A single family house is perhaps one of the most artisanal products most Americans will ever own. Despite the use of tilt-up, pre-fab, and even 3D printing in larger commercial applications, with single family homes it seems that just about every component is custom made by hand. And when you are anxiously awaiting completion, all those charming, hand-made, one-of-a-kind elements can start to drag on. That’s even more true since we are trying to do some of those hand-made items ourselves. Work seems to go much faster when I oversee it than when I actually have to do it myself. But the good news is that work is still moving steadily forward on our new island home.
We have a close up view of all the activity on our house because we have been living on site since the beginning of February. We have electric, we have water, we have sewer, and we have no excuse not to be diligent about “our” tasks. I really like our construction crew and their work is outstanding, but I will never understand their love of metal music. Which they play every day, all day, at high volume. It’s one the many reasons we are counting down the days until our house is complete, but it also motivates us to get up and get to work. There is no sleeping in when the daily heavy metal concert starts by 8 a.m.
The other reason to get up and at ’em is to witness or participate in all the activity. From a mechanical standpoint, we are closer to our permanent power situation with our power conduit from the street now buried. We have a fully functional HVAC system. The plumbing is closer to completion, with both toilets installed and final supply valves behind all the sinks. After being told that tanks were on indeterminate backorder, we were thrilled to have the gas company show up randomly and install our propane tank. As you can see from the gallery above, even our AC has a view. Here is a panoramic shot of the view from our south (ocean side) decking:
We’ve been keeping busy with personal contributions to the construction effort. As you may remember from the last post, we have mastered painting but there is no end in sight to that project. There is priming, there is preparing the walls with caulk, there is final body paint, there is trim paint, and there are more coats of paint. I am currently sporting a stylish blue streak in my hair from my latest painting activity, and I am too tired to care. I am obviously not cut out for a life of construction work.
We made a run to Tallahassee to pick up tile for the showers, and our awesome truck handled the 1,000 pound load of a full pallet of tile exactly as well as expected. We assembled all the cabinets from that large IKEA order, and did much of the installation of our kitchen cabinets and vanities. I have never felt so proficient with particle board.
Meanwhile, our crew continues to make great progress on the things that actually make the house liveable. Interior walls went up quickly. Interior flooring was installed in the blink of an eye, while the gorgeous plank ceilings took much, much longer. Most of the interior trim work around the windows, doors, baseboards, etc. is in place. The stairs on the north side have now been built and most of our handrailings are in final shape. Pending staining, of course, because there is always more to be painted.
What’s next? Countertops have been measured and ordered, and we anxiously await their arrival. Appliances are ready to be delivered as soon as the countertops are installed. We are in serious need of tiling work in the showers so we can get closer to fully-functioning showers.
Meanwhile on the community front, spring is the time for many activities in our new home. Events are different this year because of Covid, but we’re trying to participate where it makes sense in order to meet neighbors and get to know our new community. We attended the annual volunteer fire department fund raiser to eat take-out hot dogs and bid on items in the silent auction. We also participated in an island-wide trash cleanup and found way too much junk in our area of the island. And we’ve still found time to take regular walks, helping confirm that the beach is still there (and still lovely) and observing the arrival of spring flowers.
Here’s hoping the next post has The Reveal!