Renovation Update Week 5

new window full view door and structural beams

A view of the back wall of the house. You know, the one that leans out three inches bottom to top. It’s hard to tell, but that’s a seven foot wide window.

The contractor finished this past Friday. I was actually sad to see him and his helper go. They’re both intelligent and interesting people, and also were very courteous and kind to me and the children. If you have to live in a construction zone, there’s not much more you can ask for.

The House

The contractor left the first floor cleaner than he found it. I can’t imagine that’s common, and it made Jason’s type-A heart sing!

After looking at the completed framing, support beams, new floor joists (supporting both the first floor and second floor), and whatever else, Jason said that he is relieved that he didn’t attempt any of it on his own. Not only did the kitchen floor slope by almost three inches front to back, but it turns out that the back wall of the house also slanted out from the foundation by about three inches top to bottom. That happens to be the wall that had to have a wall built inside of it for support, and that holds the new window and door. I remember hearing some swearing on the day the contractor was putting in the window–I imagine it was from trying to install a window on a slant!

To recap: all framing and structural repairs and modifications are finished, and the new kitchen window (7 feet wide!) and back door are in and working.

Not much new on the basement bathroom. Jason was putting a coat of md on the drywall at 5:30am this past Saturday morning, and then took the rest of the weekend off.

The Money

I realized I was being remiss in talking about how the money actually works out, so I’ll do that to some degree here.

The contractor’s fees were very reasonable and we managed to pay cash for all of his work and the materials so far. We did have to dip into our emergency fund for part of his last bill, but only for about $1400 of it. It only gets more expensive from here, so we’ll start using our HELOC within the next month. My plan is to pay off large chunks of the HELOC with some of the checks we receive in the mail from our credit cards. They have been offering us 0% interest on balance transfers (and I think a HELOC qualifies) until at least next May. Since we pay our credit cards off every month and hate debt, we’ll have no trouble making this work for us. We actually used this exact system (with the addition of second jobs) to pay down the credit card debt that we each brought into our relationship.

The Kids

P really liked the contractor. She wanted to say hello to him every time she went outside and asked what he was doing or where he was constantly. J warmed up to him eventually. They both keep asking when he’s coming back.

The Lovebirds

We were hashing out our next steps in the renovation this weekend at Jason’s aunt & uncle’s house. The conversation was hilarious, peppered with funny comments and enlivened by afternoon drinks and fresh perspectives. We definitely have more to figure out, but it was a great step and we both came away with a few calls to make this week.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Jane on September 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Looks great! I’ve had long drawn out remodeling projects and making progress is such a relief!

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