Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Place your bids!

Yes, this post is a bit overdue. Yes, we are still going to build a house. Yes, it is a remarkably slow process. But...the ball is finally rolling. Today I finally got the pleasure of taking the survey to the lawyer's office so that the deed could be drawn up. (Dear Michael, please hurry!) We are also in the process of finding someone to come and performs "perc" test. Now there's a sweet job. You go out and dig two holes, comparable to the the size of a 5-gallon bucket, fill them with water and see if they drain. Then the lovely landowners, who can not build without your services, pay you $400! How do you get that gig?
The real news is that Josh survived his first experience with the bidding process! We needed a few trees cut down before the build starts and these are not the kind that can be taken out by the Carettiville crew. So we got out the phone book, rolled up our sleeves and Josh started calling people for estimates. That was last night. Today Josh met with two different guys and got estimates on the work that needed to be done. The first bid was $300 lower the second bid and way lower than we expected!
The bidding process scares me. It has been one of my major concerns about contracting the house ourselves. We do not like to hurt feelings and we hate telling people "no". Unless we want to pay out the nose, we have to be smart and tough, shop around for the best prices and check references. Yes, it is more time consuming. But in the end, it will be worth every penny we saved. Today, Josh saved us $300!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Call Your Dad

"Call your dad." A seemingly harmless suggestion listed in my copy of Real Simple under the title, "What to do if you Have 5 Minutes". Well, that harmless suggestion had me weeping in my bath water tonight. I'll admit, it's been building for a while (the emotion, not our house). It all started last week on the way home from church. Josh and I were discussing the house, I know, shocker! There are just all these trivial things that have to be done and he casually mentioned that those are the things his dad would have taken care of and known about. Up until that point I hadn't really given that a lot of thought.
Five emotional days later, I have given it plenty of thought. In fact, I have allowed it to consume me. What if our dads were still here? I wonder if our plans would change. Would we even be building right now? Would they get along? It's hard to imagine Richard not getting along with someone. But the big question is, would we listen to their advice?
Knowing what we know now, we would listen to anything they had to say, regarding any topic.
It's funny how when you're young, maybe even when you're not so young, you don't want to listen to your parents or grandparents. You're not interested in learning from mistakes made by others and most advice, if not all, is unwelcome. A roll of the eyes and shrugging shoulders are far more common than attentiveness and appreciation.
I would give anything to hear just a little advice from one of our father's again. I try to imagine what they would do or say. Would Dad be appalled if my landscaping wasn't up to par? Would Richard try to talk Josh out of putting in a pool? Yes and yes. I know those answers. Those are the easy ones. But it would be so nice to just pick up the phone and ask.

Josh and Richard reading their favorite book.

Dad and me in EPCOT.