Welcome... Follow along as we renovate our 9th home in 12 years

Thursday, January 13, 2011

01/14/11 - Foam Insulation Today... No visitors today!

Early this morning Foam Insulator Russ was onsite to spray foam insulation. Due to the toxicity of the foam no one was allowed on-site until tomorrow.

Russ & his crew were booked to foam the rim joist ends located on all of my exterior walls where the concrete foundation meets the wood framing. In addition Russ is spraying my skylight ceiling, the only real alternative for this structure. Mike Holmes would be proud! The only exception was within the utility room where we will not be spraying foam, rather instead we will be installing top quality mineral batt insulation with a super seal application instead. Since we are not drywalling the ceiling in the utility room, the foam would need to be sealed up under drywall or plywood which I did not feel could be done effectively or efficiently if someone had to cut out perfectly fitting sealed up boards to do the job; hense the batt insulation. Foam insulation must, by code, be covered by drywall or plywood which protects the homeowners in the slight chance of fire. The fumes from burning foam can be deadly. The board gives the homeowners enough time to leave the site before harm can be done.

This was a close to the site that I could get today...

I'll take more images tomorrow once I can go inside. Tomorrow Batt Insulator Terry & his team is scheduled to spend the day insulating & adding vapour barrier.

01/13/11 - Insulating starts tomorrow!

Our Foam Insulator Russ comes in tomorrow to do his magic.

Here are some before images to update you on the progress of the site...

01/05/11 - Now that we're all settled down ; )

How lucky I was to get a nice little break over Christmas to regroup after a crazy December.

So here's the story...

After careful researching & interviewing I selected a company who was to be responsible for installing all of my heating, ventilation & AC for my renovation. They are & were a very reputable company in the city, years of experience,  so on. Being new to HVAC I felt safe in the hands of this company. I also felt confidence that the city HVAC inspector would catch anything when they did their rough-in inspection.

Well, unfortunately I happened upon a salesman/installer who had absolutely no idea what he was doing. VERY long story short, feeling confident that the company would stand behind their name, I contacted the owner of the company with my issues, had him send out a new representative who re-installed virtually all of the HVAC rough-in in addition to pulling an HVAC permit/inspection which passed... providing we tweaked a couple items. Although the situation has not completely been resolved I'm fairly confident that the company will continue to act in my best interest. So far they have been great.

Lessons learned...

I appreciate that mistakes can & do happen. Being a perfectionist, it kills me when they do! ; ) What is important is how the company takes responsibility for their mistakes & how they look after the customer in these situations. As a side note, I understand that the only way a company can achieve an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau is after they have shown how they have positively dealt with a customer complaint.

It is so valuable to get names of contractors & trades that you know have a proven tract record; that is, ones that others have used & you know that you can count on. Although issues can still occur despite your best efforts, it is best to do your homework before hiring anyone to come into your home, then do it again!

Business Opportunities For Me...

Part of my business that I've been cultivating is a contractors & trades referring service. I will eventually be able to give homeowners, my clients, designers & other contractors access to a contractor & trades 'living' database. It would include individuals that I would be confident in referring; that is, that I knew would not behave poorly. It would be the eHarmony of contractor & trades, each being profiled with their image, a detailed description as to who they are, what they specialized in, images of their past jobs plus client reports that I would collect following each & every job that I referred them on. Initially I will arrange to visit their job sites looking to build my database. Eventually I hope to have an amazing database of highly reputable craftsmen & women who could help you with your renovations. In addition, I will have the 'Be Sure To Avoid' list close at hand too.

Bottom line, call me if you are looking for a trade &/or have one to refer in & around the Calgary area. My Plumber Steve I have referred literally 100s of times, each time he makes me look good!

Before & after HVAC images for those who are interested...


AFTER: This is how it should have looked...

12/ 21/10 - No more Ms. Freak'n nice guy!

Although my renovation project has come along quite smoothly & I'm happy with where I am today, I'm shocked with the life lessons that it has taught me! OMG, who knew?!? All about people, not necessarily about building or construction.

I'm disappointed that my father, a man who knew so much, did not respect me or my abilities enough to teach, warn me or guide me in learning these freak'n life lessons.

By nature I am kind, fair & ALWAYS looking for a win-win for everyone both clients & trades alike. I'm as fair as the day is long.
Well, this past week has helped me grow into a wiser, better being. Overwhelmed by people's pure incompetence, ability to lie, manipulate & cajole the situation to suit their needs... Well no more. I've matured.

I've realized that everyone has their own agenda...including me. People don't naturally look out for the other guy; nor by nature do they all have a work ethic. I've been lucky to find a couple that do & many that don't.

My attempts to support them & give them opportunities often end in disappointment.

Time to clean house! Literally & figuratively!

First task, Mr. HVAC who has done a pathetically poor job on my HVAC installation & who this morning fails to show up as promised! BTW, he did arrive... a mere 2 1/2 hours late! His responsibility was to return to my site to redo much of his HVAC installation as per the  recommendations from the HVAC specialist that was specially brought in yesterday to look at  Mr. HVAC's pre-inspection work.This will need to besorted out.

I love this world of building, renovation & design but am surely dissatisfied with some of those who work in this industry.


Here are some photos that I took while I waited 2 1/2 hours for my ill fated HVAC installer to arrive......