This covers this past Wednesday through Friday. The bold day number links to photos for the day.
Still on subtle setting. New wallboard is up on the front wall in the shower, and the board is also now down on the floor in the washer/dryer alcove, ready for tiling. The dust level in the master bedroom got untenable today; they hadn't put dust sheets over the bed, and there was so much stuff generated that patting the bed raised puffs of dust. I had to vacuum the bedspread! Sheesh.
They worked more on the entertainment cabinet, too. The inside side walls are up; they're pressed board with holes, allowing for massive adjustability in the shelving. They also added the wiring box for the light fixture they moved in the front hall. More walls mudded and sanded.
Today I came home to find two of the guys still working, even though I didn’t make it home until 19:00! They didn’t leave until 19:30, so my dinner and evening routine weren’t exactly what I had expected …
The guys finished taping and started patching in the stairwell around and beneath the new skylight. I found out that they’d held off on finishing that wall pending a flooding check to ensure that there were no roof leaks. This made for a funny phone call from Dave: “Uh, Mary? Your outside faucets don’t seem to work; is there something I should know?” I hadn’t turned them on this season because our spring had been so very wet, and we hadn’t gotten dry (and I mean bone-dry!) until this month. I told him where to find the valves underneath the kitchen sink. What made this very funny was that God decided to join in the fun, so it started to rain even as they were playing with the hose. The forecast had warned of chances of scattered, isolated showers and thunderstorms, and when I was driving home, there was a stretch where I was driving through pouring rain under brilliant sunshine. Go figure!
Anyway, they also got into painting. The second floor hall, guest bedroom, and library got second coats on the ceilings, and the guest bedroom got its first coat of the darker grey that’s supposed to go on all the walls except the powder room (that one’s moss green, to go with the exotic granite in there). The darker grey is a bit of a shock to my system after 28 years of nothing but off-white and pale sand! I think I like it, but I’m hesitating a bit. It’s elegant, and the subtle green undertone is appealing, but I think I need a little time to adjust to the darker, more close feel after the brightness of all that unrelieved white.
Paris and Dave both apologized profusely for the dust on the bed situation of the day before. This time, my master bedroom was festooned with protective plastic, which created its own problems; I had no internet connection when I came home because my modem had been knocked over by the tugging plastic and got turned off, and a couple of the connecting cables between the TiVo and the TV had been pulled a little loose, disrupting the connection. I got everything squared away in relatively short order, so I survived.
I couldn’t see what had been done in the master bath, because there was plastic taped up over the door and I wasn’t inclined to try squirming through it, especially since the door (which they’d taken off its hinges) was leaning up to provide part of the support for the plastic. Yipes!
It absolutely poured last night – rain we’ve sorely needed! --
Paris came over this morning to talk about schedule, tiling, and shower options. He’s pushing to have the bulk of the work done by the end of next week, although detail things will spill into the first week in August. He warned that this coming week will be hell because of all the stuff that’s going to be disrupted, but said that I hopefully should be able to kick back with a glass of wine next Friday evening – a week from today – and enjoy seeing most of my house looking like a house again.
On the bathroom tile, to give the shower alcove some character and variety, they won’t be doing just a straight tile laying. Instead, the bottom part of the vertical tile, from the shower receptor to about eye level, will be tiled in a brick pattern, with each row of tiles offset to the middle of the tiles below and above. (Hope that makes sense, because I don’t know how to draw it on computer!) At eye level, there will be a rounded strip of a different grey/white, smooth-polished stone or ceramic going all the way around the shower. Picture a cylinder that looks like marble with about a 1.5 inch diameter sliced in half lengthwise, coming in 12-inch long strips, and you’ll get the idea. This same rounded trim will be used to edge the shower all the way around the tiled area, since these tiles are flat and have no decorative edging of their own. It’s hard to describe adequately, and I don’t have pictures because I don’t have a piece of the trim to photograph, but I think it’s going to look subtle and pretty. Above the eye-level accent trim, the shower tiles will be laid in direct line with each other, rather than the brick-style offset used below the trim.
Paris is confident that a shower curtain will work just fine with the receptor, with the only issue being to use the right liner for it. I’m happy to go with a shower rod – it will be a curved one, like the ones in all the Hampton Inns – especially since the cost of frameless glass doors would be about $1,700 more!
Stuart came by to measure my kitchen counters and the powder room vanity for the granite, and we finalized the design of the added counter and the granite edging. I’m glad I’m still working with him, although in the capacity of my stone guy rather than my overall site manager! (He confirmed, by the way, that Paris and Alfredo had a falling out, which is what led to the little delay on my job while Paris pulled in Dave’s crew instead … he said he thought Alfredo was a good guy and what happened was unfortunate, and I agreed.) The granite will be cut early next week, and should be installed next week, too. Depending on what crew guys are available, I may lose my kitchen entirely tomorrow (well, the fridge would still be plugged in somewhere) so that they could tile the floor before the new appliances arrive on Monday, but I wasn’t planning on cooking anything anyway. *grin* Stuart and Paris want to get the kitchen back up and operational as soon as they can, so there will be a push on. Stuart told me today that I won’t have to move anything out of the cabinets, not even the ones under the counters. They’ll pull out the drawers, but the lower cabinets can stay undisturbed (well, until I have to wash everything in them once all the work is done, but hey …) Everything on top of the counters will need to go somewhere, but there’s not that much stuff.
