Category Archives: punch list

Making the pot filler level and plumb

The plumbers that installed the pot filler at the kitchen cooktop did not make it level and plumb — and it wiggled, just a little bit.

As part of the punch list, Odell and Jacinto from Ranserve chisled five bricks from the exterior wall on the outside of the house directly opposite where the pot filler is mounted to the studs inside the wall. In other words, we are working from the outside of the house, to the inside. Why? We don’t want to have to take down the red glass tile backsplash that the pot filler is mounted to inside the kitchen. And, additionally, we need to get to the mounting structure inside the wall; the shortest route is to chisel from the outside in.

This became a two-day project — just to fix an oversight by the plumbers — with another day pending.

Photo essay:

After Jacinto chisled out the brick and cut away the sheathing to expose the studs, we carefully pulled handfuls of the insulating foam away from the studs — to reveal two Ethernet network cables — thin blue cables at left of photo — the blue Pex water line that runs almost horizontally across the stud bay, and the copper angle fitting to which the Pex is coupled.

It took several hours to carefully dissect our way into the house. Photo above reveals two network cables that run down the exterior wall into a conduit that travels under the concrete slab of the kitchen floor, then out to the island, where we can plug various devices into the network inside the house. At right, Odell, Steve and Jacinto — after much discussion — opted to cut away a chunk of stud to yield up access to the copper fitting that screws three times into whatever it is mounted to. And we had to do this without breaking any of the glass tiles on the other side of the drywall visible at the back of the photo. At right, is an older, darker, intact stud original to the house. Further right is a brighter stud — newer wood — and the edge of the OSB sheathing that Ranserve installed against the new stud and several others behind brick that we did not remove. 

The next step was to cut a 2×4 in half, lengthwise, screw that carefully to the intact original stud to the right. But first, we had to drill three holes in the short length of stud to match the three mounting holes in the copper pipe angle, feed bolts through the wood into the pipe angle — and then Steven, who had the slimmest, longest fingers between Odell, Jacinto and Steven, working blind by touch behind the wood, fitting lock washers and nuts to the back end of the bolts. After which we were able to pull the pot filler tight to the wood, adjusting the screws a quarter turn at a time while leveling the pot filler insider the house.

With the pipe angle bolted and the pot filler leveled, Odell and Jacinto cut down a piece of 3/4-inch plywood, screwed that tight to the intact darker stud to the right of the sliced stud, and then drilled three screws into the wood against which the pipe angle is mounted, pulling that short piece of wood into a position where the pot filler inside the kitchen is level, plumb and secure, with minimal wiggles.

With the piping braced, several hours into this episode, we sealed up the house and called it a day, leaving behind a pile of debris on the ground. Jacinto packed away all the tools, and we scheduled to revisit at 8 am the next morning.
Jacinto peeled off the protective plastic. Here’s a close-in shot of the excavation, peering up. Visible in this shot is something new. Jacinto added a vertical run of 3/4-inch plywood, notching it around the Pex tubing. He screwed this at top and bottom to the cut ends of the old stud, using deck-mount screws. Then he carefully screwed the plywood to the chunk of 2×4 that the copper pipe fitting is screwed to. The three nuts are visible on the chunk of 2×4. This creates a mount that is secured from two different directions.
And a close in look down at the debris trapped between the brick and sheathing. We tried to clean most of this out, but it’s nearly impossible. There’s no way to prevent debris from falling into the air gap between the back of the brick and the front of the sheathing.
Jacinto cuts a square of OSB sheathing to fit against the studs.
After test-fitting the OSB, Jacinto used spray foam from a can to re-insulate the stud bay and pipes. He carefully sealed smaller gaps between studs too.
With the foam still curing and sticky, Jacinto screwed the OSB sheathing to the studs. This established a third mounting angle to lock the pipe angle mount firmly into position.
Jacinto taped everything up with Tyvek tape, to close as many air gaps as possible.
Steven collected bricks from the pile left over from remodeling the house. Jacinto chipped old cement away from the bricks.
He mixed up cement from a bag, troweled the cement and bricks into place.
Here’s the final brick, buttered with cement, inserted into the wall.
Jacinto smoothed and pointed the cement, filling gaps.
And now we let the cement dry and cure overnight, to make it ready for painting.

