Thursday, December 31, 2009

Low voltage

Our electrician continues to drag while providing every excuse in the book. Here's a picture of some recessed lights he hung last Monday - he hasn't been back since then. He also hasn't done any of the big things such as set our meter outside or run the main line of power to the boxes. I can't stand him - I think today is his last chance to show up for work!
In the meantime we hired a security system installer (to start next week) and an interesting pair to do our low voltage work: Helen works full-time for Pepco and Gill works full-time for Verizon, and they, along with an assistant, ran a ton of wire yesterday for phone, internet & cable. Helen is also going to help me & Eric run our own CAT5 and speaker wire once we figure our what sound system to get - Eric is obsessed with being able to control it from his iphone. Here is a picture of the low voltage box near an outlet. It's important that low voltage wires are at least 6" apart from high voltage ones or there could be interference - see how the low voltage ones are coming from above into the box and the high voltage ones are coming from below?

Also, here's a picture of the distribution panel where all of the CAT5 comes into and out of. Our speakers will run through these panels too.
It still looks like there's a lot to do, but plumbing and mechanical are both done and passed close-in inspection. After electric & low voltage, we will need to insulate and then it's time for drywall!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Circus of subcontractors

I've been delinquent in posting but we're making a lot of progress. The largest challenge has been dealing with our circus of unsophisticated, irrational contractors. For the longest time our plumber was MIA and slow but he is a truly honest guy and now he's coming through for us. Then recently our HVAC contractor tried to guilt us into paying him before he was done by bringing up a "trust" issue, which we've heard before and makes us furious. Now, our electrician who's hard up for cash just hit us with a completely bogus $1,300 change order and since we said 'no' has not returned to work. It's just never easy!

The picture here is of Joshua, our plumber from Nigeria, testing the drain pipes today for leaks. He's going to use air to test the supply pipes since it's getting cold now, we definitely don't want water that could freeze in there.
The faucet also shown here caused a lot of headache. Unfortunatley the hardware on this one didn't match the install manual , our experienced plumber was totally confused, and communication with the UK manufacturer was non-existant, but finally Eric realized he could just hook a hose up to it and figure out where the water came out, so now we are good to go. We have a shower head on both sides of the tub so we each have our own... awesome!