Merry Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas everyone! John and I got the best present this year: Eric’s honorable discharge from the Army. He got out in time to start college in January and I’ll have more on that next month.

With Eric home last weekend, we got some much-needed home maintenance help. He was a good sport and got on the garage roof to blow off the leaves, sticks and pine needles and then scooped out the gutters. Fall is in full swing here on the Texas Gulf Coast, requiring constant attention.

week 38-1

In the meantime, work on our house has stalled and we’re none too happy. One year ago, we were being hammered almost on a daily basis to get our tile selections submitted to the builder. We were one month late getting them in, but nine months ahead of the purchase order—plenty of time.

We submitted a spreadsheet containing a comprehensive list by room of item numbers, sizes, colors, and supplier along with detailed architectural drawings which, together, communicated the maximum amount of information about that aspect of the project at the time. Despite this, in the past week, we have learned that out of 14 unique tile varieties specified for our house, nearly half (six) were underestimated; in at least two cases, the shortage was significant. This has resulted in

two work stoppages

questions about the true cost of the tile

worries about mixing tile from different production runs/dye lots

It took a few hours, off and on, to compose an email to the builder about the issue. We spent that much time making certain to present only the facts, maintain a neutral tone and write mostly in passive voice to avoid sounding accusatory. We’re very aware that we have several more months of being in this relationship, and best not to blow a gasket (although I’m nearly there), when all you can do at this point is communicate your displeasure and question the builder’s process.

I felt a little better after pressing the send button, but am still fully aware that someone messed up big time on a whole lot of estimating (even with nine months and a framed up job site to visit for better accuracy), the net effect being at least a two-week delay in our ability to move.

Not much to share with you as a result.

He did it anyway, but the tile installer was noticeably reluctant to begin laying the floor tile in the master bathroom before he’d been able to do the shower, which is behind and to the right of the man in the photo.

week 38-2

The fireplace walls were prepped for stone (there’s one on the other side of this one).

week 38-3

The installer ran short of the little 5/8” decorative tile. It came in last week, so he was able to finish the shower niche and add grout.

week 38-4

Here’s a close up:

week 38-5

The ceiling tile was installed in this shower, but the blank spaces are waiting for additional tile to be ordered. We’re going on two weeks for this one.

week 38-6


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