The Slow End

Construction always takes longer than you expect and costs more than you expect. This is a simple truth, no matter how prepared you are.

And never has this been more true than on our house, as we approach the 15 year mark.

The general contractor gave me "late July" as a finish date relatively recently, but the painter blowup nixed that. In addition, the work on the exterior renovation is taking... more time. Today I talked to Woody about timelines, and let's just say that we both kind of laughed nervously when I said I wanted to be back in my house by Thanksgiving.

So what's happening behind the shrink-wrapped scaffolding?

The outline of the porch detailing

For one thing, we've uncovered a lot of outlines of missing trim, and Woody has scavenged pieces from the trim from inside the house (which was the same stuff; the Victorians didn't discriminate) and ordered some custom profiles, and so on.

Stripping around the driveway side

The crew has stripped the old paint off most of the way around the driveway side of the house. The other day I went over to talk to Woody and found him outside this window -- that little original window you see is the middle bathroom window -- prying the metal hooded casing off so check the condition of the wood underneath (all good!).

In fact, they've worked around the house pretty much to the end -- this is what I saw Monday morning:

At the kitchen bay window

That's one of the guys stripping paint off the kitchen bay window (formerly the dining room bay window). That bay window marks the end of the original part of the house: after that there is the addition, and then the part of the house that was stripped.

After they strip the wood, they sand it:

Sanded wood siding

Which they are also mostly done with in the field parts of the house.

In the meantime, they are now going back and working on the parts they skipped over, such as the front porch. The reality is that with construction work going on inside, the front porch was in heavy play. Now that work is wrapping up inside, Woody has a chance to work in the front.

Porch details

You can already see some of the details emerging.

After sanding, we have the epoxy, then a bunch of carpentry, then painting starts. Because of scheduling, I asked Woody to finish the area above the side porch roof first -- the roofers damaged the roof there when they were installing the gutters, and we are trying to schedule them to come and replace the panels they damaged. I'd also like to get the scaffolding off the driveway, because we'd like to rip out the existing concrete driveway to replace it with a new permeable pavement driveway (which will be wider! Something I really wanted and that the planning department insisted on, so win-win!), and we'd like to get that work done before too long.

BUT. All that work is not going to finish up quickly. We are looking at a month until the roofers can come back, and another month after that before we can take the scaffolding down. That puts our exterior finish date into October, and at that point there is still all the interior stripping and painting work to do.

So we are looking at hitting the two-year mark at The Admiralty, as little as I enjoy the prospect.

posted by ayse on 08/05/17

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