The house is nearly complete

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In the past month, we’ve progressed to essentially 100% complete.  A few minor things and some touch-up work remain but, for the most part, the house is now complete.

Progress has been quick with much of the past month spent with interior and exterior work happening in parallel:

 

As of today, landscaping/exterior work is complete except for some small fence work.  We’ll be doing a few additional things in the future to build out the slope in the backyard but that’s most likely a project for next year:

 

The post-drywall interior has also come a long way in the past month:

 

We’ve planned our move for the week of the 24th.  Until then, it’s time to get busy packing and prepping to vacate the apartment.

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Drywall, texture, and paint

After the siding was finished, the gutters and gas meter were installed before painting.  At this point, all exterior painting is complete pending some touch-up work.

 

On the interior, all drywall work is complete with texture and first coat of paint on.  After next steps (cabinets and flooring), we’ll have another coat of paint to ensure good coverage and to capture any damage from the flooring/cabinet installation.

 

The driveway is being prepped for pouring and the yard has been prepped for sod and landscaping.  We met with the landscaper POC last week to discuss our plans for the yard.  I suspect we’ll have the driveway poured within a week and landscaping will follow a week after that.  This leaves us with finishing up the interior over the next four weeks — installing flooring, cabinets, counters, light fixtures, and the air conditioner.  We’re still on schedule.  Seeing as we’ll be moving from a small, single bedroom apartment, our next few weekends will be focused on appliance and furniture shopping.

Windows, Wiring, Siding

Over the past month, we’ve had the roof, windows/doors, garage floor, wiring/electrical, plumbing, and most of the siding added.

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Our outdoor room is starting to shape up with the fireplace being installed.  I was hesitant about the loss of interior square footage due to the outdoor room but I have to say that as it comes together, it’s becoming one of my most liked features of the house.

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As the electrical and plumbing work wraps up, the next steps will be to finish the siding and putting up the drywall.  Our move day is still planned for late October; we’re right on schedule.

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Progress on the house

After permits were received, we’ve had great, fast progress with the house.  We’ve gone from an empty lot to both levels almost entirely framed in less than a month.  Foundation work started April 24th and we expect to have a roof on by June 2nd with electrical and plumbing completed by mid-June.

Foundation progress over the past month
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Current state

Everything has been on-time and without any major hiccup thus far so here’s to hoping the rest of the build goes well.  We’ve had the tailwind of perfect weather and that’s expected to continue for the next two weeks which means we should have much of the framing work completed without rain.
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In Contract

We met with the builder on Sunday to settle on the final aspects of our build/fixtures/exterior facade and met with our realtor today to review and sign the purchase agreement.   At this point, we’re in contract and awaiting permits from the city to start construction.  Depending on the length of the permit process, we hope to start construction about five weeks from today and take the keys on October 26th.

We struggled with picking a location but ultimately decided to go for a larger lot located at the end of the street.  Wooded areas surround two sides, a protected wetland sits in the front across the street, and we’ll have a neighbor on one side.

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Panorama of our lot (several lots neighbor ours)

The final rendering, floor plan, and house placement on the lot:

We’re building a home

After living in a ~550 sq/ft apartment in downtown Seattle for close to two years, we decided to accept the commute and take the plunge into home buying.  We used Redfin to book several home tours (~30-40) over the course of several weekends.  Our experience was that it the Redfin associates were hit and miss.  Some of the associates went above and beyond, knowing the neighborhoods, comps, and even doing a lightweight inspection of crawlspaces and attics looking for signs of fire/water/rodent/structural damage.  Others sat quietly aside while we walked the house.  In the end, I’d recommend Redfin to those window shopping, familiar with neighborhoods/location, or veteran home buyers.  I appreciate that they’re not paid on direct commission so their feedback is more honest and real than the conventional real-estate agent.  The downside to this is that Redfin associates may not be as driven to find the right house for you.

After touring countless homes and driving around for hours every weekend looking at open houses, we came across a builder with model plans available to tour.  Immediately after seeing the models, we knew we’d found what we’d been looking for.  A few more open houses later (for due diligence), we decided to go back to the builder to see if we were still as excited by these homes as we were.  At this point, we engaged a realtor to ensure we had someone giving us the right advice and counseling.  We compared floor plans and locations for hours on end before reaching full agreement on all aspects of our build.

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Exterior rendering of our build

Tomorrow morning, we’ll take our first step by putting up some earnest funds, confirming our build site, and agreeing on the details of our build with the builder.  Here’s hoping we’ll break ground around April 10th!

Logging router traffic and other changes

It’s been a slow couple months between the holidays, travelling, and work.  I did manage to accomplish a few things with the Home Dashboard project, though.  I redesigned the UI to move away from an exclusively mobile interface as the amount of data and type of data I’m including in the project now simply don’t all make sense to squeeze into a mobile UI.  Sometime in early January, the system broke the 2 millionth record milestone — I’m unsure what I’ll do with some of the data I’m collecting at this point but I’ve learned a lot through collecting it and I’m sure I’ll learn more analyzing it at some point in the future.
_statsThis brings the list of events I’m collecting to:

  1. Indoor temperature and humidity
  2. Amazon Echo music events
  3. DirecTV program and DVR information
  4. Cell phone location and status details
  5. Local fire and police emergency events
  6. Home lights and other Wink hub events
  7. …and now home network information

Analyzing home network information

The biggest change was the addition of network event logging.  After seeing that a foreign IP was accessing my LAN, I started logging each request to or from my home network until I was sure I had fixed the vulnerability.  After that, I found the information interesting so I just kept logging it.  For example, I was able to discover that an app on my phone was making repeated calls (~2,000 per day) to an app monitoring service (New Relic) which wasn’t doing my phone’s battery life any favors.

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Collecting additional phone data

After launching Location to HTTP, I’ve been tinkering with additional data collection from my cellphone such as Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, battery, and screen status.  After collecting this information for a month or so, here are some useless data points from the most recent 30 days:

  • I’ve actively used my phone for 104.5 hours (3.5hrs per day – I need to cut back on the work email…)
  • Average battery level: 61%
  • Average free memory: 516MB (12.6%)
  • Average location accuracy: +/-31FT
  • Average altitude: 154FT
  • Average speed: 1MPH
  • Average uptime: 153.3HRs
  • Maximum uptime: 437.4HRs

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I also improved the location history mapping to show different color map markers depending on the age of the record and phone details at the time the record was made:

 

Improved home climate visuals

I added some simple graphs of MoM temperature and humidity and also updated the heat-mappings for the daily climate information.  These are a bit easier to read that those I had in the previous UI.  It’s interesting to see the effectiveness of thermostat automation and our daily routines.

More detailed emergency event

Lastly, I expanded on the emergency event information to surface the top event types and the total number of events by type: