Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another Rainy Day

We had a bunch of rain this past week. Which is unusual for October typically. But it's the end of the El Niño weather year - which is supposed to mean that we get a bunch of rain until the New Year. Then nothing but dry, dry weather until who knows when? I need to build a well...

I've stressed about the wet weather too much. Fortunately, the house was sealed and weather-proofed in September. We had a mishap during a rare wet day then. It turns out that the plumbers had capped the roof drains for testing and that some contractor - the electrician perhaps...had drilled two tiny, little 1/2" holes through the roof about 3 feet from that roof drain....The rain came down, the water backed up to that point and voilà, water inside the shell of the house....That was a big bummer. The plumbers came out to the house to uncap the drains later in the day...The electrician or whoever ran their drill up through the roof sheathing never showed up to fix their holes....Luckily, the damage was minimal. We had no drywall up yet, and the moisture was sucked dry by unusually dry weather.

Seriously, the weather has been bizarre lately! I'm convinced the tropics are moving north.

Some Siding

One of my favorite views.

Entry door soffit with tongue and groove boards over a layer of fire-resistant gypsum board.

Kitchen back door with the water heater exhaust vent in foreground

View looking north. The house is "wrapped" and ready for the stucco.

So obviously, the framing contractor won the battle of who would go first in terms of placing exterior finishes. The real issue was that the stucco plaster guys encountered more nuances of wrapping the lath around the windows. Also, the plasterer had more responsibility with flashing the house in general. Not to mention that the framers had to go back and put some finishing touches to the roof overhang soffit.

In case anyone is wondering, the window frames are covered up with red tape in preparation for the stucco to be applied.

I'm being told that the stucco should be going on during the first week of November...I'll believe when I see it!

Halloween - Already?!

My latest batch of really scary photos!

The ghoulish pink is from the hides of many, many wooly glass beasts! A view of their skins at the stairwell ceiling.

Black and wire is the best - it hides the sheathing and wraps around the windows!

Never fear - lap siding is finally here! Fiber cement board at the recessed window of the stairs.

Wait! What is that?! A cut in the ground for a future garage, perhaps? HaaHaaHaaa!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Prefabricated metal fireplace by Heat'n'Glo. The fire is gas powered - no coal or wood. Something modern with graphite glass rocks for "media"

We're going to enjoy this appliance!


The stucco plasterer dropped off all the materials in preparation for coating the house.

It's little premature to have this stuff laying around if you ask me. The sand and stucco mixes have been sitting here for about three weeks.

There seems to be some kind of jockeying going on between the exterior finish guys as well. Either the siding or the stucco will go up first...Don't know why.

Ultimately, it will be alright. The stucco is going to be eggshell white - whatever that means. Mrs. Juniper and I spent about 45 minutes looking at shades of white before picking this one....

Friday, October 8, 2010

Flashing - The Construction kind...

Kitchen window - God do I love black metal. When I have a ton of gold converted to millions of dollars, I'm gonna build a steel framed house with black steel windows.

For now, I'll settle on a few shekels to get me by.

The stucco plasterer recommended the flashing contractors. They did a super job of filling the corners. This detail is so worth the trouble. Kudos to my boss for suggesting every corner window stay "recessed" from the corner condition. It adds relief to the mass of the stucco. Besides, it's cool.

Kitchen window - another sexy view.

The living room window from the north.

Who the heck knows what one detail will do going forward?

So looking at this photo, I'm reminded that I wanted a 45 degree chamfer of concrete to protrude from the face of finish....Why!? Because I'm a sucker for fat footings and mass. The result is that the flashing contractors had to go over every instance of this chamfer and cover it with galvanized metal so that the stucco weeps would have a place to drip the water without having the water suck back up into the building. In other words, when you do this kind of detail, think of all the possible ways that water can do damage - and then just try to save some money and avoid being a douche bag of a designer with some cute design motiff.

I paid a few extra thousand of dollars for carrying this concrete chamfer forward - will anybody notice?

Scary Scaffolds

They're here. All the scaffolds. It sucks to get around them - so we just have to enjoy them.

Here's a photo from one of my early forays up onto the 2x boards.

How the heck do people work on these?!

The purpose of this visit was to check on the window flashing. Nowadays, the standard is to put up these bitumen sticky strips around windows to keep water from seeping inside. It seems to works. However, this kind of flashing doesn't like to be left alone without the rest of the finishes - like stucco or siding. So what tends to happen - as I found out - is that the flashing droops or falls off the initial placement.

Hey - We're still building

Yes building - but overcome by the lack of writing.....Sorry. It's been a long month or two.

I've resorted and re-organized at the old home in order to build a new home.

In fact, this photo is from over a month and a half ago! There are more photos. Note to self - post....

So here's the concrete cantilevered deck. Railings and the guardrail to be made of clear cedar and redwood to contrast with all the hard edges.

The scaffolding went up fast! Somebody wants to "button" this house up! The plasterer is ready, ready....But first we need flashing - the water protection.

Access is tricky here. But a few terraced steps and we're good.