The past week is a blurr of contractors, decisions, revisions and mud. From my vantage point this type of renovation is not for the faint of heart. What looks good on paper doesn't always mesh with a sixty year old building and what I visualize in my head isn't always what is off loaded from the delivery truck. Life and construction, it's all about compromise.
We had one major snafu last week...twice. Two feet were lost from the bedroom side of the project when the footers were poured. We caught it the first time. The foundation crew was called back for a re-do and adjustments were made. And then somehow it was lost again. The second time it was caught by the framers who were having a difficult time matching the floor plan to the actual space. It was too late by then to correct the problem and two feet of precious square footage was lost forever. I ranted and pouted for a few hours, our contractor graveled and eventually we worked it out. (Don't tell anybody but I think that when all was said and done I ended up with more usable space in the utility room than I had prior to the missing two feet. Also note: when your contractor screws up he begins throwing in extras to ease the pain.)
Yes, it has been as muddy as it looks.
We had a fantastic framing crew. Ryan and his boys (okay men, but they could have been my sons so they're boys) have a work ethic from 50 years ago and did an excellent job. They raised the roof in 40 degree temps and drizzling rain. We loved them so much we kept the coffee hot and plentiful, and fed them a hot lunch on several occasions.
For some reason this is the last snapshot I have of the progress to date. The windows have now all been installed as well as the sliding door and the little window on the end has been exchanged for a longer one. (It was one of my disappointments, too much frame, too little glass. It's hard to tell exactly what you are getting without a visual.)
The original cottage roof is low and squatty which posed some challenges with regard to how the new roof would tie in, especially on this corner. It's not how I envisioned it, but it works. Compromise, people, it's all about compromise.
All in all it has been a relatively smooth process. As we pack up to head south for a few weeks we are comfortable with the progress made. We expect to return at Thanksgiving and find a new front entry and a roof with shingles. Work will then slow to a crawl during the winter months. That was part of the offer we couldn't refuse, our contractor will use our job to keep his full time staff working during the slow winter months. When we return in May for the big reveal it will be just like Extreme Makeover Home Edition, except for the fact that we are writing the checks and there won't be a crowd of thousands chanting "move that mini van." But you get the drift, it will be a big surprise. Hopefully a good one.
Update to the update: Look what I found! I haven't lost my mind.