20 May 2010

Squeaky Wheel

Last Wednesday, the house passed an electrical inspection, so R called in the request for our electrical meter. We were told it would be installed within 3-5 days (R said they usually go in sooner than that). But then Steve noticed a note in our electrical permit record that looked like there was a problem. Apparently Austin Energy specifically told R not to check on the status until five days had passed, and he didn't want to risk getting on the Austin Energy folks' bad side by inquiring about it before today. Steve and I, not concerned about "the next job," jumped right on it and started making phone calls. Long story short, I spent a ridiculous amount of time yesterday talking with a ridiculous number of ridiculous people at Austin Energy until they finally got to the bottom of their communication lapses and agreed to send someone over first thing this morning to finish the infrastructure for our underground service, install the meter, and "energize."

In other news, I finally found someone to cut my neighbor's tree branches that overhang our house (with his permission, of course). Since the the original quote of $1800 (!) and my subsequent pole saw adventures, I've been trying -- unsuccessfully -- to find someone willing to do the job...until this week, when I found just the guy. He agreed to do it for $400 -- which I was thrilled to pay after the first quote -- and said he'd be there Saturday or next Monday. So I was totally caught off guard when I got a call this morning to say it was done. I rushed over to pay him and was very pleased with what I saw...and even more pleased to see this:


See the guy up on the pole? There's another guy above him (mostly blocked by the tree), and they're hooking up our service.

While I was there, I took the opportunity to check out the progress inside. The master plumbing was almost all in (they were still working on the showerheads, out of the picture to the right):


But by the afternoon, the view was somewhat different:


Yes! We have electricity! This is a HUGE step because it means that R can get the air conditioning turned on tomorrow, acclimate the wood floor over the weekend, and start finishing it on Monday. (By the way, R heard all about my telephone, um, "advocacy" with Austin Energy and was very impressed.)

Today the faucet, soap dispensers, and garbage disposal button were installed in the kitchen:


The faucets also went into the other bathrooms:



And the stone mason kept working on the fireplace...


...until he ran out of "good" stones and had to stop to get more.

Not too shabby for a single day. Tomorrow: HVAC, remaining tile work (kitchen backsplash, front bath finish-up, etc.), and hopefully the behind-the-scenes plumbing work (I don't think everything I showed you above is actually functional quite yet).

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