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Owner-Builder Journal Entries

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 9/15/2018 9:33:48 AM

This time it is the architectural.  Had one before but didn’t pass as all of the outside stuff wasn’t completed.  I had been under the assumption it was only to ensure I complied with the finishes and style that had been presented originally, but then was told it was also to ensure the exterior was finished.  So now it is. The past couple weeks have been spent going around and taking care of the last little items. Garage door trim is the last item and will be done today.  The exterior thresholds are done and turned out pretty good.  I had been pondering how to trim them out ever since the doors were installed in 2016. But the final idea was the best.

We continue to make slow progress on bunk bed frame materials.  They have been cut and planed, Sandra has sanded much of it and applied the weathering solution and the moisture content is dropping as we’ve had a full week with plenty of sun and no rain.  

Hopefully this weekend, we can start applying the window coating using the Skytrak to get us to the upper reaches.  With the good weather, the ground in the backside should have dried out enough to allow us to get the heavy monster in without bogging down.  But, with all the things we have on tap, maybe that chore will stretch into next week.


A shot of the theshold process. First had to take a diamond balde on a grinder to cut the concreteto the correct height. Since the area to be covered is both the concrete core and the foam form, thinset was applied to the concrete section and large globs of silicone (which sticks to anything clean) to the foam. The stone slab is then set in place.
Different door than the one above here, but shows all of the stone set in place
Using a grout bag, much like a large pastry bag, to grout/caulk the joints. Instead of using actual grout, I used LogJam log chinking material. Wonderful stuff! It’s an acrylic-based material that has a grit included, a lot of air entrained and sticks to most things. We’ve used it on all of the stone, and stone/:window joints and it has held up extremely well. As it is used on log homes, it is flexible to allow for the expansion/contraction of the logs. But here it is still stiff enough when cured to work really well for these other applications. And it comes in a large variety of colors. Far more than regular caulk
Finished threshold

Posted to MCKAY-ICF-BUILD by Thomas in Oconomowoc, WI on 9/12/2018 1:55:48 PM

My ICF blueprints are completed and I have reached out to several financial institutions for financing. I am fortunate that the National Exchange Bank has responded to my request to be an O.B. I have a lot of proposals that have been completed by many sub-contractors, but many are slow to respond. I am hoping to have them all wrapped up by the end of October.


Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 9/10/2018

Okay, so after deciding last week that I was going to go with more rock rather than trying to cut wood curved to fit the arch of the door, I spent some quality time selecting rock and building a stockpile of stones to use.

After I got the rock selected out I worked on installing the wood for the straight portions of the pillars on either side of the door.  As much as I liked the idea of a "real pillar" I couldn't find any that weren't FAR too wide...I needed a very *narrow* pillar to fill in the gap between the edge of the door and the wall.  Every square pillar I could find was at least 4" wide, and the half circle columns were frankly worse size wise.  (I'm not sure why this is since you'd think there would be a need for them, but I guess not.)

So I got myself some nice pine and started going with a layered square look. The pillars had to have  slight stepdown as the edge went "up" the door (the arch apparently was deliberately designed to widen slightly towards the top) and so I measured carefully so as to make the transitions look a bit natural.  

By the end of the day I got the pillars in place and had started putting in the rock...well, *a* rock anyway.  More to come.  Once the rock is all done, I'll grout everything into place.

Step by step, I'll get this thing done!

Steven in Colorado


Pillar on the right hand side. It's not stained yet so it's a bit tricky to distinguish it from the door itself.
Pillar on the left hand side....
I got one rock on before it was time to shut things down for the day. But it's one!

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 9/9/2018

The last fireplace is nearly finished, as long as I have enough stone!  It’s going to be really close. If I’m short, I’ll have to order a small box of additional which will set back the completion a few weeks.  Definitely trying to limit waste to a minimum and am doing a good job of that, but it’ll be close.

I have four of the eight thresholds set.  Will work on some of the others this afternoon.  It’s a really dirty job as I have to grind down the concrete ICF core to get to the correct level that everything lines up.  A huge amount of concrete dust just gets everywhere. Ugh!

