Sunday, March 13, 2011


Having water in the house meant we were able to use the new tile cutter, to finish tiling the bathroom floor. Exciting times. Once the tiles were set, I used a tile enhancer and sealer. Tomorrow I grout, and Tuesday Chris installs the toilet !!!!!!!!!! That will be a great day!

Cutting tiles.


Tiling finished, so I'm painting on the tile enhance/sealer (left side done)

Lovely tiles.

Tiles sealed, baseboard installed, and Chris put the door in last week. Just need to finish the steps!

We have water!

The heating guy worked all week to get the baseboards in place, and finish off a few last minute heating things. By friday we were ready for the Town of Minturn to come and turn on the water. It was a very exciting day. But as with everything related to the Minturn project, things didn't quite go to plan.

I think all the town workers turned up at the house to help (there were three of them), and they got to work thawing the ground to access the curbside water valves. The first valve they found turned off one of our neighbours water. The second was our other neighbours, eventually they found the correct valve. We eagerly waited for the water to enter the house, but after a few minutes 'sans water' we realised something wasn't quite right. Our excited bubble was burst. Did the orginial plumbers (who we eventually fired because they were so bad) make a mistake with the plumbing? Was there a leak? Were the pipes frozen?

Heating the ground

Turning the water on. Unfortunately no water came into the house. Boo.

We called the local pipe thawers - who quoted $200/hr to come over and thaw the pipes. We hoped it wouldn't take too long, if in fact the pipes were frozen. The alternative scenarios were not ones we wanted to think about. Digging in frozen ground to reach water pipes would have been a fair amount more expensive than thawing pipes, and calling the fired plumbers to find out if they messed up would have been an awkward conversation !! Thankfully within 10 minutes of heating the pipes, we had water pouring out of the taps!!!!!!! Thank goodness. The heating guy had left by the time we got water, so we haven't had any hot water or gas heating over the weekend. That should all happen on Monday. What a luxury!!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Friendly visitors

These little guys came by the other night. I opened the back door and their eyes were on me. They were pretty tame, and wanted to come in. I declined, but they sat outside our window for several hours. Url was an awful guard dog - all he could muster was a little whine, no big protective woof. So disappointing.

Happy hanging out in the snow.

View from our bedroom window!

Basil and Fred (apologise for poor quality)

Monday, March 7, 2011



What we've been waiting for since beginning of January!

Note the lack of snow overhanging the roof

The snow fell off the roof shortly after Chris came home tonight - it made a very loud noise!!!!! 

Fortunately the gas man wasn't under the roof installing the meter when the roof decided to shed a winters worth of snow and ice!!! Maybe that would have been karma for making us wait so long!! Being in the US of A it probably would have been a liability issue, and they would have sued our ass!!! So I'm thankful no-one was under the roof when the snow fell!!! (kind of!).
SO, now we have the gas meter, the heating guys came today and are finishing the installation of the gas heating system, and when we get heat in the basement, we can have water!!!!!!! I'm hopeful we'll have a functioning bathroom and kitchen in time for Chrissy's arrival in Vail (next tuesday!!)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Granite Galore

 The granite for our kitchen countertop was installed. I love it. What do you think?

New granite!

Kitchen Aid waiting to be used.

Knobs and handles installed on a few of the cabinets. The kitchen is almost done!   


What a palaver.

So as we say goodbye to February, and hello to March - I would love to tell you all we now have gas, and therefore water. Unfortunately, I cannot. The installation of the gas meter has been the biggest palaver ever. Lets just say we have been running around in circles, trying to complete mundane requests from Xcel Energy (the gas meter providers).

It goes something like this: "3-5 days and we'll come and install it". "No, its not safe. Build a roof over the meter". "No, you need to build an extension of the roof to cover the electrical meter". "3-5 days and we'll come and install it". "Not sure its safe in that location. Build a wall at the front of the house so we can install the meter there". "OK maybe we will wait to spring and the ground thaws to do that". "Maybe if you sign a form to say you'll move the meter in the Spring, we'll install it in the original location". "3-5 days and we'll come and install it". "The original location is too close to the window - not sure that's going to work!".

So after 6 weeks of incompetent Xcel staff - I decided it was time to go to the top. I called the Statewide Director for Xcel and ranted. He listened, took notes, liked my English accent, and said leave it with him. Within the day I had confirmation from the local manager that the meter would definitely be installed in the original location on Monday. I'm not holding my breath, but I'm hopeful we'll have gas by Monday evening, and if not, he gave me his personal cell phone number, and said I could call him evenings and weekends if I needed, so for his sake I hope his phone is off!

The roof Chris built covering the gas pipe. There's a mound of soil, covered in snow in front of windows.

Newly built roof. Very little snow actually falls close to the meter location because the actual roof overhangs. But even so - the meters potentially could get snowed in, or iced up - and snap off.

Chris made an extension to cover the electrical meter.

The overhang on the roof, and all the melting snow sliding off. I understand this could be a hazard to the poor gas man reading the meter - but it would be pretty unlucky timing if it fell just as he was underneath it.
Url loves snow - he could catch snowballs or shovelled snow all day if we had the energy to play with him! 

We probably should shovel the back door steps - this is how much snow is out there now!