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Hi all,

It has been a really busy and productive week. We have just 8 days to finish the basement until it is to be lived in – and only an extra 2.5 weeks after that until we move in. We know that the carpentry and probably the curtains will not be completed in time, but it looks like the majority of everything else will be done!

Here is where we currently stand:

Windows – the windows finally arrived at the warehouse on Tuesday and the installation started on Thursday. All the windows have been installed and two of the doors (no locks yet). We have 3 more doors to go but one of them will probably not be done until Tuesday as neither Yaniv nor Tamar (Kablan and designer) were aware that the door needed a shayish (literally marble – but possibly any stone) base. This will be installed tomorrow morning (if it was bought in the end) which will delay the installation slightly.
When I say that the windows/doors have been installed I am not being 100% accurate. The windows/doors have been secured in the correct places – they have done neither the cleaning up nor finishing of the units. This will take another week and we expect the whole installation to be finished by Wednesday next week.
There is one window that I looked at twice – there is a 5 cm gap on one side. When I checked about this – I was told that it was installed slightly smaller on purpose so that there would be space for the inside moldings. We were not aware of this when we signed off the windows. I am not sure that I am happy with this as the outside looks strange at the moment. We will make a final decision if we are happy once it has been completely installed and the gap filled in appropriately.
The last bit on this section is the exterior colour. We went with sandstone – mainly because we were told it is the best neutral colour. It definitely looked that way in the showroom, but when seen against our exterior stone we are not so sure and think that we would have been better off with white. We know that both Tamar and our gardener disagree with us (The gardener thinks they are the best looking windows he has seen in Ma’ale Adumim!) – but we both think this was one of those mistakes of understanding/conceptualisation that will always happen when doing such a large building project.

Doors – Adam went and confirmed the interior doors, something felt slightly different and not as good as the original door but we approved them anyway as we have had enough with this company and cannot give them an excuse to delay the installation any longer! We need those doors. If they keep to their promises (we are not holding our breaths) then the external door will be installed on Wednesday and the interior doors will be installed on Sunday and Monday next week.

Alarm – now that the windows are in the alarm needs to be installed next week. We are assuming that the intercom will have to wait as the front gate is not ready yet.

Garden Pond – this is now completed and looks really good except for one jar on the side. This will improve though as the gardener said this was for a hanging plant which should soften it a lot.

Gardener – The gardener has added some soil to our two planters in the mirpeset (balcony) by the lounge, he has also tidied up the wood for us and bought a splitting axe to be used when the wood is dry. He is installing the fences tomorrow. The stone for the paths in the garden are ready to install, but I am not sure when this is planned.

Fence – talking about the fence, our neighbour has decided that she does not like the idea of bamboo on her fence. She has asked that we use a fancy railing instead. The problem with this is that it will add at least an extra 5000NIS to the price. We have to ask her to pay substantially towards this as this is not something that we want anyway.

Concrete – We (well Tamar) chose a colour (that we approved). This was not really that important to us – but it needed to be done. The concrete is for a basketball court and the floor of the garage.

Counter Tops – The downstairs kitchen was installed and it looks great. The shayish person made a couple of matching trivets which we have stolen for our kitchen! At the same time he measured out our kitchen as well. This morning we had a very long discussion on where the counter tops would be cut (not where want as the length would be longer than the actual stone!) and how the edge would be finished. We still do not fully understand the difference but made a decision anyway! These are being installed in the next day or two as far as I am aware.

Splashback – The downstairs kitchen splashback has been started (and is almost finished).

Moldings – These were installed and look really good. They do a strange thing here where they actually glue and staple the moldings in place. I have been promised that these staples will not be visible at the end – so I am assuming they will be completely removed.

Electricity and lighting – Most of the switches and sockets (including some UK sockets) have been installed now. These actually consist of the switch plus the outside plate to finish it off. A couple of the plates have been installed but most haven’t as of yet. All the spot lighting has now been installed including the waterproof options in the bathrooms.

Network – Now that we have all the cables in the correct place – we have arranged for a quote for the network installation. We are doing this as it is very important for the music system and we also wish to move in with this working. I also have some bits already (24 port hub, wifi modem etc) that I wish to incorporate to save a little bit of money.

Glass – The mirrors, shower/bath enclosures and one railing are being installed tomorrow.

Fish tank – This is actually a lead into the carpentry – but that will come next. The carpenter (Dany), designer, kablan and aquarium guy (Uri) all met at the house to discuss and finalise the aquarium/bar unit. Unfortunately it was not something that could be done in one go. The short version is that the carpenter has to prepare a base from a single piece of wood (birch) and then give the exact measurements to the aquarium guy. The aquarium will then be made to these dimensions. This will take 14 working days – ie 3 weeks. After the aquarium installation, Dany can then measure and make the full unit for us.

Carpentry – I said the last item led on to here. See, there is a method to my madness. We spoke to Dany this afternoon and he was very pleased that the windows are going in to protect his work. He is currently working on my man-cave in the back of the garage.

Bathrooms – When Dany came to talk about the aquarium he also installed the vanity unit in the boys’ bathroom which had been left over from the week before.
The boys’ bathroom also has a toilet now and all of the bathroom shower/bath water fixtures have been installed. The downstairs bathroom still has the units that are being used by the workers – and will be changed this week.

Furniture – Two steps forward and one step back (sounds familiar). We have now ordered the sofas, table and all required material. The sample material is at the shop waiting to be collected as soon as possible. This will then be used to enable us to choose appropriate material for the kitchen counter stools that we have chosen (but not ordered). We did have a sofa bed from Joelle’s mum that was going to be put in the kid’s play room. She has decided that the main sofa she has was too big for her new apartment and so she is going to keep it in the end. We have seen a couple of possible options from a company called Dormir and we will order one in the next week or so.

Curtains – Once the windows are in – the curtain company will meet us at the house to finalise materials and to also measure everything out.

Photos – on the computer we have thousands of photos of the construction work that are just not organised. I am writing here publicly that I am hoping to organise them this week so that I can’t be as lazy as I have been with this task over the last 6 months!

That’s enough for today,

Until next week,