will be moved today, too.

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Not Quite Ready

The inspector found half a dozen small items, two for the electrician, so I expect it will be approved for occupancy next week. For now, the crew loaded the heavy boxes of furniture into the cottage and I will work on assembling it. They did the sofabed frame and I opened the mattress to ‘fluff’ and air it. They put in the washer, dryer and refrigerator. I want to test things, so I plan to run a load of wash and to run my dishes through the dishwasher before I store them in the cupboards. There is a lot to do before I really would have a comfortable occupancy. I plan to put down one more coat of acrylic sealer in the living room/kitchen. It got a little scratched moving in the appliances, and it is a high traffic area. It can have the weekend to dry thoroughly.

My living room will be very tight. I am glad I did not try hard to find a coffee table, as it would not fit well. As you can see in the picture, the armless chair I have will be cozy.

living room with sofa

We had a very heavy rain last night and expect another day of rain on tomorrow, so there will be a lot of floor mopping for a while, until traffic slows down. I need a couple of good doormats, for both inside and outside the doors. If the budget holds out, I hope to get a load of crushed stone for the driveway soon. As the ground around the building dries, I plan to rake the concrete chunks that dripped during construction, around the perimeter before shoveling dirt nearby. I will have a buffer of gravel on top, but it might take me a while to work all the way around the house, so a few feet at a time.

I am disappointed that I won’t move in this weekend, but I am so tired just from moving stuff, hardly unpacked anything, and didn’t get much swept to prepare for the floor sealer. It will be better for me to have this time to work on preparations.

Closer still…

The plumbers have finished the water connections, my foreman spoke to the county inspector, and that is all that needs to be completed before our final inspection for occupancy. I took the energy report to Building Codes office and they scheduled the final inspection for Thursday. The crew sealed the floor today with a high gloss finish with an anti-skid additive, which should make it safe and low-maintenance – a quick duster over it most days. It looks good. There are some interesting imprints in the concrete from last fall’s pour of the slab when leaves blew onto it.

shining floor

shining floor

I will be assembling more furniture. Since the crew cleared out the big shed, I have room to assemble there, and it won’t be far to move the stuff. Over the years I’ve put together a lot of shelves and other furniture, a large computer armoire was the hardest, but the bed frame may top that. I have 12 drawers in it. I won’t decide on the headboard until the bed frame in the room, as I cannot tell just how much passing space I’ll have at the one corner. I hope it works with it.

I have the old family camping picnic table, which separates into two benches. It will be my front patio furniture for now. Later I will find a table and chairs with an umbrella, since there are no trees to shade the front until late afternoon. For the back patio, I would like an arbor so I can plant a vine for shade and privacy screening. I am thinking about getting a tub/trough in which I can plant bamboo outside the bathroom window. I don’t want to take chances with a possible invasive variety, but it would make a nice screen from the road, and rapidly. I enjoyed just sitting on the patio late this afternoon, good weather for it, and I just relaxed and enjoyed the view. Lots of birds, some large bumblebees hovering, wildflowers in bloom. There’s a lovely strip of blue-eyed grass in the meadow.

blue eyed grass in meadow

blue eyed grass

One other item we are getting is a roof for the riding mower, by using scrap wood for a lean-to. It will have metal roofing over the wood, and the whole shed will be re-roofed in the next couple of years. Things are about ready for us at Soul’s Ease.

lean-to in progress, for mower protection

lawn mower carport in progress

Final Stretch!

It looks like we are in the final week! It’s a very good thing, because my budget and resources have reached crunch time. I have decided to place a hold on some items, like painting the exterior (white primer will do for now) and grading. It will be fully livable and mostly complete on the inside, and the delay will allow a few other items to be done. I have been acquiring things online and on sale, saving quite a bit for now. Since I expect this to be a showcase of a local dome, I have some upscale looks for it, just not the tile I wanted inside. I will have to keep it visitor-ready at all times, lots of housekeeping.

It's cool to be parked in front of my new home.

It’s cool to be parked in front of my new home.

Things are coming along all right. The plumbers will be here to finish connections, probably Monday. We’ll have the inspectors out for final approval for occupancy later in the week. There is a coat of semi-transparent stain on the concrete floor, giving a mottled look of color, enough to hide some imperfections. Next it gets a high-gloss sealer, which I expect will make wax unnecessary. Once the floor is done, I plan to start moving in furniture and the rest of the appliances. The bed platform with drawers will take some work to assemble.

Living room with stained floor

Living room with stained floor

We have been verging on summery weather this past week. I sure hope we don’t go near freezing again this spring. Sharon is really into gardening mode, spending much of her daytime in the yard. She has really transformed a neglected place into a garden site. She is making plans for a second income via her gardening, starting slowly this year. It is very promising. We had a heavy rain last week, and there was very little puddling around the cottage, but the clay was wet and sticky. We are using scraps from wallboard for sidewalks, and they work quite well. Eventually the gypsum will break down into the clay and make it workable soil.

So pretty, but so invasive - wisteria on the neighbors side of the fence.

So pretty, but so invasive – wisteria on the neighbors side of the fence.

It is getting exciting, and I am looking forward to installing the crystals globes on the chandeliers, but not until after the last coat is on the floor. Once furniture is in, they will be protected from people walking into them or bumping with equipment. I did put up the one in the bedroom, because it is plastic and will protect the bulb. I can hardly wait until the cats get to explore their new place. The two boys seem to have spring fever or are just tired of being stuck in one room of the house, they are ready to explore in spite of
the dogs.

The bedroom chandelier is from IKEA, I just completed assembly - my dandelion light.

The bedroom chandelier is from IKEA, I just completed assembly – my dandelion light.

Broom closet completed

Broom closet completed

 

Kitchen cabinets are all installed

cabinets, sink and counter

cabinets, sink and counter

The kitchen counter top with sink was installed this past week. It looks and is small, but I also have an island for work space. Plumbers have to connect the sink, dishwasher, bathroom and laundry items this week. The electrician also needs to connect the water heater that was installed, and we should be ready for the final inspections. That doesn’t quite mean it is moving day, though, as there are quite a few little finishing items. A large item now has to be staining the floor. I have finally switched my choice from epoxy paint, which would need a top coat of acrylic anyway, to a semi-transparent acrylic stain. I saw an online photo (Houzz.com, which has some really great pictures and ideas) of a warm wooden floor with cool gray and white decor, and I liked it a lot. I will be using a rich golden stain with reddish accents. It should help hide any tracked in mud, too. Until the grass grows much, I’m afraid I’ll be bringing in footprints – slippers will be kept beside the door for me.

My foreman caught a nasty bug while visiting relatives, so we started late last week. The first couple of days we did cleanup in the gorgeous spring weather. The outside construction debris is nearly sorted (we are keeping wood and large wire mesh chunks) and bagged for the dump. We are in the country and haul our own trash and recycles to the station, but it is not far from the house. We will have multiple full pickup loads. Inside the dome, the dried red clay was vacuumed, but not scrubbed. The upper kitchen cabinets have been installed. The vinyl boards have been installed in the shower. I am economizing on this for now, as I want tile when my budget allows, and this will be easy to remove. It looks great, a nubby finish much like the plaster walls. I also have a fold-down stainless laundry rack hanging in the shower, since there is really no place for a clothesline. Trim items have been added to some openings – looking more polished.

19 gallon water heater

19 gallon water heater

Rained Thursday, and I hope it is the final check for seepage around the bottom edge. I am planning to add gravel around the perimeter to keep the mud away from the house, and it should allow the slab to air out a bit. It is always a good idea for foundation plants to be at least a couple feet away, to allow sufficient growth space, anyway.