Saturday, April 28, 2007

Time to Wait and Other Updaits

Well, after getting to the garage this morning and looking at the cork with Otto (the site supervisor who I'd hired to help me on the side), we decided that it makes the most sense to wait until I can talk to them on Monday. Otto said he could help after work if he had a quick break, so it wouldn't mean a full week's delay. He also pointed out that not only are the two types of cork incompatible because they have different tongue and grooves, but they also are different sizes! Strangely, the boxes with the Stone cork in it say "910mm x 300mm" printed on the side, but the sticker which the company I bought it off of has on it says "900mm x 298mm" (the same dimensions listed on the Night cork)! Anyways, we'll see what the cork people have to say about it.

A few things that I haven't blogged about yet:

I showed up Monday night to paint the first floor and discovered the steel beams this "lovely" shade of red:

They were supposed to be the same red as the siding, but there was some miscommunication and they were painted this bright red instead. It turned out they were planning on doing multiple coats, so it was fixed easily. The contractors got a new red mixed together, and it looks much, much better:

(the hook is still the other red)

Finishing of the patio area was begun as well. The back area had been cleared out, dug up, and gravel was poured. This was from when just the gravel was in, but now there are paver stones covering the majority of the area.

There seems to have been a bit of a mix-up between my mom and the contractors regarding the elevation of this. My mom had meant to indicate that the part now underground which was dug out and filled with gravel be sloped towards the house, but the contractors (and me too) interpreted what she said to mean that the ground level elevation of the gravel and paver stones be sloped towards the house. This may cause a problem with drainage and water run off in the future... but hopefully it doesn't because it looks really nice and I'd hate to have to lift large concrete slabs by myself and level out the gravel!

Lots of the lights have been installed and look really good. We're going to have to do some tweaking of the track lighting because some of the, just the kitchen ones just don't give off enough light.

I'm Pissed

This cork floor's been nothing but hassle.

I was planning on doing this:

I was told they should, but the tongue and groove on the two types of correct cork don't fit together.
-this means I can't do a pattern like I'd wanted, and I don't have enough cork to do the entire floor in one color type either
-I won't get to use the night cork, which I liked the most
-my plan is to put the one cork down that I have the most of in the living room/kitchen and hope that they have more of this type left so that I can finish my room with it

Despite the fact that I feel like they should, I don't really see any chance of the company that sold me this paying $550 to ship it back to them, then give me the newer, almost identical new cork (which costs more) and paying $550 to ship that back. I don't see any other way that this could be "made right". I don't want to cut the tongue and groove off, because then the edges of the cork would not be solid all the way through to the ground and could break or dent when weight's applied to it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Houselog Shout-Outs

After being informed by a friend tonight that he was a loyal reader of my blog, I realized I need to send out a few shout outs to the people that read and comment on this houselog:

Tony - You closet houselog reader, you.

Ash - In it to win it.

Tara - "I feel like I talk to you all the time because of your blog."

Maranda - Oh so stealth with the M-Dahtness.

Oka - The cork's going in soon... I can't wait!

Frankie - This is the cause for me not visiting this spring :P

Oh yeah, and if you're a steady reader and I forgot to mention you, make sure to leave a comment yelling at me!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Score one for my property value

Yesterday as I was taking care of a couple things at the garage, I saw a couple guys coming out of the abandoned police station/fire station across the street. One guy was in a suit, the other in casual business clothes. I asked them what they were doing and got to talking.... to find out they just entered into a sales agreement on it!

Unfortunately, they plan on tearing it down most likely (which is too bad, cause it's a really cool building), but anything being done with it other than crappy low budget college housing will increase the property of my house significantly. It will probably mean 6-12 months of my sleep being disturbed here and there, but I think I can deal with it.

They said they plan on either putting town houses or condos in... hopefully they do townhouses, because that would mean not quite as many people in and out of my tiny alley. Either way though, I'm quite happy about that, and feel significantly more secure in my investment now.

Friday, April 20, 2007

When you need it hyphy, I take it to the Bay (Siding)

Just a quick update here, cause I wanted to post a picture of the wood siding on the small bay. It looks sweeeeeeeeet. I'm very happy with both the color and the proportions of it. Can't wait to see the bigger bay on the left.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Paintful Weekend

(forgive the bad title pun... I couldn't resist)

This weekend sure was tough, but fun in the end. Friday night I stayed home so I could wake up at 9am and begin painting the main living areas. I met my mom down to the garage around 9:30 where we started taping off/covering the doors, tubs, etc. It took a little while to get things going, but once we did, we made some good progress. Matt, Nisan, and Brandon were some of the first helpers. Later Ash, Joe, Brian, Geoff, and probably somebody else that I can't recall just right now came and helped put the primer on. The primer was fairly sloppy... and as a result, by the end of the day I was covered in white paint.

