Category Archives: drywall

T minus 6 days

Team Ranserve continue working through the punch list as we count down to moving in.

Odell called for the Final Inspection. The inspector arrived. Emerald Hill failed. As expected. This inspector is new to the remodel. He requires more documentation of where the two layers of fire-resistant drywall are and are not installed in the garage, around the mudroom. The previous inspector approved two layers around the mudroom and one layer on the walls that do not connect with the body of the house. Odell is attempting to contact that previous inspector for clarification and resolution.

Above, Julian test fits the 12×12 sheets of 2×2 black tiles that will become the final floor of the master shower. This is how we resolve an issue that has festered since November, when the shower floor was first tiled. The grout lines do not line up. Jacquela objected — the first issue she ever raised on this project. Julian laid out the mosaics. Jacquela arrived to inspect. She approved. Julian is five sheets of tile short. Odell ordered the tile. Now we wait for delivery and install.

Thisi s a mock-up of what the floor will look like when done. Julian left the border on each side open, dry fitting the tile for full sheets to calculate how many more tiles he needs and how much cutting will be required.
Thisi s a mock-up of what the floor will look like when done. Julian left the border on each side open, dry fitting the tile for full sheets to calculate how many more tiles he needs and how much cutting will be required.
In the garage, Odell remounted the fluorescent ceiling lights -- taken down to put up drywall required by the inspector -- and the electricians wired them up again. Odell also trimmed out around the attic hatch.
In the garage, Odell remounted the fluorescent ceiling lights — taken down to put up drywall required by the inspector — and the electricians wired them up again. Odell also trimmed out around the attic hatch.
Jacinto is back for day 2 of scraping up the red linoleum tiles from the garage floor. He reports his shoulders shudder as he falls asleep -- induced from hammering the scraper at the edge of each tile, prying it loose from the glue. Most of the tiles shatter into dried-out shards. Steven attempted to help yesterday. He got up two tiles in five minutes, with a new understanding of physical labor.
Jacinto is back for day 2 of scraping up the red linoleum tiles from the garage floor. He reports his shoulders shudder as he falls asleep — induced from hammering the scraper at the edge of each tile, prying it loose from the glue. Most of the tiles shatter into dried-out shards. Steven attempted to help yesterday. He got up two tiles in five minutes, with a new understanding of physical labor.
At the garage door into the mudroom, and around the door to the back yard, floating the drywall is completed and Odell trimmed out both doors to match the interior trim. He also mounted the garage door openers to the wall -- they were hanging loose before this, waiting for the drywall work to finish.
At the garage door into the mudroom, and around the door to the back yard, floating the drywall is completed and Odell trimmed out both doors to match the interior trim. He also mounted the garage door openers to the wall — they were hanging loose before this, waiting for the drywall work to finish.
Inside the mudroom bath, the wall behind the sink is now patched -- and Odell is again test fitting the drain line and T-trap.
Inside the mudroom bath, the wall behind the sink is now patched — and Odell is again test fitting the drain line and T-trap.

Upstairs in the master bath, Odell discovered that the left-hand medicine cabinet is not centered over the sink faucet; he will take it down and recenter it. He also ordered a replacement for one of the sink faucets, which seems to have developed a permanent slow leak via the cartridge.

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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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Fixing cracks in drywall ceilings

Chris and the team from Celis Drywall walked Emerald Hill yesterday, inspecting the drywall for cracks where hot/cold weather cycles propel expansion and contraction.

Today they chipped out drywall along seams in the ceiling of nearly every room. Then Chris added a ton of drywall screws to each sheet of drywall, tightening the panels to the ceiling lumber. Next he applied yellow fiberglass tape to the joint. This tape is more flexible than paper tape. Then came drywall mud to cover the tape.

Above, Chris working on stilts in the kitchen ceiling. This is the location where a water leak damaged the joint between two sheets of drywall; the plumbers were installing fixtures in the master bath above the kitchen — and a fitting leaked. 

All the other cracks are caused by expansion and contraction issue. Chris says this is normal, expected — and Celis Drywall plans to inspect each job.

The long horizontal ceiling cracks in the train room, and a vertical crack at the back wall above the window.
The long horizontal ceiling cracks in the train room, and a vertical crack at the back wall above the window.
Cracks in the ceiling of the upstairs loft.
Cracks in the ceiling of the upstairs loft.
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Notes, 16 Nov. 2015

The work week begins with the construction team continuing to build the forms for the garage foundation, filling sandbags, and, for the first time, compacting roadbase. Steel rebar is scheduled for this week, to be inspected possibly as soon as Thursday or Friday, depending on weather.