Sandra has nearly all of the kitchen shelves weathered and most lacquered.  As soon as the brackets arrive, we can begin setting them. She has also begun lightly sanding and weathering the components for the bunkbeds.  While the wood isn’t completely dry yet, it’s a jump on them and allows the weathering to take place while we still have decent sun.  As the season progresses, the intensity of the sun continues to drop and will lengthen the time it takes to weather the wood.  Last year, it took up to two weeks during winter to get a somewhat decent amount of weathering.  

I’ll also try to get over to my old landlords shop this afternoon to use his big planer on the 1x material for the coffee tables.  While that may be a later project beyond what is more pressing, I might as well get that done so as the weather turns colder, it’ll be a good indoor project.


early stage on the fireplace
Further along. Mantel set
Nearly there!
Sandra lightly sanding a 6x6 for a bunkbed
A couple of elk for vistors this morning

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 9/6/2018 11:10:02 PM

We had a full house over Labor Day weekend, with the daughter from Denver, her boyfriend, a couple they are friends with and Tom, who is building across the road, and his son and a friend of his. It was a good trial run for having future visitors and rental guests.  All in all, it went very well.  I had just gotten a 36” griddle hooked up to house propane, which we used to cook breakfasts.  Wow! That thing is great and  makes it so easy.  Bacon, sausage, hashbrowns eggs any style and pancakes.  I felt like I was working at Waffle House.  Tuesday evening, we had people over for dinner and used it for scallops and shrimp.  Now I felt like I was working Benihana’s. :-)

But no joke it makes easy work of large amounts of food.

Went to ABQ to see off some friends who are moving :-( but that just gives us another place to visit in the future, right? 

So tomorrow it is back to work.  The fireplace is slowly coming along.  The new stone is heavier and doesn’t sit as flatly as the Eldorado brand did, so I set a few rows and let it sit till next day.  I set the stone on top of the outdoor fireplace, and am now working on the exterior thresholds which are getting a flat stone.  The thresholds are going along better than I expected.  I’ll started actually setting some of them with thinset and silicone tomorrow.

Once the thresholds are finished, I think I’m  for the final architectural inspection, no wait, teim around the garage doors.  That should be a pretty quick job. Maybe by the end of next week I’ll be ready for it.

It’s been raining every day for well over a week, and while that is great to keep fires at bay, it doesn’t help with getting the lumber to dry.  And everyone is starting to get tired of it. And the forecast is for more to come.  We’ll see what we can do about the wood.


Downstairs fireplace slowly taking shape.
A little further along with the mantle attached

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 9/1/2018

Okay, I had a plan and it just flat wasn't going to I decided to Change the Plan.

My idea originally was that the upper part of the door would have all that rock, and that the sides would be encased pillars or pilasters or something like that.  The bottom parts are straight enough, but the top sections left and right needed to have a slight curve along the edge of the door.  After some searching I found wood suitable enough size wise, but of course I had to do some cutting to get them shaped properly.

Unfortunately I simply don't have the tools to do this properly.  I tried, I really did....I used a jigsaw that I simply could not keep under control, I tried a table saw while carefully working the wood as I turned it, I tried using a simple a handsaw.  None of it worked, and after basically wasting an entire day I basically only ended up with a bunch more scrap for the fireplace.   It was clear that I wasn't going to be able to make the arch at the top of the pillars properly arched, and I frankly was running out of patience.

So after some due consideration I decided to continue the rockwork down from where I had stopped earlier to the straight sections on either side.  As it happens that is exactly five feet (60"), so I needed to extend the rockwork about a foot on either side.

Attaching the rock per se isn't going to be hard because I have a lot of the thinset mortar.  The more difficult thing is to find rock that would fit the space to either side of the doorframe--I used virtually all larger rock and the vast bulk of the remaining decorative rock was all cut by the builders.  That meant they were basically flat on one side and certainly didn't look at all "natural".  Bugger.

Fortunately one aspect of living on a gravel road is that it is basically made of rock.  Lots and lots of rock.  Big rocks.  Small rocks.  Pretty rocks.  Rocks you can use on a door....

