Monday, September 27, 2010


1. Came home from work to meet electrical inspector.  When I got there Jeff (Boisclair) and I tried to get the electrical main into the service box before the inspector got there.  The inspector pulled up after we have pulled the conduit out of the trench and were wrestling with the 5-point 3/4" bolts on the box cover (by the way, you can't buy a 5-point 3/4" socket, so I'm guessing National Grid doesn't want us tinkering around in there...). 

Inspector: I thought you were supposed to be done by Saturday.
Me: We ran into one little snag.
Inspector: Let me see if I have the socket you need

(digs through his car to try to help us open National Grid's box).

Me: Let's look up at the house end.

(He looks at the meter socket then in the basement at the panel.)

Inspector: Is your ID number the one Sue called in about?
Me: yeah...
Inspector: I'll call National Grid in the morning to come hook you up.

(Thank you Sue!)

2. Ran to Sears to buy the 5-point socket.  Not there.  Tried a 12-point metric mickey mouse job.  No good.  Jeff will try tomorrow (hopefully BEFORE national grid shows up to hook things up).

3.  Upon return from Sears, Steve is there and shows me how to wire a room and lets me borrow right angle drill.  (Thank you Steve.)

4.  Dad shows up at dark and helps me string up temp lights, build shower wall and curb, and clean up basement in preparation for plumbers starting tomorrow. (Thank you dad.)  I built the shower the wrong size, but it may work.  I'll see tomorrow when I'm not too tired to think.

5. Stone yard delivery truck broke down and couldn't deliver the wood stove and chimney stone today as planned.  Had to call Mason back (who finally got back from his week "vacation"... "other job"?) to tell him that he may not be able to start tomorrow.  Masonry is turning into the biggest headache.

6. Siding is in and ready to be delivered.  Scheduled that for Wednesday, but may postpone till later in the week due to weather.

7. Finished last three sections and final paper for the course I "started" in May and is due in 2 days.  Submitted that, so now it's of my plate.

8.  Meeting with the financial adviser for the first time since we started this whole crazy process tomorrow.  Can't wait to see what he has to say.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sewage, Landscaping, and Electricity

Lots of developments:
  1. Picked up the "poop pump" on Wednesday.
  2. Jeff and Tom knocked down the dirt piles, graded the yard, connected the sewer line, and started digging the utility trenches.
  3. The roof is shingled.
  4. Plumbing fixtures have been picked out.  I need to pick up the valves tomorrow to give to the plumber on Saturday when we meet to go over the locations of the fixtures.
  5. Joe is coming Saturday to level the low spots in the floor/beams.  If the doors are in we may install a few as well.
  6. Steve came over tonight to measure up for the electrical service.  Shopping trip to the HD tomorrow.  6AM Saturday we run the service line.  He also managed to fix my generator in about 30 seconds while he was there.
  7. Things to do tomorrow: make sure trench gets dug so I can run the electric line Saturday, call the electric inspector to come on Monday, pick up the shower/tub valves for the plumber, buy the electric service supplies, make a few changes to the grading in the back yard, call Maki to see if the doors are ready for delivery, call Chace to check on siding delivery, finish milling the trim that I was just starting tonight when the generator ran out of gas - I can't wait to have real electricity!
More pictures by the end of the weekend I hope.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Busy Weekend

Besides the pictures below -
The roof will be shingled by tomorrow (Dick Prefontaine works Saturdays AND Sundays.  I love it!)
Finished grading should start tomorrow and utility trenches in by the end of the week.
Plumber should be starting mid week.
I'm sure there's other stuff I can't remember right now.

The windows are in.
The mason is through the roof.
My poor car.
One post is up at least.
One window trimmed out.
My mill shop.
What happens when you make 7 cuts on 100 pieces of PVC trim.  The "saw dust" filled a large trash barrel (about 25 shovels full cleaning it up).
The mass-produced window trim pieces.  Now I just have to put them together and put them on the house and fill the nail hoes and paint them.  THEN I can start the siding.
I see the light!  Amy is so excited I can work at night now too.
So excited she fell asleep on the lumber pile in the driveway.  Or is this yoga?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Major Cleanup

No pictures this time. 

