Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Guest room

Today was spent doing the touch up in the guest room, both on the walls and the ceiling. The walls were easy and done in an hour. The ceiling on the other hand was painstakingly slow, touching up a double mark that the contractor's machine made when texturing the walls. That took about another hour and a half. Afterwards, it was time to get on my hands and knees and scrub and scrub and scrub and...you guessed it...scrub some more. After about four hours total, here is the result.

I then dragged the guest bed frame in, cleaned it up and put it together. Next was the box spring and matress, followed by the end tables. All that is left to move in is the chest of drawers. Of course the closet doors will all need to be done, but that is a weekend project for far after we move in.

The slop sink was assembled today.

The master bedroom doors were FINALLY picked up and installed today.

The drain work for the washer/dryer and the slop sink were started today. We are utilizing the old kitchen sink drain rather than digging up all the concrete to find the sewage line. This was a feasible option and we will primer/paint the piping the same color as the house when we paint later this summer. After the master bathroom and washer/dryer are in, we'll finally be able to move in - just in time for Grandma Lahiff to come for a visit.

Monday, March 17, 2008


So our original plans for the washer dryer were to use the ones that came with the house until they broke, as they were almost exact replicas of the ones I grew up with in New Jersey in the 70s/80s. That plan quickly came to a halt when we found out the dryer was an electric model rather than gas. Since we were going to place the washer dryer in the garage, we ran into a problem, as there is no 220v electric in the garage and it would cost us $500 to drag it into the gagage. Add to the fact that gas dryers are less expensive to operate and we went searching for some new units.

The ones we originally liked were the Samsung Silvercare washer/dryer. But then we found out that Santa Clara stopped the $200 rebates on them and also that the Silvercare may not be good for infants. Thus the search continued...

Thanks to the lowlife scum of the earth that broke into our car at the hospital before we brought Keira home, I had to go to Best Buy to get a new GPS. While there I thought I'd actually try to get a salesperson to explain the differences between the popular washer/dryer combos. After being totally distinterested, the salesperson happened to point out a higher steam model, the LG TrueSteam Washer/Dryer that had a tiny ding and a small scratch on the front. It was on sale from $1599 to $1199, but the dryer was also electric. I asked what the best she could do on the gas combo was. Quickly she blurted out an additional 30% off the washer and 10% off the normal price of the gas dryer. I quickly agreed before she could calculate what she offered and ended up getting the washer at 50% off the normal price. Basically a much better washer/dryer at the same price as the Samsung.

Oh and we get $200 more off from Santa Clara for buying energy efficient appliances. SCORE!!!

Take a close look at these two scratch pictures. They don't affect the operation of the washer and were the equivalent of $800 discount. Pretty good deal is you ask me!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thomas Crapper Part Deux

Well I know we said we had decided on the Toto Aquios, but the more and more I read about it, the more I thought the water spot was going to be an issue. Most of the European design dual flush toilets use the water to push the waste, whereas the American toilets use a siphoning method to pull the waste. The difference is that the American water spot being higher reduces the amount of "streaking" when compared to the European types.

I was all about to give up, but then I found the Mansfield EcoFlush toilet. It's a dual flush that uses pressure assist in a siphoning method. All the reviews I found were positive and the company advertises as the best in dual flush independent testing. All the benefits of dual flush without the streaking - SOLD

Bathroom Progress

The master bathroom is coming along and all the tilework is done. It will be sealed this week and the fixtures installed. I hope by the week the vanity will be in and then the steam unit will be put in. I'll probably pick out the paint this week. The only thing we'll have to wait for is the glass door to finish the bathroom.

Here's a view of the slate foor. We're thinking a light grey color will tie the room together nicely.

The pebble floor came out well. We used the same color grout as the slate floor to help tie the floor to the walls with the light color pebbles.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Marching onward

Work continues, even though we are still at the hospital. The old holes in the roof where the old kitchen and dryer vent were. This will allow durafoam to come put the roof on very soon. Of course this is after they cut the hole they forgot for the new kitchen hood - ai carumba, you always have to keep an eye on the contractors.

The master shower is almost done. It's all tiled and the slate is on the floor. They were working on the pebble aggregate floor, adjusting the slope to get the shower to drain properly without a big hole in the floor. All that's left is to attach the shower heads and handles and grout the shower and floor. The we're jsut waiting for the vanity and the shower glass to come in to finish the bathroom.

We also had the exhaust fans installed in the two bathrooms. The main hall just gets a standard Nutone fan, but since we needed a light to go in the master bathroom as well, we found this designer one at Lowes for the same price as a standard Nutone with a light. It even fits the design of the bathroom to boot.

Ollie's early

Well - as hard as we tried, we couldn't beat Ollie to get the house done in time.

Welcome Keira Yuen Har Lahiff aka "Ollie," who was born on March 10th, 2008 - weighing in at 6lbs, 6oz. and 18.5" long. So now you know who Ollie is.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Almost liveable

Remember the full guest room picture from yesterday? Well here it is today - ready for paint touch up and cleaning to setup the room.

