Plodding Along

The past week was mostly plodding towards the goal of a finished house. It is hard to capture things like new coats of paint and wiring and ducting changes in photos so this week won’t have much in the way of visuals.

The doors are still proving to be an issue due to the moisture. One or two are now closing but others are still having issues with expansion. Our builder has two dehumidifiers running 24/7 and the Zehnder is running as well, helping to keep the air moving. We are going to keep an eye on it and keep things running with the hope that the doors fit over the next few weeks without intervention. The doors are expected to continue to shrink over time but right now we want them to fit so we need to work to that end.

The solar install began as expected this week and we lucked out with rain which mostly happened after hours and overnight. This week’s activities were installing clips, attaching tracks to the clips and installing wiring harnesses in preparation for the installation of the panels. We suspect they will finish next week but we ran into a problem…

When we were planning the project we were working on a fixed-bid basis. This involved our builder getting hard designs and quotes from vendors who then committed to certain things like their design and materials for the project. The solar installers gave us an estimate, a plan and a detailed list of hardware that we approved. The issue comes from the fact that their main project manager and designer never came on site to finalize and verify their needs, despite being asked to do so for months. Our builder asked specifically if there were things they should install ahead of time when either pouring the slab or running conduits and ducts throughout the house but they got no response. The design was signed off on and now many months have passed.

The problem results in the fact that the installers are saying that there isn’t an adequate way to run emergency shut-off wiring to the exterior of the house for fire and emergency code purposes. They were devising a plan to punch through the exterior of the house, through the siding, running metal conduit down the walls of the breezeway and into the garage and then out of the garage to an exterior wall on the north side of the structure.

We weren’t sure what the scope of possibilities were for a solution but our builder dutifully made us the bad guy and insisted that the owners were very upset with the solution proffered by the solar installers and they had to find a way that didn’t involve running messy conduits on the meticulously clean exterior walls of the nearly-finished house. The main reason he was so insistent was because he badgered their project manager and designer (who lives in Stowe!) if they had everything they need to install and he never got back to us so now the solution to provide a clean install is on them. At this point it looks like they may have to go through the lower wall area of the mechanical room into the breezeway under the walkway and into the garage through the wall space. That would keep it hidden from view until it eventually emerges from the north wall of the garage. It will not be easy but they kind of did this to themselves and we aren’t paying for it.

We were worried that the new sofa we ordered from California was going to arrive this week so I contacted them to ask for a date of delivery. This sofa was ordered in early June because, at the time, they were running at a 12 week shipping delay. That was going to put the delivery right in the first week of September which would work out since we’d already be in the house. Fast forward to today and we won’t have a house to move into for three more weeks so it was going to be a problem, albeit a minor one. The response from the sofa manufacturer was either good news or bad news depending on who you ask since they said that the sofa isn’t even arriving to their warehouse until the third week of October. From there, it requires a full inspection and they have to remediate any issues they find and then they ship it so we’re looking at November at this point.

The library sofa which we ordered is now slated for November so the only sofa that we will have in the house will be the extra room sofa. Not ideal.

On Monday the appliances arrive at the house. The appliance supplier will install the washer and drier and the builders are fitting the dishwasher, refridgerator, stove and ductwork.

We also anticipate that our summer porch table will arrive sometime next week. We have the chairs for that in the garage but we need to buy a sisel rug so that the furniture doesn’t mess up the cedar or the new finish they put on it. The shame is that the “summer porch” is going to be “fall porch” before we can use it.

Then on the 23rd, we should get the countertops and that should start a cascade of activity. Hopefully the electrical work will be done by then. Time will tell.

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