Sunday, July 7, 2019

House Update - June

The Front Door, and a Couple of Tomato Plants!

We’re in!

We moved out of the rental in Waconia at the end of May, and moved into the RV. We thought (or hoped anyway) that we would only be in the RV for a week to 10 days, but it didn’t quite work out that way. Yes Lee needed to finish the siding outside and the stair rail inside, but there was another wrinkle in our plan. We had to pass the “blower test”. (link) I’ve mentioned this test before…when our builder failed the test for the second time in May they tried talking to the inspectors and seeing if they would let us slide….of course not. As we soon found out, this wasn’t just Shorewood being picky. This was Minnesota building CODE. It wouldn’t stop us from moving in, but it HAD to be fixed, and we wanted them to fix it before we moved in. Living in clouds of drywall dust is no fun!

So they went back to scratching their heads. They tried tearing out all the drywall in-between the house and the garage and putting foam insulation in there. It made things better, but not better enough. Finally we’d had enough. I started searching online to see what kind of consumer advocacy there was in Minnesota. I ended up talking to someone at the Minnesota Board of Labor Enforcement. We found out what we would have to do if we ended up having to file a complaint, but really didn’t want to go that route. The person I talked to placed a phone call to our builder for us instead.

The next day they had everyone and God out at the house to try to figure out what else we needed to do to pass the test. They finally found another leak, in an area in the attic close to where we had had discovered a different leak that caused ice dams to form last winter. Go figure! They blocked that leak and we passed the test. Thank God.

For most of the month of June our routine was as follows: wake up in the RV at the Jordon, Minnesota KOA, around 20 minutes from the house. Lee would walk the dogs and then take off for the house. I would go for a run (in circles around the KOA campground, which got pretty old) and then head to the house as well. I spent my time unpacking, cleaning, watching the dogs, while Lee finished siding and focused on anything that needed to be finished so we could live here in relative comfort. Around 4 or 5 we’d head back to the RV for the night. Then the next morning we’d wake up and do it again.

Last Thursday we had our occupancy inspection. Lee was worried about the siding, but the inspector didn’t say a word about it (really it looks wonderful). The inspector measured various things like the stair risers to make sure they were up to code. He criticized the safety release mechanism on one of the windows. He admonished us for moving our furniture in before we had occupancy (too bad!). But we passed. We spent our first night here on Saturday, June  22nd, our 39th anniversary. Yay!!

The Stairs and the Stair Rail

Lee is really making time now. Every day more interior doors go up, more window trim, more baseboards. Yesterday the door to the pantry and to the powder room suddenly appeared. Its astonishing how much more finished a room looks with doors and trim!

The outdoors is bugging me, but there’s nothing to be done, I just have to be patient. Its a jungle out there, though! The concrete for the driveway, the front walk, and the screened porch go in sometime in the first week of July. The screened porch will be built sometime in July as well. Both of those things have to be done before we close on the mortgage. As soon as the porch is done we can make a little yard for the dogs with sod and a temporary fence. The landscaper can’t get to us until the beginning of September, so the rest of the yard will remain a wilderness until then.

Its a Jungle Out There, Unfortunately

We are very happy with the house. Its not perfect, but there are a lot of nice things about it. We took the best of what we liked about the house in New Hampshire and brought those things to this house. Its bright, its quiet (even though one side faces a busy street), most of it is on one level. Its near a very nice park, a cute little town, a beautiful rail trail, a bunch of lakes. And its close to Leo and family.

I have another blog post to write, an evaluation of what it was like to work with the builder we chose. Its not going to be much fun to write, but it needs to be done. Stay tuned!

Addendum, July 7th. This blog post has been sitting around, and while it sat around even more wonderful things have happened to the house. We have some flooring upstairs, and will have even more in the coming weeks.

My Future Workout / Crafts Room

The lintels, which are the pieces of wood that go above the doors and windows, have all been installed downstairs. Lee did them in a little factory setup so we went from almost none to done in a day! They are beautiful. We took one day and hung some pictures in the great room. That got rid of some clutter, and made this room look more finished. But since flooring is going in upstairs my computer and printer are sitting on the dining room table. Oh well! 

The butcher block counter tops for the shelf in the pantry and for the credenza have been installed.

Credenza Countertop

Yesterday I reorganized the pantry to take advantage of the extra shelf. And Lee bought us a wine refrigerator too!

Pantry Countertop and Wine Fridge!

Today he has been working on the mud room. A bunch of hooks for coats and stuff have appeared, and the storage bench is almost finished. All of a sudden that room is a LOT bigger.

Storage Bench

A Place to Hang Stuff!

Still no concrete, sigh. It won’t stop raining long enough to dry out enough to do it. Maybe next week? Fingers crossed!


  1. Looks fabulous, but, I kind of expect that from you and Lee. xoxo

  2. Thank you Gail. Come visit as soon as we have a guest room, ok? Xoxo



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