Monday, October 14, 2002
The faucets for the first floor and guest bathroom showed up today. These were the faucets that Antique Hardware told us they had already shipped to us twice before. Funny how they never showed up. I guess they kept getting stuck at the border. I am glad they finally got here. I think they are going to look great and it solves the problem of trying to rebuild fuller valve faucets. The plumbers will be here Wednesday to complete the last items on their list.
Speaking of plumbers, it got cold last night. When I got there this morning the house was 56F degrees. I turned up the heat and by 5pm it had climbed to 61F. I called the plumbers and we couldn't figure out what was wrong, so Jeff came over. Turns out the switch was off. Jeff says there will be a training class on how to use the furnace on Wednesday. The house should be nice and toasty by the morning. Good thing, they are talking about possible snow flurries by the end of this week.
Action Asphalt came by today and finished the driveway but I never saw them. I walked out this afternoon and found three coffee cups in the big hole by the driveway. Over the weekend I had just made a tour of the entire property picking up trash and couldn't believe someone decided to throw out three coffee cups. Then I looked over at the drive and the asphalt work was done. That explains the three coffee cups. Karl called this evening and will be over on Tuesday to do the final measure on the concrete. Then we get to find out how much this really costs.
I called Expo to confirm the counter install for the laundry room scheduled for Tuesday. I also wanted to make sure the divider support was also going to be delivered at the same time and that it was white, not the counter color. I call Contempo Kitchens and they say, "What divider?"
So I call Expo. Victor, the new guy handling my "problem" claims that he told them last week how to make the divider. Contempo says they don't make dividers. I called Victor back and he started telling me about all his problems with Contempo. I told him I didn't want to hear it, they were his contractor, you deal with it. Victor then made a boo-boo, he said I had already refused 4 different counters, was I going to reject this one too. Oh that did it, I exploded.
Fortunately, I didn't cuss, Unfortunately, I yelled. Victor to his credit didn't hang up. Long time readers know that there have only been two counters, not four and that both times Contempo built the counters wrong. If this one on Tuesday gets rejected, it will be because Contempo and Expo screwed up, not us. We have been ready for these counters since late July. Three months later and they still haven't installed a five foot Formica counter with no curves or corners. Contempo called back about 30 minutes later and said they needed to postpone the installation because the divider is not ready. Gee, there is a surprise. I don't understand why Victor from Expo couldn't have called to make sure everything was ready to go.
Jeff Gransden from Pilon will be here on Tuesday. Boy, do we have a punch list for him. I am going to try to post up the punch list so that you can see what is left to do. We are getting close.
Wednesday, October 09, 2002
The concrete was poured today. It took only two days to build all the forms and then at 8:30 this morning they started pouring. By 5pm, they were done. Hats off to Karl and the whole crew at GM & Sons. The crew was first rate and a real pleasure to work with. It is too bad they don't do more residential work. There are already three other neighbors that want concrete work, just in this neighborhood. GM & Sons mostly does commercial work for big companies like Pfizer and the University of Michigan. So we were lucky to have them work for us and we sure glad they did. Like they say, there is no shortage of work, for folks who do things right.
I have posted a bunch of pictures up in the October Photo Album. One to look for is the truck behind our 150 year old beech tree. I walked out the door and there was this truck at the far back of the property. I couldn't figure out how the heck it got back there. While standing there trying to figure it out, he started to back up. So I snapped some shots as he traced his steps back. You know the tree is pretty big when a concrete truck can drive underneath it.
Here are some concrete truck facts. Each truck fully loaded weighs about 90,000 pounds. They can hold about 10 to 11 cubic yards of concrete. It took about 6 loads of concrete today. Each yard weighs about 2,700 pounds. The truck has a 6-speed automatic transmission and it even has a television. Though the only channel it has is the view out the back.
Here are some concrete tips. To help cure the concrete, starting on day two keep the concrete wet. It will help cool down the concrete which increases it strength and will make for a better sidewalk or driveway. Also don't use any salt on your concrete the first year. Salt reacts with the concrete and will cause the surface to spall or break up. If you are driving around town during winter rinse off your driveway as your car can drag salt in from the roads.
