Category Archives: carpentry

T minus 7 days

The port-a-potty was taken away five days ago. We’re 24 hours closer to moving in — and Team Ranserve is working through the punch list.

Above … Jacinto from Ranserve today began to scrape the old linoleum tiles off the floor in the old garage. We suspect one of the previous owners converted the garage into a rec room. We want to park the cars and use the space for storage and tools.

Catching up ... the whole-house surge suppressor that the electricians installed a couple of days back -- at the bottom of the electrical panel.
Catching up … the whole-house surge suppressor that the electricians installed a couple of days back — at the bottom of the electrical panel.
Odell chiseled the door frames to fit the strike plates for the deadbolts.
Odell chiseled the door frames to fit the strike plates for the deadbolts.
The painters continue to polish off the house, finishing off the ceiling where the balusters are inserted through the drywall into lumber framing.
The painters continue to polish off the house, finishing off the ceiling where the balusters are inserted through the drywall into lumber framing.
Tyler from Granite Security installs a network wall plate at the TV wall in the family room.
Tyler from Granite Security installs a network wall plate at the TV wall in the family room.
Odell cuts open the back panel of the shelf end of the island, to install an electrical box for the network ports.
Odell cuts open the back panel of the shelf end of the island, to install an electrical box for the network ports.
With Odell done, Tyler snaked the pre-wired Ethernet cable into the new electrical box and punched the wires to the connector.
With Odell done, Tyler snaked the pre-wired Ethernet cable into the new electrical box and punched the wires to the connector.
The connectors on the plug are color coded and labeled, making it easy to match the proper wire.
The connectors on the plug are color coded and labeled, making it easy to match the proper wire.
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Jewelry for front door

Steven is traveling — Barcelona for ShowStoppers @ Mobile World Congress.

Jacquela takes over the remodel. She met Saturday morning at Emerald Hill with Shane and Peter, the carpenters. Together, they reconfigured the deadbolt on the kitchen side door and the front door — picking up an idea proposed during the week by Steven: Shifting the keypad/deadbolt to the kitchen-side door, taking it off the front door; shifting the deadbolt from the kitchen-side door, instead to the front door. This cleans up the front door; Jacquela thought the keypad unit would be too big and overwhelming and ugly for the front door.

Shane shows the approximate mounting locations for the front-door deadbolt and extended vertical pull.
Shane shows the approximate mounting locations for the front-door deadbolt and extended vertical pull.
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A tale of two days

Ron Dahlke was taken out of action by 102-degree fever. Get well soon.

We soldier on without his guiding hand …

Shane and Peter apparently installed strike plates to all the doors early Monday.

Off for President’s Day, Jacquela began to cut and install drawer liners to kitchen and bathroom drawers. Steven raked oak leaves on half the front lawn, then met with Victor Martinez to talk through potential landscaping — using the dirt and mulch piles on the driveway to expand the beds around the oak trees in front of the house, deer-resistant plantings, a potential privacy fence, and phasing in repairs to the sprinkler system that Steven has never seen operate — using the new NOAA-connected smart controller that Steven already purchased.

That was Monday at Emerald Hill. Back at Sea Eagle, we continued boxing. Jacquela and Jadin tackled Jadin’s closet and bathroom. Steven disassembled the AV component stack in the upstairs flex room and took down all the speakers; one Time Warner cable box is now disconnected.

Today, Steven took Jadin to school and, at Emerald Hill, Albert and son from Custom Plumbing arrived to tackle the corrections required by the inspector.

In photo at top of this post, study the white PVC pipe traversing left to right or right to left, depending on your perspective. The connection to the drain on the back wall is higher than the collection of pipe and pipe fittings that run to the P-trap under the sink. In other words, the sink is trying to drain uphill. That will never work. The inspector flagged this for correction.

Here's a second example of corrections required by the inspector. Months ago, Albert rebuilt the gas line to the fireplace. Then the drywall crew covered it over. Then the inspector spotted the mistake. Albert chipped out the drywall to find the pipe fitting buried behind the wallboard. Ron and the drywall team now have some patching to do.
Here’s a second example of corrections required by the inspector. Months ago, Albert rebuilt the gas line to the fireplace. Then the drywall crew covered it over. Then the inspector spotted the mistake. Albert chipped out the drywall to find the pipe fitting buried behind the wallboard. Ron and the drywall team now have some patching to do. And painting.

After several email and phone conversations with Scott from Capstone Electric, and help from Scott, Steven selected and odered from Home Depot a whole house surge suppressor — $75 cheaper than Amazon! — and a cable/phone-line suppressor for $90 from Amazon because HD does not these. Per Scott’s instructions to order these for him to install.

