Tag Archives: stairs

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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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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Small steps forward

Ron Dahlke is scheduling two inspections for Wednesday with the City of Austin — HVAC rough-in and framing.

Steven today ordered the exhaust hood for the kitchen from Harway. Ron needs the hood onsite to properly mount it over the cooktop and configure the busiest wall in the kitchen — exhaust, wiring, plumbing, electrical.

The rough framing for the new stairs is complete.
The rough framing for the new stairs is complete.
There's a rumor that the clouds might spit rain later this week. So ... with the new exterior door off the kitchen in place, Ranserve carved a channel to push runoff away from the door. Why? The exterior deck was built too high -- and it pushes water into the house. Another something to fix.
The canyons of Mars? Not quite. There’s a rumor that the clouds might spit rain later this week. So … with the new exterior door off the kitchen in place, Ranserve carved a channel to push runoff away from the door. Why? The exterior deck was built too high — and it pushes water into the house. Another something to fix.
Cris from Ranserve inserted additional framing at the left side of the tub in bath 3, closing up the extra space the tub does not need against the framing.
Cris from Ranserve inserted additional framing at the left side of the tub in bath 3, closing up the extra space the tub does not need against the framing.
We think the electricians or plumbers left behind this sawdust filled pair of glove liners. Found Art.
We think the electricians or plumbers left behind this sawdust filled pair of glove liners. Found Art.
Now that the new exterior water line to the house from the curb passed inspection, the plumbers bury the line  in the front lawn.
Now that the new exterior water line to the house from the curb passed inspection, the plumbers bury the line in the front lawn.
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Ron’s got a plan for the stairs

The original stairs are gone. Finally. This is the last major restructuring of Emerald Hill. The stairs were not built to code.

DSC_2910Ron Dahlke says he spent his weekend drawing out plans for the new stairs — the rise, the tread, the run, the platform, the structure.

Silverio and Marco from the framing team are back to build out Ron’s plans.

Marco cuts the tread and rise into the left-side stringer.
Marco cuts the tread and rise into the left-side stringer.
Silverio carries the fresh-cut stringer into the house. The right-side stringer is already nailed into place. And the landing platform is already built.
Silverio carries the fresh-cut stringer into the house. The right-side stringer is already nailed into place. And the landing platform is already built.
Silverio nails the stringer up.
Silverio nails up the stringer.
Marco cuts the center stringer that adds stability and strength to the stairs.
Marco cuts the center stringer that adds stability and strength to the stairs.
All three stringers are nailed in. Silverio is prepping lumber for risers.
All three stringers are nailed in. Silverio is prepping lumber for risers.
The plumbers need Ron upstairs, so he takes his maiden climb on the stairs he designed -- before risers and treads are nailed in.
The plumbers need Ron upstairs, so he takes his maiden climb on the stairs he designed — before risers and treads are nailed in.
Silverio nails in risers.
Silverio nails in risers.
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Destroying the staircase, part 1

The original staircase was not built correctly. There are 15 risers. There are eight different heights for the risers.

Stair Rises

 

Steven was told by a previous owner that when they bought the house it was carpeted — orange shag. That owner ripped it out and put in the wood floors, possibly also refinishing the stairs with oak treads and risers made of MDF painted some off-white that yellowed over time. The oak was glued to the top of the staircase framing, instead of rebuilding that framing to compensate for the additional height of the one-inch thick treads.

As a result, the stairs do not meet building code. We’re way outside the permissable variables — not with all the changes in elevation. Your foot does not know where to plant safely.

To fix this, we need more run — the horizontal distance the stairs travel from first riser on the first floor to the landing in the hallway at the top of the stairs.

The only way to get that additional run is to extend the front of the house forward about four feet. See the first floor plan. This is the only place we are adding square feet to the house.

Today, Cris and Kevin from Ranserve pried off the oak treads using pry bars, hammers and human muscle. See photo above.

Cris shows the underside of one of the oak treads after it was removed. Not enough glue.
Cris shows the underside of one of the oak treads after it was removed. Not enough glue.
Kevin takes out the last remaining tread. The landing behind him was removed weeks ago.
Kevin takes out the last remaining tread. The landing behind him was removed weeks ago. The oak treads and MDF risers will be stored in the garage for donation to Habitat.

Ranserve is leaving in place the rough framing of the staircase until after the electrical inspection that is called for Thursday/tomorrow. After that, Ron, Cris and Kevin will dismantle the staircase and build new. To code. Correctly.

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Stairs, cascading

The knee bone’s connected to the shin bone …

The stairs are not built to code for rise and tread. The rise varies from stair to stair — 10 inches for the first stair and landing, then 7.25 inches, until you get to the top, where the rise suddenly shrinks to 5 inches. We suspect the stairs were originally carpeted, built nearly correctly. Then a remodel replaced the carpet with oak treads — tripping up ascents and descents.

Courtesy chestofbooks.com.
This is the way stairs should be built. All the treads the same depth. All the rises the same height. Proper headroom. Courtesy chestofbooks.com.

To fix this, we need to add additional run — the horizontal distance the stairs travel from first stair to last.

Last week, the framers took out the closet over the stairs at what will be the loft, to ensure we’re not whacking our skulls each time we climb the steps. See photo here.

These issues force us to push the front entry of the house forward about 3.5 feet. It’s the only addition to the square footage in the entire remodel. We sweated whether this would complicate or delay permits from the City of Austin, because of limits on impermeable cover. But we’re building the extension over the existing slab, which is already impermeable. And bringing the stairs up to code for safety. The permits came more quickly than we expected.

Today, the framers opened up the front wall of the house, and went to work on the structure. By tomorrow, the front door will be repositioned forward 3 feet and turned 90 degrees.

A temporary support holds up the front porch. Temporary supports hold up the second story as new lumber is cut elsewhere for nailing.
A temporary support holds up the front porch. Additional temporary supports hold up the second story as new lumber is cut elsewhere for nailing. Silverio at left, Roberto on the ladder to the left of where the new front windows will soon arrive.
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