We Bought Heaven:
Our Durango Real Estate
July 14, 2009
Think you have to wait for heaven? Not us! We have a piece of it at our Durango real estate.
Okay, so it's really Bayfield real estate, but... you get the idea. It is heavenly.
For all those who've asked for visual progress reports, here you go. The first 34 pictures went up (on two pages) on July 14, 2009, as we were in the middle of building our new home. As more gets done, I'll keep adding. Don't know yet (as I write this) how many pictures or how many months until we're done, but I hope you enjoy the show of our Duarngo real estate, in the meantime!
How It All Started
We've actually owned our piece of Durango real estate since the end of 2000. Long enough ago, I don't have any digital pictures to share. Suffice it to say, we looked, we drooled, we bought (since our Minnesota house had doubled in value from when we built it). Thirty-five acres out a winding country road, with very few neighbors nearby.
Talk about peace and quiet!
Our kids were only nine and seven at the time we got a piece of Durango real estate, so anyone who's seen them recently, then seen our Colorado photo album, can't believe they're the same kids. (Stands to reason, since they're 16 and 18 now, and one of them's 6'1".)
We spent the next few years "puttering" at the place, every time we were out here. In 2002, we had a rough driveway dug in to the site where we wanted to put our house. Since most of the property's a steep slope, we only had one logical choice. How about a steep quarter-mile driveway...
We were planning to do more work the following summer, but the 2002 Colorado fires had left quite a few areas prone to mudslides when it rained. The excavator kept being called out to clear roads, instead. No improvements for our Durango real estate that year.
So in 2004, we added a couple culverts, including one at the bottom of the road. Now we had an address! (And the state helps the fire department by creating the standard blue and white address signs for free for homeowners, so we had that pretty soon afterwards.)
Imagine my surprise to find out our Durango real estate was actually Bayfield real estate! Oh well. It's still beautiful.
We're Moving, We're Not Moving, We're Moving...
We thought we'd move out to our Durango real estate as soon as 2006. That fell through. So instead, we started another project on the place. Our shop-garage. (When you're married to a motor head, the shop comes first. You'll never guess what I said when he told me he wanted to plant a detached garage in my front yard!)
So, we had a hole dug in the ground while we were out that summer. Some progress!
But we also cleared some of the area where the house would go, and began to be able to picture it, sort of. Right here.
Then the framing happened over the winter, mostly from February 2007 on.
So by the time we could come out to our Durango real estate again next summer, the basic shop was done, except for siding.
(We wanted to wait on that until we chose siding for the house, so they'd match.)
Okay, we're moving out this year, right? No? What do you mean no?
Well, we decided we'd move out in 2008. Except our son was a senior in high school and doing a program called Post-Secondary Education Option, where he could go to college for free. (That's MY kind of price for school!) He'd done one year, and rather than try to transfer what he'd done out here, we decided (Randy did, anyway) that he should finish up there. (I didn't argue. It made sense.)
Since we weren't moving to our Durango real estate until 2009, now, we could concentrate on selling our Minnesota real estate. Imagine everyone's surprise (except mine) when it sold in a month and a half!
Okay. Now we knew we really were moving so...
Durango or Bust
Our next project at our Durango real estate (I mean Bayfield real estate!) was to put the electric lines in last fall and begin to dig the foundation for the house (not counting all the driveway maintenance when it would wash out from heavy rains). Randy and Jessi came out in November 2008 for the electrical work, then we all came out at Christmas (because we couldn't resist the place).
Here's a picture of Jessi standing where her room will eventually be, only one floor down. So, she's actually standing in Kevin's room.
I wonder if he gave her permission to be in his room...
Randy and Kevin came out to our Durango real estate in March to bring our new tractor out. (We had too much other stuff to wait till May.) If you're going to own a steep quarter-mile-long driveway, you better be able to keep it up. Or you'll go broke. Randy also began collecting permits for the various projects we'd be doing while we built. Well, septic, building the house... Randy's acting as general contractor, so he's got to keep all that together.
Of course, I'm the GCs secretary, so I have to keep him together on collecting invoices to pay. So much fun... NOT!
Here's the hole in the ground, spring 2009:
Randy came out in April to begin work. Here are some shots of he and our nephew Jamie's work that month:
Randy came back to Minne-
sota for a week the end of May for Kevin's graduation and to finish packing us up, and we moved out.
Without a place to rent.
My mom was kind enough to offer her large house for the time being, but our furniture showed up at the moving depot a week before we had anywhere to put it. We did find a place, crammed as much of our stuff in it as possible and stuffed the rest in the upper level of the shop-garage at our Durango real estate. (Which we'd half stuffed the summer before when we brought a load of stuff out.)
Then the real building began!
The footings have been poured, the block is starting to be laid.
Using Sustainable Building Practices
Our piece of Durango real estate is so natural, we wanted to do our
best by it.
So we're doing everything we can to use sustainable building practices and energy-conscious methods to create our new home.
The "cement" block, for instance is something called Insulated Concrete Forms, or ICFs.
It's cement mixed with recycled styrofoam, so you have strength and built-in insulation all in one.
Once all the block is laid, you have to brace and square it before filling the holes with cement to solidify it.
Here's the block nearly finished, and the bracing prior to pouring cement:
Of course, to stay on schedule, we also have things like floor trusses showing up. Sort of.
Here's the truck (and driver!) that couldn't. And that shouldn't have in the first place. Only an idiot would bring a truck this big (or try) up a tight, steep driveway like ours, rather than transport the load on a truck with a more reasonable length.
This is Randy trying to tow the idiot up our driveway with his 1973 Chevy Blazer.
When that didn't work, he called the excavator (who was thankfully available, since the doofus with the trusses had slid his truck OFF our driveway by then). Bulldozer to the rescue. But only so far as to drag the dumb truck up the driveway. It took the driver an hour and a half to back down again, because he kept going off the sides...
Not only that, he trashed the driveway (the kind excavator fixed it for us for free!), and made it so the next big truck to come up had a problem, too. Ouch!
Poor cement truck. The driver of this truck had to call his shop, get a spare tire (and believe me, the front ones on that kind of truck are worse than the rear!), and wait while it was changed.
In the meantime, they poured cement into the basement walls.
And occasionally, out the bottom, where the seal didn't hold. We had three "blow-outs" as they called them, where the guys had to rush around and pound boards over the leaking spots. Lots of excitement.
What's the Next Step?
Rather than make one page that's nine miles long, and bore all of you to death, I'm going to break this page up into parts. To continue hearing about our piece of
Durango real estate
, just click the link and you'll go to the next page of pictures.
If you're tired of them for now, you can go back to the homepage with the link below. See ya!
August 20, 2009 Update:
To go to page three,
Our Colorado Pictures 1
of our pictures, click the highlighted link.
September 12, 2009 Update:
Or jump ahead to page four with
Our Colorado Pictures 2
October 11, 2009 Update:
Still plodding along. Here's
page 5 of our Colorado Pictures
Update, November 15, 2009:
Ah! Finally another page. Here is
page 6 of our Colorado Pictures
Update January 23, 2010
Bet you thought I'd never post more pictures...
page 7 of our House Pictures
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