Notes, 30 Jan. 2016

Saturday morning. Jacquela and Steven visit Emerald Hill.

Above, Jacquela set the correct time on the oven. It’s the only appliance that is powered, so far. Along with the GFCI circuits. The electricians are scheduled to arrive next week to test everything, now that the residential meter is installed and power is delivered to the house.

 

Above, we started in the garage, where the painters have stacked trim lumber in two locations -- moving it all to the side of the new bay, clearing obstructions away from where the garage doors are on schedule to be installed next week. We're also creating storage space -- we hope to start moving in and stacking boxes as Ranserve finishes construction. In the photo above, at left -- painter supplies. Lumber stacked along the back wall of the new bay. Ladders leaning against the pole that helps to support the beam that carries the weight of the new structure where it joins the existing garage. Drywall supplies to the right of the ladders. Old lumber taken out of the back wall of the existing garage when it was removed, stacked here in front of the original two-car garage door for removal by Ron Dahlke, who plans to recycle it. That door is trashed after decades of use, and it will be replaced.
Jacquela and Steven started in the garage, where the painters built two stacks of trim lumber in two locations — blocking everyone’s ability to move easily through the garage. We picked up everything and shifted it all to the side of the new bay, clearing obstructions away from where the garage doors are on schedule to be installed next week. We’re also creating storage space — we hope to start moving in and stacking boxes as Ranserve finishes construction. In the photo above, at left — painter supplies. Lumber stacked along the back wall of the new bay. Ladders leaning against the pole that helps to support the beam that carries the weight of the new structure where it joins the existing garage. Drywall supplies to the right of the ladders. Old lumber taken out of the back wall of the existing garage when it was removed, stacked here in front of the original two-car garage door for removal by Ron Dahlke, who plans to recycle it. That door is trashed after decades of use, and it will be replaced.

David Garcia and his team of painters are pulling up the heavy paper that has protected the floors through construction, sweeping out debris and vacuuming the baseboards, then rolling out new, clean paper. It’s amazing to see the hickory floors exposed, however briefly.

The master bedroom.
The master bedroom.
The loft.
The loft.
Rolling out the new paper to protect the wood floors.
Rolling out the new paper to protect the wood floors.
Late Friday, the team from Gilsa Construction transplanted three bushes to the left side of the house. They were located at the right side, where Gilsa built the new walk. Steven soaked the roots. We'll see if these survive.
Late Friday, the team from Gilsa Construction transplanted three bushes to the left side of the house. They were located at the right side, where Gilsa built the new walk. Steven soaked the roots. We’ll see if these survive.
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Notes, 29 Jan. 2016

Ron is home sick. Day three. He and Steven suspect a virus. The plumber was sick a couple of weeks back. The garage door company pushed back into next week because the install team is down. Steven compared symptoms with Peter, one of the carpenters — sinus cavities so blocked you gasp for air. Combined with allergies to ceder pollen, because ceder is off the scale.

We campaign on without our leader …

Above, the team from Gilsa continues to lay weed block and cover it with gravel, extending the gravel deck off the kitchen side door around to the front of the house.

About an hour later, the gravel extends to the front porch and dirt is going in between the concrete pavers.
About an hour later, the gravel extends to the front porch and dirt is going in between the concrete pavers.

Steven signed off on change order 26 — we went $600 over on the lighting budget.

Steven also signed off on draw 7 — and Ranserve has begun to reconcile all the line items, change orders, monies not spent, as we approach what promises to be the final month of construction.

It’s one-third the massive truck that Ron drives, but Steven was able to transport two eight-foot-long and two six-foot-long lighting tracks inside his serviceable Honda Element from Lights Fantastic to Emerald Hill. Now the electricians can finish putting up the track in the office.

Since the garage doors are reportedly on schedule for next week, Steven cleaned up the random pile of lumber stored in the garage, moving it clear of where the doors will be assembled, sweeping the floor clean, and shifting out of the way Ron’s desk, a pile of pavers and a second pile of bricks. That leaves only a second pile of dried-out 60-year-old studs that the framers cut from the garage when joining the existing two-bay structure to the new garage shed; Ron plans to recycle these.

And … between conference calls and work, Steven began assembling the specs requested by the Austin Green Build program. This homework will take a while.

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So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow

With apologies and full credit to William Carlos Williams.

The first coat of barn red is up on the new garage shed.

Rich. Dark. Bloody. Brilliant.

Glazed with blue sky

Beside the white eaves.

