Wednesday, February 28, 2007

It was another rainy day today and the usual suspects were hard at work.

Carlos and his crew finished digging three trenches for the water, sewer, and electrical.

Dana is more than half way done installing the kitchen cabinets.

The tile installers were working on the basement bathroom and bathroom #3 on the second floor.

One of the electricians, Dave, from CB Electric was also there. Brad needed him to route power to the warming drawer. While working on the kitchen layout with Dana, we had moved it from the island to the counter next to the microwave/convection oven stack, and we forgot to tell Brad... oops. As a result, Dana had to temporarily remove one of his cabinets, and Dave had to drill a hole in the subfloor under the island and run a wire to where the cabinet was removed.

Later in the afternoon, I drove down to Cornelia's to pick up the last of our sinks, a heavy cast iron Ceco sink for the laundry room.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It was another busy day today -- the job site was bustling with activity again.

The dummy French door leading to the family room was delivered yesterday, and Rob installed it this morning. Troy and Rob are now working on the molding on the first floor.

The installers from Tile Plus started working on the tub surround in Bath #1 and on the laundry room floor.

Dana started installing the kitchen cabinets. Here he is, cutting a small notch in one of the side panels, to accomodate the hardwood floor which will be installed later.

And finally, Carlos' crew was there digging (in the rain) a trench to the main electrical panel.

We also got lots done today!

This morning, we met Ernie at Bedrosians where we selected and purchased all of our remaining slabs: kitchen island (Ubatuba), kitchen counters (Santa Cecilia), master bath (Labrador Antique), and fireplace surround (Mediterranean Beige travertine).

Then later in the afternoon, we met with Claudia and selected all of the interior colors. The main color will be the Oyster (the middle sample in the picture from yesterday's blog entry). Here is the current thinking:
  • craftroom - Skin Light
  • living room - Cappuccino or Westover Hills
  • dining room and power room - Seattle Red
  • family room and kitchen - Skin Light
  • master bedroom - Cappuccino accent wall
  • bedroom #1 - Misty Harbor
  • bedroom #2 - Hillsmere
  • bedroom #3 - French Sonnet
  • bath #2 - Misty Harbor
  • bath #3 - French Sonnet
We also selected the exterior color. Instead of the Wood Moss, we decided to use Chadwick, but darken it up by about 20-25%.

Monday, February 26, 2007

This morning we had a long meeting with Brad, Ernie, and Freddie to go over the tile design. We only had enough time to cover the basement and second floor. We'll have to schedule another meeting to talk about the first floor. That's Ernie, Freddie, and Brad (left to right) talking about the accent tiles in Bath #2.

After the tile meeting, we talked to Troy about the wainscot in the dining room. He had drawn a sample design on the wall for us to look at.

In the early afternoon, Dana showed up to drop off all the kitchen cabinets. They're scattered around the family room and dining room. I think he's going to start installing the cabinets tomorrow.

Later in the afternoon, I returned to the job site and finished painting the three sample interior colors on the pieces of sheetrock I had primed over the weekend. The three colors are (left to right): Chic, Oyster, and Snip of Tannin.

And finally, the last of the three sinks we ordered on the internet (just Wednesday last week) arrived today. The kitchen island sink arrived on Friday, the craftroom sink on Saturday, and the main kitchen sink today, in only five days! We need to puchase one more sink -- for the laundry room, and we ordered it from Cornelia's today. It'll be available for pick-up tomorrow.

We're meeting Ernie at Bedrosians tomorrow morning to choose slabs. And then we have a meeting scheduled with Claudia at the job site to go over paint selections. We can also talk to her about the dining room wainscot.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I went over to Home Depot this afternoon and picked up a 4' x 8' piece of sheetrock which I took over to the job site. I cut it into four pieces and painted on a coat of primer. On Monday, I'll try out the three sample paint colors we picked up yesterday.

Friday, February 23, 2007

This morning, TilePlus delivered all of the tiles from Bedrosians and placed them in the garage. The large pile on the left is 1,500+ sq ft of Mediterranean Beige Medium Standard travertine. The small piles on the right are all the accent tiles, separated by room.

Unfortunately, one box of accent tiles was the wrong color, so we had to take it back to Bedrosians. They said they'll have a replacement by tomorrow which Ernie will pick up for us.

Troy and his crew were at the job site, continuing their work on the second floor mouldings. Here is a picture of the tray ceiling in the master bedroom.

The tile installers were there too, putting on the mortar in the master bathroom shower.

This morning, we also picked up some sample paint colors from Kelly-Moore for the main interior color. We'll test them out this weekend.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

We met with Brad this morning. Ernie had called to say the tiles had FINALLY arrived at Bedrosians. The sales people at Bedrosians had originally told us the tiles would be there in two to three days, but when Ernie placed the order they told him 10 days. It actually took Bedrosians over three weeks to get us the material! Ernie said he will pick up the tiles today and deliver them to the job site tomorrow.

While we were at the job site, we talked to Troy about the living room fireplace and dining room wainscot designs.

