The shock of seeing an empty driveway for a few days, after the riot of activity we were experiencing on the build site for weeks, was disconcerting. A confluence of events related to supply chains and schedules has slowed things down this week considerably.
Because the drywall taping took so long, it pushed back painters, floor finishers and onsite fabrication like plaster and stair building. The cabinet makers told us they were two weeks late (I’d have to assume that came with the unsaid caveat “at least” two weeks late. I fear it may be longer.). Since the cabinets aren’t in, we can’t measure for countertops which requires at least two weeks. Since there were no cabinets, there wasn’t really enough to keep the builder’s team busy so they were sent on a week of vacation and side-job work. The tilers were short-shipped the bathroom tile on the first floor. They are going as fast as they can but have run out of a subset of the tiles needed to push things to completion. Rain every day has prevented the concrete team from pouring the porch and patio on the south side of the house. It is an unpreventable cascade of issues and all we can do is watch it happen and be patient. Obviously that is hard to do with the end of the summer looming.
We tried to move things along as much as we could this week in order to be ready for when the building and construction returns. Last weekend we had a logging truck come and haul away all but nine of the 150+ logs that were taken down to clear the property. They comprised a pile of wood about 10’ high on an area that we want to start landscaping. I was able to find a guy who does firewood as a part time job who was willing to take most of the wood away and then I paid the logging truck operator to take the huge old pieces away after the firewood was gone. It ended up costing me money in the end but I am sure it was cheaper than finding another hauling company later or better than having to stash all of this wood somewhere on the borders of our property.
Plaster was completed this week as well. It looks amazing and is exactly what we wanted. It has a great texture with some shiny parts, some rough parts, good color. The craftsmen who did it really knew their stuff and did the whole job with such professionalism and pride I couldn’t help but be impressed by the team.
Another step forward was the painters arriving. Now that the taping crew was gone, the painters started priming every surface. It was a great step towards helping visualize the ultimate look since most of the house will be painted white. The painters were also very good. Obvious craftsmen who knew their process and materials well. They swept in and started painting with little fanfare and by the end of the week the interior was transformed. We also located a few spots that require some drywall tape touch-ups and they still need to do the bathrooms. They couldn’t do them before because the tilers were working in there.
Next week, they will be doing the ceilings in the final colors as well as some of the upper areas that won’t get ruined by workers coming in and out over the remaining eight weeks. The goal is to push it as far as they can without opening the door to rework and touch-ups at the end.
As I mentioned already, we got our fiber internet installed. One of the things we thought about doing, since the internet is so bad at our rental, was work on the summer porch at the new house for the next few weeks. An interesting wrinkle was discovered this week while sitting on the side porch trying to use the internet. When a door or window was open we had great internet access even with the router being sequestered in the mechanical room surrounded by rockwool sound batting and other insulation. Once the exterior door or windows were closed, internet speeds dropped to zero. Not near zero – zero. We discovered, after a little research, that the Aluclad doors and windows are covered in Low-E (low emissivity) coating which is essentially a film of metal. This is bad for WiFi packets because they hit the metal film and bounce off. As a result, and since working out on the summer porch is something we plan on doing quite a bit, we are having the electrician run another CAT-6 cable into the garage so we can add a WiFi repeater. This is kind of a bummer because it introduced another penetration into the exterior of the house but not having internet out there is a far worse result for us.
The coming week should be eventful if all goes to plan (ha!). The construction team will be back and working on the white cedar walkway between the garage and the main house, stair fabrication, trim, and maybe some wood staining. The ash floor should get sanded and finished. The concrete team should be onsite if the weather cooperates to do the south side porch and patio. The painting team will do ceilings and high areas. The drywall tapers should finish their touch-ups. The tilers are supposedly getting the tile in on Monday so they can finish the bathrooms. If all of these things happen, we will definitely feel like strides have been made towards a move-in date. We’ll see what actually happens.
We also went to Champlain Valley Equipment to see our new tractor, a Kubota L3901. It has a snowthrower and front end loader on it (with quick attach), a hydrostatic transmission, welded loop on the bucket for pulling cars out of the ditch during icy days, engine block heater, third function, weighted R14 tires and chains. It should be great for snow plowing as well as working in the woods and hauling wood piles around. It should be delivered to the property next week and I can’t wait. We originally wanted to wait until there was room in the garage but, since things are getting delayed and we have jobs we need to do with the tractor before fall weather arrives, we decided to just keep it outside and use it as soon as possible. I have those logs to process in order to clear that section of the property and hauling them with the tractor will make that whole job so much easier.