Change order 16

To make this remodeling adventure that much more scary, for Halloween, Jacquela and Steven today approved change order 16 — the addition of a third garage bay to Emerald Hill.

Plans here. Already approved by city.

We have been working with Ranserve to refine the project and rein in costs.

Here’s what we approved:

Builder’s risk insurance $85
Site supervision / general labor $3250 No overhead and profit charged to this item
Inspections $300
Demo / Prep $1500 Includes dumpsters
Brick masonry $500 Repairs at tie-in
Framing labor / materials $9720 No interior wall
New roof and roof repairs $4298
Window $500 Allowance
Garage door $1500 Allowance
Hardware $0 Allowance
Drywall and texture $0 Allowance, but eliminated from project
Flooring — concrete epoxy $0 Excluded
Exterior painting only, no interior painting $1770
Electrical $2475 Includes exterior hook up to power pole
Lighting fixtures $500 Allowance
Foundation $11400
subtotal $37798
Overhead & profit $6910
Total $44708

You can order shed and garage kits online for about the same cost, plus construction labor and permits; or prefabricated metal buildings for a lot less money yet would also require more labor to tie together the two structures — and still need permits.

This gets the job done, adds tons of storage to the house, adds protected parking, adds workshop space for the power tools — and ties all the structures together, correctly.

Ranserve reports we will break ground the week of 2 November.

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Week ending 30 Oct. 2015

Ron Dahlke reports this week’s construction summary:

This week:

  • Selected and grouted tile
  • Primed remaining trim
  • Met trim carpenters and discussed details
  • Template for kitchen sink countertop
  • Continued on cabinet install
  • Started install on shower panels in Jadin’s bathroom

Next week:

  • Continue on cabinets
  • Continue on doors and trim
  • Final measurements for glass doors
  • I was able to order the missing  “h” track for the bathroom panels. They will take two weeks to come in.
  • I scheduled the floor install for starting November 23.
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Change order 17

Work at Emerald Hill today was called off on account of torrential rains — something like six inches since midnight.

In the interim, Steven approved change order 17, the most expensive LED on the planet.

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. Details here.

The bill for this misadventure is $309.

“Add one 4-inch recessed light at kitchen island including installing recess trim supplied by others” $195
Site supervision $75
Profit & overhead $39
Total $309

That recess trim supplied by others? Steven purchased the 4-inch LED at Lowe’s, on sale, two for $19.98. Let’s do the math — each LED cost less than $11, including tax.

Electrical, drywall and labor account for the balance of the $195.

In retrospect, back when Jacquela and Steven selected lighting fixtures, one of the options we considered was a linear LED three, four, five or six feet long. That would have required one electrical connection instead of four, and no need to discover just how out of whack the framing is.

We should have also hung plumb bobs to verify the distance between each recessed can before the drywall went up, verifying locations against the planned island that the three original recessed cans, now four, are supposed to illuminate.

And a FLIR thermal/imaging camera to see through the drywall to structure would have also helped.

Lesson learned. Expensively.

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Countertop templating

It’s a dual-milestone day at Emerald Hill. The first is the arrival of the carpenters. The second is … “Dimensional R” is in the house to measure for kitchen countertops.

R asks Steven to not use his name — and to not “capture his soul” by photographing his face. He stays off the Net.

Steven complies by posting the photo above, the back of R’s head as he templates for the quartz countertop at the run of cabinets for the dishwasher, sink and cooktop.

R uses strips of white plastic — not easily visible against the white cabinets — to template the counter. The first step is to determine what the overhang will be — 1/2 inch past the face of the cabinets, or 1/4-inch. Steven chooses the larger overhang to help keep dripping liquids further away from the front of the cabinet drawers and doors.

Next, R lays out the strips — and discovers that the cabinets are not perfectly square. Instead, they bow inward toward the wall all of 1/16th of an inch. He computes the math and compensates with a series of strips that are first tacked into place with a staple-gun and then glued together. Ron offers to ask Aaron to reinstall the cabinets — but R says that variance is nothing compared to what he has had to work around on other jobs.

Step by step, strip by strip, R lays out what will become the guide that Austin Stone will use to cut the quartz to size, deliver, and install.

One big step closer to finishing this remodel. Milestone!

R documents on the strip every measure of the counter that the fabricators will need when cutting the quartz.
R documents on the strip every measure of the counter that the fabricators will need when cutting the quartz.
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Meet the carpenters

No. Not the first album from Karen and Richard Carpenter. Gag me.

It’s a dual-milestone day at Emerald Hill. The first is … Ron and Steven are turning over the house to, drum roll, please, the carpenters — Peter and Shane Morris, father and son, originally from north of London, fresh off finishing a 13,000 sq. ft. house somewhere else in Austin.

This is going to be fun.

Above, Shane, left, Peter, middle, and Ron Dahlke from Ranserve talk through each step of the casing, trim and other details they plan to start cutting and nailing tomorrow.