About 10:30 this morning Chile introduced herself to the whole crew as she ran across the back patio. Sinking into the concrete up to her knees, she couldn't understand why no one was very excited to see her. A quick trip up to shower to wash off and then she got the spend the rest of the day in the car. Note to self, don't bring dog to job site on the day they pour concrete.
Painting is progressing well. Though I am not sure we are going to make our October 25 deadline. But we better, the floor guys are coming the next week. I wish the painters would have gotten started earlier. We originally were supposed to have been done at the end of August. But they got a late start and so we have been behind ever since. I hate rushing things like this at the end, you don't get as good a paint job, but we need to get moving. I hope Ron can pull this off.
Expo continues to be the nightmare they always are. I called last week to ask about counters. They never called back. Called this week asking where the counters were? They said they didn't understand my message from last week so nothing was done. Did anyone call me to clarify what we needed. No. I don't get it. This is supposed to be their job to make sure that items ordered get delivered and installed. Yet they can't follow up and make sure that this project actually gets finished. I am really getting hacked off at them. I guess they are mad at me as well. Even the general manager won't return my phone calls any more. They have promised me on numerous occasions that we would get a refund for the extra labor and damage they have caused from all the foul-ups. But I bet they will drag their heels on that too.
Jeff from Pilon will be back next week to work on the punch list. There are still a number of items on the list, but the good news is the list is slowly getting smaller. That is a good thing.
We still haven't been able to find our missing faucets. Though I was assured by Antiques Hardware that they shipped by FedEx today. Of course, they were supposed to ship the faucets by FedEx three weeks ago, I guess they lost that order. We ordered them back in August. Oh well, there is always something. Chile says it is time for a walk, I agree.
Friday, October 04, 2002
Roger Pilon, the president of Pilon Construction and our General Contractor died this past Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 49. The loss has been very depressing. Though we have known for some time that things had taken a turn for the worse, it is still hard to believe he is gone. His enthusiasm and support for this project helped us make it all possible and we will truly miss him.
Roger had real vision for how a remodeling company ought to be run. In a industry of fly-by-night operators and construction scams, Roger knew that there was place for a company with integrity, honesty, and a great work ethic. All you had to do was look at his employees, many of them have been with Roger for more years then I can count, and you just knew that Roger could do what he promised.
Far too many contractors looked at Glover House and said no way, it can't be done for any reasonable budget. Roger and his team looked at Glover House and saw the real potential and was enthusiastic about this project from the very beginning. Maggie and I feel very fortunate to have met and worked with Roger. I am saddened that he won't be able to see this great house finished. But we will press on. Some folks have asked us if Roger's passing would impact our project. Not one bit. We are still one month ahead of schedule and our plan is to be done by Thanksgiving.
Lots of stuff has happened this week. We completed the sale on the Kresge building in downtown Ypsilanti. As many of you know, our original plan was to create a downtown loft in Kresge. That was until Glover House come up on the market. So we ended up buying both Kresge and Glover in the same week of February 2000. Then, after battling with Kmart for almost 16 months, we were able to get them out of their 99 year lease and not a moment too soon. Kmart declared bankruptcy four months later. The new buyers are planning to develop apartments in the upper floors and then work to attract a high quality restaurant for the first floor. We are excited about their plans for the building and wish them all the best.
The concrete pour for the driveway and sidewalks at Glover House started Thursday. The rain has been relentless this week, yet the folks at GM & Sons didn't let them stop them. They just dug out the mud, put in dry fill and poured concrete. Today they finished grading the driveway and sidewalks and they will finish the concrete pour on Monday. Amazing!
Painting is proceeding as well. It has been a little slow going these past couple of weeks but Ron and his crew have committed to completing the interior painting in the next three weeks. The schedule will be tight but we need to get the painting completed so we can get the floors finished. We have been putting up samples of some of the paint colors we selected. We are batting about 50-50. Half look great, the other half seem to indicate that we must of been smoking something when we picked them. Good thing there are lots of other colors to choose from.
Oh yeah, we met with Expo at the end of last week. I will tell you all about it later. Here's a hint, we still don't have the counter in the laundry room.
© Copyright 2002-2007 — Steve Pierce