Thursday, March 19, 2009

Big Things Pooping...

Another long one. You've been warned.

If the weeks of this renovation were cars, week 1 would probably be a Honda Accord. Nothing flashy, just gets the job done and done well.

Week two however, is quickly turning into the VW Cabrio that Amanda currently drives around. Its luster is lost, it sounds kind of bad, calamity could ensue at any moment and it wouldn’t pass an inspection.

Here’s my Tuesday:

The dry wall was delivered. They didn’t call me to let me know it was going there, but hey, why would I expect them to do that? This is a problem because instead of getting a boom lift, like I had asked for, they apparently just dropped it off in the driveway. This is not ideal for two reasons: 1 – I now have to pay a bunch of guys a few hundred bucks to carry all that sheet rock up stairs, and 2 – the dumpster truck came this morning, but again couldn’t pick it up because the sheet rock was in the way. Great.

I gave Home Depot, where I ordered the sheet rock from, a call and asked about the boom lift. They said someone should have called me, etc., etc. and I asked about getting a lift out there today. They said that there’s a 72 hour lead time for the lift, and more importantly, there’s a $100 delivery charge, plus $9.50 charge per sheet to lift them to the second floor. That’s an extra $670 just to do what I asked them to do in the first place. None of those fees were brought up when I was ordering. Sigh. This in mind, I called Al Medina, general contractor, and let him know that I’ll pay his guys to carry heavy materials to the second floor. He was not pleased, and I’m sure his workers are even less so.

I now have to schedule yet another dumpster pick-up and cut another check for labor.

Morning over.

When I got back into my car after leaving the gym, I opened my phone and saw a message from Al was waiting for me. In the Honda Accord version of the renovations, it would be a quick question about something simple. This is Amanda’s VW Cabrio week, so it’s not going to be good.

Al's message said that an inspector came and saw a bunch of electrical stuff that needed to be buttoned up. I called Electrician Ron and he sounded somber (even though on the inside, he was probably gleeful at the prospect of more work). The inspector inspected the second floor, where ER had done most of his work; no problems. The first floor and basement, where previous owner, Dis-Handyman had done most of his great work? Many problems. Awesome.

ER told me that it would be about $3k to fix everything that needs to be fixed (basically rewiring the basement and first floor, as the methods and materials used by Dis-Handyman are substandard according to the inspector). I told him that I’d get back to him.

I called up Al, after going over the paperwork we both signed (important) at the beginning of all the work, and let him know what ER said. He said he would ask the inspector for the details and call me back.

Going over the paperwork is important, because in it, it says that the General Contractor is responsible for “bring(ing) the electrical system up to code.”

I heard from Al a few hours later and he had spoken with the inspector, as well as Electrician Rob. I convinced Al to pay for half of the cost, as he agreed to take care of all of the electrical. On the other hand, he’s done some good work for me for free so far, so I bent a little and we met in the middle. I now owe $1500 ($750 of which was paid this morning. Hooray.) to ER to fix all of the stupid electrical.

Another consequence of the day is the fact that now the Fire Department may also inspect the work. “So what,”you say? That’s what I said too. That is, until ER informed me that the Fire Department will look for hardwired, rather than battery operated, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. I have already purchased battery operated carbon/smokes ($105), so looks like I get to return those and spend some more money on hardwired ones ($180).

Tuesday over, I went to the house early this morning to meet with the window guys. They were late, thus I was late for work, but hey, at least they brought the windows. I've yet to hear anything bad from them, so I assume that things are going well with the installation. The new windows are going to look fantastic and hopefully drive my profit up a little bit.

Also on deck for today? More inspectors. This time for the framing work that's been done. If it were last week, everything would be fine. It is not last week and although Amanda's VW is still plugging along, as is the work in the house, you never quite know when her car will catch fire or possibly explode.

Go VW go.

No comments: