Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Playing Catch-Up

It's been a long time, I know.  I apologize, but you must understand a lot has happened in the last month: I've spent two weeks in the Russian Far East; we've settled into a family schedule involving two kids both attending school full time; I've organized a trip for several dozen Washingtonians to travel to Cleveland to see our beloved Buffalo Bills.  Excuses, excuses.  But here we are: Crunch Time.

We're at T-Minus 55 days and counting until everything has to be done. All money must be allocated from our loan by November 18, which means all work deserving of being paid for must be done with enough time to have an inspection, go through the paperwork cycle, and be issued in a check form by the bank in a day less than 8 weeks.  Not to mention the renter for our house, who would very much like to get in in the month of October.  So where do we sit right now?

Unfortunately, I haven't been to the house but once in the past month, and that was before the Russia trip.  But I've been told there isn't a lot of visible difference to the house during that timeframe.  Hopefully, our neighbors won't have taken this lack of change added to a lack of writing to mean nothing's been going on.  Well, actually the neighbors will have been the ones seeing the contractors' vehicles continue to go back and forth outside, so they might know better than me.  Since last I wrote, we had a heart-to-heart with our contractors, because I had been less than thrilled with what I saw done while we were at the Olympics.  They explained several things to me that made me feel a bit better, although I'm still pretty nervous, based especially on my previous experience with contractors.  But  Rory wrote to me just yesterday, noting "we should be able to get drywall started late next week if everything goes according to plan, so you guys can see some major progress again, then its all down hill from there."  I hate to keep saying "fingers crossed," but, well, you know...

So here's what's been done: the HVAC ductwork is all in, and the HVAC unit itself has been ordered.  I don't know whether the unit has been delivered and installed, but we'll know that this week.  The porch is still unfinished, but that's okay: it seems that since the HVAC unit weighs 5 tons-- you read that right, it's 10,000 pounds-- the contractor would rather have that situated before the porch flooring, given that a brand-new tongue-in-groove porch wouldn't fare very well with 10,000 pounds of metal sitting on it.  (Or 10,000 pounds of feathers, but we're not an ostrich farm here.)  We have to have a 5-ton unit because of the size of the house and the relative inefficiency of our windows.  We've been told it's going to be louder than we might expect, although we're ponying up for the unit with more sound insulation.  But people also say our current A/C is loud, and we don't even hear it, so I'm not incredibly concerned.

The kitchen exhaust fan is in, as are those in the bathrooms and laundry room; they're currently bright white on the roof, and Rory has on his own said he would much rather they be the green color on the rest of the house, so I expect they'll turn green in short order.  As for the rest of the kitchen?  Work backwards with me: Our appliances have been delivered, and are sitting in boxes in the living room, waiting for our kitchen cabinets to be installed.  Our kitchen cabinets have been paid for, but will not be officially ordered until they can be measured.  The measurement can't happen until the drywall is up.  The drywall can't go up until the inspector comes and approves all the systems that go inside the wall: electric; plumbing; gas; HVAC; whatever else I can't think of right now.  The contractors are hoping to have the inspector come late this week or, at the latest, early next week.  It's an all-in-one inspection, where one guy comes, looks at everything, and (hopefully) gives us a big ol' stamp of approval.  Once we get that stamp, everything goes in motion: Drywall; Cabinetry; Appliance Installation; Completed Kitchen.  

Same goes for every other room in the house.  Abby has picked out all the tile for our bathrooms; that can all go in once the inspector approves.  Once the tile is in, sinks and toilets and bathing stuff can all go in, and fast.  We still have a couple of supposedly-tiny fixes that we asked for within the past few months that need to be done, such as the movement of our upstairs toilet 6 inches to the left, and of our downstairs toilet about 12 inches to the right, but those should all be quick fixes.  Oh, and I'm told my bedroom closet is now up, as well as the pocket door to our bedroom, and that interior ceilings are next.

We'll be heading over to the house several times in the next week, and I hope to get more updates and pictures on the blog.  We're not going anywhere until this house is done, and we're treating this very much as the final push on any big project, even at our current place, where Abby spent a day this week doing what we call a "cull" on Lola's toys-- three garbage bags worth!  Up next: Isaac's room.  The less we have to schlep six miles north, the better.  In the meantime, I'll leave you with the most recent additions to our list of final decisions.

12" x 6" Green Glass tile
for the walls around the downstairs bathtub
1" x 1" Green Glass tile
for the upstairs shower
Bamboo hardwood flooring for everywhere downstairs
except the bathroom and mudroom, which'll be tiled

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