THINGS I'VE LEARNED LIVING IN A CONSTRUCTION ZONE

When we moved here two years ago, our house was the second completed house in the first phase of a new development. We've watched over twenty houses be built from the ground up, now. The last home in our phase is this close to being finished- I expect the new owners to move in within the next week. As I watched a few paint touch-ups being done this afternoon, I thought of what I've observed over the last few years of living in a construction zone.

THERE WILL BE DUST

A lot of dust. So much dust that you will dust in the morning and there will be more dust by afternoon. You will go to bed dust free, or at least think you did, because by the time you wake up, there's more dust. Did you dust, or didn't you? You did. There's just a lot of dust.

THERE WILL BE TACOS

You just might be lucky enough to be able to set your watch to the taco truck, as it makes its rounds at the same time every afternoon, its jaunty tune heard well before you see the actual truck. There's usually a few people from various crews that eat from the truck each day. Be warned, though. If you think you might even slightly want a taco, walk outside and get one because there will come a day that the taco truck no longer drives through. When that day comes, you will realize just how much you wanted a taco all those weeks.

THERE WILL BE NOISE

You essentially have a fleet of trucks and construction vehicles rolling in and out at all times, combined with hammering, sawing, drilling and generators- of course you'd expect noise. Still, it's easy to be caught off guard by sudden jackhammering and the occasional drilling to middle earth that goes on. All of the hustle and bustle during the day does make for an eerily quiet bedtime, though.

WHAT NOISE ORDINANCE? 

Just kidding about the bedtime. You might not sleep much. Framers like to get an early start and they think they're quieter than they really are. Oh, and nap time? HA!

HONEY BUCKETS ARE MERELY SUGGESTIONS

Given the choice between walking to the porta potty a few yards away and not, most people would choose to walk. Some choose to just drop trou and go right there, against the wall of the house they're working on. Never mind the fact that someone might choose to look out their window at that moment and thus have to refrain mightily from yelling out the window.

SPEAKING OF WINDOWS

Most newly constructed homes do not have window coverings installed until the owner moves in. This means that, should a person working late inside a home choose to practice their martial arts techniques, they will be seen, especially when it's dark outside and they have the lights on. They will also be seen should they take their shirt off midway through working on their moves.

As it goes with windows, crews working outside will also be able to see into your home. Any dancing you do alone in your kitchen will be seen. Any dancing you do with anyone shorter than the window sill will still look like you're dancing alone. It's best to just make eye contact and wave when you're busted.

YOU CAN TELL THE TEMPERATURE JUST BY LOOKING OUTSIDE

I've come across what seems to be a general rule of thumb in the construction industry. If it's below forty degrees fahrenheit, one wears a coat or heavy jacket and gloves. Forty-fifty degrees is grounds for a sweatshirt. Long-sleeved tees are worn when the temps are still under sixty degrees if there's wind. Sixty degrees and above calls for short sleeves and, depending on the crew, shorts. Shirts come off at seventy degrees.

HOT CHOCOLATE IS ALWAYS APPROPRIATE, THOUGH

Even if they're wearing a sweatshirt, taking them a cup of hot chocolate is always appreciated. Especially when it's dark out. It also means they might do a little extra work to entertain your kids.


OH, THE ENTERTAINMENT

This might be the best part of living in a construction zone (shirtless judo is included in this, of course). My kids have been entertained for hours watching holes being dug and foundations poured. "Tractor" was an early word for my two youngest. Occasionally, the person operating the machinery will notice the little heads at the window and put on a performance for them. And with kids entertained, things get done.

Maybe overpriced upgrades are worth it, after all.

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