Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Plumbing and Electrical Rough Almost Done!

So the plumbing and electrical rough got to a great start this week and it looks like we might be able to get the insepction for those trades and framing complete tomorrow. If so, we can get the insulation installed and the building wrapped and ready for the next inspection before we start the stucco and drywall. Looks like our Grunaire system for the heating/ac is a little complicated so Sal is bringing his expert over tomorrow to go through the installation instructions. I can't wait!

Monday, May 24, 2010


I've taken a little break from the blog (Thurs and Friday last week) because there really wasn't any work done to write about other than Sal taking some surplus lumber back to the yard for a credit. Saturday was a working day for our electrician Ron and he got to town working on the rough electrical scope. One thing that I learned that I didn't know (due to my lack of residential experience) was that you need to have an outlet every 6 feet in a room. Let's just say we have a LOT more outlets now that originally planned. I hope the inspector doesn't count them since there are lots more than the handful that I pulled a permit for! Dennis, our plumber is on site today getting his rough plumbing done. I had to run to the house on my lunch break to get one of the valves he needed out of the garage. Go Dennis! The goal is to get the rough electrical, plumbing, and framing inspected this week before the City's closure this Friday and the Memorial Day holiday.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A New Roof!

Whoopie! The roof is done! Of course this had to happen AFTER it rained, but its so nice to have this complete and the front of the house looks a million times better now too. The skylights are at about 16' up so I had to climb a ladder (with heels on straight from work because I have no common sense and don't like to wait) to check out how they operate. They are pretty small (21" x 27") but will be a nice source of light in both bathrooms and man, did the heat clear out as soon as I cracked that sucker!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Doors and Windows

Passed the roof nailing inspection today and the roofers will be here tomorrow to start. Mike had to clear out his closet today since they will be breaking through the wall tomorrow in the bedroom/closet and in the pantry/dining room. Gonna be messy! Also, really nice to see the door and windows installed on the bedroom side. Skylights should get installed tomorrow too.

Monday, May 17, 2010

You are kidding me! Its raining!

Aw, come on! Seriously! Its raining right now. I'm REALLY hoping that it doesn't slow down the schedule for tomorrow. We are all set to get the roof nail inspection so the roofers can start preparing for install starting tomorrow afternoon. Oh well. Nothing we can do about it now. The good news is that today the guys got windows and doors installed on the dining room side and tomorrow we will loose our windows in both the existing bathroom and "master" bedroom when they get yanked out and sheathing gets applied since those locations will now be shear walls. Btw, we LOVE our new Alpine windows. I was not going to get vinyl windows but ended up doing so because this product is that good. I was going to go with nice clear anodized aluminum frame windows but rethought the plan since I didn't want to wastefully replace the "new" vinyl windows that had been installed right before we bought the house in 2005. Anyhow, these are really great windows and will qualify for the tax credit so I'm not complaining. They install a ton of these in Alaska since they are so weather tight.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ready for the Roofer

I neglected to update the blog yesterday since I went out for drinks with my coworkers yesterday evening and didn't get home until it was too dark to take any photos. Between yesterday and today the guys completed the roof sheathing and will be ready for a roof nail inspection on Tuesday morning (bummer since you have to call the City for an inspection one day prior... and Lakewood is closed this Friday meaning they can't call until Monday for an inspection on Tuesday). Anyhow, we are much further along and we can actually have the exterior doors and windows installed on Monday, allowing us to have a fully enclosed envelope that is secure. The next step will be the demo of the walls between the existing house and new. It's going to be NUTS trying to keep the house clean after that point regardless of how much visquine we hang! On another note, I got the plumbing fixtures today (the faucets for tubs/showers) and the mosaic tile samples. We also got the new shingle samples (I had narrowed it down to three colors) yesterday so I put them on the roof over the garage and stood outside with Mike with our coffees this morning while we analyzed each sample until we had consensus. I wish we could have used a standing seam metal roof but due to budget and the City wanting us to "keep with the same style" we acquiesced and went with the 30 year asphalt shingle roof. For those that don't know about asphalt shingles, the 30 year is top-of-the line and has a higher profile than the old super crappy ones on our existing roof. I wanted to keep the roof as light as possible (lighter roof = cooler roof = energy saving) but the lightest color had an almost bluish tint which looked terrible with the green color of our house. The mid-range grey looked perfect so that's what we went with. Our roof (old and new) is fully insulated so it should work just fine.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


We won't be getting the roof inspection tomorrow since there is no sheathing on the roof right now... Wednesday night. Big bummer. But the crew did get a lot of things done today (finished sheathing all walls, added the roof overhang and facia, finished framing the wall above the bathroom ceiling, and finished the skylight framing). I got a call during the day from Sal who wanted to speak to the structural engineer about the blocking design on the roof framing detail. The framers thought that it was a little excessive but it turns out that it is required due to the huge span for my vaulted ceiling. I'm glad my structural engineer is awesome about answering his phone during the day regarding freelance gigs while he's at his "real" job at an OC engineering firm. On a positive note, I got shipping confirmation on both my plumbing fixtures (faucets, valves, etc.) for both bathrooms and for the mosaic tile samples that I ordered. Tile comes tomorrow so Mike and I can pick out our favorite blend for the shower and vanity area. I think I've ordered just about everything but the toilet, tile, and hardwood flooring (these have all been selected - just not purchased yet).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Start of Sheathing

Today the guys finished the roof framing and started the installation of the exterior wall sheathing. Looking good! I can't wait to see how things line up by the end of the week. SInce the city is closed on Friday we would have to complete all of the roof sheathing tomorrow in order to get a roof nailing inspection on Thursday. I doubt that will happen but you never know!. These guys have been impressing me daily. Speaking of which, I baked some cookies last night as a thank you for the guys since they dug through the heaps of stucco demo/trash to find the three original 1950 ceramic electrical insulators (two brown and one white) that I wanted to save. Awesome! For those that know us, we have collections of antique drafting tools, tiki masks, and old movie cameras. Now just add vintage ceramic insulators to the list!

