Monday, March 17, 2008

Lessons Learned

We just finished month 5 of the remodel process and this last month has brought a lot of joys as well as a lot of thorns.  Let's start with the good stuff.  I was able to locate all of our brick needs (about 2,300 of them) through Craigslist.  

Our first score was from a woman who was re-doing the hard scape of her 1960's home here in San Diego.  She was ditching her brick and putting in concrete.  So there I was at 6 am ready to load a whole lotta old brick (which almost matches our current chimney perfectly!) into our truck.  The contractor at that site did most of the work for us AND since he lived near us, agreed to drive a load to our place in his 1 ton truck.  See, not only is going green good for the earth, it promotes community!  He was as happy to see all the brick go to a new home as I was to receive it.

Our second score was getting brick veneer for all of our columns.  It was brand new, but a guy had a ton of overage so he agreed to sell it for about half its value.  Turns out he is installing a  drip irrigation system and doing a native landscape....I may come back to ask him some questions when we enter our landscape phase.  

Now for the bad news.....we've got mold and a lot of it.  Eric and I had a sit down with our contractor about what was within his control to manage and what wasn't (remember our roof has been off for 5 months now).  As it turns out, we are tearing down all of our existing plaster walls due to water damage/mold.  It totally sucks, but we all agree that it is better to deal with it now than downstream.  It is setting us back a few weeks, but in the end it is the right thing to do.  Note to future remodelers:  Never, I repeat never, take off a roof without securing the existing home beneath it.  And try not to remodel during the rainiest season ever!!!!!  The mold is making our "green" remodel take on a whole new meaning.

More bad news......we have had a series of thefts.  It seems par for the course in this area, but it still stinks.  They have taken (as in cut out) plumbing copper pipes, windows, and electrical copper wiring.  We've had a put in a claim to our insurance company and notify the police.  There isn't much you can do unless you catch them in the act.    In case you weren't aware, addicts have been recycling copper for decades.  The only problem is it wasn't theirs to begin with.  My brother has offered up his son and a bb gun to protect the property...thanks Tom.  

That is about all the negative I want to write about because it gets depressing.  Eric and I continue to enjoy this whole process and try to keep our eyes on the prize.  Don't sweat the small stuff, right???  Next post will highlight our trip to the dump.  I'm serious.

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