So I'll be spending the next couple of days gathering rocks for the door.  Thought I was done with this bit, but there you go.....monkeys gotta adapt!

Steven in Colorado

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 8/30/2018

Drove up to Pueblo Wednesday to pick up the stone order at the distributor that finally arrived.  Stone for the downstairs fireplace, stone for the top of the outdoor fireplace and stone for the door thresholds.  So now it’s time to get to work on it.

Started running the downstairs fireplace today.  Got it up to the level of the hearth and will let it set overnight so the thinset can cure.  Will set the wood hearth on it tomorrow and begin to move up on the stone.

Thresholds will be next.  Get those finished and we’re closer to a final inspection as well as an inspection for the architectural compliance.  I need the latter to get our deposit back.  

I got a small load of steel on Tuesday.  Some 1/2” square tubing and flat stock.  A piece of flat will be used on one last barn door, bit the other was ised to make a cover grate for the sewer pump.  The pump is at the bottom of a 4’ diameter culvert.  I have needed to get it done for some time so no one can fall in.  Took about an hour to build, cutting the steel and welding it all together.  Another item taken care of.

Sandra and I have been  working on the rough cut lumber, even though it hasn’t fully dried.  Got the shelving cut to length, then I used a powered hand planer to get it semi-smooth.  Then Sandra takes the orbital sander to it.  The 1x material has dried pretty quickly, as one would expect.  I keep reversing the exposure to minimize cupping.  Weathering has taken place on several and lacquer is going on.  

I’ve gotten all of the 6x6 planed, as well as quite a bit of the 2x6.  These I’ve used the planer to try to create a look of handscraping.  We’ll see how well it turns out. It’d be neat to begin the first bunk bed in a couple weeks.  

And lastly, we set the backsplash on the downstairs kitchen.  Took a day to get it up.
Sandra has since grouted it.  It’s white subway tile and brightens up that level a lot.  

So, a lot of things in the works, and one has gotten finished.


Sandra sanding on the shelf boards
Backsplash going up
Grate being made
Grate finished and in place
Some of the 1x material up drying
One other thing that got done was connecting a propane line to a new griddle, eliminating the need for a refillable tank.
A beautiful sunset tonight over the mountains.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 8/21/2018 10:00:59 PM

Sandra has had the fun, not, of grouting the tile we set in the main kitchen.  Unlike most standard tiles, this has a very deep inset profile around the edge of each one.  Like a good 1/4” deep by 1/2” wide.  She tried using a grout bag, like a pastry bag only larger, but it didn’t really work.  So she is using her fingers to work the grout in without filling the entire depression.  A slow process, but she has now finished two sections, one more to go.  

I’ve been continuing to work on door trim.  I think it’s nearly finished, but I’m short a couple boards.  Do I, order a bit more aspen? Or try using spruce.  I’ll ponder it a bit. But the crown moulding on top is just about finished.  It’s gone reasonably well, if only, I could measure correctly.  

I went and picked up an order of rough cut lumber at the mill this morning.  Took my 10’ trailer.  I didn’t realize just how heavy the order would be.  From my estimates when I unloaded each piece, I probably had close to 3000# on a trailer designed for 1500#.  Some pieces were so long they nearly dragged the ground.  But we made it home in good order.  I unloaded and spread it out to dry, and then the skies opened up. Oh well. This load is going to be planed but in keeping with a more handhewned style.  Most of it is going towards four bunkbeds, some for a couple large coffee tables, and some for exposed shelving in both kitchens.  Plenty of work to do once it dries.  I figure about a month and we can begin working it.

Waiting on the stone for the lower fireplace.  It’s in Denver now, distributor in Pueblo, CO can’t spare a truck to pick it up just yet as one of theirs is broken.  They asked if I could go and get it in Denver. An extra 3-4 hours that would be added to a 7 hour trip already. No thanks! Hopefully. They can get it within a week.

The car lift got a good workout this past weekend.  Daughter in Denver drove down for me to install skid plates and rock sliders (heavy duty guards that take them place of running boards) on her 4-Runner.  Seems she is getting into trail riding since she moved west!

