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Owner-Builder Journal Entries

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/21/2018

Unfortunately, it gets darker again from here.....ah well.

That's the way of it.

Steven in Colorado

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 6/20/2018 12:51:08 AM

That little house we’ve been renting held a lot more stuff than I ever expected. Heck we moved in two and a half years ago with two trailers. How did we collect so much more?! We’re just about done, with one more load to be tranferred over.  

Saturday we hauled out box after box of kitchen stuff from the storeroom, put it on the Skytrak and took it up. Three full pallets worth.  Sandra and our elder daughter spent Saturday and Sunday unpacking it and putting it away.  Having her down to help was fantstic.  Really sped things along.  But since was fortunate enough to not be a part of it, I’m trying to figure out where things are.

I haven’t been able to work on trim or doors or shower glass as with any move, there are pictures to hang, washer/dryer to connect, towel hooks etc etc. But I’ll be able to get back to it soon.

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/17/2018

A major milestone reached today as I finally (finally!) got the exterior concrete board up and backer wire installed around the door!

Since I basically wasted an entire day erroneously putting on drywall last week I tried to be a bit more careful this time around.  After walking through the steps in my head both my recollection and my planning told me that the first step was to tear down the drywall, so I did exactly that.  A bit distressingly (I thought) it was much easier to tear it down than it was to measure, cut, and nail it all in a couple of weeks ago, but generally that's the way it is with basic destruction I reckon....

Once I got the drywall debris all cleared away I set about measuring and cutting the concrete board.  Now, folks who have done this a lot already know that cutting concrete board is a messy process takes a bit more effort than it does with drywall, is rather heavier, and is particularly prone to crumbling apart if you have a particularly narrow section you're trying to carve out.  I took a few moments to read up on some tips online, and ended up wrapping sections I was going to cut in extra mesh tape.  The idea was to keep edge pieces from crumbling apart and (for the most part) I was quite successful with that.  Of course I also took things very slowly, measured three or four times before making the cuts, and then followed up with additional "reinforcement" using the mesh tape when a cut was all done.

It all seemed to work out pretty well, though it took me some time.  By the time the boards were cut I was pretty hungry, so I took a hour's lunch break and did a couple of small chores.

Then it was back to The Door.  With the board cut next up was to install it, and that involved (of necessity) a lot of climbing the ladder up and down. And up and down.  And shuffle, and then up and down again.

But (eventually...did I mention there was a lot of climbing?) I got them up.  And was pretty happy with them too...I managed to measure and cut both sides of the door's arch completely in two solid pieces, so that I could minimize any gaps I'd have to seal up down the road.

The next step was to put up the wire mesh on the board, so as to give the mortar something to grip to when I started installing the stone.  That was pretty easy really, though I spent some quality time stabbing myself with the wire while I was trying to cut it out.  My original idea was that I'd be able to cut one solid section of wire for each side of the arch, just as with the concrete board, but I had so much trouble managing the rolled wire (and fending off its occasionally attempts to stab me) that I eventually just cut it down into sections and put those up one at a time.  It was more work, but that didn't matter much for the wire base.  And the overlapped sections are technically stronger when it comes to hanging on the mortar and eventual rock I guess.

So this stage was (finally) done!  It took me a good hour to clean up the mess I'd made doing these last couple of steps but it was a good feeling, and cleared the decks for the next step.

Which is, of course installing the rock.  I'm only going to do the upper (arched) section right now as I need to do a bit more work along either side of the bottom to flesh it out as I'd envisioned, but I'm getting there!

Steven in Colorado


Upper right, nicely installed.
Upper left also nicely installed. You can see the lines of concrete screws sunk into the door supports along each side.
Overall pic (just because I have a camera and because).
Upper right with wire mesh installed.
Lower right with wire mesh installed.
Left side with the wire mesh. Ready to mortar!

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 6/15/2018 1:22:52 AM

So, we started the move today, taking our time and getting the master moved over and set up. Unlike a typical move where a house full of stuff gets dropped off and you sort through for days/weeks, we only have limited stuff in the small house we have been renting to get to the new place.  A second bedroom, the office and the rest of the living room and we’re done.  Now, there is a whole storeroom of stuff in the first level of the new house, but we can pull that out at our leisure.  Kitchen stuff first so we can set up and cook.  Our elder daughter is coming in this weekend to help Sandra get that set up.

Sandra found out tonight that at least one shower needs the temperature adjusted.  Had barely lukewarm water. I’m sure there will be a number of little things like that to take care of.  But being able to sleep in a house that you built for the very first time is such a blast! Cant wait to wake up and have that first cup of coffee looking out at the mountains. Wait, we did bring the coffeemaker didn’t we?

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Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 6/12/2018

wow.  A bunch this week. Just today two washers, two dryers, a fridge, a two huge crates of shower glass.

Tomorrow the last pantry will finally arrive, I think, if Fedex finally gets it on a truck from Albuquerque.  Also the doors for the second floor came in and will be delivered.

We got the appliances inside, on the proper floor and unboxed.  The crates of glass we will unload on the ground and haul up either in the elevator or Skytrak depending on size.  Speaking of the Skytrak, it has been an indispensable tool during this entire build and today bore that out again.  I can’t imagine how we would have unloaded the 1200 lb crates nor get the appliances up into the house.  In a couple months we’ll be done with it and look for a buyer.  A few have shown interest but we’ll see what happens.


All of the pieces, less the fridge, that were delivered today

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 6/10/2018 8:59:24 AM

Two meanings - one is that astronomically the days are getting longer the closer we get to the solstice. This is really nice, but it also tends to keep us working far longer each day, with all the extra daylight.  Ten, eleven hour days up at the project are pretty common right now as we try to get things as ready as we can to move in.  We definitely will not be finished, far too much trim to make that happen, but trying to get most of the messy things taken care of so it doesn’t make as much of a mess later.

Sandra has been powerwashing the decks and patio, and planted a truckload of flowers outside to spruce things up there.  She’s been trying to keep up on weathering and lacquering the trim as I go ahead and put it up.  I need to order more aspen and that will slow us down some as it takes a couple weeks to get it in.

I finally got the upstairs fireplace working again after receiving new parts from the manufacturer. I’ve got several Nest cameras to install today and connect to the phones.I don’t think that will be too difficult.  Will go ahead and connect the thermostats to the phones as well now that we have internet.  We received the barn door hardware and as I finish door frame trim, I can begin getting that in place and hang the doors. I’m thinking next weekend for the move having pushed that back a bit to give us time to get a myriad of little projects finished. 

Oh, and it looks like shower glass, washers and dryers will arrive on Tuesday. The final  pantry from the cabinet guys made it all the way to Albuquerque before Fedex lost it.  Now how you lose an 8’ pallet, I don't know.  I’m supposed to give them a call on Monday to see if they have found it. Arghh!


Bar height table that Sandra made for the coffee/breakfast area from live edge. Boy it will be nice to see the wood floor instaed of cardboard!

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/9/2018

Heh...sometimes I don't know what I was thinking.

With the boiler all fixed up and working properly again I was finally able to start taking a look at working on the door again.  I evaluated where I was, figured that the time was to get that exterior sheathing up, and proceeded for the next couple of hours to do just that.  Along the way I carefully read about and then used my handy new battery-powered nailgun and carefully sealed up all of the gaps and such around the door.

Then I went to read up on the next step, and that's more or less where I realized I'd done a Really Stupid Thing.

