Monday, April 30, 2007

I made a couple of brief stops at the job site today. Brad didn't have any trades in the house because he had The Wood Floor Company start sanding the floors. While they were working on the inside, the landscapers were starting to lay out the pavers.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a chip in the glass that CB Showers installed yesterday in the guest bath -- it's about the size of a dime. We'll have to show Brad, and hopefully he can get them to replace it quickly.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Another frenzied day at the job site!

This morning, the landscapers poured concrete footings for the edging of the walkway and driveway.

The pavers were delivered, and by the afternoon, they had started laying the edging.

For the driveway and walkway, we chose Calstone's Quarry Stone product in the Sierra Granite color. We're using the QS Pattern 2 for the driveway, and the QS Pattern 1 for the walkway.

The plumbers were busy today, installing shower heads and shower bars, toilets, and p-traps.

By the late afternoon, they were working on the toilets. Here is a picture of the 10" rough-in kit installed in bath #2.

And here is a toilet installed in bath #3.

The low voltage electricians finished trimming out all the wall plates, and they said they are about 1/2 way done punching down the structured wiring enclosure.

CB showers installed the three shower doors. Here they are, putting the finishing touches on the master bathroom shower.

Here's a picture of the completed shower enclosure for bath #2.

Installers from Argonaut Window & Door were also there today. They installed most of the door handles and latches for our Andersen Windows.

I think they were short one set of handles because they didn't install it and we couldn't find it in Brad's job trailer. Also, one of the auxiliary locks on the four panel doors is not working. They'll have to come back and fix all that.

While I was there, I installed doorstops on a few doors that didn't have them (I didn't want someone pushing a door handle through the sheetrock).

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The first thing I did today when I arrived at the job site was to check on the bee trap. There were only a few buzzing around the trap, but that was it -- nowhere near as many as yesterday. Hopefully the bees are gone (for now, at least).

Well, today was another busy day at the job site.

Ekrem and his crew from CB Electric Co. installed lights and switches.

Dave Bengel's crew trimmed out the low voltage outlets.

SCM Plumbing installed most of the faucets. Here is a picture of the main kitchen faucet with the island faucet in the foreground.

By noon time, the electricians had run out of things to do. They were waiting for me to pick up the ceiling fan remotes so they could install the fans in the upstairs bedrooms. So I went to Home Depot and picked up the remotes, and I also picked up strainers for laundry and craft room sinks.

For the ceiling fan remotes, I got this really cool wall switch made by Lutron. In a single gang box, in has two toggle switches -- for the fan and for the light. It also has two sliders -- a dimmer and a fan speed control. Here's a picture of the wall switch and the installed fan.

The landscapers continued to work on the driveway. We made a change to the layout based on a suggestion from Gary, and then we made another change to widen the driveway on the right side.

Yesterday, because of all the distractions, I only had time to install one ceiling speaker. Today I installed another one -- in the guest room.

Later in the afternoon, Brad and I loaded most of the toilets into his truck. He took them to the job site and I drove down to Cornelia's to pick up most of the extension kits for the plumbers (we had to order the one for the master bathroom shower).

When I returned with the extension kits, the plumbers were able to install the trim kits on the shower valves.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

When I arrived at the job site this morning, one of the first things I noticed was a large number of bees (about 50-100) flying around the second floor rafters. Brad suggested I call a bee exterminator. I couldn't find the one he recommended, but I did find George from Bee Busters and arranged to meet with him later in the afternoon.

The landscapers were working on the driveway form. After a few corrections, here's what the finished walkway form looks like.

Enis, one of the installers on Ekrem's crew was there today putting up ceiling fans and light fixtures.

Chris from Dave Bengel's crew showed up to start trimming out the low voltage wires.

Two of the plumbers showed up in the early afternoon and began by moving all of the fixtures from Brad's trailer to their correct rooms. They prepared everything so that when they come back tomorrow, they can do all the installation. In doing so, they found that some of the showers will need extension kits for the mixing valves because the tile installers built up their mud too thick when they were putting on the tiles, and now the trim can't reach the valve. Brad said he'll call Michele and order the extension kits.

I began installing some ceiling mounted speakers, starting with the dining room.

