Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"The Cabinets are Coming!! The Cabinets are Coming!!"

Like Paul Revere says - the kitchen cabinets are here. Ok maybe he didn't say that, but there's a LOT of boxes and it takes up the entire dining room area!

Lorinda stopped by the house today and snapped a few pictures for the blog, I'll take more this weekend.

Baseboards are being installed. Here is an example of the office (bit of hallway too) and the baby's room.

Old panel versus new panel - Welcome to the 21st century!It's not done, but at least its in progress.

Here's the new section of roof in progress, with the curbing added for the skylight-to-be. The old flashing still has to come off and we'll prep the beam for paint just before the skylight arrives.

'Nother no picture post

I find myself apologizing again, but we again don't have pictures this week.

Last weekend was another whirlwind, trying to get ready for the imminent move on Saturday. We finished painting the three spare bedrooms and the main hallway. There will be some touchup work to do, but its close enough to pile the boxes into these three rooms and finish over a couple of days. We'll also have a section of the living room sectioned off from the construction to place the bigger furniture while the kitchen is put in. If I'm not too sore by Sunday, I plan to paint the master bedroom as much as possible so when the bathroom and closet doors come in we can set up a proper bedroom within a week, while keeping the construction in the master bathroom separate.

Over the weekend, we met with Steven (contractor) and made some final design decisions about the master bathroom, including shower head placements and vanity design since we had purchased the sink and faucet this week. We also picked up a kitchen hood from Bel Enterprises, where we have had previous good fortune with our SF place. We also discussed electrical, as we needed to decide on outlet placement for the atrium for the future as well.

One problem we ran into was that the kitchen electrical code required us to have outlets within 48" of the water source and our design didn't call for it. We were watching HGTV's Best Kitchen show and saw this little gem from Mockett that allows an outlet to pop out from the countertop. Problem solved!!!

We also met our roofing subcontractor, who is working this week to roof over part of the atrium that will not be covered by the skylight and prepare the curbing for the Royalite skylight. I'll be ordering that in the next two weeks, along with the next section of glass from Palo Alto Glass.

That's all for now, moving day is Saturday and I'm hoping we'll only be two-three weeks without a kitchen. I promise to take more pictures of the progress once we are living in the mess, LOL.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Has anyone seen our heads?

This weekend Lorinda and I felt a bit like chickens with our heads cut off. Although it was a three day weekend, we only really had two days to work on the house. Both Saturday afternoon and evening, as well as Sunday afternoon were booked with a dinner party and baby classes respectively. That left Saturday and Monday to work on the house. We were so busy we forgot to take pictures of the progress.

Saturday was basically spent in the car.

1) First stop was the paint store to get the office color.

2) Next it was down to San Mateo to go to PC Kitchen to design our bathroom vanity. After about 90 minutes we were done - sorta. We still needed to discuss the steam generator placement to correctly position the drawers and measure the sink height so the vanity has the proper height.

3) On to Expo Design Center to pick out the materials for the master shower and bathroom. After much deliberation, we picked out a slate flooring (dark) with a light tan slate-like porcelan tile for the shower walls. It was important to use porcealin or ceramic because of the steam, as slate is just too porous and would eventually fail. We also picked out a river rock shower pan flooring like we had seen on another Eichler blog website.

4) Finally it was onto the house to unload and have a meeting with the contractor. The flooring is completely in but some areas still need to be grouted. Additionally, I have to get on my hands and knees to mark out the area where the grout is to low so it can be redone. The slider is installed and looks great and the plumbing in the kitchen is in process. The bedroom drywall and texture was also done, so we can now paint those rooms

We went over some bathroom decisions and yet again had to go over the need to upgrade the electrical to 200 amp. They have not gotten the permit for this, so I know were are going to fall behind schedule, as the kitchen cabinets (which are in) cannot be installed until after the electrical is inspected. B is not a happy camper. After the meeting, we had to high tail it over to friends house for a dinner party where we all drunk way too much wine and grappas. All except the designated driver (Lorinda) who had the patience of a saint to deal with three drunks.

Sunday came and we had to get back to SF for baby classes, but we did end up buying a kitchen sink online. We went to bed early, as Lorinda is fighting a cold and I am feeling it too. Monday is a big day.

Painting day!! We had already had most of the baby's room done, so we were mainly redoing sections and completing what had not been painted before. Lorinda tackled this while I made some repairs to the fence outside where someone had backed into it and broken a section! I still need a few replacement boards, but the missing section is two feet instead of six now. Back to painting, I got the final primer coat on the spare bedroom wall and primered the new wall in the office. Lastly we got the office painted and had to retire due to sheer exhaustion. Oh the baseboards were also delivered.

Next weekend, we'll paint the baseboards, the spare office and the hallway. If we're lucky the drywall on the master bedroom will be finished and we can paint in there as well. If all goes to plan, the contractor can install the baseboards the following week and we can move in on schedule. Granted, we will have no kitchen or master bath, but we can move in...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Shaping the Vision

We've had a busy week with the house. Liam finished touching up, had a meeting with the contractor and another with the electrician. Deliveries are stacking up and it looks like we'll be able to start installing them to make room in the garage for the items left to purchase. I ordered the replacement siding to finish the new holes we made and a door for the master bathroom from Premier Door in Los Altos. This week the Thermasol steam unit arrived and we are expecting the shower valves and heads to arrive today with the kitchen faucet. Today the sliding door will be picked up from Palo Alto Glass and installed in the master bedroom, which will facilitate the tile to be finished there too.

