Category Archives: inspection

Final inspection — passed!

final inspection

It’s nine months since we broke ground. By metaphor, Ranserve today gave birth to a finished house — except for the punch list.

Meet Jason, inspector for the City of Austin, who today approved the final inspection.
Meet Jason, inspector for the City of Austin, who today approved the final inspection.

The first thing Steven did was text Ron Dahlke to tell him we passed the final — and to say thank you.

Then Steven texted the news to Jacquela and Jadin. Then he emailed the news to Team Ranserve to say thank you.

Thank you.

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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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Plumbing and mechanical punch list

The City of Austin inspector walked Emerald Hill today. He left behind homework — a series of corrections that must be done before the City can issue a certificate of occupancy.

This comes as no surprise to Ron and Steven; we anticipated a punch list.

Most of the fixes are straightforward; Ron will coordinate the different subcontractors.

The biggest required fix — replacing the glass in the tall window in Jadin’s bedroom. It must be tempered, not standard glass. Ron estimates this will take at least a week.

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Blower door test — and more

Today’s agenda at Emerald Hill stacked up meetings and tasks:

  • Gutters
  • Time Warner Cable for Internet, phone, TV services
  • Brett Grinkmeyer, architect, and his tour of Emerald Hill with prospective clients
  • Tyson from Granite Security for a tutorial on the security system
  • Blower door test
  • Cut down the hackberry tree at the northeast corner of the house
  • Assemble more Ikea furniture
  • Set up a computer in the pantry, out of traffic, to work on ShowStoppers @ Mobile World Congress

Above, Alex from ATS and Jonathan from Austin Air review the duct plans with Ron from Ranserve, in preparation for the blower door test.

Jonathan measures airflow from the duct in bedroom 1 as part of the blower door test.
Jonathan measures airflow from the duct in bedroom 1 as part of the blower door test.
Alex assembles the blower door.
Alex assembles the blower door.
We passed! The City of Austin requires less than 5 ACH -- air changes per hour. Alex and Jonathan confirm that Emerald Hill is tightly insulated and not leaking a lot of air. Ron is smiling at this measure of quality.
We passed! The City of Austin requires less than 5 ACH — air changes per hour. Alex and Jonathan confirm that Emerald Hill is tightly insulated and not leaking a lot of air. Ron is smiling at this measure of quality.
Tyson showed Steven how to configure and use the alarm system that we prewired into the house.
Tyson showed Steven how to configure and use the alarm system that we prewired into the house.
Rodriguez from Gilsa uses a chunk of concrete to grind stains off the first paver in front of the house.
Rodriguez from Gilsa uses a chunk of concrete to grind stains off the first paver in front of the house.
Ron and Kevin opened up the stair wall to add more blocking -- needed to support the shower wand in the bathroom on the other side of the wall.
Ron and Kevin opened up the stair wall to add more blocking — needed to support the shower wand in the bathroom on the other side of the wall.
Taking out the hackberry tree that was leaning toward the house.
Taking out the hackberry tree that was leaning toward the house.
Stripped of most branches in just 10 minutes.
Stripped of most branches in just 10 minutes.
Sections of trunk cut smaller to make them lighter when carrying off to the chipper.
Sections of trunk cut smaller to make them lighter when carrying off to the chipper.

 

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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.

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Notes, 26 Jan. 2016

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.

