Tag Archives: interior

Notes, 15 Oct. 2015

Early start to a busy day.

Above, Steven swept up and collected these “bullets” left behind by Basem as he installed the platforms for the kitchen cabinets. The empty shells have been fired. The shells with tips are still “live ammo” capable of driving the pin nail at right into the concrete slab when hammered with a nail gun. We will not be leaving these lying around.

DSC_4830
Steven arrived at Emerald Hill at 825 am after dropping Jadin off at school. Delivery truck from Ferguson was waiting, with the final missing piece of the shower for bath 2 — Jadin’s bath — the shelf unit that fits into the corner of the shower. Now Ron can finish installing that shower.
Steven continued experimenting with tile layouts. Here is how Jacquela wants the tiles aligned in the kitchen. Steven approves.
Steven continued experimenting with tile layouts. Here is how Jacquela wants the tiles aligned in the kitchen — north/south. Steven approves.
And here is how we will lay out the grid of tiles in bath 2 -- east/west.
And here is how we will lay out the grid of tiles in bath 2 — east/west.

Julian and his crew of tile setters arrived about 9 am. Steven walked the tile patterns and layouts with Julian. One open question is — there are apparently two distinct designs in the tile selected for the kitchen floor. One is linear. The other is mottled. Steven hopes there is enough linear to cover the kitchen floor, and enough mottled to use in the mudroom, mudroom bath and pantry — to help delineate the spaces. We won’t know until Julian opens all the boxes.

Kyle from Cowart arrived about 930 to teach Steven about garage doors. We might be able to save and refurbish the existing door, at several hundred dollars. But it still needs a new motor and remote — Steven is holding out for wi-fi and Internet access to the garage door controls. Kyle reports this can all be packaged with a new door, with full warranty, for about $1,000, total. Steven and Jacquela will continue this conversation Saturday when we meet with Kamla.

Upstairs in the master shower, Pedro applies a second layer of blue waterproofing to the Hardie board.
Upstairs in the master shower, Pedro applies a second layer of blue waterproofing to the Hardie board.
A day or two back, Ron and Cris installed this screen mesh across the exterior of the exhaust vent -- to keep critters and bugs out.
A day or two back, Ron and Cris installed this screen mesh across the exterior of the exhaust vent — to keep critters and bugs out.
More history uncovered and discovered. At some point, the family room at Emerald Hill was carpeted -- and an arc of some other flooring was installed at the back door. Look closely at the gray concrete for the clefts hollowed out in the slab by the nails in the carpet tack.
More history uncovered and discovered. At some point, the family room at Emerald Hill was carpeted — and an arc of some other flooring was installed at the back door. Look closely at the gray concrete for the clefts hollowed out in the slab by the nails in the carpet tack.
Share. Link. Like.

Notes, 12 Oct. 2015

So how did Christopher Columbus “discover” America if Native Americans already lived across North, Central and South America, in civilizations thousands of years old?

That’s today’s conundrum.

Back at Emerald Hill …

  • Ron Dahlke and Steven took inventory of the doors delivered by BMC West. We believe half the order is still to come.
  • Ron and Steve triple-checked the count of passage, privacy, dummy and pocket door handles; Steven can now order the handles.
  • Steven scheduled a meeting for Tuesday with Victor Martinez to talk about cutting off sprinklers where the garage extension will be built, and installing a new sprinkler control system — when it’s time. It will soon be time.
  • Ron met with the roofer, who reports we will need to vent the garage roof with either a “mushroom” or a ridge vent as part of the garage construction. There is already one mushroom vent, but the enlarged space will need more ventilation. Luckily, we have three mushrooms stored on the driveway waiting for donation to Habitat. More details to come.
  • Kevin Rehberg continued to chip out the existing oak flooring, which cannot be saved.
  • Ron reports that the kitchen cabinets might arrive as soon as next week!
Cris pours concrete to fill the hole in the slab where the original stair treads began. He is standing just about where the original front door opened -- clearly illustrating how we have extended the front entry another five feet beyond where Cris is working. We have to bring the slab up level to install the new wood flooring that will replace the existing oak that cannot be saved.
Cris pours concrete to fill the hole in the slab where the original stair treads began. He is standing just about where the original front door opened — clearly illustrating how we have extended the front entry another five feet beyond where Cris is working. We have to bring the slab up level to install the new wood flooring that will replace the existing oak that cannot be saved.
Upstairs, the laminate and padding are completely removed, and the loft is vacuumed clean. Hickory planks will be installed here. The exposed subfloor reads as a history lesson -- water stains and rusted nails, we think caused by a roof leak; markings on the floor for electrical outlets and a ceiling fan from a remodel; saw cuts at corners where the subfloor was apparently repaired and replaced.
Upstairs, the laminate and padding are completely removed, and the loft is vacuumed clean. Hickory planks will be installed here. The exposed subfloor reads as a history lesson — water stains and rusted nails, we think caused by a roof leak; markings on the floor for electrical outlets and a ceiling fan from a remodel; saw cuts at corners where the subfloor was apparently repaired and replaced.
Share. Link. Like.

