Waterfall/stream is in!

Waterfall is in!  Other than planting stuff around it we are done for this year!!


It took 5 days to build - the guys doing it worked their tails off..   It isn’t exactly as we wanted, as we wanted more of a slope. But when you are working on a totally flat piece of land, that’s what you get. The bright light on the left is a bubble rock.

Deck expansion

Expanding the master deck out another 8' to give us more of a deck off of the upstairs master and also provide more shade down below - they are doing it in one day..


Unfortunately the trex that we are using is a different shade/grain from the original trex, as they don't

make that anymore -but the only ones that will see it is us (and you guys that see this picture)

Carpet day !

Today they are installing the carpet in the basement!  It is gonna look SOOOOOOOO  good!

Mark has done a great job on the basement.   He only has trim work and staining of the doors left, and it will be finished.  I already hung up some photographs in my portrait studio.  It's looking awesome!


This is the game room area


The storage/workout area will have indoor outdoor type carpeting


The portrait studio is shaping up!

4 hrs later and the carpet is done!


So much for our view! :(

They are building the house next door to us now - started the foundation on the day we closed, now here is what our view was on Friday last week. It was pouring rain the day before they poured the foundation, and the next day, with water pooling in the hole, they did the foundation anyway.


and now here is the view now -


The granite is in - but is it our granite??

Janis and I went to Colorado in October and picked out the granite piece for our house -  the most amazing piece with so much movement and color.


This is what we picked out - and this is a picture they sent of our Island.  No way was that from the piece of granite we picked out.


this piece has movement and fissures, and looks nothing at all like this.  No way are we going to accept this granite. 

We're packing up the pods and they are coming to take them away on Monday and then we go pack up mom's stuff and then leave for Colorado on Thurs the 12th.   We've got a couple reservations in Bryce and Arches National Park which I've never seen, hopefully the weather cooperates and there isn't a lot of snow (or the place is closed)  We've not even checked if its open..  geesh I should probably do that!

The granite is in!

The granite countertops were put in this week -  Only got 1 picture from the sales rep, but it kind of shows the movement in it -


They fixed the floor by the back door too - and stained the flooring.  It doesn't look that much different and they say it gets darker (richer) with sunlight,


This is what it is supposed to look like eventually,

Whale in Redondo Beach

We went over to look for dolphins on Saturday and saw a few of them over in Redondo, but over by Knob Hill there was a whale that was caught in the surf line.  We thought it was distressed and trying to beach itself but after about 45 min playing just outside the waves it went out into deeper water.   I had a lousy lens on my camera so didn’t get a good picture of it.  That is what happens when you only leave the house with only one lens..  :(


The house carpeting was put in this past week, and they fixed and stained the hardwood flooring.  We asked for pictures from the salesman but of course he didn't come through with any.   He's totally useless in that department.  When we first bought the house he said that they would take weekly pictures and when they did anything noteworthy they'd take pictures for us.  Well that happened TWICE without asking for them.  Now we have to beg for a friggin picture and then its only 1 picture.  I could see if there was 5' of snow on the ground and 15 out but its nice weather now.   

New house pictures!

Our salesman sent pictures of the house yesterday -  they finished the driveway and they painted the outside of the house!!  The deck in the backyard is already finished - I thought they were just going to do the cement footing this week but they already built the deck too!!


I like the color - they stones all finished in the front also -   they sure are quick to do things - they also finished the grouting in the tile and put in the shower door in the master bath - They also swapped out the tile that we didnt like in the fireplace and put in the fireplace insert and gas logs.   NICE!


The house is looking good!

Hello from Colorado - we went to see what the house is looking like - its getting there!  The interior is painted and the baseboards are in and the doors.  The kitchen flooring and the tile in the baths and entryways are all done too (except for grouting).   We also met our neighbors who will be living behind us, Nate and his wife and son.  Very nice people.   Its so nice to meet the neighbors and you think 'cool' instead of "oh crap"... LOL      these are definitely 'cool'  neighbors.   Can't wait until we move in!


The baseboards and the doors                                    The tile in the bathrooms


Master bathroom                                                                               The entryway tile and the stairway

The weather in Colorado - (and we don't even live there yet!)

