Getting Back on Track.

Things are sorta moving along.  Our builder keeps offering that ‘once a project schedule is derailed (delayed beams), it’s a challenge to get sub contractors back on task‘ – they’ve moved on to their backlog of other projects. True enough.

Nevertheless, plumbing rough-ins and mechanical rough-ins have started.  Coordination of trades is critical; it helps to have an architect on your side.  I’ve pointed out to both subs several times that skylights will be right where they are installing something (god-forbid they bring the drawings).  Coordination is the general contractor’s responsibility, but I’m finding out in residential construction that it equates more to rolling with or fixing errors as best as possible rather than preventing them.  I think they invest less front-end time to remain competitive.

In our last post, the retaining walls were stalled by rain.  We pushed hard the last three weekends to make up lost time and it has been a killer.  Hello ibuprofen!  Oh, hi muscles!  We’ve had heaps of help from our friends and family – Brian O., Jon & Danielle, Kyle B., Andrew A., Nick S., Jay L., Matt to the W., Paul S., and a neighbor’s employee, Mike, helped just ’cause it was something to do!  The same neighbor, Bob, has been lending tools too.  We’re continually reminded that we can’t do this alone and we are incredibly grateful for all our conspirators!

54-01_LvlBaseWinWell   54-02_WinWellCrs2   54-03_WinWellNeedsCap

After trying to do everything by hand on the first Saturday (killing both myself and Brian O.) I realized I should rent something big and machinely.  A dingo did the trick.  And never fails to elicit the same response when mentioned.  One lesson has been constant:  Always have the right tool for the job.  It’s worth it.  And you don’t endanger your friendships as much (sorry Brian!).

54-Bad Dingo    54-SWwall

Winter is coming.  We’ve decided to hire out the terraced walls in hopes we can get to rough grading and septic installation before a hard freeze.  Otherwise, there’s no way we’ll occupy this before spring.  The other walls we installed only need final touches.

We asked the mechanical sub to look into geothermal for us.  The initial expense is a drastic increase (2.3X) –  though we’ve already saved as much by “value engineering” through change orders.  A 30% tax credit helps immensely.  The guy calculated a 9.2 year payback, and we’re going for it.  The biggest challenge will be wrangling the drilling truck into place for the vertical loop.

We are expecting siding and electrical rough-ins to start this week.

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Windows Windows on the Walls

We’re almost back on schedule!  And WordPress has reformatted all my posts.  Hmph.
The magical beams were delivered and were quickly swapped with the temporary joists.  The front wall was framed out and windows were set, and the living room bulkheads went in.
 53-Retaining Footers-01        53-Retaining Footers-02
Meanwhile, I hired out excavation for the retaining wall and window well trenches and concrete footers (overkill, but a good measure).  The weather last weekend only allowed a crew of friends to move the blocks around site, but not install them.  HUGE thanks to Andrew, Jon, Danielle, Nate, Scott, and Mat!  We were SOAKED and muddy, but a great crew with a ‘let’s do this‘ spirit!
 53-Retaining Block Palettes      53-Weekend Warriors
I’ve spent more time than I should with some materials research including insulation options.  This is worthy of it’s own post, so I’ll divulge more on these soon.
53-Ext WindowsIt’s starting to look like a house!