 

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Weekends of projects

In addition to building the desks for his office, with help from Jacquela, Steven has been punching out multiple projects over several weekends.

In the laundry/utility room, Steven mounted two old Ikea cabinets to the wall, cut and painted a shelf to run between the two cabinets, along with a hanging rod. The rolling laundry carts that Jacquela ordered arrived; she assembled one, Steven assembled two -- and organization began to arrive.
In the laundry/utility room, Steven mounted two old Ikea cabinets to the wall, cut and painted a shelf to run between the two cabinets, along with a hanging rod. The rolling laundry carts that Jacquela ordered arrived; she assembled one, Steven assembled two — and organization began to arrive.
Also in the laundry room, Steven ordered and installed the "FloodStop." This electronic device comes with a sensor to put under the washing machine. If it gets wet, it sounds a loud alarm and shuts off water to the washing machine by closing two electronic valves. Why do this? The washing machine is located on the second floor -- and a leak will cascade through the walls and floor to flood the first floor of the house.
Also in the laundry room, Steven ordered and installed the “FloodStop.” This electronic device comes with a sensor to put under the washing machine. If it gets wet, it sounds a loud alarm and shuts off water to the washing machine by closing two electronic valves. Why do this? The washing machine is located on the second floor — and a leak will cascade through the walls and floor to flood the first floor of the house.
The FloodStop sensor is the circuit board in the pan under the washing machine. There's also a "waterbug," the white device partially obscured by the gray overfill hose; this connects to the house alarm system. As a result, there are now TWO systems to warn against washer leaks. Belt. Suspenders.
The FloodStop sensor is the circuit board in the pan under the washing machine. There’s also a “waterbug,” the white device partially obscured by the gray overfill hose; this connects to the house alarm system. As a result, there are now TWO systems to warn against washer leaks. Belt. Suspenders.
The two electronically-controlled valves that shut off water to the washing machine if the FloodStop sensor gets wet. This was a relatively simple install in a very cramped space, even with the washing machine pulled away from the wall.
The two electronically-controlled valves that shut off water to the washing machine if the FloodStop sensor gets wet. This was a relatively simple install in a very cramped space, even with the washing machine pulled away from the wall.
Over several weekends, Steven unpacked old Ikea cabinets from Jacquela's craft room at Sea Eagle, mounting them to the walls in her craft room at Emerald Hill. The rolling cabinets on the floor are still wrapped in plastic, so Jacquela has been using the floor and nearly every surface for her projects.
Over several weekends, Steven unpacked old Ikea cabinets from Jacquela’s craft room at Sea Eagle, mounting them to the walls in her craft room at Emerald Hill. The rolling cabinets on the floor are still wrapped in plastic, so Jacquela has been using the floor and nearly every surface for her projects.
Two hard drives in the Network-Attached Storage devices in the electronics closet failed in the past two months. Highly unusual. Steven believes it is trapped heat -- there's no place for the hot air from the electronics to exist the closet, unless we leave the door cracked open, creating a walking hazard in the central hall upstairs. Steven installed two vents -- one at the top of the closet, one at the bottom. Hot air rises and drafts. The lower vent pulls in cooler air from Jacquela's hobby room next door. The upper vent moves the hot air out of the closet into the hobby room, which is connected to the HVAC system. The hard drives in the closet are now running two to five degrees cooler. This will be watched ...
Two hard drives in the Network-Attached Storage devices in the electronics closet failed in the past two months. Highly unusual. Steven believes it is trapped heat — there’s no place for the hot air from the electronics to exit the closet, unless we leave the door cracked open, creating a walking hazard in the central hall upstairs. Steven installed two vents — one at the top of the closet, one at the bottom. Hot air rises and drafts. The lower vent pulls in cooler air from Jacquela’s hobby room next door. The upper vent moves the hot air out of the closet into the hobby room. The HVAC system takes care of ventilating the hobby room. The hard drives in the closet are now running two to five degrees cooler. This will be watched … And, yes, Steven has to still organize all the network cables.
Out in the garage, the "wet wall" behind the utility sink that the plumbers have not yet installed is nearly complete. Steven cut and glued a sheet of plastic to the wall with Jacquela's help. He cut waterproof PVC "plastic lumber" to size and the glued and nailed the baseboard, stiles and top rail into place, puttied over the nail holes, sealed the joints with silicone. All that's left is a little sanding and painting. And then the plumbers can come back in to install the water and drain lines, and the sink.
Out in the garage, the “wet wall” behind the utility sink that the plumbers have not yet installed is nearly complete. Steven cut and glued a sheet of plastic to the wall with Jacquela’s help. He cut waterproof PVC “plastic lumber” to size and the glued and nailed the baseboard, stiles and top rail into place, puttied over the nail holes, sealed the joints with silicone. All that’s left is a little sanding and painting. And then the plumbers can come back in to install the water and drain lines, and the sink.
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Taking apart the shelf in the shower

