Finally…Home, Sweet Home!

It took longer than planned and it tested our patience, but we are finally moved into our new home. Have not posted an update because we have been extremely busy (heavy understatement here) unpacking and doing our best to make our new home presentable. Our daughters are visiting tomorrow and so is my niece, her husband and daughter – they are staying through Labor Day weekend. Yeah!!! We are very happy for that.

We closed on August 2nd, but we had a list of items that still needed attention from the builder. While it created almost two weeks of inconvenience, the list was taken care of. After taking care of the rework list we were able to focus on unpacking. We are not done, but we are ready to share a few sections of our new home with you. See below for more.

As we were waiting for the truck bringing our belonging I decided to take a walk to the neighborhood pool. We are three houses away from it; yeah! The best of both worlds; a very nice pool and we do not have to take care of it at all; just enjoy it.

 

Panoramic view of our pool.

 

Truck has arrived. Now this shipment contained only items we stored in the US while we were in China.

 

In addition to this load, another one without the trailer portion was the total US shipment. Must say we have accumulated way too much stuff. Time to review and donate lots of stuff -we have not really missed for over two years. Kind of shameful really.

 

Our new home front view. I did not take a picture of it, but in addition of placing many of our items inside the house, we filled the three car garage with boxes to be unpacked. Counting the China and US shipment we had almost 400 boxes. Did not look forward to unpacking at all.

 

This will be one of our favorite places to relax. The two white rocking chairs were given to us by one of the neighbors that was moving. My wife always wanted rocking chairs in her porch so we could not turn them away. Her plan is to paint them red as the front door. The idea is growing on me.

 

A different front view with some of the back yard. The sod is taking very well; I am certain it is because Greenville seems to have had the rainiest summer on record. Works for me.

 

The red door! My wife wanted a red door very much so here it is. I think it looks great, but must say that initially I had my reservations.

 

We have a nice lot with a good size backyard. We got a weeping willow on the center like area. I think it is in shock, but hopefully it will make it.

 

Different view from back.

 

We love to cook and have people over for appetizers or dinner. So we were particular on the kitchen layout and appliances. We have a great five burner stove I am sure will get much use. My wife loves her refrigerators with the freezer on the bottom and her double oven.

 

The floor plan is very open. We really like it as it works well when you have people over; you can cook and chat at the same time.

 

Dining area with a view of the screened porch; another favorite of ours.

 

Overall view of the dining area, kitchen and living room. A very open layout as you can see.

 

We seem to spend a lot of time in the screened porch. Like to have dinner in it; it is not that big, but very comfortable for 4 to 6 people.

 

Enjoying a delicious salad, roasted vegetables and avocado – YUM!

Well, this is it for now. While we have just about cleared the garage from boxes, there still is a lot of work to be done before we can say – complete!

Thanks for visiting.

Hot Days

So far July has been very hot, but the rains have really not let up much at all. Many tell us that the rains are so unusual for Greenville, but that does not help us keep drier. It has also caused some delays on the construction of our new home; the builder still says we will close on July 31st – I have low confidence on this based on what still has to be done. Today we met with the big boss and shared our concerns, he is to review the schedule with our building supervisor and get back to us with date confirmation or delay. We are close, but that does not help us right now. Below I am adding some recent pictures of the house, and other topics.

Hope your summer is going well to you all.

We visited today (Monday, July 22) and the painters are preparing all surfaces for primer. Then, on Wednesday they are to apply the second coat. All the trim is in, these pictures do not show trim at all.

 

In downtown Greenville, there are a total of 10 bronze mice scattered across main street. There location is not mapped, but finding all of them is a popular game kids and newcomers are encouraged to participate in. Here you see one of the mice cemented on a corner of a street.

 

Check this poodle out! Fancy dog taking a stroll on main street.

 

In 1904, a two-story building was erected next to the Reedy river and downtown Greenville. The building housed a paint factory that provided materials to carriage factories. When the auto industry took off, demand for carriages went down and the paint factory was closed. In 1925, the old carriage factory paint shop became the first factory for Duke’s mayonnaise. In 1955, the Duke’s mayo factory moved to Lauren’s Rd (still operational today) and it was abandoned. In 1979, the building was placed in the National Register of Historical building. Today, the building is used for events such as weddings and large parties. It has also become a favorite place for portrait photographers.

 

One of the views from inside the two-story brick building. Here you see the Court Yard Marriott located across Reedy river.

 

A view from inside the mayo factory. As you can see it is a perfect place to hold large events. Plenty of light and fresh air for spring, summer and fall events.