I'd built the exterior around the doorframe with regular drywall, rather than that big sheet of concrete backer board.  Drywall looks really good but (since you never really can seal out the air completely, especially around a door) it eventually absorbs the moisture in the air.  And then it weakens.  And then one day that rock around the door will fall off, probably at the most annoying moment possible.


Okay, lesson learned.  Next week I tear down the drywall and put up the concrete backer board (Durock is the brand, it's a pretty good one) instead.

At least I got some good time in with that like a champ!  :)

Steven in Colorado


At least I bought a nice big board of this; should make it simpler for my cuts and such.

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/5/2018

Huzzah!  It's fixed!

When last we met I expressed my great annoyance that my system was leaking again rather steadily after just a couple of much so that I had to shut the whole thing off.

Today I got Radiant Adam up here again to fixalate this thing once and for all.  I had pondered on the whole thing for the last couple of days and wondered what might have caused the leak...why it was okay for a day or so and then got steadily worse.  Before he got there, I had recalled that he had not replaced a washer in the glycol unit....a union where the pipe comes down from the rest of the house back into the boiler.  I knew from prior experience with plumbing of various kinds that one should always replace these things if there's an opportunity to do so....they get "set" with pipes in a definite configuration and putting them back together again wouldn't always ensure the same "set" as one might have hoped.

Long story short, that's exactly what it was!  It was a bit worse than I'd thought though because I hadn't accounted for the heat of the boiler....over the last 8-ish years the washer in question had gotten very "brittle".  NOT so brittle that it wouldn't bend, really, but vastly less supple than it was supposed to be.  Radiant Adam popped it all out, made his own washer/gasket with his own sheet of material (this allows shops to make custom washers on the spot), got everything all hooked up and then repressurized the system one more time (air had gotten in while doing all this).  

And now, it's done.

Looking at it I do see there is a very tiny leak around the pressure release valve at the top of the boiler.  I'm not really sure why that would be other than something thinking the pressure it too high, but nothing on the gauge seems to bear that out.  If I had to make a guess myself there might be an air bubble in it, maybe?  I'm going to give it some time to let it work its way out.

Going forward I'm definitely going to get one of these glycol makeup systems.  Radiant Adam was amazed that the original installers had not put one in originally and he definitely felt I should have one.  Given the size of the system he said that loss due to leakage was just about going to be inevitable (although oddly enough I've not seen any leaks at all other than around the boiler itself).  I've added to my "get soon" list, so it'll definitely happen.

Still this is all good.  Now that I've got this silliness finished with I can get back to finishing up the door.  I need to get the concrete siding up next and figure out what I'm going to do with the casing around the door; I've got some ideas, just have to make some measurements.


Steven in Colorado

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/3/2018 10:52:33 PM

Well, FRACK.  And bugger all.

So a couple of days ago I was posting about how awesome it was to finally have hot water again, courtesy of a properly pressurized and properly laid out intake/exhaust boiler system.  When Radiant Adam left (around 4:30 PM Friday afternoon) we thought things were looking good.

Yesterday I noted there were a couple of drips of glycol on the floor under the boiler.  I didn't think much about it as I had expected some of that when the system was fired up, so I just wiped it up and wiped everything off and didn't think too much about it.

Then this morning when I got up I was hearing a definite "drip" sound.  Wandering over to utility room I found a nice drip that couldn't really have been going very long (else it would have been a huge puddle)....this definitely wasn't okay!  I cleaned up the drips and fixed breakfast, and by the time I was done it was very definitely worse than before (I think the boiler came on, raising the internal pressure and apparently increasing the leakage).

This. Is. Not. Good.

Sigh.  So I shut down the boiler and closed the valves, then put one of the glycol buckets to catch what was still dribbling out.  I then send a note to Radiant Adam requesting he return yet again, this time with all of the hardware necessary to (potentially) replace that entire union.  (Feeling around I'm only finding leakage along the top of the union, and since it's fairly tight I'm starting to wonder if it doesn't have a crack in it.)

I'm very whole plan to continue with the door work has definitely been put on hold for a couple of days at least.....


Steven in Colorado

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/1/2018

Okay, success today...finally.

Last week I shared the ongoing saga with Radiant Adam and our replacement of the boiler at Tanglewood.  It had literally vibrated so hard due to the venturi going bad that it had broken three of the five bots in the boiler, meaning the lid was basically just being held on by a couple of screws.  Unfortunately it turned out that the supply warehouse had sent up the wrong boiler and so our day was cut short.

Today however we got everything done -- the new boiler was installed, the intake/exhaust vents on the back of the house were extended (they were too close to each other, which is why the system was breathing hot air in the first place), and the system repressurized back up to about 18 psi.  This all basically took all day and there was a lot of trouble getting everything hooked back up....we had to disconnect the gycol feed at one point to get the boiler into the "box", and mid-way thru the day Radiant Adam realized that they didn't send a new set of sensors--so we had to take a 2 hour hit to the schedule for him to run into town and get them.  All quite annoying.

Still it all looks pretty good.  The system is wonderfully quiet (as it should be!) and the system has begun to slowly bring up the house heat and make glorious hot water!  It should take a couple of days for things to heat up properly but overall I'm quite happy...yay!

A pricey trip but that's what emergency funds are for.  At least this is done and I can start looking at the next stage of the door.

Steven in Colorado

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 5/30/2018 8:45:00 AM

Finally got the beams up over the dining/kitchen area of the main floor. Almost 30’ long, they were not the easiest things to get in place, but with four of us lifting off of scaffolding and Sandra placing props underneath as we wiggled them in, we finally had them all set.  Only took an hour for the three.  Help came from the fellow building across the road, another friend, and the pastor of a local church - all of whom have borrowed the Skytrak on various occasions.  Good deads beget good deeds.  I truly thank them for their help.

I’ll trim out the edge of ceiling/wall that you see on the foreground, and hang chandeliers over the island and where the dining table will be and Sandra can begin removing the cardboard protecting the floor up there.  We have a few out of town things to do over the next week, but will hit it hard on the move-in afterwards.


Posted by Lalit on 5/28/2018


Tankless Water Heater

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 5/27/2018 1:14:01 PM

I don’t think so!  We get amused when someone new comes by to look at the house and then says “But you have so much more to do!”, especially when we tell them we are moving in, in a couple weeks.  Yes there is a fair amount of work left, but coming from where we started, or from where we were just a couple months ago, we see it as maybe 2% of the work left to do.  The flooring will be finished by sometime tomorrow and doors will be ordered for the second floor. Sandra’s nearly done with staining the stairs.  Beams in the kitchen will go up on Tuesday as I have secured a couple more people to help. Backsplash can be started, and then the kitchen is done!

A friend across the road who is also building arrived back in town for a month to get more done on his house.  He is dried in and has my stone guy staining and putting stone up.  When he saw where were-he was amazed!  He understood the building process unlike most other people.  He had seen the house bare and devoid of stucco, stone, sheetrock, paint, stairs, decks, railings and landscaping.  He appreciated where we were and how close we are to the finish line.  Those that haven’t seen the changes or been involved in their own build, just don’t understand the effort and time that goes into building.  So when it happens to you that they think you have so far to go, don't get discouraged, just be confident in yourself, look back at pictures of the process and you can assure yourself you have come a long way.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 5/25/2018 3:44:26 AM

posted a blog post on the temp CO to the old Mutton Busting blog by mistake yesterday. I guess the euphoria of getting the CO made me a little goofy. Sorry!

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 5/25/2018

Well now....things continue to be quite annoying I dare say.

The short version is:  I don't have hot water (or radiant heat) yet.

