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Steven in Colorado Springs, CO's Journal Entries

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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 8/20/2010

Today was an interesting mix of stuff--lots of progress and a surprise bear sighting tossed in for good  measure.

The day started with Colleen driving up bright and early only to find a young black bear--probably the same one we treed a couple of months back--rummaging around in a trash bag that the crew had dumped outside the front door the day before. We've had a bit of trouble of late with the various crews--most of which are new to the job--leaving food trash around or not putting it up properly at the end of the day. This is a real problem when you're working in a deep-forest area such as the one that surrounds Tanglewood, since there's so much wildlife here, and as one might expect bears are a particular issue, since once they find food in a spot they'll keep coming back to it. Colleen had talked to them back a couple of weeks ago, but most of them have been "spotty" at best in keeping their trash put away and picked up, and clearly somebody had put some leftovers into a trash bag but forgotten to take it with them.

The bear had apparently only been at the bag for a few minutes when Colleen pulled up, as he hadn't made too much of a mess. Colleen honked her horn a couple of times and that seemed to startle him more than her actual arrival, and after a couple of moments of him alternating between watching her and batting around the trash bag he finally took off up the road towards the solar site. Colleen got some great pics of his paws, but hadn't been able to get her camera out while he was rooting around in the trash (which would've been really cool). Oh well.

Shortly after he ran off and Colleen got a couple of pictures of  his pawprints, the roofing, framing, plumbing and electrical crews arrived and it was back to work again. The roofers switched from tarring the tower roof and building crickets on the deck to beginning to apply layers of tar and rubber on the deck itself, and so Colleen was finally able to get a good look at what they'd been doing so far. The stuff they've been applying recently is a weird, foul-smelling liquid rubber called "RC-2000", a product commonly used for flat roofs such as the tower and deck at Tanglewood. You glop it on with a big sweeper broom (completely ruining the broom in the process) and then they let it sit and dry for a few days. After that, they put on another layer, and then another, and then switch to a different kind of plastic membrane--and then they do it all over again. All in all, I think they're planning to put around 8 layers of sealant onto each roof to make them waterproof. An installation like this is supposed to last 10-15 years before it needs to be redone, and the deck will probably last longer than that since it will (eventually) have a significant protective layer with the actual deck installed on top of it. Pretty nifty.

The framers kept at things, mostly working on the guest bathrooms getting various bumpouts and such installed. The plumbers were similarly busy figuring out where to route pipes and such (the guest bedrooms were particularly problematic for them as it turns out) but in the process they spotted and fixed a minor leak in one of the radiant-heat manifolds, and the electricians kept busy cutting channels for yet more wires (there are a lot of wires in Tanglewood--wow). It was a goodly day.

Tomorrow I'll head up to see things firsthand and start thinking about where I'm going to run coax and Ethernet cable. Those are both straightforward enough that I figure I can do them myself and save a few $$$ out of the construction budget, always a plus when contractors charge $60+ an hour!

Excellent progress today!


Steven in Colorado Springs


A neat bear footprint outside the front door.
A slightly better shot of the print.
The crickets on the deck, all sealed up and ready for the goop.
On top of the tower--the roofers have certainly been busy here.
They're about halfway done up here at this point.
Looking down at the deck from the top of the tower.
Framing out guest bathroom #2 (with gratuitous butt crack!).
Looking across the upstairs from guest bedroom #1 through the media room to the library (in the distance).
More framing work in guest bathroom #1.
Looking down the hallway. You can see the cut the electrician has put into the wall under the windows.
Some of the plumbing work the crew has been slaving away on.
Closeup of the roofing work in action.
Soap suds on one of the radiant-heat manifolds--glad the plumbers caught this!

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