Final Inspection is BOOKED!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I really cannot believe it. Only 93 days late. I guess that’s not bad, considering some of the other horror stories I’ve been hearing.

I spoke to our inspector yesterday and he is scheduled to come in between 11-12 on Friday. I have a client meeting in Mississauga so I’ll be able to arrive home just in time for the wait. I also spoke to both engineers yesterday confirming their signoffs on the outstanding building permit requirements. I also confirmed their credentials on the professional listings on line (this is very handy, wish I would have done it when our contractor implied he was an architect!).

Wfew! I really thought the final inspection was never going to get done. Really. Not withstanding the remaining 10% hold back, I actually thought he would not do it. Now that’s confidence! or anti-confidence?

There are still a few things to do (like the hole in the eaves trough), and the final finishing of the sill outside (oh, and a few bags of dirt in the garage). I imagine Todd will do them on Friday. I’ll try to speak to him today.

The blog is slowly coming to an end. I’m afraid that once I have nothing more to complain about on the reno, I must end it. I may start up another subject just for fun, but the next few days should conclude it all. You’ll definitely know it’s finished when I do my last post. Perhaps a photo or graphic? Wait and see.

Self imposed deadline number 2,956,867,837,473,556.1a

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Yes, the fat lady is starting her warm-up! She’s actually warming up her voice…not quite singing yet, but warming up. It’s better than nothing I suppose. Many things got done yesterday – 91 days to the original second finish date. I am supposed to get a call from George verifying the engineers involved and confirming the inspection date (Friday?)

The outlet at the bottom of the stairs now works (it was disconnected at one of the junction boxes!) – the ceiling in the basement had to be opened, but Todd, repaired it and mudded it nicely. He will prime/paint it on Friday (this is a bonus since he absolutely hates painting!). The A/C hose was reattached to the house although the hole in the eaves is still there!! And the basement window sill was poured!

The drainage report: Supposedly, there is an engineer now working on the soil report but when I popped home at lunch, there was no hole dug yet, although Mark and Brett were at the house, which means lots of labour to do!! I was quite pleased to see Brett again! This finish has been quite a struggle. For the last week, I have been calling and emailing every hour during business hours to get George’s attention. Was this necessary? Well, we are getting stuff done, so I’m thinking: yes, it was; however, JT mentioned that the end of 45 days is coming to close, so possibly THAT was his motivation…who knows. I really don’t care, I just want it done and over with.

I got the window seat cushion done over the weekend. Wow, that was a job and a half! My sewing machines work perfectly now (repaired over the renos) but it still took a really long time – partly because I made my own piping out of coordinating fabric. I am very pleased with the look and so is JT – it’s a bit retro fabric, coloured in a very cool teal with brown – I love it! JT did a lot of the little things, repairing drywall screw pops, finishing the metal nosing on the tile stairs etc. etc. In the next few weeks we’ll be furniture shopping for the basement suite…that will be fun. The carpet is booked into October 27 installation! With any luck, we won’t lose our momentum to finish (although with the contractor taking 91 days to finish, it certainly does take a bit of the motivation away!)

The water feature in the basement still has not show itself again. I am relieved and yet a bit worried. What could it have been? We had a good rain last night, so that is a bonus – no puddle yet (at 8:30am anyway). I guess the melt next spring will really tell.

Our weekend is totally booked, but I love seeing our friends again…we’ve been a bit cocooning over the reno so it’s great to be active again!

87 days past due

Friday, September 21, 2007

How does this happen? 87 days. We have now exceeded the actual time it took to put on the addition, just to finish about about 12 things left on the list. Twelve measly things. I really would like never to think of that man again. EVER.

My hair started falling out again, and I’m losing weight (believe me, it was cheaper on Bernstein!).

After 3 days and several emails and vmail messages, TB (you figure it out) finally responded yesterday. However, it was only after I contacted the architect who’s stamp was on the drawings. The architect called and emailed him. Really nice guy. Poor guy to be associated with such a louse. I called and emailed almost every hour to get TBs attention. My last call, he actually picked up. I wasn’t expecting it so I wasn’t prepared – usually I like to map things out in my head before I talk to TB. No problem, I guess my furry came from the soul because I gave it to him. No swear words this time because I was at work – I got a standing ovation afterward! Of course, they all know the grief we’ve had with this B. I don’t even know why we talk to him anymore, because I don’t believe a word he says.