Should be able to tile the lower kitchen backsplash over the weekend.  Using subway tile on it so grouting should be much easier when Sandra works on it. All in all, things keep progressing!


Sandra grouting the second wall section. You can see she is working it in by hand
A closeup of the crown moudling detail around each door. This adds six pieces of trim to each interior door.
The load of rough cut lumber. 2x6, 2x12, 6x6, and 1x6.
Laying it out to dry.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 8/20/2018 2:26:36 PM

While the rest of the country is still experiencing hot weather, fall is appearing here in Angel Fire.  You can feel the angle of the sun isn’t as high as it was a couple months ago, the days are definitely shorter, and today is cold and gray.  Yesterday was beautiful and we took the convertible out for a drive through the valleys and mountains, but you could see a visible change in the color of the aspens, turning a lighter shade of green and one actually a full yellow color, a month and a half ahead of itself.  Although we enjoy skiing, neither of us are ready for winter yet and wish the summer would last a while longer.  It’s gone by so quickly. :-(

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 8/14/2018 10:15:55 AM

o we decided to tackle the backsplash on the main level yesterday.  Took Sandra and I a very long day but it is up.  It started very quickly, but when it got to the myriad cuts that needed to be made and made again, that’s when things slowed.  I cut and Sandra installed.  Still has to be grouted and will be once we get grout, but at least the bare wall with all of the pencil marks from cabinet installation are covered.  We’ll head to Albuquerque later this week to pick up the heater for the patio and stop by HD for the grout and get it finished.


Sandra at work installing the backsplash
Coffee bar section finished
Stove area finished

Posted to Car-Rentals-in-Udaipur by Raj in Delhi, AL on 8/14/2018 6:32:53 AM

Often referred to as the 'Venice of the East', the city of lakes Udaipur is located around azure water lakes and is hemmed in by lush green hills of Aravallis. The famous Lake Palace, located in the middle of Lake Pichola is one of the most beautiful sights of Udaipur. It is also home to Jaisamand Lake, claimed to be the second largest man-made sweet water lake in Asia. The beautiful City Palace and Sajjangarh (Monsoon Palace) add to the architectural beauty and grandeur of the city. The city is also known for its profusion of zinc and marble. Solar observatory in Lake Fateh Sagar is the only observatory in India located on an island and has been made on the pattern of  Big Bear Lake in Southern California. The ten-day Shilpgram Festival which starts from 21 Dec to 30 Dec pulls in a large number of people interested in arts andcrafts.

Udaipur was founded in 1553 by Maharana Udai Singh II as the new capital of Mewar Kingdom. It is located in the fertile, circular Girwa Valley to the southwest of Nagda, which was the first capital of Mewar.

The city of Sunrise or the city of lakes, Udaipur is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Located in the Aravali hills in Rajasthan state, Udaipur is one of the top tourist destinations in India. The majestic forts and glorious palaces with view of glittering lakes attract tourists from all around the world in this exotic destination. A number of tourists visit this beautiful city and book car rentals in Udaipur . If you are also visiting Udaipur then, you can also book a car rental service in Udaipur to explore the city without any hassles.

Udaipur is famous amongst foreign tourists because of the beauty and romance in the air of Udaipur city. Udaipur is well-known for the artificial lakes it has and also the beautiful gardens which makes the city one of the most romantic cities and a perfect destination for the honeymoon couple. If you are planning a trip to Udaipur and want a peaceful and hassle-free trip then, you can book car rentals in Udaipur. Booking car rentals means no hassles for searching a cab, no need to bargain with the driver, no need to wait outside Airport to reach to hotel or get transmitted to Airport from hotel. You can do everything according to you with your own rented car in Udaipur at best affordable rates.

Rent a Car in Udaipur

Udaipur is a popular tourist destination in India as it has a number of tourist spots and attractions to explore. To visit these places you need to take either a public transport or rent a car. Well, renting a car in Udaipur is one of the best ways to explore each and every attractions of Udaipur. If you have booked a tourist bus then, you will have to follow their time. As per the allotted time by the tour agency you would have to spend time on each destination, while renting a car give you more time and your own space. You can start your trip from wherever you want and visit every top attractions of the city by driving car by yourself.

