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Owner-Builder Journal Entries

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 7/21/2018 3:22:13 PM

Fireplaces that is.  The outdoor unit is finished and working, just waiting for stone to cap it.  That leaves the second level fireplace, ready for stone but it’ll take several weeks to arrive.  Originally they had told us it was carried in stock, so we had waited before trying to get it.  But as always, there is plenty of other things to keep us busy.

Sandra has been working on the second level doors while table and shelf projects sit and dry. With a short break in the rain, I turned my attention to going back to stucco around the window well window, and on the top of the retaining wall.  Before I could start the retaining wall though, I had to set post anchors, drilling into the concrete and using some of our leftover Simpson bolts to fasten them.  I’ve got one more hole to drill, for a power run outside. Then I think I’m done with the big hammer drill for some time.  It was one of the best $400 spent on the project.  Drilled close to 2000 1/2, 5/8 and 3/4” holes, 5-10 inches deep, several 4” holes with it and it still works like day one.

I started to clean my side of the garage as a break from working on the house.  It’s not a whole lot of fun, and I’m taking my time on it, but in a few weeks it might look like something organized.

Called for a permanent CO for Monday as well as a final.  Hoping to get the permanent even though not all the doors have handles since they are still being lacquered, but we’ll see.  The final I have no idea whether I’ll get.  Have no idea what they require to be finished.  As you know there is still tons of trim left. Speaking of which, I’d better get to some of that today.


Fireplace and outdoor furniture. Looking more like a home all the time
First evening of use. Almost like camping!
Construction stage
Posts anchored into the retaing wall
First coat of stucco applied

Posted to Art-Camacho by Art in New Braunfels, TX on 7/19/2018 6:30:36 PM

began putting together plans and gathering data for specs, etc. 

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 7/16/2018 8:52:47 PM

We often use the two words interchangeably, but there can be a large difference.  While I am working to try to finish the house, getting trim done, two fireplaces done, taking care of annoying start up issues that seem to keep showing up in a house of this size.  Sandra is trying to make it a home filling it with artwork, rugs, and a boatload of accessories.  What I am finishing off as basic structure, Sandra brings to life.  So slowly a home is being created.

The outdoor fireplace is ready for stone.  I would have started today but it rained heavily this afternoon and while its pretty well protected, I didn’t want to have to cut stone in the rain and I took the opportunity to install the check valve and new brass fitting on the upper water heater, change the oil on the old Tahoe, and drill a couple new anchor points in the concrete wall to make sure the deck stays attached with the weight of the fireplace and guests.

So it appears after taking a shower tonight that the check valve did the trick on the water heater issue.  One more issue taken care of (I think). And the leak is fixed.  I had originally used a galvanized reducer when hooking it up, but after many temperature cycles, it had started to drip, possibly because of differential expansion of the brass on the heater and the galvanized fitting. So hopefully having brass all around will prevent any future problems.

So tomorrow I’ll begin the stone until the afternoon rains come.  We’ll see how fast it proceeds.  Once the rain starts, I’ll look at running some baseboard that Sandra should have finished preparing.  


Fireplace ready for stone. Above and on the sides, there was a heat resistant material that was supplied with the unit. I had a little Durock left over that I pieced in as well, but the rest is metal lath.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 7/14/2018

So the shower glass is finished. I did the four smaller showers and the glass guys showed up on Thursday and finished the other two he had left.  Sandra grouted the niches so the showers are finished.

Although I thought a lot of the 4th floor baseboard was finished, I spent an afternoon running more until I ran out.  Sandra needs to prepare some more so I can finish it off.  

Got the gas and electric run to the outdoor fireplace today and fired it up.  Tomorrow I’ll begin getting it set up for stone-set the fireproof panels and attach the metal lath.  I should be able to start running stone on Monday.  We will be certain to enjoy it as once the sun goes down, it gets chilly pretty quick.  

We’ve been overrun with chipmunks and ground squirrels and they have been eating Sandra’s flowers to the ground.  So we bought a couple traps and in the course of three days, have caught 24 of the suckers and relocated them a mile away.  

We have been having fits with the showers that run off the the pumped loop.  This is the loop that provides for constant hot water at all of the fixtures. The shower temp starts out hot but within a few minutes, begins to cool off considerably.  Thought it may be bad temperature compensators at the showers, but yesterday I got the bright idea of actually grabbing the hot water line on a shower where the the piping is external to the wall.  It was the hot water itself! So now I’m running ideas through my mind - is there a blockage in the air intake or exhaust? Is there an issue with gas flow? Is there simply a problem with the heater itself? So I pull out the manual and read through the troubleshooting section.  Apparently, I was supposed to install a couple check valves in the system.  One on the main line, and one on the hot water loop. What the function is supposed to be ( of course I understand what a check valve does) here, I’m still not sure, but I’ll head to the plumbing supplier on Monday, get a couple and see of that solves the problem.  Cross my fingers!

