Wednesday, August 29, 2012


        First off, the inside and just about all of the exterior work is done. Which after call weekend is why I'm doing this instead of working on the project.  Prior to the start of the project we had been visiting with Ger's family where this project and a family member's paella prowess had been among the many topics. Folks were curious about the project and I was way curious about a family member who liked to do paella. So working around summer vacations, etc we arrived at mid August as a good time. Silly us, we thought we would be done by then based on our contractor's estimate and my estimate of time needed to do our part. Of course, we were way off.  We anticipated this probability and were not concerned as the attending members are flexible- worst thing that could happen is being made fun of for being behind schedule.
       Well, the drywall was up for the most part and most of the scaffolding was no longer needed. Since the room being remodeled was empty except for scaffolding and ladders, it was easy to get our two long tables in there and the chairs from the rest of the house gathered.

As I saw Edgar preparing the paella, it was clear that he was not overstating his expertise. He had very capable assistants as well

The other guys after doing the as predicted "slacker-you're not done yet" routine, helped me put up the first bookshelf. At that point, I was getting irritated at myself for working instead of being part of the fun, so I called it Miller-time ( or the wine equivalent ).
Besides, the other bookshelves had been adapted for food prep areas and guest seating.

Great meal, great company and a needed break.

Then back to work as a scary deadline approached- a visit from a Houzz photographer.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Library/Music Room Exterior Shell

It's been more than two weeks since my last entry and much has taken place. Golden Rule has 9/10ths of their job done. Even though I've done maybe 7/10ths of what I have to do and I have 2 more days before I return to work, I'm doing this- why? . I'm tired, it's 102 degrees here which is major heat for this area and the only job that is safe for me to do at this time is scraping chickenshit off of barn siding.
The last entry ended with the living room minus roof and ceiling.  One of the carpenters noted that's when Jack (our contractor) renegotiates. (kidding-).  So far, Golden Rule has been stellar. Their framing crew in particular was amazing. It turns out that the area contractors work with each other as the current economy does not allow them to have the number of employees on salary to do large jobs in short time. Robert Gates, who's the coordinator, noted that crew had easily more than a century of experience in aggregate. Robert is also a prolific photographer and contributed the photos for the exterior portion of the job.
One unforseen detail uncovered with the removal of the ceiling and roof was the lack of a load-bearing East wall. Fortunately we were able to have the engineer specify a laminated beam on short notice. Even more fortunately, Robert was able to find said beam and have it delivered within several hours.
That is the biggest piece of wood I've ever been around.
One exterior detail I signed up for as it would be too expensive for the pro's to do is to use cedar shingle for the top triangle of the addition to match the second story gable.
The roof, which was the "need" part of the project, is almost complete as well. Some of the gutters, drainage for the new design and portions of the flat roof over the carport and shop still need to be finished.
So, this is the interior of the room handed off for us to finish.
One of the tenets of this type of endeavor is that things always take longer than envisioned. Our parents came to the rescue. My 86 year old mom who was visiting from Los Angeles helped me stain/finish the new audio cabinet and bookshelves. Geri's dad has been here for the past several days to help with the barnwood siding we're using for the ceiling. The planks were purchased in "off the barn" condition. His help with going through the material to select usable boards, loading them on his truck, final clean up with alcohol ( I couldn't bring myself to ask him or my wife to scrape off crap and grime) salvaged my schedule. Today he was in charge of cutting the boards to size which allowed me to stay on the scaffolding.

I told Geri that when her dad arrived, it felt like the cavalry had arrived. Here's the room as of 8/4.