Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Home Stretch

It's taken far too long, but we finally got the sub contractors to come back out and finish. It was not without it's own drama and miscommunications.

The subs were last here in May to wire, plumb, and duct (can "duct" be a verb?) the house. Since then, we've had the house insulated and drywalled, windows and doors trimmed. We primed and painted everything, tiled the shower and bathroom floor, installed the cabinets, made the countertops, and have had the septic system installed. It would have got a lot faster had we not been doing most of that ourselves.

The electrician has to come back and put in the recepticals, light switches, recessed lighting, light fixtures, and run the underground lines (like to get the power to the house and well pump). The plumber installs the sink faucets and pipes, bath/shower faucet, toilet, and underground pipes from well to house and from house to septic tank. The HVAC guys put in the vents and vent covers, thermostat, and microwave with vent. I'm probably missing some things, but that's the gist.

Now for the drama.

First of all, most of our pendant lights came from IKEA, so they just come with the light itself and a long cord with a plug on the end. It's not a big deal for the plug to get cut off and for them to be hardwired. But the lights didn't come with a ceiling cover/cap light "fancy" lights from Lowes do (if you shop at IKEA, you know what I mean). I tried to explain over email that the lights didn't have the ceiling covers, but they're not familiar with IKEA and just thought I was being a dumb woman and didn't look in the box. But they really didn't come with them! Come on! It's IKEA! What do you expect?

We found some caps at Lowes that would serve the purpose. They don't look great, but then again, neither do the lights. While they are stylish, once installed, you can tell they don't cost much.

The electricians also cut the cords too short so the lights are mounted way too high. And since you can't put more wire back on, we'll have to rewire it at a later date. It really pissed me off that they didn't put them at standard height.

The bar lights were fine other than they weren't the same height as each other. But that is probably because the cords are still kinked up and need some time to relax.

Let's move on to the sink light. That silver one over the window. I want to know whos house has a light mounted that high above a window? Just because our ceilings are 4 feet higher than normal doesn't mean you mount the light higher. If these were 8 ft ceilings, the light would literally be touching the ceiling. A sink pendant light goes in front of the window. Believe me! I've done my research and seen dozens and dozens of kitchen sink lights. They go IN FRONT OF the window. Rant over.

Next rant: the chandelier

You should have ample head clearance when sitting at the dining table, NOT ample head clearance when walking under the light!

The electrician thought it looked too high, but that's all the chain that came with the IKEA light. So they cut the wire that length and went with it. That's infuriating. The wire was long enough. Do you know how easy and cheap extra chain is at Lowes? What an easy solution! We could have lengthened the chain before they cut the wire. The height it is now is completely unlivable (to me anyways). Once again, something we'll have to rewire, which takes a lot of effort. The kicker is they knew it was too high and did it anyway! And they were going to be there the rest of the week working. I could have brought them the chain. Err.

The rest of the living room is all fine.

Nothing terribly exciting.

The master bedroom lights were mounted in the correct spot (because I marked it with an X).

But one of the chains doesn't work. It's kinked or something. I would think they would test it before putting it up.

In the second bedroom, I wanted a drum shade mounted close to the ceiling. So the way I eyeballed it was by having someone hold the shade up there and me saying "a little higher...right there". I knew what height the shade should be at, but not necessarly the length of the wire. So I wrote on there "14 in. from bottom of the shade". But they read "14 in. cord", so it was mounted too low.

Easy enough to fix. You can take cord away, but you can't add more back. It's already been adjusted.

Here's the light at the top of the stairs:

And the porch fan:

The downstairs bathroom doesn't have walls yet. We're doing that after we move in.

The kitchen sink faucet:

The plumber wasn't happy with us that we didn't have our end of things taken care of when he showed up. The plumber was there on a Friday, but didn't do anything. Then, Monday I got a text from our construction manager saying that we needed sink baskets (the drain and drain covers that attach to the pipes) for the plumber. I told him I was at work all day and couldn't do it right away. After work I had to go straight home to meet some people. The next day, I would have gotten the sink baskets first thing in the morning, but I was under the impression the plumber wasn't coming back until we called and said it was ready. So I went that afternoon to drop off the baskets. I had just been at the house the morning before at 8am to try and meet up with the electrician who was a no show. Turns out the plumber WAS there at 8 am and got mad that the baskets weren't there yet. I had only found out about them 12 hours before and was busy the whole time! We're having some communication issues, in that we never know who will be there and when they will be there. Which is fine some days, but not when we are expected to also take care of things. Meanwhile, the plumber is thinking it was our fault that he made two trips for nothing. Why didn't I hear about the sink baskets the first day the plumber was there, or even before then?

Bathroom faucet (and IKEA countertop, which I've never showed the making of):

Stair railing. Got my idea from a house featured in Country Living Magazine. They used a tree as a rail. Not only is it free, but it add a rustic personalized feel. Code requires us to have a continuous rail ALL THE WAY up, so I at least want it to look nice. Code only requires the rail be less than 2 3/16 in.(if I remember correctly), but they don't care what it's made out of.

Not pictured:
master bedroom fan/light
bath light
shower faucet
closet light
pantry light
outside lights
garage lights

Now we wait and hope we pass inspections the first go-round. In the meantime, we can install our flooring and do touch-up paint. Other than that, we are good to go.

On second thought, touch-up paint might be difficult right now since we've lost the use of our well. It's been disconnected from the construction power pole and wired up to the house. But the house electricity can't be turn on until we pass our last inspection. So, it might be smart to wait to paint, but by then I'll be so anxious to start moving furniture!

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