Is Freddy the owl back?

Way back when we first started this little adventure, there was an owl living in the owl house attached to an oak tree adjacent to the kitchen.

Jadin named it Freddy.

Today, we spotted an owl ensconced at the edge of one of the exhaust ducts on the second floor above the kitchen and master bedroom. The ducts are still open; they have not yet been capped.

Ron said he would research how to encourage the owl to leave what we hope is not a nest, without harming the owl. He also plans to remove and replace the duct, on the presumption that the owl does what all living organisms do — purge waste.

The adventure continues …

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Notes, 14 Jan. 2016

Above, the plumbers installed the pot filler at the cooktop. But it needs an escutcheon. Ron said he will ask Jonelle at Ferguson … Ron also reports that one of the faucets in the master bath does not shut off correctly. He suspects the cartridge needs to be replaced. He asked Barry at Custom Plumbing to work this question.

As Steven arrived this morning at Emerald Hill, he met Christine, who said she lives around the corner. “Is this your house?” she asked. Yes, said Steven. “It’s beautiful. We’ve been watching all the work. Are you happy with the work?” Thank you, said Steven, and yes we are happy. “Good,” she said, “there’s a lot of remodeling now in this neighborhood, and new families with kids moving in. It’s a wonderful neighborhood and now we know who to ask if we decide to remodel again.” Steven pointed to the Ranserve sign at the fence. Call Ranserve, he said.

In the late afternoon, Steven got a chance to relate this story to Ron; it’s the first feedback on this adventure from a neighbor.

Ron reports he stepped on a nail while inspecting another job site. “It was the side of my shoe,” he said.

Steven approved change orders 21 and 25. $5000. CO 21 addresses the additional costs for lumber during framing after we sliced into the framing budget to help pay to replace the oak flooring that could not be saved. CO 25 addresses the additional concrete for the pavers that will comprise the front and side walks, removing some of the original front walk, and the survey needed to calculate impervious cover if we pour the concrete. According to the surveyors, we are good to go with City of Austin rules that limit impervious cover to 45 percent.

Matt from Ranserve picked up from Lights Fantastic three shop lights that are needed to complete the electrical install in the garage.

Steven delivered the third exterior light needed for the back, side and garage doors, caps that Ron needs to close off irrigation lines that will otherwise run under the new pavers for the new walks, floor stops ordered from Amazon, the Ring door chime needed for the front door.

A team from Celis Drywall walked the house looking for ceiling cracks to repair. There are cracks in the kitchen ceiling, at the top of the stairs, in the train room, in bedroom 4, and other minor repairs. The weather cycle — warm and humid alternating with cold and dry — is opening and closing joints because of expansion and contraction. Steven was told, “this is normal. We know how to fix it.”

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Bracing for the countertop, done correctly

After the debacle of the first attempt to brace the island countertop, Ron Dahlke from Ranserve opted to ask the cabinetmaker, Central Texas Custom Cabinets, to install the heavy metal braces that the quartz maker requires to support the island countertop as it bridges across the five-foot-long gap between the cabinets at one end of the island the shelf at the other.

Chris arrived this morning. He spent all day — measuring, cutting, grinding, thinking, working step by step, brace by brace, tool by tool.

Steven observes: Of all the contractors, subcontractors and craftsman working to save Emerald Hill from itself, thinking is the one skill that gets the job done correctly.

Chris marks the cut he needs to make in one of the four metal braces
Chris marks the cut he needs to make in one of the four metal braces

Outside, using the forms for the concrete pavers as his workbench, he grinds and cuts off from the metal brace a rectangular piece of steel that the countertop installers attempted to install by cutting up the island shelf cabinet -- until Steven intervened to top the assault.

Outside, using the forms for the concrete pavers as his workbench, he grinds and cuts off from the metal brace a rectangular piece of steel that the countertop installers attempted to install by cutting up the island shelf cabinet — until Steven intervened to top the assault.

Here's the brace with the underside cut away, creating a flat extension that does not require slicing up the cabinets to add a vertical channel.
Here’s the brace with the underside cut away, creating a flat extension that does not require slicing up the cabinets to add a vertical channel.
After 5 pm, Chris is almost done. He used nearly every tool in his toolbag to do this job correctly.
After 5 pm, Chris is almost done. He used nearly every tool in his toolbag to do this job correctly.
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Glass doors, step 1

Billy and Chris arrived today from Binswanger Glass to install the glass doors in bath 2 and the master bath. They were not completely successful.

Above, a toolbox full of parts needed to install glass shower and bath doors. Billy and Chris also deployed drills, bits, shims, aluminum, a table saw, a framing square, protective pads, ladders — and a deliberate pace that proves they’ve done this for 12 years, speaking in shorthand.

For the first project, Billy and Chris installed the shower frame for Jadin's shower -- and one of two sliding glass doors. According to Chris, the second sliding door was cut too large and the mounting holes were drilled in the wrong location. They ordered a replacement. It will take about a week to arrive, according to Chris.
For the first project, Billy and Chris installed the shower frame for Jadin’s shower — and one of two sliding glass doors. According to Chris, the second sliding door was cut too large and the mounting holes were drilled in the wrong location. They ordered a replacement. It will take about a week to arrive, according to Chris.
Chris attempts to lever into place the frosted and tempered glass door to the water closet in the master bath. Billy is inside the water closet working the bottom of the door into position. They discover that the glass is about 1/4 inch too wide; it was measured incorrectly.
Chris attempts to lever into place the frosted and tempered glass door to the water closet in the master bath. Billy is inside the water closet working the bottom of the door into position. They discover that the glass is about 1/4 inch too wide; it was measured incorrectly.
Billy, left, and Chris, walk the oversized glass door out of position. After this, they measured the passage several times, using several tape measures, to confirm the glass is 1/4-inch too wide. They marked the correct widths on the glass door, carried it downstairs and out to the truck to take away. Because the glass is frosted and tempered, it cannot be trimmed or cut to proper size. They order a replacement. Chris says it will take about a week to arrive.
Billy, left, and Chris, right, walk the oversized glass door out of position. After this, they measured the passage several times, using several tape measures, to confirm the glass is 1/4-inch too wide. They marked the correct widths on the glass door, carried it downstairs and out to the truck to take away. Because the glass is frosted and tempered, it cannot be trimmed or cut to proper size. They order a replacement. Chris says it will take about a week to arrive.
Back downstairs in bath 2, Jadin's bath, Billy, left, and Chris, right, meet with more success installing the glass panel and door that enclose the water closet.
Back downstairs in bath 2, Jadin’s bath, Billy, left, and Chris, right, meet with more success installing the glass panel and door that enclose the water closet.
Billy braces the glass door while Chris collects shims and screws.
Billy braces the glass door while Chris collects shims and screws.
They screw the pivot into the blocking behind the drywall.
They screw the pivot into the blocking behind the drywall.
Here's the door, left, and panel, mounted.
Here’s the door, left, and panel, mounted.
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