Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Top Five Reason for Daily Site Visits

Yesterday I stopped by the house on the way home from work to look at a few things that we have to make decisions on. At this point in the project (about 1 month from completion), there is so much daily progress being made, it’s really a good idea to stop by often.

Here’s my Top 5 Reasons for Daily Site Visits:

5. To pick up the mail.
Despite the fact we’ve haven’t lived in this house, we still get a lot of junk mail.
4. Its fun to see the construction progress made during the day.
At this point, the project is cooking and a lot of progress is being made every day.
Kitchen cabinets, solar hot water panels, hardwood floors at office refinished, ceramic tile on site & ready to start and trim has been painted. See below for progress photos.

3. To catch errors before it’s too late.
The wrong refrigerator was delivered. No worries on this one, as there is still plenty of time to order the correct fridge and have it delivered prior to move-in.

2. To talk to the neighbors.
We continue to be amazed at how nice our neighbors are to us, despite the fact we have caused quite a bit of disruption to the quiet street. We understand that there is quite a bit of curiosity as to what the inside of the house looks like, so we’ll be sure to have an open house when we get settled in.

1. To prevent disasters (in my case yesterday, to stop the basement from flooding)
I heard a gushing from the basement when I entered the house yesterday, but thought it was just the very active sump pump. After a bit of time in the house, I decided to go down to the basement (which I rarely do on a visit) and found a watery mess. Someone had left a valve to the water heater open and had attached a hose into a very small bucket. It probably only took 20 seconds to fill the bucket, so the water was gushing out onto the floor. Luckily, there is a floor drain not too far away, so only a portion of the basement was wet. However, it could have been a much bigger mess, had I not stopped by.

Overall, we haven’t had too many disasters or major problems with the construction. We are lucky, we have a great contractor and excellent architects (oh yeh, that’s us!). The biggest issue was with the bad soils, which was no one’s fault. There were a few unexpected issues (existing bathroom plumbing and stair location causing us to lose a bedroom closet) - but overall, this project has gone pretty smoothly. Our schedule to move in mid-to late June has just gotten more real, as we have a signed offer on our existing house and need to be out in July. We’re crossing our fingers that the next month will go as smoothly……………..

See the solar hot water panels on the roof. They are pretty visible from the alley, but they are hard to spot from the front, street side of the house.

Here's the view of the solar panels from the roof. Notice the stack of Solar PV panels waiting to be installed just to the right. I can't wait for this roftop to start making energy. The white TPO reflective membrane helps reflect heat back away from the roof - helping to keep our house cooler in the summer.

The exterior sunshades at the south facing windows are being installed. These look great (stained ironwood), and help keep unwanted solar gain out of the house in the summer but let it in during the winter. They work, the kitchen was getting no direct sun after these were in place.

Some more progress on the kitchen cabinetry. Countertops were measured for and we had to make decision on the countertop details.

Hardware pulls were added to the cabinet faces. They are looking great- well aligned and flush. I love the self-closing drawer hardware. Kudos to Eastvold so far!

The fir floor in Kevin's office was sanded and finished with a clear sealer.

The profilit glass channels were added today along the "bridge" from the master bedroom to the master bath. This is the view from the kitchen. Grazie molto to W.L. Hall for this great looking product!

This is the view from the master bathroom looking towards the master bedroom. The inspectors are making one final check before approval.

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