Progress, Albeit Slow

First the most important news from the past week: we decided on gray siding. We (I) went back and forth and agonized over the decision until the last possible minute. The turning point came when S pointed out that when I'm in the backyard, where I'll spend 99.9% of my time outside, I'll be looking at all siding and no brick. And do I want to look at taupe or gray. I want to look at gray. I love gray. So gray it is. I have no idea when it will be delivered. I really have no idea when anything will happen despite asking daily.

Second, we have windows. They were delivered on a Friday and in on a Saturday afternoon. In like two seconds flat. Maybe two hours, but it was no time at all.

Knock on wood, they appear to be as we ordered, which is a whole lot more than I can say about our last experience with Jeld-Wen windows from the Home Depot. However, I will shout it from the rooftops DO NOT MAKE ANY MAJOR CUSTOM ORDER PURCHASE WITH THE HOME DEPOT! What a disaster they are. Seriously. Last time was a year and a half long battle of which I couldn't share many details with you and we still never got the correct windows. Total incompetency. This time the incompetency worked in our favor in the end, but I cannot stress enough that your local lumber store is the place to go for windows, cabinets, doors, whatever. The big orange is a big freaking mess. Our contractor, who I accompanied during the window ordering process, was speechless. No joke. Think twice before placing custom orders at Home Depot.

Third, we decided on doors. Nearby neighbors renovated their house recently and I fell in love with their front door. I went so far as to contact their contractor to ask for the door manufacturer. Alas, it was a wood door and we wanted wood-look fiberglass. So in the end we went with Thermatru in a style that's very similar and for half the cost of the door I envy. They're on order and should be here soon-ish.

Fourth, the repairs from the flood are finished. The tile guys finished on a Thursday and we started doing our repairs that evening. I pre-painted a couple dozen lengths of baseboard with two coats of Benjamin Moore's Impervo paint and then patched two large sections of walls and several smaller holes with drywall and three coats of joint compound. Our basement contractor had used Duron paint, which has pretty poor coverage so I had to prime and then do at least two coats in all the damaged areas. I also painted the walls and shelves in the linen closet that were damaged when the plumbers moved the plumbing stack. I just wanted to get the basement finished, so since I already had all the paint out and was in painting mode, I decided not to wait for our contractor's painter to paint those areas.

S and his dad made all the baseboard cuts and installed them all. I went around and filled all the nail holes and caulked. It took several days. The bedroom ceiling and one wall in there are still torn apart from electrical and HVAC. They can't be repaired until after the HVAC inspection, so we're waiting on that before we can deem the basement back to normal. Plus, the Directv box just suddenly stopped working downstairs, so that needs to be replaced before we can call anything normal.

We don't have any "finished" photos of the floors because our stuff was delivered and it went from looking great to total chaos very quickly. Then we discovered all three of Steve's carpets were ruined by the flood. Or never cleaned by the cleaning company. So we've been focused on documenting damage. Again. And half our stuff was lost. So that's been interesting.

Fifth, the electric work has passed inspection and now the electrician is putting in actual switches and outlets. He's my favorite of all the trades people so far. He is so meticulous, especially about lining up lights and fans so they're centered precisely on whatever I've asked him to center them on. He gets to work at 7am and works a full day too, which I really appreciate. Two thumbs up for Rick.

Two thumbs down for HVAC. I wish I didn't think that because the guys doing the work are seem nice. But OMG the laziness, the shortcuts. They work for four hours, max, and call it a full day. One day their boss thought they worked a full day here when in fact they never showed up at all. Free Friday! The worst part is that the lead guy on our crew is the owner's son - the "and son" on the truck. I'm embarrassed for the whole lot of them.

We're putting a new HVAC unit in to service the second floor; the old will service the first floor and basement. The new unit and all the duct work are in the attic now. S had to empty then entire attic of all our storage on a 90+ degree day because the guys had refused to work for three days with our stuff up there (neatly.) It was only on the third day that anyone told us or our contractor why they weren't working. Frustration station. S emptied the entire thing, alone, in 45 minutes. How long do you think it would have take 3 guys to do that?

Whatever, when they finally did the work it "looked" good, but the laundry list of things they failed inspection for proves otherwise. The did divert the duct from the upstairs hall bathroom into the kitchen ceiling, which has been wonderful, especially since there's just a big uninsulated plywood wall separating the kitchen from the addition right now - sealed only with a roll of tape that I happened to find hanging around (which Little M keeps trying to remove.)

However, we've spotted (and repaired) short cut after short cut that they've taken. It's so disappointing. 

So all of that seems like quite a bit of progress except that there's been little to no work for a the past two weeks. Everything has come to a screeching halt because nothing can happen until the HVAC passes inspection. After they failed inspection and promised to be out "first thing tomorrow"... they showed up at 2:40pm and worked until 4. And did some shoddy work. So they're my least favorite trade so far, despite having friendly, chatty guys working...when they actually work.

The sarcastic text I wanted to send my contractor on what seemed like the 100th day of no work:
"Is today a national holiday that we forgot to observe?"

But instead I asked it in person.

Things have got to get going eventually, right? I'm keeping my eye on the prize, ahem, closet I'm looking at you.

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  1. Oh my gosh, your workers sound exactly like ours... and I thought it was just a Dominican thing!!! The first thing tomorrow then coming late afternoon.. yep. The many many days of no work in a row.. yep. Uggg. It took ours many extra months but they almost finished in the end when we decided to let them go and finish the final few things ourselves because we wanted to move back in. Hoping things get moving for you guys quickly. It is going to look great in the end!! :)

    1. I've said, "I'll just do it myself!" many times in the past few weeks ;)

  2. The windows look great! I love the design you chose. Can't wait to see more pics!

    1. Thanks! I think I'd better get outside with my good camera soon. I feel like such a dolt standing in the street taking pictures of our house when no major progress has been made for days. My neighbors all work from home so I know they're watching the dork taking photos!

  3. UGH! Horrible. Funny that our favorite sub was also the electrician. Be sure to get his info because electrical projects always come up later - move a switch, add an outlet, etc. We still use our guy and I use him for my clients too. He thinks of things that I would never think of. And I also hated our HVAC work. It's still not perfect and I do not like the noisy unit outside or the locations of the outflow vents but I am living with it...

    1. That's too bad re: HVAC because I was going to ask you if you had a recommendation for my contractor to work with in the future! Right now we're pushing hard for an independent review, but I'm not sure how we'd get someone who isn't just looking to create work for themselves.


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