April 11th, 2009
With a final BIG push at the end of March, David Kramer reports that Linda’s house is FINISHED! As he put it in a recent email:
I Think We’ve Done It at 1829 Forstall!
The last week in the Lower 9th had done wonders to finish the house for Linda. With lots of help from several groups, including masterful supervising from my friend, Bill Hoeft from California and my wife, Toby, we have finished all except a few minor items. Over the past week we finished all of the painting inside and out. We got started on the outside with a first coat from four local Katrina Seniors from Tulane and then the wonderous talents of a group of Retired Teachers from United Saints who came with their own ladders and brushes to finish the painting over two days. We owe them big time.
The stair railings are done with the help of a contractor who was with a group of high school students that were working with Linda to clear out weeds from the adjoining empty lots. The interior doors are hung and trimmed (and painted by the Teachers). The attic stairs are in, thanks to my nephew, Brent who was in town for business and stopped by to help for the day.
The kitchen cabinets with granite counter tops and breakfast bar are in fresh from China, thanks to Martin Fu and $3,900. He is also doing all the floors for $ 3,150 with us providing the tile and carpet while he will provide the laminate faux wood flooring. Toby did a lot of shopping with Linda but I may never get her in Home Depot again (two times a day is too much for anyone but I think she was secretly motivated to have a place to use the toilet).
February 2nd, 2009
After a break from Linda’s house for a few weeks, David was back at it for the last week of January. He reports:
We are having a good week siding and other jobs tying up lose ends. The group (4) from United Saints are Americorps. and are working out very good. Some of them have done siding before. Ben only had one helper, but that was enough. It was hard to keep everyone employed. Today we had Laura and Ben (local kids) that Richard found. They want to be involved when they can. We should let them know when we are down so they can help out. Ben of On Site Relief said he would work next week with the Americorps group doing the siding. I have to clear it with Dayrl tomorrow. I think we should make a donation to United Saints and On Site Relief for all their help. We have been using US tools and ladders for this whole project. They had a nail gun stolen off a job site today while they were working. I think we should give them ours when we are finished. We had the first framing inspection Wed. Only two things wrong, but it was enough to fail. I did not know you needed 100% to pass. Things have been corrected and I have called for a recheck. Yesterday I talked to Ben about leading a dry wall crew. He said he would be unable because On Site Relief was starting a new project. But today he is willing to continue with the siding. I think Tommy would work out ok but I would not hire his old helpers. Would we pay him hourly or get a contract price? Do we get volunteers to help him? May be we could use him when Peter is here. Speaking of volunteers, it seems that alternate spring break is filling the town and there is not enough work for them. Laura said she knew of a group from NC that are coming the second week of March and they lost their work assignment. She wants to know if we could use them. Linda may be able to help out as we may be painting by then.
December 12th, 2008
On Tuesday I mentioned to Burke that I was looking for a roofer. Wednesday morning he showed with a group spanish speaking men and a lady translator and business manager. They would do the roof including the 5/8″ plywood, and the soffits ( which I thought I would do with Tommy). So I followed them across town to a roofing store were I could get a good deal on shingles and the other supplies I would need. By the time I got back they were starting. I have adjusted the cost of labor to reflect less time for Tommy and crew that covers the roofers. This would have been a monumental job for volunteers and would not have taken place till next year. Now we are almost weather tight.
December 11th, 2008
Thursday very cold and a little rain. We started to set up when it got worst. So we spent an hour making up the headers. About that time the rain turned to snow. Not just a few flakes but stick-to-the-ground snow. I wasn’t ready to call it a day when it stopped, so we set up for the next wall. By 4pm we had all the outside walls up. Clean up and go home (well it’s not home but it is warm and dry).
December 10th, 2008
We finished finished the floor and about to start the first wall when it started to rain and blow. The cold front must be passing. By 4 p.m. we were cold and wet and we done for the day. We were warned nor to leave any supplies unguarded over night. So we moved it into the block house. By 5:30 we were muddy, wet and cold. It has to be better tomorrow.
December 9th, 2008
Mark from Michigan joined the team this week and brought some much needed skill and common sense to the worksite. The project is making really rapid progress, which is terrific after all the delays and problems we’ve encountered…
December 9th, 2008
As we were setting up this morning, the first delivery of lumber arrives. We also got 2 more volunteers from HONO. After bumping into each other for the first hour or so we settled into putting the floor system in. The weather was pleasant and I was glad to be south for the winter. By the end of the day the joists were in with only the blocking to go.
December 9th, 2008
On Monday they poured the steps and the blocks. We got the green light to start Tuesday with the framing. Ron arrived from Denver this afternoon. He is here for who knows how many weeks. Also while I was at the house waiting for a plumber to look at the job along comes Mark from Michigan. He found us through Hands On New Orleans. He will join us on Tuesday. Tommy and his crew ( Tommy JR and Buddy ) will start work on Tuesday. So the long awaited day has arrived.
December 8th, 2008
Last week a house down the block started on Tuesday and all the framing was done by Friday. We are going to beat them. Ron from Denver just showed up and a guy from Michigan who HandsOn New Orleans sent over will be helping for a week. Tommy and his 2 helpers will work through the holidays with Linda’s supervision. So anyone who is here can find work. I am getting the sense that we better be done before spring break because every thing is filling up.
December 5th, 2008
After many, many (too many) months of struggling with red tape and delays of all kinds, the foundation to Linda Jackson’s house on Forestall Rd in the Lower Ninth Ward is finally being poured.
Project manager David Kramer reports:
The foundation chain wall is poured. EPCO said they would work on the weekend to set the blocks. Met with a plumber, he bid $7800, would start anytime after the floor is in. We still have no temporary
power, NENA can loan us a generator. I ordered the first lumber drop
on Tues. I moved most of what is left of our tools. We have NO NAIL GUN or sawz-all. I have no idea if they were taken off the shipment or out of the storage shed. No one I talked to has been at NENA long enough or ever knew what we had stored there. I just hope whoever has them found a job using them.