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It will take two coats to hide the primer.

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Poets day with Shane and Peter

Shane and Peter, son and father, carpenters both, are Brits. Which gives special resonance to Fridays — aka “Poets day,” piss off early tomorrow’s Saturday.” Their work comes with stories and good humor. It’s fun to have them working in the house.

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They spent yesterday drilling out the pocket doors for pulls and locks. Today, they set about gluing the pulls while not gluing the locks. The clamp holds the two halves of the lock tight to the carved-out door. Shane measures everything three or more times to ensure the hardware is plumb and level.
Yesterday, they began installing the bathroom hardware. Here's the mudroom bath, with a towel bar above the toilet and the toilet paper holder mounted vertically, per instructions from Jacquela.
Yesterday, they began installing the bathroom hardware. Here’s the mudroom bath, with a towel bar above the toilet and the toilet paper holder mounted vertically, per instructions from Jacquela.
The vertical toilet paper holder in bath 2.
The vertical toilet paper holder in bath 2.
The robe hook to the left of the shower and the towel rack to the right. Steven and Jacquela originally planned to mount the towel rack on the opposite wall -- but there's not enough horizontal run between the glass door for the water closet and the entry door from the hall. We need 30 inches. When both doors are open, the gap between them is less than 20. We picked out the towel bar before the glass door was installed, thinking this would work. Wrong.
The robe hook to the left of the shower and the towel rack to the right. Steven and Jacquela originally planned to mount the towel rack on the opposite wall — but there’s not enough horizontal run between the glass door for the water closet and the entry door from the hall. We need 30 inches. When both doors are open, the gap between them is less than 20. We picked out the towel bar before the glass door was installed, thinking this would work. Wrong.
Twin towel bars and robe hooks are installed in the master bath.
Twin towel bars and robe hooks are installed in the master bath.
In the master bath water closet, the vertical toilet paper holder, per Jacquela's instruction, and the rack above the toilet for a towel and supplies.
In the master bath water closet, the vertical toilet paper holder, per Jacquela’s instruction, and the rack above the toilet for a towel and supplies.
Shane installs a door stop in bedroom 2 -- Jadin's bedroom -- to prevent a closet door from swinging open into the window.
Shane installs a door stop in bedroom 2 — Jadin’s bedroom — to prevent a closet door from swinging open into the window.
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Notes, 28 Jan. 2016

Inside the house, Shane and Peter are carving up pocket doors to install hardware — plus towel bars, toilet paper holders, floor and wall stops, and more.

Outside, David Garcia and his team of painters are priming the back of the new garage structure — bright white.

But … in front, the first coat of barn red exterior paint is up. Perfect!

David, at left, on the ground, with roller, at the back of the garage structure, painting primer, with team.
David, at left, on the ground, with roller, at the back of the garage structure, painting primer, with team.
At the rear of the garage, Gilsa is regrading the dirt to ensure water runs off away from the garage foundation. This entire strip of bare dirt will be covered with weed block fabric and then black gravel.
At the rear of the garage, Gilsa is regrading the dirt to ensure water runs off away from the garage foundation. This entire strip of bare dirt will be covered with weed block fabric and then black gravel.
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Meter in, power on

It’s a very big milestone day at Emerald Hill. Austin Energy installed the residential meter early this morning. Power is on, inside the house, routed through the breaker box. Capstone Electric has to come out to test all the circuits.

Above, the oven control panel is alive, powered, for the first time.

Here's the meter, installed, with bar codes obscured.
Here’s the meter, installed, with bar codes obscured.
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Notes, 27 Jan. 2016

Steven met today with Miki Cook from Austin Green Build to walk Emerald Hill. Miki detailed specs she requires to qualify the house for the Green Build Program. Steven has homework.

Above, Gilsa today compacted the fill for the gravel patio outside the kitchen, rolled out weedblock fabric, stapled it down, then shoveled out the gravel.

At break time -- shoveling gravel is heavy, hard work -- this is what the patio looks like from the roof outside the master bedroom.
At break time — shoveling gravel is heavy, hard work — this is what the patio looks like from the roof outside the master bedroom.
David Garcia began to apply primer to the new garage structure.
David Garcia began to apply primer to the new garage structure.
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Notes, 26 Jan. 2016

Above, Luis from Landers Flooring is back to remove and replace one stair tread. The balusters for this tread were drilled in the wrong place. Today, Luis removed the balusters and existing hickory tread, then fitted the replacement. At the end of the day, he clearcoated it with polyurethane.

