Shed, We Hardly Knew Ye

As long time readers of this blog will remember, there is a lot behind our house, and on that lot has always been a little shed. That shed looked a lot like a little house. Just without the electricity, proper insulation and windows.

The previous owners of our house owned both lots and that was their shed. Before we bought the house, that lot was divided and sold. The land was cleared, a new house was built and yet a year after all of that, the shed was still standing.

Old Shed New House

Now that shed is gone. We had some good times. We stored some junk in there during Hurricane Irene, but for the most part we kept our distance. You never know, there could’ve been an army of feral cats living in there.

Shed Demolished

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.

Under Construction (but Not Us This Time)

Land Survey with Shed

Probably the number one question we get when people come see the house for the first time, or second time, or third time is “what’s going on with that house in the backyard?!” It’s an odd question out of context, but what they’re referring to is the “vacant” lot behind ours. That doesn’t sound so strange but it sure looks weird when you notice the shed on the property and the path leading to it. We’ve talked about it before, but the shed back there looks a lot like a smaller house, or a guest house, but its not, its just an elaborately  constructed shed.

Vacant Lot Land Clearing

One Saturday morning, we were awoken to the sounds of loud machinery. The kind of sounds you’d expect to hear in a movie, and then to be followed by the sight of a crane with a wrecking ball. Not quite. But close. There was a crew in the vacant lot, clearing all of the debris from, among other things, Hurricane Irene.

Crane in the Back Yard

So then as the morning goes on they start ripping out trees and eventually digging up the earth.

Shed and Dirt Mounds

A few days go by and a porta potty shows up. Then a foundation gets put in.

New Home Foundation

New Home Foundation on the Back Lot

And that’s where we are right now. Its been a few days, and we’ve had some snow and rain. We knew this day would come. Even when we first were shown our house by the realtor, the back lot had already been subdivided and sold. We were told a contractor had bought it and was going to build a new house. Months went by, and the only way I could figure out to find out who had bought the lot, was looking up the county tax records online. Sure enough they were there. They are nowhere near complete and I’m sure this will be an ongoing part of our lives for at least the next few months.

1 Story Dwelling Survey

Stay tuned for more on the construction as we spy on it from our kitchen windows.