Under Construction

Adventures in Home Ownership

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Today's visit to the homesite was largely inconclusive. We had hoped that the cabinets would be in, or maybe even that the exterior would have received its initial coat of stucco, but neither of those was the case. Instead, the bare interior sheetrock has been finished, with the seams taped and spackled and the metal pieces that finish the corners have been installed. They also cleaned up the floor which made walking around inside the place a lot less hazardous to the feeties.

We didn't take any pictures of the inside of the house because it really hadn't changed all that much, and we thought interior pictures would probably be boring to look at. Instead, we had a little talk with the sales team to see if they could point us in the direction of a home that has the same color scheme as ours. They were only too happy to do so, and they even found one in our elevation. So, our house will look almost exactly like this:

Every home in the community is a little bit different, so the difference between this house and our house will be in the color of the roof tiles. Anyway, it's a lot of fun, and when we check back in on the place ten days hence, we're expecting to see BIG changes. HUGE changes. Changes that will be worthy of a cornucopia of interior pictures.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

This is a Dave I Know

In our hands, we hold what is commonly called "the construction order," but here we're having it stand in for the purchase order that we spent two and a half hours signing this afternoon. That lengthy document has somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred sets of initials and at least fifty signatures from each of us, as well as a report detailing what kind of soil the house is built on and a notice of our right to be notified if somebody wants to graze "range animals" nearby. For real on that last one. Gunfighters in the streets.

The picture was taken by Dave, who spent three years teaching English in Japan and seven years working as a translator for Japanese high-rollers at the Mirage. Dave is not the sales consultant we've been working with on this deal, but vacations happen, and so today Dave was our man.

After slogging through all that paperwork, we went down the street to lot #156, where we strolled around in our house. Now that the drywall is up, it looks a lot more like a real house (and less like a pretend house made out of Linkin Logs).

Here, for example, is the living room, complete with sheetrock scraps to accentuate the delightful Found Art nature of our new dwelling. One can almost hear the mariachi music of the deliciously pastoral laborers who toil tirelessly 'neath the azure dome of heaven to hew our darling pied-a-terre out of the very desert itself.

Seriously though, this picture might have had a little more impact if I had a picture of the bare framing for you all to contrast with, but the progress on this house really is remarkable. We'll be going down again next Saturday with the camera to check up on the builders, and I feel quite certain you'll be mentally Shanghaied by how quickly the construction is going along.

A Higher Place -- Part I The Master Bedroom!

So here it is. Your tour of our new home, the Emerald. We'll start our tour in a unique place -- the Master Bedroom. I figure that's where we'll start our every day in the Emerald, so it'll make a great place to start the tour. The tour should take you point by point through the house. I think it's pretty well laid out, and perhaps it shows that I'm a little bit bored with all this time on my hands during the summer, but like a wise man once said, "Only the boring get bored." So, in an attempt to not be either bored or boring, I have set up this step by step tour of the model of our new home! Here's the disclaimer -- the place will obviously not look quite so crazy and gaudy and space age and decorated as it does in this model. Our home will be much more modest and ladylike. :) This also helps to explain why some of the rooms might look smaller than they appear in the pictures. Every piece of furniture used in this model is like a huge, larger than life BIG BIG BIG version of our more tasteful smaller furniture.
Here we go!
So we see the master bedroom. It is nice.

This is the view if you turn to your left. I love the indented shelves on either side of the window...very lovely. Sadly, our chaise lounge is on order, and won't be arriving for several more years. I don't know what I'll do if I have to faint before it arrives...
Then turning to the left again we see...

The master bathroom! It has two sinks, which you'll see on closer inspection in a moment, a HUGE closet, a garden tub with a little window above it (the window actually ISN'T in the model, but it will be in our house!) and a toilet ghetto.

Like I said, two sinks.
That's the tub on the right, and to the right of the tub is the toilet ghetto, not pictured here.

And then our massive closet to the left of the sinks. Looking at this picture, it really doesn't look massive at all. You'll have to take my word for it -- it will hold all of our hanging clothes with room to spare, which is really saying something.

A Higher Place -- Part II The Kitchen and Pantry

Well, the counters will be different and the appliances will be black, but this is it! The Kitchen! When you walk out of the master bedroom, you see the kitchen! What a great sight right away in the morning. Certainly, I'm happy to wake up and see this guy in the kitchen in the morning...how fun! Plus, look how excited he is! Wow, anyone would think he'd just purchased his first home.
You can see the edge of the island in this shot. It's a nice breakfast island...nothing too huge or gargantuan.

These are the cabinets we chose and the countertops we chose also. I wish the countertop was a little bigger, but we'll be seeing a whole bunch of it when we move in. Choosing the cabinets was like choosing between light oak, a medium oak, and a sort-of-darker-but-maybe-it's-the-same oak. The countertop is a dark gray with bursts of off-white, maroony brown, and black. We like it a lot.

And if you were standing where my beloved was in the first picture, you would see this little hallway. The door on the left is the powder room, and the door on the right is a nice big pantry. That'll be very lovely.

See -- powder room.
And the pantry. I wouldn't lie to you about something as serious as our Emerald.

And here it is in all its glory. What a huge kitchen. Whatever will we do with all this space? I guess we'll just have to cook some delicious recipes in it. Oh well.

A Higher Place - Part III The Great Room

Aah, yes, the Great Room. Kings and Queens from Arthur and Guinevere down to Siegfried and Roy have always had a Great Room for entertaining and ordering around their serfs. Or in later ideals, for training their tigers. Luckily, we only have the one big scary cat, so our Great Room doesn't need to be quite so medieval in size.
As we look out around the room, having just exited the pantry area, we can see the stairs directly in front of us, and the master bedroom entry to the right of the frame. Also, a good detail here is that little built-in platform by the stairs where a silver pot and big white flower are sitting is the future residence of our San Pedro. We are very excited about his new featured home.

