Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Week #16: 10/23 - 10/29

Framer is on vacation - nice and quiet
Louie-HVAC work; borrowed his power drill and connected the bathroom fan ducts to the roof jack opening. Strapped the ducts, taped them with metal foil tape. Crouched on the ceiling joists in order to connect the Master BA fan.
Went up to SF and bought front door and all other interior doors.
Checked out the vacpans.
Plumber installed bathtub.
Got other plumbing quotes after getting the change order from my plumber.
Starting to have the difficult "money" conversations with the subs.
Cut down the wisteria vine so Ed can come and demo the deck. Before:After:Scheduled the city utilities to disconnect our power so Clint could upgrade the service panel.
Like my new abbreviated, no nonsense style?
Sorry, barely enough time to sleep, brush my teeth, take a shower!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Week #15: 10/16 - 10/22

Kinda a slow week at the house in terms of work being done: a little bit of blocking left, moving some ceiling joists so we can center recessed cans.

I spent a lot of my time this week researching and shopping for appliances, vacpans, front doors, and.... a porta potty! Yeah, had to bite the bullet and get rid of our lovely 50's pink toilet. As you may recall, I had saved it from the wrecking crew so we could use it as our on-site WC. But the plumber is now ready to install the bathtub and move the toilet drain so it's time to say good-bye. Tristan and I removed it ourselves. (We're getting real handy! What else can we do to save a few bucks????)

Well, I went to the salvage yard and found this beautiful front door, only $700.

Unfortunately, because we can't use the sidelights (our entry isn't wide enough), it's not worth trying to separate just the door. We'd have to rehang, redo the threshold and sill. In the end, I found a new door that was cheaper and style-wise, fit our farmhouse-look better.

I also found a guy who'll install a front door for $1k. I just about gagged, coughed and sputtered when he told me that. I think I'll keep looking.

I think we might have found someone to take our backyard deck/balcony. We need to get rid of it before stucco work begins. Another Craigslist posting! Now if only someone would take our concrete rubble......

Week #14: 10/9 - 10/15

Met with the cabinetmaker for 2 1/2 hours Monday morning. Crazy, optimistic me - I thought we would get thru all the cabinet designs during that time. We barely made it thru the kitchen. That still leaves the laundry room, entertainement wall unit, window seat, Master BA storage cab, Kids' BA vanity. I don't even want to think how many more hours are needed.

Tristan and I installed the bathroom fans over the weekend. Sounds easy, right? Well, we were struggling mightily with the first one, just trying to screw in the screws. We started with a screwdriver. That was getting us nowhere fast. Then we unlocked the tool box and used one of the framing crew's power screwdrivers. Still having problems driving the screw in. We blamed it on the old, hardened wood. Then Clint, the electrician, showed up. He climbs up the ladder and single-handedly drives the screw in while also holding up the fan. Whereas, Tristan and I had to have one person hold the fan, while the other one tried in vain to drive in the screw. Clint said "Hope you guys weren't at it too long."

But I saw a couple of tricks Clint used like using this sleeve on the bit to hold the screw in place when first drilling it in. Voila!! Tristan and I pounded out the other two in no time at all. We even installed one of them sideways in the skylight shaft.

After giving us some pointers on the bathroom fans, Clint went back to his electrical work and installed the new subpanel:

as well as several of the recessed cans:

He could also start to run some of the wires now that the roof was on:

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Week #13: 10/2 - 10/8

It didn't rain last night, but it looks like rain tomorrow.
Fortunately, our roof is sheathed and papered so we can sleep tonight.

We got on the roofer's schedule over two weeks ago; of course at the time, we had no idea that rain was on its way. It's actually kinda early in the year for rain. Anyways, around the neighborhood, you can see lots of contractors putting up tarps on roofless remodels.

But because we're now ready to shingle, I'm scrambling around trying to get everyone to put their holes thru the roof.. Things like vent stacks, fan ducts, dryer vents. I think Tristan and I may install the bathroom fans ourselves. I forgot to include them in the HVAC bid, and at this point I don't feel like a change order and having to pay extra for it.

I can't remember if I mentioned it earlier, but I've added a couple of skylights. One in the Master BR, another in the TV room and a third in the kitchen. The house got much darker after the roof sheathing went on!!! But everyone's been telling me things will feel brighter once the drywall gets installed. Sure hope so.

Speaking of drywall, once that gets installed (ages away), we can install cabinets. So I actually had the cabinetmaker come out and take measurements now that the major framing is complete. We won't need cabinets for awhile, but wanted to get that process started to give me plenty of time to design and then also manufacture.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

New Roof

Roofing started!! Weather forecast calls for showers tomorrow. The crew managed to sheath quite a bit in one day, but not everything got covered, so I sure hope it's just a drizzle, if that.

Lugging plywood up and above the Master BA:

The next day, the roofing supply house delivered the shingles using a big boom and conveyor belt:

The guy on the roof got a workout picking off the bundles of shingles and running up the roof to place them on the ridgelines.

Now we're all ready for the roofing crew to come back tomorrow and lay down the felt paper and then the actual roof shingles.

Week 12: 9/25 - 10/1

Our primary goal this week was to finish all framing related to the roof. The roofer is scheduled to start sheathing on SUNDAY, 10/1.

Shed roof for the window seat and exterior door:

Roof framing for new mudroom:

Roof and overhang for new entry and porch:

Framing for skylights in Master BA:

and skylight in BR #3 (added at the last minute):

They also installed starter boards and 1x4s on all the new roofs.

Testing out a new paint color (top one):

Week 11: 9/18 - 9/24

This week at the house:

1. Louie the HVAC guy came and re-hooked the upstairs furnace. We had to disconnect and slide the furnace over so we could raise the roof in the extended bathroom. The framing crew has been really great about doing extra stuff that technically is not their responsibility.

2. Bill and his son are continuing to install windows and trimming the outside. I'm not sure I like this window:

I love the way it looks, but it only vents 3/8". Based on what the salesperson described, I thought it was going to be 2-3" (remember my post about the new and great venting picture window?). Going back and forth on whether I should take these out and replace with a window that ventilates better.

3. The framers are continuing work on supporting the Great Room ceiling.

Have had to start getting new quotes on stucco, drywall and insulation. I feel like our project has changed a bit since May/June when I first got quotes. Having a hard time finding stucco contractors, so I've resorted to driving around the neighborhood looking for houses in mid-construction. I write down the GC ph#, then call them and ask who their stucco sub is! I've been so pleasantly surprised at how helpful they are. They don't know me from Jack, but they return my calls and gladly provide advice and information.

One guy I contacted was the architect/owner of a neighborhood house I had watched being constructed. They're pretty much done, but I drove over thinking maybe they still had a sign out with the GC and/or architect info. Instead, I ended up talking to the moving crew for the Pottery Barn photo shoot that was taking place at the house! These guys were incredibly helpful as well and without hesitating went into the house to ask the name of the owner/architect. Once I was armed with that information, it was simple getting his work#. He called the next day and left me a msg with the name of his GC. Called his GC and we had a 20 minute conversation about modern architecture as well as of course getting the stucco sub info!

Meanwhile, taking kids to school and karate and gymnastics and planning a birthday party!