“They’re in the trees”

Steven tried to use Google to identify the source of that headline quote. No joy.

One of the first steps in this remodeling adventure took place in May 2015, when Davey Trees trimmed back several large oak limbs that obstructed access to the house for dumpsters and construction supplies.

Today, Davey Trees is back to execute phase 2 of the tree projects at Emerald Hill.

We bought this house in part for the trees. They are mature, amazing. Today is the day to “cut away the curtains” and better frame the exterior of the house with light and air.

Here’s a photo essay.

In the back yard, Chris cuts low-hanging limbs off the oak tree at the rear corner of the existing garage -- while Barry bends to pick up cuttings. We need to raise the canopy of this oak and cut it back from where the new third bay of the garage will soon be built.
In the back yard, Chris cuts low-hanging limbs off the oak tree at the rear corner of the existing garage — while Barry bends to pick up cuttings. We need to raise the canopy of this oak and cut it back from where the new third bay of the garage will soon be built.
Atop the existing garage, Chris cuts back branches that touch the roof, passing them down to Bernard, who is also protecting the white cabinets just delivered by Central Texas Custom Cabinets.
Atop the existing garage, Chris cuts back branches that touch the roof, passing them down to Bernard, who is also protecting the white cabinets just delivered by Central Texas Custom Cabinets.
Chris begins cutting away the long limb that projects across the side of the second storey above the kitchen roof and adjacent to the master suite.
Chris begins cutting away the long limb that projects across the side of the second storey above the kitchen roof and adjacent to the master suite.
A chunk of oak limb falls to the ground. Barry later explains that one foot of oak limb that size weighs 50 pounds. It hits the stone of the kitchen deck with a thunk that is solid, substantial, concussing the rock deck.
Chris cuts. Bernard observes for safety. A chunk of oak limb falls to the ground. Barry later explains that one foot of oak limb that size weighs 50 pounds. It hits the stone of the kitchen deck with a thunk that is solid, substantial, concussing the rock deck.
Chris cuts away a second, larger section of oak limb.
Chris cuts away a second, larger section of oak limb.
Bernard, left, and Barry load everything into the chipper -- which is loud and ravenous.
Bernard, left, and Barry load everything into the chipper — which is loud and ravenous.
The chipper produces a pile of mulch that will be used to help landscape around the house.
The chipper produces a pile of mulch that will be used to help landscape around the house.
Each of the large cuts to the oaks leaves a wound that must be sealed. Barry shows off the spray can fitted into a sleeve on a long pole, with pull cord -- an assembly used to reach high into the trees to the wounds.
Each of the large cuts to the oaks leaves a wound that must be sealed. Barry shows off the spray can of sealer fitted into a sleeve on a long pole, with pull cord — an assembly used to reach high into the trees to the wounds.
From the ground, Bernard reaches up with the spray can on a pole to seal a wound on an oak that Chris just cut.
From the ground, Bernard reaches up with the spray can on a pole to seal a wound on an oak that Chris just cut.
At the front of the house, Chris trims suckers off a large oak limb.
At the front of the house, Chris trims suckers off a large oak limb.
Barry, at right, takes a quick break to admire the view and his work from atop the roof.
Barry, at right, takes a quick break to admire the view and his work from atop the roof. Chris, at left, is moving power tools into position for more cuts. Together, they have already cut away several small branches and dead wood that brushed against the roof in strong winds. This reduces the risk of potential damage to the house.
Break time's over.
Break time’s over. Back to trimming away branches and throwing the cuttings off the roof, to the ground.
Shooting from inside the upstairs loft, Steven photographs Chris making some of the last cuts of the day to a long limb that reaches across the front of the house and into the yard next door -- a limb that is too close for comfort to the exterior of Emerald Hill.
Shooting from inside the upstairs loft, Steven photographs Chris making some of the last cuts of the day to a long limb that reaches across the front of the house and into the yard next door — a limb that is too close for comfort to the exterior of Emerald Hill. Bernard works the belaying rope from below to ensure that the limb swings away from the house as it is cut, to do no damage.
At the end of the day, almost all the low-hanging limbs and branches that reached to within mere feet of the house have been cut away, creating clearance between the trees and the house.
At the end of the day, almost all the low-hanging limbs and branches that reached to within mere feet of the house have been cut away, creating clearance between the trees and the house.
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More doors

There are more than 30 doors inside Emerald Hill, not counting the four doors that open to the outside of the house.

Shane and Peter are quickly mounting all the interior doors into place, shimming them plumb and level.

Above, Shane and Peter have turned the family room into a workshop — stacked with lumber, tools, sawhorses, glue, packages of shims, boxes of nails. And, on the floor at center front of photo, they have unboxed the attic ladder.

Patrick tests the door to Steven's office for plumb -- and the reveal between the door and the doorjamb.
Peter tests the door to Steven’s office for plumb — and the reveal between the door and the doorjamb.
Here's the attic ladder, carried upstairs to the utility room, prepped to install into the ceiling hatch.
Here’s the attic ladder, carried upstairs to the utility room, prepped to install into the ceiling hatch.
Patrick checks a closet door in Jadin's bedroom after tacking the frame into place. Using the level he checks for plumb. Several times, he knocks the wood of the doorjamb with his knuckles to tap the wood a fraction of an inch.
Peter checks a closet door in Jadin’s bedroom after tacking the frame into place. Using the level he checks for plumb. Several times, he knocks the wood of the doorjamb with his knuckles to tap the wood a fraction of an inch.
After nailing into position the door to the master bath, Patrick is the first person to swing the door open and step through. To get to this point, he has shimmed the door on both sides. It took stacks of shims, because the doorway was framed with extra space. As a result, there are large gaps on each side of the door between the jamb and the wall framing -- almost 3/4 of an inch. Patrick explains he will have to toenail the casing into place to cover the gap, carefully, to create the proper reveal.
After nailing into position the door to the master bath, Peter is the first person to swing the door open and step through. To get to this point, he has shimmed the door on both sides. It took stacks of shims, because the doorway was framed with extra space. As a result, there are large gaps on each side of the door between the jamb and the wall framing — almost 3/4 of an inch. Peter explains he will have to toenail the casing into place to cover the gap, carefully, to create the proper reveal.
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Kitchen cabinet install, 3 Nov. 2015

The day began with Randy and Chris delivering more cabinet boxes to install.

The base cabinets for the pantry hallway, left, and the upper shelf cabinets, stacked outside on the stone deck next to the kitchen.
The base cabinets for the pantry hallway, left, and the upper shelf cabinets, stacked outside on the stone deck next to the kitchen.
Chris uses his head to help hold the cabinet in place as Randy, right, guides the box into position atop a temporary plywood ledger. This is the big and deep storage cabinet located above the refrigerator.
Chris uses his head to help hold the cabinet in place as Randy, right, guides the box into position atop a temporary plywood ledger. This is the big and deep storage cabinet located above the refrigerator.
After hanging the large and deep above-refrigerator cabinet, Randy, left, and Chris, tip the adjacent tower into position. This tower features a "chest" with drawers for forks, knives, spoons, plates and bowls, and an upper box for glassware. The back of this tall unit also serves as the support for the left side of the above-refrigerator cabinet.
After hanging the large and deep above-refrigerator cabinet, Randy, left, and Chris, tip the adjacent tower into position. This tower features a “chest” with drawers for forks, knives, spoons, plates and bowls, and an upper box for glassware. The back of this tall unit also serves as the support for the left side of the above-refrigerator cabinet.
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