We also painted two potential exterior colors from Kelly-Moore, Chadwick (left) and Wood Moss, on a piece of scrap plywood. We'll probably pick the Wood Moss.

Finally, we talked to Phil about testing interior colors. This weekend I'll go pick up a piece of sheetrock so we can try some different paint colors to see if we really like them.

Here's a picture of the house as it looks today, with its finish coat of stucco.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Because of the holiday, we hadn't been to the job site for a few days. We saw Brad at the job site this morning and he had us sign some paperwork for the city to hook up our gas line. Brad really wants to heat the house so the paint will dry better and so the hardwood floor material can acclimate to the house.

Over the long weekend, the plumber installed the water heater.

The tile installers started applying mortar for the showers and tubs yesterday, and they continued that work today.

And Troy is almost completely done with the basement mouldings. Here's a picture of the window in the craftroom with all of its casing.

He's now working on the second floor. Brad's thought was that by having Troy work on the mouldings for the second floor, Phil can have easier access to paint the basement without getting in Troy's way.

Brad told us that Dana will be coming back on Monday to put in the kitchen cabinets. Brad also told us he needs us to choose our exterior and interior paint colors soon.

This afternoon we ordered our kitchen and craftroom sinks. We should be receiving them sometime next week.

We finally decided on a french door for the doorway leading to the family room. It will be a pair of stain grade walnut doors with a single, seedy pane on the top 2/3 and a panel on the bottom 1/3.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Today we went to Da Vinci Marble to pick up our accent tiles. We also went to Cornelia's to pick up the two models of our Kohler Caxton sinks (for the granite fabricator to use as templates). And we drove down to The Wood Floor Company to pay the deposit for our wood floors.

At the job site, Troy and Rob started working on the crown mouldings in the basement.

This afternoon, we placed our order for the exterior shutters at We should we receiving them in about three weeks.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

We met Brad at the job site this morning and made some important decisions. We chose to go with the American walnut for the floors because of its rich grain and color. We also finalized the interior stair railing design.

While we were there, Brad received a fax from Sousa's Garage Doors showing a sketch of the design. We asked Brad to make a couple of minor changes and fax it back.

Troy and Rob were at the job site, and today they started working on the baseboards in the basement.

The contractors from European Lathing & Plastering were also there working on the finish coat for the few remaining walls.

Brian was there too, hooking up the ducts to the two furnaces.

And Dana showed up to adjust and center the toe kick on the master bathroom vanity.

In the afternoon, we drove down to Bedrosians to look at granite slabs again. The one remaining selection we need to make is the kitchen counter. We found a few we liked, including: Juparana Light (below), Ivory Chiffon, and Santa Cecilia. They're all lighter colored, with small dark spots, and not too much movement.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Many of the same sub-contractors were working today.

Troy and Rob finished installing all the doors (except for one in the basement that was supposed to be a right-hand door, but was ordered as a left-hand door). The material for our molding was delivered this morning.

Now they're working on the casings around the doors in the basement.

Brad has asked them to finish all of the molding (casing, baseboards, crowns) in the basement first. Once they're done, Brad will bring in the painters while they move up to the first floor.

Brian was also there continuing his installation of the two furnaces in the basement utility room.

Dana finished installing the vanity for bath #2.

When I arrived at the job site around noon, he was working on the master bath.

Then later in the afternoon, with his son there to help, he put up the wall cabinets in the craftroom and laundry room. If you click on the last picture and look closely, you can see the faint red laser beam marking a level line for placing the wall cabinets. Sheesh!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Today was another one of those days, where the job site was bustling with activity.

The contractors from Tile Plus were putting up the wire mesh and backing for the mortar.

Once they're done, Brad will have to call for an inspection before they can begin tiling the showers and tubs.

Dana was there installing his cabinets. By the time I showed up, he was already done with base cabinets in the craftroom.

And he was just starting to move on to the laundry room.

Finally, Brian was there installing the last two furnaces in the mechanical room. There's already one in the attic space, for the second floor. These two are for the basement and first floor.

In the early afternoon, we drove down to Marblus and met with Lucia to pick through her remnant pile. We found everything we need for the granite counters using her remnants (which include some full slabs), except for the master bath and the kitchen.

By the late afternoon, Brian was almost done with the furnaces,

and Dana had also completed the installation of the guest bath,

bath #1,

and bath #3 vanities.

In the evening, we received an updated quote from Esmeraldo with some very aggressive pricing. Now we're in a quandary. After our meeting with Lucia this afternoon, we were all set to go with Marblus. But now Esmeraldo has beat Lucia's price by about 20% because he's thrown in almost all the remnants and slabs (including the kitchen). The only slabs we will have to purchase are the labrador antique we want for the master bath.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The finish carpenters Troy (left) and Rob started putting in the doors today. First they moved all the doors from the living room to their respective locations, then they began installing them.

We met with Brad and Jeff from Coyne Stair and discussed the stair and railing design. He's going to send us two quotes -- one with American walnut and one with cumaru -- because we haven't decided which wood we're going to use for the floor yet.

