Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday update

Today I used a razor blade to score around the bases of the recessed lights where they contact the drywall and are painted over. Hopefully the electrician will be able to dislodge the lights to rewire them without disturbing the paint job too much. (Below is a shot of the paint damage around one of the lights, which I'll have to fix eventually. The paint ripped away from the soffit when the light was dislodged.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Repaired, repainted ceiling where fan goes

Damage had been pretty bad when I extricated the ring of caulk from the ceiling. Now you would never know. Ready for the fan to be installed.

Electrical inspection

[Updated below.] Wednesday afternoon I got a call from the Home Depot District Services Manager saying the electrical inspector would be coming to my home today between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. I also got a call from the electrical contractor saying the electrician would be here between 8 and 10. I called the City of North Miami and tried to get a more specific time of arrival, but they couldn't give me one. So I took today off from work as a vacation day.

The electrician got here at 9:00 (not the same one who was here last Friday) and we waited till almost 2:00 for the inspector. The inspector approved the latest work but then started probing around the recessed lights in the soffit, which were installed over a year ago when I had the ceiling redone. He said recessed lights can no longer be wired with "romex" (a heavy-duty plastic-coated wire, pictured)--and sure enough, these had been.

So, the next step is to schedule a time for the electrician to come back in and rewire the recessed lights, which will entail further damaging the ceiling where the lights are located (i.e., the soffit). As you know, I had spent so much time and energy awhile back correcting the handyman's sloppy details, spackling and sanding and then priming and painting the area with the correct paint.

The inspector will come back when the recessed lights are rewired and the drywall on the walls around the electrical boxes is repaired/replaced. Also, the recessed lights have to be left dangling so the inspector can see that they've been rewired properly--with flexible metal conduit. Meanwhile, I may loosen the recessed light housings from the soffit myself in an effort (maybe futile) to minimize the damage. We'll see. They're stuck to the drywall with paint.

P.S. Last night I (almost) painted the rest of the kitchen ceiling. (I ran out of paint.) It's ready for the fan to be installed, however.

Friday update: I've decided to score the drywall around the rims of the light housings with a razor blade or X-acto knife, cutting through the layers of paint and primer. Thus the electrician should be able to pull the housing out without taking my new paint job with it.

I didn't hear anything from anybody today about coming back in and doing more electrical work, etc.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Last night while I was out at the store, I received a voice message from the lady at Home Depot in Atlanta. I returned the call and left a message.

I talked to her today. She said she would let me know what's going on with the electrical inspection, etc when she hears more from the District Services Manager.

Tonight I sanded around the electrical box for the ceiling fan and then primed the area. It looks pretty smooth now and will look even better when it's painted over. I don't think anyone would notice the repair job. Moreover, it will be obscured by the fan itself.

Next I'll begin repainting the square recessed area, starting with the edging. Then I'll use the roller. I want to have the ceiling totally finished before they install the new fan. I don't want to even attempt to paint it with the big, brand-new fan hanging there.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Permit

I almost forgot to mention that the electrician brought this on Friday. It covers all the work, including electrical and plumbing.

Painted the fan

This is the fan that was in the kitchen. The electrician took it down on Friday. Today I sprayed it white before it gets installed in the second bedroom. (I used Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch. Good stuff. No runs or spatters.)

I also removed the ring of caulk that had been applied around the base of the fan and which had stuck to the drywall. In the process, I damaged the drywall--the paper tore away in places. So I bought some contact cement at Target to glue the paper back to the ceiling. Then I spackled that area and will sand it tomorrow with the electric sander (more dust). Then the whole, square recessed area where the fan goes has to be painted with kitchen ceiling paint. (The handyman who created the ceiling used regular ceiling paint, which absorbs grease.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

'Rough' electrical installation complete

The electrician arrived shortly before 10:00 (i.e., right on time) and left at 5:23. He worked all day long without lunch or even a glass of water (unless he had some water down in his truck). Very nice guy.

There was some confusion over where to install the outlet for the microwave, which is going above the stove. The general contractor had made rough, pencil drawings in two places on the drywall (a few inches apart) and (roughly) crossed one of them out. That's where the electrician put the box (X marks the spot, right?). He said he'd move it if necessary. I wish he'd asked me about it, but it doesn't seem to be a big deal to him. So I'm not going to fret about it. Maybe it'll be fine where it is.

This was just the "rough" installation. I didn't know anything about that. The wiring is done but the new receptacles (the guts) and switch for the disposer have yet to be inserted into the boxes. The wiring has to be inspected first. Then he comes back in and finishes everything. Then it's inspected again.

He also took down the ceiling fan (see below), which they're going to re-install in the 2nd bedroom, and will replace it with another one for the kitchen (see early post). I'll spray the bedroom fan white so it will recede into the white ceiling (right now it's brushed aluminum--nice but too much of a statement in that room). The new one for the kitchen is also brushed aluminum and will match the finish on the cabinet handles, sink and faucet.

Since the cabinet above the fridge will block one of the recessed lights, he removed the light fixture and wired the two adjacent lights to each other. I'll have to do some repainting around those two fixtures when I finish off the rest of the ceiling, which will be easy to do now that the ceiling fan has been removed.

