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.
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.
Above — delivered earlier this week, the base cabinets have been moved into the pantry hallway for installation.
Ron Dahlke files this week’s summary:
- 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
- Continue on trim
- Complete cabinet install
- Install front door
- Start soil compactions
- Start trenching and installing rebar
- Barry came by today and has a plan for adjusting the plumbing drains for the bathroom cabinets.
- Once the trim guys complete this first phase, I’ll get Julian back to finish tile issues.
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.
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:
Here’s the site plan showing the location of the new garage bay:
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.
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|
|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|
|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|
|Overhead & profit||$6910|
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.
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!
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.
- 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.
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.
Brett Grinkmeyer, architect, messaged this morning. The City of Austin approved the plans for the addition of a third bay to the garage.
It took just 11 business days from submittal. Has to be a new speed record.
Now Michelle from Ranserve and Steven get to finalize the budget.
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.”
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.
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 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.
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.