Some Happenings This Week

This week reversed or resolved some of the crises we had last week but some of the more difficult ones persist. Overall the week saw some forward progress but the project manager in me really hates to see some of the gaps in the process.

The door jambs that were bothering us were also bothering the builder and the architect so they started with a fix. They are using Bondo to fill in the slight gaps and bring everything to a level where we can paint it and make the door jambs very clean. The process is yielding good results so far. They are also installing all of the baseboards all around the house which is making things look more complete.

The drywall issues which were so persistent and problematic were resolved in two ways this week. First, the drywall foreman came by and saw some of the more glaring problems. He can work that out with the builder. All that matters to us is that the painter, our hero, is very good at drywall mudding and he took it upon himself to finish out the little scratches, unsanded areas, gaps, “shotgun blasts” (bubbles) and other flaws we found. He went through with his Festool light and marked each with a pencil mark or blue tape and then methodically fixed each one, then they primed them and applied first coats on all of the rooms upstairs and most of the downstairs.

The painter also had some creative ideas to create clean, crisp lines where wood meets plaster along the top edges of the ceiling and the windows. Those areas are getting better and better. He also painted the pillars between windows in the corners of the office, bedroom and H’s room so that they more-or-less disappear. It was a detail our designer pointed out and, as usual, she was right. He also painted the window sills out the porch sides of the house which make them recede and turn the focus back on the black aluminum and shousugiban wood.

There was still no sign of bathroom tile, no sign of concrete, no sign of landscapers (which have to wait until concrete is poured anyway). No fix for the sliding door lock or front door trim insulation. An email from an experienced friend who reads the blog warned that we should get any door hardware or sink/bathroom hardware ASAP due to shortages and there’s no sign of those things either. They said they were going to work on ordering those things but who knows how that will work out. We’ll find out this week.

We approved a change order to add another patio on the north side to echo the one on the south side of the house. It will also serve as a drip edge and entry into a outdoor cooking area which we may build down the road. I still want that pizza oven…

The huge unexpected expense I mentioned in the last post comes due in October so we have some time to plan for it and we will be in the house by then which means that other money-related surprises will have revealed themselves by then hopefully and we’ll have a complete picture of where we stand financially. It still sucks.

The breezeway is completely finished and looks great. They have covered it with scrap wood again so that it doesn’t get destroyed by dirty work boots.

The stair fabrication is complete. They need a sanding and the holes need to be patched but when they finish the floors upstairs they should do all of the stair details too. Floor finishing on the second floor might happen this week but I’m not holding my breath.

The big story of the week was the arrival of the first load of cabinetry from Stark Mountain. The truck was there when I got there on Monday and the unloading process had already started. The library shelves and the laundry/main closet shelves were all that was delivered this week but it is a step forward. It looked like a lot of things that needed to be put together but the team started right away.

The laundry room and main closet turned out great. The action of the drawers feels good and the drawer pulls are exactly what we wanted. The appliances are waiting for us at the distributor’s warehouse. They will be moved into the house near the end but the stacking washer and drier will be installed into the gap near the window. The shelves on either side will be for our clothes. Having all of our clothes and washing in one area will hopefully contain much of the chaos. Our last house saw us carrying clothes down three floors of steep stairs. It wasn’t fun.

The library assembly will be a Jenga puzzle of epic proportions. The shelves surround the room and fitting them all in safely will be a challenge but it looks like the team is up to it.

While all of this was going on, I was chainsawing and clearing the logs on the area next to our driveway. We want this area cleaned because we have some plans for planting fruiting trees in this area and we want to see how the sight lines from the road look. I got to use the new Stihl chainsaw and tractor for this project and it was exhausting work but I got it done. Henry had a good time climbing on the huge pile of wood I made. The next step is to borrow the log splitter from a neighbor and then stack the wood with the wood we had split last Spring.

We always seem to have dogs on the building site. Buck is a good boy.

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