Tag Archives: interior

Blower door test — and more

Today’s agenda at Emerald Hill stacked up meetings and tasks:

  • Gutters
  • Time Warner Cable for Internet, phone, TV services
  • Brett Grinkmeyer, architect, and his tour of Emerald Hill with prospective clients
  • Tyson from Granite Security for a tutorial on the security system
  • Blower door test
  • Cut down the hackberry tree at the northeast corner of the house
  • Assemble more Ikea furniture
  • Set up a computer in the pantry, out of traffic, to work on ShowStoppers @ Mobile World Congress

Above, Alex from ATS and Jonathan from Austin Air review the duct plans with Ron from Ranserve, in preparation for the blower door test.

Jonathan measures airflow from the duct in bedroom 1 as part of the blower door test.
Jonathan measures airflow from the duct in bedroom 1 as part of the blower door test.
Alex assembles the blower door.
Alex assembles the blower door.
We passed! The City of Austin requires less than 5 ACH -- air changes per hour. Alex and Jonathan confirm that Emerald Hill is tightly insulated and not leaking a lot of air. Ron is smiling at this measure of quality.
We passed! The City of Austin requires less than 5 ACH — air changes per hour. Alex and Jonathan confirm that Emerald Hill is tightly insulated and not leaking a lot of air. Ron is smiling at this measure of quality.
Tyson showed Steven how to configure and use the alarm system that we prewired into the house.
Tyson showed Steven how to configure and use the alarm system that we prewired into the house.
Rodriguez from Gilsa uses a chunk of concrete to grind stains off the first paver in front of the house.
Rodriguez from Gilsa uses a chunk of concrete to grind stains off the first paver in front of the house.
Ron and Kevin opened up the stair wall to add more blocking -- needed to support the shower wand in the bathroom on the other side of the wall.
Ron and Kevin opened up the stair wall to add more blocking — needed to support the shower wand in the bathroom on the other side of the wall.
Taking out the hackberry tree that was leaning toward the house.
Taking out the hackberry tree that was leaning toward the house.
Stripped of most branches in just 10 minutes.
Stripped of most branches in just 10 minutes.
Sections of trunk cut smaller to make them lighter when carrying off to the chipper.
Sections of trunk cut smaller to make them lighter when carrying off to the chipper.

 

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Notes, 10 Feb. 2016

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.

Ron Dahlke and team cleared the original two-car garage of his desk, a tool box, and more. This is what might be described as a bittersweet milestone -- Ron is preparing to move out of Emerald Hill and the remodel is coming to an end. It is, also, a mile marker for how close we are to done -- and moving in.
Ron Dahlke and team cleared the original two-car garage of his desk, a tool box, and more. This is what might be described as a bittersweet milestone — Ron is preparing to move out of Emerald Hill and the remodel is coming to an end. It is, also, a mile marker for how close we are to done — and moving in.
Team Ranserve installed the window screens today. Hard to see in this photo. Ron and Steven walked the house. There are six screens not yet installed that need to be delivered.
Team Ranserve installed the window screens today. Hard to see in this photo. Ron and Steven walked the house. There are six screens not yet installed that need to be delivered.
Rodriguez from Gilsa Construction hacked away today at the remaining form and hardened concrete spillage left over from pouring the foundation for the new garage bay.
Rodriguez from Gilsa Construction hacked away today at the remaining form and hardened concrete spillage left over from pouring the foundation for the new garage bay.
Elite Air Conditioning began swapping out the straight registers for curved -- as required by the Austin Green Build program.
Elite Air Conditioning began swapping out the straight registers for curved — as required by the Austin Green Build program.
Steven began assembling and test fitting the Ikea Stuva cabinets in the mudroom -- confirming that one of the baseboards will need to be trimmed for the cabinets to fit left to right.
Steven began assembling and test fitting the Ikea Stuva cabinets in the mudroom — confirming that one of the baseboards will need to be trimmed for the cabinets to fit left to right.
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Fire, placed

Kris and Matt from Ranserve installed the fireplace glass doors today.

Matt keeps it level and flush to the wall while Kris screws the mounts inside.
Matt keeps it level and flush to the wall while Kris screws the mounts inside.
And nearly done. Kris and Matt had to adjust the alignment of the glass doors.
And nearly done. Kris and Matt had to adjust the alignment of the glass doors.

 

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Notes, 15 Jan. 2015

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 opened up the drywall behind the mudroom shower -- where the tankless water unit will soon be installed -- to add blocking behind the shower panels. This will enable the plumbers to properly screw the shower head fixture tight to the plastic panels.
Ron opened up the drywall behind the mudroom shower — where the tankless water unit will soon be installed — to add blocking behind the shower panels. This will enable the plumbers to properly screw the shower head fixture tight to the plastic panels.

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.

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Notes, 12 Jan. 2016

Above, Jacinto mortars brick where the old garage meets the new Hardieboard siding.

Inside, Jacinto cements the exposed mesh around the fireplace.
Inside, Jacinto cements the exposed mesh around the fireplace.

Steven purchased satin-nickel house numbers from Lowe’s. Jacquela approved the numbers. Steven and Ron discussed where to mount them at the front of the house.