The grout under the gray quartz shelves in the master shower cracked, giving water a route to the structure behind the tile. We discovered this in July. Jacquela and Steven have used the shower in the hall bath since, to ensure no more water penetrates behind the tile and into the lumber.

Today, Joe from Austin Stone carefully chiseled the grout away from the quartz shelf, freeing the shelf, exposing the blue waterproofing that was applied to keep the lumber dry. In turn, that revealed how the shelf was cemented — with the same epoxy grout used to seal the joints between wall and floor tiles. This epoxy grout is inflexible — which means … it apparently cracked apart as it cured and as the shower pan and walls settled.

Joe begins with a painter's blade, scraping grout out of the joint under the shelf.
Joe begins with a painter’s blade, scraping grout out of the joint under the shelf.
With the grout removed between the top of the shelf and the wall tiles, Joe levers the shelf up -- carefully.
With the grout removed between the top of the shelf and the wall tiles, Joe levers the shelf up — carefully.
That reveals the spacers and dried epoxy grout used to mount the shelf -- and the blue waterproofing used to seal the structure of the shower stall.
That reveals the spacers and dried epoxy grout used to mount the shelf — and the blue waterproofing used to seal the structure of the shower stall.
The shelf, lifted free.
The shelf, lifted free.

For the next step — Odell from Ranserve and Joe applied silicon to the blue waterproofing. Silicon is flexible where grout is not. This will allow the shelf to “float” as the house continues to settle. Finally, they set the shelf into the silicon — to spend the weekend curing into position.

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Pin a tail on the donkey

It’s finally time to put the house numbers up.

1-dsc_3722Odell, left, and Kevin, right, supervise as Cris lays out where the house numbers will go, using templates that came inside the packaging for each number. Everything must be level, plumb and properly kerned.

Cris first mounted the "8" and then leveled the three other numbers against it.
Cris first mounted the “8” and then leveled the three other numbers against it.
All four house numbers properly mounted and screwed into the brick, with each screw sealed with silicon, and everything taped to ensure the silicon sets properly and the numbers don't slip out of position.
All four house numbers properly mounted and screwed into the brick, with each screw sealed with silicon, and everything taped to ensure the silicon sets properly and the numbers don’t slip out of position.
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Continuing to punch-list the kitchen

1-dsc_3693Bani, left, and Chris are back, continuing to work through the punch list for the kitchen cabinets. Above, they clamp a new piece of trim under the oven and microwave — one long piece to replace two shorter pieces that failed after the glue gave out.

The utensil storage at the utility drawer between the sink and cooktop is now correctly cut, installed, and functional. Earlier, one of the four stainless steel bins did not fit correctly, due to a hole drilled 1/8 of an inch out of place.
The utensil storage at the utility drawer between the sink and cooktop is now correctly cut, installed, and functional. Earlier, one of the four stainless steel bins did not fit correctly, due to a hole drilled 1/8 of an inch out of place.
Bani and Chris unwrap a replacement cabinet panel.
Bani and Chris unwrap a  cabinet panel. It replaces a similar panel that was defective at manufacture.
Chris screws the replacement panel into position.
Chris screws the replacement panel into position.

 

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Punching it

Last week, Ron and Odell from Ranserve walked the house with Steven to organize the punch list.

Two days ago, Odell and Cris began adjusting pocket doors and experimenting with how to fill the holes around the balusters.

Today, Aaron arrived with Chris and Bani to begin working on the kitchen cabinets — smooth edges, filling holes, adjusting drawers and slides. Aaron remeasured for replacement panels.

Above, Chris, left, and Bani, right, adjusting utility drawers between the cooktop and sink.

