Journal of our Home Construction - September   Back to Journal Index    Home

09/05/2002 - Wow new month already.  I didn't realize I had missed posting a journal entry for so many days.  Time slips by so fast!  Monday night I had to go out to the house and install a floor box in the great room for the phone and network.  Because of the layout of that room the box is almost in the middle of the floor.  I didn't want to do ours until the electrician did theirs.  They did theirs Friday, so... We tried to do it Saturday, but got out there and realized we didn't have all the tools we needed.

We went out to the house Tuesday night and found several things wrong.  They had started the columns on the front porch and had them wrong.  They were hanging half a brick off the porch.  To be fair to the mason, the problem was that originally the gable of the front porch roof was originally to be siding so the plan called for it to come out over the brick.  That is how it was built.  But we changed it to brick.  That meant the brick for the columns had to be pulled out far enough to go on up the columns and then on up the gable.  Thus, they hung off the porch.  The other problem is that they were to big.  They were built to the size on the plan, but they were still too big and looked wrong.  That's just one of those things you can't tell from the plan.  Joe, our contractor, had already seen them before we did and knew they had to be re-done.  I met him at the house Wednesday morning and we talked about it.  We decided they would rebuild the gable and sink it one brick width back toward the house to make room for the brick so the columns would sit fully on the porch.  That means the rakes will be wider on the front porch, but I can live with that.  They were also going to shrink them a little.  They were tearing down the columns before I left that morning.  I went back out there tonight and they have started rebuilding them.  They look much better!

Another thing we found Tuesday evening was that the HVAC crew had put duct work in the ceiling of the theater where I didn't expect it to be.  After Scott and I looked at it a while we couldn't really figure out anything else they could have done so we'll live with it.  I also talked about this with Joe and we decided that the front of the theater will be lowered.  I already knew we had to do that but it will have to be more than I expected.  There will also be two soffits on the back part of the ceiling.  Should actually look pretty good, sort of like there is a tray ceiling.

HVAC crew also had some vents in the wrong place in the master bedroom and great room.  The one on the master bedroom was already cut out but luckily the one on the great room was not.  They have been moved now.

And finally, the HVAC crew had cut through one of the wires we pulled.  Unfortunately it was one of the longest wires.  Oh well, accidents happen.  We will go out this weekend and re-pull it.  We have plenty of extra.

I know it sounds like the HVAC guys a bozos, but they are not.  They are actually doing a really good job.  sh*t just happens.

We've had fans and a dehumidifier going in the basement all this week and it is looking (and smelling) much better.  No evidence that water is seeping in through the foundation.  The moisture was from the rain that got in before we had a roof.  Of course it hasn't rained here for a while so can't be sure just yet.  Fingers are crossed.

The plumber says he can't fit the facet for the whirl pool tub on the tub where it is supposed to go because the over-flow drain pipe is in the way.  He wants to put the facet on the tub deck instead, but I think that will look funny since there is this big flat area on the tub where the facet obviously goes.  I looked at it again and I think the over flow drain is not done the way it should be.  I have an email to Joe to see if it can be fixed.

Last night Scott and I went out to the house and some neighbors stopped by and we ended up giving them a tour and talking until almost 8:00 PM.  So we didn't do much more than have a McDonalds diner and go bed.

Tonight I went out and put an additional support strap on the floor box I installed on Monday.  It was just connected to a joist by a bracket on one side so it was not strong enough to be in the floor where it might get walked on.  I also marked the position of the lights on the deck railing posts so they can route out channels for the cables to go through before they get too far with the decking.

I didn't have my camera tonight to take pictures.  I was out of town on a business trip all day so I couldn't take it with me.  But, I do have pictures from Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.  I realized when looking at them tonight that I never took any pictures of the front porch columns.  I will have to be sure and do that tomorrow.


09/10/2002 - Man! More days have slipped by and I haven't done a journal entry.  Oh well, probably for the best.  While there is lots of work going on, strangely there isn't that much to take pictures of in the evening.  But, I have a far number of them tonight that were taken over the past several days.  They continue to work on our huge deck.  Which now looks even bigger with the deck boards on.

The mason is almost done.  The columns were built Friday and the library window was done.  Monday, the carpenters got the gable front of the porch sunk in 4 inches to make room for the brick.  The masons were back today working on the arch over the front porch and the gable.  They also got the dining room window done I think.  I was there at about 3:30 and they were working.  Can't really take pictures while they are working.  I will get some tomorrow.  I suspect it will all be done.

The theater ceiling is done.  I was a little disappointed initially that they would need to lower it, but now that it is done it looks really good.

This past weekend we went out and re-pulled the wire that the HVAC crew cut through.  Hopefully there will be no more of those mistakes.

We also realized this weekend that the master bath only had the one fan that was in the toilet room and that would not do for venting humidity out from the shower and whirl pool tub.  So I sent a note to Joe, our builder, to have them add another near the shower and tub.  It was installed today.

I have to go meet with the plumber in the morning to talk about the facet for the whirl pool tub.  Seems it won't fit where it is supposed to go because the overflow drain is in the way.  I am guessing that if we had bought a Kohler facet--that's who makes the tub--it would have fit.  But we didn't, we got a Moen to match the sink facets.  So, we need to talk about options.


