Monday, March 22, 2010

It’s Hot in the Kitchen

This week our focus was mostly on the kitchen. Each night from Monday through Wednesday we sanded the kitchen floor, cleaned it, and applied another coat of polyurethane. There are a couple small spots that we missed with the final coat but we should be able to easily fix those later.

On Thursday afternoon we met with a sales rep from Gro Solar. We got an estimate for solar panels for electric and hot water. It’s a big decision that we have to make but at least now we have an idea about how much it will cost to implement.

Friday was an extremely busy day. Early in the morning the contractors came over with a dumpster to remove all the garbage that we’d been collecting. Now our yard is clear of the old gutters, windows, and porch enclosure. Our garage, sunroom, and storage area are all clear of our old tile, insulation, hardwood floor, and subfloor.

Around lunchtime, the mortgage company division manager came by the house to “verify that there is no mold” in our basement. Apparently they’re trying to ensure that I’m not committing fraud by saying that there is no mold – this has been the latest in a very frustrating argument that I’ve been having with the bank for more than a month. I just can’t wait until they pay my contractors for the work that they’ve completed.

Friday afternoon our kitchen cabinets were finally delivered. It was great to have them in the house!

After the cabinets were safe in the living room, I had to go to the county office to get the electrical permit. I went to the office where we got the other permits and when I arrived, they told me that they couldn’t give me one there since I am the homeowner. I had to go to another office about 15 minutes away and pass an electrical test before they could issue the permit. Since it was Friday afternoon, I only had about 20 minutes before the office closed at 3:30. I was handed a test and code book and by some act of God, I passed the test. I have no idea how I passed but I’m just glad that I did! The bank will finally pay my contractors once they get a copy of the permit. The contractors have been working for three months and haven’t received a penny.

Friday night, our parents arrived. It was the first time the Skociks have been to the house and I think they were impressed with how much work we are willing to tackle.

Saturday and Sunday were very busy days as well. The guys all worked to install kitchen cabinets – they ran into some plumbing and electrical issues that slowed them down a bit. We also learned that we have very crooked walls. Fortunately, we still have most of the cabinets in place now.

The girls were able to finish a lot of jobs over the weekend. On Saturday we removed the two windows in the den. In the den there is a light switch down near your knees and in order to move that up to the normal level, we needed to order windows that were slightly smaller than the original ones. We removed the windows on Saturday and my dad was able to re-frame for the new windows on Sunday.

The other big task that we accomplished was installing a temporary fence so that Tucker can run around in the backyard while we’re working in the house. The tree guys had removed a portion of the fence and, since we had to re-install it, we decided to move the fence farther back from the road. This required a ton of digging. We had to dig up the posts from the old fence and then dig the holes for the new location. The biggest problems we ran into were all the roots and rocks in the area.

A couple other issues we had were removing the strand of barbed wire from the top of the fence and removing the bottom parts of the metal fence posts. The bottom of the fence posts had big wings that were buried deep in the hard clay – a lot of digging was required to remove these!

The fence will work for keeping Tucker in the yard but it sure looks ugly! It is only temporary but Chris’ mom will be starting some forsythia for us so that we can camouflage the fence a little bit!

Sarah, Michelle, James, and Emma stopped by on Sunday afternoon on the way to the airport. Hopefully the next time friends stop by we’ll be able to offer them refreshments and a nice, clean place to sit down!

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