Thursday, May 31, 2007

Now that Brad is back, the job site started buzzing with activity again.

Details the installers for Standards of Excellence arrived this morning with all of our appliances. They started the installation with the 600 lb SubZero refrigerator.

By the end of the afternoon, they had installed the drink refrigerator, dishwasher, range hood, convection oven, microwave, and warming drawer.

Tomorrow they'll be back to install the range, washing machine and dryer.

Floors To Go was also there this morning. They began their carpet installation by nailing down the tack strips and laying out the carpet backing throughout the house.

Then they used the driveway to cut pieces of carpet to size and lugged them into each of the rooms.

They installed most of the upstairs carpets by the mid-afternoon. They'll also be back tomorrow to finish their work.

SolarCity arrived later in the afternoon to install the last parts of the photovoltaic system: the inverter and the AC and DC disconnect switches. Here's a picture of Liam (left) and Thomas working on the DC disconnect switch.

Once the inverter is hooked up and powered on, we'll be generating electricity!

Brad said the hardwood flooring contractors will come out on Saturday to finish buffing and sealing the floors. He wants to let it set for two days. Then Phil and his painters will come on Tuesday to do some touch-up work. And Troy will also come to finish some odds and ends. Brad wants to have the final inspection sometime next week after he gets public works and the fire marshal to sign off on the project.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Brad was back on the job this morning, having returned from his vacation a couple of days ago. He gave me the run down for the next week:
  • carpets will be installed on Thursday and Friday
  • appliances will be installed on Thursday
  • floors will be buffed and finished early next week, probably Monday
Other than the punch-list we'll be giving him, he wants to be completely done by the end of next week!

On that note, he wants us to get Mendoza Landscaping started on the side-yard fences so that all of the temporary fencing can be removed -- one of the requirements prior to the final inspection.

While I was at the job site talking with Brad, I helped him install all the hand cranks on the Andersen Windows.

When I returned home, I called CB Showers, to pay an invoice and mentioned the problem with the master shower door. They said they'll go out to fix it, so I told them to call Brad and schedule a time.

I also called SolarCity. They'll come out on Friday morning to install the inverter and the DC cut-off switch.

Later in the afternoon, I returned to the job site and installed the first piece of our home automation system -- the Elk M1G controller.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

When I arrived at the job site around noon today, I was surprised to see the asphalt had been repaved, and all the barricades had been removed.

I didn't have much time, so all I did was work on fixing door hinges that were installed poorly. I counted about 36 doors on the plans. It's going to take me a while to check and (if necessary) fix them all....

Friday, May 25, 2007

We met with Daniel Mendoza at the job site this morning to go over his quote and discuss a few of the details. We'll let him know early next week, just how much of it we would like him to do. Most likely, we'll have him complete all of the irrigation, trenching, and hardscape (front and back) and just the plants in the front yard. We'll probably put off doing any of the planting in the back yard.

I was able to finish vacuuming and wiping down the master bathroom this afternoon, so now I'm all done with my cleaning.

I also worked on a bunch of other stuff:
  • bath #1: I cleaned the tub.
  • bath #2: I fixed the door which wouldn't lock, and I added a missing screw to the strike plate.
  • bath #3: I cleaned the tub.
  • bedroom #2: I added a missing lock pin, and fixed its handle which was sticking.
  • craftroom: I started to fix six of the screws in the hinges which were stripped and couldn't be tightened.
Here are some random pictures since I haven't posted any in a few days.

The painted garage door, same as the body color with white trim.

The kitchen cabinet knobs and pulls. These are the Alno hardware that cost about $7 each! Pardon the sawdust; I'm not cleaning the kitchen (or any other part of the first floor) until the hardwood floor installers finish their last coat.

Bath #2 knobs and pull. These are the sub $2 Lowes specials!

Other things going on (or not)....

Bonanza Heating and Air Conditioning installed only one of the two air conditioners last week. I don't know when they'll be back to install the other one.

