To be honest I am starting to lose enthusiasm for writing these long updates and I am seriously considering breaking what’s going on down into to smaller bite size chunks..but I fear that might be even more time-consuming and then I’d be even later with those so here it is…another 2 week wrap up of EVERYTHING we’ve had going on!!!!
The big news on site this week was that Adrian came to the end of his time working for us. I was gutted about this as although I knew why we had to call it a day (mainly financially : paying for full-time labor on site was KILLING us..I mean literally taking ALL our cash and then some) it also meant that we weren’t going to progress as fast as we had been doing up to this stage . Fast I hear you say? This is a YEAR TWO update..yeah I know but trust me we’d still be living without a roof if it wasn’t for Adrian coming to our rescue. It turns out that working full-time (and travelling for a lot of that in Jon’s case) is a pain in the neck when it comes to renovating. If you could do this and ONLY this then heck yeah you can finish a house in 6 months. We even have friends who do it for a living but that just isn’t us..no we have other jobs, and two small kids and a LOT going on.
So Adrian finished up where he could and as we were waiting for the rain to cease (again I know!) he packed up and set off to his next job. We let him go knowing that we might not be able to get him back should we need him but that’s the risk we are having to take. He wasn’t able to move forward at the pace he was used to as we needed to pause and wait for the electrics to get done and they would be at least another week and well you can’t pay someone to have time to wait .
So that week it was as if time stood still. We were stuck just waiting for the rain to stop and the new electrical panel to get done. That day finally came on Saturday and Gary and his trusty assistant arrived to spend a full day re-wiring the house and hooking everything up to a new upgraded panel. YAY no longer will the entire electric on the upper floor go off when I blow dry my hair (I kid you not!). Its dirty & dangerous work electrical stuff mainly because you have to spend a fair chunk of time under the house and Gary claims we have Black Widow spiders living under there. Of course there’s no photographic evidence of this as there was NO way in HELL I was going under my own house into the crawl space to find out!!!!
I wont lie – that is not the most exciting image in the entire world ever but it marks a new stage in the house…new wiring that is not 60 years old !
As soon as that was done Jon and David continued on with project siding. The plan was to get the gable end finished as fast as possible so that we could move back onto finishing the back of the house and finally get sealed (after 18 months of open living!!). Jon actually took an entire week of work to dedicate to getting a few key things done so we could push this project ahead as fast as possible.
Siding is a royal pain in the ****, particularly when windows and electrical panels are in the way it means you have to measure everything EXACTLY or you just ruined and expensive piece of Hardie cement siding. As you can imagine this takes forever and there’s lots of measuring and double checking and measuring again before you even cut and then you have to fit the damn thing which requires two bodies and a large home-built scaffold apparently! We did purchase a nail gun for this job but Jon seemed happier hammering nails in to secure the siding so I think that’s one tool that might be going back (hooray as its starting to look like a mini Home depot in our pool house).
Here’s what a complex measuring system on site looks like:
Such an arduous task of course requires as much help as possible – so Jack got involved wearing his toy construction hat, measuring where required and sitting up on the scaffold.
He desperately wants to be involved so Jon tries to let him do a job where he can. I was super nervous about him getting up on the scaffolding but he sat on his little stool and watched carefully and didn’t move for at least 5 mins – a new world record I think.
Once they got passed the windows the siding moved fairly quickly and here’s what it looks like all finished……tada!
This took most of the week but once it was done there was celebrations all around. The siding on this gable still needs a coat of paint but that’s a job to come in the next few weeks.
I mentioned last update about the laundry getting ripped to pieces..Well here’s what it looked like in progress;
We actually had to rip out the floor to make it stronger to support the weight of the new boiler position and the two machines and also it was a good opportunity to run the under floor heating into this area too.
A new sub floor was built, and then the reflective insulation was added along with the pipe work and finally plywood is added on top. We also stripped out under the stairs so we can make some use of this space. I am thinking a cupboard/cubby combo will work so there’s a place for kids to dump their belongings and for some storage too.
Of course all of this work meant we were without a washer & dryer for a whole week ( a disaster in a house of 4 adults & 2 kids!!).
So we were carting laundry into San Francisco with us every other day to keep on top of it and dropping it off at our regular dry cleaners in Chinatown. Its been a LONG time since I had to do laundromat visits and I forgot how heavy a bag of laundry can be. Luckily I had my trusty man-servant in town this week to help out!
Lugging laundry is not a great way to start your Monday! Thankfully the washing machines were back up and running in no time. Up next week is more plumbing and hopefully the back of the house getting sealed! Watch this space ….