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11 / 19 / 2021

Oh gees, has it been a busy few months! Our last post had caught us up to when the paint was finished and an update that we were granted occupancy and moved in as of August 24 - that was a BIG day for us!

Let's catch up on some projects that happened after paint...

TILE! Holy moly, once we realized we were rapidly running out of time, we decided there was no way we'd be able to tile the three bathrooms and kitchen backsplash ourselves. So we found a fantastic company that could start almost immediately and wrap the project up within two weeks! This is pretty amazing, considering most companies we talked to couldn't begin for weeks or months. And the finished tile is sooo SEXY!

While the tiles were installed, we finished our kitchen and installed the sinks, faucets, fridge, range hood, and oven. We had not one, but two of our kitchen sinks arrived broken, and we had to wait. Gretchen worked on installing the upstairs floor (pretty much all by herself!). Jason and his mom found a beautiful, sizeable live-edge chunk of maple for Jason to install in our powder room. We installed our stacked washer and dryer. And we finished the back deck and installed all of the railings.

After the tiles were installed and grouted, we could get into the bathrooms and finish installing all the toilets and our master bathroom vanity, sinks, lighting, and the best - our master bathroom tub. We measured for glass shower walls in August, but they weren't installed until the end of October!

And beyond all of that interior work...we had to finish installing the siding on the outside of our house! Plus truck-in loads of organic compost to amend our soils - which STUNK - to incorporate into the ground around our home, and gravel for our walkways and side driveway.

Since we moved to Bremerton in 2013, we'd been renting a home in Tracyton, and this summer, we let the landlords know we'd be out by the end of August. So we'd be lying if we said there weren't any meltdowns and panic attacks (mainly from Gretchen) that we'd be able to finish everything in time. Gretchen's main goal was to be able to move in before David started kindergarten on August 30. But it was looking less and less likely with how much siding we still had left to do. We did talk to the landlord and had the option to extend our rent for another month if we didn't pass the final inspection.

With the stakes and stress high, we scheduled our final inspection on Tuesday, August 24, with the thought that our inspector would be able to provide us with a list of "fix-it" items that we'd need to pass. There was a small hope we'd pass, knowing that all of the safety measures had been finished per code, but without the siding panels done, we weren't sure what they'd say. We hoped that we'd be able to fix all of the items within the next couple of days and schedule another final inspection at the end of the week. Well, you all know by now that our inspector was a wonderful man! He made sure all of the siding panels were onsite and ready to be installed, all of our safety requirements had been met, and he let us know that we could bust open the bottle of champagne!

That evening, we celebrated by opening up a bottle of bourbon we'd been holding on to for a few years that we had engraved "To Our House" from Woodinville, WA. We didn't get to rest long, though, because we had to hurry up and move out of our rental home! It took us only one month to finish that bottle of Woodinville bourbon. ;)

After moving in, we finished installing our master closet (which is fantastic) and have been slowly installing trim throughout, kitchen shelves, light fixtures that were back-ordered, and more. We had a small checklist of items to finish for the appraiser to wrap up our construction loan - namely, the exterior siding. With a hard date of October 4, Jason and Gretchen pushed to get every last panel up (even through the rain) and were finally able to relax a bit more!

We still have some trim to install and painting touchups, but overall, our house to-do list is getting shorter, and it's been an incredible home to live in so far. Our energy bills are cheaper for a place almost double in size from our last house, and we love living in the woods! We often see deer walking past our front door, along with entertaining squirrels and birds visiting the feeders on our back deck. Autumn has been simply spectacular with a vibrant show of colors we've been able to enjoy out of every single window. We've even loved the crazy weather and are happy to report no water leaks (considering we installed all the windows ourselves)! Though we are watchful of the strong winds and 100ft trees that surround us. We still have lots of landscaping and a fence to install in our front yard, too, but aren't in any rush for the time being.

We will plan on doing some more website updates as we finish more significant projects, but in the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving! We are cutting down our tree the day after Thanksgiving, and it's a BIG one this wish us luck on fitting it in our atrium!

