Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Gather round children. It's story telling time. No silly, I'm not talking about the half-truths and downright lies that come from those people. I'm talking about the story of a little house that has been under construction for about as long as The Winchester House. Alright, it doesn't have doors to nowhere or halls that end at dead-ends (not that we've noticed anyway), but it has taken a long time to get to this point. Unfortunately, not the end point.

So, the story goes that we had a "punch walk" through the house a few weeks ago (I know it's not new news but we've been busy). Contrary to how the phrase sounds, it did not entail punching anyone, although we've entertained that notion on several occasions. Nor does it indicate a leisurely stroll through a perfectly built-out house with a flimsy Dixie cup of lukewarm Kool-Aid (which I, for one, would've been hesitant to drink).

We were hoping that this "punch walk" would reveal to us that the house was almost finished. Well, not quite. The house has been locked up so we couldn't check it out before this time, unless we looked through the windows (see pictures below). Plus, those people made it clear that they didn't want anybody poking around until we were granted access to the house. Whatever.

For those of you who've never had the joy of a "punch walk," it entails walking through the home in a limited amount of time with a roll of blue painters tape and trying to identify all of the things that were done incorrectly, not at all, or need to be repaired (hereinafter referred to as "addressed"). During this walk, you place pieces of tape on everything that needs to be addressed. We used a lot of tape.

Many of the things that needed to be addressed had to do with dents, dings, and holes in the drywall, as well as cabinets that had paint on them or were scratched up. Several things still needed to be installed - the range, microwave, dishwasher, doors, etc. Some of the lights weren't working. Joe The Builder was also busy pointing out items that needed to be addressed. All in all, a useful exercise. Whether everything gets corrected to our satisfaction remains to be seen. One can hope a new tide has turned, right?

Below are some pictures (not the most recent) that we've taken over the last couple of months. The cement block walls will be covered in stucco and painted to match the house. The architect's rendering calls for a wood "screen" to be on top of the stucco wall closest to the house. It also calls for a matching gate to go in that area, effectively creating a courtyard-type of enclosure. We've been told that the only option for that is the basket weave fencing that's being used throughout the neighborhood. We chose to pass on that and not have the screen or gate installed. We can have something more architecturally appropriate installed later.