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10/01/06In the last set of progress pictures you could see the reinforcing steel inside the forms for the retaining wall around the back patio and steps. Those walls have now been poured and waterproofed (the fiberglass is applied to the surface to protect the rubber waterproofing). You can see in the view from the bedroom door that a serious amount of back-filling is required to get the patio up to the floor level of the house. This will start happening later this week.
We took a picture of an old fat guy sitting where the hot tub will be. The door to my left goes into the master bathroom. We hope to pour the short walls around the slab in the next couple of days so that when the crane is here to work on the patio cover it can also be used to lift the hot tub into place. The patio level will be at the top of the wall, so the tub will be recessed into the ground about 18 inches. That should make it easy to get into and out of.
The retaining wall around the city power transformer is just about ready to pour (more ready than it was when this picture was taken). It's hard to tell from the camera angle, but the transformer sits to the left of center and there will be space on the back wall to put our electric meter and main breaker panel. There won't be many breakers in this panel. It will feed two 200 Amp panels in the house (which in turn feed a couple more panels). There will also be a feed to a subpanel in the greenhouse that will also provide the power to the irrigation well.
They have started digging up the front yard so they can put in the footings for the steps up from the street. If you look at the watercolor at the top of the main page, you can see that there are several turns in the concrete stairs until you get to the landing where the steps come down from the front porch.
10/21/06It has been almost 3 weeks since the last update to this website.
The front steps have been excavated, formed, and partially poured. There is still more concrete coming for the steps. Since there are lights in several of the pilasters, the electricians have to run some conduit before the next stage.
Steve, the excavator, brought in some really cute machines and filled in the back patio off the kitchen. There will be some smaller rock over this stuff and then concrete with brick accents.
The electrical is live. It feels like there are more breakers in this house than the sum of my previous houses. These are the 3 main panels. There will be another fairly large panel in the shop and a smaller one in the greenhouse with the breakers for the well.
It has been observed that this house isn't going to come apart, it is held together by wire. The ductwork is in for the hood over the cooking line. It will be a rather impressive beast. The blower mounts on top of the chimney and has a 3/4 horsepower motor. Elaine and her designer friend are working on how to make the hood look less industrial.
There was an interesting meeting on Friday with the HVAC folks, the plumber, the electrician, and Dick representing low voltage wiring. We spent some time dividing up the mechanical room. The elevator people and the refrigeration folks weren't there, but the job supervisor represented their interests. The mechanical room will have 3 compressors, one for the wine cellar split cooler and two for the commercial refrigerator and freezer in the kitchen. They can be pretty noisy, so we didn't want them up there.
It has been about a month and a half since the last update to this website. I'm putting in some pictures that were taken along the way.
There hasn't been all that much visible progress. A lot of time was spent on the radiant heating. All of the floors that will receive hardwood were covered with 2x2 sleepers 8 inches on center. The plumbers ran PEX (cross linked polyethylene) tubing between the sleepers and then poured "gypcrete", a lightweight concrete, between the sleepers to protect the tubing and to provide some thermal mass.
The concrete guys continued to build the steps in the front yard. Well, they haven't formed up any steps yet, but they've been working on the retaining walls and planters.