Saturday, November 12, 2011

Komara - Siding

We started to install the siding. The pattern that I like to do is a little complicated in that it is a mix of horizontal planks, board & batten and a third material that is either cedar shakes or poplar bark. I like to mix materials to give a depth and character to the home. It is one way to make a simple structure more unique. For this house we use a cedarmill hardiboard material for most of the siding, wood for the trims and we will be using poplar bark for the accent areas.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Word - Update

Today at the site the backfilling has been in progress and the infilling between the retaining wall and the house. There is a lot to consider in this house while doing this work with water and power to the house, drainage lines for foundation water run-off and lines for future downspouts, catch basins installed, gravel over the foundation drains with filter fabric to insure water flows away from the house and the retaining wall.

Also the slabs were formed for the fireplaces on the main level and connector porch. The flue from the basement fireplace needed to come up and by-pass the firebox of the main floor fireplace so again, a lot of complicated figuring out the details to make sure the everything fits in the space allotted.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Word - HVAC

Today at the site I had to meet with the HVAC subcontractor to go over the possible layout of the system so that he could determine the cost of the system and we could find out where we would need to drop ceilings, create duct chases, put floor registers and return air ducts, set the air conditioning units and set the HVAC units. The codes on HVAC duct work have changed fairly recently that increased the amount of insulation on the duct which in turn created more difficulty in hiding the ductwork.

While I was there I reviewed the rockwork which is looking great, looked over the basement fireplace that passed inspection today and looked at the building of the kitchen screen porch room. Everything is looking great. We wanted to get some backfilling done but an early rain has delayed that work for now.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Word - Update

Today at the site I had to review rockwork, fireplace construction, discuss the rock on the front elevation, front entry porch layout, backfilling, gutter and water run-off drains and the kitchen porch details. A lot is going on at the house, trying to wrap up outside details and get as much done as possible before the cold weather is here to stay. It's November now and I look at it as the start date of colder weather to come, holidays and more difficult working conditions. I have been trying to stay on top of the rockwork and visiting the rockyard frequently to make sure we are getting the rock that we need to create the look we are trying to achieve. While all this is going on it is important that I meet with the mechanical subcontractors to get the plumbing details, HVAC specified and the electric layout all coordinated and ready to begin the rough-in.

The mechanical phase can be a difficult time for clients to make decisions. Mechanicals are important and not something that most people feel comfortable making decisions about or understanding and there are a lot of decisions to make. It is wise for the client to try to educate themselves to the different types of heating/cooling systems available. It's never too soon to start to think about this phase of the job so as soon as you know you are going to build a new house you should take the time to read about your heating and cooling, water heaters and even lighting options.

Kurnick - Preconstruction work

I've been waiting on the client to get his construction loan in place so that we can start the foundation work. In the meantime, I took the plans into the building department for plan review and to obtain a permit. I also had Duke Power evaluate the power situation. There are two power transformers that my client could tap into, one closer than the other but I wasn't sure if there is a tap-in position available in the closer transformer, luckily there is so we are going to set a temporary power pole next to that transformer and then I will need to call in to inspect the temporary power pole. Once that is approved, we can get a power connection. While we wait on the inspection we will get a jobsite box set up with the permit in place and a port-o-john. Those things need to be in place before the inspection.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Word - Deck Stairs

The stairs off of the back deck/connector is very complicated. In order to keep within the natural looking theme we decided to use locust post and locust 1/2 tree treads. We stripped the trees of their bark because the locust trees were cut in the summer and that often means that the bark will likely fall off over the course of a year anyway. The trees will get treated with a solution to gray them down to a more weathered look. Locust wood is a good wood to use outside and exposed to the elements the wood is so dense and resistant to decay. They are also - heavy! Getting the trees cut down out of the woods, hauled to a truck, in the truck, to the jobsite, out of the truck, to the site location where they will be installed, stripped and installed, requires a lot of man power and should not be taken for granted. Using natural products usually has a hassle factor that you don't have when you go to the lumberyard and pick up a 2x but the look is undeniably unique.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Word - Rockwork

The client and I discussed the look we both wanted to achieve for the rockwork on the outside of the house and we were on the same page from the very beginning, wanting the rock to look very natural, organic and rustic. The rock I selected is a local stone and not typically used for this application but I wanted a chunky feel and I think my mason's are doing a wonderful job in executing the vision. Dealing with rockwork is not an easy task, especially on this job. As I've mentioned in past entries this particular site is very limited on staging areas and space. Rock needs to be delivered and staged as close to the area that it will be installed as possible, moving rock around the site is not much fun for anyone. Not only do you have to consider the rock pile but also a pile of sand and the pallet of mortar, all should be placed as close to the area that it will be installed if possible.