Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Avoidable Delay Due to Sub-Contractor Incompetence

Almost nothing happened yesterday. Senmet was the only person working at the house, and he alternated between the exterior siding and little jobs inside, depending on the rain. Site Supervisor II was away at another project, where they're trying to finish the punch list this week. The wood floor people were supposed to be here - and we severely disrupted the house in preparation for their arrival - but they didn't arrive, despite SS2 phoning them eleven times (so he reported this morning).

The wood floor folks finally turned up today at 8:30am, which was still half an hour late. SS2 is livid because he has had to put all the other subcontractors off while the floor is being done, and knocking one day out of the schedule because of yesterday's no-show has implications for all the other subs and their availability.

Well, at least they're here now, which is more than we can say for the hardscaping crew. It rained a fair bit yesterday, but there is no rain today. In fact we have sun. But no hardscapers.

The stucco subcontractors arrived yesterday after we passed our lath inspection. They have stuccoed the office extension and are currently working on patching some of the small areas around the house perimeter.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Imminent Rain, Little Activity

The sky is black. The hardscaping crew has not come today, presumably because they are expecting rain.

There is a painter in the master bedroom painting the closet doors. I'm glad we didn't add more clothes to the closet over the weekend, as it is a little nerve-wracking having them painting next to our stuff.

We sent yet more exterior paint proposals off to Jim yesterday. We're getting greyer, rather than blue. Our Architect made the good point that the stuccoed wall for the courtyard will be painted in the same color, and if it is all a true blue, then it might be a bit much against the landscaping - a little overwhelming to the plant colors rather than forming a backdrop.

Senmet is outside adding more wood sheathing to the bedroom/bathroom extension in preparation for the wood siding. It is pretty noisy with the hammering. The phone meeting I'm doing at 11:00am should be interesting....!

In other news, I emailed the Santa Clara County Vector Control office yesterday asking for advice on what to do about standing water in the street. They took it upon themselves to come and take a look, which will have been disappointing for them as there isn't any water there at the moment. That's just too efficient - if they'd come tomorrow, after rainfall today, they'd have seen several feet of water. And in my message I did say there wasn't any water at the moment, but that I was looking ahead to the irrigation run off situation in the summer. Ah well. But the man did say (in a phone message) that if we have standing water for two weeks or more, then we should tell the city and the city should put it on their schedule for repair. So that's good to know.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ashlar Patio

Here's a photo of the ashlar stone on our rear patio. It's Connecticut Blue Stone.

Weekend Round Up

Good progress on the guest bathroom.

The floor is almost laid. The grout has gone in among the glass tile in the shower. The wainscoating has also gone in. The corner of the Vetrazzo has been smoothed off. Next step: Installation of the medicine cabinets.

Outside the house, the builders have started installing the wood sheathing that goes underneath the wood siding at the front of the house. I was puzzling about why there was no chicken wire, and of course now I realize. You only do chicken wire if you're doing stucco. Wood siding requires a wood base. They've also been adding the exterior framing for the windows and doors.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Closet Done (and Almost Right)

I went out for a haircut and came back to discover the closet innards installation finished and the installer gone. It actually looks pretty good (it's a very simple design, so you'd hope it's hard to get wrong). The only thing we're missing is the canvas liners for the wire baskets. This isn't too much of a surprise given that the plan the man had didn't include any baskets. I already have a call into the central office and hope they'll just mail them to me.

Creeping Toward the Finish Line

This morning the hardscapers are outside on their hands and knees washing down the stone that they've laid so far. It really does look nice - I'm impressed by Damien's artistry and skill in getting it together just right.

Inside, the installer from California Closets arrived almost an hour early. He arrived with a plan for the interior of the closet that was wrong. I was able to find the correct one to give him. He didn't seem too fazed by that, so hopefully he carries enough of all the right bits in his truck for the installation to go correctly.

The cabinetry men are also here, going around the house looking at the minor issues in the office and kitchen, and delivering the TV cabinets. I gave careful instructions for the installation of the door pulls on the hallway cabinets this morning.

