Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Rollercoaster




So, this seems a little dramatic, but it is truly how I feel these days with this cottage.

The Bradford is trucking along - we are going for mechanical inspection Thursday and then it just starts moving quickly with insulation then drywall. And then people - life gets real. We have about 1.5 months to finish it and I really believe that we can and will. It will be helpful that I am on site. I have devised a plan to work every night (paint 2 windows, lay 2 walls of trim, etc,) And I think the slowly but surely attitude will get us where we need to go in the time we need to. Granted we will have 6 weekends of just plain working, but what is new?? I never thought I would say that The Bradford was the easy part so far!

So..the cottage..here is my emotional rollercoaster..

Up - We made a plan and we can get in before our lease is up October 27th.
Down - Foundation took a week (as opposed to 3 days) and cost us an extra $1000

Up - We found a framer! He is affordable and we can hire a siding crew as well!
Down - the guy did not sit right with us, he did not have a good track record and seemed rather sketchy

Up - We found another framer! He bid out The Bradford and had good references, he was a little bit higher than we wanted, but doable
Down - we have to side ourselves and they cut the wrong window sizes

Up - They fixed the windows, everything looks good and solid, we get under roof, and start mechanical. We have found an affordable HVAC guy and everything is scheduled.
Down - HVAC guy cancelled for a week, I have to do it. Electrical took an extra week. We are behind schedule again

Up - we passed mechanical!! Let's start on insulation!
Down - we are up until wee hours of the night trying to finish the insulation and exhaustion is at an all time high at this point. I fall off the ladder (I am fine) but my wrist and hand just don't seem to be the same.

Up- We pass insulation!! We call drywall and get them started.
Down - crew is there sporadically and doing a terrible job. They quit (we are grateful for the clean break) and we search for another crew. It took us 3 weeks - THREE Weeks to find someone to finish the job and do the job. We have moved. All our stuff is in storage, and we have ended up paying 3 times what it would have been.

Up - Living with my in-laws has been actually nice. They have been super helpful with the kids and we are able to put some late nights into the house.
Down - They live in Durham, we literally drive hundred of miles a day and go through a tank of gas every two days. The kids officially hate the car. Ada- "Mom can we please stop driving when it is dark??"

Up - HVAC is getting the Freon and getting hooked up
Down - there is a hole in the line set. The drywall, very expensive drywall, has to be cut

Up - HVAC gets fixed, Appliances get delivered, kitchen is installed, floors are installed, tile floor is finished. Fixtures are set.
Down - we realize the ELECTRIC tank less water heater (total duh moment) has to be inside, not outside. We have to turn the pipes around. cut into the drywall again. The fridge leaks at the water filter and does not dispense ice. We have to shut the water off every time we leave.

Up - Doors are here! Time to install all interior doors.
Down - not a single door is the right size. We have to have a door on the bathrooms for CO, That door was suppose to be a 24" door, so cut to 25". It is 23.5". We have to special order the door that will fit, it will take three weeks. I had a breakdown in Lowes where in the door guy said: "oh, so you won't have a house for Thanksgiving??"

Up - Home Depot tells me how to fix the door and make it fit so that we can get CO (They are much more sympathetic BTW). We schedule CO inspection - we only have a few things to do - we are SO close!
Down - We took that night off. It rained for two straight days. Majority of stuff we needed to do was outside. This meant working in the freezing rain in a yard that is mostly topsoil so every step you sink up to your calf in mud. I am sick, everyone else looks like we haven't slept in days and we are just trying to get the paint to stick to foam in the rain and caulk wet siding.

Up - We pass! We finish the trim! Court and I are so proud of ourselves for trimming the floors, windows, and doors. We start Ada's loft and start cleaning. We are ready to move in!
Down - The water heater blows the pex - we needed to attach it to copper fittings. Not a hug deal, but it took 3 trips to Lowes to figure out the correct thing I needed to fix it.

Sam and I open up our storage unit and find that mice have been living in our stuff. Every dish, every blanket, towel, and article of clothing has been contaminated. We have to throw out (so far) linens, clothes (of course only mine), my sewing fabric, hair bows, and some cards/pictures we were saving. We have to wash, sanitize, and spray everything. It is possible, but unlikely, the mice hitched a ride, so now we have traps. The smell is enough to make me cry at any given moment. It is just stuff - I would throw it all away, it is just overwhelming the amount of work that has to be done to get the house clean and ready for the kids.

Up: as opposed to 2 weeks for my washer/dryer to get delivered, we are picking it up today.

Folks - I am not gonna lie, this process has tested my patience, resolve, relationships and faith. It has been and still is an absolutely brutal and exhausting process. This may give you some insight into why we have not been posting much. Time, energy, and thought are just at a premium right now. Our brides were first priority this fall and then construction. We are hoping to be a little more regular once one of us is settled.

The best part of it all, we are about to go on the ride again as the carriage house (Courtney's cottage) started yesterday. Ready, set, go - time to climb that hill.

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