The new driveway was poured the weekend we headed down to Santa Barbara (10/15 to 10/17).
Unfortunately this also marked another type of turning point in this project. If you recall, everything started back on June 9th. We were told "two months", but took that with a major grain of salt. Our contractor had actually told us on numerous occasions that we were "great" clients and thanked us for being so "laid back" and "understanding". Well, that was all shot to hell when we got back from our weekend away to discover that the new driveway was in (and not the color or pattern discussed), our old gate was missing (perched up against a tree in the backyard and since replaced as you can see) as our new driveway was about a foot TALLER than anticipated, and our garage door was open AND broken (at an odd angle about 1/3 of the way down) leaving all of N's toys exposed to the street for who knows how long. They were prepping on Friday when we left around noon and we got back Sunday night. So, at least a day... possibly two.
N was pissed to say the least. His main goal was to fix the garage door. It appears it started to be lowered, got stuck on something, but rather than stopping they kept trying to lower it which caused the chain to go slack and then tangled in on itself. Then it was apparently just left that way. We weren't notified it was broken or that everything IN the garage was exposed to the street. That was the point that you could say was the straw that broke the camel's back. It took some muscle and a lot of swearing like a sailor, but N got the garage fixed, closed, and locked everything up. However, he then headed inside and immediately started to type up a two page list of all the little things we had been letting slide, but were no longer going to be so forgiving about.
At this point I walked out back and couldn't help but feel I could simply peek over the fence into our neighbors yard from our driveway. You can see here it's a good 12 inches ABOVE the rest of our yard. A landscaping "issue" we weren't exactly counting on.
Since this discovery we have gone through two final inspections. After the first one there were 5 items to be addressed (rather small too). After the second inspection only 2 of these 5 items had been addressed by our contractor. At that point the inspector tasked N with completing these items and passed us because he simply had been out too many times. This was Friday. An electrician was supposed to be back that day to finish up a few things. Nope. We are holding out on our final payment for obvious reasons, but we're also at the point that we just want to END things with our contractor. The garage is a solid building that is not going anywhere any time soon, but all the little things that were not quite to our specification (not to mention a few rather significant ones) are seriously adding up with no fix in sight. A rather disappointing end to a project we were both excited about. Hopefully this week we can resolve everything on the garage project front and officially end that relationship. It appears we are going to have our landscaper (whoever that may be) have to deal with some clean up issues, but at this point we really just want to deal with someone new.
So the garage is pretty... the driveway is... uh, functional... and our backyard is still dirt. Here's to hoping we have a better relationship with our landscaper and everything gets pretty soon. Lord knows rainy season is not the season to have a muddy backyard with a dog!
For the most recent pics click here.