Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Is that dog piss or a leak?

In the first two weeks of ownership, Ohio has thrown a wind storm, an ice storm, then a rain storm.  I guess we are lucky in a way, it's showing any issue early while getting the PM out is easy.
It was last Wednesday night and it has been storming for over 24 hours.  I go down stairs and found a huge puddle of water coming from under the sliding glass door.  I should note that the door sits about 3 inches above ground level outside.  It has to be coming down from above, somewhere.  I took a couple pics with plans to send to PM Thursday.  As I was typing the email, I wondered if it could have been dog piss (as my big whiny boxer has marked the basement two times at this point).  So my wife checked that night and figured out it was in fact water leaking in. 
The sheet is there to catch dirty paws coming through the door.

Remember, that was Wednesday night.  So Sunday morning I am standing in the kitchen looking into the morning room.  The light hit the hard wood floor that ends at the sliding door just right and allowed me to notice that about 7ish boards are cupping severely.  Anybody want to bet if the two (leaking and cupped wood) are related?
My PM made an appointment to meet my wife yesterday.  First walking in and before my wife could point anything out, he saw the wood.  My wife said he is "on it".  Something about ordering more wood and getting siding guys to pull some siding and check for seals.
This should all bother me, but it doesn't.  I believe it's all part of the process.  In fact, I should thank the crappy Ohio weather for pointing out a flaw early enough to make a fix without too much damage.   

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What works

So I have read my Sunday paper while drinking two cups of coffee while sitting in my Morning room.  The house is quiet, albeit I have a diverse collection of music playing on my Pandora.
I plan to take some pics today and get them posted....Today.  Promise.

What works?
Well I bought a Clearstream 2 antenna and placed it in the attic.  I ran 50 ft of coax to the basement and back up to the family room.  Turn the tv on and found I had 100% signal strength.  Hello free TV!  With Netflix and Hulu, why pay 50-60-70 dollars to cable.  If I can't find something to watch on the 20 free channels, I need to turn it off and find something else to do.

My daughter and her new BF are home from college for the weekend.  After I make pancakes this morning, I plan to enslave them to haul crap to the basement.

again, I will get some pics up today.
have a great day

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Moved In....but not unpacked!

Yes, there is a difference.  Most ask me "so, you all moved in".  Yup, I gots boxes all over the place!

My wife just found the hanger box, so we can start hanging clothes up.  We need to get closet organizer quick!  I am getting tired of looking for undershirts and skivvies in various boxes and clothes basket.  We plan to get the Elfa system from container store.  For the cost of a dresser with hard to use, shallow drawers we can get a system with slide out baskets, pant hangers, shoe racks, etc....

My family room is about squared away.  I put my Bose system in Tuesday night.  I ran the rear speaker wires through the low voltage boxes I installed.  So easy. 
Kitchen is good to go as well.  We just need to buy things here and there to supplement or replace old crap we got.  We are already cooking more and want the tools to do it.
Pantry, I put in sheets of thin, clear plastic on the wire racks.  I don't even notice them, but they keep everything upright and not falling through the wires. 
I put the table together.  Placed in the dining room, the table looks so dinky!  It fit the old house just fine, but in the bigger Dining room, it's comically small.  I plan to build one like WodyJ who is building a beautiful table right now. 
Morning room.  What to do with that space!  currently there are two Ikea Paong chairs in there.  One of those with a coffee and Sunday paper and I'm good to go for a couple hours.  We were originally thinking about a small high top table, but the wife is reconsidering.  Maybe a love seat and coffee table will give us what we want.  We will see.

For those that pay attention, I got the fireplace squared away.  I have instruction to do a complete shut down and restart.  That made all the difference.  Now I can stand in the kitchen and still see fire flickering.  I think it could still be higher but won't know for sure until I compare to a neighbor's.
We haven't had the family room breaker pop since I restarted the fireplace.  Not sure what one has to do with another but will wait and see. 
I am still very happy.  So many things I want to do but will have to focus on one thing at a time. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's easy to be unhappy

