27 February 2010

Why Does it Seem Like More Work Gets Done on the Weekend?

Today was another work day at the house. Today was different, though, in that we finally started finishing wiring projects. Steve spent the entire day (10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.) at the house; I had a brief break when I ran out to pick up a pizza.

We did have a few minutes of leisure time when visitors dropped by. First our friend Nelson, whom I worked for at Legal Aid during law school and who lives around the corner, stopped when saw us out front as he was driving by. Then R came over to heckle the roofers a bit and to show us glass samples so we could make a final decision on the sidelights and transom to go with the Poppy door (we chose vecchio, a fairly obscure seeded glass). Then a random neighbor from a few streets away came by to check things out (I had met her once before, while I was gardening before construction started). Last, a couple from (coincidentally) our current neighborhood a mile and a half away popped in because they were struck by how much our house looks like the remodel they're currently working on. We run on their street sometimes, so we'll check for ourselves the next time we pass by. It's great to hear our friends and even random passers-by tell us how much they like the house and how excited they are for us. And it's such a wonderful, central neighborhood that we always seem to have visitors. Work weekend 1 brought Ursula and Schaefer Sunday morning; work weekend 2 brought landlord friend Jeff, followed by our old neighbors (three blocks away) Joc, Yokko, and Asia. Hopefully the visitor train will continue after we move in -- we'll be much more gracious hosts in a few months!

And now...picture time.

This one is of the garage attic. This attic won't be air conditioned like the main attic will be, but it's still a large space (8'x20' or so) and will be great for storing outdoor gear that won't fit in the garage. What's especially nice about this attic is that the decorative window over the garage will actually provide light for the attic. The window over the front porch is purely decorative, as the porch attic is cut off from the main attic. (The porch attics, like the garage attic, are above unconditioned space, so including them in the main attic would force the air conditioning to work harder.)

This picture shows lots of things.

The big sticker on the window shows its efficiency ratings. (I don't know all of the details, but these are very good, efficient windows. Click on the picture to enlarge if you're interested in reading the sticker.)

The other stickers denote that this window is tempered glass. A code requirement says that windows within a certain distance from stairs or doors or something have to be tempered. In our case, it's silly because it's just the door from the screened porch to the outside, with two steps down, and the window is probably five feet above ground level, so it would be pretty much impossible for anyone to fall down the stairs and into the window. But code requires it. Unfortunately, this room has two windows, and the framers put the tempered one in the wrong place. They were going to simply swap out the moving pane (closer to the ultra-hazardous steps, and the only one that needed to be tempered), but then R realized that the windows as drawn and as installed were too high to comply with another code provision, so he called the framers back to move them down 4"...and traded the tempered for the regular at the same time.

The picture above also shows, in the background, our screened porch, all painted and ready to use (minus lighting, fans, and the actual screens). We bought patio furniture last month and are all ready to set it up and enjoy brunch out there.

The last thing you can see in that picture is the borate termite treatment R just had done. See the white spots all over the window pane? That's the borate that was sprayed on the studs (and everywhere else) to supplement the Termi-Mesh that was put in when the foundation was poured. The idea is that if you keep termites out using the Termi-Mesh barrier system and use a natural treatment to make the wood unappetizing to any termites that manage to get in any other way, we'll never need to use dangerous chemicals in the future.

I will leave you with one last picture I took today, which I titled "Man Walking on Fairly Steep and Very Slick Roof."

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