I didn't always dislike surprises. In fact, not that long ago I rather enjoyed them. Then I started building a house, and surprises, well lets just say I much prefer life without surprise now.
I actually, rather foolishly I might add, thought that we were done with surprises at this stage in the game. I mean we're almost done, what possible land mines could await us. I thought that when the plumber left there wouldn't be anything left to jump out from behind a corner. And there were a couple of doozies when the plumber was here. One day I walked in the back door with Gary and Dale (the mechanical guy) waiting there, saying "we need to talk".
The first of their two surprises was about the water pump. The water pump (the pump that gets the water from our water tanks to, well pretty much everywhere in the house) that was spec'd for the house by the engineers is for a city water system, one where there is already pressure in the lines. It would not work on a tank system. After a flurry of emails and phone calls we were able to 1) find a suitable pump that would meet the same specs (basically), do the job, and available; 2) persuade the engineers to bear the costs, and; 3) get a pump on the next plane up.
Their second surprise turned out to be a non-starter, but was good enough to drop me to the floor for a bit. They said we had no burner for the boiler. Gary and my conversation went something like this "There is no burner for the boiler." "No." "Yes." "No." "I'm afraid so." "Noooooo." (It was morning, what can I say I'm a slow starter.) But the advantage of having crawled through all of our crates and boxes a thousand times is that occassionally you remember things. And I remembered a burner. Turned out it was pretty easy to find. So basically it was just a case of the person that was supposed to bring in everything the plumber needed didn't. I intend to rip a strip off of myself at a later date.
There were several other surprises that involved the mechanical systems, but I expected that. And I expected that that would pretty much be the end of them. Then came this week. It started when we started moving the flooring in. The flooring in most of the house, except the bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen, is a product called iCore. It is a plastic floating flooring, commercial grade, that looks like a hardwood floor (in our case Australian Laural). With the flooring comes the instructions, and the revelation that we need about 400 oz of a Coreweld glue to install the floor. Hmm, guess they didn't think we needed that.
Then came surprise number two. We have an attic, and the entrance to it is from the hallway right above the stairs. We have a folding ladder attic door to facilitate getting into the attic which is quite spacious and earmarked for storage. So this week we got the attic ladder to install.
Okay, maybe I'm just picky. But I kind of wanted a door that sits in a prominent place in our house to, I'd don't know, look good. You know something I wouldn't be embarassed to have in my garage. The attic ladder is definitly the latter. Let's ignore the fact that the quality of the ladder itself is poor, it is not square (or close) and looks like it was put together first thing Monday morning. The part of the ladder that covers the hole in the ceiling is a piece of 1/4 inch plywood, the type that some of our crates were made out of. A large crack that has been patched runs most of the length of the panel, staples and rivets prominently hold it in place, a string is used to pull it down, instead of a recessed cup and hook system.
So a large part of my week was coming up with a new panel for it, so it will not look out of place on the ceiling. Eventually what has been done is this. Molding is put on to frame the ladder panel. A sheet of mdo (a paper covered smooth plywood) will cover the original plywood. This will all eventually be painted white and should look quite nice.
At least a lot nicer than what was in the box.