Forward and Back

It was hecka hot here this weekend. Rather than tell you the actual temperature, which would just expose me to ridicule from places where it gets truly hot, I will note that it was 24% hotter than average for this time of year, and we had a local temperature record. Also, it was over 90F and that's just not OK anywhere.

We still got some work done on the house, primarily drywall work.

Getting started on taping

I got started on taping and mudding the drywall we have done, which is a pretty low-key but lengthy process the way I do it. I like to tape the flat seams, then mud them and the screw heads, and let that dry.

Powder room first stage of mudding

This is what it looks like when I'm done with my first stage. I let that all set up, usually overnight but sometimes for longer, then I mud the corners. I find that makes the corners easier to manage and the whole process less messy, though I have no idea why I say that because I ended up covered in drywall mud yesterday and this morning there was some in one of my ears.

The hidey hole closet

I also got started on mudding the curve under the stairs. This closet has sparked the imaginations of several kids we know. And none of them are old enough to have read Harry Potter yet, either.

Drywall up to the curve in the stairs

While I taped and mudded, Noel put in some pieces of drywall going up to the bottom of the stairs. This is one of the more touchy parts of the whole job, where new drywall meets old curved plaster.

Mudding that is going to be a little more challenging than usual, to just keep it looking right.

Moved light

He also moved the back hallway light to its rightful place. We have a temporary fixture there now, but eventually there will be a small chandelier here, right inside the side doorway. Because a bunch of stuff will happen next year around this hallway, Noel just strung a bunch of extra wiring to the future location of the light switch.

And yeah, next year.

It is taking a long time to get a permit. A lot longer than it should. Our contractor told us if we could get the permit by October 1, we could start work then, but given how long the City of Alameda takes to review plans, and the fact that they use a private plan checker that guarantees at least one comment revision -- they always at least ask you to copy sections of the building code onto your drawings at a minimum, I think because they get paid per review of the drawings which makes me super resentful as a taxpayer that we are paying a for-profit corporation to both fleece the city and waste the time of people doing actual business in Alameda.


It seems likely that we will not be able to start work in earnest until after the New Year. There are some things we can and will get done as soon as we have the permit, but the contractor is not willing to not have the house totally closed in over Christmas, when everybody disappears on vacation.

So this is the sacrifice we are making for the State of California, indeed, even the entire West Coast. The last time we did foundation work it rained non-stop for 90 days and was one of the rainiest years in that decade. A possible El Nino condition is developing and El Nino has the chance of turning into a rainy winter (this is not guaranteed and not all El Nino years have been rainy). For you, our state, we will not just do foundation work in January AGAIN, but we will tear the entire fricking roof off this house. Bring it on, weather. Bring it on.

(I have every confidence in our contractor this time around. He actually understands jobsite protection and has the crew required to tarp a 30' tall house. Believe me, I made sure of that.)

posted by ayse on 08/17/15