Browsing Topic: Finishes

Painting Disaster on Move-in

September 13th, 2009

Just a quick note to say the move went… poorly.

We made a somewhat last-minute decision to have the painters who completed the priming of the house and painting of the ceiling, actually complete the painting of the entire house instead of tackling that ourselves.

The head painter said he’d have 5 people on site on Wednesday and complete everything in 1 day. There was 1 guy.

The next day the same guy showed up. Calls to the head painter were met with repeated claims of “I’m on my way” for several hours. By about 1:00pm the 1 painter just left leaving his tray and cans open (probably thinking everyone else would be showing up soon). They finally showed up at 3:30pm and did work quite late, but they weren’t done.

“No problem.” They were going to show up early the next morning and finish everything in 1-2 hours. Since we wouldn’t arrive with our movers until 11, that was no problem.

The movers arrived to wet walls and work in progress everywhere. No rooms were complete but rather at some stage of completion. Therefore NOTHING could be moved against any wall, everything would have to be piled into the centers of every room. Chaos.

Try to have a 1.5 year old running around a house where everything is teetering. We couldn’t be more than a foot away from him unless he was in the master bedroom (our one ‘safe’ zone).

It took the movers at least an extra hour to complete the move as a result and we’ll now have to spend the next week moving everything into position. :-\

Shortly after settling down after the move we started to look around and realized the paint job was awful. Just really really bad. (Our costly Yolo Zero-VOC paint smeared across the walls instead of rolled; bad cutting; bad seams around the windows; drips on the walls; drips/spray on the floors, unfinished wood trim, door handles, etc.)

There was a somewhat heated exchange with the painter on Saturday and we plan on picking up the discussion about how (and who?) is to be compensated on Monday. He had said he would bring a rep from the painting union and we wanted to discuss the issues with our builder.

He insists he can fix all these problems but we can’t possibly allow him to burn up another 10 (or so) gallons of paint trying to make a sloppy, clumpy wall look smooth.

We’ve spent the last two days with one of us taking care of the our young fellow while the other tried to clean & organize but it’s going to be a long process, it seems. This is really not what we needed now.

And another horror story starts for the blog. Unbelievably exhausted right now. It may be a few weeks before I get another post up here, while we focus on getting things settled.

(I should add: the house is frickin’ awesome otherwise. Just about everything else came together much better than we had hoped!)

Posted by Colin

Power on. Gas on the way!

September 10th, 2009

With one day to spare the power is finally on at that house. The gas is ready to be turned on and Enbridge is scheduled to turn it on today!

The house is still being painted, the front porch still being completed, and there are a few critical taps that need to be installed but it all appears to be unfolding well at the end!

Posted by Colin

Solid Maple Stairs by Charlie Bois

August 24th, 2009

It turns out stair building is a highly specialized craft. It typically takes between 4 and 6 weeks to get them made.

We were very fortunate that a fine carpenter named Charlie Bois (who we found via his positive reviews on HomeStars) had a hole in his schedule just big enough to build us three fine staircases. He came out to the house with some great suggestions for improving the stairs as they had been designed.

Solid Maple Staircase by Charlie Bois

And just check out those joins in the close-up. Practically seamless!

Charlie will be back in a few weeks to finish up our railings for us as well.

Posted by Colin

Kitchen by Jeff Taylor, Sink by Copper Casa Cruz

August 14th, 2009

We’re always eager to give credit where it’s due here at Our Sustainable Home, and these two craftsmen have certainly delivered some beautiful work to our home.

Jeff Taylor of Taylor Made Cabinets (905-772-1649, 866-772-1649) delivered our kitchen today. It’s solid maple (no chipboard or veneer) and will be sealed with hemp oil (is there anything hemp can’t do?) and beeswax.

Kitchen by Jeff Taylor, Sink by Copper Casa Cruz

Our sink came to us from the fine folks at Copper Casa Cruz. My wife initially found them through their store on eBay. They are a family run business out of a small town in Mexico and they offer a level of customer service that most other businesses could learn from. They are extremely easy to deal with, accept custom orders, and delivered our sink to our door in just SEVEN days from the time we ordered it. You’ll even like (if not be completely floored) by their prices. Their products are also duty free (thank-you NAFTA!), though you’ll have to pay the usual federal/provincial taxes.

Posted by Colin

Stairs, Floors and Delays

July 31st, 2009

Now that’s comedy.

I’m not sure what the stair company was thinking when they went ahead and installed our stairs for us. You’d think that when we said “Hey we don’t want chipboard risers and plywood corners. These are supposed to be solid wood.” they would just take them back. But they decided they’d fix them on site.

But the truly bizarre part is that the ground floor stairs don’t even fit. They aren’t long enough by TWO FEET and overhang the basement stairwell. But they put them in anyway.

We’ve been trying for weeks to get either Home Depot, Dynamic or the stair manufacturer/installer to tell us how they plan to fix all this but no one is talking. Our builder’s last note to them indicated he was just going to cut them out if they didn’t reply and as far as I know, they didn’t.

The worst part is that the stairs are holding up drywalling, flooring and other finishes. That, in turn, is holding up installation of the kitchen and bathrooms. We had managed to avoid this ‘delay spiral’ up until this point but it looks like it’s got us in its grips now.

Posted by Colin

Front Doors Installed

July 7th, 2009

I should open with some bad news on the finishes front: Raw Linseed Oil apparently attracts mildew; It just loves the stuff.

I found this out *after* I had treated the our brand new front doors with it.  But the doors should be fine. After waiting 4 days for the Linseed to dry (that’s an other problem with it) I put on the requisite coats of varnish, which should seal out any mildew that might otherwise want to take up residence in the door.

We’re currently investigating the Circa 1850 line of non-toxic finishes and cleansers for our baseboards, kitchen counters, etc.

So all is well, and the doors were finally installed today!

Front Doors Progress 25: Front doors and porch

Posted by Colin

Madawaska Doors arrive early!

June 25th, 2009

After searching for weeks for alternatives (none of which we liked) we decided to bite the bullet and get the fine folks at Madawaska Doors to build us a set of front doors. (Since sidelights are about as expensive as doors, we decided just to go with two doors.)

Unfortunately, by the time we ordered, the doors weren’t due to be finished until the early July but they knew we had some time pressure and were able to deliver them well ahead of schedule.

We’re going to need to seal them as soon as possible to avoid them coming into contact with the drywall dust, however; It’s apparently very bad for the door.

I should pass on a quick tip here as well for others on a restricted budget: Madawaska Doors has a clearance center in Schomberg where one can buy doors that are either slightly damaged or for some other reason returned by their former owners. They don’t come with any sort of warranty but are at least half price! We picked up a dozen knotty pine interior doors there. We’re going with a bit of a rustic look for the interior finishes so the knotty pine should fit right in.

The clearance center was probably also a contributing factor in our decision to have them make the doors for us. (After seeing HUNDREDS of beautiful wood doors, but none quite right to be our front door, it was hard to think of our front door being steel or *gasp* vinyl.)

We’re VERY happy with our purchases both at the clearance center and the front doors they made just for us!

At the moment, we’re looking at using raw Linseed Oil for the kitchen countertops, baseboards and doors, but will probably need something else (more weather resistant) for the exterior door.

Posted by Colin