Since the last post, we have been wrapping up all the final touches. Final electrical, mechanical, plumbing, fire sprinkler, painting and trim were all completed. Our power was turned on. We got the septic started up. Got internet service installed. Installed a garage door opener, and finished the fireplace. There was very nearly A MILLION little tasks to finish. And, of course, after months of being a construction site a lot of cleaning. There are still some straggling items we will wrap up after we move-in, but for all intents and purposes, we are DONE.
Take a look below for our notes on the big steps we took to get to a Certificate of Occupancy and, FINALLY, move in.
Xcel Power Meter Install
This was a nerve-wracking one. They canceled on us TWO times. Luckily, the third time was the charm. When they showed up – we were missing a PVC pipe from the meter to the underground. Apparently, the electrical installer left it in the garage – we thought it was trash and tossed it. A quick trip to Home Depot later, they were able to start installing the power meter. Then they ran into a boulder. They had to come back a second day with a jackhammer to get through the shallow boulder conveniently planted right in the path from the house to the electrical service.
Getting past the interior painting is a HUGE step! Once the painting is done, all the final finishes can be let loose. The painting was a big job that took nearly a week to complete. We went with a very light neutral grey for the walls and white for the ceiling. Having a toddler is the reason we chose the light grey walls, it tends to hide dirt and marks better.
First, they used a clear sealer on all the trim and doors. Then, they taped everything off and painted the walls. To be honest, we were a little disappointed with the final product, it appears perhaps only one coat of paint was done when it should have been two coats of paint. We have lots of touch-ups to do.
C’est la vie! At this point, we are too exhausted to argue over some of these things and have to pick our battles. This battle was one that was not worth it to us.
All the final electric and lighting went pretty smoothly. We failed the first inspection, which is not uncommon. The inspector requested some minor changes, we completed them and passed the second time. All the lighting looks good. At the high bay lights in the living room, there are gaps at the corners at the ceiling, because the fixtures are circular and the electrician put in square electrical boxes behind them. Another minor annoyance. We will go back and fill in the corners with some well-matched wood putty, later on.
Final Mechanical Inspection
Final Mechanical Inspection involves all the vent covers and starting up the furnace. We installed an Ecobee thermostat and a humidifier to keep humidity levels from going too low in the winter. (Tends to happen in Colorado, especially in the mountains.)
We ordered carpet through Home Depot. Many big box stores have made the process of ordering and installing flooring fairly easy. Our pro-tip: remember to account for carpet and padding. We spent more than we budgeted because we did not account for the cost of padding. It was not an insignificant sum. Ultimately, it was worth it. The carpet looks great and feels so nice underfoot. Having the carpet installed makes it feel more like home.
Final Plumbing Inspection
On the road to our final plumbing inspection, we had just one snafu with the freestanding tub filler. When we opened the box – it was broken. We ordered a different model online and eventually got the money back from the old one. Other than that minor hiccup, all the final plumbing went well.
All appliance installs went pretty well! The one exception was the dishwasher. That appliance came broken! Oh, well. Unfortunately, we will not get a new one until 3-weeks after we move in. The plumbing inspector said it might be an issue, but then he passed us anyway.
Residential Fire Sprinklers
The final fire sprinkler trim involved installing the fire riser, pump, filling the tank, horn, and strobe install, charging the antifreeze in the garage, and installing all the headcovers. This took a few days. The fire department came out to inspect – and we passed the first time! The subcontractor went over the system with us so we can maintain and inspect it regularly. All in all, the system is pretty inconspicuous, just some white circles on the ceiling.
We had a local rep for the Advantex Septic System come out and start up the system. This service is included in the purchase of the system. When they started it up, they realized an important recirculation line was missing from the secondary tank back to the primary tank. Whoops! Luckily, our excavator who installed the system came out and fixed it within a few days.
We moved everything in one day with a Uhaul. It was exhausting! We are glad to be done. We have all the essentials unpacked. We still have a lot to do. Now that the big push of getting our Certificate of Occupancy and moved into the house – we are trying to take a breather. Just relax and appreciate the major accomplishment of building our own house. Now that this project is finally done, we will slowly cross off those few remaining minor items.