A Second Story
Friday, February 27, 2004
Big Yellow Truck
That is what Owen had to say about the roofing materials that were delivered today.

They put all the materials on the roof in a pattern, I'm assuming in order to make it easier when they start. We do have some problem though, because we have a section of the old roof that needs to be re-roofed to match the new roof (our house is shaped like an L, and the shorter section doesn't have a second story on top). We pointed this out to our contractor, and he said he hadn't thought about roofing the small portion of old roof, and he'd get back to us with numbers.

This leads us to our next issue, which is: the contractor. Work started February 5th, and he hasn't been out once to supervise, work, etc. His foreman Joe is great, and we learn a lot of what is going to be happening through him. However, we assumed that the contractor would actually come out himself to see what was happening. We talked to a friend knowledgable in these things, and he talked to a contractor relative of his, and we determined that we are not crazy, we do have a crappy contractor. So, we are going to talk to a few more people (including the contractor's board) and then have a meeting with him. Here are a few of our issues:

* We need a new contract. We are still working under the auspices of an old contract for a completely different idea (seperate garage with living unit on top). Upon further reflection, this is probably illegal and he could get in a heap of trouble.
* We want an itemized list on cost (probably as part of the contract). Not a half assed itemized list.
* We need to know what info he need from us (what decisions are we going to be making (ie: floor, electric socket placement)). They sprung on us 4 days ago the fact that we needed to chose the shingle color for the roof - and of course it was so urgent. Well shit, it is not like we know when he needs specific info from us!
* We want to know what work is going to be done, and if something changes we want to know. No more random showing up and doing half of something.
* We want to know why the deck was started and not finished (they told us it would only take 3 days, it has been 3+ weeks).
* We want weekly updates.
* You never come out to see us (probably because he lives on one end of the metro area, and we live on the other - about 1.5 hours apart. However, if this was an issue for him, he shouldn't have bid on our job).

It really is a simple matter of communication, which apparently he sucks at. If there is a reason that the deck was started and then abandoned, just tell us. If there is a reason they say that 3 guys will be coming to do a certain job and then they don't ever show, tell us why. We probably aren't going to be mad, we just want to know what is happening. Also, he seems to forget things (like the fact that we wanted all the ugly brick off our house and new siding everywhere). We also don't have a clear picture of what things are going to look like, such as the deck (will it be in a herringbone pattern? What do the railings look like?) and the chimney (they have some idea of the best way to do it, and we have no idea what it will look like).

Anyway, hopefully the meeting will get everything cleared up, and he will start communicating with us in a thorough and timely fashion. If not, I think we will have to terminate the relationship and look elsewhere...

By the way - we did check him out thoroughly, called references, etc etc etc. He was actually really great and communicative at the beginning. We think maybe he has more work than he can deal with and we are the ones getting the shaft.
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Roof. Roof.
That is what Enid says everytime the workers start pounding on the roof. She'll get used to them the last day they are here...

So the whole roof is covered. A roofing company is coming next week (and by next week we assume that means monday, but that may not be true). We were given samples from which we are to choose a shingle color. Somehow, it is harder then it should be. Eight shades of gray, a couple browns, a white, two blacks, and a green. The building is so tall now, I can't even see the roof, so will it really matter?

If anyone has any opinions on house color, feel free to chime in. We have a rendered drawing of the house, and I colored it a few different colors to get an idea, but it is just a bit weird.

The workers also cleaned up all the brick they tore off the house, as well as the soda cans that they have tossed off the roof. They complain less about the rain, since they now have a roof to work under. They mentioned working a short week... we don't know if that means this week (ie: they have finished the roof so now they are "done" until the roofing company comes) or next week (ie: they don't work if the roofing company is here). They still have a deck to finish, more siding to pull off, etc.

The contractor still hasn't even been to our house.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004
They're Ba-ack...
The trusses are back, and are being installed. I know.

