Thursday, February 5, 2009

overly adequate

After a fair amount of cleaning and organizing, this is what I see when I walk in my front door. view from the front door

That is, assuming I can get it open. I actually had to knock and get my sister to come and open the door because I couldn't get my key to turn in the lock.

Seems the new threshold they put on my front door means that the lock doesn't line up so well anymore and getting in and out of the house is kind of an issue.

I'll be mentioning that to the project manager.

The other unfortunate thing is that it seems the floor is higher than it was when the first floor was put down. So, when you open the front door or the garage door, the rugs get peeled up out of the way. I really feel that the rugs are necessary to protect the floor - and honestly I just feel like it would look weird without a rug. But my doors are both wooden with a metal 'shell' so I can't imagine how they might cut some off the door. I did notice the insulation strip on the bottom of the door seemed quite large. Maybe I can buy some space there.

dining roomOverall the floor looks nice. The door frames and openings are pretty good, no gaps around walls. I think it looks much better in this direction. Not only is it what I am used to, it's what the Bruce flooring instructions state - boards are installed parallel to the window light or the longest wall. Both of these things would result in my flooring being in the direction it is now. Maybe they were thinking the length of the house? I don't know.

But that's not why I call the job only 'adequate'. That's because I can see where the contractor was trying not to use new flooring and used pieces from before.

In a few spots it shows itself as a joint that's not as tight as it could be. The parts that bother me more are the chips. Just little tiny nicks and chips on the edge of the laminate that completely remove the laminate surface and expose the core. I'm not sure what that will mean long term. Most of the places are pretty small. There's one piece that has what will soon be a chip I expect as it is raised slightly and is just begging to be knocked off. Some of the chips are corners, one place it seems like a whole end piece, a few on the side.

looking from the dining room in to the kitchenThey weren't really places I noticed until I started cleaning the floor when I got home. (The floor had been swept I think but was still covered with a thin layer of blackish dust that seemed to resemble the core of the flooring). I swept and mopped which initially made me feel better, until the places with the chips got dark when I mopped over them and I started realising there were little chips in every room. And then started to notice some of the gaps - and the hole they made in the moulding around the garage door, the hole in the wall behind the garage door..(nice job putting the door stop back in, guys) and then pulled out the fridge to clean and found the baseboards behind the fridge missing.

Mind you I realize you may be thinking "who needs baseboards behind the fridge" - and that's not a question I can answer. What I do know is that they WERE there (otherwise the color I painted the kitchen and now loathe would be all the way to the floor) and the holes I was looking at that go clean through the wall weren't there either. The holes are definitely big enough for rodents, not that rodents are a major concern in a house with 6 resident cats...

looking down the hall past the laundry room in to the garageThere are also a few tiny holes in the freshly painted and mended wall across from my stairs. The kind of holes that happen when someone whacks the wall with a tool or say...a piece of flooring...and punches out a little hole. This also led me to notice that my picture hooks from this wall (and the holes that would tell me where my pictures had been) are gone. dammit.

The hole from the door knob is there beyond the trash can. I have personally fixed it several times, and then got a door stop that screws into the wall. They removed it to put the flooring in and then proceeded to open the garage door into my wall and the lock on the knob punched through the wall. Nice work guys.

I moved some of the furniture back and hung a few pictures on the wall. I also cleaned and put the rugs down. It just makes me feel a little better.

I'm irritated by the chips but I just can't deal with them ripping the floor up again. No one should ever hire this guy for a job. I need to find out what the name of his company is.

looking into the mess of a living roomThe plan is to get a large rug for the dining room. It's kind of a hopeful plan to protect the floor. I think it will also look nice. I have found one I like quite a bit at Overstock. The question is whether it will go with the existing rugs or if I should just buy new rugs for downstairs? I've decided to go with something a little more 'mission' style since my furniture is for the most part, simple and my light fixtures are mission style stained glass. The natural wood adds to the feeling. Too bad the outside of the house is Colonial. But hey, at the time I could afford it.

It will still be 3 weeks before I see any carpet. The color that matches is not going into production until the 20th now. I could get a 12ft roll sooner, but a 15ft roll will enable all of my rooms to be carpeted without seams. When you have pets this can be a very important decision making factor. Cats and dogs both can track a seam like nobodies business..and then proceed to rip it apart. I would like to do everything I can to make sure that doesn't happen. Even if it means waiting a few more weeks for carpet.

the front door and the new threshold that will make sure it can never be easily opened ever againI am told that my dining room furniture can be delivered next week. When that returns I can unpack the boxes of glassware and other china as well as return a lot of the art and the linens to the dining room. Here's hoping the refinishing went better than the flooring installation.

The picture here is my front door that no longer opens easily. I think if there was a fire we might all die.

The small table next to the door is another sad casualty of the process, as is the corn plant that used to reside on top of it. The table is a very inexpensive table that came from a 'model home' decor sale.

The table hails from World Market and has a Japanese pagoda look going and these odd little wooden pieces that come off either side at the legs. Well, one of them is missing. I noticed this first about a month ago but told the project manager not to worry about it. And I still won't worry too much about it - but I find it odd and perhaps disturbing that whoever was assigned to remove the floors just threw any wood they found out, willy nilly. I mean, it looks NOTHING like a baseboard....

Looking at that sad and naked table, I think I'm going to buy a plant this weekend.

the pantry floorThe closet in this picture is my pantry. No more shabby cuts. Still, all I can fairly give is adequate. Last night I noticed a few places that would have gaps if they used quarter round. I was hoping they would have the brains to use something a bit larger and thankfully they did. That's a 'patch' I can live with. Ultimately though I feel like they did the bare minimum of what they would need to do to get by.
That saddens me. I guess I like to think that everyone has a better work ethic than that. Unfortunately I have been disappointed a lot on this job.

Tomorrow more contractors show up to fix the sagging wall in my living room. I hope that at least goes well. And I need to call the project manager and make sure he knows that there are other holes to fix while they are there...and perhaps get the paint off of the floor vent by the sliding glass door. sigh.

I really don't think I'm that picky. I'm just asking that they do the same job I would do, and I would do that well and HAVE done that well.
an area to the side of the stairs
Here's a picture that shows the side of the stairs fairly well.

Overall, it looks pretty nice and I'm glad I went with the lighter floor. Certainly without close inspection you wouldn't notice the gaps or chips. It's just my hope that nothing gets any bigger than it already is.

This last picture is my kitchen. Sometimes I debate putting a rug in here, but I'm just not sure it would fit that well and chairs would always end up being half on and half off. This is the table that was damaged. I have found another dutch leaf extension table in teak, but no sense in worrying about that until this floor is done.

I also have to find those forms that State Farm sent so I can fill out the item damage report.

There are really only two things that couldn't be repaired, the table and the whatever it was of my sisters. Actually her library books couldn't be repaired either but the library was very nice about that. Although I'm not sure it's fair for the damaged books to be paid for by taxes when the insurance company would have covered it too.

looking at the kitchen, does it need a rug too?This weekend I should really try to touch up the baseboards and make the whole house look nice. At least on the surface, right?

And this is kind of an aside, but was a fantastically exciting event tonight - Cosmo used the CatGenie instead of peeing on the sheet in front of the washing machine. I told him what a good boy he was as much as I could. Positive feedback, right? I fear it's my only hope.

There is also a moral to this story: Cut off your water when you leave town. Actually I hear terrible things can happen just during the work day. But even if someone else is still there, cut the water off at the wall. I should have cut off the water in my master bathroom and all this misery wouldn't exist at all. Hindsight and all.