Jacquela, Steven, Jadin and Reboot announce the arrival of …
the dumpster, finally delivered to Emerald Hill.
Ranserve reports that Emerald Hill should qualify for, at minimum, 3 Stars from the Austin Energy Green Building Program.
This apparently requires a dedicated dumpster, with additional recycling requirements. At minimum.
Ranserve is asking Steven to administer the process. OK. The greater goal is a better operating house, more efficient to operate, better planned and built. Who can argue with that?
We did this when building Pleasant Panorama. The first house built by John Hagy that qualified for the AEGB program — 3 Stars. So … we’ve traveled this road before. Doesn’t make us experts, doing this only once before.
Supervised by Avery Watson at Independence Title, Mark Rehberg, president of Ranserve, right, arm in sling, and Jacquela, left, sign the AIA remodeling contract. Steven is at the back taking this photo.
Ahead of this, we spent a couple of days working with the lawyers — Rose Cohen for Ranserve and David Sewell for the Leons — tweaking the contract, right up to the signing, with Mark and I working through last-second fixes by sending pdf files and text messages back and forth to his office, to David, with phone calls, and to the Independence Title printer.
Deep breath. It’s done. Now we put hammer to nail.
Received draft of construction contract from Ranserve. Reviewing with lawyer. There’s a dumpster coming soon. And a remodeled house to move into at the end of this adventure.
I am about to make a cut and ask your permission.
As a kid, I planted saplings around the house. The pin oaks today are now 70-90 feet tall, and my mom lives surrounded by a forest. It’s reverant.
So I am not in the habit of cutting trees; I plant them.
But we have to cut clearance to get the dumpster up to the house, to begin the remodel. Which pains, because we bought this house, in part, for the forest of trees it inhabits.
Here’s an example of why.
This limb extends 30 feet out over the patio and driveway, five to six feet off the ground, held up by a vertical post, and then up and over part of the garage. It’s your skull — or a thwacking. They can’t deliver the dumpster with that in the way.
Our goal is to trim, not destroy.
Ranserve recommended Davey Tree, a certified arborist — a City of Austin requirement. Jeff Cisneros came out, walked the lot with us, showed us what he recommended cutting in phase 1, to make way for the dumpster, and in phase 2, to remove branches that hang over the roof, for safety. Along the way, we learned there is an American Elm in the back yard. That’s opening a Cracker Jack box to find a prize.
Here’s what it looked like taking down the limb that extends over the deck and driveway.
Belaying ropes. Safety glasses. Hearing protection. Just like on “This Old House.”
That’s an eight-foot chunk of limb hanging by rope.
Count the rings. Miguel thinks the oak is at least 50 years old.
And a giant leap forward toward demo.