What a view!
I've been a bit busy and haven't gotten around to updating for about 10 days, so there's been a lot of progress. The cable rail was installed this week, and it's wonderful. Steve carved away the wallboard so that the posts are half-embedded in the wallboard and have a lower profile than if they were just hanging off the edge. I hadn't recalled how nice these were going to look, and the really good news is that the cats really can't dive between the cables. The trick will be to keep them off the railing, since from there it's a long drop to the living room floor.
A big nor'easter is on the way, bringing lots of wind and rain. We've had some rain and even a bit of snow since the skirt went on to transition from the roof to the gutters, and it seems to have done the trick with respect to the window issue. I guess when the path of least resistance goes into the wall, it's a bit of a problem, and so that's what the skirt addresses. I'd like to get up on the roof someday soon to see how the skirt actually fits on. In the meantime, we may be back to the house today, and if so, I'll look forward to seeing the windows dry on the interior. We are getting word that we'll need to put gutters all the way around the house, including the deck above the kitchen; this should discourage/prevent water from forcing its way into crevices. In the meantime, the windows seem to be doing exactly what we would have expected - keeping the weather out.
With the arrival of the cabinets, the appliance delivery has begun. So far, just the dishwasher(s), wall ovens, and downdraft are at the house. We went with the Fisher & Paykel dish drawers as we like the separate drawer system. Having had one before, the trick is to separate heavy washing from light washing to take best advantage of the water-saving features while still getting clean dishes and not pre-washing everything.
The cooktop will be delivered on Tuesday and the microwave still hasn't come in to the Yale distribution center, but will be in with time to spare (we hope). We're psyched about the microwave because: (1) we don't have one at temp living, and Peter really misses having one to reheat coffee; and (2) I don't really want a microwave, but if we have to have one, this one is under-counter and won't be obvious. It's a Sharp, and opens up just like a drawer. The only bit that will be a challenge is reading the control panel, which will be just low enough to require putting on a pair of glasses, or memorizing the control locations.
The tile flooring went in this week, but still needs the grout. The only place we got "wild" was the guest bath, with this washed-blue color, which really does look better in person!
Also, the sauna is no longer a general storage room and the bench is installed. On a very wintry day like today, it would be good to be there and enjoy its warmth.
The lighting is ordered from Wolfers/Standard Electric. We did pretty well with the selection and while we went overboard on the outdoor fixtures, they're going to be great. Electricians were at the house yesterday getting ready to install fixtures and putting in the last electrical outlets, including the required ones on the kitchen island. We'll try to get away with one set of outlets inside the island and one set on the far end, so they won't be so obvious, but will probably be required to put a set on either end of the island instead - code is designed to replace the common sense that people fail to exercise, and so we end up with things that we wouldn't otherwise want.
We also settled on flooring, and installation should start in a week. We'll have a light bamboo in most rooms, which should really accentuate the light and openness of the house. We had wanted to put a darker wood in the media room, the office, and the master bedroom, but since the bamboo and hardwoods are different thicknesses, it makes for bad transitions. To match up the thicknesses, Steve will have to shim the floor at the point where the two woods will meet. So, we've left just the bedroom and media room with the birch to minimize the transitions, and the office will be bamboo. It's a concession, but one that we were willing to make. The birch will take a few weeks to arrive, so they'll get started on the bamboo and install the birch when it is in. The bamboo price is pretty good - $7/sf installed (before Steve's markup), and we've been assured by all that it's going to be a good quality and long-lasting product.
We're really happy with the "sports lockers" we put in the mudroom - they should keep all our stuff under control and keep miscellaneous shoes and fleeces from being strewn throughout the house. Al did a great job building them, along with all our other cabinetry. He'll definitely stay on our list, as we'll need some bookcases and storage for compact disks (the old house had a built-in bookcase that held them, albeit awkwardly). We've looked into IKEA for the master closet stuff, but their on-line builder is a bit weird - we can't figure out how to address corners and so forth. Otherwise, what we saw of their stuff in the store looks solid and is reasonably priced.
We're about 5 or so weeks from move-in, we hope! At this point, we need to keep things moving from our end so that we're not the ones causing a delay to anything. We're also down to the point where various cost over-runs will start showing up. The site work will be a doozy, since we raised the elevation of the house by 2 feet to keep the crawl space out of the groundwater. The additional fill required, along with simply moving a whole lot more dirt around, will add up big-time.
There will be other places where we'll be over budget, offset to some extent by a series of allowances we're not spending, so we'll do an accounting of where we stand before we do any of the "optional" items, such as the generator. We have some non-optionals, like the treatment system for the well water, which aren't even in the contract, so we'll need to make sure we get those things in place before we have a bunch of fun with things like the plasma TV. Goodwin's High End will be getting much of our discretionary income for the video display, associated boxes, additional speakers, and of course the standing upgrade list to the audio components. We had a nice visit there yesterday, including listening to the Rockport Mira speakers they have set up in one of the demo rooms.