Saturday, June 16, 2007

Wayne's Words

To finish out the blog, I asked Wayne to submit some parting words. Here they are:

Yes, we are now moved into our new home. Well, sort of anyway. My office and Susan's office are networked along with my lap top with the help of a local computer technician and low voltage wiring tecnician. Analysis of cat 5 wiring and a few tests put us on the right track.

The low voltage people also wired in more speakers for surround sound; as well as, speakers on pation and in garage.

Exterior solar screens were installed with more wiring, switching, and programming by me and the electricians.

Ah, yes, a glitch in the sprinkler system timer. Now only working on manual. Landscaper called and a new circuit board and back to automation. We lost a couple of plants that also were replaced under In Line Landscapes warrantee.

We have a storage unit that is allowing us to unpack and organize without all the clutter and not the intense rush to find places for our things. We even got our cars in the garage the first evening.

Our vacuum system is getting a work out even though it is a new house and cleaned before we moved into our home. Hidden dust on top ofcabinetry, window tracts, heat registers, and constant settling from thenew construction.

Another big day, the window coverings arrived for the bedrooms. it was such a good feeling and nice to have the privacy since our master bedroom was like a glass fish bowl.

The first picture was put above the fireplace, the 2nd in the den; a glass lamp in the entry, the home is now becoming alive with spirit of its own blended with touches of our past.

A lot has happened in the last year or maybe 15 months. We sold our home of 21 years, moved into an apartment, traveled back and forth across the Cascades numerous times, stayed in a hotel with our cats for a few days, and now we are home in Wenatchee.

Our home is born and we are the happy guardians.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Finale: Exterior

Moving day was one month ago today, May 12th, but there has been a lot of finishing touches going on over the last several weeks.

The results are a beautiful dream home that Wayne & Susan should enjoy for many years to come.

Entry not complete. More to come.

The Finale: Interior

Here are some pictures of the interior of the home. There is a lot of really nice finishing work that is not obvious from the pictures.

Living room

Dining room

Remember One Year Ago?

Hey Wayne & Susan... remember this picture, taken almost exactly one year ago (June 17th)?

You were standing on the vacant lot where your dream home is now a reality.

Congratulations! It's been a fun process.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Exterior Paint

The sun wasn't really in the right position for taking a picture of the front of the house, but I did it anyway. It has been sprayed but no trim painted.

Here is a picture of the back to get a better idea of color and what it will look like with the trim painted.

Finishing touches are going on in the house. We are told the occupancy permit will be issued tomorrow and Wayne & Susan have their moving van loaded and will be in town Saturday for the BIG day.

Click on either image to enlarge


The Master Tub

Here is a picture of the master tub tile work.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dealing With Dirt

From Wayne:
"Here are a few words and comments on our Wenatchee Home Project as we grow very near the completion and get ready for the moving to our new home.

We have now started the landscape. it is a high desert design with large rocks, dry wash, and functional swales. Additional rocks, sand, flag stone, and native plants will soon arrive after landscape fabric and grades are finalized.

About 80% of the pool fencing is in place, but we have to constantly push on the pool people (from Swim World) to keep them on track in finished the pool project.

The final finish coat of paint has been applied to the millwork, granite counters are installed, hardwoods have been coated, and some appliances have been installed. Very exciting but still a lot to do with only 10 das left before closing and occupancy.

We have gotten very little cooperation from other builders and owners regarding their responsibility on the bank at the rear to retain dirt and prevent erosion. We put in two retaining walls with geogrid reinforcement; as well as large rock. So far the other builders and property owners have done very little, if any, to retain their added fill dirt and prevent erosiononto our property and into our on-site retention system.

Our development does have CC&Rs but not much enforcement. We may need to seek additional legal assistance in getting those responsible to retaining their added fill dirt as they attempt to turn sloped lots into flat lots.

My wife and I are staying very positive and focused as we prepare for the move to Wenatchee. All will work out and all will be fine in our journey to a new frontier."


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Front Exterior

Here is the current look of the front exterior. The driveway was poured during the week and landscaping continues.

Photo to the right gives you a closer view of the rock work done previously.

Remember you can always click on an image to enlarge.

Back To The Interior

I did get into the interior of the home today to catch up on the finishing work going on. There are lots of projects being finished now, as the May 10th closing date looms near.

The granite counter tops on on in the kitchen and bathrooms. The gas cook top and hood are in.

The tiling is nearly complete in the master bath shower and looks really nice.

The hardwood floor has been uncovered in the living room and fireplace is looking good.

