Tag Archives: garage

Notes, 10 Nov. 2015

Above, the plumbers are back to correct the fittings behind the vanities — so that we don’t have to carve the vanities into pieces with power tools.

Shane is carpenting in the hallway to "Jadinland" -- bedrooms 1 and 2 and bath 3 -- installing door casing.
Shane is carpenting in the hallway to “Jadinland” — bedrooms 1 and 2 and bath 3 — installing door casing.
Here is Shane prepping the lumber that will become the vertical casing inside bedroom 2.
Here is Shane prepping the lumber that will become the vertical casing inside bedroom 2.
Peering down the upstairs hall, Shane and Peter have stacked lumber in place to build the door casings for the hallway closet, bedroom 4, on the left, and bath 3 and the utility room on the right.
Peering down the upstairs hall, Shane and Peter have stacked lumber in place to build the door casings for the hallway closet, bedroom 4, on the left, and bath 3 and the utility room on the right.
Peter nails trim into place near the front door, wrapping intricate cut around cut at the windows and stairs.
Peter nails trim into place near the still-temporary front door, wrapping intricate cut around cut at the windows and stairs.
Chris from the cabinet shop was just leaving as Steven arrived. He's been busy, installing the upper shelves and base cabinets in the pantry hallway ...
Chris from the cabinet shop was just leaving as Steven arrived. He’s been busy, installing the upper shelves and base cabinets in the pantry hallway …
The drawers into the cabinet where we will store cutlery and plates and glasses ...
The drawers into the cabinet where we will store cutlery and plates and glasses …
... and assembling the bank of utility cabinets to the right of where the refrigerator will slide against the wall.
… and assembling the bank of utility cabinets to the right of where the refrigerator will slide against the wall.
The construction team that will pour the garage foundation today trucked out a pile of dirt and rubble at what was the kitchen deck.
The construction team that will pour the garage foundation today trucked out a pile of dirt and rubble at what was the kitchen deck.
And they began trenching for the garage-slab footings.
And they began trenching for the garage-slab footings.
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The big dig — weekend update 1

Saturday morning. Raining. It looks like Gilberto and Joe on Friday finished most of the major excavation for the new garage bay, and swung around to start breaking up the stone deck at the side of the kitchen in front of the garage.

All this stone deck is coming out. We need to reduce the impervious cover percentage on the lot, per city regulations. The oaks need more open ground for roots and water.
All this stone deck is coming out. We need to reduce the impervious cover percentage on the lot, per city regulations. The oaks need more open ground for roots and water.
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Week ending 6 Nov. 2015

Above — delivered earlier this week, the base cabinets have been moved into the pantry hallway for installation.

Patrick installs the skirt board along the stairs.
Peter installs the skirt board along the stairs.

Ron Dahlke files this week’s summary:

This week:

  • Installed interior doors
  • Started trim
  • Continued on cabinet install
  • Finished template of countertops
  • Started removal of patio
  • Started excavation of soil for new garage
  • Site visit by Harway appliance installer

Next week:

Kathleen Baker reports “the light order has already been placed [with Lights Fantastic]. Tracy just forgot to send us the confirmation. Most everything is in, they are waiting on the fans. I expect to get the confirmation email on Monday.”

Saturday update: Tracy reports the fans will arrive 10 or 11 November and "everything else is here and ready to go."

Steven met with Kathleen this morning to begin work on the forms that must be submitted to qualify for the Austin Energy Green Building Program. This will require extensive documentation. Stay tuned.

Steven also met at Emerald Hill with Jonathan Hiebert from Push Pull Open Close to finalize selections for the front door handles and the pocket-door hardware. Jonathan promises to finalize the quote and message that to Kathleen for formal submital to and approval by Steven and Jacquela.

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The big dig — breaking ground

The Bobcat arrived late yesterday. Today, Gilberto and Joe began excavating for the new third garage bay. By all reckoning, this is the last “big dig” at Emerald Hill. The house is moving toward done; now it’s time to build the garage, aiming to finish everything sometime in January 2016.

Here’s the back of the existing two-car garage several weeks back on a sunny morning:

The back of the existing garage, partially demolished. We borrowed the brick to patch the front and sides of the house. The rest of the back wall will be demolished when we start construction of the new third garage bay. The pile of lumber is maybe .00001 percent of the wood taken out of Emerald Hill during demo, set aside here in case it is needed and for Steven to recycle for use inside the house, possibly for a bench or worktable.
The back of the existing garage, partially demolished. We borrowed the brick to patch the front and sides of the house. The rest of the back wall will be demolished when we start construction of the new third garage bay. The pile of lumber is maybe .00001 percent of the wood taken out of Emerald Hill during demo, set aside here in case it is needed and for Steven to recycle for use inside the house, possibly for a bench or worktable.

Here’s the site plan showing the location of the new garage bay:

The site plan showing the house, existing garage, and the location for the projected third bay.
The site plan showing the house, existing garage, and the location for the projected third bay.
Gilberto uses the Bobcat to scrape 18 inches down. Next week he will fill the excavation with six inches of roadbase, then compact it, then add another six inches of roadbase, compact that. Then the forms for the concrete foundation will be staked.
Gilberto uses the Bobcat to scrape 18 inches down. Next week he will fill the excavation with six inches of roadbase, then compact it, then add another six inches of roadbase, compact that. Then the forms for the concrete foundation will be staked.
The dirt, stone and brick is temporarily piled alongside the patio deck that will also be removed next week.
The dirt, stone and brick is temporarily piled alongside the patio deck that will also be removed next week.
Gilberto excavates right up to the footing of the existing garage. Joe stands alongside, instructing Gilberto where to lift the blade in order to not also rip up the asphalt driveway.
Gilberto excavates right up to the footing of the existing garage. Joe stands alongside, instructing Gilberto where to lift the blade in order to not also rip up the asphalt driveway.
More digging, scraping and hauling.
More digging, scraping and hauling.
Late Friday afternoon, most of the excavation is complete.
Late Friday afternoon, most of the excavation is complete. Joe placed several stakes that will be used to line up the footings and foundation.
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Change order 16

To make this remodeling adventure that much more scary, for Halloween, Jacquela and Steven today approved change order 16 — the addition of a third garage bay to Emerald Hill.

Plans here. Already approved by city.

We have been working with Ranserve to refine the project and rein in costs.

Here’s what we approved:

Builder’s risk insurance $85
Site supervision / general labor $3250 No overhead and profit charged to this item
Inspections $300
Demo / Prep $1500 Includes dumpsters
Brick masonry $500 Repairs at tie-in
Framing labor / materials $9720 No interior wall
New roof and roof repairs $4298
Window $500 Allowance
Garage door $1500 Allowance
Hardware $0 Allowance
Drywall and texture $0 Allowance, but eliminated from project
Flooring — concrete epoxy $0 Excluded
Exterior painting only, no interior painting $1770
Electrical $2475 Includes exterior hook up to power pole
Lighting fixtures $500 Allowance
Foundation $11400
subtotal $37798
Overhead & profit $6910
Total $44708

You can order shed and garage kits online for about the same cost, plus construction labor and permits; or prefabricated metal buildings for a lot less money yet would also require more labor to tie together the two structures — and still need permits.

This gets the job done, adds tons of storage to the house, adds protected parking, adds workshop space for the power tools — and ties all the structures together, correctly.

Ranserve reports we will break ground the week of 2 November.

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Electricians, painters, cabinetmakers, tilers, carpenters

48 hours since Steven last visited Emerald Hill, the electricians, painters, cabinetmakers, tilers and carpenters are transforming the house.

Let’s catch up.

Above, the electricians are starting to install light switches. Here’s a bank of switches in the master suite. Can’t. Wait. To. Turn. On. Lights!

