GUTTING OUR NEW HOUSE AND HANGING ON TO OUR BUDGET FOR DEAR LIFE

When It Rains, It Ponds

We like when rain waters the grass, the plants, the trees, etc. But watering the driveway? Not so much. We’ve quickly realized we’re going to have to do something about our lovely dirt/pebbled, giant-puddled, driveway.

Here’s a quick shot of what I’m now referring to as our moat:
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And here are some potential solutions to deal with the holes:

Dirt
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Pebbles
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Crushed Pebbles
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Crushed Rock
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Boat Car
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The Great Outdoors

Did a number on my back so I’ve given myself an LOA from house duties while it heals.
But that doesn’t mean everything is on hold.

We finally got a yard cleanup!
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We love seeing flowers pop up around the yard!!
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The Countertop Tops Off The Kitchen

We got our countertop and tiles! Still waiting on the faucet and plates for the plugs.
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A few other things that have been done since we moved in…

Doorknobs are on front and back doors.
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(Back door still to be painted.)
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Doorknobs are on all interior doors.
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And TP holders finally got put in today!! Who knew I’d miss them so?
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Still TBD
Plumber to hook up kitchen sink and dishwasher (hopefully tomorrow)
Central Air guy to finish putting in grilles
Painter to do a final coat and touchups wherever necessary once we’re ready
Electrician to put up our lighting once we choose what we want
White Hunter Douglas Renditions Blinds are on order - for every window except the mudroom and kitchen. Hope we like them!
LC to finish up anything that’s outstanding

In the Meantime
We’re sorting through boxes and making lots of donations to the local library and Salvation Army
We’re making a list of a few things LC needs to finalize or tweak
We’re calling MVP Mom and borrowing whatever we need whenever we need it
We’re looking forward to having our first home-cooked meal in our home sweet home Happy





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Belated Posts

Been blogging since moving day, but haven’t had a chance to post them until now. Feel free to scroll back and catch up.
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Not Enough Days In Our First Weekend

Garbage goes out tonight! And it can’t go out without a garbage pail. Who knew there’d be so many to choose from and so many with not-so-great reviews on the web? We ended up buying one to tide us over and borrowed one from MVP Mom who continues to earn a ton of MVP points.
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Props to Sis for bringing her daughter over today. (Such a cutie!) Extra Props to sis’s significant other for helping move our heavy living room furniture around. And Belated Props to Friday’s Verizon guy for showing us the Aquarium Ambience channel. All colorful fishies all the time - everything a baby girl would (and does) love.
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p.s. We found the tv remote in a box the moving guys marked BOOKS. Not a single book in the box. Go figure.

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A Few Pics

With boxes everywhere, there are only a few rooms that are close to looking like actual rooms. Here’s a peek:

Master bedroom (note the temporary paper blinds. Aren’t they fabulous?):
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Guest Bedroom #1 (still awaiting a door knob. Not to mention guests)
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Office. (hooked up to the web and running smoothly)
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First Day

We’re home!! But there’s no time to celebrate - much to be done. Today consists of an insurance inspection, a long visit from the Verizon guy (it took about 7 hours to hook us up), LC putting in some door knobs and window screens, and search parties that involve many boxes and begin with the words “Where’s the…..?” Not every search party is successful. Tv remote, where are you?
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Moving Day!!!!

Today we bid adieu to a cute little apartment that’s smack in the middle of NYC and yet the quietest place I’ve ever lived in. Goodbye, apartment. And goodbye couch. (Special thanks to the super who offered to take the couch and air conditioners off my hands.)
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Tonight we say hello to our new home!!! Yayyyyy! (Special thanks to the plumber who was putting in our bathroom sink faucets as we were moving in. Running water is a good thing.)
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A Minor Break In The Flow

In between packing and working, we got a call from LC. There’s an issue with the bathroom sink faucet we chose.

As you can see, it has a high spout.
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Turns out the mirror over the vanity upstairs is so low, the spout would hit it.
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We’re waiting to see if this one is available.:
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In the meantime, LC is looking for others he’d recommend and we’re considering this one as a backup, tho we’ll probably get different handles:
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Now, back to packing...
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Getting Closer

Fridge is in, trim is on cabinets (upper side panels still on order)
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Oven, over-the-range microwave and dishwasher are in (oven isn’t pushed back in place yet)
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Handles are on drawers (knobs are still on order)
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Dining room is finally empty of all tools and equipment
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Sink, countertop, and shower doors are in the downstairs bathroom
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Sink, countertop, and shower doors are in the upstairs bathroom
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Washer and dryer are in and waiting to be hooked up
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We're In The Home Stretch

Foyer
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Living Room
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Living Room/Foyer/Dining Room
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Downstairs Bathroom
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Dining Room/Kitchen
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Mudroom
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Going Upstairs
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Upstairs Hallway
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Office
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Guest Bedroom #1
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Main Bedroom
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Guest Bedroom #2
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Upstairs Bathroom
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Going Downstairs
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And Back to Foyer
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And The Winner Is...

MetLife Heritage Harbor Financial Advisors. Congrats to them for sending our first piece of junk mail to our new home. Special Award to MVP Mom for getting it for us and then promptly throwing it out.
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Locking In More Decisions

What happens when you get down to the end of renovating an entire house? LC starts calling from the stores for speedy decisions. We’re flying by the seat of our pants but the breeze is kind of refreshing.

Our biggest decision today - front and back door knobs. Here’s what we’re going with:

For the front door, the Emtek Greeley in Black with a round knob for the inside instead of a lever.
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For the Back door, the Emteck Delaware in Satin Nickel:
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For the basement door, same as above or something close to it.
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Breathing Room!

Props to Sig Other for suggesting I try one more time to extend my lease by 2 weeks. His genius idea? Ask my Super if there’s someone I can talk to other than the nasty woman at the management company who said (and I’m paraphrasing) “NO!!!!!! IMPOSSIBLE. ABSOLUTELY NO WAY NO HOW!!!! IT’S NEVER EVER EVER BEEN DONE!!!!!”

Props to the Super for telling me to call Mike, the head of leasing.

Props to the Doorman for telling me Mike’s last name.

Props to Mike, who returned my call right away and said, “No Problem.”

Props to LC for not slowing the pace down when I told him I bought us more time.

Props to Niece and Her Hubby for passing on their moving boxes (and bubble wrap!).

Props to me for actually starting to put things in those boxes.

And Props to this building I will soon be leaving. I’ll be saying goodbye to a quaint little apartment. But oh how nice it’ll be to say hello to a quaint little house!
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Let's Open Some Doors

Next on our list from LC: Choose the door knobs. He suggested Emtek as the brand and after some back and forth, we chose a round knob for the solid interior doors and a simple lever for the french door. Then we learned about the rosette - the plate. Here are our choices:


Round:
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Rectangle:
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Square:
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Oval (no matching plate for the lever we chose):

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Fancy-schmancy (no matching plate for the lever we chose):
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After searching the web to find pictures of rooms with doors and checking out the rosettes, we narrowed it down to round and rectangle. After realizing we’d be happy with either one, we decided on the round. Sorry rectangle. Today just wasn’t your day.
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May I Use The Bathroom? Not Yet

Today’s topic: whatever is left to decide about the bathrooms. Because there’s no moving in without toilets and sinks.

COUNTERTOP SLABS APPROVED
For the downstairs bathroom, 3/4” Botticino:
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For the upstairs bathroom, 1 1/4” White Carrara:
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HARDWARE CHOSEN
For both bathrooms, the Delta Leland Series:
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HARDWARE TO BUY IF IT’LL FIT UPSTAIRS
The Cade Collection Double Towel Bar:
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Crate & Barrel’s Towel Rack:
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TOILETS ON ORDER
For downstairs, the Toto Promenade:
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For upstairs, the Toto Clayton:
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SHOWER GLASS ORDERED

For downstairs: 3/8” glass, sliding doors
For upstairs: 1/2” glass, door on hinges

WINDOW TREATMENTS, TBD
Vinyl blinds for upstairs window, we’re thinking Hunter Douglas Everwood:
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Since downstairs window is in the shower, we’re considering two options:
1. Small vinyl blinds
2. Keep a tension rod and vinyl curtain handy for when shower is in use
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We're Getting There!