Another Level of Retaining Wall

I love the second level retaining wall Wayne & Susan have added for supporting the back bank.

-Carol Williams

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Wrought Iron Fencing

A beautiful wrought iron fence was Wayne & Susan's choice for securing the backyard. Behind the wrought iron fence is a walkway between the fence and the retaining wall.

There has been so much exciting exterior activity I haven't been in the house for a while, so will try to get in this week-end to catch up on the finishing work going on inside.

Remember, you can always click on any photo to enlarge.

BIG Rocks Are Placed Very Carefully

As the work continues on the landscaping, there are more of the Giant rocks being placed, making a dry river bed on the north side of the house. Watching the machinery operators picking up and placing these big rocks was interesting.

The orange in the background is the temporary safety fencing around the pool.

Work also continues on the block wall at the back of the lot. Also, large rocks have been place on the bank above the wall. This dirt bank has now been sloped to avoid future problems such as we experienced earlier.

Driveway & Landscaping Underway

As work continues in the house, serious progress is being made on the driveway and landscaping. Wayne brought a landscaping crew over from the west side of the state. There are a lot of BIG rocks in the landscape plan and I can't quite see the vision yet.

I do like the color they're incorporating into the concrete for the driveway, walkway and front porch.

Our Fears Come True

In the previous post I mentioned an ongoing concern over the dirt bank at the back of the lot. Our fears came to fruition when the irrigation water was turned on and a broken pipe spewed water, causing the bank to slip and create a mess of the brand new block wall.

As you can see the bank sluffed off and pushed mud through the new black wall.

Pool Work Continues

Work on the pool installation continues. There was a bit of a miscalculation and they ended up needing to shift it a foot or so further south, so that took some extra time and labor.

As you can see in the background the landscape crew is working on a block retaining wall. We are concerned about the dirt bank (from the uphill neighbors) sluffing off so feel it's important to get the wall built right away.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Pool Is Being Dug

Finally, after much ado, the pool hole is being dug. It's exciting for Wayne and Susan to see this phase of the project get underway, as we move into the the crunch of the last month of finishing up the house.

There has been a lot more progress this week on the rock work on the exterior.

Here are Wayne's comments from their most recent trip to Wenatchee this week-end:
"A good trip to Wenatchee and we are very excited as we have about another month before completion of our home.

We confirmed the color of the granite for kitchen, baths, and small area in the den that was in stock at Precision Water Jet in Wenatchee. We also picked out the formica for the utility room and looked at window shades for master bedroom so they could be ordered and installed just before we close.

We carefully went over the schedule for remained of home project. Pool people, excavation company placing rock, landscaper, kitchen appliances, and fence installation all to be work in and around remaining home construction by builder.

Exterior solar screens have arrived on time, the pool and rear yard fencing has been shipped from manufacturer, and yes it appears most things are on schedule. When we actually see the pool we will be very relieved and this was causing concern with other contractor's time frames.

We requested several bids on our fence but only received one from fence contractors in Wenatchee and the material cost was over 3 times what I was able to get on the internet. I then decided to take on the fence project myself.

My brother a train engineer, my brother in law a postmaster, and me an appraiser and home inspector will complete the fence. A little fun in the sun and challenge our abilities although we have all built fences and have general building knowledge."


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Delays With The Pool Installation

Now that Spring is here it's time for the pool installation to begin so other landscaping tasks can be coordinated around it. Wayne has been having some serious issues getting Swim World to return phone calls. When a large deposit on the pool was put down last year with Swim World of Wenatchee, Wayne & Susan were assured they would be the very first on the job sheet this Spring. So far this is not happening and we're trying to get a straight answer as to why.

Kitchen cabinets have been installed and rock work is in progress on the exterior of the home.

Here is the latest e-mail I received from Wayne after a visit to Wenatchee earlier this week. - Carol Williams, agent
* * * * * * *

"Hi Carol,

I'm sorry we did not make lunch but we did meet briefly at the site and that was good.

Main reason for the trip was the pool situation and I feel much better even with the delays. Swim World still has not been straight but Dave filled in the gaps and appears very competent to complete the work needed for the pool. I feel a sense of trust talking with him. Also, good you know him even more trustworthy.

Granite people seem very on top of the project. They had slabs very similar or same in stock but still gave me a sample to final check with Sue. I liked that very much as it added professionalism.

The garage cabinets were 24 inches deep. Originally I was going to use 12 inch like kitchen upper cabinets but we decided to go 16 inch giving a little more room. Bagdon's made 24 inch that looked nice but felt big for garage wall. Rob put it simply, I will send them back in a heart beat, and we will be changing them to 16 inch.

