~Before the chimney came down. You can see sheets covering surfaces from the soon-to-come, massive invasion of dust.~
~ I got the first swing with the sledgehammer. This was always something I've wanted to do and given Jomo's death & an asshole comparing us to Micheal Vick because we put Jomo down, the sledgehammer proved VERY therapeutic!~
~The chimney is 1/2 way down now. David Harmon has a guy named Josh working for him. I absolutely adore Josh and think he is a fantastic worker!! Watching him take the bricks apart was interesting. He didn't need anything other than his hands, as the mortar was that old and crumbly.~
~Here Josh is showing me how clogged the chimney was. The chimney has been used to vent gasses from the boiler heater. We had thought there was a metal flue inside, there wasn't. Where Josh is showing with his hands is where it is clogged up from him taking it down. Everything below his hands is STILL clogged up (and the chimney goes all the way down to the basement) and WAS clogged up before he got started. It is scary to think the gasses have had to try and go around all that crap. I will be very happy when they install a new metal flue~
~The chimney is down! This is before Josh cleaned up, which he did a FANTASTIC job of!! Major points there!~
~Sorry for the cellphone photo. Here the chimney is down, the old wall is down, and the bottom 1/2 has new drywall up. This photo was taken May 10th. We've been delayed on finishing the drywall due to rain.~
Along with the work in the kitchen they've also started on the old back bathroom that we were using as a pantry. Everything bathroom related has come out, including the flooring we had put in. We're waiting for our fabulous plumber to come by this evening so that the washer & dryer can be moved into the new "laundry room." Yesterday Josh cut the doorway to a much larger size so that all would fit through there. Photos will come soon, I promise.
So -- what are my thoughts about all this renovation?? How are we liking it so far?? In no particular order, here are my thoughts:
1) "Contractor Time." It has been difficult for me to get used to this. I am usually a very big stickler for times and schedules. Contractors are known for running on time schedules of their own, so I can't really take points off of Harmon for doing so as well, any contractor would likely be the same. But it is still something I'm having a little trouble with just because that's me.
Also, some days work begins around 9am and then they're done for the day by 2pm-ish. This is something that is odd to me, just because we're used to typical work day hours. Again, perhaps that is just the way things are, I don't know. I'm trying to just focus on being happy about work being done.
2) Cleaning up & stuff like that has really gained them points. They've been wonderful about that. They're really great about trying to stay out of our way - not that we had an issue about that, it's more something their trying to be really conscientious of & we appreciate that.
3) The Workers. Harmon has had a couple different guys in here so far and we've liked them all. Josh is who has been here the most and we've been REALLY pleased by him.
4) The Work. Well, so far, everything is been in a taking down & taking out stage. That makes it kinda hard to rave (or complain) about the work. They've done a great job taking things out, haven't caused more damage or anything like that, so I would say that so far, we're happy with it all.
All in all, it's a positive experience so far. I wasn't happy about the delays, but there was nothing I could do about it either & we're trying to be understanding that things happen. We aren't the only people out there in this world. The weird work hours are something else we're trying to get used to. But it could be a lot worse, and we know that, so we're happy with everything so far.
A follow-up thought: I forgot to mention that a lot of the woodwork is being done off site. The wooden tongue & groove ceiling has been stained at his shop, saving us the hassle of the fumes and probably working better for them as well. Same with the wooden cabinets. This might (and likely does - at least hopefully does) account for "afternoons off." It is hard to remember that they could be working very hard on our stuff but that we just might not be seeing it. Since everything else so far has been positive, I'm going to go with this on this one too.