Wednesday, March 24, 2010

House Update, or The Drywall Is Finally Drying

It's been about a month since I signed the supplemental contract for my house so it's time for a status report. So here's where we are: 
  • The drywall is hung and mudded. Since the house was open for several wet months, it took longer for the mud to dry than anticipated but . . . 
  • The house is closed up, the heater is installed and the house is heated. 
  • The exterior painting is almost done.
  • The kitchen cabinets and bookcases for the library/hall are under construction. 
  • The door frames for the garage doors and the pantry doors are complete. 
Next steps include hanging the garage doors and priming the interior. Laying the floors shouldn't be far behind. The bookshelves should go in this week and the kitchen cabinets a couple weeks after that. The drive will be re-graded and spread with small gravel in a couple weeks.

I've ordered the appliances and chosen the flooring. I'm looking at light fixtures, tile for the kitchen backsplash and fans this week.

You may recall that we had some legal issues with the contractor. He and Frank had a parting of the ways back in October and we ended up with a mechanic's lien against the property and a half-completed project. At the time of his death Frank was working on finishing the project on his own, acting as the general contracting himself. He found that some of the sub-contractors were happy to work with him, but he was having trouble replacing others. 

I know that Frank would not have approved of my continuing the project with the original contractor, but in evaluating the situation I realized I needed to accomplish four goals: 
  • Receive a warranty on the entire house. I didn't think a new contractor would warranty the first contractor's work.
  • Cancel the lien.  
  • Generate as little ill-will and publicity in this rural area where everyone knows my business.
  • Finish the project in which I have insufficient subject-matter expertise. In other words, I didn't feel qualified to act as the general contractor.
I feel disloyal to Frank in having chosen to work with the original contractor. It's not the path he would ever have taken. But in contemplating my options I've concluded that decisions that were right for us are not necessarily right for me

The supplemental contract requires the house to be completed by May 31. We seem on-track to meet that milestone. With a little luck we may even come in a couple weeks ahead of schedule.

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