Transformative Moments

With the house construction dragging on for years, it sometimes feels as if it'll never be done. Then there are days when there's a sudden flurry of activity, and some space is transformed seemingly in an instant. The effect is jarring, but in a very good way. Here are some of the most transformative moments in the long history of my home.

Although the foundation took nearly a month to build, most of the slabs were poured on one day, and on 31 March 2016 I was suddenly faced with a reality about which I'd only dreamed.

I'd pretty much wrapped up framing when I completed the living level roof on the afternoon of 28 July 2016: there before me was the final shape of my future home. It would be quite a long while before I had another moment like this.

I set up a work light in the garage early on 8 November 2018 so I could start work before dawn. That was the first time the house was lit up on its own power.

29 November 2018, the roof was done and all of the windows were in, and at long last I felt as though the house might actually be finished before I die.

Given that the style of siding I finally chose goes on in a huge hurry, I was able to transform the front of the house from incomplete and abandoned-looking to nearly finished (all that's left is the stain) in just a few hours on 19 December 2018.

Wiring the lights and installing the garage door the next day was icing on the cake.

Filling the house with music on 23 December 2018 for the first time (having bought the gear three years prior) was like a wonderful Christmas present.

Insulating the main living space by 27 December 2018 gave it a sense of having walls and ceiling.

Odd is it may seem, seeing my kitchen sink installed (even if it was temporary) was a thrill that came about on 5 January 2019.

Removing the storage container on 20 February 2019 allowed me to see a patch of property I hadn't seen since September 2014.

And on 8 May 2019 I bid farewell to the porta-potty, a.k.a. the Green Box, because I finally had a toilet. Those who have not had to do without one—for over four years, no less—cannot appreciate the excitement this brought.

All of a sudden on 13 May 2019 I had (most of) a bathroom.

Five days later, the (near) completion of the china cabinet had a similar effect as the kitchen sink (it just needs shelves and doors).

On 22 May 2019 I turned on my kitchen lights for the first time, and even though the space is far from finished, it seemed done at that point.

Seeing my workshop in the garage come together in one day on 20 June 2019 was instantly a longstanding dream come true.

The living space quickly changed from a construction zone to a "real" room on 30 June 2019 courtesy of a shipment of sheetrock.

On 21 July 2019, The Grand Gallery was sheetrocked (above), giving that unique space a whole new look. Six days later the handrails were all done (below), making the space fully functional.

28 July 2019 saw the near-completion of the headboard in one afternoon, and suddenly I had a "real" bed.

On 1 October 2019, after several weeks of grueling work, the shower was finally done, although I couldn't use it for another three days while the grout cured.

I tiled all of the kitchen countertops in one day, 22 October 2019, and the kitchen finally looked like a kitchen.

22 November 2019 was the day my brand new wood stove arrived and got installed. It provides the perfect combination of functionality, comfort and aesthetics—I can sit and watch a fire for hours.

With the arrival of my new cooktop on 6 January 2020, I've enjoyed perhaps one of the most transformative moments since groundbreaking. I can cook now—for the first time in years! And I haven't stopped enjoying it since.

Removing the camper from the side yard on 9 June 2020 was much more than just an aesthetic improvement; it transformed the property the next morning by virtue of all the sunlight that had been blocked since November 2013. This was even more exciting than removing the storage container. See Then, Then and Now for more detail on this event.


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