DSC_9196
Mauricio and the team from Gilsa Construction today began to install the heavy steel edging for the deck off the kitchen door.
Mauricio welds the straight metal edging to a rebar post he sledgehammered into the ground.
Mauricio welds the straight metal edging to a rebar post he sledgehammered into the ground.
Joel from the City of Austin inspected the boxes and location for the new residential electric meter. Steven called Dispatch to ask the City to install the meter.
Joel from the City of Austin inspected the boxes and location for the new residential electric meter. Steven called Dispatch to ask the City to install the meter.
Binswanger Glass today delivered and installed the obscured glass door to the water closet in the master bath ...
Binswanger Glass today delivered and installed the obscured glass door to the water closet in the master bath …
and the second door to the shower in bath 2, Jadin's bath -- the panel at right, with the long chrome handle.
and the second door to the shower in bath 2, Jadin’s bath — the panel at right, with the long chrome handle.
The tankless water heater is installed upstairs in the laundry/utility room.
The tankless water heater is installed upstairs in the laundry/utility room.
Ron Dahlke asked Steven to start a "punch list" of items that need attention. Here's the first one -- this is one of the showerhead fixtures in the master shower. It's missing an escutcheon. As a result, the cutout in the tile is exposed.
Ron Dahlke asked Steven to start a “punch list” of items that need attention. Here’s the first one — this is one of the showerhead fixtures in the master shower. It’s missing an escutcheon. As a result, the cutout in the tile is exposed.
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Tomorrow, we pour concrete

The structural engineer approved the garage foundation.
The structural engineer approved the garage foundation.
The City of Austin inspected and approved the grounding wire installed by Capstone to the garage foundation.
The City of Austin inspected and approved the grounding wire installed by Capstone to the garage foundation.
The City of Austin inspected and approved the formwork for the garage foundation.
The City of Austin inspected and approved the layout and formwork for the garage foundation.

Ron Dahlke schedule the concrete pour for tomorrow, Thursday, 10 December.

In addition to the concrete pour, Gilsa ripped out most of the original walk to the front door. When we extended the entry hall foward to build the stairs to code, then turned the front door sideways to face the front porch, the walk no longer connected to the new step up to the front door. Gilsa will build forms and shift the walk to better align with the new front door. The shin bone's connected to the knee bone ...
In addition to the concrete pour, Gilsa ripped out most of the original walk to the front door. When we extended the entry hall foward to build the stairs to code, then turned the front door sideways to face the front porch, the walk no longer connected to the new step up to the front door. Gilsa will build forms and shift the walk to better align with the new front door. The shin bone’s connected to the knee bone …
Gilsa also deconstructed the stone walk from the front of the house and around the side to where the old kitchen deck has already been demo'd.
Gilsa also deconstructed the stone walk from the front of the house and around the side to where the old kitchen deck has already been demo’d.
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Notes, 2 Dec. 2015

The team from Gilsa Construction progresses with the garage addition.

Above, using a reciprocating saw to cut through the nails and bolts, the sole plate of the back wall of the garage has been sliced free from the foundation. Next, it is braced.

Using a sledgehammer, Gilsa shifts the back wall of the garage over several inches, supported by the braces inside the garage. This will allow them to pour concrete level with the existing slab of the garage. The steel framework for the new garage slab is ready for inspection. At right, the electricians installed a grounding wire (the left-hand circle), and Gilsa chopped down the shrub that was so overgrown it resembled a tree (the right-hand circle).
Using a sledgehammer, Gilsa shifts the back wall of the garage over several inches, supported by the braces inside the garage. This will allow them to pour concrete level with the existing slab of the garage. The steel framework for the new garage slab is ready for inspection. At right, the electricians installed a grounding wire (the left-hand circle), and Gilsa chopped down the shrub that was so overgrown it resembled a tree (the right-hand circle). The steelwork is ready for inspection. Also, the formwork for the foundation is nearly complete, after which it too will be inspected.
One of the plastic stands holding the steelwork off the plastic sheeting, to ensure the rebar is inside the concrete, not under the concrete, when the concrete is poured.
One of the plastic stands holding the steelwork off the plastic sheeting, to ensure the rebar is inside the concrete, not under the concrete, when the concrete is poured.
After whacking with a sledgehammer, the back wall of the garage leans against the temporary braces. The wide-angle lens distorts perspective, but the footing of the wall is now offset 3 to 4 inches from the top plate.
After whacking with a sledgehammer, the back wall of the garage leans against the temporary braces. The wide-angle lens distorts perspective, but the footing of the wall is now offset 3 to 4 inches from the top plate.
Another way to see the lean of the wall. The red string line is level, but the bricks at left are now about 1/4-inch higher than the bricks at right.
Another way to see the lean of the wall. The red string line is level, but the bricks at left are now about 1/4-inch higher than the bricks at right.
Inside and upstairs, Kevin Rehberg from Ranserve continues to protect all the floors with heavy construction paper. Why? The painters are coming.
Inside and upstairs, Kevin Rehberg from Ranserve continues to protect all the floors with heavy construction paper. Why? The painters are coming.
The electricians came by to install detectors and switch plates, leaving behind a pile of boxes.
The electricians came by to install detectors and switch plates, leaving behind a pile of boxes.
In the kitchen, Central Texas Custom Cabinets continues to install drawer fronts to the cabinets.
In the kitchen, Central Texas Custom Cabinets continues to install drawer fronts to the cabinets.
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Ticktock

