Friday, March 29, 2013

Hiatus? Not Likely

Tomorrow we head out on our Spring Break trip to Florida, four basement dwellers in search of some sun and sand before the final push.  And in the waning days before the trip, we had another small flurry of activity from our side, with only a smidge of movement on the other.  But I have faith that in the ten days we're out of state, our contractors won't be on vacation.  What I don't have faith in, however, is that we'll be devoid of all things house during our trip.

Last year, I distinctly recall tracking down the water company people while standing watching the ocean.  This time?  I may be dealing with plumbing fixture problems while standing on that same deck, only it'll be the very end of the process rather than the beginning.  Last year it was finding out we had absolutely no connection to municipal water whatsoever, and this year?  Who knows?  Although we have some inkling...

First off, Abby found out yesterday that the bathroom door in the basement doesn't clear the toilet, which is against code.  Never mind the fact that we wanted the toilet to have been placed in a location where, gasp, that wouldn't have been an issue.  Now it's an issue.  Contractor says they may have to move the door, although I think they should just move the whole wall a few inches into the mudroom.  Problem with that?  The walls were put up before the tile was laid, so there's no tile where the wall currently stands.  We do have extra tile, though, so that's a possible fix.  Time will tell how that problem is solved: ten days of time, that is.

Our downstairs shower door.  How very Euro...
(And for $3000 less than custom.)
We had a guy come out to measure the openings for our shower doors, and he came back with a completely, utterly ridiculous quote of $6,400 for the two doors together, including $3,400 for a custom door for downstairs that took into account the height disparity between the two sides of the shower wall.  I promptly wrote back to Mark: "tell the guy thanks but no thanks."  I went on and in about ten minutes found a perfectly good (fancy, actually) all-glass door with no edge, just like Abby requires.  It's a splash door, which is how Europeans do their showers a lot of the time.  That means it only covers about 75% of the opening-- where the water splashes.  Halfway across, there's a pivot joint in the glass that turns the window into a door when you want it open.  Simple, pretty, modern, and less than $500.  Rather than $3,400.  Upstairs is gonna be a little harder, because we haven't found anything online that has no edge, as Abby requires.  Or rather, all the un-edged doors are sliding doors, and Abby wants doors that swing out.  She went by Home Depot today to talk to someone, but no one was there.  She says she'll call them tomorrow... from the airport... we'll see...  But in the meantime, the downstairs shower door has already been ordered, so at least that's a job 50% done.

This is what $450 in door knobs looks like.
Also ordered is one of the two door knobs we're missing.  Still haven't picked front-door hardware, but it was simple enough to go onto and find the pocket door version of the knobs we got for the rest of the house.  Less than ten bucks, matches everything, done.  Hopefully by the time we get back, all of the doors will have been delivered, installed, and attached to hardware. We may not have a shower door upstairs, but at least we'd have a bathroom door!  I sat down on Wednesday in the Great Room and labeled the 20-some knobs we've already had delivered, since there are five different kinds (dummies, lockable ones, ones without locks, keyed entry, and a deadbolt), and Lola sat down with me to look at the boxes.  She was intrigued that her name was on three different boxes (two closet dummies and a lockable knob) and was downright thrilled with the idea that she'll have a lock on her door, "so I can lock Isaac out!"  Exactly what I was thinking...

Abby's Home Depot trip also had her finalizing our blinds order.  Yeah, blinds may be thought of more as decor, but think of a) how open our bedrooms are to people walking or driving by the south side of the house, and b) how old our stormless windows are.  (Actually, I was holding my hands near the windows the other day and found them to have not nearly as much of a temperature gradient as I had feared.  Bonus!)  Anyhow, the blinds we ordered are the cellular kind, that look like accordions and help not only with privacy (while allowing for light to come through) but also with efficiency, because they have an R-value of something-small-but-I'll-take-it.  What's also cool about them is that they'll be attached at the bottom, so they can be pulled up rather than down; that'll help because the top parts of the windows can be kept open while still getting privacy in the room.  Additionally, since they're custom, that means each one will fit the window perfectly, and will be installed professionally.  And hopefully that'll be done in about two weeks, just as we're moving in.

The couches on which Abby napped.
After Home Depot, Abby took a nap.  Sure, that sounds like not-so-big news, but it's the first time any of us has slept in the house, so there's that.  She napped on one of the sofas downstairs, which we arranged on Wednesday after having given Abby ample time to put a lot of our stuff away where it needed to go.  It still amazes me that the giant pile of stuff that came out of that storage pod has pretty much disappeared into all of the closet space downstairs.  (Although upstairs, that's a different matter... How is it that we have so many clothes?!)  

Our paperwork stuff is coming along as well; the mortgage refi hasn't moved, but our insurance rates are coming down, which is always a plus.  While we're gone, I expect to spend some time on the cell phone working both of these issues... just as I had on the beach in Delaware last year.  Hey, it'll be worth it!

In the storage area under one set of stairs.
There's TONS of room down there!
Anyhow, that's about it as my vacation begins.  I won't see the house for the next ten days, and hopefully once I do, it'll be completely and utterly livable-- although I still haven't heard anything about those damn windows that need to be replaced.  I'd say "fingers crossed," but I have said that way too much while writing this blog, and plus, doing that would give me weird tan lines on my hands, wouldn't it? ;)

Guest room closet, with door!

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