Here's a little video of the paint being poured:

And here's Nisan rolling the first paint:

After a lot of people left, I was getting ready to pack things up around 6:30/7 when I got a second wind. Geoff and Ike Jones came to help more, so I just kept goin.

Around 9 it was time to call it quits. I warshed ahht the rollers n'at and headed home for a shower and to chill for a second. Geoff then came and got me and we went to Flux, and then to the Beehive for after hours. I walked home (a mile up the hill), slept for 6 hours, then woke up for more painting today! Weeeeeee!

Today was extremely productive though. The real paint goes on a lot thicker and is a lot stickier, hence it doesn't splatter all over the place like the primer. We allllmost got 2 coats done today, thanks to a lot of hard work from Zack, Brandon, Nick, Molly, Andy, Ger, Emily, my Mom and Dad, and about 15 minutes from Dave.

The biggest thing is for us to get the upstairs painted so that the tile in the bathroom can go in, and then the cork flooring this upcoming weekend. As far as painting the rest of the place... it's going to take a while! The inside downstairs area isn't so bad, but the drywall on the garage
walls and cieling is going to be a serious undertaking... not entirely sure how that's gonna work :P

Ok, time for bed now.

Friday, April 13, 2007

This Flooring Decision's Driving Me Insane!

Man.... I think this decision on the flooring is even more difficult than the siding decision... a close second, if not.

There's only 126 sf of one of the two corks I wanted to get that were on special discount, and of course it's the one that I like more. The discount cork doesn't fit with the non-discount cork because they have slightly new tongue and groove patterns, so I either have to go all new or all old, creating about a $900 price difference. I tried for hours and hours to come up with a pattern using just 126 sf of the one type of discount cork, but it really just isn't enough to make it look good...

and I need to make a decision TODAY.

To top this all off, it looks like the discount which I thought I was going to be able to get is not going to happen for reasons I'd rather not get into.


Sunday, April 8, 2007

Siding in the rear

I couldn't get a photo of the back as I'd have liked to, so I took a video
instead. I think it gives a better impression of what it looks like.

There will be a set of spiral stairs going to the single door on the left, and the sliding glass doors on the right will have a fence/railing in front of the bottom half of it flush with the wall. At a later point I could put a balcony on it, but I can't really afford that and am not sure I want one anyways.

Here ya go:

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Quick Walkthrough

Yeah, this video kinda sucks, and I even had to put it on photobucket instead of youtube, cause youtube's down, but I didn't take any pictures today and wanted to post something, so here ya go:

I found out today that the upstairs and most likely the downstairs will be ready for painting this weekend. Let the begging for help resume!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Costs and "Thoughsts"

(yeah, I just post Thoughsts cause it rhymed)

I'm getting to a couple key junctures in the project now:
-the point now when I'm going to have to start doing some of the work finish work myself
-the point when I have to make some decisions I've been putting off for a while.

Sometime next week it's going to be painting time. Previously I was thinking, "Painting's really not gonna be so tough." Then I was in the garage on the first floor a few weeks ago and looked up at the 12 foot cielings, with bulkheads and other things jutting out of it around the metal beams and decided it might not exactly be a "cakewalk":

Luckily a lot of people have been awesome enough to offer to help me, so I think the painting should end up being alright. Enough people have said they'd help that people don't have to spend the whole day helping me or anything to get it done. A few hours from each person will be great though.

After the painting gets done then comes the flooring. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before on here, but my plan is to install a floating cork floor with the help of my mom and somebody else. This somebody else I hope to either have be a friend who has installed hardwood floors before, or maybe the overseer at the site, Otto. I'm going to use two types of cork: a darker cork in the livingroom and bedroom areas, and a lighter cork in the kitchen. The cork comes in 1'x3' tiles that snap together sort of like those crappy fake food pergo floors do. The tiles have a cork layer on the top that's somewhere between a 1/4" and a 1/8", then the loocking material which lets you snap the tiles together, and then another 1/4"-1/8" layer of cork underneith. They're supposed to provide very good insulation and warmth to the feet, which will be great to have considering that the garage underneith isn't heated for the most part.