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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 8/14/2018

Well bugger all.

First the Good News.  I took a good look at the grout work and it's all solid; I like it.  There are a couple of spots I'd redo if I was motivated but they're all WAY UP THERE over the arch of the door; nobody will even be able to see them from the porch.  So they're good.

I need to start taking measurements for the bottom half of the door and consider how I'm going to finish that bit off.  I'm pondering some type of pillar, or shallow extrusion or pilaster.  Given the slight slant of the door arch itself I might buy a larger single board and cut it down to size.  Not really sure; I'll have to ponder it.

Either way that leads to the Bad News.  A very close friend of mine has passed away unexpectedly, so I'll have to run back to Missouri to give him a proper sendoff.  Unfortunately that probably means this will delay furtherance of the door work for a week, though at least I have to spend some time gathering options anyway.

Life  happens!

Steven in Colorado

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 8/13/2018 10:42:42 AM

We’re at a stage where things seem to be coming together pretty quickly.  The top rails on the deck were started and finished in a few days. Went to big blue to get redwood 2x6 but their inventory shown online didn’t match.  They had none in stock.  So I decided to get douglas fir, also pretty weather resistant, which they had in 2x12.  Ripped them down on the table saw and then ran each through the table saw again, twice on edge at a slight angle to create a a double cant, or roof-like shape on the top side, to shed water and create a nicer profile than a simple flat board.  After sanding and staining, they, and some live-edge boards that Sandra had prepared were all installed over the next few days.  Really makes for a finished look.

More door casing was prepared over the weekend as well.  I think we’ve got the final pieces done, just need weathering, lacquering.  We’ll find out when we install, if we have it all.

Ordered 400’ of small crown for the tops of the door moulding.  It arrived Friday and yesterday Sandra applied the weathering.  She should be able to lacquer it in a couple of days.

I’ll start the tile backsplash in the main kitchen today.

And the big thing that happened - we have living room furniture!  We had ordered it in lat June and last night it arrived.  Used the Skytrak to get it up to the third floor, where the guys offloaded and set it up.  Reeeealy nice to have something to sit on!  


Sandra lacquering live edge boards. She has nearly used the entrie trailer load we brought back from Tennessee earlier this year.
Running a top rail through the table saw at a slight angle. Two passes like this to create the profile needed
Top rail installed.
Section of live edge top rail. Used to create a larger surface to allow for drinks to be set upon. Backsplash of powder-coated steel cutouts to prevent glases from being down over the edge
We had a visitor early morning last week. A good sized black bear foraging for food. Was really a beautiful animal with a gorgeous coat

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 8/13/2018

I realized I probably didn't provide a good pic of the rockwork along the top of the door, so here ya go.

That "divot" along the upper right is where some stucco came down; I'll have to color match it before I can work on replacing it.

Next up, the grout work!  Since I didn't do the rock as a "dry stack", as with much of the house (I didn't think I had enough rock, frankly) I'll need to grout it up similarly to the tiles around the fireplace.  I'm thinking a gray or perhaps a black color; going to have to experiment a bit.

Steven in Colorado


Nice mix of sizes left from the original construction.

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 8/11/2018 11:39:37 PM

A major milestone completed today (finally!) as I put the last stone in place around the door.

I almost got there last outing, but between working on rock inside the house and the rework/reset of a stone I didn't put in properly I lost my daylight.  Checking on the existing work from last week I realized that one more rock was to even the right side up so I did that, which didn't take long but which needed some good bracing.

While that was all setting up I mocked up some different layouts using broken/old stone and various shades of grout.  El Dorado Stone had recommended  a color they called Smoke, but upon application it seemed way too brown for my tastes.  I had already had my thoughts that it might not be what I wanted so I swung by Ye Olde Home Depot and got two others, Natural Gray and Charcoal.

