Having to pay four months of extra apartment rent at the beginning of the project due to the zoning delay along with losing $10,ooo to a crooked contractor last year before we fired him, it's been apparent for some time that the final month of the project would involve a lot of labor on my part. As it turns out, the project has gone very smoothly otherwise and those two items totaling $17,000 were virtually the only two unexpected expenses that we faced. In terms of actual construction, we've had only two change orders adding up to less than $2,000.
Tuesday, September 16, was the day interior painting was to begin, so I arranged for vacation time from my job for the remainder of the week. The job would involve spray painting 6,000 square feet of freshly textured drywall and 2,000 sq. ft. of ceilings in one day (spray painting ceilings is not a fun job). However the drywall texturing was delayed until Tuesday, meaning that painting couldn't start until Wednesday.
Kitchen cabinets were scheduled for installation on Thursday and Friday, so that area had to be painted on Wednesday as well. As the week progressed, we managed to keep everything on schedule and by the end of Friday, 80% of the interior painting was finished and the kitchen cabinets were in and looking good. This involved a lot of help! Amy held up her end painting and answering questions, my brother-in-law Tom laid ceramic tile floors in both bathrooms, rented a second spray unit and jumped into the painting panic. He, along with another fellow parishioner – Dirk McCuen – installed a whole kitchen full of Kraftmaid cabinets. My Dad, 81, painted his brains out and helped keep the place straightened out while boxes, ladders, brushes and paint buckets were flying about. Another friend from church, Carol Henke, lent her professional expertise helping Amy pick a gorgeous palette of colors, made excellent recommendations on paint brands and grades and with her husband Bill pitched in with the actual painting and brought us a meal. Amy's sisters Leslie and Luanne helped paint the upstairs on Saturday. Luanne also brought lunch over from Brea's Best Burgers and Pepe's on Thursday and Friday. David Curlee not only provided some much needed painting help, but loaned us some ladders and critical lighting equipment as well. Our pastor, Darrell McGowan took time out of a very busy week to pick up a brush and roller for the cause.
All told, it was perhaps the closest thing to an Amish barnraising that you'll see in Orange County, outside of a Habitat for Humanity project.
Late yesterday, I took on the task of installing a ceramic floor in the entry way. It was the first time that I had attempted such a thing on my own, and will perhaps be my last. Amy stood steadfastly by as I mixed thinset adhesive, cussed, groaned and finally completed the job at 9:00 p.m. with the help of the Curlee lighting system. To say that I was thoroughly "whupped" when I got back to the apartment would be an understatement. I ate some leftovers out of the fridge, took three ibuprofen along with a prescription pain reliever left over from a tooth extraction a couple months ago and was in bed by 10:00.
Why I'm wide awake at 4:00 a.m. the next morning, sleepless, and writing this, I can't explain.
After church today, Tom and I intend to grout the downstairs tile, and I may paint the door frames as well. I'll meet an installer at the house on Monday so he measure and template the countertops in the kitchen.
Otherwise, the pros take over again on Monday. The finish electrical will be installed Monday and Tuesday, the stucco color coat goes on Tuesday, interior doors, floor molding and door casings go in on Wednesday and Thursday before I start installing the floors on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I may be ready for one more of those pills next Sunday night, but if we continue to stay on this schedule, we'll be moved back into the house three weeks from now.