Taping and floating, day 1

Gelipe and Anthony from Celis Drywall today prepped Emerald Hill and began to tape and float the drywall.

The process of taping and floating is a common task that takes place during the installation of sheetrock. Essentially, this procedure helps to hide the rough edges of the sheetrock where the sections join, creating a smooth look to the entire wall. Just about any type of drywall finishing project will require at least some taping and floating before the job is finished. Wisegeek.

Anthony and Gelipe prepped the entire house with heavy-duty paper to protect the floors against the mudding mess that spackle will create ...
Anthony and Gelipe prepped the entire house with heavy-duty paper to protect the floors against the mudding mess that spackle will create …
Gelipe climbs aboard the stilts ...
Gelipe climbs aboard the stilts …
Gelipe works high while Anthony works low. It's a dance.
Gelipe works high while Anthony works low. It’s a dance.
Anthony applies tape to the "mud" to seal the joint between two pieces of drywall.
Anthony applies tape to the “mud” to seal the joint between two pieces of drywall.
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4 lights not 3

To solve the unbalanced lights above the island, Ron Dahlke suggested adding a fourth ceiling can. Steven approved.

Ron and Steve from Capstone Electric today repositioned the middle of the existing three cans, then installed a fourth can — all carefully measured to ensure the pairs are equidistant from each other.

Tomorrow, Ron plans to align the four cans in a straight line, then put the drywall back up on the ceiling.

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Notes, 28 Sept. 2015

NASA today reports there is water on Mars. Now we have to look for those canals. The presidents of Iran, Russia and the US spoke at the UN. World Peace was not declared. Last night, there was a total lunar eclipse. Steven took out the telescope. Jacquela marveled. Randy and his son Owen walked across the street to peer through the lens. Owen was excited, asking questions. Jadin could not be distracted from talking with her friends via Skype.

Meanwhile, today, back at Emerald Hill, Ron Dahlke from Ranserve, Brett Grinkmeyer, architect, and Steven met to consider options for the tall window at the back of Jadin’s bedroom. If we crank it open, it hits the underside of the eave and is blocked by the back side of the fascia from opening completely. We chose to make this window larger and taller to allow more daylight into Jadin’s bedroom. Now we discover the consequences. The design team coalesced around one idea — extending the roof line out about one foot and raising the eave behind the “eyebrow” to create three to four inches of additional clearance for the window when completely opened. Brett will sketch it if Ron needs plans. But Ron thinks he has this figured out and will instruct head carpenter Cris through the cutting and nailing.

The design team also tackled ideas for the door trim and baseboard, and where to put electrical outlets in the proposed garage extension.

And Federal Express delivered the first vanities.

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Solving the lighting above the island

When the drywall went up on the ceiling in the kitchen, Steven discovered that the three 4-inch ceiling cans for lights above the island were not equidistant from each other.

Ron said, don’t worry, we’ll fix it.

With the drywall install done, Ron and Cris took down the sheets of ceiling drywall over the island, exposing the cans and ceiling joists.

Ron and Steven dragged a 10-foot-long sheet of drywall into the kitchen, propped it up on two garbage cans, to simulate the location and size of the kitchen island.

Then we used three paint cans to approximate the location of the lights on the island, to confirm that the only way to center the middle recessed can would require cutting a ceiling joist and restructuring the two adjoining joists — a process that would also require inspections and approvals from the structural engineer.

Ron suggested an alternative approach — adding a fourth can, dividing the four cans into two pairs, and installing each pair to mirror the other. This requires no cutting of lumber, no structural engineer. It does require the electricians to add the additional can, but that’s easy.

Here's Ron Dahlke studying the plans, with the drywall mockup of the kitchen island propped on two garbage cans and four paint cans approximating the location of the four recessed cans that will be used to illuminate the island.
Here’s Ron Dahlke studying the plans, with the drywall mockup of the kitchen island propped on two garbage cans and four paint cans approximating the location of the four recessed cans that will be used to illuminate the island.
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The yellowed brick fireplace is gone

Finally …

We had choices — keep the brick, paint the brick, tile over the brick, take out the fireplace and replace it with a wall of windows. Something to get rid of the hideous color of the brick — a not quite yellow that sucked up light and reminded everyone of the Harvest Gold and Avocado Green and Apache White days of the late 1960s, when Emerald Hill was first built.