We don't seem to have any painters here today. They cleaned up most of the windows yesterday and the interior woodwork is pretty much finished. After much debate and several color brush-outs, I decided that we'd simply paint the walls of the guest bathroom Swiss Coffee, same as all the ceilings. I think there will be enough interest in that room with the tile and counter top to worry about the paint color! Our Architect noticed yesterday that the Vetrazzo deck on the tub is sticking out too far. It's a bit late to put that right without risking breaking the Vetrazzo - and that ain't cheap, though it wouldn't be for us to pay a second time - or having to pull out all the floor tile that has already been laid; so she came up with the idea of giving the sticking-out part a curved corner with the same radius as the corner tiles to eliminate the potentially dangerous point. As she commented, we'll just have a "more generous" tub deck than usual.

On Wednesday I ordered the bench cushion for the family room. It's going to be a single cushion, 108" by 27" and 3.5" deep, upholstered in purple (plum) fake suede. I'm picking up the purple accent from the guest bedroom. And I get to buy more cushions!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Wednesday is the one day of the week I can guarantee to be out for a big chunk of time. I volunteer at a literacy program in a local school; then I usually go out for lunch. My lovely cleaning crew comes some time on a Wednesday, so my goal is to be out of the way.

Today I tutored three kids, then had lunch, then went to Target. I got home at 1:45pm. The house was very full of people. In fact, there were people in every room. The cleaners were in the living room, kitchen and one of the bedrooms. The painters were in the dining room and family room. I was able to sneak into the bathroom for a brief "comfort stop", but after that I felt compelled to leave the house. I passed the time of day with Site Supervisor II, Damien the Hardscaper who is laying the patio stone, and with the Hardscaping Boss, but there's only so much chatting about Disneyland you can do.

So I ended up sitting on the doorstep in the sunshine. Not so bad, I guess.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Big Jigsaw Puzzle

Outside, the handscape guys are laying the stone on the patio. They've been at it since yesterday morning and this photo shows what they've achieved so far. It's a tricky job, requiring careful placing of the stone in an aesthetically pleasing way, taking account of the different colors, grain, and depths (including uneven depths) of the individual pieces of stone. We expect it is going to take them two weeks to do the front and back yards.

Trying to Get Beyond 80% Done

The frustrating thing about the remodel now is that lots of things are almost finished; but not many things are actually finished.

The kitchen floor is complete, but the wine fridges can't go in because the walls haven't been painted. The kitchen cabinets still need adjustment. The office is ready to have the floor installed and the walls painted. The light fittings also need to go in. The exterior lights are here, but awaiting installation. The laundry is awaiting cabinet pulls and painting. (We're also waiting for the correct top half of the dutch door to come.) The interior doors are in and painted, but still need the correct hardware (handles, hinges etc). The family room floor is complete and the window bench is in, but the TV cabinet is having to be remade (see earlier post about how it was made up in the wrong material). The guest bathroom tile is half done. The window frames have all been painted, but the glass needs cleaning up.

The guys from Jim's Bunch have been installing the closet doors in our bedroom since yesterday. California Closets will be coming on Friday to install the innards.

I could go on. All this is not to say that work is slowing down, or that the guys aren't working hard, because it isn't and they are. It's just that it would be nice to see something actually 100% complete because every room in the house is currently impacted by the remodel.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

They pulled the back off our house

We did give them permission to do it. The stucco at the back of the house turns out to have gone rotten. I wasn't tremendously surprised: The source of the problem seems to have been the master bathroom. When we moved in we discovered we had subterranean termites there. The termites had been encouraged by a water leak under the shower. When the shower pan was removed it turned out that the whole bathroom floor was rotten, as was most of the interior wall. We had to have everything replaced.

Anyway, the exterior stucco seems to have gone rotten from a combination of moisture wicking up from the earth via the stucco that had been spread down into the soil line (a total no-no) and the moisture inside the walls from the leaking shower pan way back when. That internal leak had no doubt been going for some years, and the stucco-in-the-ground was 50 years old, so rotten is no surprise.

