What does 5 months of progress look like?

Our Sugarberry cottage is still in action! Despite everything going on in the country over the past 5 1/2 months, we still managed to put one foot in front of the other and never stopped moving on the house. I hope you enjoy scrolling through the photos. I am sure some of you will really understand and appreciate it either because you have been through it yourself or you know someone close to you who has been through it. Or, you have no idea and may say to yourself, “what am I looking at?” or “is that it? That isn’t much!” Either way, it is okay, I get it. I used to go into people’s homes after they remodeled or just built and thought “sure, it’s nice” but didn’t really understand the number of decisions that went into what I was looking at. In order to fully understand, let’s walk back a few months…

I need to remember that life on the farm in January and February are, at best, mundane. This was the time where I started to order seeds for the garden and set up my indoor grow. I needed something to do. Life was still. It seemed so long ago now, but reflecting back on the unknown of if and when the world could become vaccinated was still TBD. When March arrived I really felt the Pandemic Trauma and Stress Experience sink in. It wasn’t only a year from when the world changed but our personal world also changed. We celebrated one year of becoming Homecomers and it was an unsettling experience. We were happy, we were proud and we were a tad surprised we are still doing this on a single income (and a social workers income!) However, we were also a little sad, a little confused and a little tired. Maybe Dustin was a lot tired! We would not be honest with ourselves if we do not admit that this transition still affects us even a year later. We have adjusted….I finally found my grocery store/Co-op in Lincoln, Nebraska, my favorite gas station in Wahoo as well as some pretty decent hiking trails at several state parks in Iowa and Nebraska. I am still on the lookout for a decent coffee shop, a good happy hour drink menu and a great farm to table restaurant, but I have not given up hope just yet. I know as the months continue on as they plan to do, we will also continue to adjust…as people do.

We are making the best our of this move and we want to live in a house we love while we spend our days here. So how is the house progressing? Let’s take a look!

HVAC and Plumbing are working away below. Of course, I may never understand how much work Dustin put into the plumbing, but it turned out perfect. I may be bias, but the plumber was SUPER cute and did a great job. If you need a good plumber, I have a great recommendation!

We are fortunate to have enough space where we can hopefully have a cut flower garden, a small vineyard, a chicken coop, fire pit and archways of flowers. Keeping it functional with limited “wasted space” is key for us.

Speaking of keeping things functional and purposeful, I was impressed with Dustin’s organization system in the middle of this chaos! We have minimal waste during this building process (or at least much less than average). We are recycling everything we can (including nails, copper wiring and plastic) and using wood scraps as firewood.

Plumbing work seemed to take the longest. Not because our amazing plumber is slow, but because he wanted it to be perfect. He is most proud of the master shower shown above. He adjusted everything to his height and I know he is looking forward to his first shower in here!

I am not sure how he managed to get piping up that high without any notable injuries. I am thankful he was able to stay relatively safe throughout that process!

It was exciting to have Kavan Electric, INC., in the house. He was fast and efficient, even when our 6 year old came over to “help him,” he still managed to get the job done quickly. His work was clean and precise so him and Dustin got along great! I spent 10 hours one weekend sweeping and cleaning up the house so Dustin could move onto the next project…Insulation (pictured below in this post).

Insulation was delivered by Fremont Builder Supply and things started to get real. When you start the home building process there are so many up front decisions and steps that need to take place…before anything gets done. When the insulation was delivered, I could start to count on my fingers the number of steps to completion and it started to finally become real for us! It was great to have HVAC, Plumbing and Electric complete but now things are starting to look less like a construction site and more like a home.

Dustin framed in the fire place and the boxes shown below are filled with plumbing fixtures! Whatever holiday you celebrate, it felt like that…opening up gift after gift! Our Shaw sink https://shawsofdarwen.com/kitchen-sinks/original arrived and I pictured me happily doing dishes in it!! Almost all fixtures are in a polished nickel finish. Another advantage to marrying a plumber; he has been in a lot of homes and knows what will achieve that “old/farmhouse antique” aesthetic look we are trying to create.

Insulation is COMPLETE upstairs! With a little help from my Dad, Dustin and him were able to finish that in less than a week. Dustin was smart and purchased an insulation cutter which he said sped up the ease of this terrible task.

Let’s take a moment to see what the process is OUTSIDE of the house. We can’t forget that we had to have a sewer system put in and have a well dug. You can see the lonely hydrant out there and while it may not mean much to you, that was a huge deal! This is a huge cost to our project, likely any home building project, and we are happy to report it is working out well (pun intended).

Last but not least, the fireplace. I was surprised to find out that this would be in so soon. I thought drywall, the boxcar siding, and the exterior siding would have been in place prior to our fireplace, but, one thing my type A controlling self had to surrender too was flexibility. If they are available now, and if it can be done now, then it gets done. You work around each other and your timelines are loose, unpredictable and you need to be okay with it! They were ready so we got ready! Dustin framed it in for them and in a matter of two weekends, it was set and ready. With electricity, HVAC and plumbing done and access to running water….when can we move in?!

Stay tuned to find out!!

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