Steven continued to configure pipe and flange for the master closet.

Steven received from Ron and began asking questions about the proposal for gutters.

Homework — Steven and Jacquela wil review the agreement proposals from the movers.

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Notes, 3 Feb. 2016

By the time Steven got to Emerald Hill today, the carpenters were long gone. But they did leave behind completed work …

The lock set is now installed to the kitchen-side door. If this looks familiar, it's the same Schlage exterior handle and deadbolt used at Sea Eagle View, just 12 years later.
The lock set is now installed to the kitchen-side door. If this looks familiar, it’s the same Schlage exterior handle and deadbolt used at Sea Eagle View, just 12 years later.
Shane and Peter installed several more floor stops. Here's one of two hemispheres for the glass door to the water closet in bath 2. The other hemisphere is inside the water closet, not photographed. Note the wet paint on the baseboard -- evidence that the painters are again at work inside the house. Peter installed the baseboard yesterday -- actually, a reinstall, because the glass door installers tore out the first set of baseboards.
Shane and Peter installed several more floor stops. Here’s one of two hemispheres for the glass door to the water closet in bath 2. The other hemisphere is inside the water closet, not photographed. Note the wet paint on the baseboard — evidence that the painters are again at work inside the house. Peter installed the baseboard yesterday — actually, a reinstall, because the glass door installers tore out the first set of baseboards.
Speaking of the painters, the wood closet rods have been stained. And, with the electricity on, Steven tested one of the Ikea strip lights.
Speaking of the painters, the wood closet rods have been stained. And, with the electricity on, Steven tested one of the Ikea strip lights.
The plumbers trimmed out the refrigerator water line with a white plastic cover. That vertical gadget is an arrestor to prevent the water lines from hammering.
The plumbers trimmed out the refrigerator water line with a white plastic cover. That vertical gadget is an arrestor to prevent the water lines from hammering.

Speaking of the plumbers … Steven discovered that the bottom of the pot filler at the cooktop is damp. There’s a very slow leak, apparently. And, one of the red glass backsplash tiles to the left of the pot filler is pulling away from the wall. It’s also crazed at the side closest to the pot filler. Maybe water from the small leak is traveling behind the glass tile. Ron and the plumbers are going to have to investigate. Steven reported this by text message to Ron.

Steven also discovered what might be the escutcheon for the pot filler — it’s the same chrome finish, with a brass fitting to go around the copper pipe, along with a rubber gasket to help limit compression. Steven taped everything together and then taped all three parts to the pot filler for Ron and the plumbers to investigate.

Steven also discovered a damp floor under the drain of the mudroom sink. The drain pipe is also damp. Looks like another slow leak for the plumbers to investigate. Steven taped a note to the floor under the drain pipe.

In photo at top, here are the plastic shelves that Steven transported yesterday to Emerald Hill, assembled, along with two roles of heavy Ram Board cardboard. Ron suggested that Steven purchase these to help protect the floors during move in. Good idea.

For the first time, we are negotiating a date to move in — the end of February.

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Door stop

As busy as yesterday — painters, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, team Ranserve, garage door installers — today was quiet. One painter working inside Emerald Hill.

Steven cleaned up a pile of lumber at the back of the new garage, swept the floor clean, assembled plastic shelving, as preparation for moving boxes. He installed LED lights to the outdoor motion detectors and garage motors. Delivered a supply of shelf liner to the pantry for Jacquela’s kitchen. Found a ding in the glass globe of the ceiling fan in the family room, tagging it with blue tape.

The house was quiet. No radios playing. No nail guns firing. No bodies dancing around each other. It’s a preview of what it might be like for Steven to be home, working in the office, with everyone gone.

Above, yesterday, Shane and Peter installed the massive door stops at the back and kitchen side doors. We need these to ensure the doors don’t slam into cabinets.

Speaking of doors, here's the front door, test fitted by Shane and Peter -- Jacquela's red.
Speaking of doors, here’s the front door, test fitted by Shane and Peter — Jacquela’s red.
An empty house with electricity is a place to experiment. Steven worked the kitchen light switches for the first time.
An empty house with electricity switched on for less than 24 hours is a place to experiment. Steven worked the kitchen light switches for the first time. Seven six-inch cool-white LEDs arrayed in a U-shaped pattern over the aisles of the kitchen — one of the seven not visible in this photo. Plus the straight line of four four-inch warmer white LEDs over the island — Aldebaran, Regulus, Antares and Fomalhaut.
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The Big Reveal begins

Above, the Big Reveal begins. The fence and gate around Emerald Hill comes down — a milestone. The fence went up at the start of demo. The kimono is open.