Today was planning day — walk the house with Steven, ask questions about how many shelves in this closet and how many rods, square edge on the window stool or “ear” that wraps around a drywall corner, baseboard options at the master shower, where to work around electrical panels, and more.

Communicate first. Plan second. Measure twice. Cut once.

It’s time to “dress the house.”

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Notes, 28 Oct. 2015

Continuing to catch up on daily progress …

Above, Capstone Electric is installing the 4000K 6-inch LEDs that Steven specced for the ceiling cans — cool white, not warm white. Steven sees the 4000K light as white, not yellow, brighter than the average bulb.

Tracy at Lights Fantastic is ordering all the other interior lights and ceiling fans. Tracy, Jacquela and Steven worked on this task for months.

The LEDs ship in these 1/3-height boxes. The lights are nearly flat. They promise to last nearly forever and consume very little electricity. They can also be dimmed to 10 percent. And ... they cost about $25 each. Two years ago, similar LEDs would have cost about $75 each. The lighting revolution continues.
The LEDs ship in these 1/3-height boxes. The lights are nearly flat. They promise to last nearly forever and consume very little electricity. They can also be dimmed to 10 percent. And … they cost about $25 each. Two years ago, similar LEDs would have cost about $75 each — Steven knows this because he installed eight 5000K daylight LEDs into the ceiling cans at Sea Eagle, making the kitchen very very very bright. The lighting revolution continues.
The attic stairs arrived and await installation in the ceiling of the utility room.
The attic stairs arrived and await installation in the ceiling of the utility room.
Celis Drywall is back to float with drywall "mud" the wall where the medicine cabinets, vanities and sinks will soon be installed.
Celis Drywall is back to float with drywall “mud” the wall where the medicine cabinets, vanities and sinks will soon be installed.
The oven, left, and microwave cabinets are now stacked into place.
The oven, left, and microwave cabinets are now stacked into place.
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Electricians, painters, cabinetmakers, tilers, carpenters

48 hours since Steven last visited Emerald Hill, the electricians, painters, cabinetmakers, tilers and carpenters are transforming the house.

Let’s catch up.

Above, the electricians are starting to install light switches. Here’s a bank of switches in the master suite. Can’t. Wait. To. Turn. On. Lights!

Look up at the ceiling. Many of the 6-inch and 4-inch LED recessed lights are installed throughout Emerald Hill. Here's the ceiling over the kitchen island and into the family room. Look down. Randy has installed four of the five island cabinets -- and he's working at left on the pantry storage that will be next to the refrigerator. Look at the lumber rack near the back of the photo. It's empty, because ...
Look up at the ceiling. Many of the 6-inch and 4-inch LED recessed lights are installed throughout Emerald Hill. Here’s the ceiling over the kitchen island and into the family room. Look down. Randy has installed four of the five island cabinets — and he’s working at left on the pantry storage that will be next to the refrigerator. Look at the lumber rack near the back of the photo. It’s empty, because …
The painters have turned the back yard into a spray booth, priming all the trim wood before installation by the carpenters.
The painters have turned the back yard into a spray booth, priming all the trim wood before installation by the carpenters.
Ron and Cris from Ranserve waterproofed the walls of what will be Jadin's shower in bath 2.
Ron and Cris from Ranserve waterproofed the walls of what will be Jadin’s shower in bath 2.
The tilers are sealing the floor in the master shower and bath. By end of day, the floors in bath 2, bath 3 and the utility room will also be sealed.
The tilers are grouting the floor in the master shower and bath. By end of day, the floors in bath 2, bath 3 and the utility room will also be grouted.
Here's the master shower, tiled and sealed, with the gray quartz shelf cemented into place and the linear drain protected with blue painter's tape.
Here’s the master shower, tiled and grouted, with the gray quartz shelf cemented into place and the linear drain protected with blue painter’s tape.
This is a smoke alarm or CO2 detector -- won't know until the electricians take off the protective tape -- in the hallway of the master suite.
This is a smoke alarm or CO2 detector — won’t know until the electricians take off the protective tape — in the hallway of the master suite.
Back downstairs in the kitchen, Aaron, left, and Randy, right, talk through installation of the shelf cabinet at the far end of the kitchen island. The cabinet is square to the other island cabinets -- but we discover that the tile floor is about 1/2-inch out of square because the house is not perfectly linear. Ron Dahlke asks Julian to trim the tiles with a special saw. In turn, that will allow the flooring company to come in in about a month to properly lay the hickory flooring square to the cabinets.
Back downstairs in the kitchen, Aaron, left, and Randy, right, talk through installation of the shelf cabinet at the far end of the kitchen island. The cabinet is square to the other island cabinets — but we discover that the tile floor is about 1/2-inch out of square because the house is not perfectly linear. Ron Dahlke asks Julian to trim the tiles with a special saw. In turn, that will allow the flooring company to come in in about a month to properly lay the hickory flooring square to the cabinets.
Aaron test fits one of the Ikea handles on a cabinet drawer. Yes, it fits and will do the job we ask of it. Minimal. Linear. Functional.
Aaron test fits one of the Ikea handles on a cabinet drawer. Yes, it fits and will do the job we ask of it. Minimal. Linear. Functional.
In the entry hall, Aaron and Ron plot how the stairs will meet the low bench at the stair landing. The bench will include storage for shoes, bags, books and other items -- an arrangement suggested by homes in Japan that Jacquela, Jadin and Steven visited.
In the entry hall, Aaron and Ron plot how the stairs will meet the low bench at the stair landing. The bench will include storage for shoes, bags, books and other items — an arrangement suggested by homes in Japan that Jacquela, Jadin and Steven visited.