 

Yes, it has been very hot. Downtown has several man-made water falls. This one is usually packed with kids cooling of and having some great times.

 

All along the Reedy River around Falls Park you find beautiful places to sit down and relax with friends, chat and or read a good book. The downtown planners have really done a very good job developing a downtown that is very welcoming and provides many fun activities and places to relax. They have done such a good job, that I have heard other small towns in neighboring states have contacted Greenville responsible parties for advice on how to best revitalize their downtowns.

 

After having lunch with friends on Sunday, we stopped at Luna Rosa for gelato. While enjoying our cold treat we saw this waitress with her many tattoos. See below for more on them.

 

Jeni is her name, when I saw her leaning on this wall I had to approach her and ask her if I could take some pictures of her just hanging out. Jeni said…”sure!”

 

Not a big fan of tattoos, but do appreciate the art on many of them. I did not ask many questions on what each tattoo meant since I knew she was on a very quick smoke break. As you can see she has a few and I am sure there is a story behind each one.

 

This one was really nice looking. I am too chicken to have a tattoo, plus I do not see the sense of marking my body with something I will need to live with for the rest of my life. Regardless, those who choose to have them seem to love them. To each its own for sure.

 

As I was quickly taking pictures, Jenna told me… “hey, check this one out”… now this is creative – what do you think?

Till the next post!

Slow Progress

Rainy days and the amount of rain for the month of May broke some records in Greenville, SC. As a result, progress on our new home was less than expected. To make matters worse the lot was too flat and had to be graded and a massive french drain was added to assure proper drainage. We are happy to see how the builder handled this unexpected issue and after seeing what they did -we do not see any problems when heavy rains occur in the future.

The pictures below show progress from day one:

A look at the lot when we first saw it. It really is a great lot with woods in the back leading to a retention pond so no buildings behind us. Ok, you must have some imagination to see what it could be.

 

Finally working on clearing the brush. We really wanted to keep as many of the trees as possible. Keep in mind this picture was taken when the leaves were just coming out.

 

The five or so trees you see on the left hand side could not be saved. They were laying lower that the rest of the lot and once the builder realized they needed to do some additional work to assure proper drainage they had to be cut down. Real bummer, but it beats a soggy lawn and potential problems with the foundation.

 

The whole lot was dug down by about 4 or so feet. The rocks were placed on the base of it; some large diameter pipes were run alongside the lot running back to the retention pond (french drains like).

 

Over the rock a special bio tarp and more rock over that.

 

One day they had a lot of equipment working on the lot. Glad the price for the house did not go up due to this unexpected drain issue fix. Will keep an eye to assure they do not cut corners some place else to compensate. Doubt it based on their attitude and approach so far, but must verify.

 

On top of the last layer of rock quite a few truck loads of nice dirt. Then the foundation perimeter was erected; no basement as you can see.

 

More rock within the foundation perimeter preparing the area for the concrete¬†that will serve as the slab for our home; yeah!… no crackling noise when walking on the wood floors late at night or early morning.

 

My beautiful wife finally happy to see the foundation done, makes it look like she is sitting on her porch. Silly lady.

 

After three days of heavy rain and no progress at all, the framing started!
Yes, for those outside of the US, this type of construction may seem very weird and flimsy since you may be used to brick and concrete. Must admit I thought the same when I first came to the US in the early 1970’s. The first time I knocked on a wal-l I could not believe it sounded like cardboard to me.
Well, due to cost, speed and some advantages (??) this is the preferred type of home construction in the US. Wish it was cheaper, but so it is.

 

A view from my neighbor to the left of us (as we look from the street). Our home is about 25 feet from her lot.

 

This was yesterday (June 11), glad to see lots of progress. Tomorrow the roof should be closed in…

 

The guys directing the crane were walking on 2×4 pieces of lumber…did not look safe, but it did not seem to bother them or slow them down at all.

 

A view from the back, the screened porch will be a nice place to be during cool summer nights.

 

This was today (June 12), as you can see the roof is just about covered. This will allow them to do work inside even if there is some rain (expect some tomorrow). Must say the framing went fast as they had a good number of workers and the truces were pre-made at a factory.

 

View from the middle of the entrance hall looking into the family room. Now that it is partially framed the hallway looks normal size. Prior to this it looked way too narrow (it actually is 5.5 feet in width.)

 

View from the back. Just about done with the roof and sides. Yeah!…we are looking forward to seeing faster progress during the next few weeks. The hotel suite is getting very small.

Thanks for visiting!