Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ups and Downs

The Memorial Day weekend was spent at the Cheney Cottage. It was mostly a good weekend, and we got a lot done:
  • The electrical work is proceeding. We now have outlets roughed in in the kitchen, some in the living room, and the locations for the boxes determined (and the boxes installed) in all three bedrooms. Additionally, the wiring for the hall light (with a three way light switch downstairs and up) is done.
  • The wainscoting in the bathroom has been replaced on two of the walls - we're leaving the other walls open until the plumbing and wiring is done in there. As part of replacing the wainscoting on the north wall, we insulated the wall, which should be a major upgrade.
  • The exterior trim is being replaced. We have all the trim except the band-board on the front(north side) of the house, and some of the trim on the west and east sides.
  • We also replaced one of the broken window panes in the kitchen (there are two more windows to replace, one in the laundry room and one in the back bedroom).
And yet, we've had our set backs:
  • The City of Berkeley let us know (the day before our electrical box was scheduled to be installed) that we CAN'T hook up to PG&E. Because the Cheney Cottage was moved, it is now considered "new construction" (despite the fact that it's a 109 year old structure, and designated a City Landmark) and so all the interior wiring has to be completed before any connection to the grid can be made. What this means is that we've had to pay to have a temporary power pole installed on 62nd Street, and will have to continue to use extension cords to run power where we need to work. What it also means: more expenses for us.
  • The biggest setback, however, is the weather. It's raining, and is supposed to rain all week. For bog readers outside of the Bay Area, let me say that we've lived here for 33 years, and I have never seen rain in May and June. And I'm not talking about sprinkles of rain - it's actually pouring today. So Tom and I may end up re-roofing the house ourselves in the rain.
Yet we persevere. The houses on 62nd Street are worth it. We continue to have neighbors stop by the cheer us on and tell us how much they love our project. Our nearest neighbors keep an eye on the house and let us know if there are any problems. We love the houses, and the neighborhood, so we're not going anywhere. The weather and the City Planning Department may be mostly against us, but we're pushing through to completion.

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