Anyway, the new counter section will run three feet and six inches out beyond the current edge, with a four-inch rounded corner. That should give me space to put in two stools, one facing the wall and one at the far end of the counter facing back toward the stove and the arched entrance. The edge on the granite counters will be what’s known as a “triple pencil.” Imagine three pencils laid together, each partially on top of the one below, and you’ll get the picture. It defines a set of three stepped-down curves. On the wall next to the arch entrance and on the wall where the counter extends out from the cabinets, the full backsplash will be cut out in three larger curves to descend from the cabinet height down to the level of the countertop, echoing the triple-pencil edge. It’s going to be neat! The simple stainless steel sink will be mounted beneath the granite, and rather than going with a reveal, where the granite is cut back to display the steel of the sink edge (which would collect anything you brushed off the counter), the granite will slightly overhang the edge of the sink. The faucet will be a pretty simple brushed chrome arm similar to what I have now, but the front end on it will actually pull off to become a flexible spray.
In the powder room, the new granite will extend a little further out from the front wall than the current vanity does, so the side splash on the door side will come out far enough to comfortably encompass the two switches and the electrical outlet, and the edge will be a simple full bullnose, rounded on both top and bottom. (I’m using that same edge on the master bath granite.) The backsplash and side splashes will be 13 inches high, showing off the granite to best effect. The sink in the granite will be a simple white porcelain basin 14 inches by 17 inches. We haven’t picked the faucet yet.
The guys have continued painting upstairs, painting the hall walls the darker grey. (I really have to get used to that …) Paris observed that the master bath was ready for tiling, so now that the tile pattern has been approved, they might even paint in there and begin tiling. They’ve got a lot of patching to do in the master bedroom and closet before they can paint in there, so today is a patch and mud day up there.
I might report again when the day is over. For the time being, though, I’m simply hanging out in my nice comfy lounge chair on my neighbor’s back deck, with my laptop where its name implies, tapping into my wireless network. The sun is shining, the trees are nicely shading me, and it’s mostly peaceful. I’ll head off to find a very late lunch and early dinner soon, and then continue to hang out at Raja and Ana’s place until the guys knock off for the day. I might even get some creative writing done … finally!
Quickie little end-of-day update. First off, I won't have a crew in here tomorrow after all; other commitments are taking precedence. Monday is supposedly going to be first floor tiling day as well as the day the new appliances should arrive (although I haven't gotten a confirmation call about that ... must call Jose). Means they'll have to use a really quick-setting thin-set under the tile, so their tile laying crew will need at least two guys working together. Wednesday is supposed to be day one of laying hardwood. That means that Monday and Tuesday should also be painting downstairs days, and painting the master bedroom. Aarrrggh. (Why am I doing this, again? Oh, yeah -- pretty house, eventually ...)
By day's end today, Fred had painted the walls of the upstairs hallway, the guest bedroom, and the library. I'm starting to get used to them, but the hallway is so much darker than it used to be; that's the thing that's going to be hardest thing for me to adjust to, I think. We're currently planning to paint the doors and frames the same lighter grey as the ceilings. Josh's vision had been monochrome, with the doors blending in, but that would be too dark for me. The contrast is dramatic, but it helps to break up the darkness.
They also patched in the master bedroom, getting the ceiling as well as the walls and taping the bad corner in the closet. Somehow I can't really imagine them painting this place with me still in it. I think Paris was right when he said this next week will be bad, and I'm really not looking forward to it, except to look forward to it being over. Dave is trying to figure out how to juggle the furniture when it comes to laying floors, and I've got no answers for him. Everybody kept saying they could work with the stuff; now they're going to have to, because I can't arrange to have it anywhere else.
The guys also permanently attached the interior side walls of the entertainment cabinet, after making sure that the peg holes aligned so that the inside shelves would be straight. I think I'm going to have eight shelves in there, if I'm remembering right, so a fair amount of storage as well as places for all of my stereo and TV components. Also throughout the first floor, they put in the new clamshell baseboards. Dave reconsidered the bondo finish on the utility door, and decided to make it a clamshell as well.
In the master bath, they inserted insulation behind the shower receptor (no chilly butt in the winter!), and did more plumbing work beneath the shower working through the hole in the kitchen ceiling to eliminate a leak they'd had from the initial installation. The master bath is now ready to tile, as soon as the curved edging/accent pieces arrive.
My washer and dryer remain unconnected, so I'm going to have to take some laundry on the road this weekend. Ugh.I have to check my box to see if I have enough towels to not need to do those, at any rate. One dark load and one bedding and undies load should hopefully do it, if I don't need to do towels ...
My bedroom ceiling fan is working again, so better sleeping this weekend. Yay!
I'm planning to try for a lighter color on the master suite walls because the main grey would be too dark, given that the back of the house is shaded by the oak trees and doesn't get as much light as the front. I'm also planning to change the light fixtures in the upstairs hall to double the light, in order to make up for losing one light and now having dark walls. I picked up two more of the frosted, etched glass lights I bought for the front hall and the breakfast nook.
To be continued ...