As a result we've had the stucco subcontractors strip most of the exterior of the gable end off. This has given us an opportunity to add insulation in the wall - we had none before, which makes the way our room got very cold in the winter more understandable - and there will be a new moisture barrier under the sheathing. An unexpected but appropriate upgrade.

Our new sculpture garden

The hardscape is coming along very well now, no mud or big holes. The CAT and other diggers have gone away. The hardscape guys are now in the stone laying phase. They spent the whole day on Friday laying the stone out into piles in the back yard. All very sculptural. We feel like an installation from the modern art museum.

They also managed to mortar in about eight stones. Clearly this is going to take some time to complete, as each stone has an individual depth, not always even, which needs to be matched to the stones around it so there is no tripping hazard. Clearly a pretty tricky job.

The front courtyard wall has been constructed out of "CMUs" (breeze blocks) and waits for its concrete in-fill and stucco covering. The back retaining wall under the redwoods is also complete. Our bricklayer was an Irishman called Damien. I commented to Jim that this was a bit of a cliche, but he didn't understand. Obviously you had to be British to get it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Glitzy Bathroom

Here are some photos of our guest bathroom, which is coming along very well. Spot the vibrant Vetrazzo recycled glass countertop. In these photos it has a greenish hue, but in fact it is an "ocean blue" mix, including some sparkly mirror bits. Really very striking. It was a leap of faith and has worked out well.

The tile in the shower is a steel blue glass mosaic tile. The seat in the shower is the neutral crackle glaze tile that we are going to have on the main walls, but it has taken on a blue tone because of reflections from the mosaic tile. The Vetrazzo is also around the tub, but you can't see it in these photos.

You can also see that the cabinets are in, with their fancy satin nickel pulls from The sink is in the same range as the toilet, yet to be installed.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Land of No Doors

The painters are hard at work on the door and window trim. They have carefully sanded everything - which took a whole day - creating lots and lots and LOTS of dust in the process. Then yesterday they painted the trim with primer. As a result, they could not reattach our doors. We are the doorless family. No bedroom doors. No bathroom doors. Last night was a pretty interesting experience. We particularly enjoyed the phone call from someone (a fool British person, no doubt) at 4:00am, and the sounds of Deep Thought "tip toeing" down the corridor to visit the bathroom twice within a few minutes.

Today we are still the People Without Doors. Hubby and I have a curtain over our open doorway, and the painters have also hung a similar "privacy sheet" across the hallway bathroom door; but the girls have no doors. This is likely to lead to ructions later. Little Starlet was away on a school camping trip yesterday, so she missed the first night of doorlessness; but she is now melting down.....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gentle Suffocation

Lots of activity in the house today, but now the guys have gone we can't quite see what they were doing. Actually I know perfectly well what they were doing, but it isn't very striking. They were sanding and caulking the door frames and new doors in preparation for painting. There are very smelly daubs of red something across many of the door frames.

In the early part of the afternoon I started to be overcome by the horrible chemical smell, and went to see how much ventilation they had. Answer: None At All. They hadn't opened a single window. I strode through the house throwing the windows and doors open, reminding them that it might be in all our best interests to be able to breath.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Family Room Recovery

Our architect has fallen on her sword for the mistake in the family room. She is deducting $700 from her current invoice and the cabinet guys are remaking the cabinets in the appropriate paint grade wood. Site Supervisor II assures me this will not cause any additional delay.

I have an appointment to meet an upholsterer on Thursday to discuss the bench cushions for the family room and kitchen.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Beautiful Concrete

Adding a few photos here of our landscaping in progress at the end of last week.
1) The side yard path partially demolished (again) and reformed ready for new concrete (again).
2) Rebars in the trench for the retaining wall under the redwood trees.
3) Concrete coming out of the pipe onto our front door step. ("Mom! The pipe is pooping!" Little Starlet exclaims.)
4) Lovely concrete in the front yard, freshly laid.
5) The beginnings of Hubby's famous (infamous?) outdoor kitchen.