Moving stuff in — doors and trim

“We have reached that point in this renovation where we are moving stuff in, instead of taking stuff out,” said Ron Dahlke, talking with Steven today about what comes next.

Deliveries today from BMC West include the first interior doors and the baseboard, casing and other trim materials that the carpenters will soon install.

Above, about half the interior doors have arrived, stacked in the kitchen.

BMC built this neat rack to store baseboard, casing and other trim lumber.
BMC built this neat rack to store baseboard, casing and other trim lumber.
Ron supervises while Cris navigates a closet door through the hallway to bedroom 1.
Ron supervises while Cris navigates a closet door through the hallway to bedroom 1.
One door jamb arrived splintered and will need to be replaced.
One door jamb arrived splintered and will need to be replaced.
Share. Link. Like.

A hint of color to come

The first coat of North Star on the wall in the master bedroom. It’s subtle and calm — just like Jacquela wants.

In the cartons … Ron has started to move into the house the vanities — getting them out of the existing garage, staging them inside the house for installation.

Share. Link. Like.

Pick-up sticks

The painters are done with priming the interior walls and applying two coats of final paint color — Sherwin Williams Pure White — to ceilings. It’s time to clean up.

Ron Dahlke deployed Kevin and Matt from Ranserve to take up all the sheets of heavy-duty paper that have protected the existing oak floors since demo began in June.

It seems like we’ve almost forgotten what the oak floors looked like.

Unfortunately, we cannot save the oak. A wrenching decision.

After the protective paper came up, Kevin applied pry bar and hammer, to begin chipping out the wood.

It’s a happy day to see the house come this much closer to done. It’s painful to lose the oak floor.

From the library at the front of the house, Kevin chisels up the oak flooring in the family room.
From the library at the front of the house, Kevin chisels up the oak flooring in the family room.
An alternate view of Keven working away at the oak, shot from the far corner of the family room.
An alternate view of Keven working away at the oak, shot from the far corner of the family room.
Upstairs in the loft, Matt removes the laminate flooring that we will save for later use elsewhere in the house. We guess the laminate was installed about the same time as the oak, as a way to save money on flooring. According to a previous owner, the house was originally carpeted with shag rugs taken out sometime in the 70s or 80s.
Upstairs in the loft, Matt removes the laminate flooring that we will save for later use elsewhere in the house. We guess the laminate was installed about the same time as the oak, as a way to save money on flooring. According to a previous owner, the house was originally carpeted with shag rugs taken out sometime in the 70s or 80s.

 

Share. Link. Like.

Notes, 8 Oct. 2015

  • Ron and Steven met yesterday with Ed King from Binswanger Glass to talk about glass doors for showers and “water closets,” aka toilets behind doors. Earlier in the week, Ron met separately with Anchor Ventana. Today, Jacquela and Steven received the first estimates on what it might cost to buy and install the doors. It’s twice the amount budgeted. Why? First part of the answer — when Ranserve compiled the working budget it did not properly account for all the glass doors, even though they are detailed in the architectural plans. Second part of answer — Steven did not pay enough attention to this line item and all the glass doors when reviewing the plans. Now we have to decide which doors to eliminate, as one approach; or which glass doors to replace with wood doors and frames; or which glass doors to keep. With any of the three approaches, there will be a change order coming. Yich.
  • Lowe’s is selling a two-pack of 4-inch LEDs for ceiling cans for $20. That is HALF the non-sale price. Steven checked with the electricians to make absolutely certain these LEDs are correct. They are. Off he went to Lowe’s, coming back with 11 two-packs — a total of 22 LEDs. One more than actually needed. But half the cost of missing the sale price. The LEDs are 2700K, what the industry identifies as “warm white,” which Steven sees as conventional yellow-cast light with his aging eyes. But these will work well when installed in the hallways. We will reserve 3500K or 4000K “cool white” or “bright white” 6-inch LEDs for use in the rooms that we spend time in, instead of halls we walk through. Lowe’s also has two-packs of 6-inch LEDs, also for $20, a killer price savings, but these are also 2700K, too yellow. Lowe’s does not at this point carry cool white LEDs at anything less than $40 each, sometimes more, a lot more. Every dollar counts.
  • The painters continue priming the walls in the house and almost all the ceilings are now painted with one coat of the final “pure white” from Sherwin Williams. The interior of the house glows — bright, clean. The spaces feel so much bigger than when we bought the house, when most rooms and hallways were painted a shade of yellow. Paint is magic.
  • Brett Grinkmeyer, Jacquela and Steven signed off on draw #4. Kathleen at Ranserve will submit it to the bank for payment.
Share. Link. Like.