We got Radiant Adam back up today with new boiler in hand and began to take the old boiler out.  That was tricky because the unit is intended to come "as is" in a big box--the folks who built it only barely allowed a way to replace something as integral as the boiler itself (which rather looks like a big coffee maker).  

So after all that prep work we got the box with the boiler down, opened it up...and realized it was the wrong boiler.  Totally not the right one at all....this boiler was for a Prestige 110, I have a Prestige 175.  Totally wasn't going to work.

Well dang.

So....Radiant Adam's trip ended sooner than we expected.  Fortunately things are warm enough that not having the house heated isn't too bad (though it definitely sucks not having a hot shower).  And all of that meant I didn't get too much done with the door, but I did do some cleanup and pondered what I would do with the top of the trim arch.

Steven in Colorado

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 5/23/2018 7:59:52 PM

Plumbing passed yesterday and so I called for a CO.  Inspector came by and after borrowing my permit, returned with it and an actual “certificate”!

So we are good to move in when we want.  In the meantime we are working on preparing trim which takes a couple weeks to weather and then lacquer.  In order to get a perament CO, we need to get the floors and doors in on the second floor. So while the trim is weathering, we’ll probably start on at least the floors.  Shouldn’t take but three days tops.

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 5/23/2018 3:26:55 PM

So... final inspection was scheduled for today and.... we PASSED! But not without a little scare. I looked online and saw that another inspector was assigned and not our regular one. I was at work so I texted my husband and his response was "Ya, he's here and it's not looking good"..... so I had to wait an hour to get a phone call back and I was freaking out. The inspector did give us a short list of minor electrical things we need to fix and said our regular inspector would come back out, but he said we could start moving in. Now we have a busy week ahead of us.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 5/22/2018 1:36:21 AM

So the electrical inspector came today and went over all the things on his list.  Actually, he hadn’t written everything down and appreciated me calling the out those items.  After he was done, he wrote out a yellow ticket and stuck it to one of the main panels and congratulated me.  Niiiice to get a second final taken care of!  I set the line from the main level condensate pump this morning and called for a final plumbing inspection.  Hopefully that’ll be in the next day or two aso I can then call for the temp CO.

Finished assembling the barn door I’ve been making for our master bath, fasten the last hand rail, and cut blocks for the the beams to be fastened to.  Trying to lay out just where to set the beams on the ceiling.  Thought I had it and then realized that there was a return air vent in the way. So I’ll look at it with a fresh mind in the morning.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 5/21/2018 2:12:39 AM

So this could be a a good week.  I’ve got final electrical tomorrow and should pass as I took care of everything he called out, I passed final mechanical last week, and will call in for final plumbing tomorrow.  While the inspector was out for the mechanical, I queried him about connections on the water heaters for condensate and pressure relief valve. He ok’d how I was planning on routing them and also offered a suggestion of his own which I’ll take.

All the final bits of the stair railing were fabricated this weekend and even though they are not painted, once onstalled they will suffice as complete for inspection purposes. And so after plumbing is signed off, I’ll call for a temporary Certificate of Occupancy, and if we get it we can think about moving.  I said think, as there are still the beams to install in the kitchen.  Really want to get those up and off the living room floor as they are simply in the way.  Get them up, and we can begin the final move of the tool cart and a few other odds and ends and strip the Ramboard and cardboard that are protecting the hardwood, and finally see what the living room will look like!! But at the very least, we will not be sweating out making the move before our lease runs out!

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 5/18/2018

Well now, this was unexpected.

A couple of weeks ago I realized that the boiler was making VERY loud sounds when it fired up.  It was clearly struggling and the noise intake was making far more noise than it should have--these things are nearly noiseless normally.  Looking at things I realized that the glycol pressure was low....which was very much unexpectedly as it's a closed loop system.

I had known there was a slight leak from one fitting that I discovered several months back, but I had retightened everything and thought that other than having lost a little bit of pressure things were okay again.  The fact that it was lower than I had expected bothered me, and again made me think of installing a glycol makeup system as Radiant Paul had suggested a couple of years ago.

So anyway, after a bit of detective work I discovered that the  folks who had been working for ABC Plumbing are now working for a company called Jolly Plumbing--ABC had sold off their boiler support last year.  A couple of phone calls later and I got Radiant Adam--I had made sure I wanted somebody who would teach me, and he did.

We got the system pressurized up nicely, no real problems, and Radiant Adam was generally pleased with the way the system was laid out with lots of shutoff valves we could use.  Things were looking to be very good....

....and then I moved something on top of the boiler and something went "clank".  It was a screw head; one of the bolts at the top of the boiler had completely broken off.

With a bit more investigation we discovered things were considerably worse than expected.  The venturi (a rubber membrane inside the intake valve) had almost disintegrated; our primary suspect was that the exhaust and intake lines were too close too each other, allowing the boiler to bring in "hot air" and ending up disintegrating the rubber.  The holes in the rubber made the startup very rough, which was why it was so noisy, and apparently it vibrated so hard on startup that it sheared three of the bolts (we eventually discovered).

So now I have no hot water as of this writing.  Parts are on the way; turns out the boiler is itself still under warranty (which rather surprised me) so they're going to do a full replacement on it.  We'll find out more this next Friday!

What an annoying development.....

Steven in Colorado

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 5/17/2018 10:59:44 PM

It just seems that time goes by so quickly, especially when one is on a schedule.   And work just seems to go so slow.  Talking to Sandra on her journey back this morning she seems to think I’ve gotten a lot done while she’s been gone, but to me, it seems like I’m in slow motion.  I guess things are getting done but sometimes it’s two steps forward, one back. Like today, I walk past the lower water heater and hear a drip drip drip.  It had been fully connected since yesterday and then this morning had started to leak at a solder joint that will require a dismantling of a line to fix.  Argh!

In the meantime, everything is fixed for the electrical final, registers are in for the mechanical. I got the shower niches tiled,  I’ll get the leak fixed, get the condensate drains connected and I should be ready for plumbing next week.

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 5/16/2018 9:29:49 AM

had a bit of a freak out last week. I felt like things weren't getting done and we have to be out of the rental by the end of the month. However, things turned around...

All the electrical is hooked up and working in the house, just have a few outside outlets and lights.

Plumbers installed water heaters, water filtration system, and did some work in the house.

Farm front sink was installed wrong, but just in time it got fixed. Counters and sinks were installed and cabinets were worked on. Still having issues with the quality of the cabinets and install, so we are having a meeting with Home Depot management Friday, but this won't hold up us moving in.

The loft railing won't be installed until next Tuesday, we need to confirm with them. 

We are planning on finishing the patio ceiling this weekend. We have 3 patios, so it's a bit of work. 

Current goal is to have final inspection next Wednesday. 


Living room fan
Our one full bathroom that will be completed
One of the master bathrooms

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 5/15/2018 1:05:49 AM

I didn’t pass electrical. I missed a couple of covers on switches and receptacles. How I didn’t catch those earlier I don’t know. Need to convert a Romex line on the elevator to armoured cable and the worst of all, for which I feel totally brain dead was forgetting to put GFCIs on all but one of the outdoor receptacles. Absolutely no excuse.  Something I have always known but changes in how I was running electrical and me forgetting that only non-GFCI plugs had been installed a year ago lead to the error.  But boy, was I embarrassed!

So after he left, I took care of the outdoor receptacles, the covers and have only the armoured cable left to be done.  I’ll call Friday for him to come back on Monday which is his day in the village.

