Progress!!! This in the face of the odds being against you as a 'green General Contractor" and up against a Chicago Winter that just won't quit. Less than 4 months since the permit was granted, and we are 85% there in total. Exterior 95% done, interior 75% done.
Working with Chicago masons... Some people just have this thing. This thing that compels them to bark when they only need to talk. To scold, then they really only need to teach. To project their lack of confidence, poor scheduling abilities, questionable decision making, or simple shortcomings onto the people that they are speaking with. Oh- you know people like that too?
Enter my ‘brickie’. I am going to say right here that he’s a decent guyWhen he was face to face with me, he was respectful. He never directly acknowledged my research and new knowledge, and in fact told me about 30 times that he has been doing this for 30 years, and that I don’t know what I’m doing. That mostly came when I had what I thought was (and had researched to be) a logical question, or a reasonable request that was based in something like ~forgetting to put a window in~, or following the plans for the pitch of the floor, for example.
Like I said, he was a decent guy in over view. A barker, comfortable to call out another trade as a ‘dumb (enter racial epitaph here)’ , and we did have a couple hard headed trade to GC 'conversations'. At the end of the day, partially thanks to the fact that he eventually only stopped by the job site on occasion, things came out well. I don’t doubt that he knows his job. I don’t question that he gave me plenty of good advise. I KNOW that he had a great team. Super hard workers. His crew leads/foremen were great.
They came and went. 1 day on, 6 days off, 2 days on, 10 days off. Dodging raindrop and snowflakes. Took torches to frozen bricks, steaming hot water in mortar mix, stacks and stacks of bricks. One brick at a time, like life gets built.
Create your base, place your stone, tap tap it into place. Scrap off the excess, and move onto the next.
Turned out pretty great, don't you think?