4 DOTRS Landscaping

.. or maybe not!?


I had all 4 daughters over for dinner tonight.  We cooked Miner’s Chicken on the campfire because we could not camp this Memorial Day weekend.    Also, because this would be the last night that all 4 of them will be together for 6 months!!  On Monday, #3 reports to work at summer camp until August.  The next Monday, #2 starts hiking the Appalachian Trail – ALL OF IT – with her boyfriend.   They will be back shortly after Thanksgiving.


While waiting for the dinner to cook, they decided that the hedge row, that looked like you are entering Narnia, needed to be trimmed.   They started with the hedge trimmer and quickly moved on to brute force and a dull hatchet.  The tree saw could not be located (imagine that?!).


Please enjoy these photos.  There are captions, I think you have to mouse over them to read them?

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We have made progress on the house too.  I’ll post that tomorrow!  🙂


Would you look at that??

Looky!   Progress that is really, really visible.


  1.  the cat tree is assembled and in place.  A tunnel through the wall will be established at a later time.



2.  the Liz/Lydia/Cat room has baseboard, it has the window trim, and the door trim and a fresh rug in the middle!   (just need some paint touch ups and it will be ready for beds/dressers.)



3.  Esther’s room… the floor is almost done.  The windows and doors are trimmed.  Once I finish the floor, then the baseboards can be installed.



4.  On this beautiful 60º weather, the siding got started!!  WOO!   Oh wait… what did my builder discover?  The original builder/contractor ordered siding that is 1/2 inch narrower than the existing siding.  So… they won’t match up perfectly.. DSCF7468


… you will only see the incongruency where the old meets the new in this corner (and one on the other side).   It really won’t be that noticeable.



5.   Some of the soffit is in place on the overhand/cantilever.



I was told that the goal for tomorrow is to get the siding done to where the electrician can come install the outside lights!!   That will be awesome progress.


What’s Next?

Drywall is complete.  The ceilings are textured… had a brief moment of confusion with that.  I told the boss when he came to give me the estimate that I wanted the ceilings to match the rest of the house.   Apparently the boss told the worker that as well but then told him to “use the more modern” texture for us.  I don’t know if he thought he was doing us a favor or what?!   I wasn’t home so there was a flurry of texts between me and Wayne.  The result being, that I just wanted it to match the rest of the house.  My main point from the get go was that I wanted the addition to blend with the existing house so that people wouldn’t really know it was an addition.


Thankfully, the guy listened and changed it.  The ceilings look great now.  The “modern” texture can be found in the 2 closets upstairs if you NEED to see it.  I won’t have to see it and I can live with it there.




What is next?  Primer and paint next week… and hopefully I can start on the flooring.   Then the electrician will come back and make everything live.


The bathroom is still a work in progress.  We have made some new decisions and it will turn out nice.

Unfortunately, I have a BRAND NEW IN BOX Andersen Window that cannot be returned that I will no longer be able to use.

Who needs an awning type window.
2’4″ wide by 2′ high
Brand new in box with screen.



Builder #3

I haven’t updated in a couple weeks because…


Builder #2 worked great for a week.  He made progress, he had a plan in place to finish up the framing so that we could get the framing and rough electrical inspection and move forward with insulation and drywall.


AND THEN…. builder #2 decided on his weekend roller skating racing… or some such thing… to throw himself against a brick wall and break himself.  He said scapula.   *sigh*


So… now we have Builder #3 and his sidekick.    They came today.   They are as capable as builder #2 so I’m not concerned.  They worked most of the day doing some minor framing things upstairs and pulling the wall in.  Builder #1 failed at that and the end wall was leaning out by over 1 inch!!!   So, they worked at that and fixed it and it is all good now.  They also got the last second floor window in place:




Barring any skating mishaps or other catastrophes, they will be back tomorrow to work on further framing and possibly the spiral stairs.


If they can get the framing done this week, we can get rough electric done and then get that inspected.  Then I move on to an insulation guy… I have one estimate for that.  The second one, will not return my call and has not forwarded me the estimate.  I liked him… but then again, I liked the contractor when I first was dealing with him.


In other news, I changed out a toilet over the weekend.  The shut off valve wouldn’t work, so I turned the water off in the basement, changed out the toilet (not very hard, BTW), and connected it and turned the water back on.  HOWEVER, the shut off valve now leaked!  If I had been able to remove the shut off valve, I would have replaced it, but I could not remove it.   So… called the plumber and got that taken care of in under an hour today, I’m sure it will cost me plenty!



