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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.