Carlos, with Alpine Construction, never came back to patch the asphalt. I don't remember if Brad wanted me to call him -- oh well, Brad can take care of that next week, since he gets back this weekend. :-)

I don't know what happened to SolarCity. I called Sebastian last Thursday and he said he would get us scheduled to install the inverter. But I haven't heard a peep from them....

Details / Standards of Excellence called me today to ask when they should come out and install the appliances. I told them to call Brad next week.

Notes to myself (and Brad):

I want to make sure the two outlets above the vanity in bath #2 are GFI protected. I noticed that neither one is a GFI outlet, but maybe there's GFI outlet in the circuit upstream from them?

CB Showers needs to come back and adjust the shower door in the master bathroom. It's bumping into the glass partition.

Two of the master bathroom vanity lights are loose. It looks like the screws were too long, so the electrician just cut them shorter. Unfortunately that ruined the threads, and now the nut won't catch on them and can't be tightened. Also it looks like they used a pair of pliers to try and tighten the (decorative) nuts so now they're all scratched up....

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I finished cleaning most of the second floor today. The only room left is the master bathroom. Hopefully I'll get to that tomorrow.

Dana came to the job site at about 10:30 this morning, and we gave him all the cabinet hardware to install. In the afternoon, when he finished, he said to me, "I didn't think I'd be here until 4 PM!" It took him a little more than five hours to install the 130+ knobs and pulls, or only about 2-1/2 minutes per handle -- not bad!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Today I finished wiping down all the counter tops in the basement. There was a thick layer of dust covering everything. I also started vacuuming the second floor bathrooms and bedrooms.

I installed another pair of speakers in the master bathroom and a couple more hinge door stops, and I fixed the manual lock for the garage door (the old one was broken off -- it looked like someone had opened the garage door while it was bolted closed).

Dana called and said he could start installing the cabinet hardware -- drawer pulls and cabinet door knobs -- tomorrow morning. It was perfect timing because we received the Alno hardware for the kitchen today (along with the Alno towel bars for the master bathroom). We had already purchased all the other hardware from Lowes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

This morning I looked around in Brad's temporary "office" and found the keys to the interior Emtek door locks, so I was able to get into the study without having to break down the door!

I finished vacuuming the basement and installed some speakers in the patio and the master bedroom. I also went to Home Depot and picked up a bunch of light bulbs for the various light fixtures. In all but the master bathroom, I'm using compact fluorescent bulbs. That's 18 light bulbs!

The asphalt in the street still hasn't been filled yet. I don't know if Carlos has forgotten to do it, or if it's scheduled for later this week.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Someone (probably Alpine Construction) had come by earlier in the morning and removed most of the barricades blocking the new sidewalk. They left just the ones on the street where the asphalt hasn't been replaced yet.

The landscapers showed up briefly this morning and compacted the driveway again.

I continued to clean up the basement. I finished most of it, but unfortunately, the door to the study is locked, and the keys Brad gave me, do not fit the lock. So I checked the other locks in the house, and it turns out the keys he gave me are for the exterior Emtek door locks. The interior door locks are supposed to be keyed differently; I think Brad forgot to give me those keys.

Just before I left today, I decided to try again, to empty the water from the whirlpool tub. It turns out the Mountain Plumbing waste overflow and drain works fine. The plumber had put duct tape over the drain, and that was preventing me from emptying the water!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

This morning the painters painted the columns, front door casing, and garage door.

Here's a picture of the laundry room. Yesterday, I removed all the protective paper on the floor and the plastic covering the counter top (I hope Brad doesn't mind :-); I really wanted to see what the room will look like in its finished form). I also wiped down all of the cabinets and cleaned the floor.

I did the same to the guest bathroom and powder room today.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Yesterday the painter finished the back patio ceiling, but as far as I know, no one was working at the job site today.

Just me. I started cleaning the basement -- dusting, wiping, vacuuming. I finished about 500 sq feet of the basement and still have about 1700 sq feet to go. Then I want to do the 2nd floor, and I want to be done before the carpet is installed. I won't touch the first floor because the hardwood floor installers still have to apply another coat of finish, and I suspect they'll be creating more dust.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Here's a picture of the whirlpool tub in the master bathroom. The plumbers finished installing it yesterday and they filled it with water to check for leaks. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to let the water out. They installed the Mountain Plumbing waste overflow kit, but I don't think it's working properly... ?