Later in the afternoon, I met with George, the Bee Buster. Gary and Brad happened to be there too. George told us that we have a case of "preswarming" -- the scouts are looking for a location to build their hive. In the evening, George delivered a trap to attract the bees and (hopefully) keep them out of the attic. I hung it up by the back balcony.
We'll see what happens....

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I met Brad at the job site today, and we used his truck to pick up most of the lighting and plumbing fixtures. We'll get the powder room vanity and all the toilets tomorrow because the plumber won't be able to come until then anyways.

The landscapers started forming the shape of the walkway today. Unfortunately they were using an old set of plans and we had to tell them to redo part of it.

Ekrem and his crew from CB Electric Co. showed up and started installing outlets, fans, switches, lights, etc. Here are pictures of the powder room and bath #2 vanity lights.

Monday, April 23, 2007

This morning, I emailed Dana and gave him the green light to start building the mudroom cabinet and the master closet organizer.

We were on the way to the job site to drop off the door stops when Brad called asking us to bring over some of the faucets. Leo and Ernie were there and they needed the faucets so they could figure out how to install them. Some of the holes for the handles are too close to the sink -- Leo will need to grind away some of the undersides of the sinks to make the faucets fit.

The painters have finished painting the house. Here's a picture from the window seat in the living room, looking across the front entry, towards the dining room.

Troy and Rob were there continuing to install the door handles.

The landscapers were also there still working on the driveway and walkway.

And Leonard finished installing the last part of the exterior railing, leading down to the lower courtyard.

This evening we ordered the last of our ceiling fans.

Tomorrow morning, I'm meeting with Brad, and we're going to use his pickup truck to bring all of the bathroom and lighting fixtures to the job site so that the plumbers and electricians can start installing them!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

This morning, we paid a big visit to Home Depot where we purchased the door stops, several ceiling fans, cabinet knobs, and a few light fixtures; and we special ordered the house number sign.

We are getting very close to finalizing the master closet design. Dana says he needs to get started right away (I think he has another big job coming up). Hopefully we can get him going on the mudroom and master closet by Monday.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Troy was at the job site today building a cap for the balcony ledge.

He and Rob also started installing the door knobs. Brad called and told us we need to pick up door stops.

The painters were there putting their second and final coat of paint on the first floor.

The landscapers were also there working on the driveway and walkway. We noticed someone had dislodged and damaged one of the outdoor lights in front of the garage. More than likely, it was one of the landscapers while driving one of their machines.

Friday, April 20, 2007

When I arrived at the job site this morning, Sunnyvale Lumber had just delivered the door hardware for all of our interior doors.

At the same time, a truck arrived to dump a load of crushed gravel for the driveway bed.

Phil's painters were busy painting the first floor rooms.

And two tile installers from Tile Plus were finishing up the stairs for the lower courtyard.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Daniel Mendoza's landscaping crew was back digging out the driveway and walkway today. They also removed extra dirt and debris.

Phil's painters were working on the second coat of paint upstairs, and they started painting the upstairs hallway and preping the first floor.

Dana was also at the job site. He was putting in shelves and drawers and caulking the trim.

And finally, a crew from Tile Plus showed to do some touch up work, finish the lower courtyard stairs, and fill in some of the shorts.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Earlier in the morning, Daniel Mendoza's crew was working on the driveway and walkway. Unfortunately, they cracked the water main and created a mess in the front yard.

By the afternoon they had repaired the pipe, so hopefully they can get back to work tomorrow.

We were at the job site to meet with Keith Willig, the landscape architect. While waiting for him, we checked some of the bathrooms with Brad to see if our faucets will fit where the holes were drilled yesterday. The ones in the guest bath are going to be tight. Brad said he'll need to use a Dremel tool to carve out the underside of the sink so that the valve can fit.

When Keith showed up, we had a short meeting in Brad's job trailer. He delivered a set of drawings showing the landscape plan, including plant selection and details on the built-in BBQ grill.

Several painters were there, working on the second floor. They finished rolling their first coat of paint on the bedrooms. Here are pictures of bed #1, bed #2, bed #3, and the master bedroom.

