Finishing Touches: So Long (for now) Las Cruces

As I write this on one of the first days of May, the 5 houses that were worked on in Las Cruces have been finished, dedicated, and are occupied. But I haven’t quite finished blogging about our last few weeks there.

Because I’d been tiling for much of February and March I’d been left out of much of the work that follows tiling: hanging doors, trim/moulding installation, and cabinets. But once we’d grouted the final house I had the opportunity to participate in some of the other finish work. Most of my build experience has been on houses that were only up to the trim-cabinet-install stage or before, so I was excited to learn about all the finishing touches that are needed in order to turn a house over.

What I learned was that this stage is characterized by a) lots and lots of painting – casings, second coats on doors, touchups, and more touchups, and b) lots of small tasks. As the trim work and door installation was finished we moved to things like countertops and hanging/adjusting cabinet doors, and then to towel bar and mirror installation, interior lock hardware installation, and one-off jobs like putting in peepholes, adjusting exterior door thresholds, sidesplash and kickplate install on the cabinets, cleaning out cabinets and touching up scratches with stain, and sealing grout. I had the opportunity to learn about even more of these little things by helping with punch lists for each of the 5 houses. Meanwhile there were people who literally spent weeks only painting and caulking and painting and caulking – before, after, and in between the tasks above. I was certainly not excluded from the paint party; I probably spent more time painting the last week then all my previous care-a-vanner experience combined. But with each tasks completed and crossed off, the houses were closer and closer to being ready to be occupied. And that was pretty exciting.

Tom and Judith installing a range hood

Janet scribing countertops

Me weighing down the counter while Janet screws it in from underneath

Judith painting exterior door casings

Dave coping trim for the final house

Janet securing countertops

Darnell drilling for peepholes

Paula and Janet securing bathroom vanity tops

Sandi and Darnell adjusting cabinet doors

Drywall repairs

Darnell installing locks

Hans painting door casings

Darnell painting second coats

Tom painting closet doors

The fairest of them all: Tom installing bathroom mirrors

Hans touch up painting