Good morning all,
So I had hit a point where my frustration on my fireplace was huge.  I finally realized I needed to relax a bit, have some patience, and figure out a plan.
The flame height is so low you can't see it from 5 feet away.  I have been asking for the flame height to be adjusted since closing.  The communication between my PM and I was lacking.  I am also having an issue with the family room breaker tripping with the fireplace blower turning. 
Here is what I have learned in two weeks of ownership.  If it's not a major issue, wait for the thirty day....don't blow up your PM's cell with text like a neurotic, needy girlfriend (guilty, haha).  If it's an issue that you don't/can't wait for (i.e. flame or breaker) then get the required numbers from your PM and call yourself.  Can your PM handle it? maybe, but he doesn't know my schedule and all he's going to do is have THEM call YOU.  So just do it yourself and cut out the middle man. 
I have also figured out that it's very easy to concentrate on what's "not right".  I can walk around and find little issues here and there.  Some I will have taken care of, some I won't bother messing with.  But the point is, don't concentrate on the "what's wrong" crap.  I got my family room in order with couch, chairs, tv, etc... and it's so large still!  So much room to lay on the floor with my dogs!  I have fallen asleep on the floor with my head on one of my boxers 4 times now.  I still get that stupid grin on my face when I pause to look at where I am, what I have.  So as you close, as you move in, as the weeks go on, remember to maintain that excitement.  It's yours.

I promise to get some pics in.  I really am waiting for some good light and get some solid shots.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

hi, I'm your new neighbor and I just ran over your mailbox.

So first impressions can be a bitch! haha.  Good thing I already met them and have yapped here and there.
So the short story is, we woke up to a thick layer of ice on everything.  My neighbor (Joe), who was trying to back out of his driveway (rather steep) and give access to his friend, got his SUV stuck.  I decided to go out and help.  I offered to drop my trailer and hook up and try pulling him out.  Well, instead of a controlled reverse, I just started sliding....truck and trailer.  My truck finally came to rest with my (dad's) trailer jack knifed on my truck and my truck on top of my other neighbor's mail box.  What a mess! haha.

So let me follow that by saying... Dad, there is no damage to your trailer!  My truck mirror housing is cracked with some scrapes on the paint.

I surprisingly found all kinds of humor in the scenario we found ourselves in.  I only wish I had a picture of his and my trucks jacked up in the street.

On another note, we hope to empty the storage container tomorrow at 10.  We have some great friends lined up and should be done in time for the AFC game.

More later,
carry on

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Showing my arse.

So today makes 1 full week since we moved in to our new house.  Here's what I know:

1 - my wife seems to think our neighbors have nothing better to do at 0530 in the morning than to watch me get dressed through our non-blinded bedroom window.  No one is standing in their bedroom window looking for my pasty white ass to put on a show, and if they are....it's not like it's going to come up in a conversation.  haha.  Anybody want to guess what room is first on my wife's list for curtains/blinds?

2 - We are finding we have some kind of electrical issue.  My PM has scheduled tomorrow to come with the electrician to install missing hallway light and garage outlet.  Well we found running a vacuum kept tripping the Master Bedroom breaker.  Then tonight, the family room breaker kept tripping.  So my PM was immediately texted and he said he will take care of it tomorrow.

3 - We REALLY need to empty the storage container!  Still sitting locked in front of the house.  Looks like we are going to move it all in Sunday.....before the AFC Championship game.

4 - I got my Family and Master ceiling fan installed and all the lights!  So nice to walk in, flip the switch and have light.  AND it beats the crap out of the standing lamps we had at the last house.

5 - I cut pieces of plastic and put on the wire rack pantry shelves.  A must if you plan to put anything smaller then a cereal box in there.

6 - I highly recommend the Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop, works GREAT on the hardwood.  All I do is put hot water in the bottle and roll.  If you don't have one, get one!

Anybody have experience with hot water recirculation kits?  These bigger houses have a fair amount of pipe from the hot water heater to the various sinks.  Well, that's a lot of no-longer heated cold water you have to get through before you get to the hot water.  I am contemplating putting one in.

If I haven't raved about it yet, that extra two feet on both sides of the drive way rocks!  Also, we are parking both cars in the garage and it's awesome!

That's all I got for now.
Carry on

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A cooked meal and lights

So my lovely wife got the first kitchen boxes unpacked and made spaghetti.  All three of us sat and ate at the island, just like we talked about doing over the last couple months.

Remember that post about the great, open box deal on the fan.  BOOOOO!  You would think it would have all the pieces and wires cut too short to use an extended downrod.  So now I have to make a trip back out to return, then find a NEW in box fan for morning room.

On a tiring and great note, I got all the rooms lights installed, the Master Bedroom and Family Room ceiling fans in as well.  Just the morning room fan to finish.