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Mauricio and the team from Gilsa Construction today began to install the heavy steel edging for the deck off the kitchen door.
Mauricio welds the straight metal edging to a rebar post he sledgehammered into the ground.
Mauricio welds the straight metal edging to a rebar post he sledgehammered into the ground.
Joel from the City of Austin inspected the boxes and location for the new residential electric meter. Steven called Dispatch to ask the City to install the meter.
Joel from the City of Austin inspected the boxes and location for the new residential electric meter. Steven called Dispatch to ask the City to install the meter.
Binswanger Glass today delivered and installed the obscured glass door to the water closet in the master bath ...
Binswanger Glass today delivered and installed the obscured glass door to the water closet in the master bath …
and the second door to the shower in bath 2, Jadin's bath -- the panel at right, with the long chrome handle.
and the second door to the shower in bath 2, Jadin’s bath — the panel at right, with the long chrome handle.
The tankless water heater is installed upstairs in the laundry/utility room.
The tankless water heater is installed upstairs in the laundry/utility room.
Ron Dahlke asked Steven to start a "punch list" of items that need attention. Here's the first one -- this is one of the showerhead fixtures in the master shower. It's missing an escutcheon. As a result, the cutout in the tile is exposed.
Ron Dahlke asked Steven to start a “punch list” of items that need attention. Here’s the first one — this is one of the showerhead fixtures in the master shower. It’s missing an escutcheon. As a result, the cutout in the tile is exposed.
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Notes, 25 Jan. 2016

Jacquela and Steven spent the weekend packing boxes. There’s a lot more to go. Steven also began taking down Ikea cabinets that will be transplanted to Emerald Hill — and filling holes in the walls with spackling compound.

Today, Steven delivered to Ron Dahlke the short post for the ceiling fan in the family room — Steven pulled and saved a collection of left-over fan parts from ceiling fan cartons — and the transformer and low-voltage puck lights he purchased late Friday from Lights Fantastic. The puck lights will go into the entry-hall display niches.

Ron and Barry from Custom Plumbing today dispatched Steven to a plumbing supply house to purchase one chrome “Tip Toe” finger-press lavatory drain, one chrome slip joint and one chrome P trap — all for use in the mudroom bath. Chrome replaces the white PVC and dresses up the exposed pipe under the sink. The drain solves a problem — it’s impossible to fit between the faucet and wall the conventional pop-up connector rod that you would pull or push to close or open the drain.

Steven also purchased a shower fitting that comes with a thick, round, modern escutcheon. We put the shower connector into the parts bin. Barry, Sean and Noah used the escutcheon to cover the exposed copper pipe behind the pot filler at the backsplash.

Barry, Noah and Sean today began to install the Navian tankless water heaters in the mudroom downstairs and the utility room upstairs. There was drama. The blocking behind the drywall is insufficient. Steven suggested “paneling” the wall with 3/4-inch plywood. Ron and Barry purchased plywood. Genius!

Above, Sean applies fittings to the bottom of the mudroom Navian unit.

Here's the upstairs tankless unit, still boxed, with the alcove where it will mount almost ready. Barry and team will add a sheet of 3/4-inch plywood to help serve as mounting and blocking.
Here’s the upstairs tankless unit, still boxed, with the alcove where it will mount almost ready. Barry and team will add a sheet of 3/4-inch plywood to help serve as mounting and blocking.
Gilsa today began busting the wood forms off the concrete pavers. It's almost more work than pouring the concrete.
Gilsa today began busting the wood forms off the concrete pavers. It’s almost more work than pouring the concrete.

Kris solved solved a mounting problem with the air button at the sink that switches on and off the disposal. Working from underneath, he carved out a wider hole in the undermount stainless steel sink to slide the stem of the air button into, pushing the escutcheon for the air button tight against the quartz countertop.

 

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Watching concrete cure

It’s cold. It’s windy. The concrete poured yesterday is still visibly damp. It’s going to take a little while to cure. So no is permitted as yet to walk on the new pavers. Gilsa is scheduled to come back Monday bust the forms. That will give the concrete the whole weekend to transpire away water.

That said … the new pavers look really cool, define the exterior of the house, and promise to be functional.

Above, peering out from the kitchen side door.

Shooting down across the front walk to the street -- from the upstairs window of the utility/laundry room.
Shooting down across the front walk to the street — from the upstairs window of the utility/laundry room.
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