Monday, October 17, 2011

Watch Your Step!

This was an interesting weekend for us.

Friday started off with a flurry of phone calls to all the nearest Lowe's in the area.  We had a major door debacle that needed some fixing.  Our contractor's plan for Friday was simple.  He was going to pick up the tub/shower surround and exterior door order that we placed several days ago; and then he'd meet the plumbers at the house after that.  This way, he could install the exterior doors and be on site while the plumbers started their work.  He knew he'd need to be there to clarify locations of fixtures and make sure things ran smoothly.

When he arrived at our house to unload everything he realized we had ordered the wrong doors.  Dang it!  I even double-checked the order with the hubs to see if we were getting the right doors.  Our contractor gave us the sizes of the front, back and garage exterior doors.  He also told us that all of the doors, when looking at them from the inside, should have the door knob on the left-hand side.  When I went to place the order online the description of the doors was from the outside, and it was called a right-hand door...so the hubs and I read that to mean that the doorknob was on the right-hand side.  We were way wrong.  I swear, the descriptions they create for doors are made purely for contractors who install doors on the regular; typical homeowners are left clueless, praying they made the right choice.

So thanks to our bonehead ordering, we threw our contractors plans off.  The worst part of the whole debacle was trying to find a Lowe's, somewhat near either our house, or our contractor's home, that carried all three doors we needed, in the right width, with the right swing side.  After lots of searching, the hubs was finally able to track down a store in Paterson that carried all three.  Crisis averted.  Unfortunately, since our contractor already had the plumbers at our house and the footing inspector was scheduled to show up in the afternoon, he wouldn't be able to find the time to leave and pick up the doors.  They would have to wait until Monday morning.

After work, the hubs and I made our normal trip to the house to check on the progress made.  To our pleasant surprise, we found that the plumbers were still there working.  They had gotten a lot accomplished throughout the day...ran a bunch of PVC pipes for the main bath drains and even replaced the entirely too old cast iron pipe that served as our main pipe to connect to the town's sewer system.

Plumbers starting to install the PVC drain pipes in the main bath.

Holes in the garage ceiling so the plumbers could run pipes.

New PVC system installed.

Pieces of our old cast iron system that was removed by the plumbers.

And more cast iron pipes that were removed.

Tubing in the garage to be run for the new water lines.

Our garage is completely packed full of tubs, shower surrounds, vanities, furniture and lawn equipment.

Unfortunately, they ran into a major road block...and it was right when the hubs and I showed up at the house.  The plumbers pulled up the master bath sub-floor in the area where the plumbing needs to be run for the dual vanity and toilet.  Sitting right in between the two joists they needed to plumb was a heating/cooling duct that ran the entire length of the house, front to back.  

Heating/cooling duct in the exact location that the plumbing needs to go for our master bathroom.

They asked us what we wanted them to do, and before we even made a phone call to our contractor...we pretty much knew the answer.  They needed to remove the entire duct so they could run the pipes from the old master bath/now new main bath to the new master bath.  We called our contractor and he confirmed.  We are so nervous to see how much this road block is going to cost us, but of course, there is no way to get around it.  It had to be done.  It's just one of the surprises that comes along with renovating!

And to make that conversation with the plumbers even more awkward, while our plumber was lifting the sub-floor to show us the duct work, he managed to lose his balance and put his entire foot through the garage ceiling.  

Hole in the garage ceiling from the plumber slipping off the joists.

He is lucky the garage door was up and caught his weight as he went through the ceiling...otherwise he may have gone straight down and really hurt himself.  Didn't he ever learn to watch his step as he straddles a bunch of floor joists?!?!

Saturday we spent a great day with our family on the hub's side. We even took them to our house to show them our work in progress.  The plumbers had been there working on Saturday too.  We were happy to see that vents in the main bath were installed and all the PVC seemed to have been installed throughout the main and master baths.  

Main bath plumbing.

Main bath venting.

Main bath plumbing.

We also noticed something that we had completely missed during our visit on Friday.  Our contractor built the bar-height half-wall that we are putting our island against; and he also installed the engineered post that will serve as the support for all the missing walls.  Do not ask how we missed this the day before.  I'm sure it had something to do with the fact that we were so focused on finding out what had been accomplished in our bathrooms.

Bar-height, half-wall for kitchen island area and supporting post.  (The thick post is the only one that will remain.)

Another view from the dining area.

View from the living room area (with the plumber's coat hanging off of it.)

View from the kitchen (with the plumber's coat hanging off it.)

The hubs went to the house on Sunday while I finished up the last of my baby shower preparations.  He texted me to let me know that the plumbers were at it again.  We were both so shocked!  I couldn't help but wonder if it had to do with the fact that they were supposed to show up Tuesday, and they never made it to our house until Friday.  Maybe our contractor said he needed certain things to be done by Monday, and to get it done however they could.  Either way, the hubs and I were beyond thrilled to see the plumbers hard at work all weekend.  (The hubs even treated the guys to some pizza on Sunday.)  Here is a picture the hubs snapped with his iPhone of the progress they made in the master bath.  He said it seemed like they had gotten all the PVC drain pipes and all the water lines in over the weekend.  Woohoooo!

Master bath plumbing.

Our contractor mentioned that they'd be making a big push this week to get a lot done.  The hubs took off from work so that he could be around the house for it.  I can't wait to see what gets done.  I'm thinking we can even make arrangements to have our HUD consultant come out to our house so we can get draw #2 in the works....even though we still haven't received our check from draw #1...grrrrr.  Talk about moving in slow motion to get these checks to the homeowners!

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