Friday, May 28, 2004

Talked to Dave

Talked to Dave this morning. I confessed my suspicion that the drywallers walked off with some stuff. I only told him about the tape measures and the tequila, but we think they may have also taken 2 pairs of earrings and my Swiss army knife too. Naturally, I don’t feel comfortable accusing them of theft, nor do I expect to be compensated. I just want to get this all done with.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Texture Is Done

The ceiling texture is done. I think all business with the drywallers is now over. Yippee!!! Next step, pay them $2800 in cash. Ugh.
Dave and Dale came today to work on the shingles, I think. But I didn’t talk to them, so I’m only assuming. When I got home tonight, perhaps I will be able to tell what they did.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Drywall Dust Everywhere

The drywall is done and all that remains is the ceiling texture. And, oh boy what a mess those guys left us. There was an 1/8” of drywall dust on just about everything from the bedroom to the kitchen to the living room. Yuck. They must have finished with a round of power sanding. I spent much of Sunday trying to clean the floors in the living room and hallway. I don’t get why they can’t use a drop cloth.
This morning, Dave is supposed to return to work more on the shingles, but he wasn’t there when I left. Neither was the drywallers, who are supposed to texture the ceiling today.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Better Drywall

When I got home last night, Hector and his crew were there. They were already addressing the issues that I was prepared to raise. By the end of their shift, there was drywall and mud behind the fridge, the wall opposite the fridge had been improved, they have started the skim coat on the rough wall, the hole under the main stairs has been fixed, the place where the window was under the main stairs had been improved, and the drywall under the stairs in the sunroom had been mudded. Whew! Hector said they should finish up all the mudding on Saturday and then they will be ready to texture the ceiling on Monday or Tuesday. Whew!

Thursday, May 20, 2004

House Scraps Raise Beds

Not much to report today. Unfortunately, I don’t think the drywallers came yesterday and I have no way of knowing if they are coming today. I’m still just leaving the front door unlocked, which does bother me. As of today, although most of the upstairs looks great, there are a few places that do not look very good and are not complete. Most notably is the Kitchen. They did start to hang drywall by the fridge, but didn’t finish, and didn’t tape or mud that area at all. On the wall opposite the fridge, the former doorway, the drywall is not flush with the rest of the wall and generally looks terrible. In addition, I had asked that they skim coat the rough texture on the east wall and around the stairs to the basement. Upstairs, the sun room looks good except for the skylight well looks incomplete and there is no tape or mud on the drywall under the stairs. Finally, under the main stairs, the wall where the window was looks absolutely horrible and there is still a whole in the wall where the electrician punched through. Granted this space will be storage and hidden from view, but I really don’t want to leave it like this. I’ve decided that I will ask Hector to fix all of these items, but I’m willing to concede all but the kitchen and the whole in the wall under the main stairs.
One fun thing though, I built a new raised bed in the back for vegetables. I used some of the left over 2x6 cedar decking from the old back deck and stacked them 3 high to build a box that is 4’x8’. This year I will plant in this box some tomatoes, bush beans, pumpkins, and maybe some carrots and sunflowers.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Mount Saint Helens Day

Interesting day. It is the anniversary of Mount Saint Helens major eruption, and the anniversary of the death of my first boss at Nike.
As of last night, we have drywall in the pantry, in the sunroom skylight, under the sunroom stairs, under the main stairs, and on the north wall in the kitchen. But, we do not have drywall behind the fridge. I pulled the fridge away from the wall before leaving this morning in hopes of making this oversight more obvious, but I don’t know if it will help. Mostly I just want them to finish. I want them to finish and leave. I’m tired of having them in the house at strange and inconsistent times. I’m tired of having fresh splotches of drywall mud on the living room floor. I’m tired of the mess, the inconvenience, and the aggravation. I just want them to finish and get out.

Monday, May 17, 2004


Dave needs to spend this week working on another project, so I won’t see him again until next Monday. I did talk to Hector this morning. We talked about the remaining areas that need to have drywall hung. I specifically showed him under the main stairs, the kitchen, the pantry, and the sun room skylight and under the sunroom stairs. I also asked that he skim coat the textured walls in the kitchen. For all of this, I offered to pay him an additional $600 for a total of $5000. Still, not too bad considering how much drywall work we got done and considering they are doing the job a lot faster and better than I would have done by myself. Looks like I will have to make another cash withdrawal and carry around $2800. Gah.
Something else possibly related to the drywall. This weekend, we noticed that a nearly full half-gallon bottle of tequila has disappeared! I cannot say for sure where I left it last, but I think I may have left it on the kitchen counter. There is so much chaos in the house right now, especially the kitchen and dining room areas, that I cannot say for sure that I didn’t just put it in a forgotten spot. But, I’m sure the bottle was nearly full. I have no intension of telling either Dave or Hector about this incident, but I’m not going to buy any more tequila either. Oh well, all part of the price you pay for having unsupervised strangers in your home. I hope I don’t have to do anything like this again for a very long time.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Crawling Shingles