Both the Natural Gray and the Charcoal were good, definitely.  I had to make up two test batches for the Charcoal; I felt the first time around the "gaps" between the stones were too large and so I wasn't necessarily getting a good view as a result so I set up a second trial.

The Natural Gray seemed much more normal for me.  I decided that I really would have liked to see what a Dark Gray might look like, but a.) that would have meant running back into town and b.) they didn't have any in stock anyway (I was just there and so I knew).

So in the end I went with the Natural Gray for the grout.  I plan to put it on tomorrow.  I think I'll mix it a little bit "wetter" than the instructions say so I can flow it a bit better, and I made sure to pick up a couple of tubes of matching sanded grout so I could touch up the edges a bit as needed.  Should be glorious...fingers and other appendages crossed.

I already know I'm going to want to do the rock around the bottom of the door as well, probably.  The bulk of the stone is "dry-stacked" and hence doesn't really need any grout, but around the bottom I was thinking it did in fact want it for the sake of completeness.  I'll give it some thought first though.

More tomorrow!

Steven in Colorado


The right hand side....
...and the whole side!

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 8/7/2018 11:44:55 PM

We continue to make progree on the trim.  The door casing should be finished by the end of the weekend with only the crown moilding portion left to finish.  That won’t be done until we after get a final inspection, as we are working hard to get the required things done to get that. Those things include all of the normal trim, exterior thresholds and top rails on the deck railings. 

I’ll head to big blue today for redwood 2x6 lumber to make those top rails.  Sandra has also been preparing several live edge planks that will also be used for top rails where we want to have more of a gathering place on the decks.  The live edge rails will allow room for drinks to be set down in a more attractive setting.  

The railing for the retaining wall is up, the stucco work an the retaining wall and in the window well is finished.

I’ve finally decided to use the stone we used for window sills for the thresholds and have a plan on how to attach them.  I need to find out if they are in stock at any of the local (3 hour drive local) yards.

The 3rd floor outdoor patio space is finished with the addition of a great coffee table that Sandra made.  It’s been wonderful to sit out there in the evenings watching the sunset and the fireplace.  I’ve ordered a radiant heater to add warmth. The fireplace puts out quite a bit, but if the wind is blowing, it doesn’t get far.  The 9’ long radiant unit will hang from the beam and provide significant additional warmth.

All of the bedrooms have been finished, complete with beds and bedding.  We had recently received the last two log beds we had ordered.  They were a bear to get in the house. The crate they arrived in weighed almost 900 lbs with the pallet. The headboards alone weighed about 200 lbs each.  As with everything else bulky or heavy, the beds were loaded on the Skytrak and lifted up.  But from there we had to stand the head and foot boards on furniture dollies to move to the respective bedrooms.  Crazy, but there are in and look great.


Outdoor space with Sandra’s coffee table finished and in.
Guest level living area. Waiting on stone for the fireplace. But based on the outdoor one we just finished, it should take a day or two only to install the stone here
One of the guest bedrooms. Ready for company!

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 7/30/2018

So at long last the End Is Near with regards to the stone around the door.  By the end of the day I needed just ONE MORE STONE on the right side to have that part done!  I definitely made good progress once I was able to start last week.

I finished up all of the rock beneath the door threshold, finally restoring it to its proper look.  The other work along the right hand side moved along nicely if slowly, since it was becoming harder and harder to select the right stone to fit into the gap between the door and the hard door frame. 

In between I pulled and reset a couple of the stones around the fireplace that I had noticed were loose.  As I was working on that pair of stones I found another stupid one--somehow they decided to wedge one in a gap sideways.  I was somewhat dumbfounded...why the heck would you do that?  I levered it out and found a correctly sized stone instead.

(My opinion of the rockwork folks continues to decline.)

But anyway I got it all done except for that one last rock.  I'll do that next weekend; in the meantime I'll start researching what colors of grout I will want for the finish.  The vast bulk of the house is all dry-stack and I'm fine with that, but I installed the rock using wire mesh so I need to grout it in.  (In retrospect that was probably a mistake, but advice seemed to come to me just after I started down a particular path...ah well.)

So almost there!  Time to research grout options methinks.....

