Thursday, May 31, 2007

Finally a break!

My contractor has been saying we were due for a break. It may have come today. I started digging the trench for the foundation that goes under the all important shear wall, when 3 inches down, Clunk....I moved the shovel, 3 inches down, clunk. A footing emerged, with rebar protruding, the correct size etc. It saves a bit of digging and some concrete. We're going to fill the void with concrete.

The picture did not come out as clear as I would have hoped. Oh well.

This used to look like this.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Men have always gone down to the sea in ships...


That wasn't even a houseboat until you launched it into Bodega Bay!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

remodel update

The contractor said yesterday that we need for some breaks to go OUR way someday. Today was NOT that day.

This is what we found yesterday.

Note the pretty sheetrock on the ceiling. note the mold just below. That wouldn't indicate anything would (wood) it?
This is what we found today.

This likely means the removal of a 5' X 8' chunk of roof.

No, there REALLY isn't a foundation under that bearing wall, or at least this 6 feet of it.

So now the engineer and architect get an all expenses paid road trip to view our dilemma, and draw up a solution. This likely will mean another permit (with accompanying fees).

And that wasn't the WORST news of the day. We got an estimate for the cabinets, island and associated wordworking. I'm too embarrassed to say how much it is, but my contractor was shocked. We'll be shopping around I think.

We made some other progress though. We got a beam in.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Foundation, smoundation

Hey it's ONLY a bearing wall, the future "Shear Wall" for the whole house. Why should we expect a foundation beneath it? There's not even a beam!

The day started with a bad area of dry rot in the ceiling/roof. This is right above the area mentioned above. The original house was built on a concrete slab. The addition, which doubled the size, has a small crawl space. We were aware there was a "notch" in the slab where there were drain lines and water lines, and thought that was just a way to deal with not putting pipes in concrete. SURPRISE! Back to the architect, new drawings/specs...someone is going to have to crawl in a tight space, dig a damn big trench with a gardening trowel, and it damn sure isn't going to be me! (Space limitations, otherwise I'd be "Happy" to, yeh right)

Maybe tomorrow I'll add some pics. No camera today.

This is turning into "The Money Pit" I can't say without blushing how much we're paying for new appliances.

Side note: the roofers for OUR house got 99.5% done in one day (12 hours) Just needed a little flashing (metal, not bodies). Roof last Wed, next day nothing, called, "We'll be there tomorrow", a week later, still haven't seen them, but THEY CASHED THE CHECK!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I'm Back, anyone miss me?

Bloggers seem to be dropping like flies in an Oakie home entertainment center.

My hiatus was probably due to stress of the early stages of a remodel, (we got our permit Friday after 2 months), and the fact that the 12th was one year after my mom passed away, and then Mother's day. I never noticed before how many commercials there are for Mother's day and how many people in customer services say "Happy Mother's Day".
Each was like a punch in the chest.

Now the remodel is in full swing, so I have lots of physical labor to work off stress and lots of unimportant decisions to make and money to spend.

Here's Before and During pics.
The cabinets in the before pic are now in the garage. (That's Moonrabbit behind the post) The kitchen is being moved to the far wall in the bottom pic. The yellowish chair has a date with the dumpster, but it's sad because it's about 45 years old. It has a wooden handle to lock it in a reclined position. (which doesn't work) The handle has been sanded because our dachshund chewed on it when it was in my early teens. It has been reupholstered countless times.

Friday, May 04, 2007


Due to the large number of irons I have in the fire at the moment, which are frying a lot of fish, and because everybody seems to be doing it, I won't be posting for the forseeable future. The lack of visitors and commentors may have something to do with it also. That, and a lack of imagination, remembered stories, and talent might have a bit of influence.

I'll still be lurking on other's blogs.

See YA!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

WTF Roofers Chapters 1 & 2

Chapter One finds us, like so many others, at the FIRST RAIN. Gee, the roof leaks, ceiling sheetrock in the back bedroom beginning to sag.

I'm not looking for miracles, I just want the roof tarped to prevent the sheet rock from coming down and hold us over until the roof can be replaced. The biggest issue is that I don't want to do the tarping. I could, but I don't wanna. Rain is forecast for the next day. The roof is steep and wet and old and tired. As it turns out, in the end I am wet, old and tired.

But I digress. I call company "W" whom I have had do work in the past. I realize that ALL the roofing companies are swamped, and I could handle a response like "we're swamped and can't help you or get back to you for a week". What I got was "Bill will call you back sometime today". So I wait ALL DAY. Or at least until 3pm, because I know how things work, I call again. "Bill is in a meeting, I'll be SURE to have him call you when he gets out" No call.

So I'm on the roof tarping, slipping, climbing back, nailing, tarping, slipping, cursing. Roof is tarped, rain comes, no more leak.

I'm done with "W", and I don't hear from them for 10 days. They start leaving cheerful messages "Hi, returning your call about a roof!" I ignore all calls until one day they actually get a hold of me. It's Dave. Using my most mature adult personality, I quickly, and in a business like manner let Dave know that they have forfeited any opportunity to work for me now or ever. Dave is SHOCKED! "We called you back in three days!" Not true, but it doesn't even matter. I tell him as much, calmly without being accusing, and just try to explain that there is nothing to discuss and have a nice life. He's INSULTED! Sorry goodbye.

Some time passes as I try to find a reliable reference for a roofer that does quality work and is reliable. I don't know about you, but I find my best references at Christmas parties from people I have never met before or since.

Chapter Two. Time passes. I lose the little piece of paper with the name on it, but remember it started with "A" and was based in our town.

Fortunately there is only one. I call and set up an appointment for the estimator. I want to be there to explain that I want new gutters on one side of the house and a new skylight. Things seem to go well. He will get the estimate to me in a week. Life intrudes, and a month later I realize that I have not gotten an estimate. I call. They are VERY SORRY and will have it out to me shortly. Life intrudes again, and about another month later, still no estimate. "REALLY? OH I AM SO SORRY" Another couple of weeks go by and I get a call asking what kind of vents I want. After I tell the man, he says he will bring the estimate over this afternoon. Two weeks later I call again, "REALLY? OH I AM SO SORRY" Somebody had an accident, someone else is out of town yada yada yada "We'll drop it off this afternoon"

They actually DID drop it off this time, but I'm beginning to think I'm not sure I want them working on my house.

Peek at Chapter Three. I call another company out of the book this morning, they have an estimator over in 2 hours, and promise to email me the estimate post haste....