1-dsc_3678-001Chris arrived from Granite Security to install the glass break sensor missing from the ceiling in Steven’s office — outlined in the black box in photo above.

Chris also added “water bugs” at the washer and both tankless water heaters — sensors that alert us if the washer and heaters overflow.

Chris positioning the water bug at the upstairs tankless water heater.
Chris positioning the water bug at the upstairs tankless water heater.
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Punch list: Plumbing

Barry, Nick and Blake from Custom Plumbing are at Emerald Hill to tackle the plumbing punch list.

The hot and cold water at the shower heads in the mudroom, upstairs hall and master bath were reversed. This appears to now be fixed. Nick and Blake conclude that quality control did not actually test the plumbing for errors.

Water pressure to the wand shower head in the master bath, nearly non-existent, appears to be fixed.

The drains in the master sink are now centered.

The pot filler above the kitchen cooktop appears to be as close to level as Barry can make it, since the wall is not perfectly plumb; it will always appear to be slightly askew.

The drain line to the downstairs tankless water heater is adjusted to spill less water into the emergency drain pan under the unit; Nick and Blake did not have a supply of pex tubing to adjust the drain line under the upstairs tankless heater and will have to return.

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Walk and talk the punch list

Odell and Cris today met Steven at Emerald Hill to walk and talk the punch list.

Odell is tasked with rounding up the teams and building a schedule. Work is expected to begin next week.

 

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T minus 2 days

Punch list. Boxing. Change orders. Punch list. Boxing. Change orders. Punch list. Boxing. Change orders. Punch list. Boxing. Change orders. Punch list. Boxing. Change orders. Punch list. Boxing. Change orders. Punch list. Boxing. Change orders. Punch list. Boxing. Change orders. Punch list. Boxing. Change orders. Punch list. Boxing. Change orders …

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T minus 3 days

Odell and Team Ranserve continue to punch through the punch list …

Above, Cris uses Steven’s biscuit cutter to slice slots into the two pieces of wood that Cris is using to build a deep shelf in the electronics closet — for the cable modem, switches, router, UPS, power strip, etc.

What’s really cool is this — Cris needed a biscuit cutter. Steven pulled his Porter Cable out of the stack of plastic bins stored in the garage for moving in. This is the first time on this gig that one of Steven’s tools has been used to build something in the house. It’s an honor to put the tool in the hands of Cris, who is capable of nearly anything — concrete, framing, windows, cabinets, shelving, flooring, plumbing …

This is the shelf that Cris built in the electronics closet. It needs paint. But ... four holes for wires to pass through, and ledgers carefully nailed to studs to avoid hitting any of the miles of wire traveling through the back wall of the closet to the electrical panel.
This is the shelf that Cris built in the electronics closet. It needs paint. But … four holes for wires to pass through, and ledgers carefully nailed to studs to avoid hitting any of the miles of wire traveling through the back wall of the closet to the electrical panel.
Odell replaced the leaking faucet at the left-hand sink in the master bath -- and shifted the medicine cabinet about one inch to the left to center it over the faucet. Odell spotted the install error late last week.
Odell replaced the leaking faucet at the left-hand sink in the master bath — and shifted the medicine cabinet about one inch to the left to center it over the faucet. Odell spotted the install error late last week. Guest appearance in the mirror by Steven and his Nikon camera.
At the end of their day, Cris and Jacinto cut and glued t-molding into the gap in the floor at bedroom 4 between the original laminate and the new hickory. To help set the glue for 24 hours, they weighted down the threshold strip with some of the moving boxes volunteered by Steven. Along with concrete pavers pulled from the garage.
At the end of their day, Cris and Jacinto cut and glued t-molding into the gap in the floor at bedroom 4 between the original laminate and the new hickory. To help set the glue for 24 hours, they weighted down the threshold strip with some of the moving boxes volunteered by Steven. Along with concrete pavers pulled from the garage.
Cris and Jacinto repeated the threshold work at the entry to bedroom 4 -- aka the train room.
Cris and Jacinto repeated the threshold work at the entry to bedroom 4 — aka the train room.
At some point today, Odell and team removed the damaged strip of Hardieboard from the exterior wall of the garage addition, nailed up a new board.
At some point today, Odell and team removed the damaged strip of Hardieboard from the exterior wall of the garage addition, nailed up a new board.
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