Wednesday, March 31, 2004

An update: grading and remodeling

So far I've had a good, if busy, spring break. I spent all weekend reviewing three draft chapters for a textbook. Each chapter took about 8-10 hours, and I ended up writing about 10 pages per chapter. I enjoy doing the reviewing: it's nice to be able to provide feedback, and it forces me to read up on new things. I've also worked around the house, gotten some lectures written, graded my students' exams, and posted a few handouts. One of my students' possible assignments for the semester is to observe animals in a natural area, so I posted that assignment up early in the hopes that some students would do it over break. One student has already IMed me saying he's planning on taking a trip to some tide pools.

In other news, our long-stalled remodel is finally getting started again. If you're wondering why you haven't heard about a remodel, it's because the project stalled before I started blogging. Back in September of last year, the contractor we'd hired to do the bathroom remodel for our newly purchased house just stopped showing up right in the middle of the job. I'll have to tell that story another day.

We've spent much of the past few months planning exactly how we want to complete the job, and this week we've had three window installation companies come by to give us quotes. We prepared a three page quote request detailing what we wanted done to the three windows, including some simulated before-and-after pictures we made with Photoshop (yes, we're geeks). Apparently we went way overboard, as all three estimators have been amazed at the level of detail, and said that we did their job for them. Chalk it up to overcompensation for a lack of planning with our first contractor.

Unfortunately, things are not looking up so far. We've priced the windows separately through an independent supplier, and for the first (and only) quote we've gotten back they've priced the windows 73% above what we can get them for, and are charging nearly $3,000 for labor. Granted it's not the simplest job in the world as we're enlarging the windows and there's siding on the house to deal with, but for three windows that seems a bit high. And, to top it off, the estimator who stopped by today refused to give us a quote because he never enlarges windows (though he referred us to another company that does).

I'm off to Philadelphia later today, and will be there until Monday. I probably won't be able to post while away, but will return to my regularly scheduled posting on Monday night / Tuesday. Have a great week all!

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