Monday the kitchen cabinets arrive and the new wall and pony wall is framed for the center island. The plumbing work is now being done in parallel with the electrical panel upgrade and the kitchen wiring. Here you can see the pony wall which will support the new plumbing for the kitchen sink and the wiring for the dishwasher and electrical outlets.

This is the new "narrower" wall that will hide the drain vent (temporarily removed while the sink is plumbed). From this view from the dining room side (now tiled, yay!)there will be two large pantries against the wall.

We had to plan for the upcoming reroofing and take care of a few items. This includes anything that will penetrate the roof prior to the new roof going on: electrical conduits, Kitchen hood, closing up old kitchen exhaust and old dryer vent and installing bathroom exahust fans. Although the main bathroom is the last interior space to get remodeled, we decided to avoid the water penetration problem caused by the inappropriately large and misplaced window by installing a skylight. When we catch up to the bathroom, we can tile the whole side now. Oh...and I took great pleasure in tearing off some of the 1960 wallpaper, yick...

In the meantime, the flooring is being grouted and the three back bedrooms are getting finishing work before painting. I am hopeful that I will be able to paint these rooms this long holiday weekend so we can stick to a March 1 move in date. I am doubtful this will happen, but we'll see. If we get pushed one week its not problem, but anything longer and we'll have to move in after the baby comes (groans), which means more double mortgage payments too....(double groans)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Off the brakes

After this weekend's disappointment and the contractor's inability to be available due to sickness, the responsibility to have the meeting with the contractor today fell to Lorinda and I was on the phone. I had made up a laundry list of the items not completed and the vast number of items to be completed and Lorinda created a task calendar. Nothing like two type-A personalities rising to the top to try to gain control of a situation that could quickly spiral away from us. In the end, the contractor knew his guys were slacking and pledged to keep to the timeline. We'll see I suppose, I'm still ticked about the 3rd bedroom, especially after he told me on Friday it was ready for priming and yesterday said they weren't done and I had basically wasted my time with the first primer coat...Urrrghhh!

Anyway, progress obviously has started again, as the hole for the slider in the master bedroom is framed. According to Palo Alto Glass, it will be ready on Thursday 2/14 or Friday 2/15 for pickup and installation. It definitely brightens the room significantly, yay!

Tiling is almost done in the living room now and the opening for the relocated window is framed.

Monday, February 11, 2008

First Speedbump

Well since I was gone for a week on business, I was eagerly anticipating coming home to see a lot of progress, considering what had been laid out beforehand with the contractor. The remainder of the tiling was to be completed, along with the moving of the window into the office with new drywall and the finishing work on the 3rd bedroom, where I had sanded down the mastic that was used to hold the god-awful particle board paneling to the drywall.

Since Lorinda was having her baby shower on Saturday, I had planned to prime the 3rd bedroom and the office and touch up the baby room (the electrical work was also supposed to be done).

As you can see here, the living room is just about done, but the dining room and kitchen area weren't really touched. In addition, the master closet wasn't finished, as was the remainder of the master bedroom. The latter I can understand, as the window was removed and the opening for the new slider has yet to be framed, but I'm still unenthused with the amount that got done while I was away.

The office window was framed, but no drywall put in place. When I spoke with Lorinda earlier this week, this hadn't been done on Thursday, so its obvious they were trying to play catch up before I came down on Saturday.

Lastly, here's a photo of the master bedroom with the window removed. The open area will be enlarged and a slider will be going in. The workers could have still tiled up to the opening though...

Not pictured is the lack of work on the baby's room and on the third bedroom. There was minimal drywall work to be done to the baby's room and the electrical outlet was supposed to be fixed. Since these were not done, I couldn't really complete the room. The room was supposedly grouted as well, but it was poorly done and not anywhere near the proper grout depth.

I moved to the third bedroom, where the mastic was messily patched over in areas, not done in others and generally appeared to be a rush job. Not wanting to waste the day, I finished the sanding on the closet door jamb, knocked off the most egregious of the spackle edges which were supposed to count as matching texture (not!) and applied a coat of primer to the room since the dark blue was going to have to get two coats anyways.

I met with Liam on Sunday morning to pay an installment and schedule him to come back for touchup work next week. He also had a good solution to the mastic problem, which a knockdown spray texture rather than using spackle haphazardly.

All and all I was pretty disappointed with both the quantity of the work done, as well as the quality of the work done. I'll be talking with the contractor this week about these issues. He's supposed to have the electrician on site upgrading the panel and completing other electrical work, while he works on the kitchen area prep for the new drain location. The tiling is also supposed to be complete this week. I am expecting some progress so I can work on finishing some of the bedrooms next weekend for the three day weekend. March is coming fast and I need to have some of the rooms ready for storage so we can move in hopefully before the baby arrives.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I'm too sexy for this paint...

Well despite there needing to do some patchwork and maintenance to an electrical outlet, we decided to move forward an paint the baby's room. We'll have to touch up here and paint the closet, but the heavy lifting is done on this with this room. It's a nice shade of lavender, which will go nicely with white baby furniture. All I gotta say is it better be the girl we're expecting or else I'll be repainting again, hah!

The tiling is moving quickly now, this week we will pick up the grout so they can finish the bedrooms and office. This is the tiled office. This week the new window will be framed where the broken slider is and the master bedroon will be framed for the new sliding door where the window was. The plan is to paint the office next weekend while Lorinda has her baby shower.

Dirty hallway view

Master bedroom is almost tiled, just a little more then start on the main living area, which should go quick since it is wide open.

Here it is all waterproofed. I am in Belgium on business till Thursday night, so I'll be anxious to see what gets done while I'm gone.