Clean Up

When last I posted, the builder had walked from my job with 77% of the money and only 50% of the job completed.  Since then, we have had heated email communication and in face communication with both the builder/framer and the contractor.  Both have now walked from the job.  We are pursuing legal action.


Since then, I have found another man to take over the project.  He cannot do all of it, but he can do most of it and it will get completed.

Since then, I have found an electrician to do the job and he will be here next week (as will the new builder).


So… new progress to start next week.

Today, I am documenting the mess and trash that will have to be cleaned up that the former builder left.   In case he thinks he is still owed money, the amount of cleanup and correcting of things will be more than than that.


This is what my driveway still looks like!



In the bathroom area.  Still have the plastic “barrier” to dispose of … and worse… the holes he made in the brick while cutting the opening for HVAC that didn’t need to be made and now I have to have someone else repair.


In the master bedroom.  Piles of trash and materials.   I understand that some trash would be left over to clean up… I’m not concerned about the dust since the project isn’t complete.  But tool parts… used face mask… old insulation?   Just more I have to clean up before someone else can work safely.


Outside, there are so many piles of trash and just trash – cups, wrappers, etc.  There are 3 unused I beams (and maybe other stuff) under the blue tarp.  I feel like they probably could have been returned before they sat out in the weather.  Or… why weren’t they used?  Maybe that is the bigger question.   The saw that he burned out cutting the bathroom flooring, is laying the pile of trash… that cannot even be considered mine, the rest of the trash might be considered mine since it is from the construction.




Inside the upstairs.  There are a few piles of trash.  There are unfinished projects galore and 1/2 done ones.  There is evidence of laziness and/or lack of knowledge of how to build.  THERE IS A CIGARETTE BUTT!!!


I have to say, I’m not sorry to have him leave.   Though, if this project had started when it was supposed to … JULY… and was finished by August/September… most of this hassle/angst would not have happened and everyone would be happy.

Winding up week 4…

As we wind up week 4 of the build, I have to say that I am very disappointed this week.   The beginning of the week, I was feeling good about my builder.  He did good saving my flooring tile in the new bathroom when he was jackhammering… and then… he disappeared for 3 days.   He was here for a very little time on Tuesday (I never saw him), he was not here at all on Wednesday (car trouble) and I only saw him for about an hour today.   Yes, there was 1 or 2 guys he sent here to work, but that doesn’t move things along very quickly.   😦


Here is where we stand on the project today.


Plumbing is roughed in and awaiting inspection on Tuesday.  At that point it will have to have the vent put through the roof.  After inspection, the ditch can be filled in with cement.


One window is installed (the one being moved from the first floor) and the other hole is cut.


Here are the windows from the inside.

Today, they did get walls framed up.   The bedrooms aren’t super huge, but there will be 2 of them.


The hallways will be 4 foot wide.

In other news:


This arrived yesterday… attic ladder… ordered it from Amazon.  They got it here quicker than I could get it from Lowes or Home Depot.



This arrived today.  Should be fun to put together!


My stress level over this project is pretty much off the charts!!   It was supposed to be done and everyone moved before I went on the band trip to Disney.  Now the girls not only have to watch Grandma, they also have to oversee the builder.   I am very anxious and fearful.   I want to enjoy Disney but…   it better be super magical there!!

Monday Mess!

Monday brought with it a whole lot of dust and mess and PROGRESS!

The window has been removed (to be re-used upstairs) so that a large closet can be installed in this room.


The hole for the duct work has been completed and duct work has started being hung.



Yes, all the duct work will be enclosed in a soffit.   It extends around more than 1/2 of the room.   We (yeah… the royal “we”) are going to continue the soffit around the 3rd side up to the closet so it doesn’t look dumb just stopping part way around.  That will give the room a more finished look and the illusion of a tray ceiling… that is what I’m telling myself.  🙂


And then they started digging the trench for the bathroom plumbing…

The builder burned out the motor on his cement saw.  He went to a local hardware store and rented one…. it was electric and couldn’t quite do the deed.  So… he took it back and rented a gas one… he called it a “big boy saw!”   After they cut through the cement with that baby at 6-7 inches deep, the floor still wouldn’t budge, so he rented a jackhammer!!


It turns out the cement floor that is under the entirety of that level of the house (living room included) is 6 inches thick!


What the heck?!   Was the man who built the house planning on driving semi-trucks through the living room or something?  That is the thickness of roads!


After I got home this morning, they have the trench completed.  Plumber comes later today.


What a job!   But, hey, they did great saving my tile flooring!!!!!