Third bay

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.”

Permission!

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.

The site plan showing the house, existing garage, and the location for the projected third bay.
The site plan showing the house, existing garage, and the location for the projected third bay.

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 floorplan of the remodeled house, with the third bay added at the back of the existing two-car garage.
The floorplan of the remodeled house, with the third bay added at the back of the existing two-car garage.

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.

A simple shed roof exposed to the sun, in case we can afford to mount solar photovoltaics. A 10-foot wide garage door; nothing will have to squeeze through. With tons of storage in a loft above the car and along the extended south wall. With workshop space on the west wall opposite the garage door.
A simple shed roof exposed to the sun, in case we can afford to mount solar photovoltaics. A 10-foot wide garage door; nothing will have to squeeze through. With tons of storage in a loft above the car and along the extended south wall. With workshop space on the west wall opposite the garage door.

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.

The west elevation, where the workshop and power tools will find home.
The west elevation, where the workshop and power tools will find home.
Share. Link. Like.

Interior color candidates

With drywall going up, Ron instructs Jacquela, Jadin and Steven to start choosing interior paint colors. We visit Sherwin Williams to choose samples …

For her bedroom, Jadin selects Bravo Blue, SW 6784, and Lemon Chiffon, SW 6886. One or the other might be the accent wall color behind her bed. Or, we could paint her bedroom one of the two colors, and use the second color in bedroom 2, which comprises the other half of "Jadinland."
For her bedroom, Jadin selects Bravo Blue, SW 6784, and Lemon Chiffon, SW 6886. Her favorite color is and always has been yellow. One or the other might be the accent wall color behind her bed. Or, we could paint her bedroom one of the two colors, and use the second color in bedroom 1, which comprises the other half of “Jadinland.”
There is one wall in the kitchen that will receive paint -- the South wall, behind the kitchen sink and around the cooktop backsplash. As always, Jacquela and Steven wrestle with colors. Jacquela wants a cool, darker gray. Steven wants a lighter, cool gray. Either way, we have to complement the tile floor, gray quartz countertop, and the red-backpainted glass that Jacquela plans for the backsplash. Here are three candidates on the lighter side -- from left, Grayish, SW 6001, Northstar, SW 6249, and Krypton, SW 6247. Photos do not depict these colors well; they look very different to a naked eye in shadow and sunlight.
There is one wall in the kitchen that will receive paint — the South wall, behind the kitchen sink and around the cooktop backsplash. As always, Jacquela and Steven wrestle with colors. Jacquela wants a cool, darker gray. Steven wants a lighter, cool gray. Either way, we have to complement the tile floor, gray quartz countertop, and the red-backpainted glass that Jacquela plans for the backsplash. Here are three candidates on the lighter side — from left, Grayish, SW 6001, Northstar, SW 6246, and Krypton, SW 6247. Photos do not depict these colors well; they look very different to a naked eye in shadow and sunlight.
Paint swatches for interior candidate colors.
Paint swatches for interior candidate colors.
Share. Link. Like.

Hanging drywall, day 3

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.

Jacquela in the trainroom, just before she tried to escape Steven's camera by hiding in the closet.
Jacquela in the trainroom, just before she tried to escape Steven’s camera by hiding in the closet.
The stairwell and loft, drywall hung.
The stairwell and loft, with drywall hung.
From the opposite corner of the loft, looking back toward the stairwell.
From the opposite corner of the loft, looking back toward the stairwell.
From the landing on the first floor, looking up at the ceiling over the stairwell.
From the landing on the first floor, looking up at the ceiling over the stairwell.
Jacquela descending the stairs, trying to escape the camera.
Jacquela descending the stairs, trying to escape the camera.
Ron Dahlke is using steel studs to frame the fireplace, prepping the brick to be covered by fire-resistant drywall. This is one of the design mandates for Emerald Hill -- get rid of the yellow brick, either by paint on the exterior or drywall on the interior.
Ron Dahlke is using steel studs to frame the fireplace, prepping the brick to be covered by fire-resistant drywall. This is one of the design mandates for Emerald Hill — get rid of the yellow brick, either by paint on the exterior or drywall on the interior.
Downstairs in the office, Ron hung OSB sheathing to serve as blocking for the shelves that Steven plans for the south wall. Drywall will go over the sheathing, and the OSB will provide structural support when Steven hangs shelving.
Downstairs in the office, Ron hung OSB sheathing to serve as blocking for the shelves that Steven plans for the south wall. Drywall will go over the sheathing, and the OSB will provide structural support when Steven hangs shelving.
Share. Link. Like.

Civic interruptus, redux 2

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.

All fixed. No charge. Jay believes this is one small item potentially shaken loose during replacement of the engine.

Saturday morning, Jacquela and Steven return the loaner to First Texas and pick up Jacquela’s civic — and off we go to Emerald Hill, Costco, lunch, Lowe’s. No problems with car.

Share. Link. Like.

