The center panel of the door to the master bath was supposed to be opaque glass — ensuring privacy while allowing light to travel through. The door arrived with clear glass. Ron and Steven went back and forth through all the paperwork — and decided it would be easier, faster, smarter to apply an opaque window film to the glass, instead of replacing the door, sanding the door, painting the door …
Team Ranserve continue working through the punch list as we count down to moving in.
Odell called for the Final Inspection. The inspector arrived. Emerald Hill failed. As expected. This inspector is new to the remodel. He requires more documentation of where the two layers of fire-resistant drywall are and are not installed in the garage, around the mudroom. The previous inspector approved two layers around the mudroom and one layer on the walls that do not connect with the body of the house. Odell is attempting to contact that previous inspector for clarification and resolution.
Above, Julian test fits the 12×12 sheets of 2×2 black tiles that will become the final floor of the master shower. This is how we resolve an issue that has festered since November, when the shower floor was first tiled. The grout lines do not line up. Jacquela objected — the first issue she ever raised on this project. Julian laid out the mosaics. Jacquela arrived to inspect. She approved. Julian is five sheets of tile short. Odell ordered the tile. Now we wait for delivery and install.
Upstairs in the master bath, Odell discovered that the left-hand medicine cabinet is not centered over the sink faucet; he will take it down and recenter it. He also ordered a replacement for one of the sink faucets, which seems to have developed a permanent slow leak via the cartridge.
The port-a-potty was taken away five days ago. We’re 24 hours closer to moving in — and Team Ranserve is working through the punch list.
Above … Jacinto from Ranserve today began to scrape the old linoleum tiles off the floor in the old garage. We suspect one of the previous owners converted the garage into a rec room. We want to park the cars and use the space for storage and tools.
Steven is traveling — Barcelona for ShowStoppers @ Mobile World Congress.
Jacquela takes over the remodel. She met Saturday morning at Emerald Hill with Shane and Peter, the carpenters. Together, they reconfigured the deadbolt on the kitchen side door and the front door — picking up an idea proposed during the week by Steven: Shifting the keypad/deadbolt to the kitchen-side door, taking it off the front door; shifting the deadbolt from the kitchen-side door, instead to the front door. This cleans up the front door; Jacquela thought the keypad unit would be too big and overwhelming and ugly for the front door.
By the time Steven got to Emerald Hill today, the carpenters were long gone. But they did leave behind completed work …
Speaking of the plumbers … Steven discovered that the bottom of the pot filler at the cooktop is damp. There’s a very slow leak, apparently. And, one of the red glass backsplash tiles to the left of the pot filler is pulling away from the wall. It’s also crazed at the side closest to the pot filler. Maybe water from the small leak is traveling behind the glass tile. Ron and the plumbers are going to have to investigate. Steven reported this by text message to Ron.
Steven also discovered what might be the escutcheon for the pot filler — it’s the same chrome finish, with a brass fitting to go around the copper pipe, along with a rubber gasket to help limit compression. Steven taped everything together and then taped all three parts to the pot filler for Ron and the plumbers to investigate.
Steven also discovered a damp floor under the drain of the mudroom sink. The drain pipe is also damp. Looks like another slow leak for the plumbers to investigate. Steven taped a note to the floor under the drain pipe.
In photo at top, here are the plastic shelves that Steven transported yesterday to Emerald Hill, assembled, along with two roles of heavy Ram Board cardboard. Ron suggested that Steven purchase these to help protect the floors during move in. Good idea.
For the first time, we are negotiating a date to move in — the end of February.
As busy as yesterday — painters, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, team Ranserve, garage door installers — today was quiet. One painter working inside Emerald Hill.
Steven cleaned up a pile of lumber at the back of the new garage, swept the floor clean, assembled plastic shelving, as preparation for moving boxes. He installed LED lights to the outdoor motion detectors and garage motors. Delivered a supply of shelf liner to the pantry for Jacquela’s kitchen. Found a ding in the glass globe of the ceiling fan in the family room, tagging it with blue tape.
The house was quiet. No radios playing. No nail guns firing. No bodies dancing around each other. It’s a preview of what it might be like for Steven to be home, working in the office, with everyone gone.
Above, yesterday, Shane and Peter installed the massive door stops at the back and kitchen side doors. We need these to ensure the doors don’t slam into cabinets.
Billy and Chris arrived today from Binswanger Glass to install the glass doors in bath 2 and the master bath. They were not completely successful.
Above, a toolbox full of parts needed to install glass shower and bath doors. Billy and Chris also deployed drills, bits, shims, aluminum, a table saw, a framing square, protective pads, ladders — and a deliberate pace that proves they’ve done this for 12 years, speaking in shorthand.
Not including earlier discussions, Ron and Steven, with help from carpenters Shane and Peter, debated what size door strike we need at which door — and where to install the oversized pull and smart deadbolt system on the front door.
Why? Working with architect Brett, Steven and Jacquela opted months ago for oversized trim around the doors. It’s not wide, but it is deep — standing more than one inch proud of the drywall. That aesthetic decision now cascades into a rude realization — standard-sized strike plates are not wide enough to protect the trim when the latch bolt slides across the painted trim. The bolt leaves a trail across the paint.
With Shane’s help, we sized the kitchen side door for strike plate 2.25 inches tall by 3 inches wide. Standard width is more like one inch. All the other interior and exterior doors — with the exception of the front door — need strike plates 2.25 inches tall by 2.5 inches wide.
Steven shopped and ordered these online from Amazon.
The front door is a different conundrum. According to Shane, the handle on a front door is normally mounted 36 inches up from the bottom of the door.
If we mount the oversized pull at that height on the door, the pull will appear way too low, located properly only for very short people.
We debated different heights for a while, shifting the pull up and down and calculating where to put the smart deadbolt above it. We decided that the top of the pull should be 54 inches up from the bottom of the door.
Ron wrote this decision down.
About three hours later, Ron called Steven to note that we forgot to compute into the 54 inches the fact that there is a step up from the porch to the front door — about seven inches.
That was yesterday.
Today, we used blue painter’s tape to mock up the potential positions on the OSB sheets that currently cover the front door. One at 36 inches, one at 54 inches.
54 inches is where your hand meets the pull comfortably. The smart deadbolt mounts a short reach higher, at just about eye height for adults. Jadin is already nearly as tall as Mom and Dad — so that height is going to work just fine.
Now it’s up to Shane and Peter to drill holes in the door to mount the hardware.
But we take away these instructions:
Every small decision cascades into many more decisions that are complicated, time consuming, expensive, surprises to even experienced carpenters and builders, surprises that Steven could not anticipate or imagine.
Every cascading decision comes with multiple complexities. Take a deep breath. Dive in. Talk it through. As many times as necessary. Use tape for mockups. Get as many hands and brains involved as necessary. Solve the puzzle. And the next puzzle. And the puzzles just don’t stop arriving.