Thursday, October 25, 2018

# 574 - We're on Country Time

There's no doubt about it, we are slow, slow, slow with finishing the interior of our house. We finished building the shell with the garage at the end of 2015, then moved forward with the mechanicals, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, and such throughout 2016.

When I say "country," I mean it on several levels. Our house reflects a country lifestyle - we're smack in the middle of rural countryside. Our views are spectacular since we live on the edge of The Big Thicket forest. We're also country in that our area is sparsely populated. And it's still very country when it comes to trying to get any kind of worker to come to the house.

Our contractor finished building the house and the detached garage with overhead loft, then we took it from there. We have a long series of hit and misses, such as sheetrocking an area, then having to take it down due to an electrical oversight, then re-sheetrock, then having to take it down again because of a new change in the framing, the start all over again.

We had framed-out doorways changed to regular wall framing, and regular wall framing changed to add a doorway. We installed windows to then take them out and also cut into the side of the house to add windows that weren't originally planned. Then there were the doors that were installed, found to be warped, then replaced with new doors. I cannot tell you the number of changes we've had to confront because of a defect or oversight.

If we had built this house in Harris County, each of those changes would've cost approximately $2,200. due to required changes to the architectural drawings, permit changes, etc., Here in the country, it's easy to confront last minute changes or kinks in the construction process since the day-to-day temperament of your contractor is all that is at risk when you're covering the costs. And things usually go pretty well, if you keep changes to a minimum and they make sense, especially if your contractor is well-paid from the start. A builder in Houston would absorb construction issues caused by their own mistakes, but here in the country, builders know their craft, but they aren't continually barraged with as many options and variations that city-builders come across, so they stay rather open-minded. And let me be mindful of staying aware that the person paying for the construction process is the person who gets it the way they want it. Those who build homes are usually eager to make their clients happy, unless they are unwilling or unable to budge on design because of ridiculous constraints.

The good and the bad side of building this country house is that it isn't small enough to be considered cozy and it isn't big enough to be considered a sprawling mansion, but it is somewhere in between the two. We wanted our house to be large enough to accommodate the family that continues to expand with our grown kids, with our love-in-laws, grandkids, dogs, and friends who wonder if we'll ever live to see our house completed. Believe me, we share their concern.

This country house has introduced us to the concept of country time, and we've somehow gone from city people who existed in a perpetual state of rushing to country dwellers moving in slow motion...the kind of people who require one year to sheetrock one room. It's the Rip Van Winkle end of country time for us.

We nearly go into a full-blown celebration after each small accomplishment. We installed a new faucet, so it's time to celebrate at Thai Cottage! We sealed the wrap-around porch, it's time to hit The Seafood Kitchen! Then it'll be ribs or chicken fried steak for doing a bit of landscaping.

And that's how we roll around here these days. Do a little, eat a lot.

After working nonstop so hard and for so long on this house...we got burned out. But lately, we've been trying to work at least two full days on some goal in the house while also doing the ordinary day-to-day chores and acreage upkeep that is demanded. I must say that we've become quite the team. These days, when we tackle a job, we have the knowledge and ability to work faster and to do the job well.

For example, with should see the two of us. I can listen to music while wearing earbuds as he listens to a game. We work together without needing to overstep or supervise one another. We have even learned to do a light Sante Fe texturing technique that requires both of us to work simultaneously while the mud is still soft. The finish of the wall texture is subtle, yet attractive...natural in appearance instead of the ordinary splattered on texture. This technique goes beyond the orange peel look that I loved for so long. Of course, our choices of finishes demand techniques that are more labor intensive, but what the heck...we've got nothing but COUNTRY TIME on our hands. If this is going to be the never-ending house build, we might as well have fun with the details.

I've been so thrilled to finally finish sheetrocking the first room upstairs. We've done some sheetrocking in each room upstairs, but no room has been finished, until now! It has multiple edges as the angled ceiling splits into two different directions. There's a small regular ceiling in one area that leads to the dormer window and another ceiling area that slopes with the angle of the roof. This room was a booger to sheetrock, tape, float, sand, then texture. There were many extra lines, angles and joints because of all the cuts that were needed. I even did some tricky sheetrocking while lying on my back beneath the lowest portion of the sloped ceiling. Things got crazy in there.

But I enjoyed finishing the floating and taping because it led us to enjoy ourselves at Cracker Barrel.

Floating and Taping - No makeup, humidity-sticken hair, but
I'm thrilled the room is moving forward.

Today, I was so happy to pick out the paint for this corner room. I opted for a soft, buttery yellow that was in the "chill-out and enjoy the tranquility" kind of paint selection. With the two windows in the room (once they're cleaned) it will be bright and sunny in that space, so we want it to be a cheery feel-good room.

I'd love to begin painting tomorrow, but I'm not sure that will be possible because it has been raining for days in our part of Texas, and more rain is expected. It's a mess out here folks.

This room, once finished...which that might take another year...will be my writing room. It'll also be a soft place to land for reading, chilling out or for having a quiet talk with riotous laughter. This room might even be a place to do limited Yoga since I restrict my movements to coincide with my motto of being an "exercise minimalist."

Regardless...the room will be awesome.

I hope to post pictures of it painted by the end of this weekend...or maybe after Christmas. I'm on country-time. All. The. Way.

* Time frames listed are never concise, y'all.


LindaG said...

Glad to hear you are all doing well and the nasty weather has mostly spared you.
God bless!

Charade said...

So glad to see this post. It had been so long without an update that I wondered if the after-effects of Hurricane Harvey and other lesser storms had affected your place. Keep the updates coming. said...

Linda...We have been blessed. So many people have been affected by storms in Texas over the last year. The flooding has been crazy, but we see all parts of our nation with their own kind of natural means we are exposed to both good and bad. So far, out here, we've escaped the worst of flooding. I hope you are doing well! I'm trying to get back to blogging. I've missed it and all of you!

Lana said...

Charade...we've been doing great. Some of our family in the Houston area did flood while others were within feet of flooding, but escaped damage. It's been a crazy year for everyone. I hope you are doing well. I've missed all my blog was great to see comments from you and Linda! I'll be catching up on my reading, too.


The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

I am so happy to see your post! Your home is coming along beautifully. I like how you both have adapted to the "Country Time". It is such a lovely thing! Please do keep the posts coming of the house progress and how all your critters are.

Sharon said...

So glad to see your post, I have wondered if you were ok. Looking forward to more post and to see how all you family is.

Bobbie said...

I am so glad to see a post from you!!! I check from time to time and have seen nothing. I do wonder about you and how you are doing. The house is going to be beautiful :)

Karen said...

So good to see you and your home's progress! I have a 'few' projects around here that are never-ending, as you well know. And we're going to be remodeling this poor hut next summer, so I'll be reading your posts for encouragement. All the best, Lana!