Phase 7: The Wrath of Details

Posted by Steve on Fri, 09/08/2006 - 11:36am


Today officially begins the scheduled start of the next major phase of the renovation at Brooklyn Row House: the rebuilding of the master bedroom and upstairs hallway. It started like most of my scheduled projects. In other words, it didn't.

Dykes Lumber, which was given instructions to call me before delivery, arrived yesterday when I must have been out walking the grovelers. Granted, it's a contractor size order but, sheesh, even GC crews take lunch breaks, guys. They didn't call to confirm that they were even delivering yesterday so I could at least hang a note. For that matter, I still don't know what the charge is, although I'm figuring in the $2500 range.

The delivery was rescheduled for Monday which isn't much of a setback because my weekend is shot anyway.

Speak of the devil, the flooring just arrived from Hosking Hardwood: thirteen cartons of Mannington engineered flooring and accessories.

I used Mannington flooring in my office and guest room renovations and the jury's still out with it. I'm already seeing some scratch marks from the dogs' claws. I probably won't be ready to lay the floor until around Thanksgiving at this rate. Before then I have to make some serious progress on building a new referral management system for Children's Health Fund. At least the flooring will be well acclimated to the house by then.

Referring back to an article I wrote last week, Last Lap Crash, I guess I was successful at psyching myself up for this next phase of the renovation. For the past three days I've been running around the house taking care of unfinished business. Yesterday I bought a bunch of drawer and cabinet pulls from The Great Indoors and finally finished off the kitchen, five years after I started it.


Homeland Security

Posted by Steve on Tue, 09/05/2006 - 3:38pm
House: 


The recent Houseblogs posts on the burglary and the fires made me want to say something about whole-house security systems. BTW, to the Restoration on 7th home owners, maybe check with your local board of estimate and/or buildings department to see if some sleazy entity might be trying to get your neighborhood rezoned. We had a lot of these fires in Back Bay, Boston when I was in college. They traced back to the mob, which was trying to open up the avenue to high rise development. Planning commissions are more friendly to these efforts if there are a lot of burned out eyesores in the neighborhood.

Labor Day Snoozer

Posted by Steve on Mon, 09/04/2006 - 1:11am


This was the first Labor Day weekend since I got this place that I wasn't knee deep in some h/i project. Last year I was in the middle of the guest room renovation. Now, I'm waiting for lumber estimates so I can start on the master bedroom rehab. I took the opportunity to hack on my Drupal software here and to play with the Categories and Views modules on a private Drupal instance. Nice software but, man, does it need a coherent manual.

We got some of Ernesto on Friday/Saturday. The wind down here on NY Harbor was pretty fierce so there was clean up to do, which is about as clumsy a segue as I can make to my house topic o' the day: compressors.

I've got a 20-gallon compressor. It's one of my favorite tools in the shop -- not just for what it typically does but for some of the oddball uses you can put it to, like drying off a washed car and blowing out the shop after a sanding marathon. It can even take out a mosquito at six feet. Today it was my broom.

Electrical Gremlins

Posted by Steve on Sun, 09/03/2006 - 2:09am


Just when I think I've got this electrical stuff all figured out, something tosses me in the weeds. This morning I noticed that the clock on my four-year old Frigidaire stove wasn't working. Neither were the buttons. Great, the computer's shot. Of course, it's got an electronic starter that depends on the computer so the oven's not working either.

Well, I guess it's about time. The Frigidaire microwave I bought at the same time had to be replaced last fall. Nice quality control, guys. I remember when companies like Frigidaire and Maytag had good reputations for durability.

But that wasn't the end of it.

Those of you who have followed my X10 home automation articles know that I have a love/hate thing going for these devices. Or rather, like Frigidaire, I'm annoyed by the sub-standard quality of X10 hardware in general.

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