WIFI was connected this morning.  That’s a great feeling since we need it when we move and wern’t sure how long it woild take after placing the order.

And late in the day, I took some of the treated rough-sawn  that’s left over, to our landlord’s shop to run it through a planer.  Going to try to build a barn door for the master bath.  I planed from one side only so we still have a rough side to expose.  We’ll see what Sandra thinks when she gets back.  

Will head over to Taos in the morning so I can get the missing elbows and finish getting water connected to the water heaters. So- armoured cable, water heaters.  I shoild be able to get that done.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 5/14/2018 2:04:04 AM

Spent better part of the weekend making sure all the electrical was finished in prep for the inspection this week.  I needed to place covers over a number of boxes such as where pendant lights will be hung, but haven’t as of yet.  A couple of receptacles still needed to be installed in somewhat out of the way locations and I got the chandelier short taken care of. Still not sure what it was, but I took it all apart, put it back up and it works fine. 

Made up the last wooden hand and stair rails.  Will install when Sandra returns and stains them.  

Started looking at the last of the plumbing.  Found out I’m short PEX elbows so water heaters will have to wait until I can get to Taos and pick a few up.. I swear I bought some when I was there last, but if I did, they are no where to be found.

The three shower sets in the third and fourth floors, leak slightly.  Most of the plumbing and mixing valve is exposed, and the leaks are where the attachment to mixing valve takes place.  I took them all apart today, but it looks like the seal is getting sufficiently compressed.  But the seals are of pretty hard material.  I’ll pick up some garden hose washers, intall them and see if they make a difference.  

The shower niches, yes remember them? They need to be tiled, now that the bottom ledges were installed by the granite guys a couple weeks while I wait on a chance to get to Taos, and after I fix the leaky shower assembly I’ll pull out the tile saw and get those finished.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 5/12/2018 2:40:54 AM

Made a call to Santa Fe for a final electrical inspection.  I’m wrapping up several unfinished items in prep for that.  Finally got the chandeliers in the stairwell done.  That was not much fun, but it is very good to see all four of them work as designed with three and four way switches at different floors and that no shorts were created when the sheetrock was installed!

But spreaking of shorts, a chandelier in the bunk room bath is shorting after I installed it today.  Was a PITA to put in, and now I’ve got to find the short.  Wasit created during installation or is it in the fixture itself? :-(

Installed many of the handrails yesterday. Will install the rest over the weekend.  Pretty easy job once I had them cut to length and created the returns.  Simply lay down in place on the brackets and screw to the bracket.  Still painting the steel sections as weather (wind) permits.  A slow process with 25 sections to do, but it doesn’t need paint for a CO, so it’s kind of a side job as the paint takes time to dry.

Will hopefully begin getting the water heater connections moved along.  Last fittings were delivered this week, but I was so close to electrical that I thought I’d try to get that done and gone.

Sandra’s gone for another week so doors and trim are stagnant but that will change when she gets back in a week.

Started shopping for homeowner’s insurance as we’ve only had builders risk, or course of construction, up till now.  A bit disheartening when I saw some of the quotes come in, but finally, it looks like something reasonable has started to take shape.

Oh! And got a call from our telecom provider.  They’ll be out bright and early on Monday to make the final connections to the fiber that was installed what seems like an eternity ago when we laid it with the electric service.  Wasn’t an issue on their part, we just haven’t been ready for it until now.  Another sign we are closing in on the end!

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 5/12/2018

It's a bit since I updated much regarding the door, which is definitely all on me.  I plead too many side chores and boiler issues.

The inside of the door--the drywall around it--is in and ready to be taped up.  I was planning to work on the outside of the door next, then tape up both sides.

I finally realized that part of the reason I was moving so slowly was that I didn't like the way I would have to put up the trim around the door.  The ETO people gave me two different types of trim, a fancy wide trim and an less fancy but narrower trim.  From the way the door is installed the thinner trim is the way to go, but even then there were problems.  The door turns out to be slightly "fluted", so the top of the arch is slightly narrower than the top.  This is turn means that a relatively "deep" wall (all ICF remember) makes me unable to have the trim nailed up to the surrounding wall at the top....either I have to build up the wall to match the top of the arch or I have to put in most of the trim one way and the arch another.   After much thought, I decided on the latter.

I haven't deeply examined the exterior yet, but I assume there will be similar issues when I get to it.

Now I have to redo the exterior drywall.  I might decide to replace it with concrete board or, since the door is well set back into a porch might forgo that.  The biggest issue will be making sure there's a strong foundation around the door (lathing and wood bracing) to hold the stone that will eventually be there.  I'm pretty sure what I have now might hold up to the stucco but would not work very well with a tougher lattice work first.

So things are moving slowly, but they are moving!

Steven in Colorado

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 5/9/2018 7:57:13 PM

We are now connected to electric! Still working on electrical outlets and switches in the house, but hopefully getting close. My husband is doing this with my cousin. This is a result of our big issues with the first electrician. 

AC was installed last weekend! Another exciting milestone bc it is getting hot (over 100). The electrical is all done for those and it is up and running. 

We finished the loft flooring, but are still waiting on the railing. I told my husband we need it in the next week bc we will need that for COO.

Kitchen.... we are still having nightmare issues with Home Depot contractors. We were supposed to have counters installed today but the plumber said they installed our farm sink wrong, so they got pushed out until Monday. Also we are not very happy with the quality of the cabinets. The wood color ones are kind of mismatch and the white ones you can see dark lines in the joints. We will have to work something out later bc we need a completed kitchen for COO. 

County requires one completed bathroom. We worked on tiling the shower last weekend and should have it done this coming weekend. 

We also had a gas tank installed and connected to the house. 

We have our notice on the rental so we have to be out by the end of May. I am really starting to feel the pressure!


Loft flooring
AC! Yay!
Look, working lights!

Posted to Stan-Tol by Stan in Winter Springs, FL on 5/8/2018 11:39:24 AM

I have a vacant lot near Oviedo. I would build a 5 b/r, 3 b that is designed with an in- law private entry. It should bring a profit of $30 to $50K. I would then do flips that have excess land to isolate. Potential is $70K++ ==

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 5/8/2018 12:42:13 AM

So the new inspector came out today to discuss the occupancy requirements.  Turns out what I need is a temporary occupancy certificate to allow me to move in before everything is finished on all levels.  I still need to have the three trade permits completed but not all the interior doors need to be done nor the floor.  That makes things reasonable to be able to get in in time.

Also had a question about handrails.  Code requires them to be continuous, but there is an exception that allows them to end at a newel post on a corner.  Inspector didn’t know that when I queried him aboit it, so after showing him the code exception, he agreed to it.  That will make far easier to run the railings by eliminating trying to make the turn.  So other than running a few sticks short of 1” tubing, I should be able to finish the railings and handrails this week.  Then work on hanging chandeliers in three floors of the stairwell so the electrical final can be had.  Plumbing will wait until the final connections are made to the water heaters.  Mechanical will be ready after the remainder of the register vents arrive.  By the end of the month we should be ready!!
 Meanwhile the finger is healing well, but will take over a month more to get close to fully healed.  Fortunately, it doesn’t give me much problem with work.  Thank goodness!