Posted to Quijada-project-Lake-Havasu by Michael in Lake Havasu City, AZ on 7/13/2018 10:57:52 AM

  • Lot purchased - 11/2015 - $4,607.92
  • Land Survey - 11/26/16 -$400.00
  • Engineering - 3/21/18 -$2,600.00
  • Grading - 5/8/18 -$11,768.94
  • Plans Drawn - 6/15/18 - $2,500.00
  • Fence started - 4/1/18 - still in progress

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 7/12/2018

Tuesday the regional freight company brought up three major pieces, a pellet grill, the last refrigerator, and the last fireplace.  Sunday mattresses arrived.  We are getting closer to ending major deliveries here, and closer to selling off the Skytrak.  We have two sofas, five chairs and two more log beds that will arrive late this month, and that’ll be about it.  Dining chairs have been ordered, but will take 4  months to be made, so by then we should have sold off the Skytrack and will bring those up by hand.  That piece of equipment has been invaluable that’s for certain.

So the grill got assembled, the fireplace has been set in the frame and the fridge has been set in position. Elder daughter is coming down from Denver this weekend, so Sandra asked if I could put the glass in her shower.  I had watched the guys install the master, which helped but actually doing it took some time.  Did get it set, learned some things in the process and have proceeded to the next one.  Have decided to do all four smaller showers myself as they will only take about two hours each.  Glass guy still needs to come back for the other two we had contracted him to do.

Got the dining room table delivered, but as it seems to be with this local artist, it’s not finished.  Frustrating to say the least. 

I’m flip-flopping between projects, glass, fireplace, trim trying to keep moving as I wait for things to cure, age, dry etc.  Oh, and in the meantime had to repair the old Tahoe whose power window broke and the instrument cluster need to be replaced. No shortage of things to do!


Outdoor grill set in its frame. Need to connect the gas and electric to it, install the metal lath and rock it.
Dining table. The legs are old pitchwood stumps to keep in the same theme as the fireplace

Posted to Port-Townsend-Build by Casey in Sherman Oaks, CA on 7/7/2018 11:56:53 PM

I may run with this format.

My wife and I are fleeing Los Angeles after decades of living here and building a house, partially of ICF construction, just outside of Port Townsend, WA, on a 1/2 acre piece of land that we bought in 2016. It has taken this long to arriving even close to a finished floor plan.

We plan on being owner-builders and could use every piece of advice and help we can find. Neither of us have construction experience, although we did become very involved in a 500 sq. ft. addition to our old home in Woodland Hills and I have a slight advantage in having an architect stepfather.

We are haggling over design plans with the architects (and have been doing so for almost six months) and will have both a site manager (a family relation who lives several miles south) and a consultant friend who has done contracting work in the Puget Sound area. 

Currently waiting on the Septic Permit, I've got several septic installers to choose from but am reluctant to get bids until the design passes. Once that happens and we finalize the design plans, I think the train will be inching out of the station and I'll start getting bids from all the subs.

But it will be a winter build - not part of the original plan at all.

Much to write about and no time, but I will add to this, maybe photos and documents and offer questions on issues as they come up.

Until later.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 7/4/2018 9:33:26 AM

We’re slowly working through the trim - creating it, preparing it and attaching it.  As we get more installed, the house looks more and more finished.  Mirrors are all installed in the baths and the fellow that did those is going to set at least three of the shower enclosures.  At $200 each I think it was a great deal.  And they are the big ones with large sheets of glass.  He got the master done yesterday.  Will hopefully come back after the holiday for the other two.  It took him and his two sons a lot longer than I think they thought, but the barn door hardware was new to them so it included a lot of learning so the others will go a lot quicker.  When he’s done with those, I’ll talk to him about the other four.  They will be easy for me to set, but again, we have plenty to do and the price is very reasonable.

I was able to get the remaining glass extricated from the crates and set into the baths it goes in, so I can get those out of the garage and give us some more room.  Yea!

Outdoor fireplace was shipped this week.  It should be here by Tuesday.  I’ll begin framing for it tomorrow so it’ll be ready to install when it gets here.  Nights here get cold, it was 34F this morning, so it will be nice to have up and running as soon as we can get it in and finished.  The exterior will be rock, and hopefully we still have enough left from the house.  

