News Archive: August 2019
29 August 2019
Today I hung the last two doors: the pantry (below left) and the linen closet in the bathroom (below right)—you may have been able to detect the popping of a champagne bottle. Meanwhile, slave labor continued working on the French drain. I have a small pile of stone to use, but it's loaded with dirt and debris, so they need to clean it off before dropping it in the drain. This will take some time to finish.
28 August 2019
While not as nice outside as the prior two days, I still accomplished the same mix of items: the Kitty Central door (plus their own little door), the coat closet door, and two-thirds of the gutters on the southeast side of the house. Meanwhile, my helper got started making repairs to the half-built French drain that's been abused by the last few summer storms.
27 August 2019
Another cloudy 68° day drew me outside to stain the fascia on the southeast side of the house in preparation for the rest of the gutters—that is, until the sun came out, at which point I retreated inside to hang more doors, this time the studio and office. That leaves four doors still to go.
26 August 2019
68° and cloudy made the perfect combination for working outside. The northwest side of the house now has its gutters, complete with leaders and downspouts. It'll be nice to see all of that rainwater shooting out of the end of the underground drain, instead of chewing up the hillside along the house.
25 August 2019
24 August 2019
Wonderful weather (74° and sunny) lured me outside, so I spent the better part of the afternoon painting gutters in preparation for their installation. I also did a smattering of woodwork and tiling inside while the paint dried.
23 August 2019
Paperwork day! As of today, the Township has all of the reports and records that the County Health Department requires for a TCO, copies of which are also on the way to the County; now it's just a matter of waiting for the County to cough up their approval letter, although I've no idea how long that will take. Regardless, I'll finally be eligible for a TCO, for which I began the application on 11 February—over six months ago! Meanwhile, I hung the inside garage door which, being self-closing and solid-core, fully satisfies fire code.
22 August 2019
Today I finished installing the accent tiles in the shower, and also tiled the recessed shampoo shelf. Meanwhile, my slave labor pretty much finished taping all of the existing sheetrock joints, which of course means having to start compounding.
21 August 2019
After finishing door #2, I switched gears (again) and went back to work on the shower. I'd bitten the bullet and bought bullnose tile that matched the wall tile (almost $5 per piece—ouch!), and then cut almost two dozen of the pieces to fit. Meanwhile, my helper taped the ceiling sheetrock joints, for which my neck and knees were very grateful. But the best news of the day: I finally have my four-year-old septic engineering inspection report, the very last piece of the puzzle for my TCO. Yay!
20 August 2019
The second door is hung, although the stops and handle hardware won't be done until tomorrow.
19 August 2019
The first door is hung. I elected to do the bathroom door first to deal with the awkward issue of guests having to use a bathroom with no door. The door handle hardware isn't on yet, but that's pretty trivial; the hard part is done.
18 August 2019
Nine doors have arrived. Lots of hanging ahead!
17 August 2019
16 August 2019
Ordered all of the interior doors today; should be delivered early next week. I'm getting no satisfaction from the septic engineers on producing their inspection report from 2015; they're holding up my TCO, so it's time for me to be a miserable pest. Meanwhile, I've gotten some more tile up in the shower. It's slow going because, like the bookcase, almost every piece must be cut individually. To get a sense of the finished effect, I temporarily posed some of the plumbing trim parts on the fixtures:
13 August 2019
Well, I can't say that I've been this excited about a house project in quite some time. Once I started getting the accent tiles up in the shower, I knew I'd scored a home run. Of course, other folks might think it's hideous, and that's perfectly fine—they don't need to use my shower! It will look much better when the rest of the tile is up and everything is grouted. Also, photos don't do justice to that delicious green...
12 August 2019
With the bookcase finished save for the trim, I'm moving on to other more pressing matters. And having just received a special order of fantastic accent tile meant for the kitchen, I'm instead going to use it in the shower, and order more for the kitchen later. To that end, I've begun compound work on the bathroom (one of my least favorite things to do).
