Thursday, August 26, 2010

From demolition to building

4 months of work and believe it or not, there is still rock to remove. I was reading my previous post and it is incredible how this rock makes this project so unpredictable. I learned that construction project in the residential home business is definitely not an exact science. You have to be Agile and patient. That being said, it is a good learning experience for a professional project manager like me. I will be able to transfer from IT to building renovation… Anyway, rule 101 of project management, we have to keep the goal in mind,.

On the positive side, we had a major milestone this week since the damage back foundation wall was demolished and a new concrete footing was pored. It is good to see some construction instead of demolition. This also confirms the ceiling height of 7 foot 9 inches, 3 inches below the original objective but the extra cost does not worth it. Next Thursday the carpenter will be here with the steel welder to replace the major wood beam and to put up the steel structure to replace the back wall. This needs to support 3 floors of our 1915 building.

Since I am only starting back to work in September (new contract), I have more time to browse around and try to find the right suppliers and the good deals for our project. So far we found real good deals on an oven hood and 2 toilets. I also found my suppliers for windows, lights, electrician and tempered glass. I found this incredible supplier of architectural windows Like I told him: I love your product but I don’t know if I can afford it. I am analyzing his quote at the moment, we’ll see but I have a Plan B. Also I think we found the bathtub and faucet supplier but I have my eyes open for good deals on plumbing furniture. So for bathroom and kitchen cabinet, IKEA will really be the cost effective solution.

Here some picture

Let’s be positive!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Back to reality

After 2 weeks, just 2 weeks indeed, we are back from our vacation in Europe. Jo, the children and me visited friends and family in France and in the UK. It was the first time for the kids so we visited a lot of touristic site as well. It was great to see my friends in France and Jo’s friends and family in England.

Anyway, back to reality for the JTW project. The basement is now at the right height but still lots to do. The plumber came this week for sewage and drainage. So you can imagine we need to dig trenches in the rock for those pipes and that big and deep sewage pump container. The good news (at last) is that the steel pipes for the first floor eating system are good for life. So we will keep them as is and connect them to the new gas heating system.

This week, at one point, it was really busy around and under the house. The guys from the gas company, the guys for the contractor (front basement windows) and a subcontractor (digging in the basement) were working at the same time. Poor furry friend, he was so happy to see me when I got home. I brought him to the park. He almost thanks me for getting out of that hell.

Today I meet with the engineer and the contractor. Since I finished my work contract, I am more at home looking after the project. Looking forward to find another contract job cause the money pit needs to be filled with money ;-). For the last phase we are thinking of knocking down the whole back foundation wall and replace it totally. This should be less complicated, less costly and give a better end result. This concrete wall was really damage by water. Talking of walls, the inside plaster walls are starting to crack. The main central beam probably moved a bit but at least the sidewalls are solid.

On the moral side I guess we stopped planning to far ahead until the basement milestone is completed. I am estimating September (3 weeks to 4 months, what a difference). I have to watch the money pit movie again, hhhhaaaaa….ha…………ha ha ha!!! The goal is to have a livable basement with bedrooms and bathrooms and a workable kitchen for Christmas……I think it is feasible……

Keep up the spirit!!

Here some pictures

The gold the money pit

The gas company at work

and a movie clip