Making the most of my "Dash"

Posts tagged ‘Garage Project’

It’s Finished! Before and After…

Mister in his new garage with The Beast and his Honda Magna

The Garage has been finished for about a month, but I have been so busy I haven’t had time to post about it.  Oops!

We had a wonderful experience with this garage.  We happened to stumble into the perfect contractor, Rick Foster of Trophy Homes, quite by accident.   If you need to get any work done around Lake Havasu City/Parker area of Arizona, he is your man!  Whenever we had questions or concerns, he would answer them immediately.  He constantly kept us up-to-date on the status of the project.  We couldn’t have had a better experience!

So, THANK YOU, to Rick and crew… You did a wonderful job and couldn’t be more thrilled with how beautiful it turned out!

Garage: Almost there!

Looks like I was a bit too optimistic about the garage being done by Christmas.  I’m sure everyone but me knew it too!  If I would have thought about all the things still needing to be done, I would have realized being done before 2012 came was not a realistic expectation.  No matter, it really is still SO close to being done!

Beast's garage all painted!

Last week they painted the Beast’s garage, but they still need to paint the window opening on the existing garage’s side.  Turns out they used a semi-gloss in the new garages, and the existing garage has flat paint in it.  So the painter has to run out and get some flat paint to finish it.   They are also painting the man-doors in the garages today.

The garage doors were installed on Thursday, as we were taking the day trip to drop off the kids with their Dad.  The doors look AWESOME.  They’re a newer design that have wide rectangles on them, rather than the standard smaller ones (you’ll see in the pictures at the bottom of this post).  We are going to have them replace the existing garage door to match the new ones, but they weren’t able to do it when we were gone.  It’s been a bit disconcerting to have the garages so open, especially with the window opening between the existing garage and the Beast’s garage.  Anyone could grab a ladder and get into the house, if they were determined.  We were relieved to come back from our daytrip and see that the garage doors had been installed.  The garage electrical isn’t hooked up to the main yet, so Mister ran an extension cord to the little garage’s opener and closed the doors.

Mister's Death-Trap Ladder

A SANER idea

The Beast’s garage door opener was a bit more difficult to get to, since it’s 15 feet up.  So Mister had to leave that alone.  For a few days.   He got to the point of it driving him nuts that he couldn’t get an extension cord ran to the Beast’s opener. Then he decided to get creative with ladders.  This was NOT a good plan, and as I’m terrified of heights and something bad happening to him, I was not pleased to see him working at his “plan”.  I refused to help him set up the ladders, until he asked me to help.  I struggled with whether I should offer up a good idea I had for getting him up on a ladder and close to that stupid opener.  I decided to go ahead and tell him, and it turned out to work for him.  He got the door closed, and we were able to secure the house.  So, no E.R. trip with his death-ladder trap, and a safe house for us.  I can’t complain about that!

Taz Concrete hard at work!

On Friday Taz Concrete came out and poured both of the driveways.  They look fantastic!  As always, Taz does a fantastic job.  While they were doing that, Mister and I went to Lowe’s, Home Depot, and then back to Lowe’s.  We spent HOURS in man-heaven.  Mister had made an arrangement with the electrician: The electrician would run the wires, get the panel in, and run the main to the garage panel.  Mister was going to do the finish work, installing the outlets and lights. We found all the outlets, switches, and covers we needed to finish the electrical.  We also got the lights for the garages, and the door hardware.  Mister was so excited to get to work that on Friday we both installed almost all of the electrical outlets.  We couldn’t get to the garage door outlet on the Beast’s 15-foot ceiling though.  On Saturday he installed the four-foot flourescent light fixture in the little garage, and most of the door hardware.

We won’t be able to finish the Beast’s electrical stuff yet, because of the high ceiling.  Since I obviously hate ladders and heights, and this seem so dangerous, we’re going to wait until the concrete cures and then pull the Beast into the garage.  That way we can get on top of it and Mister can more easily install the lights, and the outlets for the garage door opener.  That should be scary for me, and fun for him.