As the clock ticks down to our move-in date, LC and his workers have put things in high gear. So much so, we were kicked out of the house when we stopped in to approve a few things and started getting too comfortable. Points to LC for keeping things moving, keeping us focused on each decision that needs to be made every step of the way, and hopefully keeping us from being homeless after we move out of my apartment.

I was able to sneak a few photos in while I was there:

Front entrance
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Entrance into living room
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Front end of living room
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Center of living room
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Back end of living room
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Dining room
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Dining room windows
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Foyer facing stairs, coat closet and bathroom
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downstairs bathroom
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Mudroom
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Upstairs Office - note the new flooring upstairs
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Guest Room #1
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Main Bedroom
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Upstairs bathroom
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Upstairs bathroom vanity
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Vanity and floor
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Shower
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Not shown: Kitchen was filled with workers and guest bedroom #2 was filled with supplies so no pics for those rooms this time.
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Mail Call!

I’ve been on the hunt for a wall mounted mailbox. The plan is to hang it on the same wall as the front door so the mail will be a bit dryer than it was the last time I got it. Mother Nature took away our back screen door, but I’m not letting her go crazy on the mail.

I’ve narrowed the choices to two I found online at Signature Hardware:

1. The Palace locking wall mount mailbox - I’m liking the smooth, clean look
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2. The Rustico wall mount locking mailbox - this one just makes me smile
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Where We're At

An update of the goings on at our very soon-to-be home:

  • Radiant heat flooring has been installed

  • Kitchen floor tiles are in

  • All interior window trimming has been done

  • Interior doors have been installed and trimmed

  • Tiles are now in both bathrooms

  • Vanities have come in and will be installed in both bathrooms

  • An appointment to approve the vanity countertops is being set up

  • Toto toilets were ordered today

  • Templates for shower doors are being done

  • Shower controls and faucets have been decided on and will be installed

  • Priming has been done on upstairs walls

  • New floors are being put in upstairs

  • Downstairs landing is being re-looked at to see if we can keep it

  • Door knobs and cabinet knobs are still TBD

  • Window treatments are now being discussed

An update of the goings on at our very soon-to-be former apartment:

  • Moving company has been chosen and locked in

  • Forwarding address has been filled out for USPS

  • Addresses are being changed for relevant mail

  • Bags of clothing to be donated are piling up in the bedroom

  • A to-do list is piling up in my notebook
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Flush With Anticipation

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Toilet, potty, loo, w.c., throne…whatever you call it, we need two of them. And LC says it’s time to decide what they’re gonna be. Now, those following this blog may remember we’ve said since the beginning we were getting Toto. Decision made, right? Nope. Turns out Toto makes almost 150 different toilets. Who knew there was so much to know about toilets?

  • There are 1-piece and 2-piece toilets. The 2-piece is the traditional style and LC says that’s what we’re getting which narrows down our choices a bit.

  • Toilet bowls can be round or elongated. Elongated are said to be more comfortable, but they’re about 2” longer than round which can be a problem in tight spaces. Both our bathrooms are tight spaces. LC thinks we may be able to get an elongated one in the upstairs bathroom but the downstairs may have to have either a round or semi-elongated one.

  • The standard toilet height is 15 inches. Toilets that are in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) will be anywhere from 17 to 19 inches high. 17 inches is our preference. Anything higher than that and my dangling feet might fall asleep while I’m using it.

  • When a toilet is labeled CalGreen, it’s referring to the California State Building Code which mandates a 20% reduction in water usage for toilets. Even though we aren’t in California that sounds like a good label to me.

  • When a toilet has a WaterSense label, it means it uses 1.28 gallons or less per flush. Another good thing.

  • When a house has no toilet at all, just the discussion of a toilet makes the owner smile.
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