Welcome to our new garage.

Last major update this page: 12/3/2005

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Timeline (PDF)

9/19 Framers start.

9/27 Structure basically complete.

10/1 Roofing complete.

10/18 A/C rough-in.

11/10 Electrical rough-in.

11/16 Siding.

11/21 Drywall.

12/1 Painters start.

12/2 Finish carpentry.

Gee. I watched this go up and didn't appreciate how little I'd been writing.

Crews poured the footing, laid a brick foundation, and poured the slab. Each of those tasks took less than a day and I might have missed them if I'd blinked.

Then came the framing crew. Their task with a three- or two-man crew took just a week and a half and we had a house. I was surprised at how traditional their work was. They had a load of various standard dimensional lumber and a couple synthetic wood beams. They brought a saw, tape measures, and nailers with them. The first thing they did was build their own sawhorses. Then, working from the sketch, they proceeded to build the walls. Every board was cut and fitted on-site. They'd come to a juncture and scratch their heads a little to decide how to put it together. There were a number of places where they have 3 or 4 studs, maybe even with a plywood filler that they didn't really need for structural reasons, but just had that space to fill.

The only thing that seemed wrong and I called the contractor about was that they put the dormer window in backwards. Surely this was obvious to them, but they were gone and there it was. The contractor explained this was so it would be easier to take out when they wanted to deliver the drywall to the upstairs.

I will admit the framers were very neat with their work. The helper even knocked on the door to borrow a broom so he could sweep even while they were still making sawdust. That's better than can be said of the roofers. One day I went behind the garage and there were drink containers all over the ground that I had to complain to the contractor about. I didn't want to blame them on the framers, but couldn't imagine who else did it until I looked up and saw there were shingles on the backside roof.

Another task I almost missed was the A/C rough in. It is run with all flexible duct and lots of vents. I'm still picking 1/2" sheet metal screws out of the floor, the garage stoop, the back yard, the driveway, the front yard. They must have had a 5-lb box of screws explode.

Then there was a delay of about a month for the electrical rough-in. I got the excess charges estimate from the subcontractor and about fainted. He felt that what we currently have on the house is not only inadequate, but not to code. He would replace the main panel on the house, run a new cable to the meter, run a new cable up the wall, cut a hole in the roof, and stick a pipe up to raise the line coming from the pole. Then he would run the underground to the garage and install a subpanel and new wiring.

The only option he offered was to not touch the house and put a new meter on the garage. But that would have added another facilities charge every month.

I finally got another electrician to call me back and give me an estimate. Although he was brusk with me, I was impressed that he took the initiative to tell me what he would do, not what I asked for. Plus, his price was almost half what the other guy quoted. 

But before we could put in the electrical, we had to have the dumpster and leftover lumber picked up so we could dig a trench for the line to the garage. When everything got settled, his crew upgraded the house and roughed in the garage in one day.

Then came the siding. I was not around to watch, but in a couple days, we had a finished-looking building, except for the dormer with that backwards window. I also snuck up and roughed in a couple more outside spotlights that they'll have to frame in when they finish the siding on the front. I probably won't use them, but someone else may want to light up the yard.

There was a little burp delivering the drywall. Despite leaving the dormer window easily removed, they couldn't even get the truck through the gate. They had to reschedule delivery and bring a truck with a forklift so they could stack it in the garage. The drywall installers had to carry each piece upstairs. I thought the roofers were messy, but their installation was downright slapdash -- don't bother to sweep or pick up any scrap. It's amazing how much of a professional drywall job is smoothed out with the tape and mud.

This week the painters sprayed a textured ceiling -- a smooth ceiling is an extra cost, probably so they don't have to do such a good job with the drywall. Then finish carpenters spent a half-day to put molding around the floor and doors and windows. The next day the painters turned everything a smooth, uniform white. Somewhere in there the installers put in the rollup doors.

The only thing I see yet to come is the finish electrical and maybe we can move in.

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Last updated Tuesday, December 06, 2005 08:40 PM


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