Slowly but surely…
Yes, Virginia, you can build a house in winter. No, it is not easy.
The cold really hurts things, as machinery (and humans) don’t work well at temps below zero. But the guys at Kraemer & Sons have been busy, despite extreme cold. It looked so weird when the site was cleared of trees and the old house. It looked HUGE! Now the basement is all dug out, and the cement walls have been poured. There have been a few tiny hiccups, like dealing with an old well they dug up. But really, it’s been pretty easy so far.
Our site manager, Bill, contacts us every few days or so with new questions. First he wanted to know about the cedar posts we are using for the pergola and porch in the front of the house (rough or smooth cedar?). Then it was fireplace hearth depth (we chose a deeper hearth so it can double as seating). Today it was ceiling height. We don’t need or want 20 foot ceilings, but 10 footers are nice. We lowered the garage ceiling one foot to 9 feet, so we can have a 9 foot attic ceiling height, which will be great. The questions sometimes stump me — why do we need to make this decision now? Often it has to do with building trusses. It startles me a bit, how fast things are going to move!
Speaking of moving, we actually had an impromptu “showing” of our current home the other night. A Realtor stopped by after showing a neighbor’s house. She’d heard we would be listing this spring, and had a client who might be interested. I was alone with a filthy house, Penny the Queen Doodle, and my two fearful foster pups, whom I call the Meerkats. I said sure, you can look at the house, as long as you know it isn’t anywhere near showing-ready. She contacted our Realtor (hi Mike Meldahl!) the next morning, wanting to make sure she got a call the minute it ht the market. That makes me feel good!
In other real estate news, my folks have decided to move to Minnesota! They have lived in California since the early 1970s, so this is a big deal. Bought a lovely house just 10 minutes from both our current and future homes. So this spring I will be helping establish 2 homes, I guess!
In the mean time, I shall dream of spring. Our temps are supposed to go back up to normal or above in the next 2 weeks, so should be a bunch of work done at the site. I will focus on my jobs: finalizing tile and carpet choices. We are putting a few decorative tiles on the outside of the house in keeping with our Mediterranean them, and Bill wants to know the sizes ASAP. Those tiles will help us with our exterior stucco color choice. The it’s on to lighting (like finding jewelry, and I love to accessorize!). Hope the winter isn’t keeping down. Just think: you could be digging frozen dirt at sub-zero temps like the guys at our site!