Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Have a deadline

Last saturday, Laura went to talk to our landladies (they run the store next to our apartment) to let them know that the work on the house was going slower than we expected and that we might need another month. It turns out that one of the ladies was planning on moving in to the apartment in August. So it turns out that we will need to move out of this place by the end of the month!

As a result, we have kicked into high gear on the renovation, and I have shifted my focus from the electrical system to demolition. We are removing all the plaster and lath from the exterior walls so that we can be sure we are not going to miss any small pockets or openings.

I have had Russ helping me with the demolition yesterday and today, and we have really made good progress. We should have the tear-down completed tommorrow, and then we need to clean up the mess we made and put in all the electrical outlets and wiring for the exterior walls.

We have the insulation guys scheduled tentatively for next monday, if we are ready for them. They should only take 3-4 days, and then we get to drywall it all in and mud and tape it.

We were planning on having the hardwood floors refinished, but we got a quote that it would cost around $4000 and take a week to do. Also, the floors would be a lighter color than they are now, and Laura prefers the darker color, so we may skip that step or only do the first floor, we are still making up our minds on that one.

We got the water turned on yesterday and today, which was an adventure in itself. Two guys from the city showed up, and while one turned on the water from the street, the other went to the basement and connected the meter. When they tried to open the shutoff valve inside the house, it started spraying water everywhere - it had cracked over the winter. So they shut it off at the street, and since my propane torch and flux and solder were here at the apartment in Daggett, they were nice enough to loan me their torch, some flux, solder, and a piece of pipe they had left over from another job, and said they would come back later to turn it on again once I had replaced the shutoff.

So I went to the hardware store and got the valve and fittings I needed, and went back and tried to put it together. When they came back and turned the water on again, 2 of the 4 joints Russ and I had done leaked. So they shut it off again and said they would come back today.

This morning, I went to the house and did some demolition work while I waited for the stores to open, then I got the new parts to replace the ones I messed up on. This time I had brought my own flux and solder and torch from home, and when I put it all together and turned the water on (they left me the wrench to turn it on from the street when I was ready) none of my sweat joints leaked. So I assume the problem was with the flux or solder they had lent me.

Then when I opened the shutoff valve to send water to the house, I quickly discovered that I have at least one other leak in the basement, so I shut it off again. At least from this point I can turn it off myself without needing the city guys, using the new valve I installed. So I have some plumbing ahead of me as well.

We brought the camera to the house today to take some pictures to send of our adventures, but Clara took pictures and played with it on the way to the house, so when we got their the battery was dead. So instead I have attached two older pictures we took, showing the wood floor and old style heat register, and the banister at the top of the stairs.


At July 9, 2008 4:17 PM , Blogger Lyda's said...

Wow Mark! You sure are a handy man, do you want to come help us with our house? Congrats on all the hard work, and good luck on the rest. I'm sure you are doing a mighty fine job! I look forward to seeing the finished product!

At July 11, 2008 9:54 AM , Blogger mrs. dph said...

Mark, I am amazed at your mad skills. I don't even know what those things are that you are refering to. The staircase is beautiful. May the force be with you. . .


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