Follow by Email

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Let the Construction Begin!

It’s official, we have permits now, the contract is nearly ready for signatures and J. and his crew have been cheerfully chipping away the exterior (as we were leaving they were breaking up the concrete footings that used to support the front steps). Ironically we had a spate of dry weather until they started on the exterior work.

Ship lap on the lower half, and no front steps
We had the kickoff meeting on site with the architects and contractors on the auspicious date of Friday the 13th.  In less than a week since we were last there, they’ve pulled off a fair amount of the siding, removed several windows and torn up large swathes of flooring. Now that some of the siding is gone, we can see more of the original house and can see that a new floor was added on top, rather than insterted in the middle.  The ship lap on the lower part of the building shows that this is the original 1930's construction. 
I spotted some rudimentary seismic strapping on the east wall that was put in place during the last remodel job.  This offers a little reassurance that the place won’t collapse in on itself should we have a minor quake during the building process. As the demolition continues, they are still discovering things about how the house is put together, and we’re having to revise decisions as to what can be reused and what needs to be replaced.  Every time one of these issues comes up it means spending more money rather than less. I just hope they don’t find anything scary when they start working on the roof. 
The steel exterior stairs are still clinging to the side of the building as the only way in and out of the house, and a handy launching pad for hurling things into the dumpster. The contractors have found a used building supplies reseller who wants the staircase, and it must come down before the heavy machinery arrives to dig the foundation for the entryway and the radio tower. The toilet on the top landing of the exterior stairs has been moved to the back of the garage and replaced with the red enameled gas fireplace that we haven’t gotten around to listing on Craig’s list. The already overstuffed garage has about one quarter of the bamboo floor added to the piles of salvaged material.  An overgrown juniper bush has been removed from the south west corner, and  a couple small vine maples that are right up next to the house may have to go too. J. agreed to help kill off the lawn in the back by piling lumber all over it, I just hope they don’t flatten the lavender bushes in the process. We're on our second dumpster now, as they whittle away the house that we bought. It's scary to realize there's even more demolition to be done before they can start putting things back on again. We're going down to the studs.
I'll be adding web cam photos to this flickr album if you want to see how it's progressing.