Hello from Brenham!
First bit of news is, for a variety of reasons, we’ve decided to renew our lease for the location that we’ve been living at while we complete the renovations. So don’t change those address books yet! We simply won’t have Phase 1 (the two smaller apartments) of the lofts in good enough shape to live in by the end of May.
What’s new? We’ve hired some teenagers to help Heath on the weekends that we don’t have big work weekends with lots of friends helping. As you know, we currently have floors open from the ceiling of the second floor down to the bottom level floor. We did not want to hire day laborers because we didn’t want any problems with our tenants below, not to mention that we only have a small size tool box and can’t lock up 80% of Heath’s tools. Our teenage crew is small, but helpful and focused, so things are progressing.
For all three apartments we were required to get specific, fire-rated doors to be code compliant. They are a bit on the pricey side, so we double checked our sources to find out exactly which rating we needed. We’ve got the doors ordered for the three apartments, so they should be here by the time we finish the walls.
This week I need to nail down the fire suppression contract and window contract and start getting quotes for kitchen and bathroom cabinetry for Phase 1. Any one want to take my 3 year old for a day so I can hammer out the numbers? Hahah. I love him, but he can be a demanding distraction.
On Friday we got another load of our antique bricks delivered, and yesterday our teen crew plus a few extra kiddos got all of the bricks moved upstairs. We’re hoping that with those two pallets of bricks plus what we’ve reclaimed inside the loft and from our neighbor’s lot will be enough to get all of the walls filled. Between the time that we purchased our first two pallets and today, the price jumped up for our bricks by a couple hundred dollars. Yikes! If we can manage without more bricks, that would save us some cash.
Our electrician (my Uncle Jim) is working hard on getting our electric put in. He visited us last week bringing the first round of supplies as well as meeting with the city inspector. Uncle Jim and my husband also went over the architect’s electrical plans in great detail. As soon as we’ve finished framing the walls he’ll be back to do the installation.
Since we’ve relaxed our deadline, we’re not in as much of a rush, but we still need to try to get things completed as soon as we can. The sooner we move in, the more money we can save to apply to renovations.
What’s left to do on our end? We need to finish the last bit of floor joists in the very back of the building, and cover with plywood. Then we need to lift the sagging ceiling area in the very middle of the space that started to lower when we took out the wall in that area. It’s currently being held up with two temporary frames. Next it’s more framing. We’re still missing some walls, plus certain sections of the brick wall need to have framing added to them (we unfortunately can’t have as much exposed brick as we’d originally assumed). Oh! And the front stairs are still missing.
As we’ve said before, we depend on the kindness of our friends and family to help out on work weekends. We’ve got a big one coming up on Memorial weekend – let me know if you want to be added to the event. We’ll feed you, arrange for child care, and give you a place to sleep, and in return we ask that you put in a full day of work with us. You don’t need to have skills or tools, just a willingness to jump in and get your hands dirty. 😀 Unfortunately it will soon get too hot to work for very long in the lofts, so we will be slowing down on some of the work during the summer, and pick things back up in the fall. If we can get our aforementioned projects done before the heat, though, we can let the contractors manage during the summer. 😉 So come on over to Brenham and give us a hand if you can. 😀