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finally...we are in!

and just in the nick of time

It's a MIRACLE - we have FINALLY moved in!

After 2 years (two years!) of planning, permits and construction - we moved in on May 13th, 2019!!

But - we actually aren't DONE DONE. Even though we technically moved in...we are only about 90% done. At the very least the County has let us move in. Huzzah! We have convinced the County as well as the bank that the house is safe, livable and meets all of the code requirements on the interior of the home and that there are minor items on the exterior that still needs to be done.

You may ask...why were we so stressed out? Why was it so important to move in? Other than the obvious reason of wanting to get in to the new house...for the past year and a half (18 months!) we have been paying for the mortgage on the old home/lot, the rent at the rental home as well as (this is the most critical one) fees on the interest rate on way over due construction loan.

Because we took sooooooo long on building this home, the construction loan timed out. They only give you 12 months to build and occupy the home. You would think this is enough time...but NO...nope. Not for us! After the 12 months, you have to pay the additional exorbitant egregious ridiculous fees that they tack on to your loan based on a high interest rates. Suffice it to say...THIS WAS NOT CHEAP NOR WAS IT ANY FUN. I used to clip coupons and save on gas rewards before this house build. Now it just seems silly to save $1 on toothpaste with my recently clipped 50 cent coupon (this coupon is doubled at the grocery!)

Inspections galore

So, for the past two months...we have been working like crazy with a goal of passing a whole slew of inspections before May 9th:

  • sprinkler & smoke detectors
  • plumbing (plumbing fixtures, piping, gas, meter installations)
  • electrical (generator hook up, light fixtures and switches)
  • mechanical (HVAC, ductwork)
  • site (all exterior work - including grading, and storm water management)
  • and FINAL (insulation, house numbers (yep that's right!) - everything else)

Surprise surprise! we didn't pass any of these inspections on the first try! The county is very strict and it almost seems like they are looking for things to fail you on. One inspector came and failed us on a couple items then came the very next day (to reinspect) and proceeded to fail us on more stuff that he didn't "see" the day before. I'm pretty sure I didn't hide anything so I'm not sure why he didn't "see" it.

We actually didn't make the May 9th bank deadline because of aformentioned failed inspections. Mainly because of one of the contractors was not paying attention to what he needed to get finished for us to pass.

MARK MY WORDS:This is where getting the most experienced & professional contractors you can possibly find is critical. Even if they might cost you a little bit more...let me tell you...it's worth it.

On to the good stuff - photo update

Architects are visual people...so on with the show! Here is what we have been doing for the past couple of months. Enjoy.

2 guys building the waterfall edge on the Silestone countertop. Such good work - recommend!

one day after we moved in...boxes galore. Notice that we had to remove the red fireplace...it didn't pass inspection!

the railing was missing for this side stair to the basement - one of the things we failed for FINAL inspection. My new contractor had a genius idea to create this DIY industrial pipe railing - installed in 2 hours. and only cost $60!

what's better than an inviting bright red door? TWO bright red doors!

In Feng Shui a red door means warm welcome and hospitality. For me...a red door means GO TERPS. Shhhh. don't tell my husband.

view of the yard post tree drama and post take down of the black construction silt fence

the view from the porch to the new garage door. I love the wood look!

view of the rear of the the house.

Waiting a couple months of living here to figure out what color to paint the Hardie panels...white? tan? light blue? grey?

Hit me up on the comments to share your thoughts!

CSL - what is this?

People ask me if I have any contractors or companies that I would recommend after this ordeal. We had SO many issues with so many contractors...from lateness to laziness to rudeness to nessyness...that I am very hesitant to give a recommendation. So...I decided that instead of giving people a recommendation list...I have a new kind of list...

It's called a CSL - a "Contractor Shit List". Basically it's a list of companies and contractors to completely avoid. With this list, I will happily give whoever is interested...all the reasons why. This will be available to anyone and everyone who is even thinking of taking on any kind of large renovation job. And I will encourage others to pass it and share it like a baby panda viral video. I have a few positive recommendations but I'm even gun shy to give those out. So...if you know anyone doing renovation work in the Montgomery County MD area...let me know...I have a list I'd love to share.

Next blog post...finishes, fixtures, furniture...all the really fun stuff. :)

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