Sketching the structural plan

Ben Feldt, structural engineer, Feldt Consulting Engineers, delivers plans that detail how to correct Emerald Hill, saving it from bad remodels, missing and insufficient structure, to rehabilitate it for the next 50 years.

Here’s his sketch of the first floor, with formal drawings to come:


Ben’s notes:

  1. Replace this existing section of 2-2×10 with double 1 3/4×9 ¼ LVL. This existing 2-2×10 has a pipe running through it that will be removed. Nail LVL’s together with 4 rows of 16d nails at 12” o.c.
  2. Replace 2-2×12 header with new 2-2×12 header continuous over window and door. Provide a single king and jack stud each side of header. The studs between the door and window should be jack stud (run to bottom of continuous header) and be 2-2×4 (this could be single 2×4 if necessary to fit new door and window but double is preferred.)
  3. Replace existing glulam with triple 1 3/4×14 LVL header. Remove existing double top plates. The LVL’s may be ripped to 13” deep to keep the same overall clearance that is currently there. Support each end of the beam with 3-2×6 jack studs. Furr-out side walls of library to 2×6 thickness or replace with 2×6 studs altogether.
  4. Header shall be 2-1 3/4×11 ¼ (or 11 7/8). Support each end with 3-2×4 jack studs.
  5. Beam is severely undersized. Replace with five 1 3/4×9 ¼ LVL beam. Bolt beam together with (2) 1/2″ diameter thru-bolts, one 2” from top and one 2” from bottom, not staggered). Attach common floor joists to side of new beam with Simpson LUS210 hangers.
  6. Reinforce beam with single 1 3/4×9 ¼ LVL nailed to outside face of existing 2-2×10 beam. Nail new LVL to existing 2-2×10 with 4 rows of 16d nails at 12” o.c.
  7. Use Simpson HU610 on new reinforced beam. Use Simpson HUS210-2 on existing 2-2×10 beam.
  8. Add five 1 3/4×9 ¼ LVL beam. Bolt beam together with (2) 1/2″ diameter thru-bolts, one 2” from top and one 2” from bottom, not staggered).
  9. Add double 1 3/4×9 ¼ LVL beams. Nail LVL’s together with 4 rows of 16d nails at 12” o.c. These 2 beams should sit no more than 24” apart and allow the toilet drain pipe to traverse right to left, essentially a “chase”.
  10. Replace header with 2-1 3/4×14 LVL. Support each end with 3-2×4 jack studs.
  11. Add/replace header with 2-1 3/4×11 ¼ (or 11 7/8) LVL. Support each end with 3-2×4 jack studs.
  12. Furr out wall as discussed to allow plumbing drain clearance.
  13. Use Simpson HU410.
  14. New 2-2×12 concealed/flush beam. Support each end with 2-2×4 jack studs.
  15. New 2-2×12 header. Support each end with 1-2×4 jack stud.

Here’s the sketch for the second floor:


Notes, 30 June 2015

  • Steven scheduled meetings in July with hardware suppliers to consider door handles, hinges, etc.
  • Barry Samsel from Custom Plumbing checked the “barrel-style” P-trap for mudroom sink, confirmed it will comply with City of Austin building codes.
  • Steven added the mudroom sink and bathroom vanities to the specification documents.
  • Mark Rehberg advises that Ben Feldt, engineer, did not deliver the structural framing plans he promised for 29 June. Mark is chasing Ben. Update: Plans delivered!
  • Steven spoke with Bryan Mitchell from Carrier. The Cor Internet-connected thermostats continue in development and will be streamed into Emerald Hill as soon as available, probably late 4Q 2015.

Week ending 26 June 2015 part 2

Mark Rehberg from Ranserve files this week’s update.

This week:

  • Continued interior demo.
  • AC condensing units, coils and air handlers were disconnected and removed for Habitat recycling program.
  • Habitat performed the first of three pick ups.
  • East side Lumber delivered framing materials.
  • Barry with Custom Plumbing reviewed plumbing fixture selections.
  • Jonell at Ferguson’s was notified to place the order for valves/drains and we requested specification sheets for our records and for the plumber on site.
  • Received final HVAC bid from Kyle at Elite AC.  The design and specifications were completed with help from Ross Britton.  We will provide a submittal for your review and approval next week.
  • Ben Feldt confirmed that the structural design would be provided Monday June 29th.
  • Ron has lined up a framing crew for next week.
  • Wendy Shelton/wood floor consultant, visited the site and provided a favorable response to matching/sand & finish existing wood floors.  Details to be discussed next Tuesday with Ron Dahlke.

Next week:

  • Habitat pick up 7/2/15.
  • Interior framing.
  • Confirm delivery of Milgard windows from Martel Windows and Doors, due 7/8/15.

Change orders 1, 2 and 3

“A change order is work that is added to or deleted from the original scope of work of a contract, which alters the original contract amount and/or completion date.” Wikipedia.

Change order #1 adds $60 to the cost of construction — $50 to ensure this remodel project complies with Austin Energy Green Building standards and rules, plus $10 in “overhead & profit” to Ranserve to incorporate this change into the build plan.

