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Almost finished!

With the exception of the kitchen – still have a problem with the installation of the dishwasher but hopefully that will be fixed soon!  Plus, the logs are installed but the – I’m not sure what you call it – deflector, maybe? – still has to be put in so that the mantel doesn’t get so hot.   All in all, though, I am almost there.  Now to move the rest of my stuff in!  Since I am almost all done (deadline Christmas, which means the second week of January), I tried to take some pictures to compare to the original pictures and here they are:

Front of the house – no need to repost the “old” picture since it is the masthead…:

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Side of the front of the house:

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Bathroom – after extending it about 3 feet because it was beyond claustrophobic before:

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The living room – there are a couple of angles here and the Christmas tree did force me to move around what is normally in the “picture window” but hey, it’s Christmas! I made a couple of comments about getting a 3 or 4 foot tree and my sister-in-law went crazy about my not-even-here-yet Charlie Brown Christmas tree so I just got a big one. 🙂

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Ack – wrong angle!

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Fireplace:

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Kitchen:

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Removing the wall between the dining room and kitchen really opened everything up!

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The den/office:

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All of the saloon doors are gone!

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That chair will be painted and have a seat eventually…

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Categories: "Before", Bathroom, Den, Dining room, Kitchen, Living room, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Got a question about updates…

Well, I am living here. I hate to post “final” pictures since they wouldn’t really be final.  I am still waiting on the Florence Carpet and Tile people to fix the dishwasher problem.  The bathroom is finished but there is one piece of molding that needs to be painted because I added it last – and the painter apparently threw his back out and he needs to come back to paint the side of the doors that were shaved off to make up for the new hinges not being as thick as the 80 year old hinges they replaced.

The fireplace has been tiled and grouted and looks great but I think I amalso adding some molding to the surround of the quartz hearth.  Also, the mantel needs to be painted.

My brother and I went through my dad’s stuff from his office again so we could get past to my stuff that I’ve been storing in Mom’s garage and finally reached my stuff so I can move it in!

So, one more light fixture to hang, a little more painting, molding around the hearth, move a bed and chest of drawers, get some chairs upholstered, find my garlic press in Mom’s garage/wine cellar plus my big pot, finish painting the two armchairs for the dining room and get all of these paint cans and leftover tiles out of my house and it might be over?

If I can get the nephews to get the tile from the house to the shed tomorrow, I will be really happy!  I think they will do it!  Just a couple more weeks!  🙂

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Post of Complaints…

Here I am, very near the end of this remodel, and I have continued to discover problems with past work from DB, problems with work from NF and the FC&T team, and have held off for two whole days writing a post on the matter but just can’t wait any longer.

Here’s my list of crap:

Vinyl Siding – Above the living room picture window there is a row falling into the house showing a big gap and it looks like crap.

Cable – Time Warner sent their contractor to hook up the cable and he was unable to do so since DB ripped the cable box off of the house and CUT the cable to the street and threw it into the bushes or cut it close to the ground & covered it up & we can’t find it.  According to my brother, the cable guy, all you have to do is remove the box from the house, put up the vinyl siding, and reattach the box to the house, or if you don’t want to reattach it, call TWC and they will put it back up.  All very simple.

Phone – DB did the same thing with the phone box and AT&T will charge me to reinstall the phone line from the street.

Dishwasher – This is the biggest bone of contention – NF installed the cabinets all wonky and out of line and the DW can’t be installed correctly meaning I can’t open three drawers.  DB would blame all of this squarely on NF, but DB fucked the floors up so much that I’m sure that contributed to the wonkiness of the cabinets.  Don’t drop a ball on my floors because it may just end up in another room.  Also, I called Florence Carpet and Tile since the New Guy said the cabinet plan was to blame since there weren’t enough spacers to ensure the shit will all open.  I called Monday.  I was told that the “plan” called for two 3 inch spacers in the corner and if NF only put in one 3 inch and one 1 inch, he wasn’t following the plan.  That’s what NF did.  I also told the New Guy that the DW wasn’t even installed correctly – it should be flush with the cabinets but he says it’s the cabinet lady, the cabinet lady says it’s the installer and I’m sure the installer will blame somebody.  Nice to never have to take any responsibility for anything.

To add insult to injury, the cabinet lady said on Monday that she would call me on Tuesday morning to set up a time to come over and look at the kitchen and it is now Wednesday night and she has not called me.  Oh, but to REALLY add insult to injury, that same store polished and cut a piece of my leftover countertops to use as the hearth of my fireplace and was supposed to deliver it last Friday.  He never showed.  I asked the cabinet lady about that and she said he did deliver it because it was on his schedule.  I said he didn’t because it’s not there.  She said she would also check on that and talk to me about that on Tuesday.  No call back, no fucking hearth – BUT I DID GET A BILL for the labor.  Are you freaking kidding me?

Outlets/light switches – all are crooked.

Laundry room – the plug for the washing machine doesn’t work.