Lots of balls in the air currently. 

This week:
  1. I spent Sunday uninstalling and reinstalling the windows that weren't in correctly.  The french door still needs to be removed and redone.  Ugh.
  2. The framers finished up their details. We still have to fix the mysterious 3/4" sag in the center of the house.  But otherwise mostly done.
  3. The roofers started, and should be done tomorrow or Monday.  But, one fell off a ladder and might have broken his foot yesterday, so they're slowed down a little.
  4. I met with the mason finally.  We talked over the veneers and made our decisions.  But now he's on vacation for the next week....
  5. The masonry decisions were not easy.  Any and I went over the house last night just as it was getting dark and were trying to measure and lay out the fireplace and wood stove in the dark.  After a minor "disagreement" and then moving the car so the headlights were shining through the studs we were able make our decisions.  We also had a "disagreement" over the placement and swing of the upstairs bathroom door.  To be continued...
  6. After a minor panic because our plumber walked off the job (before he really started) last week, we lined up a new guy.  It would have been done by now.  As it is, the rough plumbing will be starting later next week (which means I need to drive to Rockland to buy the sewer ejector pump before then).
  7. I started talking to Mass Energy Star New Homes raters.  It turns out you can have your house tested and if it passes their standards (15% better than code) you can get $$ from the Energy Star program.  The inspections are free and they will provide CFLs for the entire house for free as well.  Cool!
  8. Met with a garage door guy.  Will order those on Monday.
  9. Need to pick up lacquer samples from Nal's to give to Dean to test on our new cabinet doors before we make the final decision on color.
  10. Spent the day on the phone with the lumber yard trying to figure out how to do a "historic sill" in PVC for the exterior window moulding.  The pre-milled version is wicked expensive.  Luckily, I ran across a youtube video of Tom from This Old House making his own.  Now I have an excuse to buy a table saw and mill my own.
  11. I met with Jeff to go over the grading and utility trenches.  That will start Monday. 
  12. Amy and I spent the afternoon cleaning up the trash piles in preparation for the grading to be done.
  13. Exterior trim will be delivered tomorrow.  Time to get my mill shop set up in the garage and start building stuff!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Speed Bumps

The standard refrain from The Money Pit, "Two more weeks...," is starting to hit home:

The mason finally came and started the chimney/wood stove/fireplace.  However, he was delayed because of an elbow infection that put him in the hospital and has put in a total of 2 days work in the past 2 weeks.  Without the chimney through the second floor we can't frame in the bathroom upstairs.  Without the bathroom framed we can't locate the plumbing, without plumbing we can't do anything else inside.  And without the chimney through the roof, the roofing will get delayed as well.

Since our plumber is a pumpkin head like my brother the delay puts us too close to Halloween, so he's off the job.  The hunt for a new plumber begins tonight.

Called to order the siding today.  The color we want is a special order (but only in the size we want - 4" exposure) so we have to wait 3 weeks or that and will have to order extra since it only comes in full pallets.

Called to order exterior doors.  Also a special order.  Figures.

Called to order the sewer ejector pump today so it would be ready when the plumber does get going.  They won't be getting any in for a couple weeks.

Roofer, or materials, weren't there today.  Hopefully this week.

On a positive note- the framers have continued to be excellent.  Basement stairs went in.  Mud room was built.  Closets were framed in.  Mudroom doors and landings were built.  Exterior sheathing was completely nailed and taped.

The girls enjoying the newly framed mud room.
2 days of work: the chimney foundation was built, the fireplace and wood stove thimbles were built.  Since then, stalled.
Tub and shower delivered.
Rain.  We're not completely waterproof yet with the ridge vent open.  Need shingles soon.
Does whatever the older sister does... whether it makes sense or not.
The result of 5 unsupervised minutes in the back yard.