Primer’d

Suddenly, surely, wonderfully … Emerald Hill is becoming “done.”

All it took was nine hours, a crew of six, sandpaper, ladders, brushes, face masks — a several five-gallon buckets of Sherwin Williams primer and sealer. White.

Ranserve has been working since 1 June toward this day. The painters have taken over the house. The structural wounds are laboriously healed. The plumbing, electrical, HVAC, insulation, windows, framing, drywall are laboriously healed. All that work to save Emerald Hill from itself transforms with the tick of a compressor, the hiss of a hose, the click of a trigger, the stream of paint emerging from the tip of a spray gun.

It is magic.

Jacquela ducks out the side door off the kitchen, trying to avoid Steven's camera. This is the "great room" -- combination of family room and kitchen.
Jacquela ducks out the side door off the kitchen, trying to avoid Steven’s camera. This is the “great room” — combination of family room and kitchen.
The master bedroom, made into a white slate by primer.
The master bedroom, made into a white slate by primer.
Late afternoon sunlight defining the master bath with crisp shadows on newly-painted walls and ceiling.
Late afternoon sunlight defining the master bath with crisp shadows on newly-painted walls and ceiling.
The stairwell in late afternoon, all its structure wounds healed behind primer.
The stairwell in late afternoon, all its structure wounds healed behind primer.
One of the buckets of primer.
One of the buckets of primer.
Things to come #1 -- the eggshell satin version of Sherwin Williams paint that tomorrow goes up on the walls and ceilings of the bathrooms.
Things to come #1 — the eggshell satin version of Sherwin Williams paint that tomorrow goes up on the walls and ceilings of the bathrooms.
Things to come #2 -- the flat version of the Sherwin Williams paint that will be used to paint  almost all the walls.
Things to come #2 — the flat version of the Sherwin Williams paint that will be used to paint almost all the walls.
Share. Link. Like.

Notes, 28 Sept. 2015

NASA today reports there is water on Mars. Now we have to look for those canals. The presidents of Iran, Russia and the US spoke at the UN. World Peace was not declared. Last night, there was a total lunar eclipse. Steven took out the telescope. Jacquela marveled. Randy and his son Owen walked across the street to peer through the lens. Owen was excited, asking questions. Jadin could not be distracted from talking with her friends via Skype.

Meanwhile, today, back at Emerald Hill, Ron Dahlke from Ranserve, Brett Grinkmeyer, architect, and Steven met to consider options for the tall window at the back of Jadin’s bedroom. If we crank it open, it hits the underside of the eave and is blocked by the back side of the fascia from opening completely. We chose to make this window larger and taller to allow more daylight into Jadin’s bedroom. Now we discover the consequences. The design team coalesced around one idea — extending the roof line out about one foot and raising the eave behind the “eyebrow” to create three to four inches of additional clearance for the window when completely opened. Brett will sketch it if Ron needs plans. But Ron thinks he has this figured out and will instruct head carpenter Cris through the cutting and nailing.

The design team also tackled ideas for the door trim and baseboard, and where to put electrical outlets in the proposed garage extension.

And Federal Express delivered the first vanities.

Share. Link. Like.

Notes, 23 Sept. 2015

It’s the first day of Fall. Happy Equinox!

Kathleen Baker at Ranserve today submitted plans for the garage addition to the City of Austin, applying for a building permit. Now we wait for review.

The exhaust duct for the kitchen hood is at upper left in this photo. The darker drywall is water resistant, where the sink will be installed.
The exhaust duct for the kitchen hood is at upper left in this photo. The darker drywall is water resistant, where the sink will be installed.

Ron and Cris from Ranserve installed the duct for the kitchen exhaust hood inside the kitchen, foaming all around the metal duct to insulate it and the exterior wall, then sealing up around the duct with drywall.

The exterior end of the exhaust duct. Ron and Cris will mount a screen to block bugs from traveling into the house through what is currently the open bottom of the duct.
The exterior end of the exhaust duct. Ron and Cris will mount a screen to block bugs from traveling into the house through what is currently the open bottom of the duct.
Catching up on other drywall details -- the master bath, with water resistant drywall at the sink locations and the shelf that goes behind the vanity framed up.
Catching up on other drywall details — the master bath, with water resistant drywall at the sink locations and the shelf that goes behind the vanity framed up.
Share. Link. Like.