DSC_5925
The forecast calls for heavy rain. We don’t want water flowing off the roof down to the dirt where the kitchen deck stood until it was demolished last week. All that water would quickly pool and, dammed behind dirt berms, would become a lake, spilling into the house. Ron asked the construction team to lower the elevation of the exposed dirt and to remove the berms by Bobcat.
Inside bath 2 downstairs, Ron Dahlke practiced his drywall skills, sealing up the wall where the plumbing was reconfigured to connect properly with the vanities when they are installed.
Inside bath 2 downstairs, Ron Dahlke practiced his drywall skills, sealing up the wall where the plumbing was reconfigured to connect properly with the vanities when they are installed.

Ferguson reports the plumbing fixtures are on schedule for delivery Wednesday this week.

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Plumbing oops

Today’s discovery: The drain lines for all six bathroom sinks are too low. As built, they will require us to cut apart the vanities to create clearance for the drain pipes.

This error will not be paid for by Steven and Jacquela. Months ago, when Steven ordered the vanities online, he downloaded, printed and delivered to Ron Dahlke the specs with dimensions for locating the drain and water lines.

The instructions were not followed.

Above, an excerpt from the spec sheets. The waste line is supposed to be 20 inches off the floor. The water lines are supposed to be 22 inches off the floor.

Here's an example of how the plumbing was installed. The two copper water lines are just about correct, but a little low, at 21.5 inches. The top white PVC fitting for the waste line is installed at 18 inches off the floor instead of 20. And the cleanout line at bottom is too high -- it will be blocked by the shelf of the vanity. For the record, this is one example of six installations. This is the install at the right-hand sink in bathroom 2.
Here’s an example of how the plumbing was installed. The two copper water lines are just about correct, but a little low, at 21.5 inches. The top white PVC fitting for the waste line is installed at 18 inches off the floor instead of 20. And the cleanout line at bottom is too high — it will be blocked by the shelf of the vanity. For the record, this is one example of six installations. This is the install at the right-hand sink in bathroom 2.
Here is one of the six vanity cabinets that we are using in all the bathrooms. This is the first time the cabinet has been unboxed. Cris as going to install them all today, but ... now the plumbers have to fix the installs. The cabinet, by the way, is beautiful and brilliant, chosen well.
Here is one of the six vanity cabinets that we are using in all the bathrooms. This is the first time the cabinet has been unboxed. Cris was going to install them all today, but … now the plumbers have to fix the installs. The cabinet, by the way, is beautiful and brilliant, chosen well.
Here's the same cabinet, now parked in the master bedroom, exposing the open back. The pipes as currently installed will require us to cut apart the middle shelf of the cabinet -- basically destroying it. Steven is adamant that the plumbers should have followed the instructions in the spec sheet and will now have to redo the plumbing. Ron agrees to speak with Barry after Steven and Ron doublecheck the vanity cabinet instructions that have been stored at Ron's workdesk in the garage.
Here’s the same cabinet, now parked in the master bedroom, exposing the open back. The pipes as currently installed will require us to cut apart the middle shelf of the cabinet — basically destroying it. Steven is adamant that the plumbers should have followed the instructions in the spec sheet and will now have to redo the plumbing. Ron agrees to speak with Barry after Steven and Ron doublecheck the vanity cabinet instructions that have been stored at Ron’s workdesk in the garage.
To fix the plumbing, Ron, Cris and the Ranserve team hack away the drywall in the master bath, exposing the piping.
To fix the plumbing, Ron, Cris and the Ranserve team hack away the drywall in the master bath, exposing the piping.
And hack away the drywall in bathroom 3.
And hack away the drywall in bathroom 3.
And hack away the drywall in bathroom 2.
And hack away the drywall in bathroom 2.

With irony and good humor, Ron advises that he is happy we made this discovery today, with two months to go until construction ends — instead of having to rip open the house with one week to go before Jacquela, Jadin and Steven move in.

 

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Notes, 28 Oct. 2015

Continuing to catch up on daily progress …

Above, Capstone Electric is installing the 4000K 6-inch LEDs that Steven specced for the ceiling cans — cool white, not warm white. Steven sees the 4000K light as white, not yellow, brighter than the average bulb.

Tracy at Lights Fantastic is ordering all the other interior lights and ceiling fans. Tracy, Jacquela and Steven worked on this task for months.

