News Archive: October 2018

Wednesday, 31 October 2018. Today a young model railroading friend arrived to help. Given that most of his efforts will be focused on installing the soffit on the back of the house, I've asked him to straighten up the deck area so it was a safer place to work, which involved lots of shoveling and raking that's all but impossible for me to do (before, below left; after, below right). While he was doing that, I finished the fascia.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018. The roofer and I spent the day prepping the roof for the steel panels to come.

Monday, 29 October 2018. Strange day. The roofer postponed his arrival one day to give me more time to catch up, which was most appreciated. While I installed as much fascia as my body could tolerate, JCP&L appeared, and consequently I now have permanent electric service. Quite the surprise—I was expecting to wait another week or two (but I'm not complaining!).

Sunday, 28 October 2018. With the storm having left the area in a hurry, today was thankfully rain-free, allowing me to tackle the fascia. I got started around 8:30; by 3:30 I could barely stand, and I'd only completed half of it. And a case of the flu is just making matters worse. I'm hoping I can finish the rest tomorrow, but then I'll be in conflict with the roofer, who will be starting the job. We'll see how that goes.

Saturday, 27 October 2018. The roofer wants to start work on Monday, but the fascia isn't even close to being ready, and the weekend will be rained out courtesy of the remnants of Hurricane Willa. Also, the roofer has talked me out of the skylight in the bathroom. I'm not happy about it, but he had a compelling argument against it, and anyway it'll save me a few hundred bucks. So, I plugged the hole (below left)—at least I was able to do that while it was pouring rain—and also framed a plumbing access opening for the bathtub drain (below right), a little loose end I'd overlooked. Meanwhile, I've discovered the heat pump compressor slab has sunken over two inches at one end. I'll need to contact the concrete guys about a fix.

Friday, 26 October 2018. Evidently there's an epidemic of non-communication taking place. The picture window rep is at the top of my idiot list, having called me several times without leaving a message. The ensuing stint of phone tag held up the order another whole week all because he was waiting to find out if I still wanted the same color window trim as before. He could have left a voicemail or even emailed me and gotten an immediate reply, but instead chose to wait until he could speak to me directly! WTF? Then, since they never return my calls, I paid the Township a visit to ask about the status of my revised blueprints. I was pleased to learn that they'd approved them, and are prepared to supply all of the permits I need next Tuesday. While I was at it, I also asked if there was anything else I needed to do regarding the electric service, and the reply was a furrowed brow. Uh-oh... Evidently the inspector never informed the zoning office that I'd passed the inspection—three days ago! Had I not inquired about it, I might have been waiting forever for JCP&L to come throw the switch.

Thursday, 25 October 2018. The window issue has now been resolved: Pella will only be supplying the picture windows. Meanwhile, I've devised a more satisfying solution to the problem of finishing the fascia and soffits: using the same material as the siding.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018. The window debacle has me really wound up tight. I figured after cancelling the order, the company would make a counter-offer, which they did. While the alternative had a shorter lead time, it was much more expensive. So I rejected it. Meanwhile, I'm struggling with the fascia: I'm not happy with yesterday's results. So, in my classic three-steps-forward-two-steps-back fashion, I tore it off and started over.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018. The electrical inspector finally showed up today, which puts me on track to get permanent electric service soon (below left); now it's down to when JCP&L decides to show up and throw the switch. Then, my order for eave and fascia finishing lumber arrived, and I started messing around with it, trying to find the most effective approach to the job (below right). But the big story on Action News unfortunately is not good: the window manufacturer has pushed the delivery of my windows out to January. WTF? So I've cancelled the order, and I'm investigating other options.

Friday, 19 October 2018. The excavation crew was kind enough to squeeze me into their schedule and help fix the driveway, which was nearly impassible; this is a temporary touch-up until a more thorough job can be done in the spring, after all of the disturbed soil settles. Meanwhile, the revised blueprints arrived—finally—and were immediately delivered to the Township. However, once again their inspector failed to show up when scheduled for the service line inspection, so that's been postponed until next Tuesday.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018. Transformer is in. Meter pan is wired. Now I just need an inspection (Friday) for the permit to flip the switch, which will mark the end of a 3˝-year saga! In other news, the roofer showed up to take the final measurements so he can order the material, and I paid the deposit. I'm committed. With no permit. Because the revised blueprints still aren't done...

Tuesday, 16 October 2018. It would seem that my (very long and very loud) complaints to JCP&L inspired them to make good on their screw-up and finish the wire pull today. Still no revised blueprints.

Monday, 15 October 2018. JCP&L did not pull wire as planned, because their scheduler totally screwed up: they told me one thing, while their crew was expecting something else. And it will cost me time and money because of their screw-up—naturally. So their crew took all of their equipment back home at the end of the day without having done a thing. (I saw this coming back on 4 October...)

Meanwhile, the architect is going on three weeks past due, and he's still waffling on delivery, so that's royally screwing up everything else, since all of my permits and inspections are now dependent on it.

Friday, 12 October 2018. Just placed the order for the roof: $24,500.

Thursday, 11 October 2018. Met with the window manufacturer rep, and placed the order. $8000, or about half what I was expecting to pay. Then I had two back-to-back surprises—of a good kind: the trench inspection had in fact taken place (when and how, exactly, I have no idea) and I only learned of this two days later. When I called JCP&L with the news, they scheduled the wire-pulling for the following Monday and/or Tuesday. Since I was expecting a wait of as much as 2-3 weeks, you could have knocked me over with a feather! The service line inspection will take place immediately afterward on Tuesday, and assuming it passes, I can arrange for the meter install.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018. The trench has been backfilled. Could not wait for an inspection—leaving the driveway torn up until Friday wasn't an option. I have pictures of every foot of the trench, with a measuring stick standing in it for reference. It will have to do.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018. So the trenching came off without a hitch (my excavator crew has never let me down). It was the Township that screwed me—their inspector was supposed to come at noon, but he never showed up. So it became a two-day job through no fault of mine or my contractors. I am not happy at all. In other news, I've added two new To-Do List items that were originally going to be part of the roof job, but have been split off to save money: fascia and gutters.

Monday, 8 October 2018. Tomorrow is the trenching. If all goes well, the Township's inspector will be dropping by at just the right time to have a look at the trench. Meanwhile, the window manufacturer rep will be showing up on Thursday. And the architect wants another week. Still no estimate for the roof.

Thursday, 4 October 2018. It would seem all of the puzzle pieces for getting the electric line conduit installed on Tuesday, 9 October, are finally in place. But based on past experience, I'm not counting on smooth sailing, especially where the line meets the existing transformer—JCP&L will need to be involved; thus I see a potential for all sorts of problems. Meanwhile, I've still not heard back from the window manufacturer, the roofing contractor or the architect.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018. The Township has indicated they require a smoke detector in the garage, so I purchased and installed an electric box. I also placed an order online for items needed to install the two exterior doors. In other news, I've learned that the materials alone for the roof will run around $20K (still no total estimate, however). I've also settled on my choice of siding: board and batten. It's the most economical, in large part because I can do the work myself.

Monday, 1 October 2018. The Township has forced me to postpone electrical conduit installation while they decide whether or not they need to inspect it. Also, I've learned the blueprint revisions haven't even been started yet, days after they were promised to have been finished.

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