Catch up post

I can't believe I haven't posted since Wednesday. Blame it on the children who were off school on Thursday and Friday. When they're here, it's hard to get onto the computer.

The dishwasher went into gush-mode on Thursday during our weekly site meeting, which was handy as Jim himself was able to witness the food particles spurting out of the sink. A plumber was called (the third time the dishwasher has needed TLC since reinstallation). Speaking of sinks, the laundry sink and countertop was ready for installation, but before cutting the hole, the granite guy called Site Supervisor II and explained that there wouldn't be space for the faucet at the back of the sink - it was too big. We gathered in the laundry to watch SS2 draw the sink on the hardboard top and agreed that, yes, it was too big. A new sink is being ordered. This will delay the completion of the laundry.

In the office, Hubby noticed that the wire management trays do not run behind the upper drawers in the cabinets, which seems to defeat the purpose of having them. Appropriately sized holes are there - the top drawers are not as deep as the bottom ones - so it looks like something has simply not been installed.

In the guest bathroom, the tile is going into the shower, and it looks really splendid. I'll try to grab a photo tomorrow.

In the guest bedroom, nothing has happened recently except the addition of handles to the dresser drawers. This room has become a storage area to keep things out of the rain.

We do, alas, have a problem in the family room. The cabinets which have been built for the TV cabinet have been put together in alder instead of paint grade wood. This turns out to be our architect's fault, for not properly communicating the wood choice (which I was able to demonstrate we decided in November). So she is offering to suck up any additional cost to change the cabinets. Fortunately (though it didn't seem so at the time) last week it turned out that the cabinets had been made too large anyway. Site Supervisor II was onto the cabinet makers to replace some of the units they had brought over. I am hopeful that they haven't started remaking them and perhaps at least some of the units can be changed at no additional cost to anyone (except the cabinet guys who got the measurements wrong in the first place).

Lastly we have selected paint for the new rooms: Grant Beige (warm grey) for the family room, Engish Hyacinth (lavender) for the guest bedroom, and White Mist (off white) for the bathroom. We're going to repaint the exterior grey-blue but can't yet decide on the shade. SS2 is asking the painting subcontractor to paint out tester panels in our top three picks.

Good weather Thursday, rain on Friday, nice this weekend. Our concrete is officially dry and walkable.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Properly Appraised and Making Progress: It's Official

Mysterious activity outside the house today by a bunch of Spanish speaking guys I've not seen before. They seem to be trimming the stucco back from the exciting shiney flashing. Well...ok.

Damien the Irish Concrete Guy has been here with his crew reforming around the walkways in the front yard. They demolished the incorrect concrete yesterday and cleared up today, new rebars, new forms, touching up and tweaking. Damien spent twenty minutes with a leaf blower - no exaggeration - creating a big cloud of dust, apparently making sure that the front door step is completely clean. I now hesitate to step on it at all. Damien tells me that the concrete will be poured for sure tomorrow (unless it rains, which it is not forecast to do). By the time Hubby returns from his trip to Baltimore, there should be hard concrete upon which to walk to the front door. Whoopee doo!

Inside, the office is really starting to take shape. Two of Jim's Bunch have been working all day installing the cabinets. We have four cabinets with lateral files, the desk tops, and book cases. It's actually looking like a room at last. We also had two people over today to give quotes on the wood floor for the office and the bedroom.

At lunchtime the appraiser from our insurance company popped by to have a look. I got a call yesterday to say he was coming, so I was able to ask Site Supervisor II to make sure that the fire extinguishers were in the right places. The fence that the appraiser had asked to be erected between the front and back yards was not there, but he could clearly see the men working away on the concrete forming in exactly that place, so that did not create any issue. My only worry is that when the job is finished, the appraiser will insist on pushing our house rebuild value over the magic threshold ($1.5 million) at which the insurance company will require us to install sprinklers and an alarm system. When he came out to do the appraisal in September, before our work started, he valued the rebuild at $1.45 million.... That was before we added the kitchen remodel and a bunch of other stuff. Luckily, this figure doesn't include the pool or any of the hardscape.

