Bani, 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.
Aaron Pratt from Central Texas Custom Cabinets visited today. He walked the kitchen cabinets with Steven, taking inventory of all the punch list items flagged with blue tape. He also spotted a couple of doors and drawers that are misaligned. After this, he builds a plan and schedules a day or two of corrections.
Steven arrived at Emerald Hill about 230 pm to learn that the City of Austin chopped down a tree in the neighbor’s yard to clear obstructions from the power lines. The company hired to do the job — Asplundah — left the branches behind in Steven’s back yard, photo above. Ron Dahlke says Asplundah will be back Thursday. Asplundah has been working all over Northwest Hills, clearing trees from power lines up and down nearly every block.
Saturday morning. Jacquela and Steven visit Emerald Hill.
Above, Jacquela set the correct time on the oven. It’s the only appliance that is powered, so far. Along with the GFCI circuits. The electricians are scheduled to arrive next week to test everything, now that the residential meter is installed and power is delivered to the house.
David Garcia and his team of painters are pulling up the heavy paper that has protected the floors through construction, sweeping out debris and vacuuming the baseboards, then rolling out new, clean paper. It’s amazing to see the hickory floors exposed, however briefly.
Jacquela and Steven arrived at Ikea in Round Rock as the store opened. Steven wrestled two orange, yellow and blue Ikea Family cards from the kiosk in the lobby. Bridgette arrived. She works with Jacquela at Schwab — and is probably just as much a fan of Ikea as Steven; she showed pictures of the closet and desks that she and her husband planned and assembled as we walked the store.
Steven had a shopping list. Long. Detailed.
We configured Pax closets for the master closet and for Jadin’s bedroom. We configured Stuva storage and benches for the mudroom. We picked up the Striberg linear LED lights with motion sensors needed for closets throughout the house.
Bridgette offered to help transport everything to Emerald Hill in her new Ford Explorer. As if we would say no.
Bridgette filled a cart with items on her shopping list.
And then we hit the warehouse armed with “pick lists” and two flatbed carts.
At checkout, Ikea Family saved more than $200 on the bill.
We loaded Steven’s Honda Element to the weight limit. The Explorer got the really long boxes; this is one of the few times Steven misses the old minivan.
We took lunch at In-N-Out, sitting outside. “Vitamin D,” exclaimed Bridgette, showing pictures of the house in Baltimore she grew up in.
At Emerald Hill, Jacquela gave Bridgette a tour, Steven prepped space in the garage, and we built the stack of flat-pack boxes in the photo above and below.
The clothes rods, baskets and other accessories are stacked neatly in the pantry.
Steven propped each light against a door where it needs to be installed, to help Ron identify precisely what goes where.
Now we need permission from Ron to assemble and install cabinets …
Chris from Central Texas Custom Cabinets continues to finish out the kitchen and pantry cabinets.
Steven walked the house today with Elizabeth, who measured for blinds — a candidate supplier; it will all come down to budget.
Ron needs an escutcheon at the pot filler on the backsplash wall. Ron also needs a push-in-pop-out drain for the vanity sink in the mudroom — because there is no room behind the faucet for the pull that would normally open and close the drain in the sink. Ferguson does not carry an escutcheon for the pot filler. Steven went to Lowe’s with a shopping list. He found two candidates for the escutcheon. The drain was out of stock. On a field trip to a second Lowe’s after dinner with Jacquela, he found the only two candidate devices. Ron and the plumbers will now decide which one to install. The loser will go back to Lowe’s.
Chris arrived this morning. He spent all day — measuring, cutting, grinding, thinking, working step by step, brace by brace, tool by tool.
Steven observes: Of all the contractors, subcontractors and craftsman working to save Emerald Hill from itself, thinking is the one skill that gets the job done correctly.
Outside, using the forms for the concrete pavers as his workbench, he grinds and cuts off from the metal brace a rectangular piece of steel that the countertop installers attempted to install by cutting up the island shelf cabinet — until Steven intervened to top the assault.
David Bowie, 1947-2016. “Check ignition and may God’s love be with you.”
Commencing countdown, engines on …
Welcome to the Monday launch window at Emerald Hill. Ron and Steven set aside time this day to walk the house together for the first time since Steven returned from ShowStoppers @ CES in Vegas. That was the plan. We did work through a long list of open items — garage lights, framing, electrical, plumbing, pending inspections, drywall seams opening up, why the drywall is cut open in several locations.
Then the install crew for the countertops arrived.
At first, Miguel, Saul and Luis buzzed through the to-do list.
6. Ron left Emerald Hill for a meeting …
4. Matt from Ranserve removed the protective foam from the island countertop …
2. They carried into the kitchen the custom-made L-shaped steel support brackets that the countertop maker requires we use to support the quartz as it bridges the two ends of the island …
1. Miguel and Steven talked in great detail through how to mount the brackets, where to mount the brackets …
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare …
And the stars look very different today …
Steven stepped out of the kitchen to talk with the structural engineer inspecting the garage framing, came back into the kitchen, and stopped the work.
Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong …
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Steven called Ron. Twice. Texted a photo of the damaged cabinet. 30 minutes went by. Ron called in from his truck, 20 minutes out from Emerald Hill. We waited. MIguel called Austin Stone, supplier of the countertop. Ron arrived. He put the bracket install on hold pending inspection of the cabinets by Aaron, the cabinetmaker, aiming at tomorrow/Tuesday.
In the interim, the install team removed the brackets, placed the countertop back atop the base cabinets.
Here am I floating ’round my tin can …
Next, working with Ron and Steve the electrician, Steven and Miguel measured precisely where to locate the Haefele electrical outlet that will pop up through a hole in the countertop slab. Steve the electrician doublechecked the outlet and electrical supply. We measured one position five or six times. Steven walked around it, thinking, testing the length of the reach from the end of the island. Too far. We shifted it closer to the end. Steven approved. We triplechecked the position. Again. Steven approved it. Again.
Which is when Steven left, making sure that Ron would continue to supervise.