Then, if you turn a little bit to the left, you can see the actual living space. We plan to have a piano where that enormous TV is now. For the present, we'll just have some sofas up here -- the TV will be downstairs. It'll be a visiting and relaxing area.
Also, the dining table will be exactly where this one is. It separates the living room from the kitchen.

Turning a little more to the left, you can see the edge of the dining table again, and part of that vast expanse of counter that makes up our kitchen. I like the two windows here. These builders do an excellent job of creating a lot of light without creating a lot of heat -- no small feat here in the desert.

Even this guy wanted to take a moment to enjoy the beauty of these windows. To your right is the living room -- to your left the kitchen.

And there's one last parting look at the kitchen before we head downstairs. It really is great. Sigh.

The Middle Ground -- The Foyer

So, this tour has been a little unrealistic, what with beginning in the bedroom and all, but finally, here it is...

And you glide down the stairs with the greatest of ease to arrive at...
THE FOYER (or the gengkon) (sp?)

And then, you look below you to see a very interesting room which appears to lead into another whole floor! Wow! So you proceed on to...

Interior Goodness - Part I The Downstairs

This is what Lennar calls the Tech Room. We'll be calling it our loft even though it's not a loft. Whatever. When have some silly technicalities bothered us before? Bah.
Anyway, this is the view of the "tech room" from the stairs. That glass door leads out onto our covered patio. Let's look around for a second and acquaint ourselves with this gracious space.

If you had eyes in the back of your head while you were standing at the foot of the stairs in the first picture, you might see your hospitable hostess beckoning you upstairs like a Siren leading sailors to their doom. Little does she know we're on to her plan. Let's not go back upstairs until her bloodthirst is quenched. Shall we continue on through the downstairs? Yes, let's.
(But before fleeing her wrath, notice that she is standing in the foyer, and that is the front door behind her. Helpful information.)

Directly next to you and the stairs is this closet. We like to call it the Harry Potter Closet. I'll give you all credit enough to figure that one out on your own.

And before we continue on, let's have one last look out those Tech room windows. It shows the "backyard" patio space. The backyard, or what suffices for one in Las Vegas, is four feet deeper on our homesite than on this one. We get the nifty brick wall to give us some privacy from the neighbors too, and are therefore considering some climbing plants and a trellis. Would a Morning Glory live in this climate? Anyone who knows is welcome to give their opinion, because I don't have a clue.

Interior Goodness - Part II The Downstairs

And now we'll leave the Tech room, remembering all the wonderful times we had there. Everyone wave goodbye to me! (Bye, me!) Standing where I am in this picture, at the foot of the stairs in front of the Harry Potter closet, the next picture is the view you would have...

You would see the hallway pictured here! The door to the left is the guest bathroom, a full bathroom with a lovely tub and sink and seat of ease. That's the open door. The closed door down this hallway is the door that leads to the garage (possibly by the motorway: we haven't established that yet. Time to talk to Levon.) The cabinetry up ahead is part of Lennar's Everything Included ways, so we'll have that too. So let's continue down the hallway and to the right...

The seat of ease...I feel more relaxed just looking at it. (This is the guest bathroom).

At the cabinetry, you took a right. To your left is the 2nd bedroom shown in Part III, straight ahead is the 3rd bedroom shown in Part III, and to your right is my favorite part of the house (sort of) and the future residence of Lyra's litter box! Hooray! No more sharing a toilet ghetto with the cat!

Again, the cabinets you see here will be included. Under the cabinets is where the washer and dryer (NOT included) will go after we make a little trip to Best Buy. No space age machinery here -- we're going for the mellow cheap route on that one. Will my clothes be clean? Good enough. Will they be dry? Even better.

Interior Goodness - Part III The Downstairs

The Downstairs Part III includes never-before-seen footage of the extra two bedrooms.
This 2nd bedroom is across the hall from the laundry room, and shares a wall with the garage, and the cabinetry in the downstairs hallway. Actually the wall that I'm next to in this photograph is the wall shared with the cabinetry. The door into this room is off the frame on the left side. We plan to put the entertainment center and futon in this room. Also my little dinky bookshelf from my dorm room in Thorson. It looks pretty ragged, but bookworms like us can't afford to toss out a bookshelf!

Both of the extra bedrooms have walk-in closets like this one. This closet belongs to the 2nd bedroom.

These are two views of the 3rd bedroom. The top view is from the doorway looking to the left, and the second view is what you see straight ahead.
It's hard to see, but know that the windows pictured below have an identical window on the adjacent wall, forming the corner of the room with the windows. These corner views look out onto our covered patio, like you saw from the tech room.

Exterior Goodness

Here it is! Long-awaited (or maybe not) but for your viewing pleasure at last on the first and only blog about our beautiful Emerald!

For those of you due for a visit (which is, after all, all of you) here's the first thing you will see when viewing our homesite. The fabulous Diamond Creek Sign between two gates. Are the gates necessary? No, but you can't live somewhere in this city without one -- they are everywhere! So we'll just have to make sure our home is open and hospitable to make up for the iron bars around the outside!

This is our Emerald. Those big slabs of drywall that you see on the garage floor were sitting right there last Sunday when we took this picture. Now, they cover the walls of our Emerald. My, people do work and go so quickly here.

This is our block. On a sunny day, or with the eyes in your head versus the camera's eye, you can see the mountains and the Sleeping Dude from our street. Actually, maybe you can't see the Dude -- we'll get back to you on that one. But you can see the Red Rocks -- very beautiful to the naked eye in this cloudy light.

And our park! We probably won't sit in the gazebo too much, and we probably won't use the slide for anything, but it's a nice little place to sit and think about your new home!