Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Of course, it is totally out of order to hang curtains before painting the trim, molding, and walls.  However, we were trying everything we could to cool the house.

We got inexpensive curtains from Ikea; these were not thermal curtains but regular light blocking curtains.  There are still AC problems that need repairing, but in the meantime the curtains help a little.

Shortening the curtains to fit the windows downstairs.

Upstairs hallway.

Downstairs bedroom.

Custom-made temporary windows covers made out of the fabric cut off when we shortened the downstairs curtains.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Preparing the Shower for Tile

The workers framed our new jack-n-jill bathroom and added the walls and pocket doors.  We chose pocket doors because the bedrooms upstairs are fairly small, and we didn't want to waste space with doors that swing open.  The shower base was installed before the walls.  The plumber roughed in the plumbing and the workers were told to use cement board on the walls where we would be installing tile. 

New pocket door in the Jack-n-Jill bath.

We got the tile and mortar, and we were ready to begin preparations to install the tile.  Upon inspection of the walls, we realized that they were not stable.  If we pressed on the joints where the cement board pieces met, they would bend and move easily.  We could not lay tile on walls that are not stable and bend because our tile would crack and eventually fall off.  Tile must be laid on a stable surface.

We took off the cement board and realized that there was no support structure underneath to which the cement board could be attached to.  The workers only attached the cement board on the edges. 

The cement board was only attached on the side; this made the pieces unstable in the middle.
 We built a support structure around the plumbing, so that we could properly attach the cement board in a way that it would not move.

Added supports to nail down plywood.

Plywood added for stability and a place to which we can screw the cement board.
We added a vapor barrier under the cement board to protect the walls from any water that may leak from the shower.

Vapor barrier was installed below the cement board.
We attached the cement board to the wall, and created a stable surface for the tile.  We even measured and strategically attached the cement pieces board, so that all joints would be spanned by the tile.

Shower walls are ready for tile.

Monday, August 8, 2011

More AC Work

The AC company finally came out a week later than promised to perform repairs on their existing ducts and to add the new return duct.  They did the work in a couple of days and left when they were finished. 

When we came to look at the work, we found that they left our front door unlocked.  Luckily, it looks like no one came in and stole anything. This was very alarming. 

We found that the work was done very poorly. 

Ducts in the attic pierced by roof nails.

Torn open ducts

Crushed ducts - this party explains our lack of air flow

More crushed ducts
These types of tears in the ducts are all over the place under our house.
Unfortunately, they had to cut our finished drywall to run the AC ducts from the attic down to the crawl space of the house.  I guess its lucky we didn't paint yet.  Hopefully, the drywall can be repaired, so that there is no trace of these cut outs.

Finished drywall cut out to access the ducts in downstairs kitchen

Finished drywall cut out to access ducts upstairs

This was about the sixth time that the AC company came out, and their quality of work is very poor each time.  Each time they come out, they also cause some sort of damage to existing ducts such as tearing open nearby ducts close to where they are working.  We finally realized that they are simply not capable of doing a reasonable quality job.  We had no choice but to fire them and are now planning to find another AC company repair our HVAC system.

As a result of this, our work on the house comes to a standstill.  It is nearly impossible to continue working on the house in the summer heat when the AC is turned off.