Everyone tells you to expect setbacks, surprises and cost overruns. They are right. The latest with the electrical service is a pain as it’s pushing back our move in.

First, the good news (because it’s required background for the bad). The outside is beginning to take shape. We now have a great patio and the fire pit area is done. The grading is complete, and we have about ¼ acre of loam and seed to water. With construction going into the summer, we’ll be living out here, so this is all very important. Finally, the master bedroom is more or less done with a working, nicely finished bath. So, we could sleep there save for lack of electrical service and are keen curtail the gypsy lifestyle and start to settle in, even if only by baby steps.

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It was absolutely necessary to upgrade from the 100 amp, old-style fuse box  to modern equipment and 200 amp service. And, that was to have happened this weekend. It didn’t. Friday, the guys showed up to tear out the old and set up to connect the new box into the house wiring which would happen Saturday. Beth checked in that morning and was pleased to see the guys there and working. But her jaw dropped when she returned in the late afternoon just in time to see their truck rolling out and had a chance to survey the work they’d done. They had run two fat conduits right along the cedar shakes of the living room wall at the end of the new patio. Besides ruining the karma of our main living area, the pipes are totally incompatible with the plan for French doors on that wall.

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Errant Conduit

She pitched a quick fit and thus was a meeting fixed for Saturday morning. The contractor got there before we did and had worked out with two electricians how they would route the wires into the house. So, upon our arrival, he was able to quickly announce that he had a good solution. As were walking around back I quietly put him up to telling Beth his plan was to route the conduits up, over and around the French door. He pulled it off deadpan, but we all erupted in laughs before she had a coronary. With 30 minutes the offending conduit was sawzalled out of there.

Had the electricians done it right, this would be all behind us and we’d be moving in this week. However, the regroup brought up a new possibility of getting the box out of there all together, which would necessitate running the service underground. There are a bunch of good reasons, including wiring for a cable, phone and a generator which can sit near the pole in the woods. This will allow us to move the meter and all connections away from the patio behind the fence. It’s the best solution, but it introduces another week (best case) into the schedule and a $6000 hit to the scant budget.

The kitchen is still gutted and going through inspections, but we should have walls soon and it’s not held up by electrical work. The original flooring in the bedroom and so-called cocktail room, have come out great, albeit you have to appreciate old and rough, which we do.

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Slightly Wavy Bedroom Floor
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Cocktail Room

As it stands we’ll move in as soon as they can light up the box. In the meantime.

Last notes, it’s unfortunate the lawn got seeded late, but there was no way around the timing and even as is, much of it will be getting trampled by workmen. Not sure how we will keep it watered, but I did buy a BAD ASS sprinkler on a tripod that covers over 5000 square feet. Click here to see it proudly in action. And a final piece of outdoor good news, the leaves are all in and don’t completely mask out the water, particularly from the patio. And with a little pruning, we can do even to better.

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