Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Our Home 1 Year Later

We've been in our home one whole year now! On November 5th, 2008 after waiting for over a year and a half for the right lot and our home to be built we closed on our new house. The wait was long and nerve wracking at times, but oh so worth it! We both love our house and enjoy turning into a home to raise our family.
One Year later- Nov. 2009

In just the first year of home ownership we've learned so much and did quite a bit to our house. Even with a brand new house the work is just beginning! Here's a recap of what our new house, yard, and the proud new home owners (us!) experienced in the past year:
Before: Oct. 2008 at our final walk-through

1. Our first big project was to help the drainage in the front yard. It was a treacherous winter with one of our gutters draining across the driveway leaving a constant sheet of ice right near our front walk-way. A.R. and his brothers dug trenches and ran PVC pipes from the three front gutters to drain into the wetlands in our side yard. The project was a huge success and worked beautifully with no more water draining across our driveway. In 2010, we hope to do the same thing with the back yard, but there is no rush there.

2. A.R. swapped out the EXTREMELY annoying "green" light switches our builder put in each of the bedrooms with new switches with dimmers. The "green" light switches had motion sensors that turned the lights on and a time that would turn them off within a certain amount of time if no movement was detected. It was convenient when you arrived home at night with your hands full and wanted to go into the bedroom in the dark, but what this also meant is that if you got up to pee in the middle of the night or if you rolled over in your sleep the lights would all come on! So, we may not have green light switches, but we did swap all the bulbs out to be energy efficient. :)

3. We put blinds up in the family room, garage windows, the future nursery, and our two guest rooms. Curtains are yet to come in most of these rooms! I have the urge to sew and no recent energy to follow through :). I will have the curtains in the nursery, guest room, and for our solarium done before this baby arrives, darn it!

4. We lost a pet (my beloved kitty, Sebastian) and we gained a pet this year (our little puppy, Lily). Sebastian broke in our carpets with his scratching and Lily finished the job with her house training. Go figure!

5. We created an office in our loft area on the 2nd floor including floating book shelves and recessed lighting with the power cords run behind the walls. I was so impressed with A.R.'s skills when he put the lights in. :)

6. My ancient Kirby went to vacuum heaven and we finally got a Dyson. Who doesn't love a purple vacuum cleaner?! It's my favorite color AND it does it's job well. We also bought our first steam carpet cleaner (thanks to you little Lily!) as well and love it. You don't really realize all the things you need to maintain your house until you have it (carpet cleaners, tools, tool bench for those tools, lawn mower, snow blower, etc.).

7. In October we had the rest of our yard mowed, the weeds killed, and our whole yard re-seeded. We have almost 3/4 of an acre and couldn't really visualize the size of our yard until it was mowed. Now that we know how much room we have we are debating on putting in an in-ground swimming pool one day that will connect to the patio with fire pit we have envisioned off of our walk-out basement. We also will be putting in a deck off the kitchen and solarium in the next couple of years. There is a chunk of our yard that is wetlands and we didn't mow this year. We can actually mow it once a year, but chose to let nature grow what it wants this year. I think we may put our vegetable garden on it next year if the town permits it.

8. In the spring we figured out how to use a rotatiller and planted our very first vegetable garden. Our harvest this year was actually better then expected even though our tomatoes died from the blight that was going around. We got a huge pumpkin, butternut squash, yellow squash, green beans, and a crap load of cucumber. Gardening is definitely a lot harder than I thought!

9. I rebedded the shrub beds that the builder put in and added a new flower bed around our mailbox base. I put down landscaping fabric to help cut back on the weeds and put new mulch down. It took a lot longer than I thought and I got a horrible sun burn out of it (don't forget your sunscreen when gardening!). I planted hostas a friend gave me under the fence in our front yard, Lilies by the mailbox and at each end of the fence, and assorted flowering shrubs along the house next to the garage and miraculously everything I planted grew and lived!


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