Construction Update (But Still Not Us This Time)

OK, so here’s a brief update about the house that’s being built on the not-so-vacant lot behind our house. When we last spoke about it, the house was only some leveled land and poured foundation.

New Home Foundation

Now that foundation has blossomed into a fully grown monster of a house. I guess the home style is typical of a narrow lot in a part of the country with little room left for expansion. As one neighbor put it, “its a builder home.” There isn’t anything architecturaly interesting about the design, just a basic house rising too high from the ground. It seems pretty similar to a modern day “Sears Catalog Home” in its construction. Its also a bit of a blank slate right now.

Semi Completed New Home Construction

Along the way we got to see some pretty drastic improvements when we got home from work everyday.

First Floor Wooden Frame House

That was by far the windiest day they could have been working up there. I don’t know if the picture really captures it, but I was genuinely concerned for those guys’ well being as the gusts got stronger and they put up the second story.

Wooden Frame Shell of a New Home

There it is complete with its full frame and Xanadu looking design.

Roof and Windows on a New Home Construction

Next came the roof and windows. Now its looking like a real house.

Siding Installation on a New Home

And finally the siding was installed. I like the color, and I honestly won’t mind looking at it. They could’ve gone with something in the “tan” or “beige” realm and I’d have been annoyed. They say the home construction industry in New Jersey is making a comeback. That New York Times article hints at a bit of a mixed reception from builders and folks in the building industry. I guess the true test will be whether or not you see a ton of these builders homes springing up across the state in the near future.

A drive over to the front side of the house (not pictured) shows that it is only partially completed. Maybe they’re waiting for a buyer? Who knows, but I can tell you that they’ve certainly slowed down working on it. At this point, I’m just looking forward to the fence being installed.

One of two things…or both?

So I recently went to an allergist. I’ve had seasonal allergies all my life, accompanied by a post-nasal drip that just never goes away. I had been seeing my doctor, trying to figure out what I can do to calm my symptoms and they finally sent me to a specialist.

It was a very interesting experience, to say the least. I was initially really nervous because I had seen a seemingly painful allergy test on TV where they lay you on your stomach and stick you with a ton of needles all at once. The skin test I had was so easy and actually kind of enjoyable! I got to see exactly what I’m allergic to. Check it out…


Needless to say, I’m highly allergic to numbers 1 – 18, which included all the outdoor stuff; grass, flowers, trees, etc. Number 17 was Bermuda Grass and the reaction from that test spread all the way up my arm! Looks like my lifelong streak of no grass-cutting will continue!

Here’s the rest of the test…

AllergiesNumbers 19 – 35 included indoor stuff; mold, mildew, dust, etc. 26 and 27 are dust mites. Who isn’t allergic to dust, really?

My major takeaway from this is I need to find an allergy treatment that works for me and just stick to it. My secondary, house-related takeaway requires one of two things…either I stop doing yard work all together or we get hardwood floors! Or maybe…BOTH?!

Truthfully, I won’t stop doing yard work. I was just out Sunday night hacking up the earth trying to rid the ground of pesky dead(ish) ivy vines. It was a HUGE stress relief. Yard work is good like that. There’s a method to the madness and you are allowed to be actually mad about the work! It’s fabulous. I actually enjoy picking up sticks because it’s a really great workout! Have you ever done full on squats for an hour straight? Go pick up sticks in your yard and you’ll feel the burn!

To the hardwood floors comment; it’s definitely on the top of our “to-do” list. When Andrew ripped up a good chunk of our living room carpet to install our makeshift landing, we revealed some pretty decent looking hardwood. After speaking to some of the adults in our lives, we’ve come to the conclusion that having the floors re-done may actually be within reach – like this year or early next year reach!

Long story short, not much has changed having been officially diagnosed with tons of allergies to trees and such. The best part about it is that it will spark the motivation we need to prioritize projects. Maybe hardwood floors will be next!

Where Does the Time Go?

No seriously…where does the time go? Days seem to crawl by sometimes, but then all of a sudden it’s Spring! And we haven’t written a blog post in what seems like ages! I can’t promise this next one here is going to be great, but it’s something. We’ve been enjoying our house lately and slowing down on major projects. We’re still bustin’ doors left and right, so definitely stay tuned for some updates on that.

It’s been super warm here in Jersey. We recently bought some new window A/C units because the ones that came with our house were pretty old and the one started leaking toward the end of last Summer. It’s a good thing we got them when we did because many of the Lowe’s in our immediate area were sold out of the units we were looking for! It’s been so warm, we actually installed the new A/C unit for the bedroom the other day. We heard it was going to be almost 80 today so we figured we might need it! Turns out, it’s not going to be quite that warm, especially at night. Nevertheless, we don’t plan on needing the heat again until October so there the A/C unit stays!

In other news…we have this skeleton of a canopy in our backyard. The previous owners left it for us, along with the canopy top and mosquito net that wraps around to create the walls of the canopy. We even busted that thing out the other week. We got the canopy top on and despite the fact that it was a bit dirty (just like everything that was left in the house), it suits the setup just fine. The mosquito net, however, had seen better days so we headed to Lowe’s to look for a new one. We saw one on a shelf that was marked $78, but one of the individual boxes was marked $58. Of course we took the one marked for less! Then we decided to check Target just to see if they had anything cheaper. Of course they did – $39 for a mosquito net. Obviously we went with that one and planned to return the $58 one to Lowe’s. We got some store credit to Lowe’s for that return – if you think hard enough you can just imagine which amount ended up on our store credit GC 😉

Anyway, it’s the tricks of the trade. We hardly ever pay full price for anything, ever, ever, ever. And when we get into situations with Comcast or if we buy a defective water filter for our Samsung refrigerator (true story) we get something in return. We recently got a ton of credits toward Best Buy because of their horrible customer service over the phone. I literally just asked for extra Reward points and they gave them to me, so we bought (for FREE) a wall mount for our new bedroom TV. We’ve lowered our Comcast bill on more than one occasion since we moved in, and this was all done via their Live Chat service. As for our defective water filter? We badgered Samsung a bit until they decided to send us a $50 Lowe’s gift card – more than enough to cover the cost of the filter.

So lesson learned – never pay full price for anything and don’t take no for an answer. Which brings me to this gem…

Andrew Extreme Couponing