Steven purchased three motion-sensor double flood lights from Lowe’s, to be installed at the new garage bay, at the side door near the kitchen, and at the back door.

Steven also ordered the Ring door chime for the front door, to go with the Ring doorbell. Steve the electrician reminded Steven to get this done. It’s done.

The island countertop is propped against the family room wall, getting it out of the way for Aaron to repair the island cabinets.
The island countertop is propped against the family room wall, getting it out of the way for Aaron to repair the island cabinets.

 

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Talk and walk the week

9 a.m. Monday morning to talk and walk the week ahead.

Ron Dahlke from Ranserve, left, and Mauricio from Gilsa, right, recovering from his heart attack, meet Steven to plan the concrete pour for the garage foundation. We're aiming for Thursday, depending on city inspections of forms and steelwork. In front of the house, we plan the pavers that will replace part of the walk to the patio, and the landing in front of the porch. The cardboard on the ground approximates the location and size of the landing. The pavers will extend around the front of the house to the site of the former kitchen deck, which Gilsa has removed via Bobcat. Gilsa will now regrade the ex-deck to ensure water flows away from the side door off the kitchen. And ... Gilsa will also regrade behind the garage and enlarge the concrete slab to be used for the HVAC condenser. All this will be consequential toward finishing the house.
Ron Dahlke from Ranserve, left, and Mauricio from Gilsa, right, recovering from his heart attack, meet Steven to plan the concrete pour for the garage foundation. We’re aiming for Thursday, depending on city inspections of forms and steelwork. In front of the house, we plan the pavers that will replace part of the walk to the patio, and the landing in front of the porch. The cardboard on the ground approximates the location and size of the landing. The pavers will extend around the front of the house to the site of the former kitchen deck, which Gilsa has removed via Bobcat. Gilsa will now regrade the ex-deck to ensure water flows away from the side door off the kitchen. And … Gilsa will also regrade behind the garage and enlarge the concrete slab to be used for the HVAC condenser. All this will be consequential toward finishing the house.

Above, an army of 10 painters is sanding down the walls and trim, and taping more protective paper over the stairs and floors, preparing the interior of the house for final painting.

Over the weekend, Aaron from Central Texas Custom Cabinets installed the final box -- the small cabinet at the top of the pantry at left of the side kitchen door.
Over the weekend, Aaron from Central Texas Custom Cabinets installed the final box — the small cabinet at the top of the pantry at left of the side kitchen door.
Chris from Central Texas Custom Cabinets scribes the "skiin" panel that will finish off the end of this run of cabinets at the oven and microwave wall.
Chris from Central Texas Custom Cabinets scribes the “skin” panel that will finish off the end of this run of cabinets at the oven and microwave wall.
The skin that finishes the run of cabinets on the refrigerator wall.
The skin that finishes the run of cabinets on the refrigerator wall.
Upstairs in bath 3, Cris from Ranserve is rebuilding the drain line to ensure that the emergency cleanout is 8 inches off the floor. That elevation ensures we don't have to cut up the vanity to get access to the cleanout. Cris will repeat this surgery in the master bath, upstairs, and in bath 2, downstairs. After which, he will patch the drywall, then turn the wall over to the painters for sanding, priming, painting -- at which point he will finally be able to install the vanities.
Upstairs in bath 3, Cris from Ranserve, supervised by his shadow, is rebuilding the drain line to ensure that the emergency cleanout is 8 inches off the floor. That elevation ensures we don’t have to cut up the vanity to get access to the cleanout. Cris will repeat this surgery in the master bath, upstairs, and in bath 2, downstairs. After which, he will patch the drywall, then turn the wall over to the painters for sanding, priming, painting — at which point he will finally be able to install the vanities.
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Notes, 27 Nov. 2015

Above — Steven carried one of the kitchen stools to Emerald Hill for a test fitting under the island. It works. But he may  need to trim an inch or two off the height of each leg to create more clearance.

Some of the "loot," so far ...
Some of the “loot,” so far …

For Black Friday, FedEx and the USPS delivered:

  • 14 passage locksets, Schlage F10 V LAT 619 CEN, ordered online via Amazon at $28.63 per set vs $34.98 from Home Depot or $39.97 from Lowe’s.
  • 3 deadbolts, Schlage B60 N 619 CEN at $31.80 from Amazon, vs $35.80 at Home Depot or $35.97 at Lowe’s.
  • 1 entry set, Schlage F60 V CEN 619 LAT, $126.65 from Amazon vs $157 at Lowe’s and apparently not sold by Home Depot.
  • 1 Ring wi-fi enabled doorbell.
  • 1 Rainmachine HD-12 “smart” sprinkler controller that connects to NOAA weather forecasts, promising to cut water use when watering the lawn.

Still on order — privacy and dummy door handles, and the “smart” lock for the front door.

Steven observes: Ordering from Amazon is saving multiple hundreds of dollars on lock sets, door handles, deadbolts, smart devices.

It may be the Friday after Thanksgiving, but two of the painters are working inside the house, filling nail holes with wood putty, then sanding.
It may be the Friday after Thanksgiving, but two of the painters are working inside the house, filling nail holes with wood putty, then sanding.
The hickory floor is finished in what will be Jadin's bedroom.
The hickory floor is finished in what will be Jadin’s bedroom.

 

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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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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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