We are excited to announce that we'll be hosting an open house in early December! So everyone who has been following our progress can take a look inside to see the (mostly) finished product! Message us if you'd like to check out the first permitted container home in Kitsap County, and we'll provide our address and date for the open house.


Updated: Nov 19, 2021

08 / 02 / 2021

One of our frequent sayings while working on this project is, "why can't anything be easy?!" But as we think about it, we realized that there have been a few easy things: electrical, drywall, and painting! Though each has had puzzles to solve, they've been pretty smooth sailing. Thank goodness for hiring the right people to help us.

Update - as we post this, we have officially been granted occupancy (8/24/21)! This update is outdated but hold tight as we catch our bearings and finish these updates to catch you up to where we are now.

The interior transformation has finally begun, and the house is starting to look more like a home! Though the drywall dust and fumes from priming the steel walls were hell, we can now say we have beautiful walls and ceilings. The detail our drywallers took to work around the dents and bumps in our used containers was a feat in itself. Then, after evaluating the curse of over-spray, our painters painstakingly painted all our beams and railings by hand. It was hard work, but it's all paid off.

Other updates, before painting, Jason welded and finished installing our stair railing. We spent Father's Day 2021 camping out on our upper deck and enjoying the stars with David. Our tub arrived but has to wait for installation until after the tile, but that didn't stop Gretchen from taking an imaginary dip while sitting in its temporary home. We've had settlers in the new house, and thanks to squatters-rights, we couldn't kick them out. Luckily, they moved out on their own after a few weeks. ;) And we celebrated another birthday with Gretchen kidnapping Jason for a couple of days to get him drunk.

After painting, we were able to install all of our lighting fixtures and switches...and while we still had scaffolding on site, Jason took the opportunity to install our Big Ass Fan in the atrium. We've taken daily trips to Lowe's and Home Depot to buy everything from light bulbs to shims and wood for the siding supports. Oh, and we started installing our kitchen cupboards!

We had initially hoped to keep the container floors exposed in the home, but their condition when we got them was poor and became even worse after a winter exposed to rain and snow. So we hired a company called Decopour to pour concrete on the first floor containers. To save ourselves some money, we chose to seal them ourselves, which may have got us a little high from the fumes, but we powered through and rocked out to some tunes in the process.

Our next update will include tiles and (basically) finished bathrooms! We just need to find the time to gather our notes and create the post! Stay tuned.

06 / 04 / 2021

So. many. decisions! From light fixtures and locations, tiles and tile patterns, landscaping shrubs and lawn seed or sod, and then choosing paint colors! Decision fatigue is real. And it is exhausting.

Regardless, we've been happily, albeit tiredly, trucking along on our home and even happier to report that it's been jam-packed with activity!

In May and early June, we were busy with the following:

  • Had our septic installed

  • Electrical lines run

  • Mechanical ducting through the house

  • Gas lines run

  • Plumbing lines ran and tested

  • Interior insulation installed

  • AND we started installing siding on the home's exterior.

  • Phew.

Jason (now a man of even more trades) jumped in and learned the ins and outs of testing and running our gas lines. Jason also learned the true meaning of dedicated circuits, wire gauges, pulling wire, home runs, and fishing wire through steel walls with the help of our fantastic electricians. Jason installed our mini-splits and pulled the damn refrigerant lines himself. Plus, our neighbor helped us dig trenches.

We scheduled a series of inspections within a few days of each other before adding bat insulation to the home's interior and atrium walls, leaving us mere hours to fix the few noted corrections from inspectors. We only gave ourselves 24 hours to turn around and install our interior insulation before our insulation inspection. The worst part was installing bat insulation in 85+ degrees heat. It. was. so. itchy!

We've had tremendous (free) help from our new neighbors, good friends, and parents, for which we will be forever grateful. Also mixed in, we received a delivery of tiles, in which about 30% were broken! We celebrated a big birthday (we don't want to talk about it) and David's graduation from preschool. Which means that David has more time to be our bossy "contractor."

Now we are on to drywall, painting, and everything else!


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