In addition to sanding, weathering and lacquering the trim, Sandra has started on the rest of the interior doors that have now all been set. That’ll take a couple weeks but should prepare us to get the final CO.  Yea!

And I have gotten the window well window wrapped in lath and put on the scratch coat of stucco.  It needs to sit for a couple weeks before the next (brown coat), which then needs to sit before the color coat.  But by the end of the month it’ll be done.  

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 7/2/2018

Well this is all very slow and frustrating at times that's for sure, but at least I've started!

I finally starting working on putting the rock around the door after having to build myself a place to work from last week first.  I pretty quickly ran into a couple of problems, one of which was easy to change my plans about and one of which was a bit more annoying.

I had originally intended to put the rock around the door in a "sunburst" pattern, basically pointing them "towards" the door.  Unfortunately the setback with the stucco around the top of the door made that impossible, and it was either change my plans or add yet more construction work to the agenda.  I decided it was better to just proceed with a normal "stacked" look instead.

That led to the second issue, and that was a bit more problematic.  It turns out that that excellent stone won't STAY ON THE FRACKING WALL very easily....there's a little thing called 'gravity' that makes it want to fall off.  After a few failed attempts in which I was thinking I wasn't using enough mortar I finally figured out what the problem was.  Sadly, since I couldn't just "mortar and set" the things one after the other I'd have to proceed much more slowly--set, hold for what seemed forever, and then see if they fell off.

It was rather annoyingly slow work.

By the end of the day I got about a quarter of the left side of the arch done.  There are some braces and clamps holding some of them in place as the mortar sets.  Next weekend (I've used up this weekend taking more time getting ready than I'd thought) I'll get more of it done.

But at least I've started, so mote it be!

Steven in Colorado


Not really all that much rock yet; I'm still figuring out what will work here and what won't.

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 7/1/2018

Well dang....didn't quite expect this per se, but in retrospect I realize I should have.

I'd done yeoman's work collecting and setting out all of the potential rock for finishing the door and was anxious to start the work mortaring it all up.  Unfortunately I quickly ran into a minor problem--but fortunately I also had a solution nearby!

So there I was, standing on the porch and pondering how I'd be installing that rock.  The best ladder I had for that is a 12 foot job that works quite well, but I realized I was looking at a heck of a lot of up and down climbing.  LOTS of climbing.  Over and over and over.  As I pondered this, my knees provided a warning throb just to remind me I was there....

But then I realized I had a solution!  I'd bought 18 feet of scaffolding towards the end of 2016 when I thought I'd be working on the chandelier that winter!  The scaffolding came in three 6 foot sections (intended ultimately to be stacked when working high up with the chandelier), but a single section should be just about exactly the right height. I'd been side-lined by some health problems during the subsequent winter of 2016/2017, and by the time I got back on my feet last year I was only focusing on things that I'd let slide for far too long.  As a result that scaffolding had just been sitting there in the corner of the garage, where (I discovered shortly) spiders had woven huge webs in and around the boxes.

So I spent some quality time building one set of the scaffolding, and (of course) it took most of the day to do that.  These parts are heavy and they weren't quite as easy to sort out as I'd assumed given that I'd bought three identical boxes.  As I unpacked them I discovered that these pieces of equipment were much heavier and well constructed than I'd assumed....this made me happy, as they should serve me well down the road when I'm working on the chandelier.

So basically it took me all day to put this thing together, between finding the right pieces, moving the rock I'd sorted out yesterday, and disposing of all of the packing (there was a  lot of carboard and paper padding).  But I got it, and now I've got myself a solid platform to do all of the work I need to do next.

Slowly but surely, it's getting there!

Steven in Colorado


The scaffold! Quite nice I think.
Very solidly built and good pins throughout...I'm pretty pleased with this whole thing.

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/30/2018

So now that I got the proper concrete backer board up and the wire mesh on, it was time to ferret out the rock I'd need to use for the area around the door.  Turned out that took a bit more work than I'd have expected (which of course didn't surprise me--everything up here takes longer).

I'd sorted out some of the "whole" rock (as opposed to the pieces they cut during construction) with the intent to use them first--even exclusively if possible.  I quickly realized I had FAR more whole rock than I'd thought, which really is a good problem to have I reckon.  I started sorting it out on the stoop of the porch but quickly realized I had far too much rock to fit on the stoop, so I ended up moving all of it up to the porch.  Between the rock that I'd salvaged from under the porch (anything the builders cut they ended up throwing under the porch, for some reason) and the rock that I still had inside the house from the fireplace work I did a while back I found out I had a lot of rock!   Good problem to have, definitely.

