A Happenin’ Place

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Look! Garage doors! One works; the other doesn’t yet.

If there’s an explosion in a house, that’s generally a bad thing. Unless we’re operating in figurative terms, and the house in question is the one we have under construction. And there the bang means things are happening.

This week alone, stucco supplies have materialized in the yard, solar panels are all in place, the deck facing is done, a step has been secured into place under the front door, and we got garage doors — and that’s just the outside of the house.

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Isn’t this cedar beautiful? Although owners of wood decks have convinced us that we were right to go with a composite for the decking itself. We can always look underneath to see this.

Inside, there’s the small:  outlets and light switches now have covers. And the big: the oak floor is down, with the laying o’ the Marmoleum perhaps commencing today.

In addition to physical construction, provisions also got made for other house pieces. The stone skirting has been ordered. Flashing that will go below and above the stone has been requested. Appliances are on their way. Carpet has been discussed, and so has cabinetry.

Things are happening. It’s almost Oz-like. Not Oz the dog, but Oz the land, where Dorothy was hurled on a large rush of wind. We might not be in Kansas anymore, Toto.

But just as there were illusions in the Emerald City, we should not assume that All is Perfect at 60 Riverwalk Drive.

[I’m getting “cat help” once again. Yesterday Na Ki’o, for the first time in a long time, arrived between my chest and the keyboard to help with blogging, and now Marrakesh seems to think my most important task should be scratching his neck.]

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The steam shower unveiled, with octagon window and round solar tube. This is the only white room in the house. For now.

For instance, we don’t know how long the stucco supplies may be staged in the yard. Nothing can happen until the stone goes in place (Dusty thinks), but he’s only been given a vague assurance that the mason will get to this during the third week of June. Possibly. Maybe. It turns out the stone needs to be flashed (not in the way some of you are thinking) top and bottom, so Dusty ordered some material from the roofers. I’m not sure how much of it will show, but it will be burgundy to match the roof.

The step under the front door? The driving purpose of this house is to get Lynn and I away from stairs. At some point early on we realized that every entrance to the house was going to come with one or more steps, so we opted for a concrete ramp up to the front door. But there’s no word on when Justin might be coming by to pour this ramp and an apron in front of the garage. So we’ll be steppin’ it for now.

And we’re going to have his-and-her garage doors. Dusty called one morning this week to see what code Lynn wanted for the east bay of the garage, and then she turned to me and asked what code I wanted for the west. I imagine it would make sense for us to only have to remember one code for either door, but as guess as long as neurons are firing (maybe: the other day Lynn couldn’t think of a single name she wanted any time she talked) we can remember two four-number combinations. And there has to be a way to change the codes if necessary.

While we’re around the garage doors, we have a point of contention, one that I’m sure I’ve already lost. I know I asked for an outlet somewhere on the outside of the garage. But this didn’t happen, and I’ve got Dusty and the electrician assuring me that we never mentioned this.

I use the outlet outside our current house all the time, so I know — I know — I asked for this. I even recall a placement discussion where Lynn suggested putting it between the two doors. But since Shawn didn’t write anything down and we didn’t sign off on anything, it’s going to be their memory against ours, and we’re going to be the losers. Shawn can retrofit an outlet, but he will charge $600.

And if I want an outlet inside the garage where I asked for one, that’s going to be an additional $400. Both Dusty and Shawn told me I didn’t need it, but I should have insisted, because in this entire large garage there’s only going to be one outlet not blocked (and used) by large commercial appliances.

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Lynn’s sweat equity: she painstakingly painted these stripes. And splashed the ceiling with glow-in-the-dark splatters.

The biggest hurdle right now appears to be cabinetry. This is no small point of frustration for Lynn, who started asking probably two months ago about her cabinets. She kept getting told by Dusty not to worry about them just yet — until we sailed beyond the point of readiness and he wanted an answer right now.

She went to a cabinet meeting — not the way politicians go to a cabinet meeting, but it still seemed important — this week, but she wasn’t particularly happy with the way it went. And both Dusty and Jennifer of the cabinet place are now on vacation (Jennifer’s may just be through the weekend), but the design process has gone kind of slow and the delivery time keeps stretching further out.

While Dusty was still thinking he could get us into the house by the end of June, the stucco guy may or may not have started by the end of the month, the concrete guy likely won’t have put in an appearance, and cabinets — even the low-end ones Dusty was sure could arrive in two weeks are listed as four to five weeks out — are going to take at least six weeks to arrive. And that’s after they finally get ordered. I’m sure that delay will be blamed on us, but Lynn has been envisioning her kitchen since we first started drawing floor plans.

So now we need to consider the end of July as a more realistic completion date — and I still don’t get a clear answer when I ask about running natural gas to the house — but when we look around, it’s clear that things are happening.

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Oak flooring, electrical face plates, more of Lynn’s sweat — she sponge-painted the blue wall in the distance — it’s really starting to look like a house, eh? The green in the foreground is entirely reflected off the alien wall — it makes me laugh, every time.

2 thoughts on “A Happenin’ Place

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