The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on the Plains

While in Los Angeles this past week it has been everywhere! A lot of people have been calling asking how our property is doing and what, if any, damage has been done. Basically to solve this we have a ton of plastic covering the whole lot. Here are some pictures. 

Driveway PlasticSean’s guys at workLooking up at lot in plastic


Grade Beams

Not sure if this counts as being out of the ground, but we are getting close. Last week the guys came up and tied all the grade beams. They need to finish the forms, get the moment frame installed and then next week we should be ready to pour the concrete. Once we have that done on to stem walls and then…framing. You should see some big changes over the next four weeks or so. Here are some pictures, and the cool thing is that you can start to see the outline of the house. 


















How to you build and keep your neighbors happy?

Building a house is noisy, dusty, and starts early in the morning. So how then do you keep your neighbors from wanting to kill you by the end? This is something that I have been trying to figure out. I figured we should probably do a few things in the name of neighborly relations such as we don’t drill and do other really noisy things on weekends or before 8am. However, everything we do is noisy in some way and we don’t have that much day light to work with during the winter. The rules for construction are from 7am to 9pm Monday through Friday and from 8am to 6pm on Saturday. We cannot work on Sundays. So far I have kept people from working on Saturdays because I know how bad it sucks to deal with the noise, but once we are done with the heavy drilling I am tempted to go back to building per the rules. If I don’t work until 8am and don’t work on Saturday I am essentially loosing two days a week of time. Multiplied out over the course of the year that it is going to take that is a about 100 days of work! If we take an hour out of each day that comes to about a day a week. Right now my neighbor would like it if I don’t start until 8am but that would add 1/8 to the cost of the project.

Basically, we need to get this thing build as soon as possible for as little as possible. However, I don’t want to have people sending me death threats you know? Oh and I want to move into a trailer on the property, we’ll see what Jenn thinks of that ";-)"

Last of the Caissons

Yesterday we put in the last of the caissons! Once again the cement truck showed up about an hour and a half late, but we where able to get everything done anyway. I am going to try something new and use lightbox for the images. Just click one of the thumbnails to see the slideshow and captions.


Shadow line detail and lighting

Our friend Dudley drew up a shadow line detail for us to try save some money by not using the Fry Reglet reveal. 



Basically you put a 2×4 down while you hang the dry wall then pull it out paint the framing black and put in a standard L-corner bead. Also, Steve pointed out this really cool company which makes cans for CCFC and LED lights. Something we really should look into. The company is called Axiom and their products look pretty cool.


Happy New Year

Well it is officially 2008 and has been for about 48 hours now. To start off the year we got some good news. First, we received a new bid for our fancy septic system that was $12k less than our original bid. That is pretty nice! Like all things that LA County is making us do, this septic system is totally over the top. It is created by a company called MicroSepTec.




The MicroSepTec EnviroServer ES (yep that is right EnviroServer!)


It is a five chamber system that basically puts out extremely clean water with no particulates greater than 1/16″ in size, and the thing can be remotely monitored! The second piece of news is that we might have found a way to build a detail that we really wanted. The architects had spec’d a shadow line reveal using a product from Fry Reglet called a Z-reveal. Sean said we could save about $6k from removing this detail so we pulled it. However, talking to our friend Dudley, he mentioned another option that wouldn’t require anything other than a standard L-bracket corner molding and some black paint. I have the drawing at home and will post ASAP. I hope this will work or that some similar option will because I think it is a really cool detail. Based Dudley’s drawings and google it seems there should be plenty of options to do shadow reveals.


As for the progress on the house, well, it has been slow. We had a number of days we had to wait due to rain and then the holidays came. Now that they are over we have a nice storm coming our way!




The storm is supposed to hit Thursday night, we are hoping to be able to start pouring concrete on Tuesday. Right now our drillers are back on site and clearing out the remaining three caisson holes. They are going to drill a few feet extra in case we get mud forming at the bottom of the holes. The biggest change from my last posting is that we have re-graded the hill to a more natural state. Other than that we have few changes.




You can see the four top caissons and get a feel for the natural grade.




That is the natural grade of the top, it is pretty steep! The flat pad is where the drill will be working today.




Looking up at our site with a new grade.




The drill rig is waiting for its driver.




Another gorgeous day!