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Home Sweet Home
About that Florida Dream Home 
13th-Aug-2008 12:36 pm
Thoughts on moving into a newly built home.

Last night, as I lowered my tired and aching body into my new soaking tub (Yes, thank you; the entire experience is lovely, wonderful and beyond my wildest dreams!) my mind turned to that other dream house. DHD friends, you know what I'm talking about.

We all expressed a wish for the Diaries to continue through at least the first month of occupancy, with (ok, we're asking for the moon, here) a follow-up after a year. We didn't get it. But I keep wondering what we'd have read had the diaries continued.

It is amazing how many little things go wrong, or need adjustment, or some other attention when you move into your newly-built home. We haven't even fully moved in, yet, and already we're finding things. 

1. Mysterious knocking of pipes whenever we use the hot water recirculation thingy. ("Thingy" is a technical term, of course.) It's purpose is to make hot water available on demand anywhere in the house. Since the soaking tub and the -ahem- "shower system" are both on the opposite side of the house from the water heater(s), this seemed to be a good idea. But, we can't use it without the loud, insistent and constant knocking. So, it's turned off. Status: Plumber arrives on Monday morning.

2. Sulfurous smell and yellow tinge to water. No status, yet.

3. Additional cracklets in the basement concrete floor. Status: Husband patched and repainted. Mumbles now and then about how this delays other moving things ...

4. Cracks in sheet rock. This, I am told, is normal. After all, we dug a hug hole in the ground, placed some concrete on the bottom of the hole, filled in around the concrete with dirt, then built up above ground level. All that now loose ground is going to settle; compact, shift and slide. Taking the structure with it. Sheet rock cracks when you do that. Status: Ongoing. We have another grading in our near future, which will stir things up some more. The ground will continue to settle, as will the house (its joints have to settle in, too) for at least another few months. Next year, we'll patch, caulk and repaint.

5. Broken seal in one window. We know it's broken, because we came in one day and the window was cloudy (top half of a double-hung window) while its twin (bottom half) was clear. Cloud did not wipe off when we ran a rag on both the inner and outer sides. Status: Frustrating. By the time our builder came out to see it, it was clear again. Until it happens again, and we can take a picture of it (or he happens to be there when it does) he has nothing he can report to Pella. Once we have the evidence, Pella will replace it. So it's a solution waiting for a problem ... to reappear. We suspect it will as the weather cools.

6. Mysterious hollow in basement floor. Husband found it one day. There's a patch in the floor that has a hollow sound compared to the rest of the floor when he walks on it. His fear is that the gravel under-bed may be disturbed. Status: Frustrating. When the builder came to check it out, Husband couldn't replicate the problem. Obviously our builder has more testosterone than Husband does(*).

7. Leak in one of the kitchen sprays. Water drips from the spray head slightly above where the head meets the hose. Doesn't happen until the hose is used; then happens whenever the faucet is used, regardless of whether or not the spray is used. Goes away after long periods of non usage. (There are some advantages to a slow move-in.) Husband says it's a function of the spray, not the plumbing, so it's not our builder's problem. Status: Frustrating. The solution is to replace the spray. Unfortunately, I haven't found the spray by itself; it comes with the faucet or not at all. Shelved to be dealt with later. Whenever that is.

8. Closet shelves need lining before we can use them. We went with the cheaper grill work shelves rather than the laminate. You do things like this at the end of the project when you're already out of money. That's fine, really. The shelves are ok. But, the slats are spaced just too widely for things like DVDs and CDs. So, we need to put a cover of some sort on the top of the shelves. Husband plans on using poster board. Status: On the To Do list. Looking for a round tuit.

9. Birds ram into the (many) large windows. This is the by-product of building essentially a glass house right where they used to have clear space to fly. Leaves an awful smear on the windows. (The birds survive, provided no predator is around at the moment to take advantage of their temporary daze.) Windows are at the 2-story level, and do not open for cleaning. Solution is a) hire cleaners and b) hang sun catchers to alert birds that there's a new road block in town. Status: Pending.

10. Well, I could go on, but I won't. Gotta save some things for future posts.

So, I keep wondering how the folks in Florida are faring.

Don't you?
2nd-Sep-2008 12:13 pm (UTC) - birds crashing into windows
Hi Carol,

I'm catching up with your journal yet again and had a thought about your crashing bird problem. The Performing Arts Center in Milwaukee had the same problem with their glass enclosed skywalk. They solved the problem by putting up predator birds decals (I believe they were silhouettes(sp?) and that seemed to do the trick. Now the question is, where does one find predator bird decals?

P.S. I'm not up on LiveJournal yet, but hopefully soon...

Carol Ferraro
2nd-Sep-2008 07:30 pm (UTC) - Re: birds crashing into windows

Not as hard as you might think to find. Owls, for example, tend to be something lots of folks collect, so there's lots of things out there.

It doesn't have to be just predatory birds, I'm told. Just anything to suggest that there is a something there, rather than the free air that's always been there before.

We haven't unpacked knick-knacks yet. But as soon as I can, I'll hang some suncatchters and see what happens.

Can't wait for your Journal.
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