March 16th, 2004


House update: Almost there...

Yesterday afternoon I got a very brief phone call from our build mangler. She said the Prewire folks were there to set things up and that Dan (their Quality Control Supervisor) (whatever) had a question for me.

Basically he wanted to know if I wanted him to run the cables according to the structured wiring and network package that we paid rather a lot of money for. What this means is that instead of the various services coming in at various places, everything goes to a junction box in the master closet. Alarm, phone, coax for cable TV, cat6 for networking... all in one place.

I refrained from saying what I thought, which was "Ever since I signed the contract back in November I've been under the impression that that's what I was getting. I've been really displeased with Prewire's 'yeah, whatever' attitude toward this project and the general incompetence you have shown in executing it so far. Yes. I want the structured wiring box in the closet. You should have understood this long ago."

Instead, I said "Yes, that's exactly what I want."

Then he went into this hemming-and-hawing bit about how he probably wouldn't be able to put it where I wanted, which was on the far wall, and would instead have to put it right next to the door, and was that going to be okay with me...? I think he was more concerned about that than the bigger problem.

Anyway. By the time I got there at 16:45 they had torn out most of the cat6 cable (sob) and run new wires. Except... a few of them were left hanging loose instead of tied down in outlets, and one of the network cables wasn't run at all. This is in addition to various electrical wires with stripped ends hanging loose from the ceiling in the utility room, upstairs bathroom, radiant heat center point, and a couple of other places.

Pam said yesterday afternoon that she had completed the frame inspection (meaning her List of Issues had been addressed to her satisfaction) and that they'd start insulation this morning. When I got in this morning, I had voice mail from her saying "Thanks for telling me about that wire, and yes, I'm aware of the other electrical stuff, but I don't think there will be a problem getting that taken care of. I won't start insulation until the wiring is all finished - if I have to keep an area open while they work on that I will..."

Perhaps this is nothing more than a difference of expectations, but when I hear her say "Inspection is complete, I've signed off on it, and insulation will be done tomorrow", what I expect is that she means "Inspection is complete and everything passed. There is nothing more to be done at this stage. Insulation will be complete by close-of-business tomorrow." It appears that what she really means is "Problems remain, but I'm told they will be taken care of. Insulation will start whenever they're finished." I suppose it all depends on how you define 'complete'. Funny, I didn't think it was that difficult...

Anyway. I have plenty of phone calls to make today to find out what's going on with various people involved in the house. Hopefully some of them will have better answers for me by now.

A closing date at last

Apparently our build mangler has set a firm close date: May 10. I have my doubts, given her record on meeting deadlines and milestones so far, but at least we have a date.

There are two big hazards. First, May 10 is my department review at work, so I'm apt to be fairly busy. Second, the rate lock for our mortgage expires at 5pm that day.

This ought to be interesting.