Which brings me to another "hindsight is 20/20" moment.
    -  Consider putting in a few can lights in your master bedroom.  One ceiling fan with a 100watt Halogen light bulb does ok, but we will have to get a couple of table lamps flanking the bed.  I may hit the electrician up for a couple (4 maybe) can lights.  We were smart enough to add 4 can lights to the family room and they have made all the difference!!!!  highly recommended.
    -  Consider getting the dryer vent higher on the wall.  That would allow you to hook to dryer, push back to wall and THEN clamp to the wall.  I'm not spry and limber enough to be climbing behind the dryer (that's on a pedestal!)  three times that I did.  BUT, it's done.
    -  If getting an island, see if you can get an outlet on both ends and not just one.  Ours is on the stove side.  I am guessing the placement is at "the electricians discretion" but I could be wrong and that's standard.  I was sitting there tonight on the "bar" side and wished I had an outlet for the laptop charger.

The garage is pretty cleared up and we are parking in there.  SOOO nice to have a garage to park in.  We still have the big storage container with all our $hit to empty.  Looks like I will wrangle up some reluctant friends for next Saturday.

We got our dogs back.  Some great friends kept them for us for 6 weeks.  Having plenty of room to spread out is keeping the dogs from feeling like they are always underfoot.  I swear they are more relaxed too.

That's all for now.
Carry on

Friday, January 13, 2012

Some interior shots, because Tammi made me!

Ok ok ok!  I was hoping to get some decent light and get some decent shots, but Tammi has "demanded" some pics.  So here ya go, I don't want any complaints on lighting, quality, etc....

A few observations:
-my house is warm!  I mean, I got the thermostat down to 68 and it's still warm!  I can stand by windows and feel NO cold air. 
-I am wondering if I could have gotten the dryer vent moved up the wall so it can be attached above the dryer.  Rather then at the very bottom where it's difficult to get behind and hook up.
-I wonder if I could have gotten the switches moved closer to the kitchen sink and away from the upper cabinet.  That would have made putting up a tile backsplash and stopping at the upper cabinet edge WAY easier.
-I wish I had unlimited money and put recessed lighting in every room.  Still living in the dark in ours and Ryan's rooms because I have not had the chance and/or tools to get lights up.  Very happy we got 4 cans put in the family room though.  Very nice.

I did learn how to convert/adjust for a three pin dryer needing to go into a 4 prong plug. 

PM may stop in today to adjust fireplace flame.  It's low (on the high setting).  Also have an electrician still due to put a flush mount light at top of 2nd floor stairs.  Right now it's just one of those crappy basement jobs with an exposed bulb, while the other two hallway  lights are flush mount fixtures.  Not sure why I had to ask for that to be fixed, but it's getting fixed just the same.  Also the Master Bath tub faucet started leaking after the first shower.  So plumber is scheduled for that as well.

We are very happy.  It's been a great experience...SO FAR.  We didn't even have any problems with NVR (sounds rare).  Hopefully we will get some furniture in Sunday.

standing at top of stairs and looking back.  Notice the washer/dryer...on the second floor....already hooked up?  yeah...that's right.

I really need some chairs!  two nights sitting on the floor or standing at the island to eat is already old!

a TV and two recliners...you would think a couple of college guys live here.  Notice the ceiling fan...still not hooked up.  Note, do not pack your ladder and tools at the back of a 16' storage container making it the last thing you will get too.

those that pay attention might start to wonder if Ryan has a thing for standing in corners.  Notice the hardwood into the dining room?  very nice.

Half crapper.  Works fine by the way.

The piano in it's final resting place.  Next time it moves, it's going out in pieces.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First Night

Still no interior pics, you will just have to wait.  I wanted to take some this morning, but the gloomy rain didn't give me the light I was looking for.

Closing was fast.  In and out in 45 minutes.  I drove there WITH the UHaul in tow.  After, drove straight to the house...MY house, and unloaded uhaul, then went and got my covered trailer and brought to the house.  I had to get that empty as well as the piano movers came this morning at 0930 and the piano was buried in there.

Understand that we bought from the Piano Movers (Smooth Moves), they have moved it IN, then OUT, then back IN today.  So after we got the piano moved in and in it's permanent spot, I jokingly asked if they moved washer/dryers into upstairs laundry rooms.  Guess what, Pat went and got his partner from the truck (getting ready to leave), and a dolly and had my Washer and Dryer in place in 30 minutes!!!!!  AND, wouldn't take any more money (paid $75 for piano move)!  Can you believe it!?  Shelley already has a load running now!  

PackRat storage delivered my container, so we will start dragging crap in.  Hopefully the weather will turn decent soon so I can get a "moving party".

