Saturday, January 31, 2015

Day 300: Exterior lights, and MAJOR milestone!


I just noticed that today is a huge milestone for us...Day 300 of the house build! Unfortunately, this is a milestone I never thought we'd hit, since I expected us to be done by now. Ah well, the more the merrier.

We've made some good progress lately. Today I put in quite a bit of electrical trim out, i.e. outlets, switches, lights, etc. I finished the craft room, laundry room, closet, powder room, master bedroom and garage. I also put in three outside lights above the garage. They're wired to a dusk-to-dawn sensor, so they'll come on when it's dark and go off in the morning. They're LED and only draw 7W each.

Abby was my electrical helper. I taught her how to put on plate covers using a screwdriver and a level, and she followed me along as I installed the devices. She eventually got faster, so that she was waiting on me to finish each time.

Reed finally found a job that he liked, and took to sealing our tile grout seams, painting on the sealer with a small brush and wiping off any excess. Emmy also helped with this endeavor.

Emmy also cleaned all the drywall mud off the girls bathtub while I installed a toilet.

Did someone say toilet? Yep, we have one now. Hello indoor plumbing. We got the new eco-friendly toilet that has two buttons on it: a small one for number one, and a big one for number two. The kids thought this was the funniest thing they had ever seen. Who know saving the planet could be so hilarious.

This week we also more-or-less finished painting the interior walls and ceilings. Since we have a 26 ft vault (who's idea was that?) we had to be a bit creative. We opted for a long extension pole instead of scaffolding. I rolled the highest parts, because I'm so tall.

Wednesday I took the day off to take advantage of our 70 degree weather and finish the ridge cap. I've been dreading this part of the project for some time now, since it involves being on a 12:12 (45 degree) pitch metal roof, which is a pretty fast and dangerous slide. I ended up getting some S-5-S roof clamps to secure a 2x4 to the standing seam. I put in about 20 feet, and would then have to slide the clamps and 2x4's down, which was a precarious and time consuming feat. I thought it would take a day, but it took all day Wednesday, several hours Thursday evening, and another couple hours Friday evening. Steve helped, and I couldn't have finished it without his assistance.

Daily StatsHours Worked
All Time3008788761637$13,496.75
Summary of 1/31/2015
Work Done Today
Painted vaulted ceilings, electrical trimout main level, exterior lights above garage, installed first toilet
Materials Used Today
Who Helped Today
Emmy, Abby, Mandy, Reed, Will
Contractors On Site

Monday, January 12, 2015

Day 281: Let There Be Light!


It's funny how certain little bits of progress on the house seem to have a big impact. For me, its the things that start making the house more functional. We made progress in a couple of those areas recently. One of them was getting some interior lights installed and working on the main level.

Since one of our goals was to build an energy efficient house, we're using almost all LED lighting. For the main level, I installed recessed can light housings on all the flat ceilings, and purchased LED lights to go in the cans. Mandy worked hard during the day to get the ceilings painted, giving us the green light to get some lights working. Since I returned to work full time today, I only had about an hour in evening to work on the house, and lights were the focus. Steve installed the lights in the cans, while I wired up a few switches to get them working. Here's a shot of the lights installed in the hallway from the garage entrance to the master bedroom door.

Daily StatsHours Worked
All Time2818056711637$13,496.75
Summary of 1/12/2015
Work Done Today
Painted ceilings, installed interior can lights in hallway.
Materials Used Today
Who Helped Today
Steve, Mandy, Kim, Reed, Emmy, Abby, Will
Contractors On Site

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Day 275: Sheetrock is In!


It's been a while since my last post...expect some catch up posts...sometime. Being busy on the house means less time to update the blog. We've had a lot of things happening lately and hope to bring you up to speed.

One of the most exciting areas of progress is the sheetrock in the interior of the house. We decided to hire out the sheetrock to a pro. It was actually one of the easiest and earliest decisions we made. I know my strengths, and I'm not a good mud and tape guys. I'm too slow and too much of a perfectionist to ever be satisfied with my own work.

So, on Dec. 19 we had Juan and three of his pals from Hi Definition Drywall show up and start hanging sheetrock. It took about three days to hang it all.

After hanging was done, another crew came to do the mudding. It took about three days as well for the mudding to be complete.

After mudding, another came in and gave it a good sanding.After a couple days of sanding, it was time for the final coat. We opted for a "Level 5" finish in the great room. A level 5 finish consists of a thin coat of mud and primer mix that was sprayed on like paint. After drying, the coat was sanded smooth. This level of finish is typically used in areas were there is a lot of light or long walls/ceilings that would show minor imperfections in the walls.