Like deja vu all over again

It feels odd to write this because I’ve been in this exact position before only to have it unexpectedly snatched from me but I like to think that I am not a superstitious person so here goes…. It’s nearly done!

I know, the last time I wrote it was all “woe is me” and “nothing is happening,” etc.  – that was then, today is a whole new story.

Perhaps dealing with contractors is a bit like being an addict or alcoholic…you have to hit bottom before things can get better.  When I last wrote, I had reached a really low point.  I was desperate.  I didn’t just whine on-line, I called, texted and emailed.  I reached out to everyone I’d ever been in touch with through the full experience of the fire, the demo and the rebuild and pleaded with them to talk to my contractor to get the job back on track.  I am not good at asking for help.  I am good at suffering in silence and convincing myself that I it’s up to me to figure out a way.  Feeling helpless and ineffectual was a new and uncomfortable experience for me.  The lesson to take away?  The squeaky wheel gets the grease? Ask and you shall receive?

Finally work started in earnest.  First step, I copied all the people I’d reached out to on an email I sent to my contractor that consisted of a list of thirty questions, the first being: When will the job be done?  Lo and behold he responded with a promise to respond by the next morning.  He didn’t quite make my idea of morning – 10pm the following night – but he did respond! And he’s been adhering to the dates he provided (so far).

In the past weeks the house was stuccoed, the wood floors were installed, the kitchen cabinets arrived, the crown and base moulding was installed, the interior painted, the deck built and the bathrooms tiled!  All that remains is to have the bathroom vanities and toilets installed and plumbed, the kitchen island to be installed, the lights and fans to be installed (and purchased  – that’s my job this weekend) and small touches like light switches and outlets finished.

I’m planning to move back in just three weeks from now!  I finally believe the light at the end of the tunnel is indeed that, not the on-coming freight train about to crush me!

I’m headed there later today to check out progress.  Fingers crossed that things have not installed.

Here are a some work in progress shots – where we were 8 weeks ago, 4 weeks ago and last week:

DSC02762     IMG_1874      IMG_1936

DSC02763    IMG_1863   IMG_1944





Post 365 Days – Week 43 – Can we talk?

The demolition work progresses!  This week’s challenge has been in getting people to call me back and to talk to each other.

The window company somehow can’t grasp the concept of voicemail.  Voicemail, as I hope most people know, is not just for leaving proof that you called but for sharing information.  The messages I get consist of “call us back.”  When, after four attempts, I do finally connect I’m told “your windows are in and can be delivered either Tuesday or Wednesday.”  If they’d left that info on my VM, I would have had a chance to talk to the contractor and confirm which date worked best, instead I have to make two more calls.

I’ve been playing middleman between the contractor and the cabinet company because, despite my giving them each other’s phone numbers, there is a reluctance to speak that I don’t get.  It took me conferencing them in to finally get them to talk! In just fifteen minutes schedules and strategies were established, easy!

My contractor found a way for me to gain six inches in my bedroom with an inch here and an inch there that could be shaved off of allowances my kitchen designer had put into the plans. Unfortunately he found them about six months too late as all the cabinets, vanities etc. have already been ordered based on those plans.  It wasn’t as if he didn’t have those plans six months ago before I’d placed the order but it’s obvious that until the work has really begun, the GC doesn’t truly examine the plans – except (hopefully) to develop the bid.  Silly me, I thought he would have offered his suggestions before demolition had started.  Oh well.

Next week electric and plumbing do their thing, old floors come up and new ones are laid.

Here are some more before and after pictures for your enjoyment…