Category Archives: City of Austin

Notes, 25 Feb. 2019 / Pushing back the move-in date

Ron Dahlke is officially placed on medical leave by Ranserve. More details to come.

Above, meet Odell Grant from Ranserve, stepping in to serve as site supervisor as we push to complete the house and move in. Odell is wondering why that hand-made aluminum pan, roughly and not well built, was installed as a drip pan under the tankless water heater, suspended from the copper piping by thin rusted wire. Steven and Jacquela do not approve of this attempt to meet City of Austin codes that require the drip pans. Steven today ordered two replacements from Amazon — one for upstairs, one for down.

Austin Air yesterday completed the startup of the HVAC system. We have heat and air conditioning at Emerald Hill for the first time. The gas furnace is powered up. The condensor could make cold air if we asked it.

The gas meter is hooked up, which is why the furnace and tankless units are able to generate heat and hot water, respectively. But ... there is a distinct smell of escaping gas when Steven took this photo. Odell immediately called the plumbers.
The gas meter is hooked up, which is why the furnace and tankless units are able to generate heat and hot water, respectively. But … there is a distinct smell of escaping gas when Steven took this photo. Odell immediately called the plumbers.

Odell and Steven walked and talked Emerald Hill for about two hours, building a punch list for Odell to work through. He’s helicoptered in to pick up where Ron left off. Deep breath.

About 145 pm Odell reported that the tempered glass needed for the tall window at Jadin’s bedroom will not arrive until Tuesday next week, 1 March. The inspector requires we replace the conventional glass with tempered because a closet door opens toward the window. Safety.

As a result, Odell advises that we push back the move-in date, which was scheduled for Wednesday, 2 March. Steven called Rene de Anda at El Sol Logistics, the moving company. The move is now scheduled for Friday, 11 March.

Cris from Ranserve is working all over the house as Odell and Steven walk and talk. Here, in the master bedroom, Cris is patching the ceiling where we shifted the fan to center of the bed, instead of in the center of the room.
Cris from Ranserve is working all over the house as Odell and Steven walk and talk. Here, in the master bedroom, Cris is patching the ceiling where we shifted the fan to center of the bed, instead of in the center of the room.

Steven ordered Internet, TV and phone services from Time Warner; installation is scheduled for Friday, 26 February.

Share. Link. Like.

Electrical inspection, passed — almost

The City of Austin inspected the electrical systems and installation today for the garage and house. We almost passed. Just four corrections to make.

Mostly, it appears we must install the baffles and LEDs to the ceiling ventilation/lighting units in the bathrooms. That’s easy. And the electricians need to install AFCI breakers — and ground the metal low-voltage system box.

Mark Rehberg from Ranserve called after the inspection. He assures that nothing here is major. Ron Dahlke messaged in from his continuing recovery from the attack of the nearly-killer virus to report that the electricians have already been alerted.

Share. Link. Like.

Garage in winter late-afternoon light

Distracted by all the bright shiny distractions to discover after a week of work on the house while he was traveling, Steven forgot to photograph the exterior of the garage yesterday.

Here it is, with the siding corrected — and the attic ventilation installed under the eaves — which means Ron solved the question of how precisely the City of Austin wants us to ventilate the underside of the roof.

Now the painters get to prep the exterior box, prime it, paint it.

Share. Link. Like.

Garage permit, version 2

One long holiday weekend later, the City of Austin today issued a new and separate permit for the construction of the garage, resolving questions about how to call for inspections of the garage under the existing permit for the house when the inspections of the foundation, steelwork, concrete, framing and roofing of the house are already complete.

Share. Link. Like.

Garage permit question

Ron and Kathleen from Ranserve report they have contacted the City of Austin to resolve a question about the garage construction permit.

As explained to Steven, the City approved construction of the garage as an amendment to the construction plans for the house — which is what the City advised was the correct procedure. But … when Ron spoke with the inspector two days ago about how to get the foundation for the garage inspected and approved, the inspector checked with the office — and he advised that the City needs to revise the permit, separating the garage as its own permit and construction process — which in turn will allow Ron to call for the foundation, steelwork, concrete, framing, roofing and other inspections — which he cannot do at this point because all those inspections are already done and approved for the house.

Kathleen advises she will have an update next week.

In the interim, complying in full with the plans already approved by the City, Gilsa continues to install steelwork for the foundation.

Above, long runs of rebar are prepped from front to back of garage.

A spent tube of the epoxy used to "glue" the steel rebar into the existing garage foundation.
A spent tube of the epoxy used to “glue” the steel rebar into the existing garage foundation.
Share. Link. Like.

