Ron Dahlke is officially placed on medical leave by Ranserve. More details to come.
Above, meet Odell Grant from Ranserve, stepping in to serve as site supervisor as we push to complete the house and move in. Odell is wondering why that hand-made aluminum pan, roughly and not well built, was installed as a drip pan under the tankless water heater, suspended from the copper piping by thin rusted wire. Steven and Jacquela do not approve of this attempt to meet City of Austin codes that require the drip pans. Steven today ordered two replacements from Amazon — one for upstairs, one for down.
Austin Air yesterday completed the startup of the HVAC system. We have heat and air conditioning at Emerald Hill for the first time. The gas furnace is powered up. The condensor could make cold air if we asked it.
Odell and Steven walked and talked Emerald Hill for about two hours, building a punch list for Odell to work through. He’s helicoptered in to pick up where Ron left off. Deep breath.
About 145 pm Odell reported that the tempered glass needed for the tall window at Jadin’s bedroom will not arrive until Tuesday next week, 1 March. The inspector requires we replace the conventional glass with tempered because a closet door opens toward the window. Safety.
As a result, Odell advises that we push back the move-in date, which was scheduled for Wednesday, 2 March. Steven called Rene de Anda at El Sol Logistics, the moving company. The move is now scheduled for Friday, 11 March.
Steven ordered Internet, TV and phone services from Time Warner; installation is scheduled for Friday, 26 February.
The City of Austin inspected the electrical systems and installation today for the garage and house. We almost passed. Just four corrections to make.
Mostly, it appears we must install the baffles and LEDs to the ceiling ventilation/lighting units in the bathrooms. That’s easy. And the electricians need to install AFCI breakers — and ground the metal low-voltage system box.
Mark Rehberg from Ranserve called after the inspection. He assures that nothing here is major. Ron Dahlke messaged in from his continuing recovery from the attack of the nearly-killer virus to report that the electricians have already been alerted.
Distracted by all the bright shiny distractions to discover after a week of work on the house while he was traveling, Steven forgot to photograph the exterior of the garage yesterday.
Here it is, with the siding corrected — and the attic ventilation installed under the eaves — which means Ron solved the question of how precisely the City of Austin wants us to ventilate the underside of the roof.
Now the painters get to prep the exterior box, prime it, paint it.
One long holiday weekend later, the City of Austin today issued a new and separate permit for the construction of the garage, resolving questions about how to call for inspections of the garage under the existing permit for the house when the inspections of the foundation, steelwork, concrete, framing and roofing of the house are already complete.
Ron and Kathleen from Ranserve report they have contacted the City of Austin to resolve a question about the garage construction permit.
As explained to Steven, the City approved construction of the garage as an amendment to the construction plans for the house — which is what the City advised was the correct procedure. But … when Ron spoke with the inspector two days ago about how to get the foundation for the garage inspected and approved, the inspector checked with the office — and he advised that the City needs to revise the permit, separating the garage as its own permit and construction process — which in turn will allow Ron to call for the foundation, steelwork, concrete, framing, roofing and other inspections — which he cannot do at this point because all those inspections are already done and approved for the house.
Kathleen advises she will have an update next week.
In the interim, complying in full with the plans already approved by the City, Gilsa continues to install steelwork for the foundation.
Above, long runs of rebar are prepped from front to back of garage.
Austin Energy today removed the old electrical meter from the back wall of the existing garage, then installed a new meter on the power pole that Capstone and Ranserve erected last week at the back of the driveway.
That was fast. Steven called for this service only Friday of last week.
Now everyone can plug in at the rectangular box below the meter.
And, with the meter out of the way, we can now demolish the back wall of the existing garage as we construct the new third bay.
Tracy reports that all the light fixtures and ceiling fans are on site at Lights Fantastic, ready for delivery to Emerald Hill.
Above, the construction team jackhammers and shovels dirt to dig the perimeter and middle beams for the garage foundation. The plans call for digging down as far as 18 inches — or until you hit rock — and Ron Dahlke says they are hitting rock, “which is what you want.”
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 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.
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.