Dana also stopped by. He delivered and installed shelves in his cabinets.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Today, the painters were removing masking around the trim on the first floor and starting to apply new masking for painting the walls. They also started painting the walls of the second floor, but Brad wants them to finish the bathrooms first, so that next week, when they're finished, he can bring the plumbers and electricians back to start installing fixtures.

Daniel Mendoza was meeting with Brad when I arrived at the job site. They were going over the driveway and front walkway design, and his crew was getting ready to start the rough grading.

Later in the afternoon, Brad called to say the granite installers had started drilling the slabs for the faucets and levers. He is concerned that some of the faucets will be tight fitting and he's also disappointed that in some cases, the plywood underneath the faucet location was not removed before the granite was installed (it's better to attach the faucets directly to the granite, without the plywood in between).

Also, we stopped by Dana's office in the afternoon to suggest some modifications to the mudroom cabinet and discuss the master closet organizer. He said he would enter the designs into his program and send us some drawings.

Monday, April 16, 2007

We met with Russ at the job site this afternoon to discuss some additional balusters. He needs to install two balusters at each of the landings where the stair rail turns 180 degrees.

A crew of painters was busy spraying the trim on the first floor.

Dana was also there this morning installing drawers.

Here are a bunch of drawers for the kitchen cabinets. He wasn't able to install these yet because the painters were working in the kitchen.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

We drove all over today looking at mirrors. First we went down to Home Goods in San Jose but didn't find anything. Then we went to Cost Plus in Mountain View where we bought a round mirror for the power room. We also saw a nice rectangular mirror for the guest bath, but all of their inventory was chipped or dented. So in the evening we drove to the Cost Plus in Redwood City where we found a good one. Now we just need to find three matching mirrors for the master bath and one for bath #1.

Friday, April 13, 2007

This morning, I drove down to Original Glass Designs in San Jose and picked up the six glass shelves which Dana had ordered for the upper display cabinets in the kitchen.

We also went to Cost Plus to look at some mirrors. We saw some nice ones there, but we didn't buy anything yet.

And we ordered the 10" UniFit rough-in kits for two of the Toto toilets from I had forgotten to purchase them earlier, when I placed the order for the toilets. Hopefully we'll receive them soon...

In the afternoon, I met with Dana to go over the mudroom cabinet design. We decided to make some changes because the original design would have made to room too crowded. He's going to enter the design in his program and send us drawings to approve.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

We met with Brad at the job site this afternoon. Phil had a whole crew of painters working on the first and second floors. They were busy covering the floors, masking off the molding, and protecting the cabinets. They also painted the dining room pocket doors and the mantel.

Later, I overheard Brad talking to Phil about the mudroom. Tile Plus is going to have to redo some of the tile work in that room because the tiles are set so high that the pocket door won't budge. I told Brad I had pointed this out to the tile installers when they were working on it two weeks ago, but at the time, they told me it wasn't going to be a problem -- they could just adjust the door. Next time I need to stick to my guns when I think there's a problem!

Today, all of our Toto toilets arrived from -- in about a week's time. The chandelier for the dining room and the light fixture for the breakfast nook also arrived. These came from

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

This afternoon we went to Home Goods and looked at mirrors. We found a great deal on a 27' X 33" mirror for bath #3, so we bought it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Here's a picture of the stair detail. It shows the stair ends and open skirt and also the trim that was added by Troy yesterday.

We met with Brad and Keith Willig this morning at the job site. Keith presented a landscaping plan which we really liked. The next step is for him to put together a set of detailed plans, but the drawings he gave us are good enough for Brad's landscaping contractor to work with.

A couple of Phil's painters finally showed up. They were working on the garage.

Later in the morning the electricians also showed up. They started to put in some of the boxes for the vanity lights. In a few places they had to use low-profile boxes because they encountered studs behind the sheetrock.

Russ was continuing his work on the stair rails. But this time he brought an assistant with him -- here he is cutting balusters to the correct length.

By the end of the day, all of the stair rails were in, and there were just a few adjustments remaining. Russ' assistant will be coming out tomorrow to finish up.

And finally, someone from Waterproofing Associates came to take some pictures of the material they had applied on the exterior of the foundation back in July. Brad had called them to check on it because it didn't look right to him.