Friday, September 25, 2015

A little stain today

We went out to the property last night and found a nice surprise.  It was unexpected and it is not yet finished.  They stained the trusses and columns in the front of the house!  Since it was the only thing new, I am posting before and after pictures below, for the record and for your enjoyment.

This is BEFORE....

This is AFTER...

Thursday, September 24, 2015

We have tubs!

Now, many of you are wondering what is so exciting about us having tubs.  The tubs must be installed prior to the framers (remember those guys?) can finish their work, and before final electrical and plumbing inspections can be made.  Once that happens, stone, brick, and insulation can go in.  After insulation, there is another inspection, then drywall and the rest happens.  Having the tubs installed is a pretty big deal in the process.

The inspector was on-site when I was there taking pictures.  The crews have a few minor corrections to make.  I meet with the crew installing our natural gas service on Monday.  At that point, all utilities are in place.  The stone masons arrive next week, after the other crews have completed their "punch list".

Here are some pictures:

This is a picture of the last window to be installed -- the one above
the front door.  It had to wait for the door frame, and now it awaits paint.

I told you we have tubs!  This one is in the MBR suite.  To the
right is my awesome shower.

This is the tub from the Exercise Room, a.k.a., Bedroom #2.

This is the tub associated with Bedroom #3

The white pipe in the middle needed to be moved from inside  Bedroom 4's
walk-in closet and placed in a more suitable place for the pantry.

The inadvertent extra sink plumbing is removed (the darker cement) and now
the dual-bin trash drawer can slide more easily.

The house is not wired for sound, though it is wired for security.  Each
window will have a sensor, and the wiring is already installed.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Moving forward with waterworks and paint...

It has been pretty exciting since my last post.  I spent a few days with my good friend Jack Schaffner recently, and have not updated the blog.  Nonetheless, many things have happened which you will see below in pictures and their captions.  

First of all, the painter told my CM that he could work faster if he painted before the bricks and stone were in place.  He does not have to protect them with plastic if they are not there.  He is required to come back and touch-up after the brick and stone are in place.  The nice thing about doing it this way is that the sides of the window frames, which are wooden per the Craftsman style, have a full coat of paint and will more easily resist moisture.  The brick and stone will cover these sides, making them inaccessible later.  By having full, contiguous coverage, we are reducing the maintenance effort significantly.

Secondly, our waterworks are installed: both the water well and the septic system -- incoming and outgoing!  The tubs are still not installed.  The electrical is still going in, and today they started the "low-voltage" electrical, which consists of data, TV, door access, cams, etc.

Last, but not least, the metal door frames have been installed for the double front door and the wine grotto.  They will not hang the doors until the very end (so they get neither banged up nor stolen), but finishing the framing allows the rest of the associated wall/panel to be completed.  On the front door, this means finally installing the window pane which goes above it (though not yet done).

Here are the pictures:

This is the progress perspective of the front.  You will note that the dormers are painted in our colors, as well as the bay
windows and the two-car garage/outdoor recreational place.

This is a close-up of the front porch, and you can better see that the
windows are painted, as well as the cornice.

The back of the house is painted except where brick and stone will cover.
The frames of the mosaic windows really stand out nicely, as does the bay.

This is a picture of the lanai and fireplace, taken from the two-car garage.  It
is perhaps a little easier to see the over-spray on the window frame paint.  The
over-spray area would have to have been covered with plastic to protect the
brick and stone had it been painted afterwards.

La Casita flashes its new colors against a beautiful morning sky.

This is our water well, some 300 feet deep in an aquifer which will yield
80-100 gallons per minute.  It has a 1 1/2 horsepower pump.

The septic system extends from the back corner to the east and through
the back of the property about 200 feet (60m).

This is a closeup of the septic system.

Here is a picture of the front door frame.  One
can see the window on the floor in the back-
ground.  This window will go above the door.

This is the door frame for the wine grotto.  The door will be insulated and
the grotto will have its own cooling system to keep it at 57 degrees
Fahrenheit (13C).