Still getting snow, with a few inches last Thursday
Finished look of the door posted earlier, after treating and lacquering. Still missing trim.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 5/3/2018

Called down to Santa Fe to get hold of the inspector that now covers our area since we lost the local inspector last fall.  Wanted clarification on what is required to get a certificate of occupancy. Old timers here said the list was minimal, but I want to be sure as our lease is up July 1.  The inspector came back with a long laundry list of things, so I’ve scheduled a “technical assistance” meeting for Monday so he can view where we are and we can discuss.  He did say that finals on mechanical, plumbing and electrical were required.  We are close to all three. Electrical needs lighting installed in the stairwell, plumbing needs final connections to the dishwashers and water heaters, and mechanical needs register grills. But he also mentioned flooring and doors, all of which are on the second floor and should be able to be installed when we are living on the third and fourth.  So we’ll see where we stand.

Yesterday Sandra sanded the first to second floor steps and stained the them, but ran out of stain again so the framework and railings will have to wait until we source more.  What we are using only comes in quarts and we have already cleaned out the two closest HD’s (up to three hours away) three local hardware stores in Angel Fire and Taos.

And yesterday I got the half bath floating vanity installed creating a frame support out of leftover railing material.  The top and shelf are out of live edge material that Sandra prepared. Final drain and supply connections today after I hit the plumbing supply place, and I’ll add a skirt to better hide the plumbing when finished.


Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 5/2/2018

...and the saw won.  Paraphrase of an old rock and roll song from the sixties.  I was triming second floor kitchen, trying to use a short piece of toe kick.  I placed another piece of kick behind it against the saw’s fence as it has never been totally straight.started sawing, when somehow, the rear piece I was grasping got caught by the blade, ripped everything out of my hands and in doing so, tore a large chunk of of one finger, requiring a visit to the doctor.  Can’t stitch as too much is gone.  Will have to watch and wait over the next weeks to see if it heals without a graft. So, another lesson learned in late life, like the ladder incident a year ago, it could have been far worse.  After a night off, I’m able to get back to work with minimal interference.

Sandra is continuing to make progress on the stairs.  A very long, and frustrating process. There must be 500 individual surfaces or more, many requiring tortuous maneuvers to get to to be stained.  And we all know how liquid stain is!  She comes home covered - herself and her clothes.  Bit two sections are pretty much done with one more to go.  And the finish we are using for the steps, Bona Traffic, is finished on those floors as well.  

I got the 8 prehung doors of the 4th and 3rd floors hung over Sunday and Monday.
Sandra has treated then and started to lacquer them. Yesterday she started working on the ones that will be used for barn doors.  

I spent time yesterday doing a little plumbing leftovers under a could of sinks, taking care of my hand while doing it. Also started to create a support for the half bath sink which will be hung from the wall along with a shelf underneath it.  Both are made from some of the live edge material we brought from Nashville.  Frame will be made from some of the  angle iron and tubing that we are using on the stair railings.  Hopefully try to get that finished today and begin setting the vessel sink and faucet.

Local telecom company came out to look at what would be required to run fiber.  Fellow was happily surprised that we had planned ahead and buried it already when we ran the electric line.  We discussed how to get it into the house from the outside termination and we shoild have that all taken care of by the time we move it without a problem.

We’ve received conflicting reports about what is required for a CO and I’ll call down to Santa Fe to find out for sure.  We’ve got to keep moving on this.  Two months before we lose our rental.


Steel railing out for finishing, the staris look so good stained and with all the ratty protective stuff off of them.
Knotty alder door. Will post a shot of it after the wood treatment and lacquer when it’s done. Still needs caing, and we’re trying to figure what wood we want to use for it

Posted to washougalhome by Rob in Washougal, WA on 5/1/2018 1:29:30 AM

We're been working on the septic system, planting a small private vineyard, removing a huge tree, extending the back driveway, and adding a watering system for all the trees and plants we've planted so far. We got a drone so we can get some great aerial photos now.


Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 4/27/2018 8:23:26 PM

Well, I didn’t get both islands supoorted as I had hoped, not did I trim the door frames.  The fabrication of the metal angle and subsequent trimming out of that took a lot longer than I had thought.  But I did start the second island and it should go a bit quicker now that I have the process down. And I did get the shower measurements and will clean up the drawings and send off for glass.

Sandra started staining the next level of stairway until she ran out of stain.  Amazing how it changes the appearance of the stairs!.

The weather has been spectacular the past three days, with low 60’s blue skies, which means plenty of warm sunshine, and most of all, very little wind.  It makes it a pleasure to go outside and cut and rout and stain.

A couple of photos are attached.


Kitchen with the crown moulding. Need to run the toe kick, put a cabinet panel on the dishwashers and after Sandra comes back in mid May from a trip, run tile backsplash
A close up of the crown
Trimof the angle iron support

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 4/27/2018 9:55:22 AM

The granite guys came back yesterday and finally finished the last two shower curbs.  With that I can get a full set of exact measurements and order the glass.  It’ll take about a month to receive it here.  

The beams we received camestained in a shade that did not fit anything we had going on. Instead of a walnut, they came in a very reddish brown.  Sandra sanded and redid with something that should be a better fit and once fully dry we’ll try to get them up next week.  Although hollow, they are still pretty heavy, and almost 30’ long once assembled together.  I’ll need some help for this job.

The past couple days I’ve slowed on the stairs as Sandra stains and lacquers the handrails and I wait for some deburring bits to clean up the welds.  Instead, got back on the kitchen to install cabinet lighting (LED strips) and get down the HORRIBLE business of running the crown moulding - a job I absolutely hate, especially when it’s as large as this - 6”, and there are so many changes in direction.  But it’s finally finished and sets off the cabinets well.  Today’s chore is to install the support legs on both islands for the overhang on each.  Included with that is a piece of angle iron along the length of the overhang to eliminate having to add a third leg in the middle.  The angle will hang from the top of the leg, being recessed to sit flush.  A piece of trim will then be glued to the angle to hide it.  Shouldn't’ be a hard job, but will take some time.  

Also need to trim the door frames on fourth floor doors so we can take them up and set them in place and Sandra can use the wood treatment on them.  All in all, a full days work ahead of me.

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 4/26/2018 9:42:58 AM

Two weeks ago my husband rented a trencher from a neighbor so we could lay the conduit from the house to the electrical pole on the road. I was excited for him to be working on it, that was until I realized we were going to have to dig the last few inches out of the hole! The whole was 4-5 inches wide and 39 inches deep. We spent a day and half doing this and it was miserable. On top of it being crappy work, it is also getting hot here (in the 90's that weekend). We got the conduit it and then we failed our electrical inspection with the electric company twice.... we had to dig more by the pole, add some bolts, pull the mule tape. Finally we passed with the electric company, then the county came out this week and they passed us also. Now we are waiting on the electric company to give us a date they will connect us. I was hoping it would be this week. We went spent a few hours this last weekend working on siding. We are getting so close, we just need to buckle down and get it done, but once again it has been hot and we have been getting burnt, so we get tired and decide to move to inside tasks :) We got all the vanities installed. Home depot and their subs have been a bit of a nightmare with the kitchen cabinets. We are waiting on a broken piece and an additional cabinet we had to order to fix the island. Counter company came out and measured last week and they should be ready to install late next week, so hopefully the cabinet people can get themselves together. We spent a full day hanging electrical fixtures (fans, can lights, vanity lights) I felt like we got a lot done that day. My cousin is helping us with the electrical panels, I am not sure how far along he is but the hubby said he had made good progress. We spent the morning at home depot on Monday (I have been taking days off here and there to try to get more done) and we picked a flooring (vinyl planks) for the loft and tile for the showers. We started the installing the loft flooring and are about 25% complete. We want to get this done this weekend so the wrought iron company that did the stairs can come install the railing asap. We are going to give our 30 days notice for May month end to be out of our rental. I am a little nervous, but things we need to focus on this weekend are finish installing the loft floor and work on electrical outlets/fixtures. I will try to be better about taking pictures this weekend.

