Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Days 191-193: Plumbing ~ Part 2

The plumber came back to do part two of his work.  Since we had a concrete slab as the base of our house, part one consisted of him running pipes through it so the final water lines could be installed at a later date.  That later date finally arrived.

We opted to go with a Pex plumbing system.  It has several advantages over previously used piping systems.  It is very flexible and will expand up 8 inches before rupturing.  You can click here for more information.

The side and front of the shower in the second bathroom.

The laundry room - The water lines on the right are for the washing machine.  The lines on the left are for the laundry sink.  The blue line running across the top goes to the ice maker for the refrigerator.

The tub in our bathroom.  W is tall so we got a larger than normal one.  

We opted to go with a water manifold.  The blue line that goes up through the middle from the bottom is the main water line.  The blue lines are for cold water, and the red are for hot water.  Each is labeled with where the line goes.  If one area has a problem, that one line can be shut off without affecting water in the rest of the house.  

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Day 189: Getting Started on the Electrical Stuff

We went shopping this day for some of the first steps of the electrical stuff.  In our area a licensed electrician is not required especially since we do not have a mortgage.  The county code does not require one at all.  If you take out a mortgage through a bank, expect them to require it though.

W has done enough wiring to know what he is doing.  Also being a former firefighter, he will not cut any corners.  Seeing homes burn makes you really think about how you would do things in your own home.

We are doing recessed LED lights throughout the house.  We picked up the first part of those, and W started mounting them.

We also picked up the plastic boxes for the light switches and electrical outlets.  The ones that will be in the interior walls simply get nailed in.

Remember that our exterior walls are Styrofoam (with rebar and concrete inside).  W just stuck the above ones in the area they will go.  My mother-in-law was a bit worried when she saw these thinking that they would actually stick out that much.

Actually the Styrofoam gets cut away so that the box sits into the wall.  When sheet rock is added it will sit flush against the wall just like in a regular house.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Day 184: The Tin Roof is Finished!!!

I am super excited to have the roof completely done.  I am also really proud of W for doing such a great job on it.  He and my dad did this 100% on their own.  Our contractor friend was never able to stop by.  W ended up getting on You Tube and watching enough videos to do it himself.

We had two really good rain showers to give it a test.  There are no leaks!  Now we are waiting for the plumber and HVAC people to come in.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Day 169: Starting on the Tin Roof

We had hoped to get started putting up the tin earlier, but March winds arrived earlier than expected.  Gusting winds and 21' pieces of tin do not go well together.  Once again this is a two man operation.  It is a bit slower but much better on the budget.

The color of the tin is light stone.  It seems most people do a dark roof and light siding, but we have chosen to do the opposite.  Once they reached the porch on the front, they stopped and worked on the back.  W asked our contractor friend to come by for a short consultation.  He wanted to make sure the roof on the porch was done properly so there was no danger of leaks.

Unfortunately W had a prior engagement for the days following this one so work on the roof had to be postponed.  One of our elderly neighbors was particularly happy to see the roof going up.   I have to agree that progress even if small is good!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Third Times a Charm

I have never been so happy to be in debt.  Plan C worked!!  The best part is that we did not even have to wait 10 business days.  The paperwork was received on a Monday, and we received a check the following Monday.  After the months of fighting with the banks, I was expecting this to be a headache too.  It could not have been simpler.

Wonder how it works?  We filled out a short online form with the 401(k) holding company.  We then printed out a form to sign and return along with the required paperwork.  We sent:

  • Copies of the land deeds showing that the land was in our name
  • A declaration of intent to build, which we had a neighbor notarize for us to show we were very very serious
  • A cost estimation which I had done to satisfy bank #1
  • Copy of the floor plan (this was not required, but I figured it would not hurt)
We will make bi-weekly payments with the amount taken out of W's check.  We picked a repayment time that gave us the ability to make payments even if our financial situation tightened up a bit.  Our goal remains to pay it back earlier.

The payments are $200/month less than we would have paid the bank.  This is mainly due to the fact that the interest rate is 1.25% lower.  All of the repayment amount including the interest will go into W's 401(k).  

At this point it really was the best choice for us.  My only regret is that we did not do this before we ever met with bank #1 . It was a lesson learned, and I prefer to focus on the fact that things work out for the best in the end.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Somewhere around Day 157: Working on the Roof

I should have done a better job of keeping up exactly when this was done, but I did not.  We decided to put tin on the roof.  It is funny how when I was young all of the homes had tin.  Then people went to shingles.  Now everyone seems to be going back to tin roofs.

These lathing boards go down before the tin is put on.  We bought them from the same place we are getting the metal for the roof.  They were cheaper from there than from the building supply stores.

I guess W and my dad did well.  Our contractor friend told us that it looked real good.  He is particular so that was high praise coming from him.  Next up is the tin!