Charlie wants our old house back

When I ask Charlie if he is excited about our new house, he tells me he wants to go back to our old house. I can't really blame him. When we go over to check on the new house, it's cold and messy, and there are no toys. I'm not sure he understands that some day we will have walls, floors, heat, furniture and even toys in our new house. Most days I manage to convince him how great our new house is going to be. Lately, I've had a hard time convincing even myself.

The month of February has been a bust for the house as not much of anything has been done. The demo, framing and roofing all happened really quickly and then everything seemed to stop. I'm not sure why, except that the hvac, plumbing and electrical contractors are all on their own time and don't seem to be in any hurry. Probably anyone that has built or remodeled a home has experienced this. But man oh man, is it frustrating.

We still have our weekly walk-throughs and there always seems to be a lot to discuss. We had a meeting with the electrician where we walked through and noted the location of every switch and outlet (this isn't much fun on a good day, let alone on a 30 degree day in a house with no heat).

Ryan and Adam noting the location of lights and switches on the architectural plans...

There has been some progress, though you have to look pretty hard. Plumbing lines are visible throughout the space and the sliding doors are on site waiting to be installed. And one very exciting addition...

Windows! These are the windows in the master bedroom,

and the windows along the front of the house, in the kitchen.

The large window in the stairwell - it lets in so much light.

And the windows in one of the kids' bedrooms upstairs (still waiting for the delivery of one more of the smaller windows to go with the two already shown here).

Construction has a language all its own - these are notes from our construction manager to the electrician about what type of switch goes on this wall. It is all Greek to me.

The plan is for the electrical, hvac and plumbing to be done by Monday, then insulation can go in, and then drywall. I cannot wait to have some real walls!

This is the window that goes in the upstairs landing, shown below. It did not get installed before all the snow arrived and so it sits until the framers can get on the roof again. As luck would have it, one of the window panes broke last week and no one is fessing up to how that happened. Ah, the fun of remodeling a home!

Once the snow is gone, they will go ahead and install the windows and put in a replacement glass for the broken pane.

And on to perhaps the most depressing part of the remodel right now - the finished basement. One of the main reasons we bought this house was because we wouldn't have to put any money into finishing the basement - it was already done. Ha! Look at it now...

We knew all along that they would have to tear a few things up in the basement and put in new structural columns to support the weight of the new second story on the house. And with all new hvac going in, we knew they would have to tear out the ceiling. But the amount they have had to open up in the basement has been a lot more than we ever bargained for, and we don't yet know how much it is going to cost to put it back together.

What remains of my treasured cedar closet...

This is a wall next to the basement bathroom, we had no idea they would have to get to this section of the basement.

They went so far as to tear out the sink and cabinet in the bathroom, ruining both in the process. It was not a happy day when we walked in to discover this mess.

I knew this process wouldn't be easy, and I also knew it wouldn't be fast. But I thought we would be much further along than this by March, so it is discouraging. We are about a month behind schedule at this point, hoping to make up time along the way. Wishful thinking.

We're tired of living in a small cramped apartment (I'll save that rant for another day), and we want this house done. We're now looking at the first week of June for a move in date. I know in the big scheme of things, that isn't really too far off and I need to find the positive.

I know that someday we will look back on this time and it will all be a blur - just a blip in our life story. And I know that I will only remember the fun and excitement of building our dream family home, and getting to share it with these two.

Here's to happier construction days ahead! Find previous tours here.


  1. Hi paige, we moved at the end of august to our new reformed home. Luis was born in was horrible, anything was done and we HAVE TO MOVE cause the new baby was coming. Celia, my daughter, does not want to move, she liked our old home...but at the end everything be patient...and wait just a little more. Kisses from Spain


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