Archive for the 'Home Improvement' Category


I can now say that the siding job is finally done!  Thank heaven.  We were beginning to think that our siding guy was moving in with us.  He was so funny… he did a good job and all, but was so slow, it was painful to watch.  He and his brother both smoked, and were wheezing and coughing and every little movement seemed painful.  It’s a good thing I wasn’t home most of the time.  The house really looks so much better now from the street, I think the neighbors are breathing a sigh of relief.  It’s always bad to be the worst house on the block.

Continue reading ‘Finally!’


The Long Side

I’m not sure how many more titles I can think of, to describe getting a “small” siding job done on my house….and how long it’s taking.  If you’ve been here, you know that the majority of the house is covered in stucco.  We are not removing or covering the stucco.  The two front surfaces of the house are stone.  We are not removing or covering the stone.  The remaining surfaces that include one side, the front around the door, the front around the garage, and the front around the top windows were done in a wood tounge-in-groove cedar that finally had to be replaced and covered up due to age and weathering.  The rest of the wood surfaces are facia that trim all the windows, doors, and roof edges.  And the atrium inside is also wood siding, and that is also being done.

If the installer had worked every day, a full day, he would have had the job done in one week.  But this guy chose to work part time, he shows up around 9 a.m. and leaves before 3 p.m.  He gets a little bit done every day.  I feel that this is ridiculous.  We talked to him about it and he just shrugs it off.  I told him I expected him to adhere to his commitment, and have made it known to him that a delay will be unacceptable.  I called his boss to let him know about it as well, not so much to make him go any faster, but to let him know I expect the two-week timeline as agreed…and that is Monday.

 What is my fault here is that I agreed to a two-week timeline.  I never should have signed the contract with this guy until I had a one-week timeline and some understanding about what any delay will cost him.  By the way, he has had pretty much perfect weather.  Tomorrow, we shall see.

Here are the pictures I have collected since the last time…things are looking pretty good.

So, where are we… they started work on January 7, so as of today we are at Day 13.  These pictures were taken during the week.  Yesterday they were here working on the atrium.

This one is the front of the house, but note that the top around the windows is not done yet.  We have our new light fixtures and house numbers up.   By the way, the garden window is coming out tomorrow, and being replaced with a regular window.  I do like the garden window, but it looks old and tired, and we can’t get another one because of building codes.  They don’t stand up to windstorms, evidently…well this one stood up to many…but I wouldn’t want to take any more chances with it.


Here is one side of the inside of the atrium as of yesterday:


Here is the other side:


Moving Along…

We have made some slow progress.  We talked to our installer yesterday evening to make sure he still thought he was on track to finish in the time he told us…two weeks…which I wasn’t too happy with to begin with…but he said he would.  At least he’s now on notice that we are watching.  He doesn’t get here to start working until 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. and then leaves well before 2:30 p.m. or 3:00 p.m.  I’m sure there are numerous breaks throughout the day, too.  I’ll be that if he would work a full day, he could have had the job done a lot quicker.  Too bad I didn’t insist that he agree to a one-week schedule instead of two.

Here’s what it looked like at the end of the day 4.  This is the large wall along the side, showing where a lot of the old wood siding had to be replaced.

End of Day 4

This is the little wall at the side of the garage.  I like how well the shades match the stone.

End of Day 4

This is how the window wall looked at the end of day 5:

End of Day 5

Now how the whole wall looked from the sidewalk:

End of Day 5

Now the funny thing is, I’m not sure I like the roof color any more.  Oh well… I am sure I will get used to it.  I’m certainly not going to re-do the roof at this point.

Slow Progress

Not much to report on the siding today… I didn’t get home before dark to take the latest picture… this is the progress as of the end of Day 3:

End of Day 3

We had a talk with our installer and he tells us he’s on track for the 2 weeks installation period, which I wasn’t happy with in the first place, but at least he doesn’t think he’s going to be any longer.  I haven’t had experience with this type of work before in the past, but I never imagined it would go along this slowly.  Live and learn… and be patient.  The good news is that the work is very good quality and we’re happy with it so far.

On the Side

The siding is going up at last.  Just a quick word about speed.  Hmmmm….. the guy we are using is definitely not a speed demon.  He delivered materials on Friday.  We didn’t see him on the weekend. 

He came over on Monday, dropped off tools and some more materials.

On Tuesday, they put up exactly 5 pieces of trim around the garage door.  It looked great.

Today, they finished up the siding and trim around the garage door.  It looks great.

At this rate, our siding guy will be celebrating Christmas with us.

We are hoping he speeds up a bit, after tomorrow we are going to see.

Here are pictures from Day 1 and Day 2 — I’ll have to take the pictures from Day 3 tomorrow when it gets light out.

Continue reading ‘On the Side’

Closing the Door

We now have a new front door, it only took 2 months…should have taken 3 weeks, but hey, at least it’s done now.  So I need to fill you in on the final chapter in my door saga.

On the 26th, I heard that the door may or may not be delivered sometime soon.  Very vaugue indeed.  On the 28th, I get a call from Lowes that my door has arrived and it’s ready for me to pick up.  The poor guy who called me had no idea, so I was nice… I told him that they could deliver it.  Again, poor guy… he asked if I had paid a delivery charge.  I was nice.  

We arranged a delivery for the 29th and I asked that none of the packing be removed from the door, to prevent any damage.   New Door in Crate You can see from the picture that it’s crated up pretty tight, so I’m sure that the first one was damaged when they were removing the crate from it before delivering. I was told that they would deliver between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  I was also told that we were the first on the truck for delivery … I was definitely not expecting them at 10 a.m. and so was not surprised when they rolled up just after noon… but at least it was before 2 p.m.

Continue reading ‘Closing the Door’

How “Lowes” Can You Go?

I’ll tell you, I’m most disappointed in Lowe’s.  You can read the history of what’s been happening in my first few articles about my door saga

Here’s the basic timeline:

11/25/2007 — Ordered a custom door from Benchmark doors, through Lowes.

12/8/2007 — Door is delivered to our house by Lowes and it is broken.  There is a vertical split in the door frame.  The installer does not want to install it with this split.  I agree with him.  I call Lowe’s.  The millwork department will order a new door for us.

12/12/2007 — The replacement door was still not ordered, it took a personal visit with a manager to get that done.  The broken door is still in my garage.

12/14/2007 — I get a call from Jane at Lowes who says she’s going to handle this case personally.  She tells me that the door is on track for delivery on 12/24 but that they can’t do it on Christmas Eve, so it will be 12/26.  She will follow up on it personally, except that she’s on vacation Christmas week.  Yikes, I wonder how she’s going to follow up on it personally?  Not wanting to sound rude, I just hope for the best.

Continue reading ‘How “Lowes” Can You Go?’

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