What happened to the rest? Well... the closets are now full of kitchen boxes, the office has boxes of books, the hanging clothes are hanging and the bay's room is ready - well two outta three ain't bad. She'll be with us for a little while anyways.

Here's the office, doubling as a temporary master bedroom.

Here's the real master bedroom and how I spent the other part of the day - priming and painting the master bedroom. The main color is called victorian mauve and the red is the same venetian red we used our San Francisco house. Of course that means I ran out of the red and still need about a pint to touch up and do the trim work. The victorian mauve was a lot more purple going on than we expected, but thankfully it dried the more grey we wanted. I'm still not certain I like it, but we'll see, its only paint. It's been a looong weekend.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

T-minus two weeks

Friday was Lorinda's last day at work, as baby Ollie can come at any time, but will most likely be a C-section either next week or the week after. Although we are pretty close to having the house liveable, we are staying with Nathan and Besty for probably the first two weeks.

Weekend is here and you know what that means...time to work on the house! Actually we had a bunch of errands to run this morning to get the 1850's crib fixed that UPS broke, and up to San Francisco for more errands and to load up the truck with a load of the stuff still in the garage. So we didn't actually get to the house till 3pm. On the schedule is to unpack the car and paint another coat of paint on four of the five closets. As you can see below, we really need the space to start unpacking the rooms - and this is only one of the three bedrooms (guest bedroom) that are housing our belongings.

I know I posted about it a while ago, but here is the new Blomber slider in our master bedroom, tastefully garnished with a side of Chipper-bird.

Since we are STILL waiting for the electrical subcontractor to finish the panel upgrade and wiring the kitchen, bathrooms, etc., the rest of the crew has only limited things to work on. Two of the three walls in the dining room are re-insulated and drywalled, but waiting for mud and texture. The main thrust has been in the master bathroom and getting our "spa" together. The shower is framed and plumbed and they were working on the tiling now. We were lucky we got there when we did today, as the original bench seat was only 11" wide and was supposed to be 13" wide. It doesn't sound like much, but when taking a steam, we want to be relaaaaaxed and not sitting bolt upright. As I walked in today they were tiling the bench unaltered...Urgh... Anyway's its starting to look like a shower now. The drain has to be reangled a bit since its a bit steep right now to the drain and its exactly where you would stand under the rain shower. But here it is - by the time I get Palo Alto Glass out here to do the final measurements for the windows, we'll be ready to order the shower door as well.

Tommorow's project is to start painting the master bedroom. I can only paint three of the four walls, even if I can get enough access to them. Plus one of the walls has to be primered first, so I expect this will take most of the day, especially when I have to quit for MotoGP Round One tommorow!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Master bathroom tiles

The tiles for the master bathroom are in from Home Depo Expo Design Center. Here is the slate. It looks grey in this picture, but its really a mix of black mostly with iron ore types of orange and browns.

This is the ceramic tile we are using for the shower. Its similiar looking to slate but is a solid surface capable of dealing with everything the steam can throw at it.

Not pictured is the pebble style floor which is supposed to be delivered on Friday.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Moved but not in

I know I promised pictures, but gosh darnit, I am just too pooped.

Yesterday was a looooong day. So long that even though we had to go over to the house to get some cloths and drop off the lumber to repair the fence, we had no motivation to finish painting the closets or fix the fence.

We had an early start, picking up the Penske truck by 8:30 am. lorinda had rented the biggest truck they had, a 26-footer much like the picture below.

It is defintely the biggest thing on four wheels I have driven, basically a small semi trailer. Empty, it was a handful. The alimgnment was about 90 degrees off and it bounced all over the road. To make matters worse, it had a squeeky air seat that would just about bounce my head off the ceiling with every bump.

The SF contigent consisted of myself, Nathan, Betsy, Simon and Hendrick. Lorinda was pretty much beside herself that she couldn't help and it was hard to glue her ass to a seat. Finally we parked her on a chair by the lift gate and she had a job to do...up...down...up...down, our own personal bellhop :) She also got the team lunch. It took four hours, but everything in the house is packed. We have a few miscellaneous items and the garage stuff, but that will wait for later when we have more room. Maybe two Murano-loads full, plus the motos and the wine, but that's for later.

On the Cupertino side, we added Jane, Eric, Jay and two of our contractors to the team. It only took an hour to unpack the truck. Its amazing what extra hands will do. Off to drop off the truck and feed the hungry crew.

Only problem with the whole move was that the electrician did not finish the panel upgrade and we have no power in half the house. Worse yet, the boiler is an electric ignition, so that means no heat in the house. Thus, we are staying with Nathan and Besty for at least a week.

So we trade one stress for another, but at least it will be a lot less time comuting for Lorinda, which is whats important with only three weeks left in the pregnancy.

Also the roof section was finished, so we're getting closer to the foam application.

Next week I hope the electrical will be finished. In the meantime I will get to fixing the fence, painting the closets and starting to paint the master bedroom.