Monday, January 28, 2013

And the Floors Fall Through

I knew it wasn't a good idea to write such a positive entry yesterday.

Remember everything I said yesterday?  Scratch that.

We didn't fall through the floors; the floors just fell through.

So those are three different ways I could describe all the things that happened today with the house.  Shall I enumerate?

  1. We're stuck in traffic on the Rock Creek Parkway this morning, making the poor decision of driving to work since we could come in late due to the "weather" in the area.  We get a call from Jim at iDesign.  The bathroom tile we ordered is partially out of stock.  We need about 200 square feet of it, but the manufacturer doesn't have that much left.  Jim called us to ask if it was okay that the tile wouldn't be delivered until February 12.  We should have all of the tile in the same area of the house from the same shipment, because since it's a natural material it could vary from one shipment to the next.  But if we wait until February 12, there's no way to have anything else go in until then, and the bathrooms really need to be nearing completion at that point, if not completed.  Executive decision: have them send us everything for the first floor, so we can get going on that, and then once the next shipment is in we do the second floor with it.  Then, at least, we can have two full rooms completed (the bathroom and the mudroom), and go with Mark's bottom-up approach.  We haven't heard back from Jim whether this is possible, because he needs to make sure they have enough for the whole downstairs portion, but I think it should work.
  2. After dropping me off, Abby heads up towards the house.  Her plan is to run by AllEcoCenter to get the name of the floor she really likes, just to see if iDesign can match the price.  Turns out even AllEcoCenter can't do that; it's out of stock until at least March.  Unlike with the bathroom tile, this isn't something we can wait for.  Panic.  She had planned to head up to Home Depot afterwards and buy paint for the kids' bedrooms, since it's gonna be warm for the next couple of days and she could take advantage of painting weather without having to worry about drop-clothing the floor.  Instead, she needs me to look up flooring stores in the area so she can start from square one.  Luckily, there's this crazy block in Rockville, starting with iDesign on Nicholson, where apparently every flooring store there ever was is located.  (I remember wondering why Delaware Avenue in Buffalo had so many car dealerships; wouldn't one be worried about losing business to another next door?  Then I learned in Human Geography class that the set-up was purposeful, because if everyone knew you could buy cars on one street, they'd just head there and were be sure to buy from someone on the strip.)  Anyhow, she didn't have much time, and after two stores considered turning back.  She considered not going to a third, because only 15 minutes were left before she had to turn around to pick the kids up from school, but went in and loved the first two samples she saw.  "It was meant to be," she said, because that's what she says, and because Jimi Hendrix's Watchtower was on the PA.  Only problem was that these samples were $12/ft.  She proudly told me on the phone how she showed them the sample from AllEcoCenter, told them how much it cost, as asked them to beat the price, without letting them know the one she showed them was unattainable in our time frame.  Good girl!  (We'll hear from them tomorrow.)
  3. I can't use my cell phone at work, because I work in a "SCIF," which means "sensitive compartmented information facility."  Basically, since we deal with Top Secret Compartmented information, they don't want people bringing electronics into the area to bar against potential compromise of data.  Those of you who may have been unfortunate enough ever to reach any of my voicemail messages will remember the long, detailed message about when I could be reached at what number, solely for this purpose.  (This is why email always works best for me, since I can get it everywhere.)  Well, apparently the cabinet delivery folks decided not to heed my message, because when I was walking out of the Metro at about 5:15 I noticed I had a voicemail on my cell from about 3:00 asking where we were.  Yep, nobody was at the house to sign for the cabinets, so they weren't delivered.  I was furious, and called Mark asking what went on.  He gave a few excuses, starting with "I'm at the hospital" (his wife is sick) and ending with "I didn't think they would come because of the weather."  But when it came down to brass tacks, I can't find one single email I sent him telling him the delivery would be made between 11am and 3pm, and that I needed someone there.  So it's my fault, and hopefully everything doesn't get screwed up because of it-- remember, we are scheduled for a Wednesday and/or Thursday cabinet install.  I bring up the voicemail issue because, although it's my fault no one was there, the delivery company left one message, on my cell, and called it a day.  They had $15,000 worth of merchandise that someone obviously needed, and didn't think maybe they should call another number?  I had my office phone, Abby had her cell, and I was on email; they had all that info, both from the voicemail message and from the order, but no further effort was made at communication.  Not happy.  Used the "F" word several times as I entered the basement.  Need to fix this first thing tomorrow morning because, conveniently, the delivery service closes early on Mondays.
  4. The fact nobody was home also affected our shower-tile shipment.  The UPS guy didn't find anyone at home, so he left a sticky note and took the five boxes of tile from back to UPS-land.  Luckily, Mark assures me that people will be at the house all day tomorrow, so when the man in brown comes back, the boxes should hopefully leave the big van.
  5. And to top it all off, when I did get home, Abby and the kids were upstairs talking to our renter, Jamie, who was telling them that the dishwasher is leaking.  It's never leaked before, so of course it's going to start now.  But you know what?  The basement bathroom faucet's all jacked up, and the basement kitchen faucet's pretty much controlled by a poltergeist, so we called Grayton Plumbing (at 544-4366, a number I still know by heart from when we originally finished this house) and they're coming out for all three on Thursday.
So that all sucks.  But there was a bit of-- if not progress-- at least follow-through as to other projects we're expecting to work out this week.

