Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Progress update

We were supposed to be moving in within a week or so. That isn't going to happen as you will see from the photos. Nevertheless, this past week saw some further work on the porch and a start on tiling. There were a few things that needed to be redone with the porch framing. Linebox has provided input on ways to simplify things, which is much needed at this point to speed things along. One of the peculiar issues is that it was noticed rather late in the game that the planter in front of the house would need to be a "permanent structure", and hence built upon concrete footings to be immovable, if it were to be considered as a barrier in front of the deck to eliminate the need for a guard rail. Such footings were not part of the original plan however, and so they were not excavated or poured. Although we could add a permanent planter in the future, for the sake of expediency we will probably skip it for now. That means however that the guard rail will probably need to be extended across the whole front of the house, which is frankly a disappointment to me, because it really changes the character of the design and the view of the beautiful corner window.  Perhaps the change will grow on us, or perhaps we'll be able to install a guard rail initially and replace it later with the planter idea. The main thing at this point is simply to get the house completed as we've now been out of our house for a year and really need to get back into our home.

It's really neat to see the house beginning to look like the drawings. The porch adds a whole new dimension to the house. We can't wait to sit and enjoy that space.

Although delays are ongoing it's nice to see some things moving forward. The slate tile in the entry is looking quite nice, I think. Although the thickness is these natural stone tiles varies slightly, requiring wider grout lines, it has a really authentic and natural look. This is a good fit for the "genkan" entrance, a reflection of the fact that in old Japanese houses the entrance was actually just stamped earth. 

Still waiting for the front door lockset to be installed, but the tile is looking nice.

This setup on the floor here is one of the WarmlyYours heating mats embedded in a self leveling cementious mix. Tiles go over this part. There's a cable and a sensor wire that will run under the floor and then up to a wall mounted thermostat to the left of the door.

The missing circuit checker showed up in the mail - WarmlyYours sent it fairly promptly after a bit of phone discussion. Initially I nearly got punted back to HomeDepot until I insisted that the order had shipped directly from their warehouse to me and it was clearly an omission on their part and not a problem with the order placement from HomeDepot. I think I would recommend going directly via WarmlyYours so you deal directly with them for the whole process and don't get the runaround trying to blame the middleman. In the end they dealt with it. 

After you connect the wires to the right places, the circuit check will emit a siren if there's a break in continuity of the wires. There was no siren, and I tested with one of the wires disconnected to make sure the siren worked, so all seems good. It turns out that Canadian Tire had digital multimeters on sale at 29.99 down from 69.99 so I have one of those now too, and that's what they actually recommend for testing the resistance before during and after installation. 

So I'm hoping in the next update to show some tiles and flooring as well as the basement slab poured. As for doors and trim it turns out Home Depot takes two to three weeks to get any special order doors in, so we can forget about that. We will have to try a building supplier that carries doors in stock or go with a paint grade slab door option and potentially upgrade them later to the wood doors we prefer.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Prime Time

This update is almost a week since the last one and it feels good to be getting back to more regular updates.

The taping and mudding were completed, for the most part. There are a few areas that need further work, in particular the Japanese bath we room where the wall had to be modified to make a shower ledge and still needs side built up so the glass shower door will fit flush against the edge. It's too bad this wasn't completed as planned since now there will need to be more mudding and painting again afterwards.

The shower areas are awaiting waterproofing as well, and now that the drywall and priming are done it should be happening this week and tile started.

Also needed is to install the lockset on the front door, which is currently boarded shut, so the drywall mudding and painting couldn't be done around the door.

We purchased a wall hung vanity for the ensuite. It's not exactly what we had in mind but it proved incredibly hard to find one we liked without getting it custom made, which would have been a lot more expensive. 

We also received in the mail two electric radiant floor heating mats from Warmly Yours, which we ordered through the Home Depot website. They sell the product online only. It came pretty quickly but was missing the continuity tester that's supposed to ship with the kit, so there's one more thing to deal with. 

Now for a few pics of the house with the walls - they're looking good.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

April Update

I missed a couple of weeks here, although to be fair there was not as much progress on the house as we were expecting and the drywall has only just been completed. The drywall was a two-week timeline on the schedule, and was actually supposed to take less so we could get the schedule back on track. Instead the drywall has stretched into 10 weeks.

The delays are frustrating. From what I understand the subcontractor was changed, then late to start, and then the house was too cold to start taping and mudding. Ottawa hydro was called in and did the hookup quickly, but evidently there were no outlets wired up from the electrical panel, so that caused another couple of days of delays. Some heaters were brought in, but they were small consumer grade ones and didn't produce much heat, and the drywall tapers wouldn't start without better heat. Without dry heat the mud doesn't dry and cure properly. Better industrial grade heaters were brought in and the taping began last week. It should be finished now and the painter is supposed to start next week.

Unfortunately the project manager at Bramel who was overseeing all the details of the build and schedules has left to join another company, so is no longer helping with our project. This came as a great disappointment and left us wondering how we were going to get through all of the organization and planning needed for the rest of the build.

To our relief the architect, Linebox Studios, has now stepped in and will be taking a more active role in overseeing the project through to completion. Linebox recommended our builder Bramel to us and they have worked together on other projects so they know what needs to be done. They've already provided painting specifics and will be focusing on one one aspect at a time for the remaining work to get it done by summer.

Here's some pictures of the interior drywall getting finished, and hopefully next week I'll post some with the walls painted!

The Top of the Slope

After a year-long hiatus I've been wanting to get back to this blog because a lot has happened in the meantime, and a lot of interesting...