Thursday, May 12, 2005

I'm Juggling Five Balls and They're All Muddy

There are not words to describe how ill-suited todays' weather was for outdoor activity. It was 35 degrees and raining and a miserable day was had by all. Where do I sign up for summer?

Yesterday, my head guy tried to call off for today after seeing the forecast, and I had to play the bad guy and tell him he had to show up and be ready to set steel by 7 am (keeping in mind he lives two hours away). It's not how I would have liked things to have gone for anyone, but I've had a crane scheduled for a week and canceling would have meant a wait of a week or more to be rescheduled and that's time I just don't have to waste. Needless to say, I was not the most loved person on the job today, particularly at hour two when everyone was soaking wet, muddy and freezing cold. It really is more pleasant to work in -20 temps than the cold, wind and rain we had today. To the credit of our crew, they sucked it up, got the crane work completed in time for morning coffee and then called it a day.

They're planning to return tomorrow to finish up with setting the decking and installing and welding the joist bracing and I'm hoping for some decent weather to soothe everyone. I had scheduled the roof slab pour tomorrow (Friday) but we've now had to delay that until Monday since the steel isn't completed. In the mean time, Vern and I have been working to get the foundation slab prep work completed so we can lay vapor barrier, insulation and PEX. Mostly, that means a lot of shoveling, wheeling and raking of sand, and yesterday we gave the wheelbarrow a flat tire which I take as a sign we're working hard.
We're getting close to there, and my hope is we can have our work wrapped up and ready for concrete by Monday.

The potential (and aggravating) wrench in those works is that the plumbers and the water/sewer guy STILL have not completed the under slab rough-in, despite my three requests and the fact that it's been sitting untouched and unfinished for three weeks. Apparently the problem stems from the 2" line into the house having been run slightly too short, their hammer drill being broken, and an apparent lack of communication between the water line guy and the plumbing guys. Or maybe because I can't expect decent service on a $14K bid? I'm going to have to get nasty with them tomorrow, which means everyone except the excavator is now officially on the record of unpleasant conversations. How fun.

And on another front: There's a fair chance I've just entered internet shopping hell. I ordered $2800 worth of fixtures from Homeclick last week, feeling reasonably confident because I've had decent experiences with them in the past. I think I may have pushed my luck. First, I received only one of the pair of matching sinks for our MB. I am told the other is on it's way. OK. The $75 soap dispenser I received has defective chrome, and tomorrow will mark day five of waiting for a call back I was told would be within 24-48 hours. The rest of the order, minus three toilet seats for my Toto Nexus toilets, was shipped by ABF and a stated total of 8 boxes. Only 7 showed up (missing one toilet tank), and I'm on day three of the "will call in 24-48 hours" routine.
Here's the best part. The two kitchen faucets I ordered (to the tune of $1K) BOTH HAVE BEEN USED!!!!!!!! That's right. They've both obviously been installed and removed as evidenced by torn gaskets, silicone scraps and parts attached that are not supposed to be there. They're dirty with kitchen gunk and drywall dust and still had water in the lines. I am shocked and more than a little grossed out. Same story as above when I called. Let me add that I got zero apology for any of these problems, and the person I got with call #3 about the used faucets didn't even sound surprised. I think we can safely say Homeclick is now on my sh*t list. I'm not terribly optimistic that there will be a smooth resolution based on their generally horrendous online reviews, but I'll reserve judgment on that for the moment. Are we having fun yet?


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