Posted to Metal-Buildings by Caleb in Conroe, TX on 4/23/2018 9:22:50 PM

Steel Buildings Houston

Understanding the prefab building construction process is crucial to getting the best bang for your buck. 

A breakdown of the steel construction process can help inform you why prefab buildings are an excellent choice. Consider these steps of the process:

Step 1: Contact Prefab Building Supplier

The first step in the prefab building process is to contact a reputable prefab building company. Depending on your needs you have a few options. You can purchase the building kit alone or you can contact a prefab building construction company. The most cost efficient method is to contact a turnkey metal building company that provides prefab building kits. You can save money by dealing with only one company. This will make the construction process less stressful.

Step 2: Drawings and Design

For a majority of prefab buildings, professional permit drawings are generally required by your local governing authorities. This is not always the case; however, in most cases it is, which is why the drawings and design phase is so important to display your building structure. This phase is also critical because it allows you to design the perfect building for your needs. Most prefab building distributors have some sort of image to show of what your building may look like. Berkeley Buildings takes the design process to the next level and offers complimentary 3d designs. Check out our portfolio of designs – Prefab Building Kits.

Step 3: Engineering and Manufacturing

Once the drawings and design phase is complete, your building will be sent to fabrication. Based on the engineering specifications of your metal building, your building will be fabricated in accordance with the IBC (International Building Code) for your geographic region.  Depending on the complexity of your steel building, manufacturing and shipping usually takes between 6-8 weeks. If you are considering one of our Houston Crane Buildings, it could take a little longer. For an additional cost, a smaller standard prefab building can be delivered in as low as 3 weeks.

Step 4: Prefab Building – Site and Pad Prep

This step is the most critical in the prefab building construction process. If your project requires permitting by a governing authority, your site may need to be designed by a civil engineer. Civil engineers are responsible for conducting, soils reports, boundary and topographic surveys, storm and drainage requirements, and more. The pad prep is crucial as well.  The proper base mixture is important in the pad creation, the correct mixture is generally known as select fill. Civil engineers assist in the pad prep requirements. Upon pad preparation, installation of the concrete foundation framing and the building’s anchor bolts can begin. It is crucial that anchor bolts are precise. (It is beneficial to use a turnkey prefab building company to provide the slab, building and erection. This allows for a professional to place the anchor bolts in the correct locations.)

Step 5: Prefab Building Framing

Upon building delivery, erection is ready to begin; building framing is the first step. Steel building kits come with rigid frames which are durable and long-lasting. The Metal Building framing process consists of erecting the building I-beams and support columns in the correct locations, set by anchor bolts.  In addition, this process includes the installation of rafters, wall girts, roof purlins, eve struts, proper bracing, base angles and more.

Step 6: Prefab Building Sheeting

Upon framing completion, building sheeting can begin. This process includes the installation of wall panels, roof panels, and if included, insulation installation. There is a large selection of wall panels and roof panels from which to choose; however, PBR panels are the most commonly used. PBR panels are panel where screws can be seen. Depending on the metal building colors chosen, this is where you will see them come to life. It is imperative that your metal building erector uses weather stripping during the sheeting installation to protect from precipitation issues. In addition to the metal building sheeting, this step also includes the installation of building eve trim, (gutters if applicable), corner trim, closure strips for eve and/or base, and more.

Step 7: Prefab Building Accessories

Once your building is framed and sheeted, the final step in the building process is the installation of metal building accessories. This is where the installation of applicable accessories such as overhead doors (rollup doors), walkthrough doors, windows, vents, exhaust fans, louvers, skylights, wall lights – light translucent panels (LTP) beings. If you are considering one of our commercial steel buildings, then your options are endless.

The advantages of a Prefab Metal Building

The prefab building construction process can be overwhelming for unfamiliar builders; moreover, it can be streamline when completed by a turnkey prefab building construction company. Prefab building construction by professionals can outstanding product which can be used for commercial and residential purposes. Popular commercial building kits consist of churches, strip centers, auto shops, plane hangars, storage buildings, metal garages, metal barns, storage sheds, horse barns, business warehouses, boat and RV storages, wedding venues, and more. Popular residential uses consist of barns, shops, barndominiums, Boat and RV storage, and garages to name a few.  With Berkeley Buildings, you can buy with confidence and buy direct.


Understanding the metal buildings construction process.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 4/21/2018

So winter returned this morning with incessant wind again, and some snow.  Moisture is welcome around here this spring as we had so little snow, that fire danger is extreme. So it was a good thing. But it did prevent Sandra from working outside sanding the handrails.  And I stayed in for good measure as well. Lord knows there is plenty inside. Sandra went ahead and lacquered the live edge we are using to make the half bath vanity and then proceeded to resand the top surface of the stair treads leading up to the fourth floor, taking off the protective film we have placed on them with the wild idea it would protect them during construction.  Well it did for a month and then it began to get worn through and get more so and more so.  After a thorough sanding - stain! What a chore! There are sooooo many surfaces to cover.   But it looks great to have them stained.  Unfortunately neither she nor I got photos yet. So later.

For my part, I started creating the metal railing for the stairs.  Each square tube has to be cut and fitted individually between two pieces of angle iron that has been attached to the stair frame. Then welded.  The assemblies will then be removed later to finish welding, clean and be painted.  

Late in the day, the first order of doors arrived by truck on an 8’ pallet along with the beams for the kitchen on a 14’ pallet.  I am so happy we have that Skytrak!


First metal rail section done.
Further along. I got the entire first floor to second floor done in one day. This will go quicker than I thought - I think ??

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 4/21/2018

Well, the good news is that I think I finally figured it out.  Knowledge is power.

The bad news of course is that it'll be some work.  Sigh.

I've been wrestling with this leak for literally years, though to be honest I've not dedicated much time to it since there were other priorities.  After another leak sprung forth on Friday (due to a bout of snow/rain) I thought it might finally be time to figure out what the heck was going on.

And yes, I did eventually figure it out.  It took a lot of investigation and testing (via copious amounts of water being dumped in various areas) but here's what I think is going on.

Basically, there were two problems....the first was up on the tower roof.  That area is flat and (until a couple of years ago) would leak after a big snowstorm due to ice buildup overflowing down on pair of 2x8s in the tower wall.  I found old indications of leaking in the pain along that one set of verticals and old mold/stain marks on the subflooring along that wall (I tore up part of the existing laminated wood flooring; I have plans to put in a porcelain floor anyway).  That's been fixed for the most part thru the work I did a couple of years back when I worked around and patched it.  That roof might still be leaking if there's a lot of snow up there--it was unclear since I was also brushing water off of the walkaround outside the patio door--but I think that's what was happening.

Secondly is the more serious issue, and the one which will require the most work to fix. Basically the roofers up there were totally incompetent and, as near as I can tell, they never installed flashing around the base of the patio door.  Now ordinarily that wouldn't have been that much of an issue, except that they didn't slope the roof there properly around the walkway.  That had basically been happening since we completed the house, and over time that leaking has rotted part of the subfloor where the vertical 2x8s and the patio door meet.  I was able to put my hand straight thru the rotted wood when I pulled up the flooring, and it was quite damp under there.  There are indications that leaks had happened either along the patio door or (more likely) simply soaked the wood towards that direction, with the upshot that there are moly and discolored spots all along the stretch of the door.  

