Day 36 starts week 8 (!), and even though this was Labor Day, we still had some actual labor to attend to. Caleb and J.J. toiled at their tile today, forgoing basking in the most perfect weather imaginable to make some headway on the shower (including hand-polishing some rough parts of the marble chair rail to finish out the niches), and grouted both bathroom floors. Caleb also saved us from disaster (not really, but gauche-ness was averted) by letting us know that our shower drain, if grouted into place, would be permanent, and that the black PVC edge of it would always show. Gross! We will be getting another shower drain (chrome all the way, baby) post-haste, and it can simply be screwed into place instead of the builder-grade (plumber standard?) one we were given. Phew. Thanks, Caleb. Good save.
Day 35, and the day’s end marks seven total weeks of having various teams of dudes ripping apart, and then rebuilding our home. With about 4 (or 5, depending – I’m no fool) weeks remaining, the work has begun to take on new meaning, and have new power over our collective moods (finishing something, anything, feels great! – half-done stages feel a smidge omni-present). Each mini-project either intersects, interferes with, or interrupts another project, and planning them out – considering all the things that life throws at everyone (babies being born, deaths in families, various seasonal illnesses, etc.) – has been mind-boggling to witness. Dave has done/is doing a spectacular job coordinating the three ring circus, just as Eric, and Team Tile, Team Electric, Team Drywall, Team Plumbing and Team Frank (ha!) have done amazing work juggling through rings of fire.
Day 34 and the gang’s all here. Well, Eric is back from a trip to Arizona where he’ll be moving when this project is over (we’ll mis you, Eric!), and Team Tile and Team Cabinet Hanging were at it in full effect.
I have some unfortunate updates regarding the cabinets. Our cabinet dealer, Artistic Interiors, specifically the owner Jorge Ribeiro, was less than willing to do anything for us regarding the design confusion and the quality of the cabinetry. I would NEVER do business with them again, and would advise anyone out there who is looking for cabinets to look elsewhere. I don’t want to use this platform as a chance to smear businesses – we are very proud and happy with every single other person who’s come into our home – but I felt the need to warn against this businessman, and his inability to put our happiness ahead of his wallet. In the end, his offer of $100 worth of product to alleviate our issues (the actual cost for new materials would have been $230) was reneged, and the time he offered to do touch-ups himself was also withdrawn. I should add that the original total cabinet cost was twelve-thousand times that much, and that such a paltry gesture was insulting (that’s 0.83% for all you math nerds).
Day 33 and the oppressive heat was the star of the day. At one point, around 2pm, the car said it was 101 degrees outside, and yet, the heat did not stop the progress. In fact, everyone even took turns working outside. I guess it was better than rain, or snow, or gale-force winds, but, man, oh, man, was it HOT out there!
Lots got done today, and lots was happening all around. Caleb’s car – which had refused to start yesterday – was being worked on in the front of the house (eventually, though, sadly, it had to get towed after all), Dave was painting in the garage, and J.J. and Caleb were cutting tile near the side fence. The sun just kept pouring down heat, while paint was slathered on quickly (it seemed like it was drying in half the time it normally does), wet, noisy cuts were made by the tile saw, and the dog pouted because we wouldn’t play with her in the heat. (Sorry, baby dog, but you’re not dying of dehydration on my watch!)
Day 32, and we had another quiet, hot day. Dave skittered about painting, joint-compounding and finishing things, while Caleb got to tiling. And tile he did. It’s so satisfying to see something that you’ve drawn or imagined come alive just as you’d hoped it would. Lucky for us we got paired with a meticulous, careful, organized and happy tile contractor because he fits not only our expectations, he also fits with the actual project (details, details, details). I feel incredibly lucky, still, again, to have such an amazing team. So lucky.
Day 28 and the rainy gray weather just wouldn’t go away. But, Brad managed to do his outdoor electrical work without any trouble (I even “assisted” by standing at the foot of the ladder, and by holding a light while he wired it). We had planned on re-wiring the post light, but when Brad took a look at both the post, and the feed for the electrical, he discovered that the wiring was relatively new, and could be saved (hooray! savings!). The ground wire hadn’t been tied into the outdoor outlets, making them a bit scary to use, so he fixed that up, rewired the box, and voila! Safe outlets! Brad’s main work for the re-wire is almost done, which means that the next phase we’ll see him for is Finish! Within a few weeks, we’ll have outlets, lighting fixtures, appliances and switches energized and buzzing with power. I can hardly wait!
Day 27 and work cruised along steadily. Floors were sanded lightly to give the next coat of poly something to stick to, and a second coat of poly was then applied. The west bedroom closet floor was coated as well, and finish trim was installed inside the closet. Primer was applied, and the room was cleaned within an inch of its life (He even mopped! Thank you, Eric!). Durock was installed in the master bath, shelving niches for bath products were set in place, and the floor for the shower was packed into position. And, electrical work continued in the basement and upstairs main bath (where detective Brad found that previous electrical work we had done was NOT done correctly. Grr). Slow and steady was the name of the game today, and, appropriately enough, we had a reggae mix on to soothe the day along. Groovy.
Week 6 (!), day 26, and the weather matched my energy level. Gray, heavy, damp, cool. I would probably rather have been making soup, baking bread and watching sappy movies all day. Instead, there were three teams working – with three separate music choices – in three separate areas of the house. In the attic, we had Brad and his helper, Ian, completing the smoke detectors, and replacing all the floor boards; in the master bathroom, we had Caleb preparing the shower floor, and setting the in-floor (radiant) heating pad; and, on the first floor, we had Dave and Eric brushing the first coat of poly onto the stained kitchen floors. Busy, busy, busy.