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Posted by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 9/27/2008 7:16:15 PM

This week I got to the point like many of us do where I was too busy working to write about it.

Last Saturday I learned the Home Depot had very confusing window nomenclature that made it difficult to know where each window went without measuring each and checking for the window performance numbers. (We upped the low-E on windows that faced east, west or south). Then they messed up 5 windows out of 31 and they are horrible on following up, so I have to stay after them.

I had a bid from a friend who owns a window company and he quoted me $2,400 to install the windows. I found a really nice and hardworking guy on Craigslist who offered to help me out and show me how to install the windows. This guy made $120,000 last year doing window replacements for Home Depot and Lowe's. We worked for about 5 hours (including two at Home Depot sorting the windows and transporting them to the lot) and he showed me the tricks of the trade. We installed 8 windows. I paid him $200.

Today I hired a friend and we worked for 5.5 hours and got in 10 windows and I paid him $66. We still have 11 more to install if Home Depot will ever get the right windows for us.

I bought our French door from a guy off of Craigslist. He and his brother worked up a sweat loading this heavy thing into my truck then he called me back to offer me 122 sf of tumbled travertine for free! That's a good deal! I picked it up and it will look great in our bathroom.

We bought a jetted, lighted, air bubble tub on Craigslist but it has some leaks. I fixed to of the air lines and still the pump line has leaks. Hopefully I can get someone else to mess with it and set it in because I don't even want to deal with it anymore.

I found a guy on Craigslist (notice a pattern?) who could do plumbing for us. He helped me get my electrical panel up (we should have our temporary power next week) and passed inspection. I paid him for that. Then he put in all of the remaining drain lines. I paid him for that (maybe it was $100 or $200 more than I should have paid him). All he lacks are the vents. I want them through the roof so we can get the roof dried in. Then this week, he was under the weather and his truck broke down. The worst thing is that he promised he would come then wouldn't show and it wasn't until later that he told me what was going on. Today he showed up and he started talking about the how he had made an electrical list. I told him that he had to finish the plumbing first and that I was going to have a contractor do the electrical (or I'll do it myself). I told him that I was OK with him getting sick and understood that his truck broke down but it was unacceptable that he didn't communicate this with me. I said he can finish up the plumbing then we can see what happens. I went back to installing windows and he left and never came back - he left his level that he let me use for the windows. Then I called him and it went to voice mail (big surprise). If he doesn't have it done Monday I'll call the guy that helped me with the underground and pay him a few bucks to tell me how I need to run the vents and help me get a part list and I'll finish it myself.

My PEX materials should be in on Wednesday. I decided on two Viega (VanGuard) Manabloc systems, and I'll be doing that myself and with family and friends.

I was planning on running the HVAC myself and with a contractor friend who mostly services units and hasn't run a lot of residential lines. He had a guy get me a materials list and we have had the HVAC supplies onsite since Monday. I had a guy off Craigslist and he told me he did a dual system (four tons each) with a lot of returns for $1,800. I had a friend who goes to church with a lot of guys in construction and they don't have a lot of work. I met with one who was an HVAC contractor. I walked him through our job, which has three systems (10.5 tons) with a 5-ton system that is split between the main floor and the basement. I think he is doing me a favor and sent me a proposal for $1,800 for all of it, including cans, registers, returns, ductwork, exhaust fans, hanging the air handlers, etc. Basically he will install all of the materials for everything. Sure, the DSDE equivalent is $18,000 but hey, they will knock it out in two days vs. me doing it in two weeks. I'll focus on the PEX lines (and now the plumbing vents) and let them handle the HVAC. My HVAC friend was surprised about the deal and said it was a no-brainer. With a bid from a contractor over $20,000 for the three systems, I should be about half and the bulk of that will be materials.


Plumbing from the bonus space
Bath #2
Patio windows
Laundry box
Beam too close to stairs! We have to shorten the floor trusses and move it so we can pass inspection and more importantly so I don't hit my head coming down the stairs.
My sweet wife gave our fruit trees a good deep watering.
Leaky tub parts
Stucco corner example. I will have 6 stucco bids. I already think I know who will I will choose, but I promised three others that I would let them bid.
Large family room picture window. Yes - this baby was heavy and we already had a bird smack into it as evidenced by a smudge and feathers on the window.
Praying mantis blending into the color of the 2x6. I didn't know they can do that!
Our free tumbled noce pattern travertine
I had them fur out the basement walls to put in the electrical on our plans - less for me to do later.

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