Friday, December 18, 2009

It's our house now

I was in intensive all-day training classes at work from Tuesday through Thursday, which left no time to get out to the house to check things out. Despite not having my services available, our builder was able to press on and kept everything on schedule. All of the final inspections have passed and the occupancy certificate was granted - yay! (This is the piece of paper from the government that declares the house to be a human-habitable dwelling - you're not allowed to live there until you get that.) The bank also did their post-build appraisal inspection, which means they have the appraiser take a final look to ensure that the actual house matches the one that was described in the specs and plans. No problem there for us.

This morning marked a big project transition - my wife and I went to the bank and signed the final draw check. Our builder gets a big final payout, and we get to settle down to the joy of a new (and larger) mortgage (oh yeah, plus we get to live in a new house). Our construction loan is of the type where upon completion, it automatically converts into a traditional mortgage at the agreed upon rate. So the bank visit was simple - sign a form, sign the check, and then done. How anticlimactic - not even a single trumpet was played. So the most visible change now will be that the monthly mortgage statements from here on out will be principal and interest (and hence, bigger).

The house is looking great and the crew is working through "punchlist" items. Our builder plans to work until Tuesday to fix the known issues, then we'll move in.

In case you're wondering, minor cosmetic details do not block the bank or government inspectors from signing off, only major stuff. The floor crew was putting the second coat on the stairs when we showed up:

Their plan apparently is to do both stair coats, wait a few hours for it to dry, then come back later this afternoon to do the coats on the upstairs and downstairs. So the house will be stinky tomorrow, but it will look great. :)

Here's a nice picture of the entryway, you can see the downstairs newel post and its bannisters, along with my very cool office door (there are two such doors to my office):

The crawlspace door has been hung and trimmed out, but still needs to be stained (punchlist item):

The large gray box is for the septic pump controls.

This next picture bums me out a bit:

Why you ask? Well, see the two steel-gray posts bolted to the garage floor? Apparently it is a code requirement that such equipment (water heater, well\water stuff) have a vehicle barrier to prevent a car from sliding into them. I'm not real happy to have more holes drilled in the floor but ah well.

After six months of construction, we finally have a small step to make it easy to enter the house from the garage:

We also stopped by Home Depot after visiting the bank and placed the final blind order. This was a pretty expensive item, but as mentioned before a 20%-off sale makes it quite attractive. Every single window in the house (including the garage windows) is going to get blinds. Holidays will slow things down, but I hope to have them installed in about three weeks.

Our builder also told me that the double-doors for the upstairs game room are now installed, but due to the stairs being wet we could not get up there to see. Tomorrow we'll make another trip - I am looking forward to it.

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