Writing another check for the house remodel work today. So far we've paid just over $400,000. This time round, we even have the money in the back account already! Nice.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Landscaping Redux

The Landscape Designer was here this morning to meet with the Hardscaping Guy. So the landing pad outside the bedroom door is, indeed, incorrect. It wasn't actually a misreading of the plans, but a misinterpretation of local building code and an attempt to reconcile that with the plans, which resulted in a five inch gap between plans and reality.

The result is that the Hardscaping guys are currently demolishing their newly laid concrete along the side of the house, with the intention of putting in new forms that will raise the level up a few inches. The landing pad outside the bedroom door is also going to be filled in so that there is no step. I don't completely understand how this is all going to happen without creating another step somewhere else, but the Landscape Designer assures me it will all work out.

As a consequence, our front yard concrete won't be poured till Thursday :-( It's already better though: Even with yesterday's rain/hail, the fact that we now have the gravel bed down waiting for the concrete means that there are no large puddles or muddy holes to wade through.

In other landscaping news, the concrete blocks for the outdoor kitchen (what we Brits would call breeze blocks, but which apparently have no special name here) have been delivered into the back yard; and all the appliances for the BBQ have also arrived on site.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Down to the Detail

There was a fair amount of activity around the Cardboard Box today, despite the rain, but nothing very photogenic to offer. We have now reached the stage in the project where most of the labor is going on detailed finish work. The nice thing about this is it is relatively quiet and unobtrusive. One of the guys was installing base boards (skirting boards to my British readers). Another was on the exterior window trim, which they are now able to get to because of the lovely concrete in the back yard. A third was fiddling with interior doors.

The tile for the bathroom has arrived and I have taken some so we can choose appropriate paint colors. We're probably going to to for an off-white in the bathroom, a lavender in the bedroom, and a pale grey in the family room. The living room is currently a sage color. I don't think repainting it is in the scope of work, but I imagine we'll get round to redoing it, or it will look yukky next to the rest of the rooms. If we do, we plan to keep it a similar color, which comes across as fairly neutral without being dead boring.

Outside, the forms have been constructed for the front yard concrete. Over the weekend we raised the issue of the landing pad outside the guest bedroom. It isn't as drawn on the plans and there seems to be some confusion about what is needed to meet the building code. Needless to say, the confusion is not with Jim's Bunch, but with the hardscaping crew. Our Landscape Designer will be here tomorrow to view and consult. We were supposed to be getting lovely concrete in the front yard tomorrow, but this discussion is likely to lead to a day or so delay. The rain/hail doesn't help either.

In good news, Site Supervisor II announced that the remaining exterior doors would be arriving on site tomorrow afternoon. This is the last remaining piece of the construction puzzle. When they are in place, everything is built, and we just need the finishing to be done (both inside - doors, cabinets, floors - and outside - completion of weep screed and new stucco where the old was cut).

The end is definitely in sight.

All Hail to the Weather

After a perfectly lovely weekend, today it has been dull and drizzly. The crowning moment of the day came at 4:30pm, when the skies opened and hail poured down. Hail! I don't think we've seen such a thing for several years. Here's a photo of the hail in the new planting bed outside Little Starlet's room.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Neighbor Troubles

We had our first encounter with an angry neighbor yesterday, which isn't bad since we've been on this project since October. Actually he was perfectly pleasant, but not happy. It's the new guy next door - who hasn't even moved in yet - and he'd noticed that a) our workers are walking through his yard to get to our work and b) the foundation for the garden wall has encroached on his property. Naturally I fell on my sword and apologized - I don't want to annoy the neighbor before he's even moved in! - and said we'd stop the walking (which I had only noticed yesterday too) and fix the concrete.

He said that they are in the permitting stage, and plan to get their work started in April. Just as we finish. Which also means that they'll be doing building work all through the summer. Nice.

