One question Steven has asked from before completing the purchase of Emerald Hill is … “is it possible to add a third garage bay to the existing two-car garage?’
After much debate and discussion, after Michelle and Mark at Ranserve put a $35,000 estimated price on this “wish-list” item, Jacquela turned to Steven one day and said “I think it will add a lot of value and function to the house and we should do it.”
Steven asked Brett to turn ideas into sketches and plans. Brett contacted a structural engineer to figure out how to put this thing together while taking out and tying into the back wall and roof of the existing garage.
Today, Brett reports that Austin Energy surveyed the telephone poles and power lines running parallel with the back property line — and confirmed that the proposed addition will be more than five feet away from the power lines. That’s the “green light” we needed for this months-long, slow-cooking, skunkworks idea turned project.
The first thing to understand is … we don’t need this garage, it’s not absolutely necessary … but it will make the house that much more functional and unique. We don’t see a lot of houses with three garage bays in the neighborhood when we drive Northwest Hills — but this is not a competition. Instead, Jadin will be driving in just about two years. Steven needs a home for his power tools and table saw. We have lived in two houses with three garage bays and it spoils you. There are bicycles. There will be storage space.
Simply, it just makes sense.
The plan is for Ranserve to submit the plans to the City of Austin this week. Then we wait, patiently, hoping for approval and permits.
Saturday morning. Andre from Celis Drywall is in the house by himself, continuing to hang drywall. The ceilings are done. He’s putting up walls — transforming a construction zone with exposed studs and insulation into rooms with walls.
Jay at First Texas Honda reports that a retaining bolt used to attach the transmission cable came loose — which explains why Jacquela could not shift gears or get her key out of the ignition; the computer “thought” the car was still in Drive.
Chris from Granite Security today finished stringing wire for security, phone, TV and network through Emerald Hill. The last step was to install conduit between points x and y for Steven to pull cables between TVs on the wall and the amplifiers and cable boxes in the closets.
Above, the orange conduit is what Steven will use to pull cables between the TV in the loft and the equipment racked in the electrical closet above the distribution box.
Jacquela pulled into the garage last night with Jadin riding shotgun, 9 pm, returning from volleyball. She tried to turn off the car. The key stuck in the ignition. The shift would not advance to park.
Steve attempted fixes supplied by searching the Internet. No joy.
This morning, Jacquela called AAA to have the car towed to First Texas. Steven called ahead to Jay at First Texas. And a flatbed took the Civic away.
Albert, the towing operator, thinks the transmission cable is disconnected. Steven wonders if this is collateral damage from the engine replacement. We wait, now, for the techs at First Texas to diagnose …
One suprise as drywall goes up on the ceilings is how it changes light levels inside the house. Up to this point, Steven has photographed work progress by barely using flash. The grey paper of the drywall dims the light reflecting off surfaces, even brown lumber and off-white foam — and Steven is now using flash for all photos.