ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
After a few weeks of pretty much nothing, the crews came back and are working full-tilt on our new house. We have an estimated date for the Certificate of Occupancy, which means we have an estimated official move date: April 12th - six days before the closing on our current house! We've started packing things in boxes and moving them into the back of the new garage. This is meant to save time, which I'm sure it will, but it also means that e.g. I can only cook things I know how to cook, or that I can find recipes for on the internet, because all my cookbooks are in a box in the back of the garage now. (As are my summer clothes, my running trophies and medals, most of our backpacking and camping gear, and all the pretty souvenirs that lived on display shelves in the living room.)

Photos! )
ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
Nearly two months after discovering problems with the wood flooring, we...still don't have a new floor. The old floor has been ripped up, though, finally, and the new flooring that we chose is in boxes waiting to be installed. The delay is because manufacturer wanted a second inspector to come look at it, and he couldn't get here until about a week into February, and then we had to wait for the approval, and then the guy who was going to rip out the flooring couldn't get here because we got a lot of snow. The cement underneath needs patching before the new new floor gets laid, and the trim will need to be redone. For a manufacturing error that we are not having to pay for, we are still having to pay for an awful lot of labor...

(Btw, if you want to see the sort of problems we had with the original flooring, here are two photos showing the cracking along the planks.)

A few things have been finished, though. The hardware in the master bath sink area is looking pretty good:

vanity cabinet and sinks and mirrors

The picture was taken before the bedroom floor was taken out, so you can still see it in the background. Also, our custom range hood has been installed, along with the redone backsplash. The black under the cabinets is the same metal as the hood; the inset granite panel is the same "volcano" pattern that is on the kitchen island (hidden under the blue protective foam). The rest of the countertop is a black granite with a very subtle pattern.

broad kitchen view closer view of range area

Britt and the contractor have also been discussing putting rails on the roof to keep the snowslides under control. Right now our unfinished back patio is rather covered, as seen by the view from the patio looking along the wall where my office and bedroom are, and by the view out my office window:

pile of snow next to house pile of snow through window

Seven weeks to closing on our current house. I suspect we'll need every bit of it...
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
We went up to the house on Saturday to see if any progress had been made. And...there is some. The floor has been completely installed (with the replacement floorboards), and that means the baseboard trim could be installed also. (No photos, though, because it's all covered with paper for protection). Unhappy ETA turns out the floors are having problems (which we couldn't see because of the paper) and a rep for the company is coming out to meet with the contractor (and with Britt) tomorrow, sigh. But it's looking like all the floors are going to need to be replaced, again, and that is going to push things even farther out. Hopefully we will be able to move in by our closing date, 3 months+ into the future, but that is not a given!

The mirrors are up in the bathroom, though alas, we realized that the countertop color we chose doesn't look that great with the wood trim. Though that's just looking at the bit of sink backsplash since the counter and vanity drawers are all still clad in protective foam - hopefully it will look better when it's all visible. The kitchen backsplash and trim has been removed in preparation for replacing it with a slightly different arrangement; it had been installed without reference to our design plan, and the designer asked us to redesign it anyway because she didn't think it looked good, so we came up with a new plan and I guess that's what they've started in on.

But we've had a lot of snow, which has been great for skiing, and helping with our drought conditions, but not so great for getting our exterior hardscaping done. Which means that our steps and patio aren't safe to use without a lot of care (the flagstones are arranged but not cemented) and so they can't bring in the appliances. Most of the lighting fixtures and fans are also not yet installed, though some switches have been added.

I looked around and I said, "This doesn't look even close to being done!"

Britt looked around and said, "The things that are left will go fast once they can be done!"

So I don't know! BUT! I'm posting today because there is important news on the second half of the equation of us moving: WE SOLD OUR CURRENT HOUSE!!!!!

Okay, actually we just put it under contract today. So not "sold" yet, really, but I'm pretty sure this will go through; the couple we sold to are super nice and our house's idiosyncrasies, the things we did in remodeling to suit us but which wouldn't necessarily suit others, match their needs. (Like for example, we have a loft master bedroom/bath, and then a guest bedroom below, but because the loft is so open it's not suitable for a couple with a child, or someone who wants a roommate.) Best of all, because they haven't sold their own home yet (it's out in the country, and they want to move to town) and need the proceeds to afford another house, they were happy to set the closing date in mid-April, which gives us a lot of flexibility for our new house being finished and habitable and being able to choose when to move in (and so not have to move during a snowstorm, for example). If they don't sell their house, we'll carry the note (so they pay us directly rather than a bank) for a year, which is fine with us since the house money isn't critical for us and hey, we'll get interest.

So things are happening, but not immediately, which is about the perfect situation!
ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
I'm beginning to think this house thing is a very expensive mirage :( Originally we were targeting late October, then it was pushed back to "around Thanksgiving", now it's going to be next year! Mid-January, at the earliest. I've stopped hoping for snow despite my desire for a decent ski season and an end to our drought; well, I still want it to snow, but not until after we move...

The thing that's slowing the process now is that the floorboards (an engineered hickory) were delivered from two batches, and the installer fought with them for days before he noticed the labels on the box saying that the batches were incompatible. The little bit that got done in the master bedroom and my office has to be torn up, and it all shipped back, and replaced with a single consistent batch - and that's probably going to take at least a month if not longer.

Stupid floorboards.

