The last 6 months

As I write this, I'm sitting in bed typing and pretty much waiting for the sun to come up. I need it to come up so that I can go and look at the progress that happened on the house while I was at work yesterday. It's a delicate balance of timing because (1) it's too dark to look at when I get home from work and (2) the demo guys show up so early and I don't want to be in their way. So, there is like a 20 minute window when it can just be me.

It took a lot to get to this point. I think some of the stress that happened over the past 6 months has been inevitable - this is a house we are talking about, not a rocking chair. It might have been slightly easier if I had asked for help at certain spots but whatever. Can't look back, can only look forward.

Some timeline details...

Mid-last winter:
  • the plans for the house were "finalized"-ish. Nothing will ever be final but things felt pretty good. I was ready to get started but my designer pushed me to finalize ancillary plans (windows, finishes, electrical) prior to talking to a contractor.
  • I made no progress on these plans because it was overwhelming.
  • Spent several hours in a tile store picking out tile, while knowing I would change my mind as soon as demo happened probably.
  • Met with a kitchen designer to get a rough quote on cabinets and design.
  • Met with a window guy. Determined what kind I wanted based on how easy it was to open.
  • I got a bit antsy realizing that all of the house projects I had been watching were getting built and finished... and I still had paper on my kitchen table.
Late Spring-ish:
  • I have an intervention style dinner with my super talented neighbor friends. She's in construction management and he's a well-known painter in town. They tell me I'm not crazy.
  • I begin to reach out to contractors on my own. Contractors respond and are willing to meet.
Early Summer (June):
  • Talk to half a dozen contractors based on recommendations from friends, family, and people in the industry.
  • Get proposals from several contractors... all different in terms of presentation, amount, details.
  • Realize that I need to figure out a mortgage. Call in my dad to project manage getting financing lined up. He's great at that stuff.
  • Settle on a builder. We all shake hands in the driveway and this stuff gets real.
  • Giant tree falls down in the yard. Misses the house completely but fills the yard.
  • Builder says clean out the house.
  • Hire a tree guy to come and clear the lot of all the brush and trees that would be in the way. Try to save one tree to make something with the wood.
  • Begin to empty out of the house. Buy lots of trash bags, protective gloves and masks off Amazon.
  • Back and forth with the bank.
  • Learn that the original house design has inaccurate measurements on some rooms. Bank's assessor needs approval to note that his numbers are correct. 
  • More back and forth with the bank.
  • Even more emails about pdfs from the bank.
  • Town reviews the plans and determines house designer has designed an extra bedroom. Making a "5 bedroom house" instead of a "4 bedroom house". Garage gets crossed off plans to obtain building permit. For the record, this "bedroom" is not a bedroom it's a small pass-through office.
  • Building permit is obtained!
  • Emotional breakdown on the streets of Somerville. Everything is too much.
  • Financing is complete! I have a mortgage!
  • Goal to start demo in "3 weeks".
  • Begin to feverishly clean out the house. So much sweat.
  • Order a dumpster and proceed to fill it to the brim.
  • Waiting for demo guys.
  • More waiting for demo.
  • Demo begins.... and here we are.
I didn't cross check my texts, emails, and phone history but this feels pretty accurate. The one thing I'm absolutely confident on is there was a lot of back and forth about everything. Getting financing is hard. Cleaning out a house is hard. My emotional crack was inevitable. This is all 110% worth it.

Here's to the next six months.

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