The stone work is looking nice and so is the window trim and base moldings. Looking forward to see progress on Saturday or Sunday. I am planning Saturday, start early, check the house, and take you to lunch.


* * * * * * *

Remember: You can click on images to enlarge

Friday, March 16, 2007

Pool Update

Here is a note I received from Wayne about the status of pool installation:

They did not pour patio or pool equipment pad as Wenatchee Sand and Gravel was out of stock on the Ginger Color. Rob said should be by Friday.

Rob also talked with Dave the pool installer and he indicated digging should start toward end of next week. The pool was either ordered late or manufacture took longer than expected to make the pool. Another setback, but I called the landscaper and it actually works better for him to start a week later.

I made quite a few calls trying to fine tune schedules as we do not want any more delays in closing than anticipated at this point. Closing hopefully May 1st through maybe the 8th or 9th.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Kitchen Cabinets Are On Site

Wayne called yesterday to tell me the kitchen cabinets had been delivered to the site, so I stopped by later in the day. Little difficult to take photos as they were jammed into the living room. But, here are a few shots.

Not sure what the installation schedule is. Will keep you advised.

Click on images to enlarge and get full view of colors and wood grain.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Follow-Up From Wayne

We decided to add a bit of color to the concrete or actually color to cement that will become concrete. Thought there would only be a couple of choices, Wrong. Rob called and said he did not want to make the decision.

I called Wenatchee Sand and Gravel this morning and got the web site for colors chart. The site is then color card drop down it is Color Flow.

Another decision bites the dust. 288 Ginger is the color of the day. Color chart in front of me, phone at ear, Sue on line, pesto! Decision is born.

Thought you might want to check out the site.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

More Thoughts From Wayne

We met with Rob (the builder) today as the sun started to shine. He also was concerned about the bank and encroaching fill dirt; as well as, their not taking care of run off from site. He plans to talk with builder and homeowner on lots to the rear in very near future.

Rob is planning to pour the patio, pad for propane tank, and pool equipment on Tuesday. We went over the grading in front, side walk, driveway, and porch.

The stone work around porch posts will bring size to 23 1/2 inch square. We are going to add a little color to the sidewalk, patio, pool skirting, and driveway of sahara beige. Stamp sides of driveway and strip stamp sidewalk.

We checked the grout for tile recommended by manufacturer and it was way too dark. We picked a new color about the color of a card board box.

He wants to put a little rockery behind the electrical boxes in front and this will be a shared cost. We will let Pipkin Excavating do this to stabilize area and be able to widen driveway near top.

It appears our minds are working well together on this project.


Wayne's Report

Here is some commentary from Wayne after their visit here this week-end:

"Looking out the window over the river as we Spring Forward into another chapter of home building. Not quite the home stretch but many exciting things happening with our home.

The lights are now functioning, paint on the walls, and all the windows have interior trim with rosettes. The hardwoods are down even though they are mostly covered with paper and 75% of the tile is now on the floors. A home is emerging as we move toward spring with longer and warmer days.

The site is graded and the driveway is laid out with a gravel base. We plan to talk with the builder today and make a few changes to the grading and talk about the bank at the rear. The rear of the site has irrigation water and a bank 6' to 8' above the level grade of the site.

We had decided on a 4' retaining wall out of architectural block and several larger rocks or boulders placed above to stabilize the bank area; as well as, to have access if necessary to the irrigation line running across the rear of the site. One of the builders to the rear adjacent to our site has been leveling their site that had a uphill slope and is pushing or pilling the dirt at the rear of our site. This is placing the fill at the edge of our property and has increased the bank elevation by at least 6'. Some of the dirt is already starting to slide onto our property. We are very concerned about this unstable situation and will be discussing this with our builder as we think it is a hazard and likely a land use issue impacting our property.

We spent several hours at the home and property looking at all the progress and making notes of items to discuss with the builder. About 45 to 60 days away from completion with many things starting to happen. We are carefully working with the builder and coordinating the excavation for the pool, setting of the large rock, landscaping, and the fence that is required and necessary for pool safety. We did agree and finalize the landscaping plan and have arranged for the landscaping to start the 1st week in April.

Let the building continue as we are getting excited about moving into our new home."


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Lots of Progress: In & Out

I met Wayne and Susan at the home site today. Since I had been on vacation in the sunny south for about 7 weeks, I had not seen them (or the house) for quite a while. The progress is amazing. While I was away, my assistant Shelley (hamming it up in the driveway) took a few pictures to keep things logged.

