Thursday, April 8, 2010

Saturday, March 12 - Tuesday April 4

It's been a beehive of activity at the house in the last month. Unfortunately, this has left me little time to record the events other than what I've been jotting down in my notebook and snapping pictures of. Here are some shots of the more notable items.

Roof Decking / Tarpaper - March 12, 2010

Nice to finally get in the dry.

Nash Getting Dirty - 3/16/10

After throwing a tantrum in the floor because Mom wouldn't let him run a muck, Nash shows off what he picked up while wallowing in the sawdust.

Roofing - March 16-19

The roofers we had really made working on these 10/12 pitches look easy. Ninjas for certain.

Used Car Lot - Monday, March 29th

I was amused to see all this iron lining the street this fine morning. I had to park on the next block, and I wasn't the only one. I think there were four trades working, and there were guys everywhere.

Brickwork - 3/29/10

The masons returned and got busy. It was all we could do to try to stay ahead of them and make sure plumbing and electrical items were poking out of the walls where needed so they could brick around them. I'm happy with the brick we chose. It's different from most of the houses in the neighborhood.

Me Perched in the Living Room Windows - 3/29/10

The past month has found me at the house pretty much every night till dark and every weekend day. This Monday afternoon found me on a walkboard left by my framers so I could mount the ceiling fan boxes in the vaulted living room. It's 17' to the bottom of the decorative beam over my head.

The Data Center

With the help of Karey's cousin Nathan and my good friend and conspirator Jerry, we've wired the house for power, cable, phone and sound. It's been quite an experience, and I could not have done it without the help of these fine gents. Here is the nexus of communications for the house. It's located in the upstairs storage area.

Exterior Siding Begins

It was the moment of truth when the concrete boards started going up. It's hard to tell exactly how things will all mesh together from the little samples. We crossed our fingers with the brick, roofing, lap siding, trim siding and windows and hoped it would all play nice together. I think it does, and we've gotten lots of compliments.

We went with the 8.25" Hardie-Plank cedar-lap, factory painted in "Woodstock Brown". It's made from cement, so it's pretty green, and it has a 15 year warranty on the finish.

The Laundry Chute (or An Exercise in Toe-Stumping)

This item has been in the plans from the beginning, but it never really got assigned to anyone and, therefore, no one looked out for it. So I undertook its construction after it had been encroached on by both plumbers and electricians. I guess I can't be too upset as I was managing both these trades (I even pulled wire right through the space myself). Doh!

The problem was that this particular area is adjacent to the main electrical panel for the downstairs and at a junction of several different sets of walls and floor trusses. It all made for a particularly daunting task, which is why I put it off as long as possible. When I finally got around to it, it was a feat just to get all the wires and pipes out of the way. Then began the head scratching in earnest. The position of the trusses and the upstairs walls did their best to force me to make a weird off-set in the chute, but to no avail. I got pretty handy with the sawsall before this thing finally took shape. Anyway, I'm really happy with how it turned out. I spent a Sunday morning sealing every seam inside the box with aluminum foil tape, and it is one slick tube. Should save the kids (and the wife) much time in the future as everyone has access to the chute from the hallway above.

These pictures really do not do justice to the amount of effort and thought this took. Oh well, I'm sure that's the case with most items of high-quality art.

The Foam Begins - 4/6/10

Much excitement for me began when the insulator got started. First because this is IMHO the pinnacle of insulation technology and I can't wait to see what my utility bills look like at the end of this summer. Second because I sure hope all the wiring and other mechanical is right because it's about to get covered. Fingers crossed until the fixtures go in.

This stuff is amazing to watch. It sprays on like runny paint, then expands like mad until it fills the wall cavities, sealing out air infiltration while insulating.

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