On the subject of concrete, Hubby and I went out this morning to have an inspect, and we weren't at all sure that the area outside the bedroom door is correct. There is a large landing pad which doesn't seem to be on the plans. I hope they remembered to fix the solar heating pipes before laying the concrete, too. Just emailed the Landscape Designer to ask her to come and take a look this week before any work continues.

We also burst through the dust wall into the guest bedroom/bathroom. There's obviously a lot of detail work going on. The dresser is now installed. I wonder what is going to happen inside the closets?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Traffic Calming

Yesterday we had 15 trucks outside out house, including an enormous concrete mixer. Today was much quieter, just five vehicles.

The landscaping crew continued their work on setting up the forms for the front yard concrete (due to be poured on Tuesday, weather permitting). I have to forgive them their last trench, upon which I poured such scorn, as it turned out to be the base for the courtyard wall.

The guys from Jim's Bunch continued working away inside the house. They ripped out the inside of the closet in our bedroom. They have installed the dresser in our bedroom, and also finished off the wine fridge area in the kitchen. Various bumps and hammers from other parts of the house, tasks unspecified. Everything seemed quite calm today.

Site Supervisor II declares that the job will be finished in six weeks.

Photos here:
i) The old hot tub box on the side of the house, where our predecessors kept the water chemicals and stuff. We're having it taken off - retaining the potentially useful electrical outlet, because you can never have too many - and the wall made good. This photo gives a little peek into the way the house is built, with stucco, paper, chicken wire and lumber.
ii) The dresser in the master bedroom in process. This will be painted.
iii) The back yard as viewed from the redwood trees. The concrete was dry enough for me to venture out this afternoon.
iv) The fancy metal flashing at the weep screed which now extends all around our house's perimeter. Apparently this is state of the art and will block any pesky termites from finding their way in. (The little blighters had eaten quite a lot of our door steps and similar, it turns out.)
v) The wine fridge area in the kitchen almost done. I live in hope that the fridges will be moved into the kitchen and out of our dining room early next week.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fabulous Concrete

OK, I'm on a concrete jag today, but you've no idea how wonderful it is to see it going in. The back yard concrete has been brushed, the rebars are going in at the front of the house, and the sun is shining. Yes!

Goodbye to the Closet, Hello More Cabinets

I can hardly contain my excitement about the progress in the landscaping, so I could go on and on about that; but I'll mention the wonderful progress inside the house too.

The pocket door is completed in the kitchen/study (except for the insertion of the actual doors, which haven't arrived yet). Since the drywall has been done, we are now in position to complete the kitchen floor tile and install the cabinets for the wine fridges (which have been living in our dining room in huge boxes for over a month.) Lots of cabinets have arrived and the slow process of installing them all has begun. Photo here of the cabinet that fits between the wine fridges going in. Also a big heap of drawer units and bookcases in the office.

As it was our weekly site meeting today, I got a peek at the bedroom/bathroom addition. (We may get more than a peek soon, as Site Supervisor II says that the dust wall will be coming down in a day or two.) The inside of the shower has been prepared by the tiler and is currently drying. I was hoping that some of the mosaic tile would have been installed so I could get a look with the paint in mind, but no luck. Well, you can't have everything. The valves for the tub faucets are in. The cabinets have also been installed in the bathroom and are looking good. We had a fairly detailed conversation about where the handles and pulls should go on the cabinets. It's amazing how much time you can spend on an item like that.

In the master bedroom, there has also been progress on the closet reworking. The drywall and "mud" has been completed. When we started on the closet, I assumed that the interior - the hanging space and shelves - would be ripped out. Then I had a conversation with SS2 who said we should keep them till we had chosen our new layout. Well, the net result of the reframing and drywalling is that the closet interior has been wrecked. (I never really expected anything else.) I told SS2 that they might as well rip it out and dispose of it for us. The doors for the closet have not yet arrived on site. I guess we'll be living with our clothes on wonky IKEA hanging racks for a while longer.

Time to call California Closets?