He’s got a new deadline for himself. I said “that’s what you said two weeks ago.” Oh. What a farce. I’ve got another call into the city. This really needs to be over and soon.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

83 days from the finish date that was on the second project plan…

I am beside myself. Why isn’t it done? Why doesn’t the damn contractor want to finish? It’s mind numbing. Simply unbelievable.

What’s left to do, you ask? Well, let me get out my list:


  1. Pocket door catches when trying to close it.
  2. Electrical outlet at base of stairs no longer works.
  3. Sometimes there is water in the basement, we cannot recreate this issue, and will wait until a good rain as we feel it has something to do with drainage.


  1. A/C hose and cable were removed from house, now needs to be resecured.
  2. Eaves trough installer ran the cable inside the roofline and cut a hole in the eaves trough to allow the cable through (why he did it this way is totally beyond me because it had to be re-run on the outside of the roof after they put roofing on!!)
  3. Grading. More earth needs to be removed so that JT and I can get started on the interlocking.
  4. Basement window needs an exterior sil (or is this the new designer look that we bought, no let me guess, it must be an extra!)

Building permit closure: George owes the city two reports:

  1. Drainage report showing why weeping tile bed was not installed (ohhhhhhhhhhh, could THIS possibly have something to do with our water feature in the basement?????)
  2. Structural engineering report on how the existing beam was secured to the new beam so that the city is satisfied that it is safe. Good lord, it had better be.

So there you have it. Not sure if all reno’s are so painful, but our’s certainly has had its challenges. I’ve sent two emails this week and left a vmail message…do you think he has called me back yet? Can you imagine if we all treated our customers this way…business would come to a standstill. It’s simply revolting.

Not a peep from the fat lady…

Monday, September 17, 2007


We got another mouse this morning. I think there might be one more…this little bugger, we’ve named him George III, keeps eating the cheese out of the trap without getting caught (sound familiar?).

I picked up another amazing deal rug on ebay…for the front hall. Believe it or not, 100% wool, 4′ 10″ hand tufted Agra Indian rug $1.25 (shipping was about $170 but considering the quality, it’s was an amazing deal!).  Brand new too. It looks amazing in the front hall!


Trying to be more positive, I shall focus on what DID get done. We got the back splash done. It looks fantastic. Subway tile, antique white with a crackle glaze. Really makes the kitchen! We also got the tiling layed on landing from the back door and the steps up to the kitchen. I borrowed the tile cutter from Rob and I want to get it back to him tomorrow morning. I still need to reconcile that funny little wall at the back to the left of the door. We’ll grout tonight.

It was damn cold on the weekend – like a real fall day. We had a dinner party on Saturday night and we had a fire on believe it or not. JT put the heat on in the house yesterday…it was a might chilly!


Fadil (kitchen guy) is coming by this week to drop off a shelf for the corner cabinet where the shelf was too small.

I will have to keep on top of George to make sure he gets the inspections and the report obligations concluded. I honestly cannot see why this is such a pain, one would think he would want this project finished more than we do. Apparently he was at the home show this weekend, luring unassuming folk into his mire web of deceit. Caveat emptor.

Here is a sneak peak at the back splash and the basement stairs…



We were not able to recreate the water feature in the basement. So we’ve decided to watch it for a couple of more weeks before we order carpet. UGH!

She’s still not singing…

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Monday night:

Well, George called on Monday night postponing Todd finishing (actually, he asked if we would mind if he switched Todd until Thursday…JT answered the phone, guess what my answer would have been?). We’ve already changed the locks so I have to go home, let him in and then go home again to lock up. UGH. Finish the job already.


Todd called me as requested and I rushed home to let him in. He finished off a couple more things on the list, but we developed an unexpected water feature in the basement and that took up a lot of his time. Rod the plumber had to be called out. There seems to be a clog in the new drain. Although Rod snaked the drain, nothing major came up. But it seemed to have fixed the issue. NOT.

Of course, this little mishap prevented the entire list being finished.

Friday: Friday morning, we’ve now got a small pond (enough for guppies, not fish). I call Todd and ask him to resolve when he returns to the house today. I am disappointed that I don’t hear from him at all. I call George. George gets Rod to call me.