From the Oxford Dictionary: “A piece of journalism that presents a chronological account of an event or series of events.”

Steven visited Emerald Hill three times today while also working from his desk computer and by phone — at 10 am after dropping off Jadin at school, at 2 pm to meet with Ron and before meeting with Renee at ProSource to select tile for the kitchen backsplash and master shower floor, and again at 4 pm after leaving ProSource and before Jadin “walked home from school.” Here are photos from the evolving day.

During the 10 am visit, Julian is hammering out a concrete tile at the entry that was damaged during construction -- to be replaced.
During the 10 am visit, Julian is hammering out a concrete tile at the entry that was damaged during construction — to be replaced.
Testifying to the quality of work done by the tilesetters, it took an electric jackhammer to chip out the tile.
Testifying to the quality of work done by the tilesetters, it took an electric jackhammer to chip out the tile.
At 3 pm, the tile has been replaced -- and is cemented into place, along with the two tiles closest to the front door.
At 2 pm, the tilesetters are gone and the tile has been replaced — and is cemented into place, along with the two tiles closest to the front door.

In between the 10 am and 2 pm trips to Emerald Hill, Steven received the first quote for the two-bay garage door from Cowart Door Systems.

At 10 am, Cezar Ernesto, left, and Ernesto Jovini are packing sandbags with roadbase for the middle island of the new garage foundation.
At 10 am, Cezar Ernesto, left, and Ernesto Jovini are packing sandbags with roadbase for the middle island of the new garage foundation.
At 3 pm, after compacting the roadbase in the center of the island, they are checking for loose fill and filling gaps.
At 2 pm, after compacting the roadbase in the center of the island, they are checking for loose fill and filling gaps.
At 330, they are compacting again.
At 230, they are compacting again.
At 4 pm, the middle island is finished. Cezar and Ernesto have begun to form the third island with sandbags and use the Bobcat to deliver more roadbase.
At 4 pm, the middle island is finished. Cezar and Ernesto have begun to form the third island with sandbags and use the Bobcat to deliver more roadbase.
At 230, Aaron arrives from the cabinet shop to test fit the horizontal storage bench that will be installed in the front entry. Ron helped Aaron pivot the bench into position while Steven stood back to use his hands to take this photo.
At 230, Aaron arrives from the cabinet shop to test fit the horizontal storage bench that will be installed in the front entry. Ron helped Aaron pivot the bench into position while Steven stood back to use his hands to take this photo.
At 4 pm, Enrique on the painting team is using wood putty to file all the nail holes in the trim installed by Shane and Peter, the carpenters. This photo was shot with Steven's cameraphone, which opted to almost focus on the ladder in the foreground.
At 4 pm, Enrique on the painting team is using wood putty to file all the nail holes in the trim installed by Shane and Peter, the carpenters. This photo was shot with Steven’s cameraphone, which opted to almost focus on the ladder in the foreground.

At 4 pm, Kathleen reported by email that Ranserve had received the wire transfer payment of Draw #5 from SouthStar Bank.

At 530, by email, Ron Dahlke reports that ATS inspected and passed the wallboard installation.
At 530, by email, Ron Dahlke reported that ATS inspected and passed the wallboard installation.
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