More later,
Carry on

Monday, January 9, 2012

Exterior Pics

These were taken Saturday morning.  Aside from some touch up on the front porch, a (still owed) light post, and the grass, it's all done.
Hopefully I will be off Wednesday and will get a shit-ton of interior pics in daylight.  Stay tuned.

That there is a 20' wide driveway.  Plenty of room for what ever the hell I want to do with it!

From my "spot".  This is the direction I come up the street too, so this is what I will see every day.

A different angle

Look at my deck, it's sooooo huge.  hahaha.  Now I have shown you mine, you show me yours.  I'm killing me right now.  I'm here all week.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Walk Through Tomorrow at 1000, Close Tuesday at 1600

I did swing by yesterday and take some outside pics of my extra wide driveway, my finished covered front porch, and my large deck (size is perspective...hahaha) but you will have to wait for the final "it's ours" pics I will post Tuesday.

There are still a few things my PM has to finish or touch up but it looks like closing on Tuesday is a go.  Off the top of my head, they have to put back a few pieces of siding they removed for the deck, fix/straighten my jacked up drawer (kitchen), and a new one....fix the corner of the step to the porch.  Looks like some nimrod knocked a small chunk of just poured concrete off the corner.  Not sure what the fix it, but will have a pic and follow up fixed pic later.

Quick note, Ravenna Rant made a great observation about the hose bib.  We were initially told we would get one in the front and BACK.  Turns out the exact placement is at the plumbers discretion.  So we have one in the front (at a good place I should add) and one on the side.  What about the back?  Do I really have to drag a fu@#!ng hose around my house again!!??  So for now, yes.  But I will plan to install a hose bib in the back at some point.

Quick note #2, side deals are great.  I got my PM to put a pipe under the driveway so I can run "invisible fencing" around the house after move in.  He helped work a deal with the concrete guy for an extra two feet on both sides of the driveway.  BUT, he was supposed to hook me up on two extra outlets on the side garage walls.  Then it dropped to one, and I have given up asking/reminding.  So....if you are going to work "side deal" angles, be prepared to suck it up if it doesn't go through.  I should have paid for and guaranteed the outlets.  Luckily enough, I know how to run a new outlet and will do it myself after move in.

Our excitement is off the charts.  We are ready.  It's a new year, new house, new fun, new projects, new new new....

I shall type this to help guarantee I will begin moving on these, my first projects will be:
build "$10 shelves" from plans found on
build a recycling "center" from the above sites "laundry basket dresser"
build a workbench
build garage shelving found here

of course a tile backsplash, new sink and faucet are not too far away either.

I hereby promise to continue blogging about anything related to my house.  I may whine about my whiney boxer Samson, or talk about the housewarming party plans, but regardless....I will blog.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ya gotta stay on it!

It's so hard to imagine that we are closing and moving in on Tuesday! 
I swung through last night and found the wood floor almost clean, giving me my first real impression of the colors.  It also looks like some drywall touch up is in place as well.
So on to the title of this.  For those familiar with the Ravenna, the Master Bedroom closet has a long wall with the clothing rack/rod and a shorter wall (about 5') with a clothing rack/rod.  We asked from the beginning to have the smaller rack NOT installed.  Well, they installed it.  So we had that meeting two weeks back and pointed it out, with our PM giving us it WBTCO.  So last nights trip showed they removed the Long rack!  UGH!  So a text message later, my PM calls and apologizes profusely for his mistake promising that it WBTCO. 
He also has a call into the HVAC guy because the upstairs is a good 10+ degrees HOTTER then the 1st floor.  Sounds like the fan speed may need adjusted and/or a damper installed. 
Today the weather appears to allow the pouring of the driveway.  The porch columns and rails going in today as well.  Tomorrow brings the deck construction. 
We are so very close!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

insert snappy, witty title about an updated picture here

We got into the house yesterday.  My camera was not with me (crazy, right!?) and the below pics are from Saturday.  What you don't see in the pics is that the siding is all done.
The inside was great.  The hardwood was dirty, but not as dirty as it usually is.  This allowed us to walk around in socks and enjoy the new CARPET!  Yes ladies and gents, my awesome 10lb padding and Bomber Jacket Brown carpet is in.  And may I say it looks great with the wall color, floor, fireplace, and me.
We found more small things that need to be taken care of, those have been pictured and text sent to the PM.
Hard to believe we are 7 days away from closing.

for anyone interested, check out the left "support" beam and that fabulous engineering!

I have managed to get quite a few from this spot.  I may have to convert to Black&White pics and frame them in order.

I am very happy with the Almond trim contrasting the <insert color here> siding.