After returning from Vegas and recovering my health a bit (I got food poisoning from one of the hotel cafes), I met with our Cameron-based contractor to check on the progress of the first of the N. Travis properties that the Hermit Haus parent companies bought as a package, primarily for their new Cameron office. There were four houses in the package—three on North Travis and one on Crockett— but we only need one for the office. I’m not sure what our exit strategy for the other four will be yet.
Of course, there was a little miscommunication. When you’re working with someone new, there almost invariably is. What we thought was a crystal clear instruction to paint the interior and exterior trim the same color, he thought applied only to the interior. As a result the exterior was painted a monochrome tan. Suna can tell you the actual color; to me, it’s tan. (The exterior is“Honeyed Pear” says Suna. Can’t remember the interior color, but it’s a lighter version of the same color.)
But the good news is that all of the exterior siding and broken windows have been repaired. The interior of the house has also been painted using both colors. The storage building has been cleaned out, and there was a big surprise. It was actually a laundry room. There’s a dryer vent and everything.
With the good news comes the bad. There’s an adage in this business, “You never know what you’ll find when you open up a wall.” The same holds true for removing nasty carpet. We knew there was old heart pine under the carpet, but unfortunately, it was too badly damaged in too many places to repair and refinish. We’ll have to cover it up again.
This time we will use a nice laminate. We were originally going with a vinyl plank, but the original floor boards were too badly cupped and had been repaired in too many places. Even with the underlayment, the vinyl would accentuate every seem and unlevel spot. So we’re back to a laminate, which will actually provide a little better insulation on the floor.
We found another spot in one of the bedrooms had rotted out. An old leak from the HVAC unit had caused some damage that had been repaired with “new wood” before being covered by the carpet. Unfortunately, the carpet hid damage beside the tub. Now we have to open that wall to determine if the leak is still active, which means I’ll have to get the utilities turned on ahead of schedule.
All-in-all, I think we’re going to have a good working relationship with our new contractor. And that’s welcome news!