It may be Caucus Day in Iowa, but today begins what promises to be the final month of construction. We begin with one man down. Ron Dahlke continues his recovery from a virus. Steven arrived about 9 am attempting to keep up with carpenters, painters, garage door installers, electricians, as well as Kris, Matt and Kevin from Ranserve.

Today marks the return of Kevin to Emerald Hill after his diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes. Steven asks Kevin to speak with Jacquela about life with a pump, meter, blood sugar levels ...
Today marks the return of Kevin to Emerald Hill after his diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes. Steven asks Kevin to speak with Jacquela about life with a pump, meter, blood sugar levels …
Matt and Kris evicted the owl from the duct outside the master bedroom by banging on the ductwork. No harm was done to the owl, which flew off of its own accord. Kris sealed all three ducts with heavy construction paper to keep the owl from returning.
Matt and Kris evicted the owl from the duct outside the master bedroom by banging on the ductwork. No harm was done to the owl, which flew off of its own accord. Kris sealed all three ducts with heavy construction paper to keep the owl from returning.
DAvid Garcia's paint crew continues to finish out trim.
DAvid Garcia’s paint crew continues to finish out trim.
Peter reinstalls trim in the water closet to bath 2. The glass installers removed this trim to put in the oversized glass door and fixed panel.
Peter reinstalls trim in the water closet to bath 2. The glass installers removed this trim to put in the oversized glass door and fixed panel.
Shane gets prone on the floor of bath 2 and reaches under the vanity to install a missing baseboard. Tight fit, but committed. Power tools are too large to squeeze under the shelf.
Shane gets prone on the floor of bath 2 and reaches under the vanity to install a missing baseboard. Tight fit, but committed. Power tools are too large to squeeze under the shelf.
At about 1 pm, Peter and Shane began to test hang the front door.
At about 1 pm, Peter and Shane began to test hang the front door.

 

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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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Just another Monday

Above, Celis hung drywall on two walls in the garage — the front wall closest to the street, and the back wall around the exit door. This should be the final sheets of drywall to go up at Emerald Hill.

Beau, left, and Steve, right, begin installing track lights to the ceiling in the train room.
Beau, left, and Steve, right, begin installing track lights to the ceiling in the train room.

We counted out the runs of track. There are four 8-footers and two 2-footers for the train room. That’s correct. There are four two-footers for the office downstairs. That’s wrong. Tracy at Lights Fantastic stepped through the paperwork to discover the error. Two 8-footers and two 6-footers will be delivered early next week.

Which means … Steve the electrician and Ron are pushing for an electrical inspection tomorrow. The electrical boxes in the office must be populated with lights. Ron advises he will locate temporary fixtures.

Steve the electrician and Ron dispatched Steve for a run to Lowe's, because the lights purchased from Ikea on Saturday for above the vanity in bath 3 will not install properly with the boxes in the wall. Steven purchased two conventional vanity lights and, because it was on sale and might be needed, one LED ceiling light, along with the blank two-gang faceplate that Steve the electrician needs.
Steve the electrician and Ron dispatched Steven for a run to Lowe’s, because the lights purchased from Ikea on Saturday for above the vanity in bath 3 will not install properly with the electrical boxes in the wall. Different shapes. Different sizes. Different wiring schemes. And way too much exposed wire.  At Lowe’s, Steven purchased two conventional vanity lights and, because it was on sale and might be needed, one LED ceiling light, along with the blank two-gang faceplate that Steve the electrician needs.
If the bathroom lights from Ikea will not work, the Striberg LED strips installed perfectly in every closet. Here's a shot from inside Jadin's closet -- two Stribergs connected with a jumper cable, plugged in at the ceiling outlet to one transformer -- per spec.
If the bathroom lights from Ikea will not work, the Striberg LED strips installed perfectly in every closet. Here’s a shot from inside Jadin’s closet — two Stribergs connected with a jumper cable, plugged in at the ceiling outlet to one transformer — per spec.
Shane and Peter apparently put in time at Emerald Hill over the weekend, nailing up the accent lumber on the exposed wall of the stairs. The horizontal joints line up just as planned with each tread.
Shane and Peter apparently put in time at Emerald Hill over the weekend, nailing up the accent lumber on the exposed wall of the stairs. The horizontal joints line up just as planned with each tread.
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