Steven in Colorado


The right hand side of the door showing the rock work. I'll need to address fixing that little bit where I knocked off the stucco.
Beneath part of the threshold.....I picked the biggest stones I had left to make all of this a bit more "solid".
The left-hand side of the door's lower side. Tricky to find all the right sized stones, but I made it work.
You can see the bottom end of the bracing for that next-to-the-last stone up above.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 7/24/2018 12:36:28 PM

After a long inspection, and a requirement to get railing on the retaining wall and top rail on all railings finished, we received our permanent CO.  Final inspection yet to be obtained once everything - trim, thresholds, etc are done.  But a major milestone!

New inspector accompanied on the visit.Glad he was present so as to make the final inspection go smoothly

Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 7/22/2018

Well dang....took a bit long to get back to this then I'd thought it would.  I ended up using the entire weekend getting an old truck down to be towed away; NOT an experience I want to care to do again!

But The Door!

I was finally able to finish up the left hand side of the door, so next up was the right.  Things at least went a bit more quickly now that I've done the other side first and so I was able to get the first few rocks up quickly.  At that point while waiting for everything "up high" to set I realized that I hadn't yet worked on two other parts of the door.....the left and right sides and the rock below the door's threshold.

I recall when I was taking the old door out that most of these rocks basically fell off as a side effect of all the hammering and cutting and whatnot.  I honestly didn't think too much of it at the time as I was focused on opening up the wall so I could get the antler chandelier in (other than being really annoyed by the whole thing), but upon examination as I was scoping out the problem I really that they had barely been properly adhered in the first place!  The mortar was very thin, the chicken wire was simply buried under far too much concrete--they would have fallen off if I'd slammed the door very hard, I think.

Disgraceful and sloppy work indeed.

Okay...deep breath.  Since I discovered I could multitask with rock in several areas around the door I began to do just that, working in a "round robin" kind of way to get the rock back on.  For the most part this meant I could work faster but there were unexpected complications--the old chicken wire stuck out over the threshold of the new door (since it was larger now) and some of the old mortar had to chiseled off to provide a more level surface to re-attach the new stone.  

Still it's been an interesting day.  I spent much of the time taking a long break to measure and set out potential stones and prepping the surface, followed by a whirlwind of setting rock in one section around the door or another.

Not done yet, but getting there!  Next week I think.  Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha……..

Steven in Colorado


Lots of bracing and clamping, but I made progress.
This is the left hand side of the door; a lot of that was mostly because I had to trim down the chicken wire.
This is the section underneath the door. Basically ALL of that rock fell off due to their sub-standard work....sigh. That's okay, I can fix it.

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 Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 7/8/2018

So it was a ridiculously busy week but I finally was able to address the door after last week's work.  Again the progress was a bit slow, but steady at least.

Once again I was annoyed that gravity is such a remarkably fickle opponent, and I ended up doing a bunch of rework when I put on a stone only to have it fall off a few minutes later.  I gradually realized through some experimentation that the best way to make this stuff stay there, given the chicken wire mesh I'd put down, was to "butter" the stone very heavily and then set the stone very firmly onto the wall.  After about five minutes of holding the rock would usually suffice for it to set properly.  I only had to reset two of the stones that fell off, in both cases because I hadn't used enough mortar.

I did some other experimenting and also figured out that it was much simpler to set the "middle" stones once I had some "lower" stones to use as bracing and such.  I also wrestled up a bunch of pieces of lumber that (over time) I was able to configure to help brace and "push" the stone into place while things were setting.

Since the doors open inwards I went ahead and let some of the edges of the stone overlap the edge of the door.  Once that's grouted in properly I think that will look nice and make it a bit more "hole in the wall" (at least that's my hope, anyway).

Again I didn't go very fast, but I got more done at least!  More in a week!

Steven in Colorado


Progress showing a lot of bracing and support towards the end of the stacking so far.
A closer shot showing the edge along one part of the door where the rock overlaps the door frame. Beyond you can see fireplace and the top of the Yes I'll Get It Done I Swear antler chandelier.

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


Gotta love 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.

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