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Bids and Levels

In today's adventures of home renovation, David came with his son and a friend to level the house. It was quite exciting. Our house had sunk in various places as much as six inches. In Crianza's puppyhood, there were always these trails of pee flowing away from the scene of the crime. Graham was always having to level cutting boards when he cut anything on the countertops because juices would flow towards the corner of the kitchen. But with some jacks, some shims, and a lot of patience, the house is in much better shape than it's ever been. Both the front and back door can open with ease. Water doesn't run towards the middle of the house when spilled. Window sills look like they are straight. It's pretty cool.

Also, we got our first "holy fuck!" bid today. The electrician bid came back at twice as much as we had anticipated the very top to be. Fortunately, another electrician who came recommended by a friend is coming by on Monday to take a look, and if that doesn't work, David has an electrician friend here in Houston who he says could probably do the job for about a quarter of what the bid was. David of course could do it for about a tenth of the bid, but he's not a certified electrician (though I have no doubts whatsoever that he'd be well above code) and we want this to be as above the books as possible, he's not going to make the cut.

The plumbers are coming back on Monday to move the pipes. They told Graham yesterday that it'd be a little more than anticipated, now that they've seen the extent of the job and that they have to thread the pipes through the shiplap retaining wall. "How much more?" "$200 more." I heart our plumbers.

This weekend, we are going to finish taking down the shiplap from the main wall. I have two more layers to go and that part is finished. Then I'll move it over to the tool shed for safe keeping until we have a project for it. We will also remove as much of the sheetrock as we think is going to be needed to be gone for the renovation. Maybe we'll be able to get the other door frame out too.

Our other task for the weekend is to determine whether or not to replace the hot water heater while we're at it. I'm sort of inclined to given that they're messing with those pipes already, I was supposed to replace it ten years ago when I bought the house, and we've saved a lot of money already on this project. Plus, sometimes I hear rattling in the attic when I turn the water on. If so, we need to buy the hot water heater this weekend so they can install it on Monday when they do the rest of the plumbing job.

Monday and Tuesday are supposedly the rough-ins on the plumbing and electrical (assuming that one of the two people coming in on Monday can move that quickly on electrical) and on Wednesday, David is coming back for the drywall and tiling. We think we have a pretty straight forward drywall job, and the tiling will just be the whole room, which is pretty square and won't require too many strange cuts, aside from two holes near the island for electrical outlets.

Next week, I'll need to buy a bunch of drywall, some insulation sheets, tape, drywall mud, drywall screws, backerboard for the tile, mortar, grout, sealers, etc. Right now, I'm estimating about $700 at Home Depot, but who knows what random unexpected purchases I'll be making in addition to what I'm expecting.

Sometime the week after, we'll make the IKEA buy, grateful that their Kitchen Event sale started on Wednesday and will go until mid-August. And the installation of cabinets will begin! After that, we have to call the countertop people to install that, and while we wait for that installation, Graham and I will work on the backsplash.

Then paint, touch ups and finish work, and we can move back into the kitchen! I'm guessing it will be five weeks total, though we're hoping for four. Week one has been EXTREMELY productive, even with the holiday that sort of screwed us contractor-wise in the middle.