Thursday, January 22, 2009

Murphy's Law in action

Still no drywall.

I think it's just the way things go when you try to build a house as a weekend project but sometimes it feels like everything is conspiring against us.

Lately it's been building inspectors.
When an inspector gave Kim his list of deficiencies after our first (failed) framing inspection he told us they'd check that list of things at the insulation inspection. But last week when Kim called for insulation inspection, the inspector who showed up said he was there to re-inspect the framing only, no insulation. It was a different inspector so, not only did he very thoroughly check everything on the list (even making Kim rip out drywall in the mechanical room) but he failed us again and gave Kim ANOTHER list of things to do before we could pass the 3rd framing inspection, before we could call for insulation inspection.

We failed the first gas fireplace inspection so Kim had to take apart & rebuild the top of the enclosure.

He curses the fact that he builds things so well every time he has to take them apart -it's enough to drive one to drink.

Instead of merely adjusting the clearance around the vent to satisfy the inspector he decided to re-design it while he was at it so we now have some cool little cedar shelves and the niche angles to follow the line of the ceiling.

Most inspectors are very helpful. The fireplace inspector pointed out that we still needed a 'tub & shower' inspection and that we would have to waterproof the ledge & bench in our shower first. He told Kim exactly what was needed, where to get it and how to put it on.

That was fun, getting that waterproof liner over those corners. With the heater blasting to try to maintain the minimum temperature, and the windows wide open so we wouldn't pass out from the contact cement fumes.
We passed that one the first time & the inspector even wrote "nice job" on the inspection sheet.

(I'm sure that was for this tricky corner that, after a few tense & sticky
minutes, I surprised us both by managing very neatly).

Tally of inspections passed this past week: fireplace (2nd); tub & shower; gas (2nd); framing (3rd time); and insulation. Phew!

We would have been ready for the drywallers to start by Tuesday BUT.... that's when the city started chewing up the sidewalk in front of the house to put in the new driveway and curbs. No big trucks allowed to drive over it until next Thursday so that means our drywall is delayed by yet another week. They need a big truck with crane to load the drywall through the window into the second floor because WorkSafe won't allow drywallers to carry it up the stairs.

On a less whiny note, our floor is (almost) done. What I said about not wanting it too shiny - forget that, I got over-ruled. Kim kept cracking his whip and I kept grinding....
and grinding, and grinding......

all the way up to 3000 grit.
Now our floor is shiiiii-neeee. No wax or polish needed.
All that's left is to apply the densifier and then cover it up again to protect it from the drywallers.

The thing to keep in mind about concrete floors is that it isn't ever going to be a consistent, even colour. You have to look at it like natural stone: all the flaws & imperfections are considered characteristic and are to be respected for their inherent beauty.

Our floor has LOTS of character.

Blotches and splotches, lines and hairline cracks, some aggregate poking through. There are even a couple of workboot tread marks that didn't reveal themselves until I'd ground down the surface.

One of the concrete floor specialists said to us "you must honour the cracks".

I hope that also applies to the tooling marks that I couldn't get rid of.

(click on any pics to see close up)


inspection angel said...

Great post! I’ve been very interested in building inspection for a long time. I didn’t know about insulation inspection. Thanks for sharing it.

Vanessa said...

Hi Jem

The house is looking good love the two sided fire place.I have been following your blog and watching the building process things are looking good. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving me a comment on OHOW.