The drywall marches on. Today is the second day of tape and mudding and they have put the first course on the 2nd floor. One concern is that they still haven’t hung the drywall in the kitchen and the pantry or under main stairs or the stairs in the sunroom. Not sure why. I did pay the $2200 in cash. That was a little nerve racking to walk from the bank to my car with so much cash in my pocket. But, I gave the money to the general contractor and (hopefully) it will be given to the drywallers. However, I have decided that I will not pay the 2nd $2200 until they get the rest of the drywall completed including the kitchen, pantry, and under both stairs.
In the meantime the cedar shingles continue to crawl around the house. They finished the front dormer yesterday and it looks very nice. In fact, all of the shingles look really great. This has been the nicest surprise in recent history. This is going to be a beautiful house. Someday…
Dave framed the exterior walls for the balcony off the sunroom. The new wall is about knee high and will function as a base for a metal rail that will wrap around the balcony exterior. Dave also gave me an estimate at around $400 for the water proofing. They need to put a layer of water proofing above the sub floor before I put down the decking. Although I could do this myself, at this point I’m temped to just pay it. It’s just one less thing to worry about. I know that stupid balcony is going to leak, but hopefully it won’t be for a couple years with the professional treatment. I’m just buying time.
Oh, and speaking of the sunroom, the correct windows are in place and the window saga is finally over. And yes, the grills do now match up. That sunroom is going to be soooooo nice.

Friday, May 07, 2004

The Week of Drywalling

It’s been a week of drywalling! This is mostly a good thing. The upstairs looks very good. They have finished hanging drywall in every room, although they haven’t put any drywall under the stairs in the sun room. I’m not sure why yet. Also, they didn’t get any drywall under the skylight. But, the real concern is how the drywall is lining up with the old lat-and-plaster. It appears that in most cases, where the plaster meets the drywall, there will be a noticeable seam. This is because the plaster sticks out proud of the dry wall. In some places, they have furred (sp?) out the area before putting down the drywall. This appears to have worked, but most of the seams have not had this treatment. Unfortunately Dave, the general, was not around this morning so I could not talk to him about these issues. Also, I’m not sure what going to happen this weekend. I plan to go home at lunch and see if he is around, otherwise I’ll have to give him a call.
Something else about the drywall is that it kind of makes everything look ‘modern.’ It’s kind of hard to describe, but it does bother me a little. Any illusion that this is an old house seems to have disappeared over night. I’m sure I’m just being hysterical, but it is an odd transformation, maybe because so much natural wood (the framing) was covered up.
My final thought is about the incredible mess. Ugh! When we got home, the entire downstairs near the stairway and bedroom was covered by a layer of gypsum powder and pieces of drywall. Man, what a mess! So, I cleaned it up the best that I can, but the gypsum powder doesn’t sweep up very well and will probably need to be scrubbed.
As I type this I get a phone call from the window people. It seems they are FINALLY ready to replace the mismatched grills in the sunroom. Yippee! Originally, the windows arrived with some of the grills (that divide the light) a couple inches shorter on half of the windows than on the other half. This looked very strange because the horizontal line through each of the windows didn’t line up. The window rep promised to replace them within 3 weeks, but that was over 5 weeks ago. I have to admit that I had my concerns that they would never get replaced, but they now say they are coming on Tuesday. Yippee!!!

Monday, May 03, 2004

Arbor Over the Garage Door

Over the weekend, I installed the braces for the trellis above the garage door. Naturally, it took longer than I thought, but I got it done. It didn’t go up nearly a perfect as I had hoped, but I think it is good enough. Some disappointments are that the middle two braces are closer together than they are to the outer two. In other words, going from left to right, the 1st and 2nd braces are 30 inches apart, and the 3rd and 4th are also 30 inches apart, but the 2nd and 3rd are just under 29 inches apart. Surprisingly, it’s not noticeable, I guess because it remains symmetric. Still, I would have liked to have gotten them more evenly spaced. I should sit down and figure out why the calculations came out wrong…
The real disappointment is that the drywallers did not work this weekend. It seems they did show up Saturday evening, because someone left some scaffolding next to the garage. Then, Jenn saw their truck idling out in front of our house Sunday morning. But, they only sat there for maybe a couple minutes then drove off. Very strange. I just hope they show up tonight, especially since I plan to have a beer with a friend tonight and won’t be around past about 5:50pm. In the two days they did show up, it was just before 5pm, so we should be OK, I hope.