Outside the patio door itself actually seems pretty good, if somewhat ugly.  I'd put down some of the rubber membrane goop a few weeks ago and I noticed this time around that much of it had "bubbled"--that's a sign of gas (probably from the decaying wood) being released from the wet subfloor.  It all still seemed intact however, and that's the important thing.

So my course of action look to be as follows:
  1. First up I've got a couple of small fans drying things out all around that stretch of flooring and inside the rafters below.  I'll leave the fans running indefinitely, basically until I get ready to do the rest of the work (below).  I've gradually been carrying planks of the laminate down for disposal in the fireplace (it's wet as wood goes but it does actually burn pretty quickly).  Here in a week or so I'll treat everything with vinegar to kill the mold.

  2. The turret top needs to be repainted next.  There aren't any obvious  holes anywhere that I could see where water might enter, but there are a couple of "soft" areas on top of the roof that were the site of the prior leaks which need patching.   Of course the idiots who did the work in the first place didn't slope the roof properly so the drain only runs when the water is higher than it should be; I need to clean all of that up, get the slope in properly, and prep the roof for repainting.  I plan on doing some layers of paint and roofing membrane to bring the whole thing up about a half inch, possible with a layer of rubber membrane, as part of all this.  I'll also need to build some kind of shelter for working up there to keep rain out of the area while it's being worked on, but fortunately I think some well placed 2x4s and a nice big weighted tarp will do this.

  3. After the turret top is sealed and sloped properly the real fun begins.  After some thought I think I'm going to have to completely remove the patio door up there; the subfloor it's sitting on has already partially rotted and since the idiots who didn't do their work properly didn't install any flashing it won't get any better.  My thinking is that once the bad wood is cleared out I will install a new run of 2x4s, properly flashed, which will give the patio door a small "step over" to get in/out.  I'm okay with that because honestly it isn't a door that would be used much anyway, frankly.

    That door also has a big window above it (no idea why they installed that other than to give me lots of light), but unfortunately if I move the door up 4" that window has to come out.  I can frame it out and then stucco across that bit I guess; the window itself will get donated to a recycle shop.

    I don't really want to replace the door itself, just rebuild its base and then reinstall it.  I don't really want to buy a new patio door anyway (they're ridiculously expensive).  Besides, if I did decide to replace it I'd also have to figure out some way to haul it down and away to the recycle.  Really a better plan all around to work with what I have.  This is going to be tricky of course since all of this work is happening near the edge of the roof, but my plan is to lever the door into the computer room and use tarps to protect the giant hole in the house like I did the last time I did that.

So that is, as they say, is that.  At least I've figured it out...there's a lot of work ahead to undo the mess the idiots who installed it did but I can do it!

Steven in Colorado

Posted to benson-bondstone-homes by Paul in Coeur d'Alene, AL on 4/20/2018 2:29:30 PM

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Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 4/20/2018 1:50:37 PM

Tuesday was the day the granite guys were supposed to show up - and they did, although late because of an accident on the interstate.  Typical spring winds with 45 mph gusts were whistling when they got here.  There were 14 pieces of granite that had to be lifted to the 2nd and third floors which was accomplished with the Skytrack and a boom setup they had brought with them.  With ropes clamped to the bottom corners to steady each piece as I lifted it, we slowly and safely got them up to their respective floors.  We waited for a momentary calm and held our breath when lifting the main island panel that was over 5’ x 10’ but all went well and they set about getting the panels laid down.  A word of caution, make sure you’re present at all phases.  As I was busy running the Skytrack, and later work was going on two levels and you tend to be awed by the changes taking place and not paying attention as you should to the details they are doing, mistakes can happen.  For us they pulled back a piece of romex into the cabinetry that needed to be left hanging out through a groove I had made at the top of the cabinet.  Fortunately, by removing the dishwasher and a drawer in an adjacent cabinet, I had enough access to pull it back through.  And then yesterday, Sandra said “I can’t get the spice racks to pull out”. They flank the stove and with legs on front, they are made to look like cabinetry.  Well, they do look like it so well, the granite guys glued the countertop to them! Honest mistakeon their part, but if I had been watching more closely, I could have caught it as they were doing it.  Should be a relatively simple fix with an oscillating blade and a little time, but time thay could be spent elsewhere.  Moral of the story, watch their every move! 

Now, they still have to finish the shower curbs, which they had planned on doing before they left. But now the remaing pieces turn out to be too short and will have to be made again.  They have another job in town next week and will bring the new material with them and finish it. I hope.  It’s been over two months on a very simple and small job.  I am over this!

I’ve gotten the three kitchen sinks in and plumbed.  Need a supply line or two to finish them. But the faucets, airgaps and soap dispensers are all in. The master sinks have faucets set and supplied, but I need to get p traps and tail pieces to finish them.

Tuesday, the steel for the stair railings arrived.  Shipped up from Albuquerque.  The 1” tubing was cut into 8’ pieces and was covered with cutting fluid, so I had to wipe each down and then again with lacquer thinner.  Once welded up, I’ll clean once more before painting.

Sandra had been working on the live edge material a little at a time.  Made bench seats for the girl’s rooms and some shelving.  Just started on a top and shelf for the half bath sink. I need to come up with a support for those so they can float without haveing a cabinet.

Half of the doors arrive this afternoon.  They are for the third and fourth floors.  So we can continue to try to finish off those levels in out spare time;-))

Well time to go to work!


Lifting granite slabs one at a time.
Getting a slab ready to lift
The big one
Liftoff of the big one
Kitchen with granite done


Posted by VRLY in Lincoln, AL on 4/20/2018 3:41:18 AM

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Posted by Complete on 4/17/2018 4:40:19 AM

This is exciting” is never going to be something you say or hear when water damage strikes your home, in fact, it’s exactly the opposite. When a water damage disaster does strike it is important that when faced with a water damage, you stay calm, think clearly, and act fast. Here are a few tips that will help ease the stress and make the restoration process run a lot smoother.

Be Prepared

Heavy rainstorms, pipe leaks, sewage backups, etc. can happen at any time and at any place. If you can ensure that you are prepared for any of these to happen and ready to act if they do, it will lessen the panic and the headache that typically comes with it.  Airbrick protection, sandbags, and pumps are all widely available – the initial investment in at least one of these could save you a lot more in the long run. Another very important way to be prepared is to make sure you have insurance to help keep you covered in the case of a water damage restoration in panama city.

Home insurance is essential. Whilst your personal belongings can also be insured, the damage caused by floods can be extremely extensive, so it’s important to have a backup.

When the flood hits

As the flood hits, there are a number of measures you can take to limit the damage, but before you do, ensure that it is safe. Flowing floodwater can be incredibly powerful and can easily hurt someone, if not worse. Access the situation carefully and ensure that the water isn’t accessible to electricity. If you come to the conclusion that it is safe, always make sure you wear protective gear such as rubber boots and rubber gloves. If you are unsure, it is always better to wait for a trained professional to take the proper steps for you.

First, you’ll need to isolate the problem area and cut off the water flow. If it’s an internal damage, turn off your water, gas, and electricity. In the case of an external flooding, use tools such as towels or sandbags to stop the flowing water.

After you have stopped the damage from worsening, take pictures. You will need evidence that what was damaged was, in fact, damaged by the flood for your insurance claim.

Now you will need to move valuable and electrical items to a safe, dry spot (whether that is on or off the premises) as soon as possible to ensure that the damage doesn’t get worse or spread to anything that hasn’t already been damaged.