Monday, May 10, 2010

California Roof

Since I'm not really that familiar with Type V construction (residential) I had yet to see a "California Roof" connection until today. Kind of interesting since in my mind you would peel the roof back and tie into the existing rafters. But not with the Cal roof... you just frame and connect right into the existing roof. Simple way to go! Anyhow, here's a couple of photos of what it looks like. Also its cool to see where they did cut the roof to start framing out for the new (and operable!) skylight in our existing bathroom. The addition of a skylight will be so nice since we will loose the window due to the addition AND will keep us from needing a bathroom ceiling fan.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Raising the Roof!

I was home in and out during the day (too many vacation days accrued) and was able to see some of the work take place today. Also helped work out a couple of issues that came up (just minor detail stuff) with the superintendent that is in charge of the framing. Among many things, we went over skylight placement, a window that we have to install in the existing house (code requirements for ventilation in the kitchen since we are losing the exterior window wall). The best part of today was going out back with Mike after he got home from work, pulled out two folding chairs and opened up a bottle of wine. We sat in both the dining room and bedroom and discussed our thoughts on storage, kitchen tables, and art... and then he started rambling about speakers in the ceiling, etc. Not something I'm very concerned about but he obviously is. I can't wait to see next week's accomplishments. I know they will finish framing and then install all of the plywood on the walls and ceiling. Got the quote for re-roofing the existing roof (more expensive than I planned) but a good idea to do at the same time. Its just our luck to pick something that gets discontinued a few months down the line. I also picked out and ordered the faucets for the new shower and the existing tub/shower that the plumber is going to redo for us (the imbeciles that we bought the house from installed the pressure valve and diverter upside down so we only have two temperatures - hot and cold - and used really cheap fixtures). Cheers to a long week of great work!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Let the Framing Begin

Why do I keep wanting to start each post with the word "wow"? It's not that Im a stranger to construction in any form... but residential work still eludes me. And it's my own home and my own funds. I guess what I really wanted to say is that today was a biggie in the sense that we now finally have a feel for how high the vaulted ceilings will be and how enormous my awesome new shower is going to be (seriously, its like a "vacation shower" with the size of that thing! In fact that shower makes the new master bedroom look small... where are my priorities??). I'm going to have some tall walls to display art - 14'-6" in some locations. Tomorrow we should hopefully get all of the wall framing complete and start working on the roof framing. I'm so excited!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Today all of the stucco was pulled off the back of my house. It looked so neat -especially since the eaves had been cut back to the 2x4 framing. Mike was asking me what the "pre treatment" will be to the wall and I explained that it's probably up to us to pull out all the nails and clean it up nicely since we are responsible for doing all of the drywall work. Also, I forgot to mention yesterday that the electrician completed the panel install and moved our meter. Really cool! And after we get the inspection, Edison will come out and do the final connection. I love that we will now have plenty of power - especially for a dedicated circuit to support a soft tub in the future. Since the walls will be framed this week I made a big effort tonight to get an extra sheet done that has all of the dimensions needed for window, door, and interior framing. I think my older drawings were a little vague. These should help when Mike gives the drawings to the framer tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Subfloor down!

Nice to come home today and see the subfloor down out back. And really great to be able to walk straight out onto the floor... kind of like one huge deck off the back of the house. The dogs really love it too. And tracking all that sawdust mess into the house! Can't wait to see what we get tomorrow. Oh, and great news - my wall sconces for the bathroom (either side of the vanity) came in the mail today.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Lumber Jack

Wow there is a lot of wood in my backyard today! Today was a little crazy. House stuff started with my going to the City at 7:30 to talk to the plan checker about the added 2nd sink in the new bathroom. Of course it wasn't a problem and after a fee of about $13 I was out the door and on my way with the updated permit. Good thing I thought of grabbing my copy of the permit set of drawings before I ran out the door (since he needed to mark up both mine and the Cit set with the 2nd sink). I also chatted with him and the planning guy about what I want to do with the new deck I'm adding to the back and it looks like my plan will be just fine (something I came up with after I had gone through plan check).
Mike called me at 8:30 in a panic because the framers had framed out the floor using an older set of plans (the inspector had my permitted set where I had changed the floor framing design to run perpendicular to what had been built). Either design was fine - I had made the last change for economy since it would use less lumber... but oh well. What mattered is that the inspector approved the work along with the underfloor plumbing rough in.
The electrician was also on site today and put in our new panel and started pulling his wires. Tomorrow he'll have lots of good 'ol attic work to do (running the existing house's electrical through a sleeve in the attic to the new panel) so for his sake I hope it doesn't get too hot. There should be some great photos tomorrow after the framing begins.