The right (or east) side of the house contains the utilities, as can be seen in
this picture.   It all has to be somewhere.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Going inside, watching the sun

We went out to the property today to check out what has been done.  On Thursday we did our "pre-electrical walk-through".  The walk-through involved validating the placements of outlets, switches, and lights, as well as their positions.  We added a couple of fluorescent lights in the five-car garage, a couple of lights on the corners of the house, and a few critical outlets.  Oh yes, a dedicated 110 volts line for the Christmas tree...we tend to use a few thousand lights on our tree.
The pictures today include some outside shots, and some interesting (I think) geometry shots showing the air-conditioning (A/C) duct-work through the rafters.  The time of the picture-taking was 1:00 PM CDT (13h00) -- more on that later.  Here are the pictures:

A sunny day at Leaning Oak.  I shoot from this perspective so I will have
a constant source of reference as the house construction develops.

The A/C duct-work in the master bedroom.

This is the duct-work in the Great Room.  The bright shining surface in
the right of the picture is a thermal barrier, as it is the portion of the
cathedral ceiling which extends beyond the roof.

The duct-work above the wine grotto, but it is part of the house A/C, and
not that for the wine grotto itself.  That will come later, maybe next week.

This is the Great Room at the time of these pictures.  Note there is plenty of
natural light, but no direct sunlight.

Here is the back of the house around 1PM (13h00).  One can see that the
large window mosaic is already shaded, and appears to get sunlight only
one or two hours per day.  The trees shade the back of the house until
very late in the morning.  Our plethora of windows will not contribute
further heating of the house (as the large windows in front are sheltered
by the porch and the trees in front).

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Roof is done, primer applied

The transformation continues, our future abode morphing from sticks to walls to roofing, nd looks more like our dream house with each passing day.  The pictures I took today show the progress on the exterior, though much progress has been made on the plumbing as well.  The tubs should be in this week, and electrical begin next week.

As can be seen in this picture, the roof is now complete and primer is being
applied to all the wood trim.  The primer is applied in advance to ensure all
wood is protected prior to the masonry.

This is the area of the porte-cochere showing the siding has primer applied.

The back of the house has also received primer, and they were starting
on the lanai while I was there.  The roof was completed since my last visit.

The is La Casita (the little house) which is attached to the five-car garage. It
has 10-feet deep porches just like the main house.

Here is a 'panoramic' shot of the house, just to give a little more context.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Roofing almost complete

It is a big roof, "mucho grande" according to the hard-working men installing it.  A disparate set of activities await the upcoming week: pre-electrical walk-through, air-conditioning rough-in (including the wine grotto), air-conditioning ductwork, and tubs.  I'll tell the rest in pictures...

Our stone arrived, a little ahead of schedule, but at least it will be here when
we are ready for it.  The load was 43,000 pounds (21.5 tons; 19,500 kg).

The roofing is almost complete on the main house, and work as been done
on the five-car garage and casita (apartment for my father-in-law)

The cornice has been added in many places, though not all, yet.  This one
is from the left side of the porch and two ceiling fans will be added for
outdoor comfort
The cornices are done, windows are framed and siding completed on the 
back of the house.  The stone and brick await their opportunity.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Rapidly looking like a house...

Lots of pictures, as windows are installed, framed, much of the siding is up, and the roof is tar-papered with some shingles.  The roof will finish this week, the cornice will be completed, also.  The stone and brick were delivered today, though it will be a couple of weeks before we are ready for it.  The A/C will be roughed in this week, and early next week, we will do the pre-electrical walk-through.

Enough talking, on with the pics:

Sunday: The roof decking is complete and most of the windows and doors
are installed 
Sunday: The main window mosaic in the Great Room with all windows in place

Sunday: the "five car garage" which is combined with the casita.  Only
four cars will park here, the fifth slot being reserved for lawn equipment.

Sunday:  The rear of the house with windows installed.
Today: All windows are framed and siding added.

Sunday: looking from the South corner of the Great Room through the
kitchen area and breakfast nook (bay window)

Sunday: The entrance to the casita through the truss-works.  The garage portion
is to the left where the three windows are.

Today: The tar paper is down on the roof and shingling has begun.  All
windows are now installed and trimmed.

Today: A close-up of the truss-works in front of the main house and the
shingles added thus far.

Today: The windows of the dining room installed and trimmed.  The roofing
above is the covered porch.

Today: A peek through the trees near the property's namesake, the
leaning oak seen in the left of the photo.