The House

It's a lovely home - but quirky.

And we knew it before we signed on the dotted line - we knew it and we refused to let it sway us.

Just a few little things that needed to be fixed.

  • First - the master bath shower had a shower plan leak - more than a leak really.

  • Second - the house is part stucco, part EIFS. There were some places that needed to patch.

  • Third - the electrical panel had some odd things - wires that had turned colors, lights that flicker, and a rather large lizard that has died in the panel.

  • Fourth - the barn water appeared to be off, but the turn on couldn't be found.

  • And a few other minor things: Bugs. a leaky porte-cochere

What's been even quirkier are the folks that we've called to the house to fix these issues - these poor contractors that deal with COVID issues, supply chain issues, staffing issues - but they got it done. If you ever need a fence guy though - you let us know. We have a GOOD one.

The Addition or as I like to refer to it the Maisonette

November 2021

This has been the BIG project. 2020-2021 didn't make it easy - shortage of contractors, cost of supplies, COVID, and lack of project management in the construction world (but we won't go there here). In August we started the search for a builder that would be willing to take on our project. So many builders couldn't get architects that weren't already scheduled for 6 months out. The builder we found not only had access to an architect - this architect came out, sat in the yard, drew the main house, looked at roof lines, etc. It was meant to be. The timeline for the total project ended up looking something like this:

August - Builder confirmed

September - House plans confirmed

October, November, December - contracts and a lot of sitting and waiting but new baby donkeys surprised us so we were distracted

January - more waiting

February 17-23 - The Big Freeze. Good thing we didn't have exposed pipes in the ground

February 25 - Ground work started! Good thing Texas thaws quickly.

April - Foundation framing approved by the city. Important to know that the city inspectors were rather inconsistent.

May - torrential rains but foundation got poured May 6th

June - framing!

July - new septic put in tying in the addition - but the plumber aye aye aye!

August - the guessing game of when move in can happen begins

September - cabinet guys goes missing - found out he had COVID

October - frustration grows but things start getting D.O.N.E. and week to week game of inspections begin and move in happens on October 25

The Freeze of 2021

As if the house wasn't already going through stress - the Freeze of 2021 added to it. We added space heaters to the donkey stalls (remember we had babies) and we had plans to take them hot water. What we discovered was even more fun as we had rolling blackouts. Good news we are propane powered - bad news is that we aren't insulated very well. While we ran back and forth to check on the donkeys, tried to keep the house warm, and used the heck out of the oven - we had one pipe burst in the bathroom upstairs. That happened on February 22. As of December 7 2021, we still have a hole in the garage and bedroom where the plumbers tried to fix it. Dry wall repair is a trade more people need to go into!

The Barn

You can't live on land and not have a barn! Alan worked with a great team and we just had one delivered. This is the site where we have aperitifs with the asses! Or we did until we had baby donkeys that started to take our snacks and momma donkeys that decided that they like the taste of the chairs.

The Master Bath

Started September 2021, updated December 2021

Let's just talk about the difficulty this replaced. We moved in August 6. The plumbers showed up August 10. As I write this, it is October 12 and the project still isn't done.

Once the plumbers got the shower pan up - they discovered that none of the pipes under the house had ever been glued - so they dug, and dug, and dug and reconnected pipes (with glue). As they dug the plumbers discovered the shower had probably been leaky from the time it was built. Needless to say the shower had to be reframed, treated for termites, and the hole that was dug extended way beyond the exterior of the house. Each of those tasks required additional experts.

We are finally at the tile stage, which of course was tricky as the entire house and shower used one tile. Looking forward to sharing the after picture to show what we did!

6 months later - the master bath is done.

12 months - there's a leak in the sky light above the shower.

14 months later - the hot water heather stopped working. Parts were covered by warranty. Plumbers had to rebuild. Knock on wood. All is well. But why are the plumbers saying, "so next time, here's what we are going to do..."