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Jo-Lynn in Issaquah, WA's Journal Entries

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Posted by Jo-Lynn in Issaquah, WA on 6/21/2011

Hi all! I've been away awhile but I've been blogging about everything going on with the house on my own construction blog so I invite you to hop on over and check it out!

In short, we had a huge delay problem because the framer apparently thought he should only work a couple of hours per day and maybe two days per week. He was fired and the new framer got the entire pickup list done in two days. Then they did a bunch of new work for dropped ceilings and soffit work in the basement -- that was a huge surprise, and was necessary because the joists were running exactly the opposite way they should have been. It was a ease-of-design issue for the original builder (fired before we broke ground) but took absolutely no trades into consideration.

The HardiePlank siding is on and I'm staining individual Hardie shingles (till my fingers fall off!) with Mason Select Woodperfect in Maple (6702). The siders were astounded at how good they look and made a point of saying that these were SO much better than the standard cedar shingles that get used so much around here. I've got some mid-job pictures posted on my blog if you'd like to see!

The HVAC is in: two high efficiency furnaces and a high-efficiency A/C unit (for the main floor only because the basement will be cool enough on its own) are installed in their own closed systems. The main floor furnace and AC found a good home in a really high, open spot in the attic. The basement furnace has its own little mechanical room.

Rough-in plumbing is now complete and, after a nitpicky inspection failure, we've passed and all is well. Of course, no good deed goes unpunished and we had a fitting failure on the sewer drain line and last Friday night there was a blowout -- water (thankfully, clean) all over the basement -- elevator pit totally filled to its 8" depth, 4'x4'... we'd just gotten well dried out after all that rain when the roof wasn't on...

Electrical is zipping along -- much of the rough-in is done. The generator-ready panels are sitting in our apartment hallway waiting for Thursday to roll around so they can be installed. The generator will be ordered shortly.

I'm meeting with the low-voltage electrical guys tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. to go over CATV/network/telephone locations, a hybrid wired/wireless security system and some A/V wiring. It was interesting to me that the winning electrical bid did not include any low voltage at all! Guess that's common here, because so many people are into future-proofed houses with all the bells and whistles. It lives and dies by low voltage...

Garage doors were ordered today and should be installed mid-next week. I'm going to pick up garage door openers and they'll install them as well. Once the doors are up, I can start storing things in the garage that I just don't have room for in the apartment.

The deck structure has been built and we're thinking about making a minor adjustment to the cedar material we'll use for the decking. My construction manager just used a new product that is also cedar, but it has grooves cut into the back, similar to Trex. It purports to keep the lumber from wanting to cup. I have to see what it costs compared to the standard clear knot cedar. That material was only going to cost us $750, including tax. The framers have given a $700 bid to install whatever decking material and balusters that we choose. So we'll decide over the next week or so. No reason to delay now that the siding around the deck is done -- nothing else needs to be done that should damage it.

We had 9 windows throughout the house lowered 12" so that I can actually reach them to pull them down if I should choose to throw them open. Why the original framers decided to put them 3' off the floor is a mystery to everyone. It cost me $50 per window to get them where they belonged but it's worth the cost. We may try to charge that back to the first framer but even if that doesn't ultimately happen, it's a small price to pay to have a house I can live with for the long term.

The elevator call buttons have been wired and the elevator has been ordered. It should be here in 6 weeks. They upgraded the accordion gates to acrylic smoke from the standard vinyl ones -- no extra charge!

Insulation will be done next week after the framing and electrical inspections are passed. Drywall is poised to start whenever we get the ducks in a row.

Cabinetry from went into production yesterday and is scheduled for delivery on or about July 15 -- YAY!

Work on the cultured rock exterior is about 75% finished, but the column bases and some of the wainscot around the entry have to wait until the porch is poured. That's supposed to be tomorrow at 9 a.m. Then Alex, the stone mason, will get going again on Thursday. I'm waffling on interior stone for the fireplace (which was installed last week) so Alex is bringing me samples to pick from. Great guy -- a really good referral from the other builder in our subdivision!

The gas meter will be installed before June 27 (Jim and my 24th anniversary :-)!! ) so a laborer was digging up the conduit today in preparation. He also did a fair amount of general clean-up after doing some back-fill and leveling of the porch form area.

So the avalanche of activity that will (hopefully) get us into this house in September is in full force. Every day we make progress and the curve balls are getting fewer and further between. I love being involved daily, even though we have the construction manager on board. It's a great tag team that's got positive direction to it!

My Construction Website

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