Change order #2 adds $66.57 to the cost of construction — $55.47 because the City of Austin charged that much more than we budgeted for the Water Tap Fee, plus $11.10 in “overhead & profit” to Ranserve.

Change order #3 adds $180 to the cost of construction — $150 to drain the freon from the two HVAC systems, then disconnect the units, plus $30 in O&P to Ranserve.

The Leons are now in the hole an additional $306.57.

On the other hand, a future change order will credit about $550-650 back to the Leons, because the HVAC system is going to cost that much less.

Every dollar counts.

Week ending 26 June 2015 part 1

  • It’s Friday. Emerald Hill is quiet. There’s no one working, because we can’t move forward without the framing plan from the structural engineer. Time is going to waste.
  • Barry at Custom Plumbing Services approved the plumbing selections, no changes, no additions. Kathleen at Ranserve alerted Jonell at Ferguson to start the order and delivery schedule. Jonell confirms and is also assembling the specification portfolios needed for construction and installation.
  • Kyle at Elite Heating and Air Conditioning updated the Manual J to four tons at the request of Austin Energy Green Building. Steven forwarded the update to Miki at AEGB.
  • Framing lumber is delivered to Emerald Hill.
  • Steven is working through change orders 1, 2 and 3.
  • Mark from Ranserve, Brett the architect and Steven are scheduled to meet 1 July to review options for exterior siding — what reveal, smooth or cedarmill finish, mitered corners or not, vertical or horizontal. Steven and Jacquela promise a quick decision.
  • The house across the street is sold. There’s a dumpster in the driveway. Looks like another remodel is underway.

Here’s a photo tour of the house as of today.

The structural engineer is MIA FOUND!

Update at 250 pm

Ben Feldt messages that he was out of town, says he will be working over the weekend to get us the framing plan by Monday.


Original post

We should be framing.

We can’t.

We have not received the structural engineering plan from Ben Feldt at Feldt Consulting Engineers.

Ben inspected Emerald Hill on 19 June. He promised the plan would be sent to Ranserve. Quickly.

Mark and Ron ordered the framing lumber. It’s already delivered, stacked neatly across the first floor of the house. Waiting.

Mark, Ron and Steve have called and messaged. No response. So far.

“Time is money,” Mark said to Steve as he considers options.

Back in the remodel saddle

Back from NYC and “day job” earning money to pay for this remodel, tackling the to-do list:

  • Manual J. Kyle from Elite advises that his math now calls for 4 tons HVAC, after reviewing numbers with Austin Energy Green Building. Kyle updated system configuration, saving the Leons approximately $500. Kyle advises he will contact AEGB with updated numbers and share copy with Steven.

HVAC observation. Emerald Hill at approximately 3200 sq ft heated will have half the HVAC "tonnage" as the Leon's existing 4200 sq ft heated -- 4 tons dual speed at Emerald Hill vs. 8 tons multispeed at Sea Eagle View. Emerald Hill is getting new insulation -- foam in the attic, blown-in in the walls, new exterior sheathing, new siding, new dual-pane insulated windows, and more, but will that suffice when Sea Eagle has foam everywhere? This math is worrisome ...

Kyle messages: "Bigger system will give you the extra capacity to cool the house more quickly if you wanted it cooler than 75 degrees when it is more than 100 outside and also will give you extra capacity if you have a lot of guests.

"The smaller system will run more often and remove humidity better and generally speaking be more efficient."

  • Habitat. Mark Rehberg from Ranserve reports Habitat pickups #2 and #3 of donated items are now scheduled for 2 July and 8 July.
  • Structural Engineer. Steven pinged Ben Feldt to ask for ETA on structural engineering needed for wood framing, plumbers, HVAC chases.
  • Exterior siding. Brett Grinkmeyer, architect; Mark and Ron from Ranserve; and Steven will schedule a meeting at Ranserve to review options for Hardie exterior siding — what reveal, what finish, what labor budget, what materials budget.
  • Front door. This is a Critical Path Item (CPI). Steven is working with Mark and Ron to identify options — wood species, paintable or stainable, glass or no glass.
  • Doors. Additional exterior doors at kitchen, back door, garage, and interior doors. Mark tells Steven that Ranserve has received proposal from BMC West. Ron is reviewing. Steven asks to share.
  • Door hardware/handles. Steven began contacting 2-3 weeks ago suppliers of door “jewelry” recommended by Ranserve. He’s starting to get responses.
  • First draw. Steven is coordinating paperwork for first draw payment to Ranserve by SouthStar Bank SSB. It’s a process. Brett Grinkmeyer completed his architectural signoff. Kathleen Baker at Ranserve has to complete form supplied by Dawn Embry at SouthStar. Steven will sign. Larry Weisinger at SouthStar will inspect house. Ranserve will receive money.
  • Plumbing fixtures. Ron, site supervisor, and Barry at Custom Plumbing are to complete review of plumbing fixtures selected by Jacquela and Steven. With that review, Kathleen from Ranserve and Steven will be able to finalize the Ferguson order.
  • Flooring. Will we be able to save and refinish the existing oak floors?