The final scuttle

Ron and Shane opened up the final scuttle in the ceiling of the closet of the train room, creating one additional access into the attic.

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Plumbing oops

Today’s discovery: The drain lines for all six bathroom sinks are too low. As built, they will require us to cut apart the vanities to create clearance for the drain pipes.

This error will not be paid for by Steven and Jacquela. Months ago, when Steven ordered the vanities online, he downloaded, printed and delivered to Ron Dahlke the specs with dimensions for locating the drain and water lines.

The instructions were not followed.

Above, an excerpt from the spec sheets. The waste line is supposed to be 20 inches off the floor. The water lines are supposed to be 22 inches off the floor.

Here's an example of how the plumbing was installed. The two copper water lines are just about correct, but a little low, at 21.5 inches. The top white PVC fitting for the waste line is installed at 18 inches off the floor instead of 20. And the cleanout line at bottom is too high -- it will be blocked by the shelf of the vanity. For the record, this is one example of six installations. This is the install at the right-hand sink in bathroom 2.
Here’s an example of how the plumbing was installed. The two copper water lines are just about correct, but a little low, at 21.5 inches. The top white PVC fitting for the waste line is installed at 18 inches off the floor instead of 20. And the cleanout line at bottom is too high — it will be blocked by the shelf of the vanity. For the record, this is one example of six installations. This is the install at the right-hand sink in bathroom 2.
Here is one of the six vanity cabinets that we are using in all the bathrooms. This is the first time the cabinet has been unboxed. Cris as going to install them all today, but ... now the plumbers have to fix the installs. The cabinet, by the way, is beautiful and brilliant, chosen well.
Here is one of the six vanity cabinets that we are using in all the bathrooms. This is the first time the cabinet has been unboxed. Cris was going to install them all today, but … now the plumbers have to fix the installs. The cabinet, by the way, is beautiful and brilliant, chosen well.
Here's the same cabinet, now parked in the master bedroom, exposing the open back. The pipes as currently installed will require us to cut apart the middle shelf of the cabinet -- basically destroying it. Steven is adamant that the plumbers should have followed the instructions in the spec sheet and will now have to redo the plumbing. Ron agrees to speak with Barry after Steven and Ron doublecheck the vanity cabinet instructions that have been stored at Ron's workdesk in the garage.
Here’s the same cabinet, now parked in the master bedroom, exposing the open back. The pipes as currently installed will require us to cut apart the middle shelf of the cabinet — basically destroying it. Steven is adamant that the plumbers should have followed the instructions in the spec sheet and will now have to redo the plumbing. Ron agrees to speak with Barry after Steven and Ron doublecheck the vanity cabinet instructions that have been stored at Ron’s workdesk in the garage.
To fix the plumbing, Ron, Cris and the Ranserve team hack away the drywall in the master bath, exposing the piping.
To fix the plumbing, Ron, Cris and the Ranserve team hack away the drywall in the master bath, exposing the piping.
And hack away the drywall in bathroom 3.
And hack away the drywall in bathroom 3.
And hack away the drywall in bathroom 2.
And hack away the drywall in bathroom 2.

With irony and good humor, Ron advises that he is happy we made this discovery today, with two months to go until construction ends — instead of having to rip open the house with one week to go before Jacquela, Jadin and Steven move in.

 

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Meanwhile, in the woodshop

Shane and Peter continue to carpenter through Emerald Hill — pulling lumber from the rack in the family room, cutting it to length and dimension, nailing it into place, trailing blue pneumatic hoses across the floors.

Above, Shane steps away from the chopsaw and lumber rack in the family room after cutting a board to length.

The carpentry leaves behind piles of sawdust and remnants of shims.
The carpentry leaves behind piles of sawdust and remnants of shims.
All the cutoffs and detritus wind up in this one trash bucket next to the chop saw.
All the cutoffs and detritus wind up in this one trash bucket next to the chop saw. Every day, Shane and Peter sweep and shovel up the cuttings and sawdust, bringing the trash can closer to full., cleaning up as they work.
At the side window in the office, Shane shows Steven the window trim -- the stool and skirt, cut straight at the turn in the drywall, with no "ears" to wrap around the drywall. Simpler, easier, faster -- and more modern that something that requires at least three cuts and scribing. The key in all this is to ensure that the handle to crank open the window is not obstructed and that the lumber doesn't crack a knuckle as your hand turns the crank. This approach succeeds -- almost like we planned it.
At the side window in the office, Shane shows Steven the window trim — the stool and skirt, cut straight at the turn in the drywall, with no “ears” to wrap around the drywall. Simpler, easier, faster — and more modern that something that requires at least three cuts and scribing. The key in all this is to ensure that the handle to crank open the window is not obstructed and that the lumber doesn’t crack a knuckle as your hand turns the crank. This approach succeeds — almost like we planned it.
Upstairs in the utility room, Shane and Peter have installed the attic ladder -- and trimmed it around with the same lumber that will be used for casing around the doors. Their attention to detail ensures a consistent look and feel throughout the house. The pole in Shane's right hand will be used to pull down the ladder if the pull cord frays apart -- belts and suspenders.
Upstairs in the utility room, Shane and Peter have installed the attic ladder — and trimmed it around with the same lumber that will be used for casing around the doors. Their attention to detail ensures a consistent look and feel throughout the house. The pole in Shane’s right hand will be used to pull down the ladder if the pull cord in Shane’s left hand frays apart — belts and suspenders.
Shane shows the attic stair open and extended. Steven took his first climb. The aluminum is lighter and easier to work with than a heavy wooden attic stair. The unit is also lightly insulated, to help seal off the attic when the ladder is closed against the ceiling.
Shane shows the attic stair open and extended. Steven took his first climb. The aluminum is lighter and easier to work with than a heavy wooden attic stair. The unit is also lightly insulated, to help seal off the attic when the ladder is closed against the ceiling.
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Templating, part 2

With the kitchen island cabinets now in place, “Dimensional R” from Austin Stone Works — he asks to not be named, and to not have his face photographed — is back to build the template for the kitchen island.

Today, R uses thin strips of wood instead of the white plastic. He has to span the storage cabinets at the right side of photo, above, across the open seating area where we plan to put four stools, to the shelf cabinet at the far left end of the island. The plastic will sag; the wood strips hold their dimensions.

Everything must be clearly marked for the fabricators -- which template abuts the next -- in order for the quartz to be cut correctly.
Everything must be clearly marked for the fabricators — which template abuts the next — in order for the quartz to be cut correctly.
R opened a package of the cabinet pulls, using one as a reference to determine how far past the pull the countertop should extend -- 3/4 of an inch.
R opened a package of the cabinet pulls, using one as a reference to determine how far past the pull the countertop should extend — 3/4 of an inch out from the front of the cabinet box, where the tape measure starts, to just past the front of the pull.
Now that he knows the pull dimensions and clearance, R builds an entirely new template for the counter that runs from the dishwasher past the sink and cooktop to the dog station at the end closest to the camera.
Now that he knows the pull dimensions and clearance, R builds an entirely new template for the counter that runs from the dishwasher past the sink and cooktop to the dog station at the end closest to the camera.
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