Monday, June 27, 2011

what a storm.

A very nasty thunderstorm moved through Oakland last night. Fortunately the branches that went down at the new house landed in the yard with no damage to the house. That is the good news. The bad news is that a branch crashed on Mallory's car (damage still being accessed) and two speared through our trampoline at Casa Blanca. Another huge tree fell right between the neighbors and us, taking out a power line but missing the houses. Yikes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

week 14 & 15. our heads are spinning.

There is lots and lots of activity at the house with the plumbing and electrical crews at work. Seems like we waited & waited for them to get here, and now it is hard to keep up with all the work they are doing. You will remember that Mike removed every bit of old pipe in the house, so now the new plumbing system is going in. There are now pipes running through our new bathroom spaces, kitchen and basement. It is fun to see the clever ways they are placed inside the walls and run from floor to ceiling.

The photo above shows how we re-connected the water line in what will be the Girls' Bedroom so they can have a sink in their room!

As you might have guessed we are upgrading the electrical system which includes a new panel box in the basement and a breaker box for the upstairs in my office. Mike claims this is a very handy thing and I am just taking his word on this. The electricians have also set all the electrical boxes and light cans in the ceilings of the bathrooms and kitchen.

Matt Anderson and his crew are working to install the new AC system. Since the house has never been air conditioned before, this means placing and cutting floors vents and designing the return air system. Mike and the guys have designed a system that will have 4 zones so that we can heat and cool the house efficiently. This is important since we are keeping radiator heat in the living room, dining room, study and upstairs bedrooms. The kitchen, mudroom and both bathrooms will be heated with the hv/ac unit.

Bottom line: We have all sorts of new holes cut in the floors, ceilings and walls throughout the house. Mike graduated from an online Radiant Heat course in his research to use our boiler and radiators in the most efficient way. Lots of brain space is being used to design the plumbing, electrical and heating & cooling systems!

We are honored to have Renz Plumbing & Electric - and Matt's Plumbing & Heating working with us. Mike has worked with all of these guys for years at Central States Research. I have heard Mike say "I want 4 zones with a panel box just like I have at CSRC".

Monday, June 6, 2011

week 13.

Most of the work accomplished was by Mike Blanc himself over the weekend. Carpenter Dave Grimm was not at the house this week, and Matt Anderson continued with the vent work in the attic but only for a couple days. Everyone is waiting for Renz Plumbing & Electric to get the plumbing installed which will get a lot of things in motion.

Mike repaired the garage door and moved all of his tools to the basement. He also removed the heavy, cast iron stairs piece by piece so that they can be sand blasted and re-set. The iron support system under the stair treads was almost completely deteriorated and Mike will have it re-engineered & built. He also cleaned out years & years of debris from under the porch and stairs. (Glad it wasn't my job!)