- Thursday, 1 November --- Video:
Another month has begun. I've named this month `stuff' because I don't
really know what else to call it. Here goes:
Monday night -- it rained. Just like it was supposed to. It passed
fairly quickly though and was mostly sunny Tuesday. I talked to the
Derek on Tuesday about the concrete pour -- yep, it was going to
happen rain or shine. Obviously
the concrete wasn't going to be adversely affected by the rain, but the
slab could pit & we wouldn't want that, so...they erected a sort
of tent to keep the rain out.
The heating guy should be out & about soon.
The front deck started going up today.
We made one tiny little change that turned out to be quite a bit
more work than I expected : in the downstairs bathroom we were going
to have a tub/shower combination. We decided on just putting a shower
in. No problem, right? Well, apparently a tub only needs a 1 1/2''
drain, while a shower needs a 2'' drain (why? I don't know). This
necessitated cutting into the slab & replacing the drain. Luckily
only about 2' of the slab had to be cut. Had we known, we probably
would have kept the tub.
- Friday, 2 November --- Video:
- Monday, 5 November --- Video:
- Tuesday, 6 November --- Video:
- Wednesday, 7 November --- Video:
- Thursday, 8 November --- Video:
- We've window's! I went out to talk to the heating guy about
the zones we want (we're to have three zones). He already knew
about them & walked me through the house showing me the
register, thermostat, and return locations. He also walked me
around the outside to show me the gutters & downspout
locations. I hadn't really thought about downspouts.
Our windows were also delivered and were being moved to
their final locations for installation. These windows look
a lot better than the ones we saw in the showroom. They're
double paned, aluminum outside & wood inside. Looks like
we're going to have to replace the locks though. Easy enough.
Finally, I talked with Derek
we've a plan'') about the plan. We're waiting for the
retaining wall to be built in front of the house so we can
get the driveway & remainder of the lot work done
(driveway, etc.). With the windows in it looks like they
might be ready to button up the house soon, which means
we can move on to the electrical rough in.
- Friday, 9 November --- Video:
- Saturday, 10 November --- Video:
- Sunday, 11 November --- Video:
- Monday, 12 November --- Video:
- Rain, rain and lot's o' rain. This is our first storm of the season
and it looks to be dumping at least an inch or so. It looks like
they were going to start the front retaining wall today.
Lynn talked to Derek about
moving the heating vents in the kids' rooms. Currently they're
located directly under where we plan to put the beds.
- Tuesday, 13 November --- Video:
- The front retaining wall went in. The vanity sign's back also.
I've been wondering if it would return soon.
- Wednesday, 14 November --- Video:
- Thursday, 15 November --- Video:
- Went out to the lot today. This was supposed to be a very short
meeting. Mostly we wanted the shower heads 6'' about higher
than they are. I'm tired of kneeling to wash my hair! Here's
Derek had questions
We also mentioned to him we're raising the floor in the
kids' closets. The plan says this, but doesn't give minor
details like how high. We're going to put drawers here.
- What are we going to do about the hole where the
downstairs fireplace was to go?
- Leave it open. We'll put in a bookcase or bar or something.
- We can't put in a drip-pan under the refrigerator,
otherwise the refrigerator can't be slid into place.
- Did we know that we were supposed to meet the
electrician on Monday morning?
- How far off of the floor do we want the washer/dryer
- We'd like 12''. We're putting a stackable washer &
dryer in the upstairs hallway & need a place for soap,
bleach, & other washer/dryer type stuff.
- What make & model washer & dryer,
kitchen hood, stove are we going to use?
- We'll get back to you.
Finally, Dave showed up &
he & Derek talked about
the new stairs that we want on the deck. They must
to be drawn by the architect & passed by the structural
engineer. Who knew? They're only stairs!
We also talked with Aaron
about the driveway, manhole & fences. Everything is
coming along. We're thinking about tinting the driveway roughly
the same colour of the original (see
here). This might be outrageously expensive, but we'll look
into it. He also noted that the carport & garage are already
plain concrete and adding a reddish driveway might look rather
We also talked to him about the walkway (there's a 4'
walkway that runs along the front of the house). We were
thinking pavers. Again, he pointed out that now we have a lot
of different textures working & it might not look very
good. He suggested putting the same tile that we're using on
the deck. Duh! That's why we have professionals.
Bob from CW excavation is back!
What's happening inside? Looks like the fire sprinklers
are almost done, all of the windows that have arrived are in
(we're waiting on the front windows), and the heating vents
are mostly done. Once the remainder of the windows come in,
the house can be sealed & stucco'd and a bunch more work
can be done.
- Friday, 16 November --- Video:
- Saturday, 17 November --- Video:
- Sunday, 18 November --- Video:
- Today we took the plans over to the house & walked through it
to make sure the electric layout was correct. Good thing too
because we found loads of problems, some relatively minor
and some rather major. I gave up my copy to the contractor, but
here's what I remember:
- no light in the entry area
- no lights over the carport
- we want a ceiling fan in the family room
- we want a fan in the bathroom
- numerous phone/data outlets
- lights & outlets on each post on the deck
- outlets in the eaves for Christmas lights (with
a switch in the garage).
