Thursday, March 29, 2007

I guess this is what you'd call progress......

This morning, they came and took away our Porta Potty :-)

That means we finally have one working toilet in the house, yahoo!
We have 3 bathrooms; 3 chances to get a working toilet; yet only a 33% success rate. I guess that speaks volumes about our plumber. OK, I'm going to stop bashing the plumber.

Progress to date:

Stucco is done:

We finished all of the upstairs baseboard and trim so finally the painters could start painting that:

Electrician installed all the switches and outlets (but not the plates).

Bathrooms have some fittings installed:

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Just photos

I'm just going to post a quick update with "pretty" pictures. Someone broke into our garage two weekends ago and since then I've been all business just trying to get the house finished so we can move back in.
Anyways, hope you enjoy the pics!

Kids' BA w/marble countertop installed:

Farmhouse leg for bake center cabinet:

Guest BA w/sink partially installed and Burnt Peanut Red paint sample:

Master BA, same style sink as Guest BA, but with a deck mounted faucet:

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Week 35: Mar 5 - Mar 11

The stucco crew showed up bright and early Tues, and finished the second coat of stucco. I think there were 6 on the job and they were done in 5 hours.

Some of the kitchen upper cabs got crown moulding. Really polishes up the look! Without crown:

With crown:

After my "tough" talk last week with the cabinetmaker, they took back the pieces that were too big, reworked them and redelivered them on Tuesday. Unfortunately, 2 out of the three pieces still had problems. The microwave cabinet had streaky, shiny marks on the finish and the bake center piece was too tall!!! Back again they go.

Marble fabricator came on Wednesday and installed bathroom countertops and thresholds:

Electrical trim-out starts this weekend. So in preparation, I went over to Independent Electrical Supply in Sunnyvale and bought all the recessed can trims, dimmers, fluorescent undercab/overcab lights, lamps (aka lightbulbs). That set us back $1700 and I think everything fits into two big shopping bags. And we still have to buy most of our light fixtures, plus vacancy sensors, plus timer switches. Electrical/Lighting ain't cheap. But I do LOVE lighting fixtures! I'll have to do a separate post about all the great fixtures I've found - and their outrageous prices!

Finishing up Week 34: Feb 26 - Mar 4

The good news, this week: Upstairs hardwood flooring is done, stucco work got started, marble fabricator came and made up templates, kitchen island was installed, mudroom tile floor laid and grouted.

The bad news: Had to have the "tough" talk with the cabinetmaker ("Take these cabinets back and make them right!"); had to find a new floor for the downstairs and still a lot of trimming left.

And some fun, "pretty" stuff:

  • Tristan patiently removed 1/4" from a 2x4 header and installed the Guest BA medicine cabinet

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Measure Twice, Cut Twice - It's OK, Really

You know that old adage, measure twice, cut once. Well, I'm of the, measure twice, still cut twice, ilk.
I made that mistake on the pocket door jamb. I was trying to get fancy. Our friend and neighbor had remodeled his bathroom and showed me how he had specially cut the jamb so it completely covered the ugly metal hardware. Of course, it didn't quite sink in at the time, but now that I was actually trimming our pocket door, I understood and decided to also add this fine, finishing touch.
Well you can guess what happened.
Long story short, I had to go to the store and buy another door jamb. But of course HD didn't have one in pine, only MDF, and I abhor that stuff (quick backpedaling - that doesn't mean it's not good for other people and other applications!).
So I went over to a local lumberyard. Fortunately, they had what I wanted and for $14, I was back in business. However, what was really fortuitous was they had a flooring display. And in their display was a big 2' x 2' sample of the exact floor I had picked out for our downstairs, the Kahrs San Antonio. I pulled it out to admire and instead was appalled to see how short each individual strip was. Of course, I couldn't have seen it, would never have seen it, based on the 8" x 8" sample I was working off of (which I got off the Internet).
Wow, that $14 cutting error saved us a few thousand dollars worth of heartache!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Meanwhile, inside.....

.....we're still making some progress.
The flooring contractor delivered the solid 3/4" oak wood for the upstairs, while I scrambled to find space heaters and finalize my downstairs wood flooring choice. We're on a concrete slab, so downstairs, we're going to float a prefinished engineered product. I needed to pick something NOW, so the flooring contractor could match finishes.
Finally, after many hours of agonizing deliberation (sorry, it's always that way for me), I picked the Kahrs Original Collection 3-strip San Antonio. Kahrs is a very high quality brand, I liked the color and it could be clicked together (no glue required, we're DIYing). I only wished the individual strips were 4" wide instead of 2 3/4". Oh well, c'est la vie.
Anyhoo, good news is, now the flooring contractor can match the upstairs finish to the downstairs finish.

The fabricator came and made templates for all of our marble countertops and thresholds. He used 1/4" thick strips of plywood to basically make a pattern which he'll take back to his shop and lay down on the marble slab. Just like cutting out pattern pieces for a sewing project!

Mr. Xu and his coworker continued installing cabinets and grouting the remaining tile. They also did the porcelain tile in the laundry/mudroom. Originally, we had planned to tile that one room, just because we thought it would be an interesting experience, another skill to take a stab at. I finally admitted defeat. Too much on our plate already, didn't have the energy to research and read all the how-to-dos, just too plain tired. I'm glad we had Mr. Xu take care of it. Here's a pic right after grouting; the haze still needs to be cleaned off, but I love how it turned out!

Rain, rain, go away

After all these weeks of holding off on stuccoing until the hood vent was in, we're finally ready to start on Monday!
But what should happen. Three days of rain meant the stucco guy couldn't start until Thursday. But when he did get started, it went fast. He and one other guy finished the brown coat in one day. As always, I find it fascinating to watch and see how these things are done. It's science and art in how they mix the right proportions of sand, water and portland cement,
and then scoop it onto their hawk,

then "throw" it with a flick of the wrist and smooth it onto the walls.
The brown coat needs a few days to dry, so they'll be back Monday or Tuesday to apply the second, scratch, coat.