So between sorting out all of the rock and cleaning up some of the old concrete chunks mixed with them it basically took me all day, which was a bit annoying but I'd rather do it once and right than ad hoc.

Tomorrow I start putting up the rock!  I hope.....

Steven in Colorado


One side of the porch and the rock I'd salvaged from around the place.
Yet more rock!
A little better angle on this shot.

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 6/29/2018 6:41:29 PM

Time just keeps going by so fast!! Moving was quite the effort. I planned to organize everything as we brought it in the new house, but we were running out of time, so everything got thrown in. We are slowly getting unpacked, but a few things are holding us up. One, we have been working on getting shelves/rods in the closets. Second, we are still fighting with home depot on getting our kitchen complete (with decent quality). Once that is done, then we can get all the kitchen boxes unpacked. Back to moving, moving and cleaning the rental took so much time. Between that and stress 3 of us ended up with Strep. So I had strep in the end of April and end of May....uggghhhh. Currently, we are battling the last bit with the rental, getting our full security deposit back. They only gave us 2/3 and then I spent the last week providing backup and getting upset, but it sounds like we should be getting it all back. Well, I thought we were going to issue a temp certificate of occupancy in the end of May, but we had to have our original inspector come back to check a few things. We needed a few more smoke detectors in the house, it took us weeks to find a wireless interconnecting smoke detector that would work with ours. Well, we wrapped up all of our items, and the inspector came back out. He told us we were good to go! But that only lasted for 24 hours and then we got a phone call from the inspector saying we needed a final elevation survey because we had a flood plain use permit we had to finalize. We got the survey on Monday, and now just waiting to hear back from the county. We still have lots of stuff to do just to finish the actual house… finalize siding, finish caulking the outside, paint the garage door, paint all interior doors, buy/paint/install baseboards, finish closets, cabinets or shelving in pantry and laundry room. After all of that, then we can get started on the landscaping.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 6/26/2018

We’re sitting on the front deck looking at the smoke from a new fire. This one is about 13miles away and in the direction of the prevailing wind.  Not a good thing.  Small size now but as we learned on the fire a few weeks ago, that can change overnight.  We’ll see what happens over the next couple days.  

We’ve gotten most everything unpacked and put away.  There is a yearly garage sale/ benefit for the library that was fortuitous in the timing.  They are coming by tomorrow to pick up several pieces of furniture and a lot of accessories.  It will clear a large hole in the garage! And the truck iss loaded with all of the incorrect cabinet frames to take to the dump.  More space!  A lot of our time this past week has been spent on nesting.  Getting towel hooks, and various other things in to make it a home.  I did find time to set the rest of the prehung doors and only have two more barn doors that will get set once more hardware arrives.  Today I was back ripping aspen for door trim.  Sandra will need to sand and treat tomorrow so it can age and get lacquered before she heads out of town this weekend.

Shower glass is still in the crates.  I’ll begin to get to that shortly.  Ordered suction handles for it to make it easier to carry.  It is amazing how much glass weighs!

Lanscaper came back last week and together we got the picnic table set.  Fred Flintsone would love it!

And we had the driveway finished off with real gravel. Had them create a swail to carry off the rain.  They filled that with larger rock so it stays put but can be driven over.  I took the opportunity to lay conduit and wire in the swail with the 
Idea of getting more lighting out there as well as power for the eventual gate opener

So we’ve been busy with long days but the finishes are happening


Finished drive and parking. Nice to have real gravel, not the dusty mess we had before.
New fire. About 12 miles away. Hope they cN get it contained. Right now at 0%
New picnic table. The wind will have hell trying to blow this away

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?

Posted by luckypatcher in california, CA on 6/13/2018 8:12:27 AM

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Posted by google on 6/13/2018 7:37:14 AM

Alternatively, a user can select a destination, and Google Flights will calculate every price for each day of the next 12 months, visualised in a graph or table. This allows users to easily spot the cheapest date to fly to the destination.

Posted to LalcoInteriors1 by LalcoInteriors1 in Mumbai, IN on 6/12/2018 2:59:06 AM

Lalco Interiors is one of the Best Furniture Shops In Bangalore. We offer a wide variety of stylish furniture to help you transform your house into a home. If you are planning to buy designer furniture for your home, explore a wide range of comfortable and durable furniture in our store. Do visit one of our stores in Mumbai, Pune, or Bangalore Furniture. For more info visit our website:

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.

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