Not photographed …

  • Ron, Michelle and Steven talked through the garage project and budget. We’re getting there. More to come.
  • BMC delivered the attic ladder.
  • Austin Stone is scheduled to measure Thursday, 29 October, for kitchen countertops.
  • Harway reports delivery of the induction cooktop to the warehouse. It will arrive Wednesday, 28 October, at Emerald Hill.
  • Jacquela and Steven selected the red grout to go with the red glass tiles at the kitchen backsplash — Stainmaster Red.
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Notes, 26 Oct. 2015

  • Jacquela and Steven today approved the use of “Fusion Pro Single Component Grout” for all tile after triple-checking the numbers with Ron Dahlke. This urethane grout will cost about $460 in materials — with no additional labor charge, because the labor to install grout is already budgeted as a line item. This compares with a conventional grout that must then also be sealed — the grout and separate sealer would cost less, about $200 in materials, but the additional labor to come back on a second trip to seal the grout after it cures would become a change order we estimate at about $1,500. Besides, the Fusion Pro claims to be “stain proof and color perfect,” with “unsurpassed stain resistance,” “never needs sealing,” is “easy to spread and clean,” and delivers “ultimate color consistency.”
  • Steven and Michelle began to review the third set of estimated costs to build the third garage bay. More details to come.
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If the rain comes …

“… they run and hide their heads.” John Lennon.

24+ hours of nearly continuous rain. So far. Hurricane Patricia is shredding itself apart over the mountains of Mexico. Flood advisories are posted for Texas. Jacquela and Steven visited Emerald Hill. Saturday afternoon. First chance to see how the house holds up under a stress-test deluge.

The entry at the side door to the kitchen is dry. The entry at the back door is dry. These are the two weakest points of entry for water, based on the termite and water damage we found when taking apart the house during demo.

Upstairs, all the ceilings and walls are dry.

With one exception.

There’s a slow dripping leak at the vent stack pipe in bath 3. It appears the stack is open to sky above the roof — and water is slowly traveling down the pipe. The paper protecting the tile floor is wet. As is a small section of drywall, wicking water up the wall from the tile. Steven alerts Ron and Mark at Ranserve via email and messaging. Jacquela locates a bucket in the garage. Steven puts the bucket under the pipe. Ron texts that the bucket should suffice until Monday morning, when he will determine what fix might be required.

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Week ending 23 Oct. 2015

Above, late Friday, the forecast is for a weekend of continuous and heavy rain. Ron took it upon himself to haul out a jackhammer badly in need of repair to chip out more stone and concrete and base material from the deck outside the kitchen, carving drainage to channel runoff away from the side door to the kitchen. We know from the history of Emerald Hill that water has penetrated this corner of the house. 

In the dark of the mudroom, working by flashlight on her cell phone, Jacquela examines the final interior door delivered to Emerald Hill -- the door to the master bath. Steven is not certain this is the proper door. Behind the protective coating, the glass appears to be clear. It is supposed to be translucent. Something to check.
In the dark of the mudroom, working by flashlight on her cell phone, Jacquela examines the final interior door delivered to Emerald Hill — the door to the master bath. Steven is not certain this is the proper door. Behind the protective coating, the glass appears to be clear. It is supposed to be translucent. Something to check.

 

Ron Dahlke files this week’s summary report:

This week:

  • Started prep work on interior trim
  • Started install on kitchen cabinets
  • Tile install almost complete
  • Received remaining interior doors
  • Received front door
  • Ordered and picked up shelf material for master shower
  • Placed order for remaining light fixtures
  • Verified model numbers for furnace and air handler
  • Verified electrical switch and plug design

Next week:

Grout tile

  • Order glass doors and mirror for bathrooms
  • Start interior doors and trim
  • Finish kitchen cabinet install
  • Measure template for solid surface counters in kitchen

 

I’ll let you know when the countertop guy is coming out to measure so we can discuss overhang, edge, and support details for the island.

Once we finish trim, we paint, we do flooring,  we do misc issues, and then it’s a push to wrap up.

Steven observes — read that last sentence closely — “it’s a push to wrap up.” That is the first acknowledgement that this remodel is going to finish!

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