Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bricks And Boards, Onward And Upward

Construction Phase 3: June 23rd to July 2nd, 2009

"As the builders say, the larger stones do not lie well without the lesser." ~ Plato

Wow! We were really flying along in this project... just a month in and already to start the brickwork. The electricians had been their to do the preliminary wiring for outlets and lights according to code. This required another decision about can lights and outside light as well as prodding me to go ahead and order the ceiling fan and light. The heat and air guy came and put the wiring and copper tubing in for the split system unit while the plumber ran the lines for the new sink inside and the outside spigot. Of course, the plumber got the lines mixed up and tapped into the hot water line for the outside spigot instead of the cold. That was interesting for a while!

City code required that they create a new access from the house crawl space to the new room, so for a while we had this hole open to the outside. One day Mr. Siamese, Mr. Rhett... got out the garage door and I didn't see him. In fact, I didn't even miss him until the next day when he wasn't trying to sneak extra food like he always does. We looked everywhere and I went up and down the street and all over the back yard. He was gone. I was afraid that since he had probably been out all night, some critter in the preserve (swamp) behind us would have gotten him... Rhett isn't the brightest crayon sometimes... he is always poking his head into things he shouldn't. Then Dad opened up the crawl space door in the garage and called under the house... he hears a "yow" and Rhett saunters out at his own pace, as if nothing were out of the ordinary. He had found his way under the new construction and through the new crawl space hole... he spent the night under the house. You would think he would learn... but no... he still makes every attempt to get in or out.... whenever a door is open.

It was fortunate that his adventure was the day it was, as the bricking began the next Monday and that access was gone in less than a day. The bricklayers were great, neat and fast. The insets were done on the diagonal and they are gorgeous, one of my favorite things about the outside of the room. The head guy was a crusty old man who had done a lot of the brick design in the neighborhood. He remembered all the houses he worked on.

At this point of construction, I was a little worried that we were moving so fast that it would be all done before Stephen arrived AND before my cousins came from Illinois to do the inside trim. Then the contractor would have to wait on them and I didn't want him to get hung up waiting on us. I really shouldn't have lost any sleep about that happening. This is where the little .... sometimes big.... problems started popping up.

The most major problem was the doors ...... we ordered all the windows and doors from Anderson the day the contract was signed, May 1st. Anderson takes six to eight weeks sometimes. The windows came in and were put in on June 14th, but the single door and French door with transoms did not get here until June 23rd. We still didn't have the side panels and transoms for the French doors... and they didn't come and didn't come. They couldn't finish the outside woodwork or the brickwork by the doors or the deck by the doors and it was getting closer and closer to the time for my cousins to arrive. Stephen got here and they still weren't here. Finally, about two days before the cousins arrived... the side transoms were miraculously found and delivered.

Then there was the deck... we had to widen the walkway because the outside vent on the fireplace stuck out... the contractor and his helpers kept hitting their heads on it... so... eighteen inches wider. Then I had to have them widen the patio so the steps would come down at the correct place and the arch had to be re-configured.
As for the deck... I gave them the correct measurements for the hot tub and they built the opening... but it was too small... by about two inches. So they had to redo the hot tub box... again.

While we were waiting on doors... the concrete guys came back to pour the patio and rose garden base. They worked so hard and did such a great job making it so smooth and gorgeous... too bad we were just going to cover it up with stone......

Oh yes, I almost forgot. One day I got downstairs to find that the windows of the new room and the brick wall and windows of the house were covered with a thick plastic..... I felt like we were in that cocooned house in "ET". These guys in space suits with respirators came in with a huge hose and started spraying this foam insulation in the ceiling and walls.... as it dried it shrunk down filling all the tiny spaces and cracks. They then put in the usual batting insulation on top of this.

You know... I think I could almost do contracting after this........ getting tired yet?

(end of post)

1 comment:

kenju said...

No, I'm not tired. It's a fascinating process, and reading about it and seeing your photos is as close as I ever want to come!! I don't think I could stand it happening here.

The door/windows being late would have been the death of me! It all looks wonderful - especially the brick!!