  1. Things are getting closer to us.  Okay, so the cabinets and the shower tiles only stopped by for a visit before going somewhere else, the tracking for our vanities shows they've been shipped.  It's a private shipping company from Brooklyn making the trip down, so I'm expecting a call any day now to arrange for a drop-off.  
  2. Mark called Abby this morning to say Washington Gas wouldn't come and set a meter until we opened an account.  Abby emailed me at work to ask whether I could do that today at some point.  I dropped everything I was doing, called Washington Gas to create an account, and arranged for someone to come out and set the meter on Wednesday, all before replying to Abby and Mark within minutes.  Granted, when I was talking to Mark about the cabinets after five this afternoon he hadn't read my email yet, it was done and someone will be there on Wednesday.  Unlucky for them, Washington Gas thinks it's a cable company, and gave me a rough window of 7am to 5pm for the install.  But once they leave, the heat will be on.
  3. Speaking of gas service, I called Acme Stove today to see about getting our fireplace done.  I keep calling it an "insert" but what we really want are no-vent logs.  We went a long time ago (weeks? months?) to the Acme Stove near Tysons and got a good idea of what we wanted.  I feel bad because these guys work on commission, but I don't want to shlep to Tysons when they have a store in Rockville, just up the road from the street-o'-floors Abby went to today.  So Rockville it is, and we'll meet with them later this week to look at what we want our logs to look like.  Only one thing: the guy mentioned sometimes people "can't stand the smell" of the logs, and my wife gets migraines.  Whatever, she'll deal.
  4. Glass tile in "Arctic Blue" for the
    first-floor bathroom
      Tiles for the walls in the downstairs bathroom are ordered, courtesy of  (And I even used my MyPoints link and got 8 points a dollar on them... which I would be more excited about were it not for the fact that I'm going to be getting approximately 12,000 points... for the downstairs bathroom walls... which means I spent $1500 on them.)  You guests better notice those damn walls when you're taking a leak!  They're actually twice the price we thought they were, because Abby thought they were priced by the square foot, but they were priced by the tile, and each tile is only 6"x12".  But this is something we've had set for months, and going  back to do further research would be entirely demoralizing.  So they're ordered, and I'll use my points for a nice dinner-and-movie date with my wife, after which we will come home and use the first-floor bathroom just to enjoy the tiles.
    Sigh.  Hopefully, tomorrow I'll have more good news than not-good news.  But movement is really all I need at this point.  Movement, and floors.  Floors would be swell.

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