Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Bathroom Remodel--Day-by-Day--Day Four

A Bathroom Remodel--Day-by-Day
Day Four
Thursday, Feb. 12th

    Another nice start to the workday--at 4:00 a.m. it was 40 degrees and mostly clear. Tonight, however, it's supposed to get very cold. Brr. It's difficult to work fast when it's too cold.

    Today's list: bathroom job: get Jimmy, our electrician in and out; all sheetrock up; get ready to pour sloped bed tomorrow. We're not ahead of schedule, and not on schedule, but we're close enough to it we can relax a little.
Here's a shot of the hole in the ceiling for the vent. It's not very exciting, is it?

    Other items: it's now down to whether or not we can make payroll. This may sound strange, but on Thursday all I worry about is making payroll on Friday. Once I see there's enough money to buy materials for the jobs and pay the guys, I'm okay for the week. We're very close--not there--but close.
And here's Jimmy. I apologize for the dark photos--my flash didn't work, for some reason. And I didn't take many pictures--there wasn't a lot to immortalize in photos today. Maybe tomorrow will be better.
    One of the reasons I enjoy being in this business, is seeing old employees, guys and gals I've hired over the years who went on to other pursuits. Yesterday one of my favorite ex-employees, Lane Downey, stopped by. Man, it was great to see and talk to Lane for a while. Lane was one of the strongest employees I ever had, and was a great supervisor in his time. His biggest failing was that he'd rather be hunting than remodeling, but since he wasn't alone in this pursuit, I've forgiven him. Lane left to move closer to home, down Mobile way, and to make more money in the heating and AC business, and he did, until he fell off a ladder and broke his back. He was in bad shape. I was amazed to hear he's almost totally recuperated from the fall, and is now an outside salesman for Furmanite in Saraland. Lane made more money last year than I make in two years. Way-to-go, Lane! It was so good to see Lane I was on a high for the rest of the day. 

    It's 3:15, and we've had one heck-of-a-good day. Jimmy Brooks, our electrician, installed the vent/light and got out of the way as fast as he could. Jimmy and I have worked together for 16-17 years, now, and he's always been reliable, fair in his prices, and a darn-good electrician. Plus, Jimmy's fun to talk with. He's a dedicated Christian, and as such, probably does more electrical work for free, than for profit. But the best thing about Jimmy is that he always has a smile on his face. Always!

    The good: the bathroom job is now humming. The customers chose paint colors, settled on a grout color, and are still in good spirits, in spite of the racket we make. Faith at Noland Company came through as always--she called to say all of our plumbing hardware was in and ready for pick up. Is that service, or what? Having suppliers like Faith makes my day go smoother. I checked with the supplier of the glass wall in the bathroom--the one item I was worried about not arriving on time. We use Best Glass, in Montgomery, for most of our glass needs, and Steve and Jeff Dunn also always come through for the customer--in this case, me. Jeff called his supplier and they said the glass will be in Tuesday. Whew! That's great news!
You might think this photo is totally unrelated to anything, but you'd be wrong. It's a job we did about a year ago in Millbrook, where we added the columns and the porch cover, and I never went back and got a final picture of the job. I wanted one to show at the Expo next week, and today I got it. Still looks good, doesn't it? Wesley supervised the job, and he did it superbly. 

    Other progress. We had an emergency job call at 1:00 o'clock--a rental home in Millbrook had a ceiling leak and six sheets of sheetrock had fallen from the ceiling. With the temperature expected to drop to 23 tonight, the owners were frantic. Kirk, Josh, and Mechelle, my office manager, who works when we need her to (and Mechelle works as good as a man, I might add, with the added benefit that she makes sure the job is kept sparkling clean) all came through and volunteered to work late to try and help these people out.
    We also picked up two more bathroom jobs. I finished my drawings on the hair salon, and worked up our part of the price. Now must wait on the plumber's and electrician's prices. 

    And--best of all--we made payroll! 
Here are a few of the gang who will be happy we made payroll. From left to right are: Mechelle--our office manager and also Kirk's boss (wife); Kirk, one of our supervisors; Steve, who's also a great drummer, by the way. He plays in the Mark Kelly Band, and you can watch him on You Tube--he's the energetic one!; and Josh, who is leaving soon to try his hand in the cable business. I hope he comes back some day. The sooner, the better. Josh is a great worker. And in the background, on the left, is my home and office.  

    It's been a frantic week, but when it ends on a high note--making payroll and picking up more work--it's worth every tense moment we go through. I'll be back Friday and we'll see if Kirk, Josh, and Mechelle got the ceiling up and how the bathroom job is progressing.
Until then, best wishes,

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