They are ready. That took a while too. We paid for them on November 28 and are just now getting them. the terms were supposed to be ready in 30 days. I did get a call about them on January 24 that they were ready, but they were missing the screw in part and only had the grill. The foreman jokes, see it’s not just me and the windows! He tests them by screwing one of them into the rough in the laundry room and they fit. So that is good.
For the most part the fireplace is done! We still need to fill in the cracks with some slivers of stone, but the big job is done.
We asked them to leave the pile of stone until we are sure it is finished. One thing we are debating is whether or not to seal the stone. I was thinking not, I like the raw look. But it might be better for the stone if it was sealed. Plus, the foreman says that if we burn fires, soot will accumulate. So maybe sealing it would be the way to go. To enable cleaning.
They came and got the windows today. The foreman, the stone guys and I carried them out. This guy doesn’t carry.
One interesting thing, is that he was not going to pick them up when he saw the drill holes in them indicating that they had been installed. He had to call the office and get an okay, which he did. Apparently, after they are installed, that is it, they don’t touch them again.
And here is where we are at close of week
The Low E glass is supposedly at JT now, so they are going ot pick up the windows. About time.
Too bad the house looks blighted. Just think, they could have left the old window in this whole time and the house would have looked okay. They could have even left the shutters, and the plantation shutters in this whole time too. Hindsight is 20/20.
Here they are stacked up and ready to go.
Here is today’s work.
So with the corners pieces being different from anything on the floor, it has become apparent that we cannot take the stones from the floor to the wall in the same pattern. Which is just as well I think. It did give them good practice.
Picking and choosing.
I don’t have pictures of this unfortunately, but the way they were putting the stones up today was causing vertical lines to appear. And this caused the stones to not look stacked like in a wall but rather stuck up there like a mosaic. So we had to have them take it down. To demonstrate, we turned the sample picture sideways, and you could see vertical lines appear. You don’t notice the horizontal ones as much because they look correct. They understood right away.
Here is what it looked like today:
These close up pictures are a little dark, but the flash blows it out. A couple pix of some favorite stones.
Here are supports for the bottoms stones.
We aren’t worrying about depth and doing wrap arounds for the bottom stone, since you won’t be able to see this unless you crawl under the ledge.
It’s looking great! We’re excited! Let’s play!
Here is the progress they made today.
After the heated talk of last Friday, it looks like we are doing it the way we discussed with the contractor afterall. Stone guy is using sticks to keep the stones in place until the thinset hardens.
We are reusing the old master bath tub in the new hall bath. We had it recoated by Cerma-Coat. Supposed to be the best inthe business. And a third of the price of a new tub.
When these three big guys delivered it, they wanted to leave it in the driveway. I tried to get them to bring it in the house, but they said it was too heavy and refused. I got them to carry it to the front porch. These were three Arnold-looking, teamster-looking, 250 lb guys. They were using a dolly and struggling and putting on a real show. As they were leaving I tried to pick it up and it was not heavy at all. Picked it right up. I called after them, “This ain’t heavy!” The stone guys helped me get it inside.
So we think we have everything we need to start putting it up! But we wanted to go everything all together to make sure we were all on the same page before we started putting stone up on the wall. So we decided to have a 7AM meeting this morning to figure everything out. The foreman called the meeting.
So guess who was the only one to not show up?
Good grief. I call him and he says he is across town — he thought he could get something else done first. Before 7AM?
So we have the meeting with the contractor and tell him how we think it should be done. We kind of agree, on getting the corners up first, then putting the stones along the bottom. And then filling in the stone above it.
But this turns out to be pointless since the key attendee is absent.
Everyone had to leave except the contractor and me. When he finally shows up, we go over what we had talked about and he says he can’t do it that way. I say maybe we should put if off until we can all meet together so that there is no communication problem. We are getting delayed by the windows so much that is seems okay if we make sure everything is as we want it with the stone. I don’t want to rush this at all.
I was pissed at him for being late and he was pissed at himself too I think. And this manifested itself in a panic attack.