Here is one of the layouts I'm considering:

I need to make the decision on exactly how many square feet of the cork to get very soon because it needs to be ordered.

Hopefully the following problem is done with, but I was having some issue before with water seeping into the windows along the side of the first floor. We saw as the drywall was being put in that this was leaking rain water, and I saw once again when the drywall was in that it was still leaking. For a while the contractors couldn't figure out what it was, but as it turns out, we think it was a combination of:
-pieces of the house wrap (basically a raincoat for the house) overlapping in a way such that water could fall between them and get channelled into the wall
-the siding and flashing not being installed yet.

Here's a pic of the damaged drywall I took just in case the issue cropped up again:

There are tons of lights I need to buy still... and I have to try and figure out how to do that in a way that's financially reasonable.

But for now, it's tme for sleep.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Spatula City!

The last few weekends my mom and I have gone out looking at kitchen appliances. This has not been a very productive process, nor a particular uplifting one. I say that because this is yet another area where you can spend $200 on an appliance and get something you'd see in a college apartment, or you can spend $5,000 and get something you'd see in a fancy house magazine. I hadn't budgeted/planned for the very bottom of the line models, but really can't afford all that much higher either.

After spending a lot of time at, and getting quotes from two different appliance stores and doing lots of online research I'd narrowed it down to either getting all GE appliances or getting a GE fridge and everything else from Frigidaire (many of the manufacturers have mail-in rebates if you purchase multiple things from them). The Frigidaire option was going to be around $2600 and the GE option was going to be around $3500. Neither of them were exactly what I wanted and neither had any options that were all that great. The GE models looked a little nicer than the Figidaire, but the difference was fairly small. I really wasn't particularly excited about either package and had kind of become indifferent on the whole issue so was leaning towards just going with the Frigidaire to save money.......

Then this morning my mom, Molly, and I went to the "Sears Scratch and Dent" warehouse. As the name implies, this is where you can buy appliances and other things from Sears that customers returned because of cosmetic defects or that showed up at Sears with
cosmetic defects or sometimes even that are just discontinued. I was a bit skeptical about getting something from this place, but when I walked in the room and saw the number of appliances they had, I began to think differently... and sure enough, after spending only an hour there I walked out of there with all my appliances purchased and excited about the kitchen again!

Here's the run-down of what I chose:

Dishwasher - Fisher & Paykel Dish Drawer 603
It's hard for me to get excited about a dishwasher, but this one proved me wrong. It's basically two separate dishwashers on top of each other. Each drawer slides out and has stainless steel interior, is very quiet and the two drawers can be run independently to save energy/water and so you can put heavily soiled dishes in one and lightly soiled dishes in the other. Awesome.
(I'm getting it in black though)

Range - Kenmore Elite 36723
This was probably the best deal I got, snagging it up for 50% of what it normally sells for. It has convection, warming drawer, continuous grills, glass top, and a long burner on the left. It's what's called a slide-in range, which means it lays slightly over top of the counter top and there is no backsplash control panel area (the controls and display are on the front instead). Because of those two things it gives it a much more built-in, clean look. The reason it was in the scratch and dent warehouse was so minor too: the finish was chipped in a couple places on the vent cover, which is in the middle-back of the top surface, under the middle grill. I'm sure a replacement could be acquired for pretty cheap, but honestly it's so minor I don't know if I'll even try.
Fridge - Kenmore Elite 77249
This was exactly what I was looking for in a fridge: black non-textured finish, water dispenser, ice maker, bottom freeze drawer, and french fridge doors. This was another great deal, getting 40% off the retail price. This has the most damage of any of the things I got, with a dent on each side about 4 inches above the water dispenser, and a small one on the lower right edge of the freezer drawer. Molly astutely pointed out that magnets would cover the two top dents very easily, and the bottom one, really isn't very noticable.

Microwave - Kenmore Elite 80829
There's not so much that I was looking for in a microwave, but this has even more than that. It can cook with convection heating, microwave, or both and has an easy to clean stainless steel interior (I still don't understand how they do that... what happened to not being able to put metal in the microwave??). The convection option allows you to cook as if it was a stove and from what I read in this article, it works pretty well!

(I got it in black instead of the stainless though)

I need to get to bed, but a quick update on the rest of the place is that things are coming along nicely, with the drywall all in place and the siding going up very quickly. Looks like the big portions that I'm going to be doing (the painting and flooring) are going to begin next week, and completion is looking to be around the end of the month/early May (just in time for my b-day).