Journal of a Remodelee, Part 10 of 11
Originally appeared in Hills Publications, July 14, 2006 and ANG Newspapers, July 15, 2006
Don and his wife, Sonia, have persevered and reached the final lap of their marathon home remodel.
I called our contractor and told him one of his men dented the freezer door of our stainless steel fridge and it will cost over $500 to replace the door. The manufacturer will only replace the entire door, not just the front panel. He said he would pay for it, and to send him the bill. That is a very nice gesture on his part, but we now have a dilemma. After much discussion, Sonia and I decided we like our contractor too much to allow him to pay.
Five glass shelves, again resized, were delivered today. Finally, on the third try, they all fit. The glass shelves look great through the ribbed glass doors, with the cabinets’ interior puck lights.
Our additional bathroom tile came in today and the hall bath tiling was completed. This time, the tile man followed Sonia’s design and it came out fantastic.
The replacement mirror door for our master bath medicine cabinet was delivered and quickly installed. Likewise, replacement parts for our new range/oven were installed for those that came scratched from the manufacturer.
The floor refinishers began today. Aside from the electric breakers tripping a number of times because of the heavy machinery, everything went well. The oak floor, in its unfinished state, looks super.
The senior man put down four samples of stain and we chose “Golden Pecan.” It is rich and darker than our current floor color. They will stain tomorrow. Over the next three days, three coats of urethane will be applied, one coat per day. The floors will be completed Friday.
Tonight will be the first of six at a motel. Our poodles are on notice that their normal 95% accuracy rate, for doing their business on newspaper inside, is not acceptable at the motel. Perfect piddling is our mantra. We get our house back Sunday morning.
Our exile to the motel is over and we are home today. The poodles were perfect and the floor people did a sensational job; the floors came out even better than we expected. I chose this company because, although a bit more expensive, the quality of their work is outstanding.
Between having to live in a motel and the strong fumes we dealt with for the limited times we were at the house during the week, this was the most trying, difficult week so far.
Sam, our foreman, showed us that two of the three mirrored, medicine cabinet doors in the hall bath are damaged. We will have them replaced.
Today we received a new drawer track and missing knobs from our kitchen cabinet company. Suzanne, our rep, has been incredibly cooperative and helpful.
The electricians are here today installing the new fixtures we have been storing. Our bedroom fans are up; they look and work great.
Those in a relationship – read the following carefully. I learned a lesson today on why I should not obstruct Sonia’s decorating decisions when she feels strongly about something. From the beginning, going back to October, Sonia had insisted that the light switches, outlets and their covers be white in most of the house. I resisted and told her I agreed white would work in the kitchen and baths, but thought it would be too stark in the other rooms.
She relented, and the electricians installed the almond colored switches and outlets. With the cover plates on, I finally understand that she was right. White would have perfectly matched our white trim. When we originally discussed it, I had no idea what the trim would look like. Sonia did, and I should have listened.
Now, she is not happy with the off-white color. I told her we can replace everything with white because I want her to be happy. After talking with the electrician, however, Sonia decided it is not worth it to spend the extra money ($1000 between materials and labor because of the numerous and expensive dimmer switches) to change everything out to white. Fortunately for me, this is the only time I have interfered with Sonia’s good taste.
The granite guys installed the hall bath vanity granite counter and backsplash. It looks terrific, but there is a problem – the backsplash is so close to the mirrored medicine cabinet doors that they cannot be opened.
Luckily, the doors can be adjusted up and down, not just sideways, as would be true of a low-end cabinet. Between door fiddling and granite trimming, the doors now open.
The painters came today to paint moldings and touch up the damage done to the walls and baseboards by the work crews. Except for some minor clean-up details that will be handled in the next few weeks, we are ready to schedule our final inspection.
After five weeks of finishing odds and ends, such as installing ceiling speakers and volume control switches, having kitchen cabinet dings and dents repaired, and replacing medicine cabinet mirror doors, interior work on the house is complete.
Our City of Oakland final inspection was today and the inspector signed off. We can now unpack boxes, bring furniture in from storage and begin enjoying our home’s transformation. My next, and final, article in this series will summarize what we learned.
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.