I've been told it would be good to put some closure out on this page, for people interested in what's happened, so here goes: the house is great and we've almost forgotton just how difficult it was.

We left for a long vacation for most of July. On our return, we had a front yard! This was an absolutely wonderful surprise. Gino and his crew started the day we left. We were gone for three weeks, and two weeks into the vacation received email from the person staying in our house that a front yard appeared from nowhere, hooray! It is idiot-proof, with the irrigation on timers and such.

There are no pictures yet, but on the left side of the house is a cat run. The park across the street is full of poison oak, so we decided that the cats could only go outside if contained. The enclosure is nice & large, but the cats do not use it much.

Notice the redwood latice under the deck. Originally, the outside wall of the house was going to be at the edge of the deck. Well, the city decided that would make our house ``too big'' & wouldn't allow it. How the position of a wall makes the house bigger is beyond me. So, I built cabinets to put under the deck with redwood lattice on the outside for growing plants. In a year or so, the lattice should be totally covered in plants.

Although it's not in this picture, there is also lattice on the right side. It only goes up 8', giving a 2' area at the top for light & air.

The streetlight (not seen in this picture, but behind the stop sign), which was absolutely critical to the city, still hasn't been lighted and looks like it never will be. Go figure. Now we've a 30' aluminimum pole in our yard for no particular reason.

The ventilation fans in the bathroom are absolutely awful. There is a code now that mandates the primary light in the kitchen and bathroom must be florscent, so what everyone does is put in a cheap fixture for the inspection, then replaces it with the correct fixture. This seems only to benefit the electricians who install the fixtures, and the manufacturer of them. A good business would be to rent these cheap fixtures for one month at a time. It's a win-win. Anyway, I'm replacing ours with whisper-quiet ones as I have time. Of course, the ones we have are 13 1/2'' square, and the ones with which they are being replaced are 11 1/2'' square so we've had to do some creative work to make the hole less noticeable. I ended up cutting frames out of foam-board & painting them. It looks OK.

A few things remain for the contractor to do, but I've been doing most of them as I've had time because I want them done. I refuse to cleanup the overspray from the painter. I'm sure this will be taken care of in due time. Here's what we've done:

And here's what left