TGBR – Beginning Building

Guys, this has been an expensive week.  Meemaw hit up her bank and withdrew the cd she’s funding the renovation with, and we promptly started spending it.  The largest single expense so far?  Definitely our laminate flooring.  We bought 600 sq ft of a beautiful 10mm handscraped marcona hickory for a whopping $1200.  Over the past few days, we’ve spent that much again on 2x4s, drywall, screws, doors, knobs, vapor barrier, insulation, and other various things.  Ouch!  I’m still pretty confident we can get this whole thing done for under 10k, though – that’s my goal!

Check out that beard… apparently, I married a lumberjack. And he’s got so much wood he has to push it in front of him on a pallet… ahahaha!

We’ve had a parade of plumbers in and out, and I have two more lined up to give me an estimate tomorrow.  So far it’s varied from 3k to 8k.  I’ll let you guess which one of those we’re definitely not going with!  Oh, and dryloking the walls?  Yeah, I did not do that myself.  I got started, made it up half of a small corner before my wrist started killing me from trying to spread shit that’s the consistency of peanut butter, and said screw it.  Meemaw took one whiff of the noxious fumes and promptly called a painter, who did it in a fraction of the time it would have taken me for a very reasonable price.  Win!

There were a couple of rocky days with our contractor.  We were supposed to meet him Friday at 7am to purchase materials (Sugarbandit’s military discount is better than a contractor discount, so we’re buying the mats directly).  Canadian Bacon and I were running a few minutes late, so I txted him to tell him we’d be there by 7:10.  No response.  When we pulled into Lowes parking lot, I didn’t see his car.  I waited until about 7:20 before I called – and I woke his ass up.  Grr.  He said he’d be there shortly, so CB and I waited around in the truck for a little while longer before getting bored and going in to window shop.  We wound up waiting for a whole freaking hour before he showed up!

The really aggravating thing, though, was what happened next.  After we purchased the materials, he said he had to run home to grab some more tools, and he’d be at Meemaw’s in about 20 minutes.  Thirty minutes passed, and then another thirty before I sent him a “Are you lost??” txt.  He called me and said he was sitting at home watching his sister’s kids and since we had relatively little to do that day, he’d just come over “sometime after lunch” and work then.  That infuriated me.  It was past 11, so CB and I went home to wait him out.  He never called.  I txted, I called, and he ignored my communications.

Finally the next morning, super pissed and ready to fire him, I shot him another txt – “Do you have a good reason for blowing me off yesterday?”  He immediately responded groveling, and promised to meet me and CB today promptly at 10am.  He upheld that promise so we’re going to continue working with him at this point.
Today we started framing the back wall of the basement.  When we ordered our materials on Friday, we decided to get a small amount to “get started” and have them deliver the rest, because although we have the truck, it can only hold so much.  Unfortunately their first available delivery was Monday morning, so we had a limited amount of 2x4s to begin working with.  We wound up having the perfect amount to frame out the entire back wall and the closet in our bedroom.

I am already visualizing a giant shoe rack in my closet.  Oh yes, it will be beautiful.  And check out those drylok’d walls!

CB and I learned a lot about framing today and are fairly confident we can do it on our own now.  Tomorrow we are going to start working on the left exterior wall together while the contractor frames the bedroom.  We will probably do all the work in the bathroom ourselves.  I’m expecting that the plumber is going to have to bust up the concrete and excavate, run new lines, and backfill, and then we’ll have to do the walls and have them come back in when that’s finished to place the fixtures.  We want to do that on our own rather than have the contractor come back out.

When we weren’t observing the contractor frame, we were doing our own tasks.  First off, we went ahead and emptied out the old washroom/future bathroom completely.  The old bar in there, which you can see in this post, was backless and completely full of cobwebs.  I wound up killing three more adult black widows.  We really need to get an exterminator soon…

But I digress.  CB went to work plotting out the electrical and taking down some extraneous fixtures.  There was this wad of electrical cords dangling really low from the ceiling in there and he decided to check, against all likelihood, to see if they were hot.  It’s a damn good thing he checked because those bastards were live and would have blasted him to kingdom come if he’d made contact.  I am furious at whoever it is Meemaw had do work in her washroom last.  CB capped the wires off and they were instantly 100x safer than they were before, for less than a minute of work.  Someone was just plain sloppy and since the wires were so low-hanging I’m surprised no one has gotten hurt.

The guys who moved her washer and dryer up to the sunroom this past summer really made a mess of things too (they might’ve been the live-wire culprits).  They drilled through the exterior wall and ran a pvc pipe up it to work as the washer drain, and every plumber who’s come in thus far has pointed that out as a glaring violation of code.  Moreover, they rigged the power cord to go from the back of the old plug through the drywall in our future living room and out the top of the window.  WTF?!  So there are obviously some things that we’ve got to fix.  CB is still trying to figure out how he’s going to work that one because I do NOT want a bigass metal cord going across my living room wall and out my window as it is currently.

While CB plotted electrical, I did what I did best – destroy shit with my crowbar.  All the lower drywall in the washroom had black mold all over it, so I went through and busted the pieces out.  I also went ahead and removed the door from our living room into the washroom, and then the door from the washroom to the garage.  We are going to just wall that side up so the door was unnecessary.  It’s still there in this picture, but it’s officially gone in real life.

This was the most fun I had all day.

We still have a ton of shit on our plate, but I’m glad it’s finally starting to take shape.  A week ago, Sugarbandit started to develop a rattling in his lungs.  He had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for the following day so we just planned to get it checked out then, but around 2am that night he slid and fell trying to get out of bed.  EMS had to take him to the ER, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia.  It really sapped his strength, and he has to stay in rehab for awhile and go through physical therapy before he can safely come home again.  The same thing happened almost exactly two years ago also, right after CB and I got married and moved to Canada.

It’s hard on Meemaw, and because of her anxiety she needs someone to stay with her constantly.  Right now we’re all taking turns chauffeuring her around and staying with her at night, but it will be so much easier when our apartment is done.  CB and I are hoping VERY optimistically that if we can get a plumber in later this week that we can go ahead and move in as soon as the main area is finished and just use Meemaw’s bathroom upstairs for a few days.  It’d be inconvenient but still better than the rotating shift we’re all taking on now.  We’ll have to see what kind of progress we make tomorrow, and what kind of estimates the plumbers give us.

And on that note, I need to go to bed.  I spent most of the day over there today, then came home and logged on in time to raid (I have several Memoirs of a GM posts I need to finish writing and schedule also… they’re long overdue), and I have to be up at 7am to go over to Meemaw’s to relieve Sheryl and to make a few dump runs and to wait for the Lowes delivery so we can get back to work.  I just wanted to throw this post up while it was still fresh on my mind, but I’ve taken a half hour longer on it than I should have, and it’s time to bail.  Gnight everyone!  More tomorrow!

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