We are still trying to figure out the construction worker ethic. When we talked to the contractor yesterday and he mentioned that Derek was home from work, he said something like "we don't get the luxury of days off like these (President's Day)." However, nobody was working on our house. Not sure what they were doing. We did have to have Joe come out to fix the seive that is our bedroom window. He must have done something right, he rained all day and hasn't leaked.

We had the Gorton's fisherman working today, except he was wearing a green slicker/pant set. And no fish sticks. Three of them went to town on the roof, leaving us with a cool sort of enviro/angular/tarp roof thing. Hopefully, it won't drip. Oh! We also got a skip today. I don't know what they are called here, but on Ground Force, they call it a skip. You know, the big trash can.

Saturday, February 14, 2004
There Go the Trusses
Yep. They took them back. Apparently the county said they need to hold a heavier snow load, so the truss company had to come get them to do some refabrication. Meanwhile, still no stairs to the deck, but the deck posts are set in concrete. We were hoping to hang out up there this weekend... They tore off brick from around the front of the house, which is a big mess, but I suppose we could categorize it as progress.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004
A Deck Appears
The workers only worked like 4 hours on friday. But, in their defense, it was raining. That never happens here. :rolleyes:

This week has been sunny, so they have been putting in 8 hours day. I don't know anything about building, but they have put the deck up in an odd fashion. It is sort of attached to the house, and all the wood is nailed together, but they haven't actually anchored the deck to the ground. They built boxes for the footings and concrete, and are doing that today. ??? Seems like you would put posts in the ground and build around them, but they are the professionals. (or should I say "professionals".... ). Anyway, here are pictures of the deck and the holes.

Derek and the workers were lamenting their fate... They drive all the way out to Estacada to work on our house, and Derek drives to Hillsboro to work, which is where they live. They should either switch houses, or switch jobs!
Thursday, February 05, 2004
They Actually Started!
At 7:15 no less, right outside my bedroom window. Beggars can't be choosers... Of course things are going smoothly... they ordered the wrong wood for the deck, and when they took off the existing siding, they found Ship Siding (at least I think that is what he said)... anyway, whatever it is, it is too weak to support even a second story deck. So after they ripped off the aluminum siding, they had to nail plywood along the entire house.

They warned me that they would be pounding hard on the house, so if we had anything hanging on a wall, we should take it down. I never thought about the kitchen cupboards. When I came home from a little outing, all the cupboard doors were open, glasses were on the counter, and there was a broken glass on the floor! Whoops! The lumber company came out and gave them what they needed, and took back the wrong stuff.

The next step after shoring up the side of the house is to build the deck. They are sort of building a shell of the deck... just enough to allow them access to the roof (the deck will have stairs coming down to the ground). There are also supposed to be a couple of men coming to dig a 1.5 foot wide "moat" around the house, so they can lay more foundation. We still are in shock that someone is actually here doing work!
Monday, February 02, 2004
The Trusses are Coming! The Trusses are Coming!
Wow. After many promises, waiting for permits, floods, snow, ice and illness, we actually had the trusses delivered today. Poor Joe arrived at 7:30 to meet them, but they didn't come until 10:00. Not sure what the etiquette is with your construction workers, but I felt like I should have invited him in, or at least offered him some coffee. At least he has his own potty. I'm hoping someone other than Joe shows up today, but maybe todays work simply entails the off-loading of wood. That'd be our luck. At any rate, things should pick up here on the blog....

We went on saturday to Macadam Floor and Design to check out our flooring options. We were pleasantly surprised to find lots to choose from, and had a really nice woman helping us. We told her we didn't know what we could afford, and she was honest and showed us some good but affordable flooring. At any rate, we really love the cork flooring, which of course is more expensive. But, it is environmentally friendly, and feels great on your feet! If we can't afford it, there were some really nice laminate wood floors that would match our downstairs wood floors, and hold up to the dogs.

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