Archive: Jan 2007

Tiling, Carpentry and Painting

The shower is starting to take shape with the tile.

Bathroom subway tiling

Yet another thing the plumber f*cked up. Now that the tiling has started we noticed that both the faucet and the handles are off center. Grrrrr.

Off-center plumbing

New molding being put up around the kitchen door (to the dining room).

Kitchen door molding

Now that the molding is up the switch seems awfully close. Unfortunately we’re told it’d be kind of a pain to switch.

Tight light switch

We were at the house until after midnight painting the first coat of color in the kitchen.

Painting kitchen

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So Much Light

Ray had been back again to nearly finish the lights. This time he hooked everything to the fuse box, so the installed lights actually work! This was quite a change for us – no more construction flood lights?! It sheds a whole new light (haha) on our house. It made it feel quite different. I had to exclaim “oh my God” every 10 minutes because I was so excited to be in our house with lights on!

Our cool kitchen lights. Our contractor had been worried that the 50 watt lights that we had picked would not be sufficient to light everything up. We had struggled a lot because we felt like the recessed lighting design was just overall lacking and these were the only lights that we actually liked (they have a silver trim). 50 watt bulbs times 10 in the main kitchen and 2 in the Butler’s pantry proved to be plenty of light!

Kitchen recessed lights

Ray hooked up our dishwasher so the electrical inspection can pass. For us it of course means one step closer to making things feel like home.

Dishwasher installation

Me standing in the bath, getting the dust pan ready to do some cleaning.

Bathroom cleaning

Our project for the night (with lights on, yay!) was to clean the fireplace in the middle bedroom. It was covered in dirt and dust and we managed to get it cleaned up a little bit. Unfortunately we found dried drips of what looks like floor refinishing liquid on the beautiful tiles and suspect that they are new. Not quite sure how we can clean that off…

Bedroom fire place

Meanwhile back at the loft we have started packing. Ack, crazy!!


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The floor people were originally supposed to come Wednesday, but were unable to due to a flat tire. They were supposed to come Thursday instead but never called or came either. This screwed up a few of our painting plans. Finally on Sunday they returned to do the 2nd coat of polyurethane. This limited our work at the house, but the floors look oh so beautiful!

The brand new coated floors, still wet.

Kitchen hardwood floor polyurethane

The only place we were able to work on this cold, rainy day without disturbing the floord was the laundry. We sanded down some more of the difficult molding areas of the bathroom door.

Bathroom door sanding

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Lights and Bathroom

I’m starting to fall a little behind again, so I’m going to make a couple of entries.

I got so caught up with the ugliness of what’s behind the range vent hood that I completely forgot to document the actual hood! So here it is.

Stove vent hood

Ray was back this Saturday to install the lights. He also found that kitchen light that had gone missing during drywalling.

Recessed lights

Our beautiful, precious Rejuvenation light. Since it was our little gem we were breathing down Ray’s neck the entire time he was installing out baby, haha.

Dining room light

A fan/light combo we found at Lowe’s that I’m really happy with. We installed the same light in all 3 bedrooms. Also note the old steam pipe that has yet to be removed in the background.

Bedroom light

Special concrete sheetrock was installed on the bathroom floor and around the tub.

Bathroom Durock floor

Our custom shower shelf.

Bathroom Durock shower

We continued working on the bathroom door until it got dark.

Paint stripping door

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I know it’s only a partial catch-up, and I’ve already probably forgotten much of what I’ve wanted to say, but at least it’s some notes I’ve taken along the way…

October 12th
This is where things started getting scary. Not that buying a house isn’t scary. Or starting to tear holes in your wall isn’t scary. But turning your house over to the contractor is definitely a little bit scary. This is like your “baby” after all! You just spent your life’s fortune on this little baby. So when you have to give the key to someone else you hold your breath a little bit and hope everything turns out the way you hoped and planned.

December 4th
We went to our first neighborhood meeting. It was at a church just around the corner from our house (that is, one of the gazillion churches in the area). Apparently it was the best turnout they’ve had yet. It consisted of mostly elderly people with a few people probably in their late 30s/early 40s. We were most definitely the youngest neighbors there. The best part to me was, that at the end of the meeting people stayed around to chat for a few minutes, so we got to meet several of our neighbors. And I’m pleased to say that everyone seemed very nice.

December 8th
Some bad news – we’ve run into insurance troubles. Apparently our homeowner’s insurance (Allstate) isn’t very happy about the fact that our house is vacant as well as under construction. Our agent has now informed us that Allstate is mailing us a refund and will no longer cover us. Not good!! Initially we were told this would be fine and would be covered even if anything happened to construction workers, etc. Our agent even checked around with his people to ensure this. Well, apparently someone has changed their mind now. Someone from Allstate actually drove by our house and looked through our window (which they’re apparently not supposed to do – I guess it makes sense, trespassing, right?) and noticed that we didn’t appear to be living there. So now our agent is supposed to hook us up with an independent agent that can cover us for a situation like this. The only problem is that this will cost significantly more! With all the delays in the construction there’s no way our projected December 20th move-in date is still a go. If it were then we could probably slide by with this insurance thing. But since we’re not counting on still being able to move in then (which would have been soooo convenient with all the extra days off during the holidays) it looks like we’ll have to get this pricey insurance. I’m very much hoping for only ONE month!!

January 19th
Ok, the one month overpriced insurance thing didn’t happen. We just sent in check number two. But the good news is, there definitely won’t be a check number three! Right after the new year we terminated our lease at the loft and told our contractor that this is it – January 31st is the very latest that we can go. Which I think is only fair considering the original timeline mentioned a December 20th deadline. A month and (nearly) a half over is plenty of time. And now being so close to that date it still is crunch time. I think it must be like one of those high school paper things. You have a month to write a paper and you wait until 3 days before to get started. Maybe it’s the same for contractors? You give them a 3-month timeframe (or they give you one?), and then they don’t actually start work until 2 months in.

So I guess that’s where we’re at. The “cracking point.” I’ve noticed that over the last week or so we’ve been getting really antsy. I would call it the ““cracking point”” because I know everyone’s got that point they get to where things just get too much. And when you’ve had construction at a house that you’ve owned for 3.5 months, have been anticipating moving into, have had X number of things go wrong…you just get to a point where that last drop of water hits a full glass. There are too many things for me to list (at this moment) that have gone wrong along the way in these three and a half months, but our cracking point was the back door. We had bought this nice wooden and glass back door to replace the metal one. When we came to inspect it the brand new door knobs had scratches on them, the door hinges had been cut through the entire length of the door rather than leaving a piece of wood like we’ve seen in all door installation instructions, the top of the door had been cut in crooked waves with the straight pencil marks still showing, and lastly the faceplate for the deadbolt was nonexistent! (And I wouldn’t be posting this online had it not been fixed by now, haha). The sheer incompetence of this “carpenter” just gave us the last push, and Patrick somewhat calmly went off on our contractor. He felt a little guilty about it, but at the same time you can’t deny it’s justified. You pay big bucks to get a nice door installed and you expect the craftsmanship to be professional and equal to the price you’re paying for the installation. This was obviously not the case (and our contractor got someone else to finish the job). But yes, that was our cracking point. We now have 11 days until moving, so I’m sure things will only get tenser. We’re now (and have been) at a point where we can’t wait to get this all over and done with and just get moved into the house. We realize that even once we’re moved in it will be years before the house will be at where we want it to be at, but we’re just ready to be at the part where we actually have the capability get our occupancy permit and to move in.

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