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"Why didn't we do this earlier?"

It's a very, very good question.  It's one I puzzled with.  It's one I have no real answer for.  Except I believe you treat everyone with respect, maintain dignity at all times and be as fair as you possibly can in all dealings.   What am I talking about?   Historic Housewrights, our ex-contractor, has disappeared and won't return our calls.   As you know we've had a lot of issues about no-one being on the site, lack of progress, poor communication and ultimately some really sloppy work that just wasn't getting rectified.  Two weeks ago he promised 5 people on site and significant improvement but we saw none of it.
Yeah!...these are going to look really good next to the perfect boards!
To add fuel to the fire he also "delivered" the wood we have been waiting for to complete the floor in the master bedroom and it was a disaster - terrible quality, not the width or the finish of the other boards and frankly unusable.  Daniel called the wood supplier and he was told that we were never going to get matching boards and Historic Housewrights knew this for the last 6 months we have been waiting.   Once again we believed what we had been told, only to be disappointed that it was a load of BS and we had to deal with another "bodge-up" solution -  which as you know is neither the plan nor our style.

Since then Historic Housewrights have gone MIA and will not return calls or texts or email.

We've had to bring in another contractor to finish, or rather correct, the work that has been done.  He started last week with two guys and already we are seeing results.  He's had to re-do the framing in the master bedroom because it was higher than the dormer windows.  He's had to re-do the dormer windows that were just tacked in place temporarily.  He's had to re-mill the siding for the dormers since they were not all tongue and grooved.  He's had to reinstall the window on the North of the house that was sitting proud of the wall and would have rotted had it been left like that.  He's re-done the chimneys and the roofing so that there are no holes left in the roof and he's now going round re-doing the floor where it had been patched badly.
New siding on the dormers - still flashing needed
Re framed knee-wall in Master Bedroom

Now the window sill will be level
And the window frame will not rot because it's proud of the wall
The new contractor also built a box around the AGA to protect it from any damage.  It had been installed for a couple of weeks and although we'd talked about protecting it the only thing we'd seen was a board attached to the ceiling - not really doing anything.    You see, it doesn't really take much to win me over.

AGA protection at last I can breath
Add to this, the fact that the electrician is well into the electrical and is almost ready to get the inspection and the plumber has put in the well pump, all of the conduits have been installed and buried out to the location in the garden where the generator and the new electrical service will live.  I really feel this week we made significant progress.
Switches and power outlets by the back door
Electrical box with loads of wires
New pump in the well with controller
We are getting close to finishing the floors, electrical, ducts and plumbing which means we can start thinking about insulation and closing up the God that will feel good.   All I want for Christmas the promise of insulation and walls closed up.

Master bedroom wall with new flue for AGA
(odd shape avoids damaging the wall)
Guest bedroom with outlets
Other guest bedroom
Maybe if we have insulation we can get the AGA going and Daniel and I won't need to huddle near the fire the whole time we are at the house.   We make do though.  We have our garden chairs and the fridge in the garage still has some wine left in it.

"We make do" - an afternoon by the roaring fire using duct work as fire guard!

I guess it was sort of a celebration.  I can honestly say after the last three weeks fighting with Historic Housewrights and the disappointment of the floor boards and the total lack of progress, I hated the house.  I was fed up.  For the first time ever, last weekend, I didn't want to visit.  Daniel pointed out it was our third Christmas at the house and we still haven't moved into it (camping does not count)!  Then this weekend showed light at the end of the tunnel.  We had regular contact with the contractor about how things could and should be done (Daniel was happy) and when we got there the contractor was there to discuss all the things he needed to complete the work that was required in the next week (I was happy).   The weather was wonderful and crisp, the first ice on the pond made me remember the good times to come skating and cooking on the fire pit. 

ice on the lake
One day the house will be done.  We are getting everything done right, just how we want it (no bodge ups).   If the floor boards don't match, they will be just like all the other floor boards in the house and the house will be exactly as it should be.  Exactly as the fates dictate.  Exactly as the universe decides it should be.


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