Beautiful Concrete

Today is is not raining. Woo hoo. So this means that the landscapers have been able to make real
progress with the hardscape. As I write, the clouds are starting to gather, but keep your fingers crossed for us that it stays dry till tomorrow.

Four pictures here to gladden the heart of any remodeller.

First, the landscaping crew in their best yellow all-weather gear yesterday, setting out the wooden forms to hold the concrete.
Second, a photo of the concrete crew laying the forms in the front yard. (No more mud, yay. Yesterday they forgot to put out the boards for us to walk across into the house, so Carolina and Little Starlet literally waded through the mud to the front door.)

The other two photos are of the concrete crew smoothing out the poured concrete in the back yard. Look at it, what a thing of beauty.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Rainy Day, Good for Drilling

Nothing happening outside the Cardboard Box today because of the rain. The back yard is a little puddley, but comfortingly flat. The front yard is still a battlefield. Site Supervisor II had to walk through the mud to put the tree protection fence back up (after the landscaping crew had taken it down - dudes, it's meant to stay there to protect the tree! Duh...) and his boots were caked with inches of sticky mud. Nice.

Inside the house, things are also fairly quiet today, but there is still activity. I can hear some thumping from the bedroom/bathroom addition. The guys have put up the framing for the new closet doors in the master bedroom (and have produced a pretty nasty smell in the process. I guess there must be some glue.) and they are drilling away on something in the laundry area. The pocket door framing is sitting there invitingly, waiting for someone to pay it some attention.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Have you been paying attention? Finish this sentence: "Another Day..."

It is Monday. Welcome to week 21 of the remodel. Guess what joyful occurrence has gladdened the hearts of the Cardboard Box dwellers today? Yes, a new hole in the front yard. In fact, to be specific, two holes. The first hole is involved in a sewer relocation connected to the "outdoor kitchen" we are building in the back yard. The second hole is to accommodate a pipe that was the subject of installation in a previous hole. This landscaping crew is worthy of employment with BT or British Gas or one of those wretched utility companies. Site Supervisor II says he tried not to notice what they were doing, it was too painful to watch.

Inside the Cardboard Box, the dishwasher finally came back to life today. Unfortunately it leaked into the cabinet under the sink. Turned out to be something to do with gravity and one of the pipes having a dip in it. Anyway, SS2 called the plumber in to fix it and told him very sternly that the whole kitchen remodel was predicated on eliminating the leaking faucet and water damaged sink cabinet, so it had better get put right. SS2 is a pretty mild mannered guy, so it's easy to see when he's not tremendously impressed. While he was here, the plumber also swapped the Insinkerator (garbage disposal) around from the big sink to the small sink, and installed the second Insinkerator in the vegetable sink. Houston, we now have total sink capability.

We've spotted various little fixes that are needed around the kitchen, but we've decided not to moan on about them just now. We'd rather the guys get on with some of the remaining big stuff than spend their time fiddling with the little stuff. That can wait for the punch list at the end, if necessary.

Our whole house fan was working over the weekend, but isn't now. We discovered that the attic fans had been left switched on, so we turned them off at the subpanel. SS2 said that the thermostatic controls for the attic fans would be installed today. Quite what actually happened I'm not sure: The attic fans are still permanently on, while the whole house fan is no longer working. It seems like that with all our electrical work: One thing gets fixed and another stops working. The electicians claim that we have funky wiring (and I can believe that) but even so, surely this isn't absolutely necessary.

The carpenters continued working on the windows today and seem to be close to finishing.

In other big news, the pocket doors for the kitchen/study wall have arrived. Yay! A couple of the guys from Jim's Bunch started to install the pockets this afternoon. This is arguably the last big piece of actual construction needing to be done. When the pocket doors are in, they'll be able to finish the drywall in the kitchen, the tile floor, install the last cabinet, and take the blessed wine fridges out of the dining room at last. All good stuff.

Now, to return to yesterday's important question about the light switch in the living room, here is a photo of it. Would you have it moved or not?