CB Showers installed the large mirror above the double sink vanity in bath #2 this morning.

German, the painter, started working on the back patio. He masked off the patio ceiling and started painting it white.

The city inspector came out and gave us a green, "everything is okay" tag for the main electrical panel. He said the electrician should have put a round glass or metal cover where the meter is supposed to go (instead of the paper that's on there right now). With the temporary power to the house, there are live 220V wires right behind the paper cover. Brad happened to stop by (he doesn't leave until later this afternoon), and I told him about that so he called the electrician.

This morning, I called Sebastian from SolarCity and told him that he could install the inverter now. I also installed some speaker brackets in the lower courtyard.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Here's a picture of the driveway and walkway that were completed yesterday afternoon.

Brad's on vacation starting tomorrow, so today he gave us the run down for the next few days. Carlos, from Alpine Construction, should patch the asphalt by Monday, and Brad wants us to make sure all the barricades are removed by then. He told us the only sub-contractors he has scheduled are the painters. No one should be inside the house except for Dana. And Brad gave me the okay to call SolarCity to finish installing the inverter for the solar panels.

This morning the other Brian (aka Junior), from Bonanza Heating and Air Conditioning, installed one of the two AC units.

One of the painters, German, was there, masking off the garage door so that he could prime it.

Dave Bengel's crew also showed up to finish labeling and testing the structured wiring can.

I went to Home Depot and purchased some more hinge door stops. The previous ones I had bought, don't fit our hinges -- they're diameter is too small.

Back at the job site, I installed some miscellaneous window and door hardware, motion detectors, and some of the door stops.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

With the new concrete sidewalk in place, the landscapers were able to finish the driveway and walkway.

The plumbers from SCM Plumbing installed the whirlpool tub in the master bathroom and the faucet and toilet in the powder room. They also adjusted the alignment on some of the other faucets.

We went to Cornelia's and returned the other whirlpool tub spout (the one that was too short) and the hand shower (because we don't have enough room for it), and we picked up a replacement pull rod for one of the faucets in the master bathroom (it was missing from the package).

Later in the afternoon, I returned to the job site and installed the pull rod and some window hardware. I also installed one of the motion detectors.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The contractors from Alpine Construction were there early this morning, waiting for the cement truck to show up. It finally arrived around 11 AM and they poured the cement for the sidewalk.

Daniel Mendoza's landscapers graded the back yard and cleaned up some more debris including an old brick walkway.

The electricians from CB Electric Co. installed all the remaining fixtures that we had on hand. These included the dining room chandelier, breakfast nook light, master bathroom vanity lights, and back patio fan.

They were also there to pull the electric cable through a conduit between the city's underground service and the main panel. But before they could do that, Brad had to call an inspector to do a mandrel test. Basically they pull an object through the conduit to make sure there are no obstructions. Here's a picture of the mandrel for checking our 3" conduit.

After the inspector gave his okay, the electricians pulled the very large and VERY heavy cable through the conduit. Actually, I also helped, as did Brad, one of the landscapers, and the city inspector. It took six of us (and some liquid soap borrowed from a neighbor) to get the set of three cables pulled through the conduit. Here's a picture of Ekrem standing by the main panel with the three cables sticking out on the lower left.

Back at home, I ordered three pendant lights for the kitchen island from We chose a model from Besa Lighting called Mimi in the Garnet color.

Friday, May 11, 2007

There was a lot of activity at the job site today. We met with Brad early this morning to mark the spots for the tub spout and valves in the master bathroom.

Mendoza Landscaping was grading the front and back yards and clearing debris.

Alpine Construction removed the old concrete, drilled holes to insert dowels at the joints, and put down a layer of base rock.

Dana finished installing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts in the kitchen.

And Leo drilled the holes for the tub spout.

This evening we found some nice looking mirrors on, so we ordered three of them for the master bathroom vanity.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Today the landscapers finished up the pavers by the side door to the garage. Here's how the driveway looks.