Doors – My new doors aren’t square.  Not at all.  I can see light around the front door.  The back door – well, let’s just say my brother had to chisel that shit out just to let me use the deadbolt even after the new guys routed it out since DB had it all f’ed up.

Closets – DB threw away all of the closet poles and shelves – like I couldn’t have used those again?  Especially in the coat closet. After he threw all of those out, I figured he was either selling off my crap or giving it to his Craig’s List Killers – I mean workers – to have or sell so I put an end to throwing potentially useful shit away.  But I still don’t have anything to hang my coats on.

Bathroom extension was built on top of a hydrangea that I have now asked both DB and NG to dig up and get out of there and it is now underneath the house.

Floors – I already stated they are crooked and slanted but there is a dip in the dining room that is so big a snake could come in.

I’m not even finished yet but am stopping.

Now, for the only positive thing to report, and surprisingly it has to do with Time Warner, they are coming back out tomorrow to hopefully put in a temporary above-ground line to hook my shit up until the under-ground guys come find the damn cable that DB probably hid just to punish me for complaining about him.

After a PAINFULLY long wait on hold and then a painful conversation with whatever asshole dares call himself a customer service representative, who spent the conversation telling me they couldn’t come back until the cable was buried underground and even if I already had a cable underground, they couldn’t come back because there was now a work order in the system to install an underground cable.  After repeating himself to me thinking that would make me hang up, I asked for his supervisor.  She started off snotty, “I understand you have already been told…”

Bitch?  Please.  No, really, “Yes, I was told that by your guy, but my brother, who is a TWC tech says that the guy, who is not a TWC employee but an independent contractor, should have done a temp line.”  Her, “Wait, who?”  Me, “Let me just let you talk to him.”

Alan (and when he gets all technical he sounds like the adults on Charlie Brown to me):  “Yeah, this is blah-de-blah, tech # blah, and there is a buried cable with a jump-to-wonk-wonk-wonk, wonk-wonk-wonk, wah-wah-wah – Yes, I know this because I did it over a year ago…  Yes, I did the work on this house and I know it’s there because I put it there when the other people lived here…  My number is blah…  Yes.  I am telling you they can and if I were doing it from the get-go that’s what would have been done.  Yes they can send someone back out.  We do that all the time.  Just send them back and not a contractor…  No, put that in there – an actual Time Warner tech not the other guys…  Okay.”

Ten minutes later, I get a call from the local TWC office to schedule a new appointment for tomorrow morning.  See, if he were a lawyer, I wouldn’t have cable tomorrow.  But if I were a TWC tech, he wouldn’t have been released on his own recognizance when his ex-wife/Satan trumped up charges.  We are the yin and yang of siblings.  Unless I don’t have cable tomorrow.

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Backsplash and fireplace tile came in!

I went by the store to pay the balance on the tile and got a sheet of each to bring home with me. Here’s the backsplash:

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And here’s the fireplace tile:

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Yay! Now I just have to wait until the floors are done to get the new guys back over to make sure I ordered enough of some pencil tile to finish off the backsplash at the peninsula. I think I need another piece. Crap!

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There really has been progress…

The new guys have several jobs going on at one time so there have been some lulls. However, later this week the bathroom will be back underway which is very exciting! The painters started today and they are caulking and spackling and getting ready to paint all of the new molding and touching up the walls where they have already been spackled and patched. Mr. White, our favorite painter, is also doing a job in town at the same time so he will take longer than the two days it took him to paint Mom’s whole downstairs – he is fast AND good!

Today I finally settled on a backsplash for the kitchen and tile for the fireplace surround and ordered both. I really hope I’m happy with my choices – of course they aren’t anything I had samples for – well, not really. They are both similar but different shapes/patterns. I hope to be able to post installation pictures in a week! We may have to wait until after the floors are done – and the floor guys start on August 13! That’s also my “second birthday” – i.e. the day my parents brought me home from the orphanage or foster home or, as Dad always said, some creepy basement where they kept kids underneath the Children’s Bureau building in Columbia – so maybe it’s a sign.

Back to the tile – once again I deviated from my original intention – but I had been deviating from my first choices the past couple of weeks and focusing on marble. It maybe a little boring but it does leave me with a finished product that I can easily accent with color – as opposed to, say, the subway tiles in glass in a green/blue color that may not work out so well if I decide to paint my cabinets purple in a few years. I’m not saying I will, but I might. You just never know!

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Bathroom progress!

Well, I have new plumbing!  And the toilet that was practically touching the wall?  Gone!  Let’s see what’s been going on this week!

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Where did the tub and toilet go?

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And they put the new vanity together but it’s still in the other room waiting on installation:

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Now, what was that water stain on that picture a couple up?  Well, I got a call the other day about a leak.  I assumed it was a leak in the roof since there really is no roof.  DB extended the room and added on a porch and then pissed around on actually putting a roof up.  I’m still waiting on the now new roof guys who are saving me over $1500 to get over to the house but the rain keeps putting them off.  They actually moved me up in front of people because of the leak but I asked them to please just come and put a tarp over it since I would hate to have somebody else deal with leaks longer when I am not even in the house yet.

