Sunday, January 29, 2012

framing a mid-century modern remodel

Good news or bad news first? Let’s start with the good news. We had lots of work done last week and saw many trades march in and out of the addition. The framers showed up at the crack of dawn one morning, crawling all over the property. Shockingly, by the end of the day, much of what you see here was completed. Framing makes things seem much farther along than they really are. You still need electrical, plumbing, wallboard, a roof, tile, sinks, blah-blah-blah but for the first time, you get the real idea of what all your money is buying you. The new bathrooms look VAST in my opinion. Let me remind you of the humble beginnings. Again, 167 very important square feet are being added.

Left side from Alex's room

Right side from the master closet

Master bath view from shower looking in
Facing out the master bath (shower is 5' square at one end)

Guest bath picture window (Albert doesn't care for this feature), facing the temporary wall
Facing out the picture window in the guest bath

Alex's bachelor bathroom facing the shower

Facing master closet

Master closet - stupendous for sure

More good news is the weather. What the heck? It couldn't be more perfect January remodeling weather in Southern California, very unseasonal.

All contractors interviewed have had two complaints about these plans. First complaint was the specification of Schluter Jolly edges for the tiling. We’ll get to that in the future tiling post when the tile guy tries to talk me out of them. The second complaint has been the complexity of the cabinets. The cabinets were designed to be wired with lights on the top of the medicine cabinets, outlets on the side of the medicine cabinets, and lights on the bottom of the main cabinet.

Nobody wanted to build them so they priced them REALLY high. I thought the cabinets were kind of a cool idea, and left them in the plan, even though removing them and substituting with something more straightforward surely would have reduced costs. I have panicked and taken short cuts before and always  regretted them. This time I stuck to my guns. Besides, we were in pretty deep, so I figured, what’s another $,$$$ to have perfect cabinets? Every remodeler knows this stage of the project. It is a devil-may-care time before you really start writing the checks.

At the end of the week, the contractor had me meet with Greg the "master cabinet maker." Greg is about 5’ 4”, and pushing 80 easily. My Dad is something of a master woodworker hobbyist himself and even he quit in his early 70’s after he chopped off part of a finger a few years ago. Greg has a hearing aid (just like my Dad), and pondered the plans carefully. He didn't seem intimidated. While Greg and the electrician conferred on the cabinets, I picked out the stain. Hopefully, all will turn out well.

Now for the bad news (okay no melodrama ... just "sad" news). The real camping has finally begun. I don’t think Albert and Alex care too much, but for me, this stage of the project has become most inconvenient. The framers this week broke into our guest bathroom and re-appropriated the sink and replaced it with the temporary wall. 

The laundry room sink has become the bathroom sink and blow drying station. Worse yet, is the open cabinet door beneath the sink -- where we keep the litter box. That means you stand in front of the sink with your bare feet in kitty gravel. Gross.

Alex sleeps in the office. The cats like this and sleep on his bed every chance they get. Normally they are locked out of his bedroom so they were immediately attracted to his mattress. Cats instinctively know what you MOST do not want them to do.

And, I do my makeup at the kitchen counter. And put on my contacts. In full view of my roommates. They are super helpful.

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