Sunday, April 01, 2007

One Year, No Fooling

CIMG0395March 31 was the one-year anniversary of getting the gas turned on in our new house, which I consider to be the official "start of occupation" even though we'd been in the house for about two weeks at that point.

One year on the house is doing quite nicely and we're very happy with it and the neighborhood. We've had very few problems with the house itself--nothing major in the way of construction mistakes or design features that just didn't work and that we now regret. My biggest complaint is simply that the location gives me a long commute coming home in the evening, but that's only compared to the 10-minute commute I had before.

CIMG3596We're slowly working on landscaping, although with all the rain this spring the unwanted grass in the front has gotten away from us--we'll actually have to mow it just to knock it back. We have planted a real tree and a shrub in the front, but there's still 8 tons of gravel waiting to be hauled back into the playscape. Guess I need to get on that. Julie is starting to plan some raised beds in the front, which we'll build mostly from leftover stone from the facade.

We're pretty well integrated into the neighborhood--we know our neighbors and our neighbors' landlords. We know where to eat and the back ways to get around traffic when we have to venture out.

IMG0002The solar electric system has been working very well for us--our march electric bill was $20.00, which is an average of about 8 kWhs per day we were billed for. That reflects what's probably the smallest possible usage (cool, relatively long days) coupled with the most efficient solar electricity generation (the solar cells operate at peak efficiency at about 75 degrees F, so they actually get less efficient as it gets hotter in the summer, but then the sun is up longer and usually out more).

We're completely unpacked (or as unpacked as we'll ever be). The house certainly feels lived in (and is starting to look a bit lived in as well). It definitely feels like home.

The first picture is what the property looked like in March 2005, right before they started demolition. The second is the new house as it looked on Apri 4, 2006. The last picture is the house on April 4, 2007. The main difference is we have a little landscaping and have been unsuccessful at keeping the grass from growing up through the mulch.


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