The LEDs ship in these 1/3-height boxes. The lights are nearly flat. They promise to last nearly forever and consume very little electricity. They can also be dimmed to 10 percent. And ... they cost about $25 each. Two years ago, similar LEDs would have cost about $75 each. The lighting revolution continues.
The LEDs ship in these 1/3-height boxes. The lights are nearly flat. They promise to last nearly forever and consume very little electricity. They can also be dimmed to 10 percent. And … they cost about $25 each. Two years ago, similar LEDs would have cost about $75 each — Steven knows this because he installed eight 5000K daylight LEDs into the ceiling cans at Sea Eagle, making the kitchen very very very bright. The lighting revolution continues.
The attic stairs arrived and await installation in the ceiling of the utility room.
The attic stairs arrived and await installation in the ceiling of the utility room.
Celis Drywall is back to float with drywall "mud" the wall where the medicine cabinets, vanities and sinks will soon be installed.
Celis Drywall is back to float with drywall “mud” the wall where the medicine cabinets, vanities and sinks will soon be installed.
The oven, left, and microwave cabinets are now stacked into place.
The oven, left, and microwave cabinets are now stacked into place.
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Taping and floating, days 2-5

Celis Drywall is cranking. Corner bead. Second coat of mud to seal the joints and hide the screws. Ron Dahlke reports they will be done today — and the painter will move in to prep the interior of Emerald Hill starting Monday.

Above, Steven arrived at Emerald Hill early Friday, 2 October. There was this constant sound — scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch. The Celis team was working upstairs, sanding the drywall joints smooth, raising a cloud of dust.

The corner beads went up Tuesday, 29 September.
The corner beads went up Tuesday, 29 September.
A small section of corner bead, stapled into place.
A small section of corner bead, stapled into place.
Floating the ceiling over the family room -- second coat of mud.
Floating the ceiling over the family room — second coat of mud — Wednesday, 30 September.
By Thursday, 1 October, the hated yellow brick of the fireplace is gone, hidden behind clean, simple, fire-resistant drywall. A blank canvas to be painted.
By Thursday, 1 October, the hated yellow brick of the fireplace is gone, hidden behind clean, simple, fire-resistant drywall. A blank canvas to be painted.
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Taping and floating, day 1

Gelipe and Anthony from Celis Drywall today prepped Emerald Hill and began to tape and float the drywall.

The process of taping and floating is a common task that takes place during the installation of sheetrock. Essentially, this procedure helps to hide the rough edges of the sheetrock where the sections join, creating a smooth look to the entire wall. Just about any type of drywall finishing project will require at least some taping and floating before the job is finished. Wisegeek.

Anthony and Gelipe prepped the entire house with heavy-duty paper to protect the floors against the mudding mess that spackle will create ...
Anthony and Gelipe prepped the entire house with heavy-duty paper to protect the floors against the mudding mess that spackle will create …
Gelipe climbs aboard the stilts ...
Gelipe climbs aboard the stilts …
Gelipe works high while Anthony works low. It's a dance.
Gelipe works high while Anthony works low. It’s a dance.
Anthony applies tape to the "mud" to seal the joint between two pieces of drywall.
Anthony applies tape to the “mud” to seal the joint between two pieces of drywall.
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Solving the lighting above the island

When the drywall went up on the ceiling in the kitchen, Steven discovered that the three 4-inch ceiling cans for lights above the island were not equidistant from each other.

Ron said, don’t worry, we’ll fix it.

With the drywall install done, Ron and Cris took down the sheets of ceiling drywall over the island, exposing the cans and ceiling joists.

Ron and Steven dragged a 10-foot-long sheet of drywall into the kitchen, propped it up on two garbage cans, to simulate the location and size of the kitchen island.

Then we used three paint cans to approximate the location of the lights on the island, to confirm that the only way to center the middle recessed can would require cutting a ceiling joist and restructuring the two adjoining joists — a process that would also require inspections and approvals from the structural engineer.

Ron suggested an alternative approach — adding a fourth can, dividing the four cans into two pairs, and installing each pair to mirror the other. This requires no cutting of lumber, no structural engineer. It does require the electricians to add the additional can, but that’s easy.

Here's Ron Dahlke studying the plans, with the drywall mockup of the kitchen island propped on two garbage cans and four paint cans approximating the location of the four recessed cans that will be used to illuminate the island.
Here’s Ron Dahlke studying the plans, with the drywall mockup of the kitchen island propped on two garbage cans and four paint cans approximating the location of the four recessed cans that will be used to illuminate the island.
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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.
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