Look up at the ceiling. Many of the 6-inch and 4-inch LED recessed lights are installed throughout Emerald Hill. Here's the ceiling over the kitchen island and into the family room. Look down. Randy has installed four of the five island cabinets -- and he's working at left on the pantry storage that will be next to the refrigerator. Look at the lumber rack near the back of the photo. It's empty, because ...
Look up at the ceiling. Many of the 6-inch and 4-inch LED recessed lights are installed throughout Emerald Hill. Here’s the ceiling over the kitchen island and into the family room. Look down. Randy has installed four of the five island cabinets — and he’s working at left on the pantry storage that will be next to the refrigerator. Look at the lumber rack near the back of the photo. It’s empty, because …
The painters have turned the back yard into a spray booth, priming all the trim wood before installation by the carpenters.
The painters have turned the back yard into a spray booth, priming all the trim wood before installation by the carpenters.
Ron and Cris from Ranserve waterproofed the walls of what will be Jadin's shower in bath 2.
Ron and Cris from Ranserve waterproofed the walls of what will be Jadin’s shower in bath 2.
The tilers are sealing the floor in the master shower and bath. By end of day, the floors in bath 2, bath 3 and the utility room will also be sealed.
The tilers are grouting the floor in the master shower and bath. By end of day, the floors in bath 2, bath 3 and the utility room will also be grouted.
Here's the master shower, tiled and sealed, with the gray quartz shelf cemented into place and the linear drain protected with blue painter's tape.
Here’s the master shower, tiled and grouted, with the gray quartz shelf cemented into place and the linear drain protected with blue painter’s tape.
This is a smoke alarm or CO2 detector -- won't know until the electricians take off the protective tape -- in the hallway of the master suite.
This is a smoke alarm or CO2 detector — won’t know until the electricians take off the protective tape — in the hallway of the master suite.
Back downstairs in the kitchen, Aaron, left, and Randy, right, talk through installation of the shelf cabinet at the far end of the kitchen island. The cabinet is square to the other island cabinets -- but we discover that the tile floor is about 1/2-inch out of square because the house is not perfectly linear. Ron Dahlke asks Julian to trim the tiles with a special saw. In turn, that will allow the flooring company to come in in about a month to properly lay the hickory flooring square to the cabinets.
Back downstairs in the kitchen, Aaron, left, and Randy, right, talk through installation of the shelf cabinet at the far end of the kitchen island. The cabinet is square to the other island cabinets — but we discover that the tile floor is about 1/2-inch out of square because the house is not perfectly linear. Ron Dahlke asks Julian to trim the tiles with a special saw. In turn, that will allow the flooring company to come in in about a month to properly lay the hickory flooring square to the cabinets.
Aaron test fits one of the Ikea handles on a cabinet drawer. Yes, it fits and will do the job we ask of it. Minimal. Linear. Functional.
Aaron test fits one of the Ikea handles on a cabinet drawer. Yes, it fits and will do the job we ask of it. Minimal. Linear. Functional.
In the entry hall, Aaron and Ron plot how the stairs will meet the low bench at the stair landing. The bench will include storage for shoes, bags, books and other items -- an arrangement suggested by homes in Japan that Jacquela, Jadin and Steven visited.
In the entry hall, Aaron and Ron plot how the stairs will meet the low bench at the stair landing. The bench will include storage for shoes, bags, books and other items — an arrangement suggested by homes in Japan that Jacquela, Jadin and Steven visited.

Not photographed …

  • Ron, Michelle and Steven talked through the garage project and budget. We’re getting there. More to come.
  • BMC delivered the attic ladder.
  • Austin Stone is scheduled to measure Thursday, 29 October, for kitchen countertops.
  • Harway reports delivery of the induction cooktop to the warehouse. It will arrive Wednesday, 28 October, at Emerald Hill.
  • Jacquela and Steven selected the red grout to go with the red glass tiles at the kitchen backsplash — Stainmaster Red.
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Notes, 26 Oct. 2015

  • Jacquela and Steven today approved the use of “Fusion Pro Single Component Grout” for all tile after triple-checking the numbers with Ron Dahlke. This urethane grout will cost about $460 in materials — with no additional labor charge, because the labor to install grout is already budgeted as a line item. This compares with a conventional grout that must then also be sealed — the grout and separate sealer would cost less, about $200 in materials, but the additional labor to come back on a second trip to seal the grout after it cures would become a change order we estimate at about $1,500. Besides, the Fusion Pro claims to be “stain proof and color perfect,” with “unsurpassed stain resistance,” “never needs sealing,” is “easy to spread and clean,” and delivers “ultimate color consistency.”
  • Steven and Michelle began to review the third set of estimated costs to build the third garage bay. More details to come.
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Notes, 20 Oct. 2015

Ferguson delivered the kitchen sink and faucet. Ron needs these for the cabinets and countertops. The kitchen cabinets are scheduled to arrive 22 October.
Ferguson delivered the kitchen sink and faucet. Ron needs these for the cabinets and countertops. The kitchen cabinets are scheduled to arrive 22 October.

