Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bernard Wood behind bars

Eric called me at work last Friday pumped with adrenaline and out of breath, saying "I caught him" over and over again. He was speaking so fast and out of breath that is sounded like he was saying "I cut him" and I had to clarify a few times what he was saying... so glad that wasn't the case. Anyway, Eric was sitting on the steps inside our house with the door open and saw the housebreaker walk right in front of our house! Immediately Eric was on his feet, on the phone with 911 and in pursuit. He succeded in getting the cops to swarm in and arrest who we now know to be Bernard Wood, a perpetual Adams Morgan criminal. We also found out that he was on parole (shocker!) and due to go in for his GPS ankle bracelet on the same day! Eric has been told that there are many counts against him and they're trying to put him in jail for 5 years. Eric was the hero of the block all weekend and has since been subpoenaed to testify in court.

The story continues to unfold as we found the blog of some neighbors on Wyoming St. ( who suffered a worse break-in than ours, inexcusable police incompetence, and weeks in pursuit of this guy!

Now we can move on to house progress... Eric has finalized the stairs, hot water heater selection, and has started the process of revising our permits for 2 separately metered units. We've still got $2,000 held back from John's final payment since there's 1 window left to install, a few punchlist items, the stair hasn't been framed (and he's thinking of every excuse in the world not to do this) and the caulking & sealing of the windows is still a point of disagreement. We're having a conference call with him tomorrow.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

So much for good samaritans

Eric found a bike stashed in our light well yesterday, covered by some lumber. There's a huge black market for stolen bikes in DC and Eric noticed that this one had a CityBikes tag on it, so he walked it up to CityBikes, the neighborhood bike store. The manager told him that they knew whose it was and that it was stolen 3 days ago, so he felt good to have helped in getting it back to its rightful owner. However, then the crazy crack head who stole it came back looking for his bike, screaming "where's my MF'ing bike?" over and over and proceeded to kick in our $1,500 french door that was just installed last week, and kicked in easily because the strike plate had not been installed yet. Eric took his picture, called the police, and chased him around the neighborhood until he threatened to stab Eric with a screwdriver, at which point Eric retreated. It's not clear yet whether the door can be repaired or needs to be replaced. So unnecessary...

Monday, September 14, 2009


In order to make the front door fit in its masonry hole, we actually need to move the wood lentil, not ideal but better than ordering a new $1000 door. In order to make the patio door fit, we are setting it into the kitchen by a couple of inches, instead of directly into its hole (note the transom is not in on this picture hence the gap). It looks fine with the window above above and accentuates our thick walls not found in the burbs (as Eric says). John's crew completed a lot of their punchlist items today but John is still insistent that he doesn't owe us for sealing up the windows & doors from the outside. This is totally bizarre and annoying and may cost him a contract on the finish work. We also had all of the trash removed today, the Jiffy John cleaned, and tomorrow we're picking out recessed lights at 8am and Eric has a meeting with a stair fabricator. We're on a roll!


Last Thursday was a crisis day for Eric and he ended up bailing on our trip to LA for my company's annual beach party (I went anyway). The stairs were not working out right, the doors seemed too large for their masonry holes, Home depot made the emergency escape window in the basement wrong, and the contractor informed us that he was only setting our windows, not weatherizing them from the outside, despite the fact that the contract says "install." Everything is going better now and we don't have any more trips planned, except for a couple East Coast weddings this fall, so we're going to try to push through and finish this thing by end of year!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Window day!

The windows went in on the 2nd floor today! As planned, the aluminum cladding looks great with the custom blue paint I made at Duron. The silver finish will actually be a bit brighter after Eric removes the film on them - how he is going to do this on the 2nd floor, I am not sure, but this is what he tells me. Framing is moving full steam ahead. The plumber will be back for rough-ins next week and we're pushing to get HVAC signed and find a decent electrician ASAP.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Backyard amenity

I wanted to show you all what $4,000 of lumber looks like and introduce you all to our new backyard amenity, the port-a-john. If you're in Adams Morgan during the day and need to go, feel free to stop by. Otherwise we will be locking it at night. It will be here for 30 days!

Basement framing

John's crew is super fast. They've already installed the front door in the basement (a big milestone) and accomplished a lot in terms of the bathroom, kitchen, and floor joist repairs as well! We're leaving for Andrea & Tom's wedding in Vegas tomorrow so hopefully everything will continue to go well in our absence!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Basement bath finishes

So, we have it. The basement finishes have been selected. The floor is Parkland Arcadia (dark gray porcelain) tile, the tub surround is Daltile Fabrique Linen Blanc (linen-look white-gray striped porcelain) tile, there's a stripe in the shower that also runs out into the room of these long skinny glass blue gray tiles (from Ebay, yay), 1 wall of circle wallpaper, and the rest of the walls will be Loft, a Ralph Lauren gray paint. Awesome... but still so many finishes left to choose!