When last I posted, the floor tile backer board was to be installed on Saturday. But Mary the tile lady called Saturday to postpone until Monday. On Monday, Betsy called to say it would be Wednesday. And indeed they did work on it today, but it isn't finished yet--maybe 75% of the kitchen itself isn't done, but the Cat Room and utility room are complete. Part of the way across the utility room, they switched from the Durock (light colored) to some dark board, I assume to try and help with the leveling issues. (I went and looked: it's 1/2" PermaBase.) And either the new board or some compound used to put it down smells vilely--much worse than the fresh sheetrock. I got a headache almost immediately on walking in. Have opened the windows to try and decrease the stench.
Contractor's Monday call also included that they'd like to start painting, and did I have my colors picked out. I pointed out that the sheetrock patching wasn't completed yet, and it hadn't been sanded, but this was shrugged off. However, the last big hole in the sheetrock got patched yesterday, and the rougher of the other patches were improved on. They are now supposed to sand it tomorrow--must remember to turn off the A/C, so as to not get that dust all through the ductwork.
Contractor also said she didn't think that the Benjamin Moore paint spec'd in the plans was all that good (over hyped, was her call), and she planned to use a pro grade Sherwinn Williams or Duron. I just talked that over with my architect, who stands by the Benjamin Moore grade that she spec'd and says don't allow the substitution unless I get a credit. She'll also recommend a couple of off-whites for potential wall color--again, the counter is the thing, so I'm not looking for a statement from the wall paint.
Then Betsy called about the living room bookcases. These are to be floor to ceiling bookcases, stained to match the cabinet/bookcases on the opposite wall, and using the very plain style of those cabinets. But the construction (fully adjustable shelves, units joined with molding covering the join) is to be like the ones in my study. Betsy had this turned around--thought I wanted the more ornate molding of the study on the new ones. And then she said they'd have to have one or two fixed shelves for stability and to prevent sagging, because the units are 36" wide (the study ones are 30"). I said an emphatic No! to that--fixed shelves are never where you want them, and I suspect I'm going to put mostly paperbacks on these new ones so I know I'll be using unusual shelf spacing. So she said it might have to be built as 4 units, not 3, with 27" shelves, and that might cost 1/3 more. (Actual increase yet to be determined.) Talked this over with the architect, too, who thought 1/3 additional was too much, thought the 27" wide was OK but a little short, and suggested that edge molding would prevent the sagging. Must compose another email to Betsy to go over all this, and tell her to let me know what the additional cost is before going ahead.
I rather dread next week when I'll be in Portland on a business trip, and trying to deal with this stuff remotely...