Saturday, January 5, 2008

Contractor management

It's been a busy few days. Not much has actually been physically done to the house, yet there has been a lot of progress.

First up was the supply chain. A few weeks ago we had decided on flooring for the house. With radiant heating, it's really important to have as little insulation between the radiant heat in the foundation and the actual flooring to maximize the efficiency of the heating system. Many Eichler owners choose tile for this very reason, while other may choose cork and other stone materials. Hardwoods look very nice, and can be done with some effort. But with the constant expansion and contraction from the heat, it seemed to be more worry than it was worth. So in the end, we chose tile for the flooring. In addition, should something actually go wrong with the radiant heat, the flooring in the leak area needs to be pulled up and redone once the heating is fixed. With tile, it's as easy as breaking the one or two tiles, fixing the heat and replacing the tiles. The tiles we chose however, really "look" like wood. Check them out from Porcelanosa. So over the last two weekends, we've tested out a few styles and colors and we chose the Roble Cognac style, which we think will go nicely with the dark bamboo kitchen cabinets. Plus it sounds like a fine liqour...hah hah! The tiles will hopefully be in by next Saturday, when we will make a few trips to pick up in the Murano. Then the contractor can begin the tiling process.

On Saturday, we brought Liam Reidy, from Liam Reidy Painting (415-860-1854) down to give an estimate to caulk the ceiling groves and paint the ceiling. He will also primer the walls that are already ready for paint and prep the ceiling beams. Liam painted the exterior of our house in San Francisco two years ago and did an excellent job, with on time service and true craftsmanship. We definitely had to call him in to help in Cupertino. Our neighbor, Kevin, who is also a contractor, advised us to caulk the ceiling before we put the new foam roof on, as 48 years of crap would be falling into our newly remodeled space. Liam also pointed out that the manpower needed to strip the beams in the house would really time consuming and expensive, so we are exploring the option of repainting them in a darker hue to achieve close to the same affect without the overbearing cost.

We were also meeting Steven Chu, one of the two finalists for the general contractor bid. He had a few final questions to tweak his original estimate. We really like him a lot, his references are great, but a few areas of his original estimate were far too expensive when compared to the other final choice for contractor. We're waiting for his final quote as well, but we think we're leaning towards Steven for everything except for the tiling. But we'll find out and make a final decision over the next few days.

Liam starts next week, the tiles will arrive and start to be laid the week after, with the general contractor to be starting on the master bathroom simulataneously.

Next up we need to pick out the shower hardware.


Hendrick said...

Just to let you know, I'll be hitting you up big time for contractor references. :) So if you have a general contractor, does he find he subs or does he manage *everything* for you, including finding the subs?

Hendrick said...

Oh wait, general contractor means he'll be doing the work. Ignore that last question... I was thinking *project manager*. Big difference. :) I hope your home survived the big storm. I felt like mine was going to blow away!

Whitney said...

Hi there! We'll move into our own Eichler in Sunnyvale over the next week or so. So this is very exciting to see someone taking up pretty much the same remodel work that we're about to take up. It would be great if we could exchange notes along the way. I'm particularly interested in your general contractor info and also the guy who removed your tile/mastic. We've spent the last two weekends ripping out the mix-match of old carpet, linoleum, and even the existing VAT, but taking up mastic removal seems a bit daunting.

B. said...


Email me your info and I will send you the names. Our contractor starts in earnest next week and he only takes two projects at a time (unusual for a contractor). The floors came up pretty easy and we didn't need to use chemicals to get the mastic up.