At this point, we don’t have too much left to get done.  They need to finish the stucco, and they’re waiting for the concrete to cure before they put their scaffolding on it.  They also will be stuccoing the cinderblock approach walls on the Beast’s garage. The electrician has got to dig his trench and get the electrical hooked up.  Mister finishing the electric in the Beast’s garage, install the outside porch light and electric outlet.  Painting the new garage doors and scuppers.  After all that they’ll get the landscaping done, and then I can post the before and after pictures!! Until then, here’s the recent photos:

Little garage is ready for the concrete pour!

Street side view of the little garage forms set up

Mister was relieved to see the sewer clean-out just on the other side of the little garage's driveway. Even if it was busted up on accident.

Mister, in his supervisory role

Nicely done, Taz!!

Little garage's driveway, all finished!

Little garage, streetside

Pretty garage door!

Other side of the little garage (SO nice having it be a drive-through garage!)

Mister wanted a picture of the Beast's toilet... all nicely installed. I won't be spending anymore time taking pictures of it, though.

The Beast's driveway... Nice!!

Street side view of the Beast's Driveway...

New garage door! Still need to replace existing garage door to match...

The garage… is SO close to being done!

Brown coat is on!! Little garage is lookin' GREAT!

This ‘little’ garage project of Mister’s has zipped right along!!  It is amazing the amount of work that has been accomplished in just a few weeks’ time.  Mister is one happy camper, and this morning he was saying that he thinks this might be done by Christmas… It will by a great present (that he gave to himself…LOL).

The last post I wrote about had pictures of the garages framed, partially sheathed and the trusses were up.  We expected that the sheathing would cover the entire framing, but they only used it for the sheer walls.

Within the last three weeks they’ve finshed the roofs, put the black paper and styrofoam all around the walls, and got the [chicken] wire up for the stucco. The stucco guys told us our house had special rounded corners, so they did extra wiring around all the garage corners… which made for a really nice look.

Last week was a super busy one.  Monday the walls were insulated.  Tuesday and Wednesday the drywalling was was done. The mud and taping was done every day Thursday through Sunday.  Today we woke up to find two crews here.  One who did the texture, and the other who started the brown coat for the stucco.  It looks AWESOME!!!!

There are lots of pictures, so I put them in the slide-show format Mister is so [not] fond of (sorry, honey!):

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Garage Bungle??

Nice gas line. That'll be fun to fix later.

They’ve definitely done more work on the garage since my last post.  The footings have been poured, and they put the first run of cinder-blocks down.  They came back later and started building the retaining wall around.

Side note: Apparently the first four feet of the garage walls are supposed to be this way, and then the rest will be wood-framed.  I’m a little curious if it’s going to be dry-walled all the way to the floor, or if they are going leave the cinder-block showing.  I’m really, and I mean really, hoping they are going to drywall it.

The back wall looks fantastic!  That’s pretty much all the good I am prepared to say about the work they’ve done so far.  The wall on the right side of the garage looks plumb, and all is well, until you see the gas line sticking out of the wall.  They’re supposed to move it when the garage is framed, but for now they’ve just cut out a nice hole in the cinder-block for a line that is not going to exist later. However, that’s not all bad.  What IS bad is the left side of the garage wall.  They’ve done the wall up to the existing ground level.  But, they still need to grind some of the cement away to make room for the blocks.  But that’s not the best part.  The BEST part is how the second run, and subsequent runs, of cinder-blocks end up being off-set by over an inch-and a half!

Brad and I are scratching our heads about this one.  They already poured cement down the cinderblock along the off-set side of the garage.  Not at the perfect back wall.  Not on the fairly perfect right wall.  Nope, they started it at the unfinished wall.  We have no idea if the first run of blocks are actually going to be covered by the cement floor when they pour it. If so, I suppose the off-set doesn’t matter, other than perhaps some instability in the wall?  We’ve got a call into our general contractor to see if this is cause for concern or not.  Frankly, I’m thinking your walls should look nice and even.  This one clearly does not.  Well, we’ll see what happens on Monday…

Since there are quite a few pictures, I’m going to put them in a slide show (below) rather than try to fit about 8 pictures in this post! 😉

Construction.  Ever a joyful dash experience.