Steven’s preference was to demo the chimney and fireplace, put in a wall of windows. Ranserve guesstimated this at $10,000+ just for the demo, not counting the reframing, sheathing, windows, insulation, electrical, and everything else structural. This option was deemed too costly.

Brett Grinkmeyer was talking one day with Steven about the City of Austin requirements for fire sprinklers that kick in above x-thousand square feet. He proposed to the city that we cut off the garage from the house by using fire-resistant drywall as a barrier. The city approved.

Soon after, Steven was scrolling through fireplace stories on Houzz and Fine Homebuilding. Several commenters talked about using drywall to cover brick.

Steven connected the dots.

Mark from Ranserve approved.

Brett drew it into the building plans.

Ron worked with Steven on how to frame it with steel and fire-resistant concrete backer board and drywall, while also creating structure to mount a metal “shield” above the fireplace that Steven and Jacquela purchased in Taos on the trip when Steven asked Jacquela to marry him.

This is the metal shield that will be mounted above the fireplace.
This is the metal shield that will be mounted above the fireplace.

As much as we like the yellow-brick road in the Wizard of Oz, that brick had to go. Putting up the metal shield is going to be killer.

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Week ending 26 Sept. 2015

Ron Dahlke files this week’s summary:

This week:

  • Finished hanging drywall
  • Inspected and passed wall board install
  • Met with Martel about large bedroom window
  • Talked with tile setter, cabinet maker, and interior door company about schedule
  • Called Ferguson, no news about delivery of shower insert
  • Completed small repairs to electrical in kitchen
  • Checked in with Austin stone works about countertops.  Everything good.

Next week:

  • Start tape and float process
  • Meet with glass company on site Tuesday

Steven makes this observation — the walls are now up, drywall is hung, and all the systems behind the drywall are roughed-in — electrical, low voltage, plumbing, HVAC, exterior, windows, inspection after inspection. This means we are advancing toward completion and moving in. The remodeling process feels like it is steaming ahead and sliding toward done. There’s still a lot to do — flooring, cabinets, taping and floating and priming and interior painting, plumbing and electrical finish out, interior doors and door hardware, etc. But we are no longer saving this house from itself. Demo is behind us. Framing is behind us. Discovering structural issues that must be fixed is behind us. We are shifting gears …

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Several inspections passed

Emerald Hill passed the wallboard screw pattern inspection. Now we can start taping and mudding.
Emerald Hill passed the wallboard screw pattern inspection. Now we can start taping and mudding.

Catching up on several inspections completed over the past four weeks …

Sheathing inspection ... passed.
Sheathing inspection … passed.
Air leakage at the rough-in testing of the duct work ... passed.
Air leakage at the rough-in testing of the duct work … passed.
Framing and insulation inspections ... passed.
Framing and insulation inspections … passed.
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Notes, 23 Sept. 2015

It’s the first day of Fall. Happy Equinox!

Kathleen Baker at Ranserve today submitted plans for the garage addition to the City of Austin, applying for a building permit. Now we wait for review.

The exhaust duct for the kitchen hood is at upper left in this photo. The darker drywall is water resistant, where the sink will be installed.
The exhaust duct for the kitchen hood is at upper left in this photo. The darker drywall is water resistant, where the sink will be installed.

Ron and Cris from Ranserve installed the duct for the kitchen exhaust hood inside the kitchen, foaming all around the metal duct to insulate it and the exterior wall, then sealing up around the duct with drywall.