In better news, other stuff is looking good. We're having issues with the design of the kitchen backsplash area above the stove, and the pantry shelves were put in wrong and had to be fixed, but other than that things are progressing. The upper arched windows were delivered and installed (originally one was broken so we had to wait for a replacement), the wood stove has been installed, most doors and trim are on, and the flagstone work on the front steps and back patio is underway: Lotsa photos )


Aug. 18th, 2018 11:30 am
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
The in-floor heating pipes have been covered with the sub-floor.
The wall framing has been covered with drywall (and the first coat of paint).
The rafters and insulation have been covered with a roof.
What a difference!

IMG_20180628_200536 IMG_20180814_145406

IMG_20180401_143856< IMG_20180817_141242

Okay, there have been many intermediate changes between these sets of pictures - the older interior one's from June and the exterior, from April - but still. It's turning into a house!
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
A lot has happened since I posted about our house construction back in May!

The in-floor heating pipes have been laid (and are now covered up with the concrete subfloor):

IMG_20180628_200536 IMG_20180624_125742

Lights, internet, and other electronics have been wired:

IMG_20180624_130419 IMG_20180609_180816

We are going with as much home automation as we can, with lights, fans, window shades, sound system etc all controlled by our smartphones.

Most excitingly, we've got most of the windows now, and the exterior wood and stone has begun to be set in place! It's beginning to look like a real house instead of a skeleton house:

IMG_20180706_134426 IMG_20180721_121448

IMG_20180711_130325 IMG_20180714_121009

IMG_20180628_115928 IMG_20180628_193839

More house photos at Flickr
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
So as I mentioned before (sort of elliptically, I guess!), we're building a house. The dry and warm winter meant that progress, which started in December, has been relatively swift, and we have gone from






And that's about what it looks like now, although most of the windows have glass in them now, other than the front door area and the big sliding door set that will be under the arch, leading to the patio and the view. (Which means that the deer are still meandering into the house at their leisure!) Right now they're working on some of the exterior stone, and the plumbing and electrical wiring, so it's hard to see progress. But we do go up and check on things once a week or so.

I've made a Flickr album with some of the photos; the mosaic view gives a pretty good idea of what things look like, but you're welcome to page through if you're interested. I'll add photos as things progress. Right now the coolest things to look at (IMO) are the arched roof being assembled, and the awesome views out the back (see above!).
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
A couple of years ago, Britt and I found out about an older couple who had bought ten acres of land forty years ago, on the mesa above downtown where Fort Lewis College is; they'd built their house on a prime spot right on the rim, but were now looking to sell off most of the land to help fund their retirement. The catch was that in order to build another house, it would need to be formally subdivided and brought into compliance with city codes, and that would be expensive enough that it really only made sense if the buyer subdivided into a small development and sold lots. After much discussion we went for it, and Britt started yet another "career" as a developer, creating this small subdivision which I named Arrowhead Ridge. (Ours is Lot 1. It's not as big as it looks; everything "above" the old driveway that goes to the existing house is a steep slope down the edge of the mesa. We are not making money on the development, just offsetting the cost of our own lot a little.)

Why "Arrowhead Ridge"? And why the large area designated Open Space in the lower left corner of the development? Well, the city of Durango requested that we do an archaeological survey before digging. And oh my goodness, the things the archaeologist found! Bone needles, potsherds, and yes, arrowheads. The whole mesa-top had been a Basketmaker III/Pueblo I period site, but since nearly all of the modern development had been done without such surveys, there's little surviving evidence of the early inhabitants. We decided it was important to preserve what we found, and protect it, and to cover it in such a way that if we ever get the funds, we can uncover and stabilize the ruins we found.

And because of this, our development was nominated for and won an award for "outstanding achievement in historic preservation" from History Colorado! This short video shows the site, and some of the finds, and has interviews with Britt and the archaeologist he worked with. I'm super proud even though all I did was come up with the name. :-)

ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
Back in autumn of 2006, Britt and I ripped out the east side of our front yard (where the grass never grew too well, as there's a juniper tree and it's quite shaded) and put in a few plant terraces and a tiny patio. (A few photos of the process are on Flickr under my landscaping tag.) I have always wanted to put a little bistro table and chair set there, but the round tuit was elusive - plus, I never found exactly what I wanted...until now!

patio furniture

Isn't it pretty? And how I got it is yet another one of my small-town stories: I was walking to the natural foods coop (I call it a "grocery hike" - it's not quite a mile, and I figure I get some good exercise, especially on the way back with my backpack full of food) and passed by a consignment shop, Reruns. During the warm months they often have outdoor furniture displayed on their lawn, and there it was. I went inside, asked the woman at the register if I could write a check right now, and come pick it up the next day since I was just walking.

"Where do you live?"

"Up on 13th Street, by Mason Park."

"Oh, that's on my way home. If you help me load it up in my car, I'll drop it off when I close up tonight."

So we loaded it into her minivan, and then I went on my way to finish my grocery shopping, and that evening she came by and we set it up on my patio! And not only did she not charge me for delivery, she took off $10, for no apparent reason. (Other than to totally cement my conviction that this is a place I will shop in the future!)

I had my evening beer on it last night! Yay!

House meme

Jan. 21st, 2008 01:46 pm
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Via [ profile] zadcat. I've linked a bunch of answers to photos, although many of them are from the remodel so some of the background things have changed (like the front door in the floor photo).Our house is a very very very fine house )
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
I took these pictures last week but just got around to uploading them to Flickr. Remember the big pile of branches and tree limbs that were left from the big honking snowstorm? Turns out that's a deer buffet. ETA: Hee, they're out there again today!

Couple of deer pictures. )

Also, an update on the roof situation. )


ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)

April 2019

14 151617181920

My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

You can reach me by email at heyheyilana @



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