Day 22 and paint is happening! Ok, so it’s merely priming and first coat kind of stuff, but there is color on the walls, and I can begin to imagine the kitchen as my kitchen, our home, instead of simply a project to be completed. Unfortunately, this also reminds me of just how much I miss having a kitchen, cooking, creating and participating in (culinarily speaking) our most bountiful time of year: summer. I miss cooking. I miss it every time I have a mediocre meal or sandwich (like last night and today) from a take-out place, and I miss it when I put on my summer clothes that just aren’t fitting me quite as well as they did last year (or even earlier this year). I know “this too shall pass” and that it’s all for a good cause, that the reward will be worth the suffering (really, more like inconvenience), but it’s still hard. Sigh.
Day 21 marks the start of week 5, and the start of Phase 2-B: painting and flooring. After a week of watching joint compound dry, now we get to watch paint and stain dry! But, this part will actually be more visually dramatic than last week, though more familiar (we’ve all painted at least once or twice, right?). Choosing colors was tough, especially since we weren’t really prepared to make these choices so soon in the process. Lucky for us, we’d already narrowed down the overall look we wanted to achieve, and were simply choosing the best version of whichever color we liked for a particular space. There are some surprises yet to come, and I don’t want to spoil the effect of the next few days (color will be on the walls tomorrow!), but suffice it to say, our house palette will be beachy, modern, cool-toned and (hopefully) sophisticated. I suppose time will tell whether our paint choices are ones we’ll love – Jeff told me to check with him in two years, and that by then he’ll know whether or not he likes them or not.
Day 19 (Thursday) was a run-around day. Day 20 was a watch-joint-compound-dry day. On Thursday we went to Ashfield to check out stone for our counters, got some paint samples and swatches, Brad finished up some projects in the attic, Dave delivered our quarter-sawn fir flooring to get it acclimated to our space, and Brian from Bird Drywall put on the second coat of joint compound. I’m told that the second coat is the most crucial, as it is often the thickest, and takes the longest to dry. So, while we had lovely almost autumnal weather outside (albeit mildly humid), we had to close up the house and turn on the air conditioning to cut any dampness out of the air. We also turned on our dehumidifier (after I mentioned that we had one, and Brian’s eyes bulged out of his head, in a good way) and a few fans to get the drier air circulating. It must have worked because when Brian got here today, the seams were dry (except for in the bathroom where the mold resistant paper on the sheetrock slows the drying process). Phew. He was glad, and so were we. We’re getting a 4-point treatment (essentially four coats) on our seams which means that Brian will be working here this weekend. We’re on target for beginning to prime next week, and in order to make that happen, he’s got to make up for some of the time lost to waiting for the inspector.
Day 18, and I’d like to say that the drywall install went down like a wild west showdown. Screw-guns slung, tape at the ready, spurs on the little drywall shoe/stilts that they wear, whistley-western music encouraging them… but, it wasn’t quite like that. After a brief interlude where Eric injured himself (merely a flesh wound!), work cruised along at a calm pace. The music selection was pleasant and soothing (it was, in fact, somewhat western, for most of the day) and everyone was focused on the task at hand. The humidity had blown away overnight, so the mud dried quickly, as had been hoped for, making prep for the next coat even better. All in all, a successful day.
Day 17 (still in Phase 2-A) started off slowly, but ended with a dramatic visual change. We began our day (and by we, I mean they) by rushing in to finish insulating the master bath in time for our inspection (scheduled for 8:30am). The inspector rolled up around 10:30-ish. (What IS it with inspectors?) Lucky for everyone, Dave expected as much, and had a little play with the schedule. So, everyone took an early lunch in order to maintain a steady flow post-lunch. Sensible, thoughtful and correct – just what I want out of a team of experienced professionals!
Drywall is dusty stuff. Add to that the humidity and heat and you’ve got the makings for a very unpleasant experience. (Lucky for me I had to be absent for part of the day bringing Bec to the vet to get her sutures removed. Success!) But, the Team powered through, seemingly enjoying it, laughing, smiling and tolerating my interrupting camera from time to time. I am forever impressed with how happy everyone is on this project. We really are so lucky.
Day 15 (last Friday) came and went, and no, you didn’t miss a post. We had our building inspection, and passed (hooray!) but the inspector wants to come back after insulation install (he’s due tomorrow morning). And then we had our field trip to Ashfield Stone to get some preliminary estimates and appointments set up, and to get some general information. I decided not to take any pictures until we actually go to choose the slabs. Delayed gratification.
Day 14, humid, sweaty, rainy, done. Today was a simple day with simple needs: get inspected and pass. The electrical inspector DID show up today, and did give us a passing grade! Woo hoo! The plumbing inspector also showed up, early, and waited in his car until the appointed time (I thought he was being polite). Turns out HE was being stood up by the electrical inspector who was supposed to meet him here! The electrical inspector had already come and gone by then. Well, the plumbing inspector wasn’t too pleased, but he was able to remain rather pleasant to me. We have to add some sort of “future vent” in the basement, but other than that, things are looking good! (If I get more information on what exactly a future vent is, I will let you know.)
Day 13, and now I’m superstitious. Ok, not really, but the electrical inspector stood us up. Didn’t call, didn’t send flowers, just never showed. After three calls (and a few HOURS waiting) we learned that he was “really busy” that morning. How nice for him. How nice for him to make an appointment and then totally ignore it. Grr. He’s supposed to come tomorrow. We’ll see about that. I’m sure this humid, sticky, return-to-summer weather isn’t helping our patience. At least the electrical is ready to be inspected (high five, Brad!).
Day 12. Can you stand it? I can’t really believe we’ve made it this far: our first inspection is tomorrow! The framing is done, for all intents and purposes, until if/when the building inspector wants to take a look, and the electrical rough-in is complete. Today was mainly a day to finish any lingering tasks, and to clean up after the framing stage. Saws were put away, everything was swept and vacuumed, trash was removed, bits were tidied. Jeff and I ran errands to get specs on the framing for the shower door, and to seek out some more tile for a decorative element in the kitchen. All in all, a mellow, but productive day.
Day 11 started off week 3 with a gentle whoosh toward the next goal: inspections! It was as if we were sailing along all last week, and are now coasting toward the shore, but we must slow down so we don’t crash into the dock (sails IN!). Steady, measured (literally) building and light hanging/electrical work hummed along in the house all day, ending with a recap of our overages to date. Nothing shocking, nothing that we didn’t discuss as it happened – just a moment to touch base, and to connect regarding the budget. A good builder/general contractor has your wallet in their mind, and won’t leave these discussions until the last day. If you’re about to embark on a project of this (or any) scope, make sure your team is really working for YOU.