Week 32 and 33 Roundup: Digging In the Trenches

20 Oct

Last week we were getting ready to finish off the front. We desperately need to build some steps to enter the house from the front as coming through the back (and climbing over trash and dirt) is getting pretty tiresome. We figured we can kill two inspection birds with one stone and have the inspector come and approve all the finished insulation inside as well as the forms for the new concrete front steps.

The inspection process has actually amazed me. They come to inspect the insulation but no-one could care less how we put the siding on the house or how the windows went in!! I find it bizarre what they chose to focus on.

There’s a ton of concrete randomly poured around this house and at some point it all has to come up as its very ugly, cracked and needs replacing – so we pulled out the jack hammer again  and began digging it up at the front so we could pour new steps. Adrian built the forms for the steps and then we have to wait till we get it approved before we can pour the concrete. Which hopefully will be in the next week.

He finished this in super fast time being a bit of an expert in these things (some things we just don’t want to touch!!)  so there I was thinking oh great he can move onto upstairs and maybe getting that  ready for us to move into when Jon dropped the bombshell. Nope. Adrian was in fact going to start on the extension at the back.

“Right. ok. So he’s going to dig up the back of the house before we finish anywhere else?” was my exact response. “There is a method in my madness dear” Jon replied.  “Hmmmm” I muttered.

And on it went. I couldn’t believe it when by the end of the week the old deck was gone and the ONLY way into my house was to walk over a plywood plank across a 2 ft deep trench surrounded by a bank of dirt and rock.

The soil here was super rocky and so we had to jack hammer at it for near on a solid week to create this trench (sorry neighbors!). The trench will serve as the foundations for our family room/dining room extension. We ummmed and ahhed over this extension for a long time but in the end decided to go for it as we really will appreciate the extra space it will give us, despite it probably killing our budget.

Whilst its exciting to see the back of the house start to change, it has caused complete and utter chaos inside the house. For one the back deck area used to be our storage area for everything that was in boxes that we hadn’t unpacked yet. We can’t put them in the garage as that’s full of tools and building supplies, winter is approaching so they can’t go outside and a storage unit out front is not an option given we have debris boxes pretty much permanently on the drive, and upstairs needs to remain clear so the rooms can get finished…so where does it all go?

Here apparently:

oh and here also:

Yes, that’s our living room/entryway and kitchen/dining room…filled with boxes. Gorgeous huh?

If anyone remotely even thinks that we are living it in style here – I can use these photos as evidence to prove otherwise. There is stuff everywhere, not a clean surface in sight and the house is starting to feel like that of one of those hoarders you see on tv! But I suppose this is what happens when you are living in only 1/3 of your entire house for over a year!

Imagine – Debris when you arrive at the front of your home, dirt & rocks out the back and then you come inside and are greeted by mountains of boxes. Its overwhelming and something had to change fast before I lost it completely.

Then I saw my opportunity to get some space back. This might sound irrelevant but trust me it leads back into the house eventually  – you see our neighbors had a gorgeous baby girl and the tradition in the south of the USA  (where one of the parents comes from) is to host a “sip & see” for the baby instead of a shower. This consists of having a party at home where people come to your house and drink and see the baby. Sounds great right? Having been invited to this fun event we were quite excited till we turned and looked at what would welcome all their guests into the neighborhood….trash.

This is  NOT what we want people to see when driving up into our quiet cul-de-sac for such a fun party. It’s really making the whole neighborhood look messy. So it’s spurred Jon on to clean up the front of the house and get it done before the party. Which made me very happy. If I’d known that this was all it took to get cleared up I’d have been pushing for a party a  long time ago!!!!

A few days of hard labor and a mountain of trash removed later and voila..

The house is looking pretty darn good…..if only you can figure out how to enter it!

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