Jan. 26th, 2017

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My husband has started calling me his butch construction worker. I'm getting a workout with our contractor but, I worry if I'm more hindrance than help. Still, he seems to be enjoying both my company and my help, so I'll keep on with it. We finished getting the kitchen and bath ceilings in on Monday, pulled the last of the wire for the two rooms, & got most of the nailing plates in, that is until we ran short and ran out of them. I got another 4 dozen at Home Depot that night and continued on this morning, once again falling short of the requisite number required. We also needed more drywall to get the walls up and ready for the cabinets early next week, so we bit our collective lip and hit a local hardware store. We prefer to bring what we can from Santa Rosa, as pricing is significantly lower there, often 1/2 the price or lower. However, sometimes we bite the bullit and buy locally if it means we get it done.

The three of us today finished the wiring, and insulation and we got started on hanging wall board. Seeing the walls taking shape is exciting, a strong sense of accomplishment.

It's also fascinating working alongside Jeremy. With all of his experience in construction, he can look at things and see what was. For example, he pointed at the studs dividing the kitchen from the bathroom out on the patio and told me that it used to be a doorway. I furrowed my brow and asked how he could be so sure of that. He pointed to the sill plate at the base of the wall and showed me the where it had been spliced in covering what had once been a threshold. He also was able to identify the difference in the woods there, explaining what made them clearly as being of different eras. He's also dead certain that the house is at least 20 years older than we had been told, or at least part of it is. We found evidence of wiring than hasn't been used since the 20's or perhaps the early 30's. Moreover, there was evidence of a very early form of wall board that we found while doing the demolition, but no lath and plaster. This also points to the 30's for construction and not 1950 date the county records reflect.

Another turn of events should make the construction happen more quickly. Our contractor has moved into a trailer in our driveway, as of this afternoon. Did I mention we have a trailer hookup there? His commute just went from 65 miles each way, to 15 feet. I'll likely make the drive 3-4/week, which will make it easier for me to move stuff with each trip (my antique treadle sewing machine, some luggage and 1/2 dozen large boxes made the journey today and are now in the garage). I don't mind the drive, and honestly, 4 more hours per day where he will be working on the project and not driving, is just the kick in the pants this remodel needs to get it done in a timelier way. With all the time that was wasted with out previous contractor who did essentially nothing I the 8 months he had to get anything done, we are way behind in getting moved and getting out Sonoma County property on the market. We need the place on the market the 1st of March to get it sold this spring at a good price.

Once the central air and heat are in & we have a working kitchen and bath & I have a closet in my bedroom, we can move in. We will unfortunately be living in a construction zone thru the summer at the very least, given all we need to do, but if there is a bedroom sanctuary retreat to, a kitchen to cook in, and a hot shower at the end of the day, I can live with that. What more is there to do? How about pulling up 5 layers of flooring in the living room to get to the hardwood floor below, replacing every window and sliding door in the house as they're all single pane, rebuilding the porch stairs repairing the siding where windows have been moved, pulling out the swamp cooler and closing the wall where it's hanging, and then putting in a full bath upstairs.

Then we get to tackle the garage.


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