Dana was at the job site again. He installed cabinet doors and toe kicks. Here's a picture of the master bathroom.

And a picture of bath #2.

In my meeting with Brad today, he gave me an outline of what's happening over the next couple of weeks:
  • Leo from Marblus will be coming tomorrow to drill the holes in the master tub deck.
  • The plumbers will be back on Monday or Tuesday to install the remaining fixtures.
  • Standards of Excellence will be installing the appliances onTuesday, 5/29.
  • Floors to Go will be installing the carpets on Wednesday, 5/30.
Tomorrow we're supposed to meet with Brad before Leo show up, to mark the spots of the master tub spout and valves.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Alpine Construction was at the job site early this morning. When I arrived, they had already cut the sidewalk in preparation for its removal and replacement.

The landscapers were busy finishing the walkway. Here they are compacting the pavers. First they swept fine sand over the surface, then they tamped the pavers using a plate compactor.

Dana was also there. He and his son carried all the 7' tall master closet cabinets up to the second floor and set them into place.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

CB Showers called early this morning to say they were going to be installing a new glass door today, to replace the chipped one in the guest bath. About an hour later, Brad called to confirm the height for the mirror in bath #2. He'll have CB Showers cut it about 1" below the level of the lamp shades that are above the vanity.

When I arrived at the job site, the landscapers were starting to lay out the pavers for the walkway.

As for the driveway, they stopped just short of the sidewalk, because they're waiting for the concrete to be replaced.

Brad was inside the house taping masking paper to the floor -- like carpet runners -- to protect the newly finished wood.

Dana was down in the basement (where it was much cooler!), installing drawer fronts and cabinet doors. We caught up with him putting the finishing touches on the stack of drawers in the craftroom. That's Brad on the left and Dana on the right.

Brad wanted to go pick up the last toilet and the vanity (both for the powder room) so we used his truck and drove back to our house to get the items. With the help of the landscapers, we unloaded his truck and moved the heavy vanity into the power room.

Earlier, Brad had said Mike Rorie from Floors To Go was scheduled to install the carpets on Thursday. But after Brad finished describing all the things that need to happen before Thursday, he decided to call Mike and reschedule the carpet installation for a later date.

Here are some pictures of Dana's handiwork:

Laundry Room


Understair Cabinet (in the Craftroom)


Monday, May 7, 2007

I had to reschedule my meeting with CB Showers to Friday morning because the wood floor installers were still working on the varnish.

I never made it out to the job site today, so I don't have any updates on the driveway and walkway or the wood floor.

We did receive another package this afternoon. All of the towel bars, we had ordered on April 25th, arrived in one large box.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

I stopped by the job site late this afternoon to see if any work had been done. The driveway and walkway don't look like they've been touched since yesterday afternoon, so I don't think the landscapers were working today.

The hardwood floor, however, has had a coat of varnish applied to it. Brad was right, the clear coat really makes the floors "pop." The walnut floor looks stunning!

Here's a picture of the living room.

Hmmm... the hallway has lots of dusty foot prints. I don't know if this is normal (it looks like a crowd of people went through the house...).

Friday, May 4, 2007

I had a busy morning. First I stopped at Home Depot where I finally found some hinge pin door stops in satin nickel. I had been looking for them for over a week, but they were out of stock at every Home Depot I went to. Then I went to Cornelia's and picked up a new tub spout (with the longer throw) for the whirlpool tub and an extension kit for the master bathroom shower valve. Next, I went to Home Tech Solutions and bought some motion detectors for the home security system. And finally, I went to Costco and bought a couple of wire shelving units for the pantry.

The landscapers were putting the final touches on the driveway this afternoon. They also started putting down the edging on the walkway.

On the inside of the house, the flooring contractors were vacuuming the floor. It didn't look like they were ready to put on the first coat of varnish yet. Maybe they'll be doing that tomorrow.

On another note, the house address we ordered from Home Depot a couple of weeks ago, arrived this afternoon. I can't wait to hang it up!