Thursday, January 21, 2016

HOUSE UPDATE: window-fixer woes, Omani versus Western budget priorities, and other updates

So how is the house coming along? Okay, so it is officially late.  I actually expected that however. Contractor said beginning of January.  We said Feb. end....because everything in Oman is ALWAYS late, but now I think mid. March. InshaAllah;).

Wall edges and window edges were protected with metal then plastered. Everything is plastered. Bathrooms are waterproofed. Bathrooms are all tiled and plumbed I guess. Kitchen too. The façade is ready to be covered in wall stones... which is late. Windows should be in already...that's late. Copper piping is finally done for the ACs (that was pretty late because sand delivery was late... thus waterproofing the roof was late). Copper piping company is good. I'll list a recommendation for them later. Professional, on time, low cost, quality product. Delay was the sand company's fault, not theirs.

Tiling the floors has begun in both villas. Most wiring is done.  Gyps for villa 1 was done except in the living room. Villa 2----the gyps for the ceiling cornice molding is done (but the medallions and chair railing moldings and door frame moldings?---not done for no apparent reason---- so time to nag someone about that. Molding in villa 3----not to that stag yet, but that will be hellish and extensive to follow up on. Everything about villa 3 is late. Different contractor than villas 1 & 2.

So windows. Windows are driving me crazy. I wanted traditional sash windows with paned glass. However, as no one in Oman has a clue about these, in China (I went to China) I got some made that look like the ones I want. They are also set to be fixed on the outside of the façade, and this is very rare in Oman--- and apparently super hard to find anyone who wants the job. Also, the glass has to be removed and then put back into the frames once they're fixed. We found a company that originally quoted us 35 omr for each window (even tiny easy ones). Finally they agreed to 25 omr, and we told them they will only do the main façade windows on the villas, not like, bathroom windows, or the maid room windows. Then they were like, we'll come when the façade is ready.... which it was before we hired them to do the job. As my windows are outer fixed, actually, stone for the façade goes on after not before, unlike Oman construction 99% of the time. So we had to threaten to phone the consumer protection on them, but now they started at least. All the frames are in except in my living room. Glass panes not all in yet either. And the sliding glass doors.... Time to threaten them again probably. Although they have an excuse today (they are in court fighting other customers for work they didn't do right I guess). Awesome;). But they said Sunday they'll finish the job. InshaAllah they will. They're a new company, so maybe they just don't know how to manage time. I don't know.
Doors in general can go in once the floor tile is done so we checked around for the fixing prices. As most people buy their stuff in Oman fixing prices are usually included however, steel doors we found are 5 for fixing on average, 7-10 on UVPC and aluminum depending on your lock set (if pre-drilled or not---and the difficulty of the frame type), and 10-15 on wooden and MDF doors (depending on if locks are pre-drilled or not---any my locks are from Canada so of course they cost more;) ). We also found a company in Mabaila to do our iron and mahogany stair-railings/bannisters, and they charged like 50 omr, but I think we'll end up paying them more since the job is probably worth more than that quote if we want them to actually show up to work, like 30 omr more for both villas, I assume. I still need to order one window, and two doors. I wanted from Muscat these things, as the measurements weren't finalized when I was in China. Arches are hard to get right in buying ready-made in terms of measurements. Doors could go on earlier (easier for plastering since all our doors without arches are ready-made) but most companies will refuse to do this in Oman. No idea why but whatever. What do I, a woman, know about construction right? ;).

Both of the villa owners forced me to go with them to a crazy carpet sale in Khuwair? Crazy. Never again. I didn't buy anything. Omanis and carpets I tell you. They don't budget for like, paint, but they budget for carpets;). I'll buy mine later. Carpets aren't a priority in my own home;). I intend firmly to have couches and coffee and end tables... and a dining table. ...Before carpets. But people who I know don't have enough budget to cover their ACs have already got their carpets.... So that's one difference between having Omani clients and Western clients;). I've never actually designed for Indian clients besides helping them choose table lamps... so I don't know the other cultural differences that exist in budgeting priorities in Oman, but carpets sure are important for Omanis.

I think we bought our roof tiles. They take a week to make before delivery so I hope we did. I am not using them on my terrace/balconies however. I don't quite have the budget for it, but I want real stone there, and on my front steps.... Before carpets, I'll do this;).

The penthouse in Villa 2 is almost finished actually, so, if they did finish the wiring, and if and when they DO grout the tiles, I can get the electrician to install the lights and switches, and get them to paint the ceiling, and then get the wallpaper dudes to come, and voila!!!! Of course, the windows should have glass in their frames before all that can happen.....

When it is finished, I will move ALL the furniture we are storing in three locations there until the other rooms are done. I can't wait to get to the furniture putting-together and arrangement stage. Really. I am tired of seeing all these boxes in the ground floors perhaps getting water damage from the plaster phase and not knowing if they were what was ordered from China.... One sink that supposed to have roses on it has fishes... so you can understand my concern... If boys bedroom sets turn out to be pink... life will be hell in a handbag.

What else?....Listing in my head things to buy and what they cost all the time.... I randomly mention that in March we cannot go out to eat at any restaurants because I want to buy decent bed linens....;).

That's all for now folks.


Anonymous said...

What sort of floor tiling do you think is easiest to keep clean and less water spots. Whats your opinion on tiling each room differe t as apposed to tiling the whole hoise with same tiles... Excludi g the bathrooms and kitchens of course

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Generally I like the same flooring type throughout (exlcuding kitchen and maybe bathrooms) as it makes a space look bigger. As for water spots? I never seem to have that issue but I get dirt and grimes spots... I use lemon and vinegar to clean them generally but the glossier the surface of your tile, the less grime you are going to get (excluding the grouting lines). However, I hate slippng on super shiny tile, and usually only go super glossy in bathrooms (wall tiles). I think it worth it to scrub my floors rather than slip if I happen to wear socks or fabric slippers inside, or if stuff gets a little wet. Depends on your idea of maitenance.