Since my last post, there has been lots of interior and exterior work done. The grading of the driveway and rest of the yard is pretty well done. Wayne and Susan spent quite a bit of time in the yard discussing what they have planned. Lots of rock, in all sizes, with a little grass in front. Pool in the back yard.

We're still not sure how the bank in the back is going to be dealt with because the neighbors from above have piled dirt at the very edge of the lot and we're concerned about it sluffing off during wet period. There will be a 4 foot retaining wall across the back (east) edge of the lot but the bank is quite a bit higher than that. You can see in the picture to the upper left.

A lot of interior work has been going on. It's a difficult time to take pictures. All drywall and painting is done. Hardwood is in living room and tile is down but no grout yet. Lots of finish work to do, but overall quality is looking great.

I will see if I can get some comments from Wayne about their impressions of the progress for this post.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Insulation is Complete

(Finally able to post some pictures)

I received the following note from Wayne. It appears the house insulation is doneand sheet rocking as begun. Many of the interior walls are also being insulated for sound. A great addtition, in my opinion. -Carol
* * * * *

Met with Rob yesterday. Home is really coming along and they are busy installing drywall. We gave Rob the interior colors, yes, colors. Most is a very light tan ( malted milk ) with an accent for the drop ceilings and a few wall of a color a couple of shaded darker ( interface tan ).

We picked out the outside lights for garage, porch, and lamp post. You will like them a little different than most as you probably would expect. A little like a 1930 gas lamp style and larger in size. We also picked out the dining and bath lights. The final are decisions we made for the floor and bath tile. I did a sheet with numbers, manufacture, and web site to give the Cannon's including a few photo's.

Sue and I then went to Bagdon's with Rob and confirmed the stain color on the cabinets as Sue had not seen the warm and fuzzy color. From there we drove to Columbia Block and picked out the stone for the exterior. We were able to meet with the siding person for the Cannon's and did a layout of siding, stone, and cedar trim accent

It seems we got a lot done and even had a little time for dinner at the Windmill. Sue thought about ordering fish! No Way!! Excellent Steaks as we expected and a good way to end a very productive day.

We now have a few items in Wenatchee. The storage unit is very nice, easy to get to, and secure. Thanks for the referral.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Electrical Panel Is In

Serious progress was made on the electrical wiring this week. The electrical panel, switch boxes and canned lighting have all been installed.
You can click on any image to enlarge.

- Carol Williams

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lots Of Electrical Decisions

Wayne & Susan braved the cold and drove over to meet with the builder and electrician today. It was a beautiful sunny day, but quite cold. This picture is the view west out the front window. It'll look so much better when all the construction in the neighborhood is done... and the port-a-potty is removed!

They spent at least 3 hours going from room to room, identifying where the light switches, overhead fan switches, and electrical outlets should be placed.

They also spent an additional couple of hours with the builder, Rob Cannon, discussing details regarding the fireplace, entry walls, cable, phone, internet, and bath showers.

Wayne says the windows should be in before their next visit and probably tevek and thermal wrap. Much of the plumbing is done. Electrical, HVAC, and rest of the plumbing should all be done. Rob is hoping to start drywall in a couple of weeks.

Here are some additional comments by Wayne, based on the most recent visit:
"A few things on decisions made on the electrical that are good to know for you and potential home builders. The pool especially with heater and automatic electric cover; as well as, normal equipment will require around 150 amps of power if under full load. The service panel was increased from 400 amp to 600 amp with separate 200 amp weather panel to be installed outside near pool equipment.

Electrical center was established in the garage that will have transformers for outside lighting, sprinkler controls, and timers for exterior lighting and interior accent low voltage lighting.

I added a dedicated 20 amp circuit in addition to standard outlets in den for computer equipment. The wiring size was increased from standard 14-2 to 12-2 in order to carry more load and have ability to run 20 amp circuits rather than 15 amp.

We tried to stay with switch outlets with no more than a 2 gang box as this is judged cleaner more appealing look and less confusing to people although we did break down and use one 3 gang switch box in the nook. The exterior solar shades were a challenge with wireless controls in order to incorporate safety switches; as well as, wind and sun sensors. The electrician had to do a bit of internet research on this but the challenge was overcome with determination and knowledge.

We used a motion detector in the walk in closet and hinge switches in the other closets and pantry so lights would come on and go off easily and efficiently. Yes, we or I even decided to have lights put in the attic and the crawl space under the home as there are many systems in these areas that need attention over time".