Week ending 18 Sept. 2015

Ron Dahlke files this week’s summary report:

This week:

  • Delivered tile
  • Finished low voltage
  • Started wall board install
  • Finished exterior paint
  • Installed shower inserts

Next week:

  • Finish wall board install
  • Inspect wall board
  • Start tape and float
  • Reschedule habitat pick up
Share. Link. Like.

Wrapping up the low-voltage prewire

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.

The other end of the pull conduit hanging next to the distribution box in the electrical closet.
The other end of the pull conduit hanging next to the distribution box in the electrical closet.
In the closet downstairs behind the Great Room, Chris installed a second conduit pull.
In the closet downstairs behind the Great Room, Chris installed a second conduit pull.
In the dim light, Chris finishes the prewire by drilling through the plywood backer of TV wall in the Great Room ... not the best shot; the drywall is eating up reflective light and the camera flash was off by a fraction of a second ...
In the dim light, Chris finishes the prewire by drilling through the plywood backer of TV wall in the Great Room … not the best shot; the drywall is eating up reflective light and the camera flash was off by a fraction of a second …
And from the other side of the wall, Chris pushes speaker wire through the hole he just drilled.
And from the other side of the wall, Chris pushes speaker wire through the hole he just drilled.

 

Share. Link. Like.

Civic interruptix, redux

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 …

Share. Link. Like.

Hanging drywall, day 2: Ceilings R Us

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┬áthe light reflecting off surfaces, even brown lumber and off-white foam — and Steven is now using flash for all photos.

Andre, left, and Jose, right, from Celis Drywall continue hanging 5/8-inch drywall on ceilings throughout Emerald Hill -- here in what will be Jadin's bedroom.
Andre, left, and Jose, right, from Celis Drywall continue hanging 5/8-inch drywall on ceilings throughout Emerald Hill — here in what will be Jadin’s bedroom.
The ceiling of the kitchen and family room, looking up from the kitchen side of the Great Room.
The ceiling of the kitchen and family room, looking up from the kitchen side of the Great Room.
The Great Room ceiling from the opposite corner.
The Great Room ceiling from the opposite corner.
The mudroom ceiling.
The mudroom ceiling.
The entrance hall, from the family room.
The entrance hall, from the family room.
The entrance hall, from near the front door.
The entrance hall, from near the front door.
The ceiling over the library, complete today.
The ceiling over the library, complete today.
The office ceiling.
The office ceiling.
The zip rotary tool that Andre and Jose use to cut the drywall for electrical boxes, can lights, ceiling fans and other penetrations as the drywall sheets go up.
The zip rotary tool that Andre and Jose use to cut the drywall for electrical boxes, can lights, ceiling fans and other penetrations as the drywall sheets go up.
The ceiling hallway between bedrooms 1 and 2.
The ceiling hallway between bedrooms 1 and 2. The large rectangle cut out at left is for a return duct. The smaller square cutout is for a jumper duct that will help to equalize air pressure between bedroom 1 and the hallway.
Turning 180 degrees to shoot the ceiling of bath 2.
Turning 180 degrees to shoot the ceiling of bath 2.
The ceiling of bedroom 1.
The ceiling of bedroom 1.
The ceiling over the master bedroom.
The ceiling over the master bedroom.
And the hallway between the master bedroom and master bath.
And the hallway between the master bedroom and master bath.
And, finally, for today, the ceiling of the master bath.
And, finally, for today, the ceiling of the master bath.
Share. Link. Like.

Hanging drywall, day 1

It is finally time to hang drywall. The remodel is moving toward the finish line.

Putting up the ceiling in the library/dining room.
Putting up the ceiling in the library/dining room.
The office ceiling is already up.
The office ceiling is already up.
First sheet of drywall attached to kitchen ceiling; installer cuts out drywall for a ceiling can.
First sheet of drywall attached to kitchen ceiling; installer cuts out drywall for a ceiling can.
And down falls the cut out.
And down falls the cut out.
Minutes later a field of drywall is screwed up against the ceiling of the kitchen and family room.
Minutes later a field of drywall is screwed up against the ceiling of the kitchen and family room.
The crew from Celis Drywall uses their heads -- the time-honored technique for hoisting drywall over your head to the ceiling.
The crew from Celis Drywall uses their heads — the time-honored technique for hoisting drywall over your head to the ceiling.
Share. Link. Like.

HVAC audit version 3

Ron Dahlke and Steven climbed up into the attic to audit the third iteration of the HVAC duct install.

We discovered one large tear …

DSC_4222and a couple of small nicks. Ron will call the HVAC company to execute repairs.

Several of the hanger straps are too tight — and in several places ducts are still squeezed past collar ties in the roof, restricting airflow.

One example of a duct choked by a collar tie.
One example of a duct choked by a collar tie.
A second example of a collar tie choking a duct.
A second example of a collar tie choking a duct.

 

Share. Link. Like.