- various outlets on the living room floor
- a chandelier over the staircase. The ceiling over the
staircase looks to be about 15 - 20' tall.
- moved the switches in the master bedroom. since we
changed the swing of the door, the switches ended up
behind the door.
- This was weird: the dining room had a three-way switch,
one at the arch to the living room, and one next to the
hallway, maybe 15' away.
The hallway also had two three-way switches, one on each
So, to get to the bedrooms one had to turn on the
dining room light, cross the dining room,
turn on the hall light & turn off the dining room
light. We removed the 3-way dining room switch by the
hall & moved the 3-way switch for the hall into the
- Monday, 19 November --- Video:
- Tuesday, 20 November --- Video:
- Wednesday, 21 November --- Video:
- Monday, 26 November --- Video:
The weekend is over & power is restored! Due to a storm
that swept through bringing high winds & rain, the power
failed to the camera on Saturday morning and wasn't restored until
about Midnight this morning. Big thanks to
Alex for turning everything
back on. There was only a small pocket of houses that lost power,
and his was one of the lucky ones.
Last week the drainage system was put in. I'll try to get a
diagram up soon. Basically, it starts on the north side of the
house, wraps around the east side (opposite the camera), and
ends at the Elk St. side of the driveway. It consists of four
or five large drains to which the downspouts connect
and are also left open for misc. water to go down, connected
by 4'' pipes to a drain directly in front of the sump pump and
to which the sump pump pumps (how much sump can a sump pump
pump?). After that, everything is taken by a 6'' pipe down the
middle of the driveway to large drain which takes all of the
water to Elk St.
Here's where it gets kind of funny: everything was connected
before the storm except the last little bit from the
final drain to Elk St. To prevent problems, a sump pump was put
into this final drain. This no doubt would have worked wonders
had the power not gone out!
Big kudo's to Derek who
came out every day including Thanksgiving to make sure
there weren't any problems!
The stairs have hit yet
another snag. Ken started
working on them and apparently they don't fit quite as
neatly as we had hoped. As drawn, they actually extend into
the driveway. Back to the drawing board.
- Tuesday, 27 November --- Video:
- Wednesday, 28 November --- Video:
- You'd think by now I wouldn't be surprised, but I am. The
next part of the driveway was to be poured today, but the
city now claims that the drainplan doesn't work, or something
was installed incorrectly, or the drainpipe broke. They
want a letter from Mike Beautz
(the civil engineer) that says the drain plan he designed
will work. Of course, the city did OK it, that's the whole
point of the building permit, yes? So, now we must get ahold
Mike before we proceed.
On a happier note, I met
Kevin the electrician and
we went over the electric plan. There are only a few
things to note about it:
- We want to one day be able to put in a whole-house
generator. This seemed easy enough, and luckily
it is, though not quite as easy as we would have
expected (though, oddly enough, we're not really
surprised by this).
The electricity enters the
house at the north-west
corner (upper left in the plan). The generator would most
likely go on the slab (upper right in the plan). We need
a cutoff box next to the generator. I foolishly suggested
moving the place where the electricity enters. This would
actually be more expensive because the utility company
would have to dig the trench. Damn! So instead, the
wires will be run from where the electricity enters the
house, over to the cutoff panel, and the house will be
powered from there. Estimated cost: $3,000.
- Upstairs we need a
sub-panel. We assumed it would be in the master closet.
Surprise! The code no longer allows these panels in closets.
There's no other logical place for it, so it will be in
the center of the wall at the end of the hallway. We'll
be hanging a picture there.
- We foolishly wanted outlets in the master and
children's bathroom. There's yet another law that
an outlet cannot be within 5' of a bathtub. Must make
sure stupid people don't dry their hair in the tub or
somesuch. For the children's room, that's not a problem.
Their vanity has plenty of room for outlets. For our
bathroom, it's a bit more hairy. It seems the only outlet
we get is on the left side of the vanity. What's the
point of GFI outlets if code isn't going to allow stupid
people to do stupid things anyway?
- Thursday, 29 November --- Video:
Spent the better part of a day trying to get ahold of
Mike which is especially
difficult since he has no answering machine (what century
is this?). No luck! The head building inspector came out
& blessed the work thus far & said we can continue.
He agreed everything is working correctly, and nothing is
broken. The driveway should be poured tomorrow, weather
On another front, we've window problems. There were to
be two bay windows : in front of the kitchen sink, and
in the office. Well, Anderson doesn't make, and apparently
cannot make, anything to fit the holes. Neither Lynn nor I
like garden windows, so the resolution is
to use a plain window in the kitchen and downstairs. But
(you had to know that was coming) the foundation is poured
with a cutout for the bay window. It sounds like we're going
to put a normal window in, and two solid walls where the
sides of the bay window were going to be. There are two reasons
for this. First, since the foundation was poured with this
opening, it would have to be hacked out. Second, we fought
tooth & nail for every single square foot & we're not
going to give up any of it!
- Friday, 30 November --- Video: