Journal of a Remodelee, Part 4 of 11
Originally appeared in Hills Publications, Feb. 17, 2006 and ANG Newspapers, Feb. 18, 2006
My wife, Sonia, and I give you a peek into the ongoing remodel of our home.
I realized no one has said anything about asbestos removal for our heating system. I called quickly to arrange it because that needs to be completed before the heating company can begin.
Like dominoes, the heating work needs to be finished before they have the city out to inspect. Once we pass the next set of inspections, sheet rocking and roofing can commence. As I have worked with asbestos abatement people for years, I was able to schedule them to begin on the fifth.
I met with my roofer today. From experience, I knew the roof work was tricky and had to be handled by a real pro. Over the years, I have seen serious problems arise from poor roof design and/or inadequate flashing or lack of flashing.
The configuration of our expanded bath concerned me. The roofer came up with a plan for flashing and to integrate the gutters and drainage system. Fortunately, we have enough shingles saved from our four-year-old roof to cover most of the new addition.
Asbestos men came today. Late in the morning, their large vacuum pump tripped the house’s circuit breaker. Flipping the breaker switch did not solve the problem. Luckily, our electrician was working at another job nearby and got us back online.
After removal, an independent, OSHA certified inspector came to test the air quality and certify that it is acceptable. Because of my business relationships, I was able to get the inspection today. We passed.
The floor estimator gave me a bid. It is expensive, but within the range I expected. I called his boss and negotiated a better price. He asked me to give him at least a month’s notice on a start date.
Heating crew arrived at 7:30 AM. There were communication issues about venting the range hood and where to place new registers, but we worked it all out.
It rained hard last night. Despite the heavy duty tarp over the unfinished roof of the expanded bath, some water seeped inside, along the edge of the soffit.
Our temporary washer/dryer setup was disconnected in preparation for the city inspection on the 9th. We are hoping they will be permanently installed in their new location before we are forced to use a Laundromat.
Architect called last week to see “how things were going.” We chose not to deal with him about how many mistakes of both omission and commission he has made as we sense he does not care. He said he would like to visit and we acquiesced.
Today, the architect came over in the morning. He walked around and kept saying how wonderful everything looked and how “great” the house will be when complete. Again, we bit our tongues. Why waste energy confronting him when nothing constructive will come of it?
Later, the city inspector checked the framing, venting and electrical. She said the headers on two of the new master bedroom windows are smaller than indicated on the plans and must be changed. This will lower the windows and make the sills two inches closer to the floor. We can live with that.
I held my breath when she went into the bathroom addition. She frowned about the hole for our new “tube” skylight and indicated it was not on the plans. The skylight is partially installed and cannot be returned. Fortunately, the inspector said it was okay. In fact, she was quite reasonable about everything.
Except for the new thermostat, the heating system has been completed. The furnace is about one-third the size of our old one. After the heating people left, I realized the cold air return was full of construction dust and debris and vacuumed it out. It would have been nice if the heating people had suggested this, but at least I thought of it before the system was turned on.
The roofer came today and began work on shingling the roof and flashing around holes for the exhaust fans, range hood and new skylight. My stockpile of shingles was not enough, but they were able to do a good matching job with new ones.
Today we got a bid for a new, state-of-the-art, security system. We considered wireless, but the rep, who is also the installer, convinced us it is not as reliable as a wired system. It would have been easier to do the wiring if we had called a week ago when all the walls were still open. With everything else going on, we had not thought of it until now. Fortuitously, he will be able to begin on the twelfth, before the sheet rocking, mudding and taping are complete.
The alarm guy started today and will finish tomorrow. He is a good man; few people work Saturday and Sunday, especially with little notice. Once again we’ve learned you can’t count on your construction crew, great as ours is, to think of everything. Two days from now, it would have been impossible for the alarm guy to do some of the things we wanted.
Although I asked the foreman to alert his men about all the alarm wiring done over the weekend, they still sheet rocked over the wiring for the rear door keypad. Thankfully, I noticed it right away and we got it fixed.
Journal of a Remodelee, Part 1 – It begins; we know there will be the inevitable surprises, but optimistically hope previous experiences will help renovations go smoothly.
Journal of a Remodelee, Part 2 – Holding our breaths that some irreversible glitch does not take place while we are out earning a living.
Journal of a Remodelee, Part 3 – An eliminated window is mistakenly left in the plans while miscalculations in light fixture placement increases costs.
Journal of a Remodelee, Part 4 – Even with a great construction crew, once again we learn you can’t count on them to think of everything.
Journal of a Remodelee, Part 5 – Mislabeling of tile grout almost results disaster.
Journal of a Remodelee, Part 6 – We are reminded how important it is for at least one of us to stay close at hand to answer questions as they arise.
Journal of a Remodelee, Part 7 – Back from a holiday break, we experience more surprises and a frustrating accident.
Journal of a Remodelee, Part 8 – Surprises and scheduling conflicts can’t detract from enjoying our new kitchen.
Journal of a Remodelee, Part 9 – It is all coming together…almost.
Journal of a Remodelee, Part 10 – City inspections and the finish line.
Journal of a Remodelee, Part 11 – Eight months’ worth of do’s and don’ts.