Posted by: Cathie | August 20, 2009

When Things Go Right and When They Don’t

Today was, by far, the most challenging day of the renovation.  I had multiple trades in and out throughout the day.  All this activity can lead to problems, errors and critical mistakes so I worked from home so I could be available to answer questions, address concerns, and call Dave when I didn’t have an answer.  We had a problem with a trade yesterday resulting in a serious error.  Had I not caught it, things could have been much worse.  And thanks to the power of the internet I was able to upload photos which Dave was able to look at immediately from his PC at work, and we were able to blow the whistle before the problem got out of hand.

Yesterday the stone mason arrived to apply the stacked stone treatment in the family room.  This was a difficult procedure, one the trade assured us he had done many times, so we allowed the work to proceed.  Luckily I came home from work early, thought something just didn’t look right, and called Dave.  I dispatched the photos, Dave gave a return call, and we pulled the plug on the stone mason until he met with Dave first thing this morning to review what went wrong and make sure he knew exactly what he needed to do.

Here are the photos I sent Dave:

mysterious gaps in the stonework

mysterious gaps in the stonework

So the stone mason ripped out all his work and started over.  Sucks when you make mistakes.
stone wall done properly

stone wall done properly

Next trade to arrive was my cabinet installer.  New cabinets were going into the laundry room and a small cabinet was being installed in what we call a “key drop.”  What is that, you ask?  It’s a space in the wall right before you walk in or out of the garage.  The idea being, you walk in the house, put your briefcase or handbag in the cupboard, place your keys in a cubby, plug in your phone, Ipod, Bluetooth, whatever, into one of the charging stations, and they will be right there for you when you walk out the door in the morning!  No hunting around for missing keys, phones, etc.
I was thrilled with the look of the cabinets and the hardware I had selected.  Unfortunately he was unable to complete the job as several items were mysterious “missing” — such as the crown molding.  No worries.  He’ll be back to finish the install.
new laundry cabinets

new laundry cabinets

keydrop cabinet

keydrop cabinet

Before long I took delivery of my tile.  That was an event as they had to park the tile truck down the street in the big cul-de-sac because they couldn’t get the truck up my private drive.  Instead the crates of tile had to be ferried up the street on a small forklift truck and then offloaded onto the driveway.  The end result is that I have lots of tile, but no driveway to park on until the job is complete.  A minor inconvenience.
miles of tile

miles of tile

I thought the Tile Team would be right behind the delivery, but they didn’t show up for several hours.  They were going to put down the underlayment prior to tile installation.  They did show up, eventually and it was better they came late because the stone mason hadn’t finished and people were bumping into each other.  So the Tile Team got to work and the hammering began because even though you glue this stuff down, you hammer it in place.  Time for a break!  Outside I went.
About 30 minutes later a happy tradesman waved to me from inside the house and I realized it WASN’T the Tile Team but my painter!  I have no idea what happened to the Tile Team but now the painters had arrived and it was time to paint all the trim and doors.  They warned me that the smell was going to be pretty awful so I informed Lexi and Kiefer that they would be sleeping in the garage tonite.  Since they live on Ground Zero of the renovation project they would be sleeping in the middle of noxious fumes.
And of course during all this craziness I was attempting to work from home; had to run and pick up my car which we had dropped off the night before at the repair shot for a bit of service, and try to keep from getting a headache with all the pounding, sawing, nailing and banter.  Right now going in to the office tomorrow will be a vacation from al the chaos!
Oh yes, before it was all over my yard crew showed up.  Don’t you just love the sound of lawnmowers and leaf blowers?!

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