Steven met with Mark Rehberg at Ranserve to begin reviewing the garage plans and budget. The numbers need work. And details are missing on how the numbers were compiled. There’s more homework to do before Steven and Jacquela can make the go/no go decision.

Steven picked up grout samples from ProSource — and got a grout lesson from John. There’s sanded and unsanded, conventional grouts that have to be mixed with water, applied, then sealed. Minerals and chemicals in the water can change the color of the grout. The mixing and multiple steps are labor intensive. And you have to seal, again, every three years. Use unsanded in narrow joints. Use sanded in wider joints. The unsanded is like pudding. The sand in the grout makes it thicker, for the wider joints.

For tile exposed to acids and chemicals in a kitchen, and to water in showers, for example, there are epoxy grouts. The epoxy makes the impervious to stains — that’s what the industry claims. Epoxy grouts cost 2-4 times as much as cement grouts.

And, there are urethane grouts. Pre-mixed, self-sealing, stain-free. And several times more expensive.

We’re going to have to compute the math.

Jacquela and Ron arrived at Emerald Hill late in the day. Jacquela selected the grout colors she wants for the kitchen, bath 2 and bath 3, the utility/laundry room, the porch and entry and fireplace hearth, and the floor in the master bath.

That took all of 30 minutes. Maybe. Easy compared to picking paint colors.

Jacquela and Steven need to see the wall tile in the master shower by daylight to pick that grout color.

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Third bay

One question Steven has asked from before completing the purchase of Emerald Hill is … “is it possible to add a third garage bay to the existing two-car garage?’

After much debate and discussion, after Michelle and Mark at Ranserve put a $35,000 estimated price on this “wish-list” item, Jacquela turned to Steven one day and said “I think it will add a lot of value and function to the house and we should do it.”

Permission!

Steven asked Brett to turn ideas into sketches and plans. Brett contacted a structural engineer to figure out how to put this thing together while taking out and tying into the back wall and roof of the existing garage.

The site plan showing the house, existing garage, and the location for the projected third bay.
The site plan showing the house, existing garage, and the location for the projected third bay.

Today, Brett reports that Austin Energy surveyed the telephone poles and power lines running parallel with the back property line — and confirmed that the proposed addition will be more than five feet away from the power lines. That’s the “green light” we needed for this months-long, slow-cooking, skunkworks idea turned project.

The floorplan of the remodeled house, with the third bay added at the back of the existing two-car garage.
The floorplan of the remodeled house, with the third bay added at the back of the existing two-car garage.

The first thing to understand is … we don’t need this garage, it’s not absolutely necessary … but it will make the house that much more functional and unique. We don’t see a lot of houses with three garage bays in the neighborhood when we drive Northwest Hills — but this is not a competition. Instead, Jadin will be driving in just about two years. Steven needs a home for his power tools and table saw. We have lived in two houses with three garage bays and it spoils you. There are bicycles. There will be storage space.

Simply, it just makes sense.

A simple shed roof exposed to the sun, in case we can afford to mount solar photovoltaics. A 10-foot wide garage door; nothing will have to squeeze through. With tons of storage in a loft above the car and along the extended south wall. With workshop space on the west wall opposite the garage door.
A simple shed roof exposed to the sun, in case we can afford to mount solar photovoltaics. A 10-foot wide garage door; nothing will have to squeeze through. With tons of storage in a loft above the car and along the extended south wall. With workshop space on the west wall opposite the garage door.

The plan is for Ranserve to submit the plans to the City of Austin this week. Then we wait, patiently, hoping for approval and permits.

The west elevation, where the workshop and power tools will find home.
The west elevation, where the workshop and power tools will find home.
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