“I don’t write things down, but I remember telling you this, I know I told you this. In the picture, it is cultured stone. This is natural stone. So what is in the picture, it can’t be done. Not with this stone.”
And then he got really frustrated:
“Maybe I am not the right guy for the job. I don’t know. The picture you have is with cultured stone. There is no way we can do it with this stone.
I replied. “First, it’s a good thing you accompanied us to the stone yard with sample picture in hand and approved the stone we bought. Second, I asked the stone guy if he could do it with the stone we had and he said yes. And third, it is still not too late. We can throw all this stone away and get what you think will get us the look we want. But this look is what we want.”
He calmed down, but it was unsettling. There wasn’t much he could say to that. Especially since his stone guy had spent a week and a half cutting and preparing this stone.
And then we went back to talking about how we wanted the bottom stones to look. We wanted them to look like they were sitting on an invisible flat plain. They need to be even, but not precise. There can’t be any variation in the height, but at the same time, they have to be a little rough.
One thing about the foreman was that he doesn’t like being told what to do. So whenever possible, I try to make it seem like his idea, to get him to understand it on his own. But here, I had to spell it out, and I could tell he didn’t like it much.
We got through it and I think we are on the same page, but sheesh! This is just the beginning of the finish work. If he thinks I am a pain now, he’s gonna want me dead by the end of it! Because I am going to be looking at every detail of every little thing they do!
It bugs me about the stone culture argument.
We didn’t think the stone was cultured and don’t understand why they are suddenly trying to use this as an excuse. It doesn’t look cultured. There are no repeats. Further, they can’t even point to anything specific that indicates it is cultured.
Back when we visited the stone yard in early September, we wanted the stone guy and the foreman there to make sure we were getting the proper stone. And now he is pulling this. But now I guess we know why he came alone and not with the stone guy.
But in any event, the corner went up today. It looks good!
One tricky thing for this wall is getting the corners to look like the stones are not a facade, but actual big chunks of stone. We got a big chunk of stone for that. It required cutting a big chunk and then cutting out of it so it is kind of like an “L” which will wrap around the corner.
The source stone.
Laying it out.
It will look like this on the wall.
We needed some more for the actual fire box.
Laying it out for the fire box — sides and top.
Here are more pix of the layout being created on the floor. The idea is to get it right here and then put it up on the wall. Since the corner pieces are not incorporated into it, I don’t know how we are going to do that, but we will see. But I gotta say, it is looking good!
And some pictures of the scene.
And here is Roxy and Dana.
At least they are not messing with my chair.
So now that they “got it,” the stone guys take to cutting. The trick is to get the stone squarish, but not square. Rectanglish, but not rectangular. Get it?
What they did was cut a piece of stone halfway through and then break it along the seam. When the stone was on the grass, I went around and looked at both sides of each stone and put the display side up so they would know which side to cut on. the display side would be the more interesting one or the least damaged one. Some of the stone had black mildew on it, so we wanted as little of that as possible.
Stone dust is getting everywhere. We have been pretty good at keeping our living space clean, but this dust is finding its way in.
A little early for it, since the windows need to go back, but here it is.
One of the framers set up wood working shop and made the three niches and the book case.
So after yesterdays work, it is apparent that the stone guy needs some close guidance. I got on my grubby clothes and started laying all the stone out on the grass. I explained to them what I wanted to do and they helped get it out there.
And what did I want to do? I wanted to be able to look at all the stones, find ones I liked, and find ones that I didn’t like. We hosed them down to get all the dirt off so we could see them better. Immediately, I saw some standouts!
This appeared with a good hosing and the loose rock fell off. Very cool. It looks like it has been underwater for hundreds of years. This rock gets a special place!
Dig this one too!
We also went over the design we were going for. No triangles. No bad Vegas seventies look. Squares. Straight lines, but not precisely straight lines. Get it? I think they were beginning to understand.
This is the layout they came up with today. We are getting there.
These were the days with no activity in January:
Job started August 22
Better this month than in November.