Once you’ve taken these steps, you’ll want to make a couple calls, first to your insurance agent and then to a qualified restoration company, such as Complete DKI. We will act fast and efficiently to get you cleaned up properly without the risk of further damage, such as mold.

While you wait, if it is safe to do so, you can begin extracting as much water as possible. You can do this with towels, a mop, buckets, or a Shop-Vac that you may have on hand.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 4/13/2018

Finally after the third blower arrived, and it was tested before shipment, and it didn’t work, I delved deeper into the entire unit.  While I had power going the the motor, it still wasn’t coming on.  Dug around the wiring schematic and then looked inside, which wasn’t easy as things were hidden pretty well.  But finally [!] I saw that the neutral wire was not connected to the receptacle for the motor wire.  After several minutes of squirming one hand and arm, then the other trying hard not to slice either on the sharp edges, I was finally able to connect it to the receptacle and voila! It works!  So much consternation for a simple issue.  Ok so no the front sections of the hood cabinet are on and we are waiting for cabinet lighting to arrive so I can install it and set the crown moulding.

Second level stove arrived and is installed {it is soooo ugly.  Sandra has laid down the law that I will not order anything that is visible ever again}.  But with that set I was able to call out the propane company to come out, check everything and then they can call for an inspection.  They had a couple of comments which I took care of in short order and am ready for the inspection.

I have been focusing on the stair railing as we work towards a CO.  Headed to Santa Fe to pick up some more doug fir for it.  Not everything is intuitive until it starts getting laid out.  I originally had the top board higher than it is now.  On certain sections, I will use 2x8’s instead of 2x6’s to keep proportional look on taller section sections.  I have a bunch of steel tubing and angle coming Tuesday for the intermediate rails that will have to be welded or brazed together.  Get to try my rusty skills out.

Granite guys come out to install on Tuesday as well, and half the doors should arrive next week. In the midst of all of this, Sandra created a punch list for the fourth floor.  I love punch lists as it helps my A,D,D self complete the miriad of little things that don’t take long to finish, but for which I always have an excuse to put off doing in the name of getting other things started.


Kitchen hood finally near completion save for crown moulding on the top of it and surrounding cabinets. The crown will reach the ceiling and cover the vent pipe.
Another truck load of live edge wood. We traveled to Nashville to pick up what we purchased last Thanksgiving and bought another truckload as well.what shows on top here is a 2” thick slab of Cherry about 8’ long. It was an huge sum of - - $95 ;-)

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 4/11/2018 3:36:34 PM

We laid the epoxy on the floors on Saturday. I can’t say I love them, but I don’t hate them. There are some repairs and touchups that we need to figure out, but it is what it is. The living room garage door went in yesterday. It looks really great! My only complaint is that the door is black and the stairs are more of a bronze/brown tint. I wish we would have did the stairs darker. That is all on us and once again it is what it is.

Electric company installed a pole in front of our property and ran electrical across the street! We bought the PVC, we just need to trench now. So close to having power!


We bought some cheap vanities at Lowe’s and my sister was nice enough o paint them for us. We brought those inside and set them in the bathrooms. The kitchen cabinets are being installed starting today. Counters are being measured next week. 




Living room garage door
Epoxy floors
One of the vanities
Electrical pole installed and power brought across the street!

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 4/7/2018

Getting up this morning I was in the mood to get some of the "smaller" chores that had been piling up around the house.  There are always things like that, not quite large enough to dedicate a full day to them but which still needed doing.  That's what I decided to tackle today.

My original plan had been to take the opportunity to move the remaining ICF from the shed up into the garage, but the higher winds whipping thru the canyon made that a poor choice.  So I decided to pull up the raspberry canes that had infested the area down along the driveway instead.

Right off the bat I was in for a pleasant surprise....the recent rain had left the ground very soft, and so rather than wrestling with the canes I was able to more easily pull them out root and all.  That in turn was very good news since that mean there would be a minimum of regrowth from roots I left in the ground; if I was able to pull them up completely they'd have to recolonize rather than just regrow.

Working my way down the road I found all kinds of bits of old concrete and some old pieces of Styrofoam from the build, both of which required collecting up more 5 gallon buckets to gather properly gather each for disposal.  I eventually decided on dedicating 5 buckets to gathering up the raspberry canes and reserve two others for collecting old concrete for recycling.  My plan is to take everything down next week at some point; by then I'll have gathered enough Styrofoam and concrete to justify a trip into town.

As I worked my way down the driveway I ran across a large cardboard box...well, what was left of a cardboard box.  Turned out this was what the rock facing on Tanglewood itself came in, and somehow they'd left a box of it stashed semi-under the porch during the finish up.  So I fished it out, tossed the remaining cardboard scraps and 2x4s into the trash, and took time to sort out the useful rock.  I got a fair amount of whole pieces and about double that in cut pieces; the whole ones I plan to use around the door in the finishing step of its installation later this summer.  That interlude took a couple of hours interspersed with pulling raspberry canes.

By the time the day was done I was too, that's for sure.  Lots of back and forth trudging up and down the driveway today.  Still, it was a good day--I got the raspberries cleared out from part of the front of the house, collected some more bad concrete and waste Styrofoam for disposal, and unexpectedly just about tripled my available facing rock for ultimate use on the door!

A goodly day overall, I'm calling it!

Steven in Colorado

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 4/6/2018 3:19:39 PM

this week we painted and spent a lot of time prepping the floor for epoxy. We scrapped, swerved, mopped, pressure washed, buffed, grinder, filled cracks, cleaned again. Epoxy is going on Saturday. I am a little nervous how it will turn out. 


Siding almost done
Kitchen/living room painted and floor cleaned

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 4/6/2018

Well now, been a couple of weekends working steadily around the garage has finally allowed me declare "completion"....for certain measurements of completion, anyway.  The garage cleanup is (for now) done.

Mind there's a lot of stuff still not quite as "cleared out" as I'd have liked from the last report.  The tools are all nicely cleaned up and put away other than a tiny handful of a couple of things needed for the next major project (drywall inside the door).  I've purchased the handles necessary to repair a couple of other tools (smaller sledgehammers) and moved the power tools over to one row where I can work with them down the road.  There's been a lot of sweeping of course.

The 4" socked drainpipe is all stacked in much more orderly piles in one of the garage bays, the winter tires have been stacked away onto shelving off to the side, and some old cardboard and wood which has been collected from around the garage and already been burned.

Looking forward to tomorrow I'm going to start moving the leftover ICF that I'd stashed up by the shed when I rebuilt it (I was able to move about half of it; more in a few days after we get a bout of rain) and then I want to tackle an old box of the rock siding they apparently just left when the crews were done.  Along the way I'll pull up as many raspberry canes as I can (they literally spring up like weeds up here on the disturbed soil) and either burn or dump them depending my preference at the time.

With the garage done (well, as done as it's going to be) I can now look forward to the next series of projects.  I think I'll be dividing my time between the drywall inside and looking again at dealing with the leak.  I've was able to make a dent in it with my work around the computer room door but there's still water coming in, and I'm thinking now part of the leak is from the rooftop on top of the tower.  They used the same (bad) technique to build "crickets" that would supposedly divert water towards drains.  Probably would have worked a LOT better if they actually removed the water first...the slightest leak would undermine the cricket overlay, and that's exactly what has happened.  I'm thinking formed concrete is likely the way to go.  We'll see.

One project down, more projects to go!  Keeps ya busy I reckon.

Steven in Colorado

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