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The er…”fragrance” has dissipated…

Backhoe "Operator Error"

Mister told me this morning it was safe to go outside and take a picture of the newly repaired sewer line.  That the “fragrance” had dissipated.  I was doubtful, but all was well and there was no foul scent to make me retch all over the freshly repaired sewer line.

The backhoe guy sure did a doozy of a job.  The plumber fixed it up nicely last night, and this morning he was back to finish the job by adding in the Beast’s personal toilet.  They refilled the trench, and then the foundation guys came back and finished getting the footings ready.  They are supposed to pour concrete tomorrow!

On a related note, one of the worker guys decided to take the Plans and the Inspection sheet home with him yesterday.  Imagine how happy our General Contractor was when he met the city Inspector at the house today?  I must admit that I rather enjoyed overhearing his phone conversation with the job foreman.  The plans and inspection sheet were back at the house in short order.  Even I know you’re not supposed to take those off the job.  That particular worker was about as genius as the backhoe guy.

Construction.  Still keeping the dash interesting!


Trench for the Beasts Personal Toilet

Beasts Personal Toilet installed, but not quite ready for use...

All ready for concrete!

New footings, new rebar, raw sewage…OH MY!

Footings are Dug!

Yesterday Mister was hoping I would post new pictures of the footings that were dug for the Beast’s (the RV) garage (I’ve put these and a couple of others on the Garage Project page). I was too tired to do it last night, but I wasn’t going let him down tonight!  After getting the footings dug, the crew got all the rebar set in it yesterday.  After they finished, we were anxiously waiting for the city inspection so the crew could move on to pouring concrete.  Ok, Mister was the one anxiously waiting.  I’m really just observing the process.

We also needed the plumber to come out ASAP to dig the trench that will connect the sewer lateral and bring a dump (sewer connection) into the Beast’s garage.   I’ll wait a moment while you either say, “ewwwwww” or make a stupid/funny joke in your head about the Beast needing to have a dump.  Ok, moving on….

The Inspector finally came out late this morning and signed off on the work that’s been done.  We had to wait until the afternoon for the backhoe guy to come out and start digging for the dump/sewer line.  He didn’t get here until around 4:30.  Mister and I went out to dinner and when we came back around 6:30 we didn’t see any vehicles around.  So Mister went out back to see what how much work was done.  I head out to the back door in time to see the plumber’s van out there and hear the plumber speaking rather forcefully on the phone.  As Mister walked towards me I asked him if all was well.  Um… Nope.

Turns out the backhoe guy busted the sewer line.  The brightly marked sewer line.  Why?  Because he thought it was lower than it actually was.  Now, if I had a backhoe that was capable of digging deep trenches and moving tons of dirt and rock, the first thing I would do is assume the sewer line I am directly working over is deeper than I *think* it might be.  That’s genius right there.  As a result, Mister told all of us that we were not to use any water unnecessarily.  As he said that, the two green tea drinks I had consumed at Panda Express decided they no longer needed to take up space in my body.  Also at that moment Josh happened to walk up and mention that he needs a shower because he didn’t take one yesterday. Lovely.

We all agreed to try our best to maintain the status quo unless it was absolutely necessary to change it (if you know what I mean, and since you’re smart I know you do.)  Thankfully the plumber came to the door 15 minutes later and said he had been fixing the issue while we were out and everything was now ok.  I was very relieved.  Literally.  The kids (especially the teenage girl) were very happy to know they could now get their showers.  Me, I was just happy to know the bathrooms were available for use at any time I pleased.  Because you simply don’t appreciate that until it’s NOT available.

View of Footings from the back of the property

Construction. Always adding surprises to your Dash…


P.S. There are NO pictures of the broken sewer pipe because the aroma that you encounter by even driving behind the “You Dump It, We Pump It” trucks is more than I can bear. Just sayin’…

This is NOT my picture it belongs to I just think this is the funniest Septic Truck I've ever seen!