I arrive home from work and the pond is still there. I call Rod and he suggests a few things to do to see if we can recreate the water seepage. I try to no avail. We leave it that I will watch the pond over the weekend and call him on Monday morning.

On Friday, Todd did do another thing on the list. He must not have been allowed to stay long because there are still things left on the list. Will it ever be over?

On Saturday, I have a carpet guy coming in to quote the basement. Of course, now that there is a chance that there is water seeping into the basement, I cannot put carpet down until it is totally resolved. UGH. I have about 4 dinner parties booked in the next month or so…it would have been nice to finish the basement. Oh well, they will have to wait to see it at the party in November. UGH.

Brush with fame?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pam, a good friend from Vancouver came to see the Toronto Film Festival. She was kind enough to offer me an invitation to a choice of films. I selected Atonement with Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Romola Garai, Saoirse Ronan and Brenda Blethyn.

Both leading stars were present as were the director, producers and writer. The leading stars were very attractive! The photos really don’t do them justice! Lots of paparazzi, but not enough to hinder our evening (they were very organized, as expected in Toronto!)

The movie was sad, but it was a good story and the director published it well. It was a little bit arty, but enough main stream that it will probably do well as a ‘chick flick’. ‘course, I am no film critique, but it is my blog after all!





The writer, Joe Wright told an interesting story which segued into the film, but what was interesting is that this guy’s father was a puppeteer. Now, how many people can say that? Those of you who don’t know about my father, maybe I’ll tell you about him sometime…

The evening was lovely. Lots of waiting, but it gave us time to chat, which was nice because I don’t see Pam that often.

Thank you, Pam. What a treat that was last night. I really had a great time!

It’s not over until the fat lady sings…

Friday, September 7, 2007

It’s Friday September 7 and believe it or not, we’re still not completely finished. Yes, we can use the kitchen and the basement is almost relatively done, but for some reason, these minor details still seem to be a very difficult part for our contractor – I guess his other clients must be yelling louder! Minor finicky things, but they need to get done before I even consider this horror over. Not to mention, he still owes the city two reports from the engineer AND a final inspection to close the permits.

I am not really going to post any more photos of the finished reno. I guess you’ll have to wait for the invitation. We’re thinking about a mid October or early November party to avoid the Christmas rush. Hope you (our friends) can make it. I can hardly wait to cook for you again!

Because I am not posting finished photos any longer, I am posting the unfinished photos…enjoy.

Door bell cover. For some reason the electrician decided that we needed a new doorbell and tossed the cover to the original one. This is upsetting because there was nothing wrong with the doorbell AND it was original to the house. I really like the traditional sound and frankly hate the sound of the new electronic doorbells! Something also happened with our electrical outlet that we used to plug our Nappa Light in at the bottom of the stairs…it no longer works. Our contractor is trying to blame our electrician but he was never near the plug, the only things he did was the box on the other side of the basement! UGH!


Basement drain: this needs to be finished so that we could finally get the carpet installed.


Garbage removal. These are the old bricks. JT and I reclaimed about 80 additional bricks for odd projects and we’ve stored them away, but frankly, neither of us is looking at doing a reno any time in the future so we’re really just storing them for posterity! Piles and piles need to be removed.


Dirt needs to be removed. There is quite a bit of it, still.



Basement window needs to be finished at the bottom. I have no idea when this needs to be done as no one has communicated with us about it. Are they waiting for the interlocking to finish, because if they are, then WE are waiting for additional dirt to be removed from along side of the fence, and the garbage in the garage so that we can order screenings and start working on it. You see…it’s a process and if they lay out the process, things get done to expectation. Imagine THAT!


This is the downspout for the eavestrough…don’t you see it?


Oh, yes, you cannot see it because it is on the dining table outside. JT moved it to a safer location because it was strewn on the fence we share with our ever so patient neighbours. I wonder if it’ll do it’s job sitting on the table when it rains tonight?


Mess in the garage, looks a lot better, but I still cannot get my car in there. I do hope it’ll happen before the snow flies!



In addition to these visual images, there are still quite a few things on The List which I have emailed more than once. The new eta is next week. Let’s see if that happens.