Tuesday, February 1, 2011

CMR Update 01/29 : Plaster, Stone and Heat

There was a whole lot of plaster sanding happening over at the CMR this week. Our visit on Saturday was a little like stepping in Charlie Sheen's living room. White powder spread on every surface (heh heh heh). To big George's disappointment, we didn't see any hookers.

Fans a 'blowing all around to get these walls dried - -

Henry realized that if he runs around the pool room he could see all his foot prints. He also later climbed up on the scaffolding to check out the view (and leave his mark).

Hallway view from in front of Henry's bedroom down to George the Younger's bedroom. Nice visual of all the powder... amazing. I'm wondering how they clean all this up? Humongous vacuum?

The drywall along the stairs was trimmed down to it's final height. I'm pretty sure it's now ready for the railing installation. We finally got the "ruling" from the "code inspector Gods" - - and it doesn't look like we will need to extend the railing at the bottom of the steps. This decision took 2 whole weeks. 2 inspectors, 2 people reviewing code books and 1 angry home owner. My hatred for the city inspectors continues to grow with each passing week. They make everything from installing railings to electrical panels to type of light bulbs not only frustrating, but illogical.

Case in point? In the laundry room there is a big closet, only we can't call it a closet because the electrical panel is in there, as well as access to the back of the rack that will hold the stereo/TV equipment (lots of wires) - so we need to call it a "room." As I mentioned the electrical panel is in the "room." The "room" will have doors that close it off from the laundry area. You know - - just like closet doors, but not closet doors cause this is a "room." The electrical inspector came out several weeks ago and said he thought we should move the entire electrical panel out of the "room." Why? Because there was a possibility that some one could stack boxes or put shelves in front of the electrical panel. When GC Paul asked him why this was different than placing the electrical panel in the garage where people could obviously stack things in front of it - he stumped the inspector. We don't know whether the final electrical inspector will be as dense, but suffice to say, we're not moving the electrical panel. I'm going to make a little warning sign that just says, "Don't Stack Shit Here."

Our lava stone/rock has been delivered. This belongs in the atrium and on the front stairs. There are stacks and stacks of it. Seems excessive - but I'm no stone installer. We'll keep any extra to use as pavers in the back yard some where.

The complex and completely un-intuitive (is that a word?) radiant heating system in nearly all connected up. It's crazy. Just plain crazy. Plus the box to the sophisticated water heater that will provide hot water for both the floors and our sinks and showers has been delivered and the box is enormous. Hopefully it's just a lot of packing materials. If not, I think it is "boiler sized."

Remember when the concrete front steps were poured in December? These are not those. These are new-new concrete front steps that replaced the previously poured front steps. GC Paul said that the old-new concrete front steps had bowed a little in the center of each step. Somewhere about 1/2 inch out from the edges. Since we're putting that nice lava rock (earlier photo) on top of the concrete steps and it will overhang about a 1/2 on each step - it's got to be even. I feel bad for the concrete guys - - but I am sure this isn't the first time for them.

Wood stain / color continues to dog us. Upstairs the wood is Oak (or something like that - - could be ash, could be oak, could be ? It mostly looks like Oak). Our initial objective was to make the downstairs match the upstairs. But this is problematic since we really aren't sure what the wood upstairs is and it's been stained/painted to some really obscure and tragically-impossible-to-match finish. We have tried to get the cabinetry guy to match it - - but it's been illusive to date. Some nonsense about the EPA banning certain kinds of carcinogenic chemicals that were previously used to make the stains. Why the nerve of those guys trying to keep kids safe. I'm trying to match wood here for Pete's Sake. What do I care about a little brain damage down the road?

To add further complication we now have: new birch closet doors, new fir interior doors, new fir windows (with some pine), and we have intended to use pine as trim. We are also going to have these pretty dang big "walls 'o wood" in both the rumpus room and the pool room and large cabinets in the open area. What to do? What to do?

I asked GC Paul if he would be able to get me a "sample" of the birch (since the windows and some doors are already installed). My thought was that this would help me visualize the different woods together. I burst out laughing when I saw the birch sample....

Yup, that's a double birch closet door in a pine frame. Obviously the merits of birch are illuminated - but you have to admit it's kinda hard to move that bad boy sample around to compare it to the fir and oak.

Right now, we are leaning toward doing the cabinetry in Yellow Birch (very heywood-esque for those in the mid-century know). Jury is still out. But, we got a BIG sample of white birch. Yes, we do.

And finally, this past visit to the CMR brought our first family guests to the CMR construction site. My mom and her husband Gerry came to visit. They are on a 5 week "tour of CA and AZ" and stopped by to see us. Mom had seen the house before we actually bought it. She was amazed at the downstairs space. Much bigger than she could have imagined. It was great to see them - - although I suspect Grandpa Gerry wasn't exactly thrilled when we all piled back in his car covered in plaster dust :) He took it pretty well for a man who loves cars.

We're down to the details - and the house is really shaping up. The next weeks are going to be a whole lot of fun while we install the design-y stuff. Stuff we've painstakenly selected, ordered and had shipped over these last many months. Paints, lights, tile, cabinetry (once we figure out the color??), railings, wine cabinet and my nifty marmoleum floor in the laundry room. 6 weeks and counting to completion and then 2 weeks to get the inspectors out and convince them that we did everything right. Oh, yeah, and I've got to make the sign.

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