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Building a home, week 10: Tile is installed while outdoor work is delayed

Ten weeks of building a house and coping with life’s interventions is taking its toll. As we get closer to finishing the house, more and more things are happening, which increases the probability of things going wrong. Steve Lecas of Gander Builders is doing a great job pulling everything together. Nevertheless, the initial blush of excitement is wearing off and now we just want to move in and get back to a normal life. We are well aware that the last 30 days in the house building process can be brutal. Hopefully, we’re in the countdown stage and it won't be as bad as we hear. Regardless, whatever happens will be chronicled in this ongoing weekly series, “Building a house."

We chose Apple Martini from Cesarstone as the countertop material for the basement bathroom vanity.
Cheryl Dangel Bartolini
The master bathroom gets a vintage look with 1930s-inspired tile.
Cheryl Dangel Bartolini

June 2: We had expected to finalize the stain for the concrete basement floor last week but weren’t able to due to the humidity in the basement. The HVAC team as called in and the air conditioning system will be hooked up and running within a day or so.

We visited TTS Granite's Mokena showroom to choose a countertop for the bathroom vanity. This vanity is going to serve multiple purposes. It isn’t just a bathroom sink, but also a utility sink where we can bathe a dog or wash out paint trays, so we don’t want anything too fancy here. That said, we want something fun and ultimately chose Apple Martini, a quartz surface from Cesarstone®.

June 3: The property received its final grade in preparation for landscaping. Unfortunately, the landscaping and fence install, scheduled for Wednesday, will likely not happen due to heavy thunderstorms forecast for Wednesday.

Tiling of the bathrooms continued and we made our grout selections.

Meanwhile, every time we are outside, the color of the dormers bother us like a pebble in your shoe. The Dryvit on the dormers is a tan shade and detracts from the rest of the house. We’ve tried to like it but as we get closer to completing the house, it isn’t happening. We don’t want to regret this once we’ve moved in, so we are moving ahead to change it now. We told Lecas we want to paint the dormers green to match the house color, which is painted using Sherwin-Williams Olive Grove.

June 4: The thunderstorms came and went but weren’t nearly as bad as originally forecast. Nevertheless, they were enough to delay the fence and hardscaping installations until Friday.

June 5: We arrived at the house to see that the concrete on the front porch had been redone to match the Stampcrete product on the back porch. The back porch looked so good when it was finished last week, we wanted to replicate the look on the front of the house as well. Now, both concrete porches look like old timbers from a covered bridge in Pennsylvania.

Because of the new concrete pour, we couldn’t get into the house to see any other changes. Moreover, due to the rain yesterday, nothing was done outside.

June 6: K Brothers Fence installed the fence posts around the perimeter of the backyard and the laundry room was tiled. Some minor drywall work was also done but otherwise, no major changes. Nothing happened with the hardscaping in the backyard, which has been postponed. Maybe Monday is what we hear.

Next week should have a lot of activity including staining the basement floor, finishing the fence and maybe installing the hardscape patio and firepit in the backyard. Wood for the wood floors should also be delivered and installed. We're keeping our fingers crossed that there are no more delays.

To read this series from the beginning, click here. To read this next installment, click here.

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