House Week 14 & 15: How can people charge so much and do so little?

Thank you to everyone for checking in to make sure that i’m not dead or in jail.  After the last month of crazy house drama i’m pretty impressed i can say no to both of those.  I have limited the drama in the previous posts, but for an update for the weeks 14 & 25 of the Jones Evolution project there is nothing but scenes reminiscent of Days of Lives if they ever produced a construction special…

I was finally coming to terms with the fact that my contractor was an idiot and was not coming back to the job site.  Yep, he just walked away and didn’t even turn back to ask for his final check.  This is just dumb as he can lose his contractors license for abandoning a job site when we probably had another 2 weeks of work left and then he would have been done.  Oh well right?  Move on to bigger and more trust worthy people.

Queue the enlisting the help of a general repair man that has been working with my father on his house in So Cal laying floors, installing windows, etc for years.  We all decided to bring him and a another gentleman up north for a couple of weeks to get things finished up where the contractor left off.  This was the perfect solution as we knew we could trust him as he has worked for my dad for years!

Damn were we wrong.  First he lied to us about what the inspectors and previous job workers had said while on the site starting email chains and awuful confrontations with everyone involved trying to find the truth.  Second he refused to shop at local stores where we are currently receiving volume discounts since we are basically rebuilding my house and would only shop at a home improvement store that has home in the title leading to large amount of wasted money going to big businesses that won’t even take all the crap he bought back so i’m stuck trying to find a use for things like $500 worth of extra plumbing supplies that were purchased for absolutely no reason. Third he was slow, beyond slow, snails move faster than this guy when we weren’t watching him.

Final straw was when he decided to walk off the job site with only a “i’m going home” to my mother on the way out Saturday morning.  Blessing in disguise as now we didn’t have to fire him, lame because the guy is a 60 year old child that walked away because when he told me to do something i said that i thought something else needed to be done first so i was going to check with my dad to confirm.  Why is it that so many contractors and guys in the construction business have such a hard time working with women?  Lame!

Well we did finally get passed a couple of inspections regarding the electrical and plumbing that is under the floor so week 16 will have pictures and progress!!!  The moral of all of this seems to be turning out to be something that all of those years watching the X-Files i should know by now … “Trust No One”.  A fantastic discovery that I can in fact run wiring, install insulation, lay plywood sub floors, read building plans, and so much more.  AND that my family and friends and beyond awesome, thank you everyone for all of the support keeping me going and hard work getting me there!


Week 16 soon, just need to get some pictures of my sea foam green floor insulation, and my FLOOR!!!

House Week 13: Wrapping it Up and Creative ways to use a Saw

Last week marked a very important milestone for the house progress ... the Tyvek wrapping!  The wrapping will now hold us accountable as it has a "cover me up by" date.  Essentially the home wrap cannot be exposed to the elements of the weather for more then 3 weeks before being covered and getting onto it's main job of keeping moisture out of the house.  The timeline should help keep us on it and aware of any further delays ... i may move in before Halloween!!!

Front   |    Back

Unfortunately the weekend also was the bearer of some bad news, the large window that weighs TONS arrived damaged.  And i'm not talking a scratch, i'm talking about bubbles in between the two layers of glass where it looks like the film between the windows kind of melted.  Crazy/scary stuff.  At least we are on the road to recovery.  This is the second time i've had to send this window back to Lowe's due to damage.  Well i have a very small moment on the phone with a sweet woman and now Lowe's is going to re-order and install the window themselves.  The window being damaged is annoying.  The fact that they are going to completely take care of them doing this is AWESOME!!!  I am beyond tired of the rude delivery guys from the third party delivery company and the ridiculously damaged windows that keep getting shipped, thus the awesom~ness of having this not on my to do list anymore.

We did make a lot of progress on my Dad's excuse to have purchased a bunch of fancy tools = the original front windows from 1921.  Some background about the windows...  The original windows for the home were in two different locations.  The first was at the front of the house in the south wall of the Living Room.  These windows were well protected as someone had enclosed the porch a bunch of years back essentially placing the windows inside the home.  The second location was the discovery after i bought the home that underneath was a treasure trove of fun-tastic things, which just happened to include 4 additional original windows that we decided to re-install at the front of the house to give the home a real 1921 feel.

The original plan was to take the existing window frame to a woodworker and have a new one built.  Well that didn't last long as it was a super enticing project for my father.  He decided to take it on and 3 full days later we had most of the pieces ready to be assembled.  To get this far we used a radial saw with a homemade wooden guide to help shape the sides and tons of different router bits at different base angles to get the rain splash angle of the sil perfect.  While dad toiled away on the window mom and i went to work on the trim that goes around all of the windows around all of the windows.  We cut it square using a "plane-er" (not sure of the spelling) and the router to give a nice suttle edge to the trim.

The original living room windows in their frame

Wk 13: Original Front of House windows from 1921

Working on the trim for the new window frame | Working on the trim that will go around each of the windows with Mom

Wk 13: THe beginnings of the NEW frame for the 2nd set of OG windows @ front of house    Wk 13: Mom helping with the wood trim for around the new windows

Also we are nearly finished with the electrical, plumbing, and gas renovations to the house.  Unfortunately we did not pass all of the inspections on the first go-round, but we did learn a few things and now are done with the updates and awaiting the 8 inspections to move us along to the next phase.  The electrical is a bit more complicated based on the preferences within the City of Berkeley.  Below are good and bad pictures to show you just how crazy some of these inspections truly are.

Fail Inspection | Pass Inspection

Wk 13: Bad wiring that could spark and kill me (according to the inspector)   Wk 13: Good wiring that will allow me to live happily ever after (as per inspec-TOR)