Whatever.  It leaks.  It leaks in the light fixture in the bathroom.  It leaks on the porch.   But that other leak?  The one on the drywall?  Nope.  Nothing to do with the roof.  That, my friends, is from the AC.  Not from the work that my AC guys did when they installed heating & air in the house.  Nope.  That’s from when DB got his panties in a wad that my AC guys put the pipe in a closet and said he had to move it.  So he moved it.  Then my new contractor says that the wrong glue was used on the PVC pipe and that very pipe leaked.  A lot.  The new guys took pictures of the problems to email to their guy in the office.   So that pissed me off.  Again.  I did read before all of this started that it was advisable to start a blog about your renovations because it is helpful to have a place to vent.  I need three blogs.

Next step is to get the new guys to give me a date that I can at least have to schedule the floor guys to come in.  Apparently, this economy isn’t that bad.  Everyone I’ve talked to (roofing/flooring/general construction) has multiple jobs going on and is booking weeks in advance.  Which is great, but I need to start booking now!  We need this done!

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Get ready for a bathroom!

Hopefully there will be a new bathroom next week!  The past couple of weeks have consisted of the crew stopping by every day in between jobs to patch the drywall where there were gaping holes left around the newly installed windows, then sanding/mudding those patches, plus sanding/mudding the ceiling and walls in spots that looked like crap, PLUS fixing the wall behind the fireplace.  They come, they work, they leave for the next job.  Labor costs are kept at a minimum.  Got the bill for all of that plus the tile, plus the trim and it’s like I’m just making money now!  Amazing!  Plus I get to mail off my rebate forms for the appliances today – more money in my pocket! (Or at least a Visa gift card in eight to ten weeks)

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Cabinets finished!

The right parts came in to finish them a few weeks ago and were installed yesterday after the counters – it’s so exciting!  All these movable parts and soft-close drawers and secret compartments!

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And the cabinet molding is all done!

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Waiting on first estimate for finishing the floors since that job was abandoned halfway through, contract be damned. If I can remember, I’ll call another company about those tomorrow to see about an estimate. Meanwhile, I think it’s back to writing checks tomorrow – at least for the counters – and that means I get to check on the possibility of using leftover materials for the fireplace. The new guy said I don’t have to pay him anything until the work is done! We are meeting up tomorrow to go over the bathroom plans, I hope, though, plus my “other list”.

Meanwhile, there’s a rip in a screen that I’ve been eyeing for a couple months that has been pissing me off since it’s a brand new window – plus some vinyl siding that’s gone wonky that I’ve been eyeing for a week now. I’ll photograph those tomorrow.

I have now ordered all of the appliances that are tentatively scheduled to be delivered on July 4 – now since I know that’s not going to happen, I’ll shoot for next Friday, July 6. That’s exciting, though!  What is probably most exciting about that is that I don’t have to continually research appliances and scour Consumer Reports every day!

Categories: Floors, Kitchen, Uncategorized, Windows | Leave a comment

More progress on the house!

The tile was grouted and some of the trim put up in that room.  Doors were hung – is that like hanging a person and it should be hanged?  No, probably just hung.  Anyway, drywall was patched around the windows where there were gaping ugly holes.  The ceiling was patched where it needed it and the fireplace was mended where the mantle was trying to run away from the wall!  Plus, some finishing touches were made to the step from the dining room to the den whereas before the hardwood just stopped and fell off into the next room and the doorway there was finished off.  Just a lot of stuff for a Friday!

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Shh – don’t tell the guys that the toy poodle pranced around on the tile while it is drying!  Certainly a 12 pound dog won’t ruin it!  If so, I suppose I assumed that risk, huh?

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I just can’t even wait until next week!

Categories: Floors, Uncategorized, Walls, Windows | Leave a comment

Back to work!

Well, scheduling problems have started to dissipate with the new guys.  They are starting today I think, but I haven’t been down to check yet.  I had to get the nephew to camp and now have to try to get the niece up and running!

The counters were polished yesterday and are being installed tomorrow!  Hopefully I will have some pictures soon!

Meanwhile, the savings meter is running and is up, up, up.  I am not going to post the actual number that goes before the 3 zeros that I have saved so far in case some of the new guys see and decide to gouge me!  🙂

The niece painted some drywall patching yesterday from where the light switches had to be moved to the “right” side of the door since the door that the last guy ordered opened the opposite way from the light switches that he put in and mudded already.  Wait, have I complained about creating work to do before?  Probably.  Anyway, on the downside, that was more $ for more mudding and patching.  On the upside, the niece gets to say she painted.

The nephew pounded in the stand for the mailbox and now I think we put it too close to the street.  Maybe we’ll catch the mail lady today and get her to tell us if it is in a good spot.  That will make her happy since she is going crazy with nowhere to put all of the mail addressed to Resident.

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