I drove up to Imperial Marble this afternoon and met with Esmeraldo one more time to go over the choices for the slabs. Now he has nearly complete information for each of the rooms and can give a more accurate quote. Tomorrow we're meeting with Lucia from Marblus to make sure she has complete information too. Then we'll be able to best compare the two quotes.

We also went to Sunnyvale Lumber to take a look at front door locks, interior door handles and french doors with divided lights (for the main hallway).

Late this afternoon, I went back to the job site to check on the progress. Most of the doors in the basement have been hung. Also, I could tell Dana had been there because all of our cabinets (except for the kitchen) have been delivered.

Here are the basement cabinets for the laundry room, bath #1, and craft room.

The vanity for bath #2.

And the master bathroom vanity.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I drove by the job site around noon today. Phil and his crew were painting the ceilings white (actually Swiss Coffee).

I noticed that Frank Sousa's installers had already been there, because we have a temporary garage door now.

Soon Brad will be able to lock up the house, and store material inside.

We were supposed to meet with Lucia at Marblus this afternoon, but when we called her to confirm the meeting she said she had to postpone the meeting due to the weather. Hopefully we'll be able to visit her shop tomorrow afternoon.

So instead, we went to Kelly-Moore Paints and picked up samples of two exterior paint colors we are considering.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Frank Sousa called me this morning and I described the wood garage door design we like. He said he'll be able to send us shop drawings on Monday.

In the afternoon we drove out to Jerong Products in Hayward to look at medallions for the front entry. We actually found a mosaic we liked, and purchased it. They also have hundreds pre-fabricated granite countertops for sale. These come in 8 to 9 foot lengths with 1-1/2" double bullnose edging on three sides. It's actually quite amazing -- they ship slabs to China, fabricate the edges there (for about $3 a foot), ship the finished slabs to here, and sell them for about $200 a piece.

Later, I stopped by the job site and saw Phil and his painting crew hard at work spraying on the primer coat. He said they'll be back tomorrow to paint the ceilings.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

I stopped by Dana's office this morning and picked up a sample of stained wood for the kitchen color. He was able to take out some of the redness of the "rich mahogany" color by adding green to the stain.

Dana has been busy building the boxes for our kitchen cabinets. Here are some pictures of the work in progress.

For our weekly meeting with Brad today, we brought two samples of wood flooring and a sample of our kitchen cabinet stain color. Both woods (American walnut and cumaru) look great. We just have to make a decision.

We also held up a piece of cardboard, cut in the shape of a shutter, to help pick the best size for the shutters. We decided that a 16" wide shutter works well for the front windows.

Brad gave us the schedule for the next few days.
  • Tomorrow - Phil will begin priming the interior. On Saturday he may start painting the ceilings, but he probably won't get to that until next week.
  • Saturday - Frank will come out and install a temporary garage door.
  • Monday - Dana will begin installing his cabinets, starting in the basement.
  • Tuesday - Ernie will begin his tile work.
Brad also added an item to our "to do" list. We need to select the address number for our house. He needs to have one installed for the final inspection, and he wanted to let us know because it's easy, with everything else going on, to forget this one small, but important, item.
This morning I made a short list of things we need to do and decisions we need to finalize -- over the next couple of days and weeks. These are not in any particular order.
  • Garage door - We received the garage door quote last night. We need to decide between a steel door or wooden door and work with the contractor to finalize the design.
  • Wood floor - We are probably going with the 5" unfinished (sand & finish) cumaru.
  • Interior doors - I need to check the finish on the door hinges (I didn't pay attention yesterday, but the picture I took seems to show oil-rubbed bronze hinges).
  • Stain color - We need to finalize the stain color for the kitchen cabinets.
  • Tile quote - We need a updated quote with the corrections.
  • Appliances - We need to select the dishwasher model. Almost everything else has been decided.
  • Exterior shutters - We need to order them soon.
  • Granite slabs - Once we have the tile quote (with the slab quote) from Tile Plus, we need to decide whether we want to use Imperial Marble or just go with Lucia who contracts for Tile Plus.
  • Faucets & accessories - We need to order the rest of our fixtures. And we might as well get the accessories too.
  • Exterior paint color - We have a couple of color choices. We need to test them out on a sample of stucco and then select a color.
  • Iron railings - We need to give Leonard the "okay" to start fabricating our lightwell and stair railings.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Yesterday the utility department came out and installed our gas line. Also yesterday we went to Cornelia's to look at towel bars to make sure we can find ones that will match the color of our fixtures.

Brad received quotes for the hardwood floors, the interior french door, and the lightwell and stair railings today. We're still waiting for the garage door quote as well as an updated tile quote.

Brad said Frank is going to put in a temporary garage door on Saturday while we wait for the real door to be manufactured.

Our interior doors have been delivered. Brad put them in the living room to keep them dry.

Alliance Drywall was finishing up their sanding and Aladdin Hauling was cleaning up the dust and debris inside the house.

At the job site I measured all the windows that will have shutters (and some additional ones that may have shutters). Tomorrow I'll make a cardboard mockup of a shutter so we can see what they will look like.

While I was at the job site I met Carlos who came to check out the location of the gas line. He will be doing some trenching for the lightwell drain lines and some grading.