09/11/2002 - Have quite a few pictures today.  As I expected, the mason finished the brick today.  Carpenters have started to fix the soffits and trim on the front porch.  The finish carpenters have started flaring out the bottom of the stairs in the great room.  Talked to the plumber this morning and got the facet for the whirl pool squared away.  Also talked with Joe about how the deck railing will work and how high we want it.

Had the rough-in inspection.  We didn't pass.  From the time our plumbing was done, to when the inspection was done, they changed the codes.  Now, no two bath fixtures can share a 1 1/2" inch vent pipe anymore.  All the plumbing vents in the house has to be replaced with 2" pipe.  The plumbers were really pissed this morning because they got no word the code was changing.  Joe said there are probably 60 housed in Lafayette being built that may have to have their plumbing redone.  One of our windows also has to be replaced.  They claim it is not large enough to be a bedroom egress window.  There were some other things the carpenters need to fix but those were the biggies.


09/18/2002 - More pictures finally.  Masons have their scaffolding down now so you can really see the brick.  I though I had already taken pictures of it, but when I looked at my pictures tonight I discovered I hadn't.  I'll have to do that.  I think they got everything resolved from the inspection.  Don't know if we've had the re-inspection or not.  We ended up not having to replace the window.  By removing the stops from the window, they were able to get it to open a little wider and satisfy the inspector.  They are starting to put up the railing on the deck.  It looks so great!  They also have started layout out the driveway forms so it can be poured.  Drywall was been delivered.  They should get started on that soon.  All the cabinets should have been ordered on Monday.  It will be about three to four weeks and they will be showing up.  Met with Joe or builder yesterday to sign over another draw check.  He says its probably going to be mid to late Nov before the house is done.


09/24/2002 - Tons of pictures today!  It has been a while since I did a post.  Nothing was really going on that was worth taking pictures of.  Last time I was out at the house was last Thursday.  Went out and was not happy to find that it had rained in through the roofs of the bays in the dining room and library.  The basement was all flooded again after we spent so much time getting it dried out.  I was out of town Friday and Sunday.  Saturday we had our BBQ Rib picnic as a "thank you" to the people that help us pull wiring.  Monday we took off from work at noon and went to Nu-Kitchen--who is doing our cabinets--to talk about how the shower in the master bath will be done.  We are going to use synthetic marble on it to match the vanity and sinks.  So, we didn't get back out to the house until Monday evening.  We were going out there to pull one more wire for the switch that will turn on the fireplace logs.  Boy did we get a surprise!  All the drywall was hung!  I mean *all* of it!  Well, except for a little bit in the basement.  I think they ran out of drywall.  Our builder said the drywall contractor called him at 5:00 on Friday and said they were working during the weekend.  They did the whole house in two days!  Of course they still have to mud and tape all the seams and such, which will take a while.  But still, we can't believe they hung it all in two days!  They must have had a huge crew.  They left a huge mess that's for sure!  There was drywall all over the floor and everything is coated in white powder.  It was being cleaned up today.  They put the drywall up so fast and so sudden that a few things weren't done in the walls yet so some of it had to be taken down today for things to be fixed.  There were a couple of lights in the wrong place that need to be moved still, the cook top vent wasn't in yet, and the oven cabinet soffit was not right.  But those were easy to fix--they were all fixed today--and its good they didn't hold up the process.  The house looks so different with the walls closed in.  Some people said it would seem smaller but I don't think it does.  Some rooms seem smaller, but some seem bigger.  Mostly the house just has a completely different feel.  Its like a real house!  As for the water in the basement.  They must have done some serious clean-up and drying out work because the basement was fine Monday evening.

Next steps:  Mudding and taping on the drywall, obviously.  The well should be drilled this week I think.  The electric company has staked out where the electric line from the transformer to the house goes.  As soon as the furnace is in--hopefully it will arrive any day now--they will trench the cable in.  The crew that will trench in the geothermal loop should also be here this week I think.  After those are done grading of the lot should happen.

From this point on most everything is finish work.  No more big changes.  But this will be the frustrating part because it will seem slow and we are getting close to the end.


09/25/2002 - Went out to the house this afternoon to talk to the cabinet contractor.  Got the details of the master bath shower worked out.  Also talked to Joe's new guy.  I guess you would call him a site foreman.  His name is Jim.  Very nice.  We got several things ironed out.  They started digging the trenches for the geothermal loop today.  The are taking an odd route--down through the ravine.  Not to happy that they got so close to some of the trees, but they didn't have much choice because of the building line.  We have a pretty wide set back.  They are doing 3, 200 foot long trenches and one 50 foot trench all connected together at the end by a cross trench which runs to the house.  They are seven feet deep.  Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures.  I was so busy talking to everyone about things that I forgot.  I will take some tomorrow.


09/26/2002 - Several miscellaneous things done today.  They also started on the grading a little and they continue to work on the geothermal systems.  Pictures are here.  Builder told us the furnace has arrived. Yeah!  It has been back ordered for over a month, maybe two.  They should be doing the septic system and well tomorrow assuming it doesn't ran too much.  Builder says wells in that area have to be very deep--over 220 feet--so we may be over our allowance on that some.


09/27/2002 - No work on the well or septic today.  Not sure why.  But they continue to work on the geothermal loop.  They have it to the house and were filling in the trench when I was there.  Here's a few pictures.


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