Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Where Has The Time Gone????

I spent over 24 hours during the last two days working on the house, but I don't seem to have much to show for it. A lot of time was spent running to different stores (and stuck in traffic between stores). A lot of little items were needed, like wood filler to cover the nail holes on the baseboard and casing, and some big items too, like the double bowl granite/composite kitchen sink.

We're still waiting for the plumber and the electrician to show up. The electrician said he'd call when he's back from visiting family. I'm guessing that'll be some time in 2010. The plumber was scheduled to come yesterday to connect the gas line to the hot water heater, install the heat trap, the temperature control valve, and the expansion tank. He didn't show up, but he sent his father. He puttered around for an hour or so, installed the heat trap, and then left for the day, saying they'd be back Tuesday or Wednesday.

It seems like we're so close to finishing, yet so far away. Hoping to get closer and closer to the "finishing" idea, we are moving forward with Access National Bank to get our ducks lined up for the conversion from construction loan to mortgage. The appraiser came today to measure and look around. He seems to be familiar with the neighborhood and with green construction. We're keeping our fingers crossed that the appraisal comes in the same, or higher, than it did last year at this time when we were working to obtain our construction loan. I'm taking it as a good sign that today's Washington Business Journal email news summary led off with a story about real estate prices climbing in the DC area. Hopefully our appraiser read that story!

The highlight of today was when Jason and Matt, two City of Falls Church officials, came to inspect the final grading. We passed that inspection! Thanks to Bob DeMarr and his crew for fixing the job Bartley didn't get right but still wanted to charge a premium for. Immediately after passing the inspection, I called Maryann Ogle from Terra Landscaping to schedule the gravel driveway/parking area and the permeable paver walkway installation. The weather forecast isn't great for the next few days, but Maryann will monitor the weather and send the crew as soon as there's good news in the forecast. Maryann pointed us in the right direction to schedule wood chip mulch delivery from the City, so we'll soon (hopefully) receive a truck load of mulch to scatter along the lot.

I spent some time today working on the master shower. Another challenge I dealt with was that the master bathroom shower pan wasn't poured properly. There should have been a slope to the drain, but it ended us more like small hills and valleys. That left lots of places for water to settle, instead of drain. I rented a grinder from Ace Tool Rental in Falls Church and spent a good bit of the afternoon grinding down the high spots, checking with the level, and ensuring the water now heads towards the drain. I poured water into the shower pan and it all went in the right direction. Yay!

After that task was successfully completed, I laid out the 1" x 1" tiles for the shower floor to find the best fit using the least number of tiles. When we ordered the tiles at Amicus, we thought it would take 21 of the 12" x 12" tile mats, but I was able to configure it using only 17. Since we had to buy a box, which contains 24, that leaves me with an extra 7 sq.ft. of beautiful carbon floor tile. Hmmmm, what can I tile with that?

Tomorrow I'll mix up some Thinset and install the floor tiles. The wall tiles will follow. Another one of my shopping stops today was to order a threshold/sill for the shower curb. Actually, on my way back from IKEA yesterday, I stopped at Community Forklift (kind of like Habitat for Humanity's ReStore) but they were closed. I was looking for a remnant of granite, Silestone or marble for the threshold. Since I couldn't get it at Community Forklift, I bought a remnant retail. The advantage of buying the remnant retail is that they will polish both edges for me. The likelihood of finding that at a second hand shop was pretty slim.

Here are some miscellaneous pics, as well as the long-overdue photos of the completed deck (well construction has been completed - we'll stain it and seal it in the Spring time).


  1. The deck looks very nice!

  2. Is it a church that you are going to build..Anyway please update me with the final photo of the completed one..