Thursday, September 10, 2009

More siding and stuff

Woof - we've had our hands full lately trying to watch the house progress, plan ahead for upcoming decisions, and make I-need-to-know-right-now decisions. The house is full of subcontractors, all doing their thing - it's a very busy time.

We went out to the site last Saturday morning, and Paul was there putting in some weekend time. Generally speaking the crew does a cleanup job on the house each Friday afternoon before they leave, but apparently not that Friday; so Paul was starting to sweep up the house. We jumped in and volunteered to do that, so he could something more directly useful to the house. It took us over two hours to get everything cleaned up (granted, we only had a couple of crappy brooms to work with) - the subs had been doing a lot of drilling so dust and shavings were everywhere. The point of this little story? Sweeping out a 3900 square foot house by hand has solidified our decision to get a central vacuum system installed. :-)

Anyway....the siding continues to crawl up the sides of the house:

This is some nice trim work under the eaves; the gaps will all get caulked prior to painting:

The can lights are almost all roughed in, and wires are dangling all over waiting to be hooked up:

The plumbing guy ("Robinson Plumbing" is the company, no link sorry) is nearly all done with his rough-in; this is what our exterior hose bibs will look like:

This is obviously a laundry room washer hookup:

Paul is also getting ready to pour the remaining exterior concrete areas (porches, side entrance, etc). Rather than pour a solid 2-3' thick slab, he saves some money by piling dirt up in the area and compacting it:

This made me worry about potential future settling of the concrete, so I asked him about it; the answer was that before they pour, he will have his guys build a rebar grid that gets drilled and tied into the foundation.

Yesterday we met with a rep from the cabinet company to go over final choices on the cabinets, which actually went very smoothly.

We went through the house today with Joe the electrician and selected outlets for the central vacuum system. There will be three outlets on the ground floor, two on the upper floor, and two toe-kick ports (one in the downstairs laundry room, the other in the kitchen).

We also met with David from Symmetric Electric to do final selection of all of the low-voltage stuff. I tried to restrain myself but essentially failed - I can tell you now, we're going to have a large number of phone\CAT6\RG6 drops throughout this house. Critical areas like my office :-) will get two RG6 at each drop (for watching a show and recording one at the same time). Living room will be wired for 7.1 surround sound, and we will also have two outside speakers on the rear porch. The upstairs game room will be wired in two corners for TV, and will also have four speakers in the ceiling (think "football game" here, not "audio-phile sound"). I also found a really cool intercom system made by OnQ - you can use any panel to either talk to all panels (e.g., "hey everyone, it's dinner time!"), or to talk to any other individual panel (e.g., "Zachary, time for your nap!"), or you can even use a panel in a child's room as a baby monitor (not an issue for us, actually); also, special outside panels can be used for door bell purposes. It took a few hours but we went through the entire house and selected locations for phone+data+video drops, plus intercom drops. Oh yeah, plus locations for flat panel TV screens so they can be plugged in with no cords dangling underneath them (because, that's simply so critical to have these days, ya know :).

We also did a walkthrough today with Rob from Mitchell Mechanical, to do final selection on the high velocity A/C ducts. This high velocity A/C system is supposed to do a spectacular job of keeping the house consistently cool, with no "whooshing" sounds as with normal A\C. Part of the quietness comes from having multiple ducts per room (each duct is about 3" round), as many as four ducts in sunny-side-facing areas. There are computer programs which take into account square footage, house orientation to the sun, air flow from room to room, air flow from floor to floor, etc; the final result is a table which shows the heat gain for each room, which then details how many ducts are needed to counteract that heat. Normal A/C systems can have this done too, but this high-velocity stuff appears to be more flexible in design. Well, I don't want to over-sell this system until I get a chance to actually experience how it works - let's hope it lives up to the advertisements.

Well that was a lot of details, but not too much new in the way of pictures. Next week should have some more visually significant progress to detail.

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