New Construction Pics

End of Day 2

I said I would get pictures some posted, so here’s the “hole” all dug up.  That black “line” you see just happens to be our gas line.  It was quite a bear for them to work around, but they did it without breaking the line (thank goodness!). The next pictures should be the foundation being poured.

Mister standing in his newly dug hole

Mister's got his hand on a huge rock that is in the foundation. They'll have fun getting that one out!

View from the back of the house

Another view from the rear of the house

The Saturday Weekly Wrap-Up

A Beautiful Havasu Day

This morning I threw open all the windows, sliding glass doors, and the front door.  I was completely enjoying the house brightened with natural light, a cool breeze is blowing, and the temperature at a wonderful 76°. Ahh, such bliss….

Then I saw all of the dust-bunnies stirring.

Sigh…. So I did my bi-annual dusting.  Well, not really.  More like quarterly.  For all my CDO (remember, OCD but in alphabetical order!!), I am NOT that way about cleaning.  Don’t get me wrong, my house isn’t a wreck and everything has its own place and is usually put in it.  But, I like my house to look like the kind of place it is… PEOPLE LIVE HERE.  There’s usually a stack of papers on the coffee table, and the computer desk has that messy pens/papers/coupons/paper-clips look about it.  The house is always kept nice enough that I wouldn’t freak out if someone knocked on the door and wanted to come in and visit for a bit.  However, when the dust-bunnies come alive, it’s time to get out the Swiffer thingy.

Dust bunnies

Image via Wikipedia

Anyway, with the Saturday fall-cleaning out of the way, now I get to fully enjoy the airy house with my husband sitting beside me.  And it’s so quiet!  It’s officially Fall Break and that means earlier this week we took the kids to go to their Dad’s.  I am not ashamed to say that I LOVE their school breaks as much as they do!! They get to go spend time with their Dad, and Brad and I get time to ourselves.  I feel very fortunate that he is retired and we get to spend this time together.  The price we pay for it is the very long drive to drop-off the kids (four hours each way), but it’s worth it.  This last trip felt like it took forever, but I brought my project with me and got some work done on it!

The So-So Pumpkin Scone

Friday it was so cool outside that I couldn’t resist the temptation to do some baking.  I found a recipe for pumpkin scones that I just had to try.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t too impressed with it.  It tasted fine, and I’m glad I followed my usual “double the spice” rule.  Otherwise it would have been very plain.  I think I’ve just been spoiled by Starbucks pumpkin scones, and now I’m determined to find a recipe that is the same or at least similar.  This one will be my next attempt!

We were hoping to get Brad’s garage started this past week, but alas the county had to justify it’s job and red-lined the engineers plans. (I hope no one from the county stumbles upon this.  If so, just know that all names on this blog have been changed to protect the identity of those starting any garage projects held up by you.)  We were all excited for the crew to break ground on Tuesday or Wednesday, but no one ever showed.  We discovered yesterday there was a hang-up, but the engineer has completed the changes (that a county worker decided he knew better about than an actual certified engineer…but I digress) and perhaps we’ll get it started this week.  I’ll post more on “The Garage Project” later.

All in all, it’s been a busy week getting the kids ready to go.  We only got 9.9 miles in this last week due to our busy-ness, but that’s better than nothing!  I managed to not give in to the scale-temptation again, and I have dutifully held to my new skin-care regime for the last two and a half days.  I find all the time spent at night on it to be annoying, but I don’t want to look like a prune in 10 years.

Now we’ll get to spend the next week relaxing (in our freshly dusted home) and enjoy our kid-less time.  Tomorrow is Brad’s 36th birthday (I love transposing his numbers to the age he *feels* he is!).  We have plans to take the boat across the lake and spend a fortune ($20) on the penny slots as well as have a nice lake-view lunch. It’ll be lots of fun!

Enjoying my dash!


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