11 August 2019
Although the bookcase is coming along nicely, I'm not. My body is beginning to complain big-time about going up and down the stairs dozens of times a day, assuming awkward poses to do the assembly, and running full-tilt for 12 hours a day for two days running. So, I was forced to take a short break—which I enjoyed by populating the finished shelves with books I haven't laid eyes on for 4-5 years. Then I went back to work—at a much more moderate pace. While it looks pretty much done, there are still 16 parts to cut and install, not including over a dozen pieces of trim.
10 August 2019
Progress with the bookcase is very slow, the reason being that the wall was not framed with the thought of it becoming a piece of furniture, so each and every part must be cut and fit individually. But progress is being made nonetheless.
9 August 2019
Shifting gears once again, I've begun work on the bookcase. One may wonder, with so many much higher priority things to do, why I've turned my attention to this. One of my goals is to get my cats into the house as soon as I can, and it occurred to me one day that, without the bookcase in place, there were holes in the framing that would provide them with access to places I'd rather they not explore: from here they can get under the laundry platform, and from there into the spaces behind the bathroom vanity, and if they were really ambitious, they could climb up the plumbing and get lost in the ceiling over the living space. I'd very much prefer they stay out of such places, so I'm buttoning up the entrance to this rabbit hole. Besides, everything has to get done anyway, and the order isn't critical.
7 August 2019
The gears of paperwork are engaged. And while they've been grinding away, I've driven the very last sheetrock screw in the main living space. Now it's on to the garage—although that will come in short spurts, as the space isn't cooled and gets quite unbearable by late morning.
I also installed new Township-mandated barricades across the sliding glass doors, and I even slapped a little stain on them—I've no idea how many months (or years) it'll be before the deck is done, so as long as I have to stare at them, they may as well look better than raw, used lumber (they're freebies, leftover picture window packaging).
6 August 2019
After four calls in as many weeks, I finally got a straight answer from the County Health Department. They'd in fact already done their final well and septic inspections, the former on 31 May 2019, and the latter on 29 October 2015! What's at issue is the fact that the septic engineer never submitted his final engineering inspection to them (although he had done the inspection), and also that they needed copies of the well record and water test, which I've had since 2 July 2019. They should have notified me of these issues instead of wait for me to learn about them on my own—and then only after considerable unnecessary time and effort. My problem now is that I don't have the septic engineer's final report, and I anticipate this may prove to be a challenge; plus, the flurry of paperwork will likely continue for weeks to come. Sigh. On the bright side, it meant I was finally able to cut down those unsightly blue-green inspection ports, as I was told by the septic contractor that they needed to remain full height until after the final inspections. Which means I've been staring at them needlessly for almost four years! Sheesh, if only I'd known... but then, communication is obviously not one of the County's strengths.
5 August 2019
Working shower, here we come! With an unexpected visit from one of my helpers, and the availability of some extra funds, I was inspired to take a trip to Home Depot to review their tile assortment. There I found a perfectly suitable 16 x 16 tile that just happened to play very nicely with the accent tile I'd bought from Lowe's several months ago. Now I'll get to exercise the tile saw I'd refurbished last month.
4 August 2019
After several days of zero progress, today I made some headway with the garage mess in preparation to continue sheetrock work. Yikes, I only have half of the garage and the studio left to rock. That's at most three days of work...
2 August 2019
Very little progress to report for the last few days other than that my roofer stopped by today to correct a very minor oversight of his: he'd installed a boot for the vent, but didn't secure it to the roof. Fortunately it was completely watertight under the boot, so it wasn't a critical fix. He spent much more time hanging out and admiring the work I'd accomplished since he was last here than he did making the repair. Oh, and still no Health Department inspection. Monday they're going to get an earful from me.
1 August 2019
I'd seriously thought about tile shopping today so I can finish my shower (and use it!), but I'm essentially being held hostage by the County Health Department, who informed me on Monday that I'd have my final well and septic inspection within three business days of my call. Well, it's now been four, and they've yet to show up. Worse, based on past experience, it could be weeks before they bother to come, and in the meantime, I run the risk of dragging this out for another month or more should I happen to be away when they finally appear. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...
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