Well I guess its true - Since Monday the temps have been in the high 40's in Colorado - still cold at nite but at least its warming up enough during the day to where they are putting in the driveway this week and they couldn't do that because the ground was frozen.  They said that they have to dig out 16" of the dirt in the driveway, then they lay down this blanket, and then pour the concrete on that.  I sure wish they would lay down this instead!


Heated driveway system!  No shoveling of snow necessary. We even asked (seriously) about it, and they said that we can’t do anything to the house as we may fall out of escrow, etc. I told them that is ridiculous, as if we fell out of escrow, that just means that the next owners get a free heated driveway.

Back from Colorado

I went out to Colorado yesterday for the day.  620 am flight from LA and returned on the 735pm flight from Denver.   I sure am glad Im not in a business where you have to do this all the time, I sure was tired last nite.  



The snow is melting, at lease for now, as it was 54 degrees when I was there.  Denver is supposed to get more snow this weekend, on the radio they said that they thought it wasn't going to snow this weekend, the first weekend in five without any snow, but they said that there is a little bit of snow coming Sat nite/Sun morning. 

They took a tractor and scraped the backyard as they want the ground to thaw and tried to expedite it, as they still need to put in the deck off the upstairs bedroom.  (similar to the house on the left which is our model).  It worked as the ground was thawing out, but I realized something else - when snow melts it creates MUD!  I got stuck in the backyard as the mud was up to the ankles.  I lost my balance and fell forward so i was covered from ankle to knee in mud.  I had to go to Target and buy a new pair of pants and shoes as I couldn't go on the plane looking like that.  It was kinda funny actually.   Glad that I at least protected the camera so I didn't ruin my $600.00 lens that I had on the $2500 nikon camera.

They fixed the dining room and put in the french doors.  Here is what it looks like.Otherwise its a totally open room


Going out to Colorado (Again!)

I'm going out to Colorado on Thursday for the day.  1 day up and back - only 188.00 r/trip.  such a deal.  I need to find out what is going on with the house and take some pictures since the reps at Standard Pacific aren't doing what they are supposed to.   They said "weekly updates with photos"  and if they aren't going to do that, then DON"T TELL US YOU ARE GOING TO!.   I shouldn't have to fly out every three weeks to see what is happening with the house.  I know they have other houses that are being built and some of the owners may be out of state like us, but its bs that we don't know what is going on with the place.


I had the stitches removed from the left hand surgery and it is feeling so much better, I'm probably going back to work in 3 weeks.  It'll only be for about 6 weeks until I quit for the move but it will be nice to get a paycheck for a few weeks and see the guys/gals again.   I'll hate having to get up at 530 am again though.  I won't miss that!


They said the snow never sticks!

Everyone we talked to said the same thing -  it snows but 3 days later its warm and all the snow melts.

Well here's 3 weeks later..They're still waiting to start dry walling the inside..  They had to re-do a room that was supposed to have 2 french doors in it and they didn't have any doors on the walk thru.  (room was wide open).  So after going back and forth with them they put in the french doors in the living room/studio, didn't cost us anything as they said previously it came that way, and now we're back on tract.

Dry walling is next.  We are having a recirculating water heater system, so basically you can be in the dead of winter and have hot water in the shower instantly, which will save all the 'waiting till the water gets hot'. Since Colorado is on a drought and rations water, we thought that would be good for the environment and pay for itself in the first year we live there.   Only problem is our house was the first house in the development/city that had put that in so the city building inspectors took their time to approve it as they weren't sure what it was/did. 


Colorado update

Went to Colorado Sunday and Monday to do a walk thru inspection of the electrical and all before they start dry walling.  The place is starting to look pretty good!   We met with the low voltage company who puts in the wiring and cat 5 cable and surround sound speakers etc.   They also put in the vacuum system that we're going to have since the house is so freeking big and I don't want to drag a vacuum cleaner around so instead will just be dragging a 30' vacuum hose!  (that doesn't seem to be 'better' now that I think about it!)  

The electrical only had a few mistakes but the biggest mistake was a shower where there should have been a bath tub and a bathtub where there should have been a shower.   So the head foreman called his plumbers and they came and within about 45 min it was all switched out and framed.   That is totally awesome - I can't believe how fast they work. 

One of the things that we needed to change or have them be made aware of was the study downstairs We had a study off the entryway and we converted it to a bedroom (so my mom could stay there or if she decides not to move out Janis' folks, etc..  So if you make the study a bedroom then you lose the 2 french doors and the living room now becomes a study.   So we went there and there were no french doors or walls to attach french doors to.   So we asked about it and it was like 'gee I dunno" .    The sales person in the model homes told us that it happens automatically if you convert the study to a bedroom but the construction foreman doesn't think so.    It better be as I want my french doors.   You pay about $4500 for the conversion of the study to a bedroom and on top of that you lose french doors? .


WE left on Monday night at 6 p.m. and on Wed (yesterday) they had a blizzard in Colorado.  So we got out in time, but I would love to see what the house looks like with 22" of snow on it..



Went to Colorado over the weekend.

I went to Colorado over the weekend to check up on the house and take some pictures.  It was so clear on Saturday when I left.  One good thing about Santa Ana's -  Sure clears up the smog.

When I landed it was 28 degrees, by 7 p.m., it was 9 degrees.  That was a bit chilly.   Good thing the heater worked great in the rental car and the hotel room.  On Sunday it warmed up to about 32 degrees.   Didn't really need a jacket actually, long sleeve shirt was fine.   Went over to the house to check out what was going on with it.   It felt so much like the home in Torrance,  There were 2 pigeons that were living in the roof/rafters and the roof was leaking (well it didn’t help that there weren't any windows on the 2nd floor installed yet)  


siding and windows are being finished today - the roof is going to be started on Wednesday!


Theres a little bit of snow in the house.   These windows were installed, but there were some in the next room that weren't yet. This is the house with the siding up.  They replaced the door that was not supposed to be there and put in a window.


The backyard covered in snow. 


I found out there are casinos in Colorado (not indian casinos, but state run)  About 45 minutes from the house up in the Rockies at about 8000 ft in a town called Blackhawk and Cedar City, an old mining town.  They have slots and poker and blackjack (didint see any roulette or craps or Pai Gow though)  Isn't Vegas but its a lot closer!

Talked to the construction foreman today to find out the time table.  Initially they said that the house would be ready to be dry walled about 1/1/07, so we made our plans to go out about 1/5 to do the walk thru and pick ou the granite slab.   Well now he says that the house will be finished dry walled by 1/1/, so we have to go out sooner.    He says that it will be electrically all completed by 12/20.. so we have to go out 12/18 -12/19 to do the walk thru inspection to make sure everything is where we want it (all the cam lights and stuff that we ordered extra for the wall cutouts, etc.   We had already made reservations to go out 1/5  but I guess that weekend will be changed or we'll just go out to see the progress after we go out 12/18.   It changes so fast!    The right side of the house didnt have any siding yesterday, I went there today and its all done and they have all the windows in already.    The foreman said that they will start roofing on Wed, and that they will pour the cement in the back yard for the small patio and once they do that they'll start putting in the deck that we ordered.  Oh, the deck view that we have -  well check this out


You probably cant make it out too well but the white stuff on the horizon are the rocky mtns -  so the deck view is this - can't wait to fire up the marguritas and watch the sunset over the rockies..

It isnt extreme homemakeover - but its quick!

It isnt' Extreme home makeover but the house went from being a dirt lot to being framed in 30 days..  still a long way to get it to look like this above. At least it has shape now!


We asked for the house to be set back a bit since the lot is so large (14,000 sq ft) so they put it back 10' which is the maximum allowed.  (Editors note: that was a STUPID idea as now I have 10 more feet of driveway to shovel!

Medical update and house in CO update

Well the cast is off the hand, its still really swollen and sore and numb.   But other than that I'm doing fine!

Colorado is going slower than me in recouperation.   They just poured the foundation this past weeekend, and they said that by next weekend they will start framing.  We were supposed to go there last weekend to see the house entirely framed, but we postponed our travel since they had done nothing but grading and getting ready to pour the foundation.

So our next trip out there probably won't be till Dec 3rd.  Still says the move will be the later part of March.  We’ll see, as doing construction in a winter area where there is snow is probably a reason for a few delays.