Friday, August 15, 2008

Another progress report - the one where I really start to crack under the pressure

I haven't done a progress report lately because frankly, thinking about the house stresses me out, and it's starting to be the last thing I want to think about when I have a free minute. Things went from bad to worse today - lovely, huh? After all the kitchen drama, I stopped by the house last night and discovered that the trim carpenter had finished the wainscoting in the dining room, and I was thrilled. It looked gorgeous, and made the vexing effort of laying the whole pattern out in Photoshop so, so worth it. I'd say the carpenter nailed it, right?
Well, that was all fine and good, and it was such a happy surprise to see it up and looking so good that I was only mildly annoyed to be out there spray-painting where I want my front sidewalk to go when it was already well after dark. I hope they didn't take my wobbly lines too literally. (Actually, Chad dropped by today just as they were arriving to set the forms and he heard someone crack a joke about what overzealous idiot painted the lines on the ground to guide the way. Ummm... our builder told us to.)So at lunch today, Chad and I decided to drop by the house, because after two and a half weeks of delays and excuses, the cabinet guy said he would be 90% of the way done by day's end. I was also excited to show Chad the wainscoting. He thought it looked great too, but our happiness was short-lived when we met up with Cabinet Dude.

The mudroom cubbies weren't measured properly, and run smack into an outlet. It will have to be moved, at our cost.
He glazed the perimeter cabinets but didn't glaze the finish on the island.
The end panels we discussed weren't done, and he's acting like we never discussed them. (I was happy when Chad dug up some documentation at home tonight to prove that we had.)
This, of course, all comes after we had the issue with the glass door inserts and the plate rack cabinet and the finish on the visible cabinet interiors - argh, argh, argh. Also, the kitchen guy and his helpers put a couple small scratches and a dent in our floors. I had to get on my hands and knees to see them, but they are there. *sigh* (Actually, I am very pleased with how well the floors are holding up so far - there is a heck of a lot of traffic, equipment and people moving in and out right now, and they are still gleaming. Maybe I am worried over nothing (and a discussion with our trim carpenter a couple days ago let me know that he thinks they are a lot more bulletproof than I may be giving them credit for.)Meanwhile, we are still also majorly concerned that the cabinetry get done, because our builder is starting to come down on us for the cabinet guy (a contractor we hired ourselves) to be holding up his subs. Bathroom counters come on Monday, and until today the master bath vanity hadn't been anywhere in sight. Have I mentioned that the counters come while we are out of town and therefore unable to supervise/catch whatever muck-ups are likely to happen as a result?And, there are other little stresses weighing on us. The driveway, sidewalks and patio are being poured, and we have expanded the size of the sidewalks and patio (more $$). Our too-nosy neighbour, who has taken the liberty to advise us on everything from the brand of ceiling fan to the size of air conditioning unit we install, keeps telling us it's a mistake to pour the driveway - we should be letting the lot settle for 2 years first like he did, to prevent cracking. (Our builder, who has been pouring foundations for 15+ years, thinks there's been enough rain this summer to settle everything well, our lot has no fill in it to need to settle, and frankly, I am at the point where I am willing to accept the risk of a crack down the road just to have the whole darn project over and done with now.) It seemed like a great idea to have the cabinet guy install the built-ins and fireplace mantel unfinished to save us about $1000, but now we are kicking ourselves, because when on earth will we ever have the time to get around to painting them?And you know what else is bugging me? I spent all that time and money shopping for compact fluorescent bulbs for the whole house, and some of them SUCK. They're dark and the light they throw comes in funky colours. So I'm going to uninstall some of them... one more chore to add to the list.


Dawn said...

That wainscoting is beautiful! love your mad photoshop skills!

GAHHHHHHH though at the floors taking a bit of a beating.......why on earth are they not covered????? ALL OVER! Our builder had ours covered with two layers of some sort of paper and tons of tape until the end to protect them.

Do you guys have GE Reveal lightbulbs up there? They don't throw casts and they show very true to daylight colors.

Take a deep breath and enjoy your retreat next's well deserved! :o)

Mandy said...

I agree the floors should likely be covered to help protect them.

In the meantime everything is looking really great and I hope it all comes together just as you hope.

I'm not a big fan of the CF bulbs. I love the energy savings for money and environmental reasons, but am very nervous about the environmental impact they are about to create. In order to be disposed of properly, they have to be handled very carefully, and if one breaks in your home, the cleanup recommendations are pretty fierce.

"1. Before Clean-up: Air Out the Room
-Have people and pets leave the room, and don't let anyone walk through the breakage area on their way out.
-Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
- Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system, if you have one.
2. Clean-Up Steps for Hard Surfaces
- Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with
metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
- Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass pieces and powder.
- Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place towels in the glass jar or plastic bag.
- Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.
3. Clean-up Steps for Carpeting or Rug:
- Carefully pick up glass fragments and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a
sealed plastic bag.
- Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
- If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken.
- Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister), and put the bag or vacuum debris in a sealed plastic
4. Clean-up Steps for Clothing, Bedding, etc.:
- If clothing or bedding materials come in direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from inside the bulb that may stick to the fabric, the clothing or bedding should be thrown away.
Do not wash such clothing or
bedding because mercury fragments in the clothing may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage.
- You can, however, wash clothing or other materials that have been exposed to the mercury vapor from a broken CFL, such as the clothing you are wearing when you cleaned up the broken CFL, as long as that clothing has not come into direct contact with the materials from the broken bulb.
- If shoes come into direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from the bulb, wipe them off with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place the towels or wipes in a glass jar or plastic bag for
5. Disposal of Clean-up Materials
- Immediately place all clean-up materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area for the next normal trash
- Wash your hands after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing clean-up materials.
- Check with your local or state government about disposal requirements in your specific area. Some states do not allow such trash disposal. Instead, they require that broken and unbroken mercury-containing bulbs be taken to a local recycling center.
6. Future Cleaning of Carpeting or Rug: Air Out the Room During and After Vacuuming
- The next several times you vacuum, shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system and open a
window before vacuuming.
- Keep the central heating/air conditioning system shut off and the window open for at least 15 minutes after
vacuuming is completed.

I know lots of people probably aren't worried about this at all, and I know lightbulbs don't break all the time...but they do break. Those instructions come straight from the pros...I want to save the money and the energy, but I've heard stories about people that had a break and didn't get it cleaned up enough to avoid having to have professionals come in.

And you know there are a lot of people that won't dispose of them correctly when they do burn out, meaning all that extra mercury eventually getting into the water.

I'm sorry, I don't mean to be a downer...they just make me nervous, especially with kids.