The exterior end of the exhaust duct. Ron and Cris will mount a screen to block bugs from traveling into the house through what is currently the open bottom of the duct.
The exterior end of the exhaust duct. Ron and Cris will mount a screen to block bugs from traveling into the house through what is currently the open bottom of the duct.
Catching up on other drywall details -- the master bath, with water resistant drywall at the sink locations and the shelf that goes behind the vanity framed up.
Catching up on other drywall details — the master bath, with water resistant drywall at the sink locations and the shelf that goes behind the vanity framed up.
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Hanging drywall, day 5

Above, what will be Steven’s favorite room at Emerald Hill — the master bedroom, drywall up, with “the treehouse” revealed as a room for the first time. If there is one room in the house done correctly, it’s the master bedroom, with the new side and front windows opening up the view into the trees.

The team from Celis Drywall today finished hanging drywall on all walls. Next up, Ron will order up inspection of the screw patterns to ensure they comply with code — each screw approximately eight inches from the next, with screws sufficient to ensure the drywall will not pop off or shift. Ron also plans to spend tomorrow, Wednesday, 23 September, the first day of Fall, working with Cris to tackle punch-list items before Celis starts to install corner beads and begins taping and mudding.

Here are snapshots as the Celis team of five installers hung drywall in the family room and kitchen, pantry, mudroom, office, library.

This wall in the office will get base cabinets and a countertop, with shelves hung on the wall where the drywall is going up.
This wall in the office will get base cabinets and a countertop, with shelves hung on the wall where the drywall is going up.
Turning 90 degrees in the office, the installer cuts drywall away from the side window in the office with a rotozip.
Turning 90 degrees in the office, the installer cuts drywall away from the side window in the office with a rotozip.
And off comes the liberated drywall, exposing the window.
And off comes the liberated drywall, exposing the window.
In the family room, Jose, left, and Andres, right, prep drywall for the south wall.
In the family room, Jose, left, and Andres, right, prep drywall for the south wall.
turning 180 degrees in the family room to look at the kitchen drywall going up.
Turning 180 degrees in the family room to look at the kitchen drywall going up.
Jose hangs drywall at the kitchen window while drywall goes up in the pantry.
Jose hangs drywall at the kitchen window while drywall goes up in the pantry.
The library/dining room is already complete. With a small pile of waste on the floor. Ron will recycle the waste as part of the Austin Green Build program.
The library/dining room is already complete. With a small pile of waste on the floor. Ron will recycle the waste as part of the Austin Green Build program.
Jadin's room is also complete, covered with drywall dust.
Jadin’s room is also complete, covered with drywall dust.
All the upstairs rooms are complete. Here's the "wet wall" in the utility/laundry room. The darker drywall is water resistant. One of the tankless units will be mounted in the niche at left. The washer will be located near the center of the photo, with the dryer installed in front of the large dryer vent near the floor and corner at right center.
All the upstairs rooms are complete. Here’s the “wet wall” in the utility/laundry room. The darker drywall is water resistant. One of the tankless units will be mounted in the niche at left. The washer will be located near the center of the photo, with the dryer installed in front of the large dryer vent near the floor and corner at right center.
Steven thinks the right side of the shelf in the master shower is lower than the left corner -- and all water will drain into the right corner instead instead of the shower. Ron pulls out his tape measure and checks. Yup. 1/4 inch off.
Steven thinks the right side of the shelf in the master shower is lower than the left corner — and all water will drain into the right corner instead of the shower. Ron pulls out his tape measure and checks. Yup. 1/4 inch off.

 

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Notes, 21 Sept. 2015

  • The vanities are shipping from Bathroomplace.com.
  • Capstone Electric reports it has a source to get 6-inch and 4-inch LEDs for the recessed ceiling cans at a savings of 40+ percent over previous bids.
  • SouthStar Bank reports it has approved the evidence of insurance it needed from Ranserve and will not need to impose a $6,000 insurance policy on the Leons. Steven asks for this decision in writing.
  • Ron Dahlke reports we may be ready to inspect the drywall screw patterns by mid-week, then proceed to taping and floating.
  • Steven and Ron opt for the 3.5-inch-by-10-inch rectangular exhaust vent for the kitchen hood after Ron calculates airflow restrictions, if any, using trigonometry and calculus help from Matt at Ranserve.
  • Aaron at Central Texas Custom Cabinets is funded by draw #3 and construction of the kitchen cabinets is underway.
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