He said I'll also need to get a new plug for the stove, since the 220 outlets have changed since I bought the stove (a year and a half ago(?)).

I didn't have to fork out any money today.

P.S. The stove is now inoperable, so there will be no more cooking chili for a while.

Progress report

Yes, progress. Vozzcom called me at work yesterday afternoon to confirm that the electrician will be coming in today. The electrician is here now, doing what he has to do.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Good news

I got three calls from Home Depot today about the kitchen renovation. The first was from Home Depot's electrical contractor, saying they were ready to come in and start their work (they'll be here Friday morning between 8 and 10).

The second was a voice message at work from my "case worker" in Home Depot's Atlanta office, saying she'd heard from the District Services Manager down here that they were still waiting on approval of the general contractor's permit from the City of North Miami. She was very apologetic about how long this process has taken.

The third was a voice message on my home phone from the District Services Manager, saying pretty much what the Atlanta person said, adding that they're waiting on the "fire approval" and that that should happen very soon (any day now). He also said that he had the contractors on "stand-by" to come in and do the work they need to do.

I called the lady from Atlanta back after I listened to her message and told her that I'd heard from the electrical contractor an hour or so earlier, and that they would be coming here on Friday. She didn't have anything to say to that. I assume the electrical contractor is perhaps jumping the gun a bit, but that's OK with me. They want to do their work and get paid, and I want that work done so the general contractor can come and install the cabinets, which have been sitting out in my living room for well over two months. (Afterwards, the counter people come in and make a template and then fabricate and come back and install the counters. Then I can have a sink and dishwasher again--along with ice in my freezer--and counter tops! Then I can really cook.)

Anyway, I notified work that I'll be taking all or part of Friday off (work knows about this project, of course, and it was already discussed that in lieu of vacation I'd taking time off for the kitchen remodeling).

Saturday, September 13, 2008


After leaving his message on Monday, the Home Depot District Services Manager was supposed to call me back last week to confirm what he told me in the message (that something would be scheduled for next week, when they had the permit in hand). (That would be electrical work.) I didn't get a call back or a message.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Permit update

I got a call at work this afternoon from the lady at Home Depot in Georgia who had called me last week about my installation. She said that she had spoken with the district services manager (DSM) and that the DSM had called me and left a message today (he left a message on the home phone).

I'll cut to the chase. The DSM said that the general contractor's permit had to be re-sent to the City last Thursday, as it had been kicked back to the GC due to "fire approval." (I'll find out what that means when he calls me back in a day or two.) He said it looks like they would be able to begin the electrical work with permit in hand next Wednesday or Thursday, but maybe sooner (he mentioned end of this week).

Saturday, September 6, 2008


The lady from Home Depot in Georgia was supposed to call me yesterday to tell me what's going on here, but she didn't. (As you know, I've had no kitchen since July 2.)

So, when I got home from work, I called her and left a message. Then I called Customer Care and talked with someone (Customer Care is open till 8:00 p.m.). The latest news is that the permits are now awaiting approval by Miami-Dade County, which should happen next week. (I didn't mention the hurricane.) We had a nice talk. Of course (as I've said), the permits should have been obtained before Home Depot demolished the kitchen. Anyway, she was very sympathetic.

When I suggested that for all my trouble they might consider giving me some kind of "freebie," she said it was noted in my file that I was seeking "compensation" (the letter I wrote them over a month ago suggested I get an "allowance"). She implied that that issue would be addressed once the kitchen was done to my satisfaction. Hallelujah.

This is a major screw-up on their part, and they obviously know it.

News Flash: I just got a call from Home Depot about getting a refund for $425.01 (the cost of the general contractor's permit). I called them back and the transaction supposedly went through--I just had to give them my account number, for some reason (as if they didn't have it).

Thursday, September 4, 2008


This afternoon I called the Home Depot lady in Atlanta to see if she had any news about the kitchen. She told me she had called (or emailed) the district services manager here about the status of the project and was expecting a reply today or tomorrow and would then call me with the latest. She didn't call today, so I'm expecting a call sometime tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Last Friday I talked to the general contractor about what to do with the permission letter from my condominium association. I ended up FedEx'ing it to them for delivery first thing this morning. Today the permit application package was supposed to be delivered to the City of North Miami. I didn't call them today, nor did they call me, so I assume there were no problems.

When I got home from work, I got a call from Home Depot in Georgia. It was a woman saying she knew about my situation and would be personally handling my case. She apologized for my inconvenience and said she would try to get the kitchen finished as soon as possible. I told her about the last-minute snags last week with the permits and the letter and told her the applications were going to the city today. I also mentioned that I've been living without a kitchen since July 2, with the cabinets sitting in the living room, etc. and how just now they're getting the permits after tearing out the kitchen. I told her I'd been in touch with the district services manager and planned on calling him tomorrow to find out the latest. She said she would also be in touch with him and would call me back in two days. She gave me her 800 number and extension and said to feel free to call her in the meantime. I feel pretty good about that.