January 16-21, 2006 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #67
Contact phone numbers
New York: 315-279-6711
Toronto: 416-907-5758 // 416-461-2203
Land: 506-282-4142 Ext. 101
NOTE: the New York and Toronto numbers are "local calls" for people in the area codes; calls from outside the area code will be billed at the normal rate from the caller's area code to either the "315" or the "416" area code.
Pictures: 121 / 122 / 123 / 120 / 117
The Story: Murphy was in top form this week!!!
Weather: Normally beautiful with strong winds.
Units 121, 122, and 123:
121: Substantial advancement of this unit. All
interior partitions have been erected and interior
boarding is 50% finished. Exterior boarding is also
finished and mostly covered with the first base coat.
Exterior moldings and some interior moldings have been
122: See "Murphy Is Alive and Well"
The wooden terrace trusses have been stained. All
exterior moldings have been installed and the area on
the ground floor terrace for the washer/dryer and
storage area have been framed. Terrace floor tile
installation has started.
123: Skylight has been installed and the roof is
ready for finishing. Most of the taping has been
finished and it's ready for painting.
Note: The high level work-gutters, downspouts,
soffits, and facias as well as roofs were the focus of
much activity this week. That work is now largely
done. Clean up around the buildings is virtually
complete. Window installation remains only on 121.
Units 117-120. 117 and 118 have been advanced
substantially. 117 kitchen is installed and 118
kitchen is nearly finished. Granite for both house
bathrooms has been installed so now we can proceed to
order the tempered glass doors with designs (normally
15 days turn around). Baseboards and interior
moldings installed. Ready for paint.
119 and 120: They are coming along but not as fast;
we are focusing elsewhere. The interior walls of 120
have been finished ready for paint and the exterior
terrace wall has been stuccoed.
Units 101 and 102: The design is finalized and
application will proceed this coming week. It may not
make that much difference as I'm not sure we have a
place to move to.
Electrical System Upgrade: Last week I wrote: "The
transformer suddenly showed up and was spotted but no
one has been on-site to hook it up." Again no none
has shown up this week to work but I did hear a tale
of woe (or a tall tale) from the subcontractor
which, if I had believed him, might have made me cry.
I didn't cry, however, as all his woes occurred two
months after he was suppose to have been finished with
this work. He wants a chance to show me he really is
a man of his word. I told him he's got a long trip
ahead of him for that to occur. He promised to make
good, Do I believe this?.not at all! He says that
on Monday he will begin and will be finished the
following week. Yea, right-and I've got 6 fingers on
each hand and three feet..
This is really holding up the completion of a number
of other things. It's become a major stumbling block
and when I'm in a better bargaining position, I'll
exercise my trump card - a $50 reduction per day for
each and every day he's late as per the contract,
which is now about three months. Guess who owes who
Roadway: some progress has been made. It is suppose to
be completed by the end of next week. I'm not holding
my breath but a little progress is being made.
Misc.: The modifications to 103 are done and it is
Lockers: we haven't yet started construction. Houses
are our main concern now.
Murphy is Alive and Well
If anyone ever wonders (and
who would) that Murphy's "laws" no longer apply, just
visit a construction site:
#1: A plastic cap to a pressurized water line blew
off on the 2nd. floor (It's always the top floor when
this happens, never the bottom) and before anyone
noticed, water had rained down through the floor to
the drywall ceiling on the ground floor. It's been
drying now for three days and is about ready to be
#2: For some reason only????? knows, the electrician
wired a normal 110 V outlet with 220 V in the master
bedroom of 115. It wasn't labeled (why?) it wasn't
color coded (why?), the plug style was not
differentiated (why?), it wasn't disconnected at the
electrical box (why?)... and the new tenant plugged in
his MONSTER wall to wall TV and fried it!!!
(Actually, the maker of the TV designed a front end
fuse to take care of power surges or idiots in our
case...) replacement of the fuse and we were back in
business with a badly bruised electrician, and well he
should have been.
#3: In hooking up the phones for 106, some wires
seemed to have gotten crossed-all types of funny
(actually, not so funny) things have been happening
and not happening.
Have we made any progress? Yes, but it certainly
hasn't been smooth sailing that's for sure.
Schedule for Completion
Unit 118 — January 31
Unit 117 — February 7
Unit 122 — February 14
Unit 123 — February 21
Units 119, 120, and 121 will also be getting done but
we haven't set specific dates
The offer for 112 which was under discussion as of
last writing, died. It was a case of an incompetent
RE agent who is reported to have been going through
some personal problems (no wonder), an arrogant and
ignorant lawyer who was very important in his own
mind, and possibly language ability —Spanish, English,
Italian... It's unfortunate but it happens some times.
The 115 client's furniture did arrive on Wednesday of
this week. He's nearly unpacked. We fried but
repaired his TV.
I've now walked the entire land four
times and looked at it from many angles. After my
third walk, I was ready to walk away from it. The
owner had pathways cut so I could explore the property
lines and access hard to reach areas. My conclusion
is that it is a tough build and there are fewer good
view lots than I had hoped for. Having said that, I
determined that about 2/3rds of the land actually has
a higher density zoning than the upper part which is
new information. This allows more flexibility in site
layout and type of housing we can build. It will also
allow us more flexibility in pricing. I am to receive
a proposal for a soil study to determine soil
stability (in case of earth quakes and slides), soil
compaction, and soil percolation. If the soil is
suitable for building we will then proceed to tie up
the land and continue our due diligence which will
include amongst other things, a confirmation of lot
lines and topographical map will be made
The land has a possible advantage of having a
municipal street on two sides and several small
streams which can be used for rain water run off and
for landscaping and possible irrigation water. I'll
be discussing this land with my partner on his return
Jan. 25. In the meantime, we will continue our due
diligence. I have a draft offer ready for review if
it seems appropriate after my partner and I discuss it
and after we get more information about it.
We've compared the views of those lots with views to
another piece of property and found them to be much
superior. In addition, the land is more sheltered
from the trade winds which, at this time of year, can
be quite strong.
The most important remaining question following soil
analysis, will be water availability. Here we
differentiate —possibly— between potable water and
irrigation grade water. This needs further study.
Our Victoria BC friend is having so much fun here he
has decided not to go to Granada. Lita has him
driving her around for my surprise birthday. I have
him busy translating. If he thought he would be
sitting by the pool (which he didn't and doesn't like
particularly) he was dead wrong. In fact, the longer
he's here, the more work I can find for him.
One of Lita parakeets died. Why? Who knows. She
grieved all one night, had the gardener bury it in the
morning, and went out and bought three more. At least
they are quieter and less mean than the parrot.
If I could avoid tomorrow and whatever Lita has
planned, I would - but that's not the case so I'll
just have to pretend to enjoy the fuss.
Brian, Lita, Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the pigeon