Powered pole

DSC_5902Austin Energy today removed the old electrical meter from the back wall of the existing garage, then installed a new meter on the power pole that Capstone and Ranserve erected last week at the back of the driveway.

That was fast. Steven called for this service only Friday of last week.

Now everyone can plug in at the rectangular box below the meter.

And, with the meter out of the way, we can now demolish the back wall of the existing garage as we construct the new third bay.

Share. Link. Like.

Notes, 11 Nov. 2015

Tracy reports that all the light fixtures and ceiling fans are on site at Lights Fantastic, ready for delivery to Emerald Hill.

Above, the construction team jackhammers and shovels dirt to dig the perimeter and middle beams for the garage foundation. The plans call for digging down as far as 18 inches — or until you hit rock — and Ron Dahlke says they are hitting rock, “which is what you want.”

The plumbers have now corrected all the heights of the plumbing in the master bath, shown, and in bath 2 and bath 3 -- which means we will not have to carve up the vanity cabinets with power tools.
The plumbers have now corrected all the heights of the plumbing in the master bath, shown, and in bath 2 and bath 3 — which means we will not have to carve up the vanity cabinets with power tools.
The two missing and very-delayed components needed to build the shower walls in bath 2 arrived. Finally.
The two missing and very-delayed components needed to build the shower walls in bath 2 arrived. Finally.
The City and Capstone Electric erected the power pole at the back of the driveway that we will need to power the house after finally removing the old panel in the existing garage -- to make way for the new panel in the new third bay of the expanded garage.
The City and Capstone Electric erected the power pole at the back of the driveway that we will need to power the house after finally removing the old panel in the existing garage — to make way for the new panel in the new third bay of the expanded garage.

 

Share. Link. Like.

Notes, 23 Sept. 2015

It’s the first day of Fall. Happy Equinox!

Kathleen Baker at Ranserve today submitted plans for the garage addition to the City of Austin, applying for a building permit. Now we wait for review.

The exhaust duct for the kitchen hood is at upper left in this photo. The darker drywall is water resistant, where the sink will be installed.
The exhaust duct for the kitchen hood is at upper left in this photo. The darker drywall is water resistant, where the sink will be installed.

Ron and Cris from Ranserve installed the duct for the kitchen exhaust hood inside the kitchen, foaming all around the metal duct to insulate it and the exterior wall, then sealing up around the duct with drywall.

The exterior end of the exhaust duct. Ron and Cris will mount a screen to block bugs from traveling into the house through what is currently the open bottom of the duct.
The exterior end of the exhaust duct. Ron and Cris will mount a screen to block bugs from traveling into the house through what is currently the open bottom of the duct.
Catching up on other drywall details -- the master bath, with water resistant drywall at the sink locations and the shelf that goes behind the vanity framed up.
Catching up on other drywall details — the master bath, with water resistant drywall at the sink locations and the shelf that goes behind the vanity framed up.
Share. Link. Like.

Stairs, cascading

The knee bone’s connected to the shin bone …

The stairs are not built to code for rise and tread. The rise varies from stair to stair — 10 inches for the first stair and landing, then 7.25 inches, until you get to the top, where the rise suddenly shrinks to 5 inches. We suspect the stairs were originally carpeted, built nearly correctly. Then a remodel replaced the carpet with oak treads — tripping up ascents and descents.

Courtesy chestofbooks.com.
This is the way stairs should be built. All the treads the same depth. All the rises the same height. Proper headroom. Courtesy chestofbooks.com.

To fix this, we need to add additional run — the horizontal distance the stairs travel from first stair to last.

Last week, the framers took out the closet over the stairs at what will be the loft, to ensure we’re not whacking our skulls each time we climb the steps. See photo here.

These issues force us to push the front entry of the house forward about 3.5 feet. It’s the only addition to the square footage in the entire remodel. We sweated whether this would complicate or delay permits from the City of Austin, because of limits on impermeable cover. But we’re building the extension over the existing slab, which is already impermeable. And bringing the stairs up to code for safety. The permits came more quickly than we expected.

Today, the framers opened up the front wall of the house, and went to work on the structure. By tomorrow, the front door will be repositioned forward 3 feet and turned 90 degrees.

A temporary support holds up the front porch. Temporary supports hold up the second story as new lumber is cut elsewhere for nailing.
A temporary support holds up the front porch. Additional temporary supports hold up the second story as new lumber is cut elsewhere for nailing. Silverio at left, Roberto on the ladder to the left of where the new front windows will soon arrive.
Share. Link. Like.