The work crew showed up the day after the problem with the truck and masked all of the cabinets and the floor, even though there is no flooring now. They took the sink back out.
Then they brought in a big tub to mix the scratch coat, which is cement and sand. The tile contractor is going to float the tile; he’s pretty young but he lays tile Old School.
Below, one of his assitants mixes the cement.
And this is the scratch coat, drying.
On Friday or Saturday, once the scratch coat was dry, the tile man was going to start laying tile.
On Friday he called me and said he had a problem, and was it ok if he started on Monday. Ok, fine, Monday is a lot better for me anyway.
Monday, he shows up and says that the two guys whose truck broke down had quit. He has to cover everything they were doing, and he’s losing his mind. They want him to pay for the repairs to their truck; it’s about $3500 for the repairs because they didn’t make sure it had oil and water. He offered to pay some of the costs, but says it’s their truck so it’s their responsibility to maintain it… at which point they quit.
I have to say, they worked really hard on the scratch coat and it looks very good, level, flush, etc. They were here until nearly 7pm that evening, didn’t leave until it was complete, and they had started around 7am that morning. The only complaint I have about them is that when they ate lunch in my backyard they left trash on the grass and the table even though there was a waste basket right beside them, but that’s really minor.
So, Esteban begged off until Thursday. Thursday he will start the project.
He’s halfway done, he has expressed enthusiasm about the project, he keeps in touch and doesn’t just blow me off, he does really nice work, the several people who recommended him liked him very much…. and I like him but I’m a little frustrated because I want my kitchen back. The total setback is only …*counting*…. about 5 days but my garden is in full swing, tomatoes and carrots (oh my!), and I’ve had to let the artichokes bolt to flower.
Ok, that’s a lie. We ate them until we were sick of them, gave them to the neighbors until they were sick of them, they were dirt cheap in the stores so I decided I wanted to photograph them and I let them bolt.
The other contractor is being flexible with the tile man, which is good because I’ve been flexible with both of them.
I was ready on Monday… but Thursday looks good to me, works well with all the other things in my schedule. Today I had a midday appointment in Fullerton. Wednesday I have to go and look at houses with my father; he moved into a retirement home three years ago and is suddenly very determined to buy a house. He’s 89 so my sister is trying to buy one that will suit both of them (ha!)and she will live with him, and that’s just pre-packaged ready-made drama, that is.
Thursday the tiling will commence.
update, 7:00pm. The phone just rang. It’s Esteban. His other assistant didn’t show up for work today and his daughter graduates from high school on Friday.
Monday, tiling will begin. He promises.