The Ten Year Plan, Its Second Year

NOTE: As of September 23, 2009, this post has been edited in
accordance with a court-mediated settlement. The names of the
contractor and his excavation subcontractor have been replaced with

It's time for the annual review of what we've accomplished on our ten year plan for house renovations. This plan came about a year after we bought the house, so it's only on its second year, for those of you counting on your fingers.

It's actually surprising to me how much of this we have gotten done, and how much we will have done in the relatively short term. This was supposed to be ten years worth of work. And despite a major setback this last year with the foundation debacle, we're definitely on track to finish it all.

  1. Paint exterior of house
  2. Finish living rooms
    We didn't get a lot done on the living rooms this year. Right now we're waiting for the foundation details to be finished so we can empty the rooms, fix the broken drywall work (sigh) and finish the drywall work in the front room (including putting back the fireplace enclosure).
  3. Foundation replacement phase one (replace existing foundation as-is)
    The foundation is replaced, we are on it again, but we've got a million little details to deal with: putting the front steps back on, putting the siding back on (and replacing the siding that got removed and somehow disappeared from the site), putting a door on the opening to the basement.
  4. Remove Fright Box under house, redo plumbing to upstairs bath and add half bath under stairs (related to foundation work)
    The Fright Box is gone. We decided to forgo the plumbing work this time around, since we ended up having to redo all the plumbing, and leaving those two bathrooms out of it made it cheaper.
  5. Remove chimney (related to foundation work), replace furnace thing with gas fireplace, add gas fireplace upstairs
    The chimney is gone, but we didn't replace it with a fireplace. Right now we need to rebuild the chimney chase from the old fireplace, then buy a gas fireplace and deal with that separately. We're conserving money for another project at the moment.
  6. Re-roof (related to foundation work and chimney removal)
    Planned for next summer. Still. Last year we planned to do this as soon as the foundation was done, but this year the foundation didn't get done until almost the rainy season, so we have to wait until summer.
  7. Insulate crawlspace and attic
    Last year, half the crawlspace was insulated. Contractor A (whose work was so bad we had to pull most of it out, except the work that was an ENORMOUS HOLE IN THE GROUND that, oh yeah, was dug down eight inches deeper than it was supposed to be) destroyed or removed a bunch of that insulation, so less is done now. And for reasons unknown to me, and certainly without our permission, Contractor A (who was in the habit of just using our tools and so forth without asking permission) used some of the floor insulation when closing up the wall behind the fireplace, so we not only have to take that wall down and put the right insulation in it, but that insulation is likely to be unusable, and we're going to need to buy another bundle or two. We've been considering hiring a day labourer or two to install the rest of it for us.
  8. Remove fake wooden panelling, stabilize plaster, and repaint all rooms
    We've been ignoring the inside lately. We have two rooms with wood paneling remaining: the accordion room and the dining room. Both are in heavy use right now, so the paneling has to stay for the time being.
  9. Block air infiltration around various doors
    No progress.
  10. Replace window sashes
    We had a contract with Hansen Windows in Oakland, and they failed to do the work, to answer phone calls, to reply to letters. We ended up having to file suit in small claims to get them to even respond to us. They refunded our money, and we're looking into other options for windows.
  11. Strip ugly pink paint from as much woodwork as possible
    I've dropped the ball on this, largely due to time constraints. Heh, that sentence is what I wrote last year, and it is still true.
  12. Remove linoleum from floors/refinish wooden floors
    Not yet begun.
  13. Remove the concrete driveway extension into the back yard
    The driveway is GONE! Our big success this year, this turned out to be a lot cheaper than we expected. So the driveway is at its final size, and we have a bigger yard. No more ability to park eight cars, but who wants a parking lot?
  14. Related landscaping/gardening
    We're working on it right now.
  15. Repair front porch/re-rebuild front steps
    We've been dealing with carpenters regarding the rebuilding of the front steps.
  16. Repair side porch, remove steps, and turn into a conservatory
    We leveled the side porch during the foundation work, but it basically needs to be rebuilt. That will have to wait for infusions of copious amounts of cash.
  17. Draw detailed plans for the Day of Glory (ie, when we get to start the renovation project that requires us to move out)
    I've started working on working drawings for this plan.

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posted by ayse on 01/15/06