It’s true. The Bobcat Lair is almost finished. Or so we thought. We just needed the built-in shelves, some trim, and to get it all cleaned up. So we thought.
But, this is a Hermit Haus Redevelopment project, and it’s in Austin. What does that mean? It means City of Austin inspectors. And the fun surprises they tend to bring us. As Lee repeatedly declares, “I’m never working in the City of Austin again!”
This time, the guy who was supposed to give us the final certificate of occupancy said, nope, the new windows we had installed are not up to code. We had put in updated, double-pane windows that matched the ones already there. Well, we can’t do THAT! We must install vinyl windows, you know, ones that will look different on both the outside and inside. Oh, our general contractor, Ruben, was not pleased. Nor was Lee. I kept thinking there must be some way to fix this–I needed another perspective.
The next day I was on one of my long walks with the dog I’m watching, when it came to me. If we have to replace those, why not just go ahead and replace the remaining low-quality 80s windows? We’d have to eventually, anyway. And if we are going to replace them, why not install the windows with the built-in blinds. Those are already in the French doors. And if we did this, there would be no need to purchase a LOT of expensive window coverings for the main level. The best thing about these types of windows is that when they are up, you can’t tell they are there at all (and the plan is go not use them except when the sun is blazing into the house).
I was so proud of myself. Lee and Ruben had to admit I had a good idea.
Of course, it’s not smooth sailing. The dang City of Austin says we can’t put in single-pane windows in the bedrooms. “You need an egress in case of fire!” Hello, City of Austin. Each bedroom in the house has an EXTERIOR DOOR. I’d probably use that if there was a fire. You know, because it’s a DOOR.
And in another case of needing a different perspective, I was thrilled last week to finally see my bathtub installed. Yep, it’s beautiful, and that sure is a cool faucet. I’ll even be able to wash the tiny dog with the shower part. And it’s great that it holds water. That is a fine tub feature.
But. And this is one big but. Why is the access panel to the plumbing on the outside? There is a plastic cover that attaches with hook-and-loop fasteners to give access for repairs. Um. I have never seen a fancy tub installed with the plastic hook-and-loop-fasteners thing facing OUT. I was told that, “We do it that way all the time!” I called bullsh** on that one. The plumbing should have been at the back, even if it’s inconvenient. I mean, heck, the plumbing on the shower is behind TILE.
So, Ruben said he could re-do the plumbing if I insisted. Well, that would cause more delays, I realized. So I said, hey, what if we just turn the tub surround around do that the panel is at the back? And some day if a horrible leak develops, the plumber can move it back. I know it moves. The two parts of the tub have been wandering all over the house for months. Hopefully, my different perspective will save us some time on this. And save my nerves.