Archive for the 'Construction' Category

Concrete Trough Water Feature

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Our backyard water feature is still in progress, but here are the steps that got us to this point:



First sketches of a water trough and how it might tie into the retaining wall. We had to step down the wall and already had these notches where the level changes happened. It seemed one of those “aha” moments when the thought occurred to put a steel channel spout at the notch above the water trough.

Here’s my first sketch trying to work out how the water circulation would work.

I faxed the sketch to Teresa at Hill Country Water Gardens and she graciously fine tuned it and sent it back to me. I had thought to run the pvc inside the concrete but Teresa’s recommendation was to run it all on the surface for easy access. It definitely cuts down the “oops” factor — concrete is pretty permanent. I had also thought the pump could be behind the retaining wall but it turns out it has to be inside the water and also has an optional filter attached to it.

I especially like my note, “they have a lady who can come out and do this…”


Here are the guys pouring concrete.

On a different note, on the tv show “Bones” there was a great moment when someone refers to concrete as cement and Brennan corrects him, saying no, cement is a component of concrete.

I always want to correct people when they say cement but usually let it go because nobody cares. The guy’s response on the show is exactly what I would expect in real life — annoyance, bewilderment (like, why are you wasting my time) and disgust — well, maybe not that bad.

Oh please please please please

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

…let us get our certificate of occupancy. We are scheduled to move in this Saturday (!!!) and we still need to have the final inspection by the City inspector and process the final bank draw request and get the bank inspector to sign off too. How did we come to cut it so tight? Why didn’t we give ourselves some wiggle room?

Well, have you ever noticed that whatever time you are given to complete a task you do it in that time? It’s like some kind of law or something.

Oh, we went to our first Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association meeting last night. They have their s*** together, boy. They are ORGANIZED! They have sector reps (we are in the yellow sector), website, steering committees, many other committees, officers, etc. Last night the City of Austin Clean Water Program department was the main attraction, and when I say the department I mean like all of them came. It was all about the sewer line replacement program and it was pertinent to us because one of their major line replacements skirts right along our new house. If they time it right it could be happening exactly when we have my family in town for Christmas. Yay!

Here are some pictures:

The wood panels next to the door and the railing are temporary and the concrete planters and path up to the house are still to come. Oh, and the carport too – which is one of the main reasons we went to the BCNA meeting. We need to get a variance to put up the carport.

Entry – paper still covers the concrete floor at the Entry.

Hallway w/ LIGHTS!!!

And last, the chrome doorknobs by Baldwin Brass. They are just adorable – I want to wear them as earrings. :D

**8/17/07 Update: We got our CO! We got our CO!

I’d like to buy a clue for $100 please.

Friday, August 10th, 2007

Okay, we are idiots. We can’t figure out how to install this tub filler with standpipe. And when I say ‘we’ I don’t mean the royal ‘we’ – I mean the plumber, gc, Scott and me and any number of assorted passerbys.

The copper pipes are there and the fixture bolts to it via the nuts. But when you slip the standpipe on, then drop the fixture in, there is no way to tighten the nut. My idea was to cut down the copper pipe for a portion and connect flex tubes to them with a little bit of slack. The standpipe goes on with the ends of the flex tubes peaking out, then the fixture gets connected to the tubes then the tubes get squished into the standpipe.

Something like that. These are from England and we talked to them this morning. Emailed them pictures too and they say they understand what our problem is. Unfortunately it was Friday at 4pm there when we talked to them at 9am this morning, so they are going to get back to us on Monday.

Did I mention we are aiming to pass final inspection next week?


On the way up and down

Friday, August 10th, 2007

This is the entry stair progression, and a rare shot of me.

Framing Stage vs sheetrock & wood floor
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Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

We are into the last 3 weeks before moving in. The house is going through a “prettifying” stage, where the electrical fixtures and cover plates are being installed, tile and countertops are being installed and driveway has been poured.

The house goes through these cycles, getting ugly then pretty over and over. The ugly thing is real soul-wrenching, like “oh my god, I’ve ruined the house” or “oh my god, the painters have ruined the house!”

Oh, the painting phase sucks, btw. It’s hell trying to pick the colors then, unless you pay top dollar for “artisan” painters you have to constantly ride them to do a good job. Not only that, you are still second-guessing your color choices as you tell them to paint something over.

Here’s Scott using a weeee little roller and tray to do a paint out of a color. He should paint the whole house with that, heh…

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Here’s the house going through some phases. See, I liked it in the framing phase, when it got sheathed it was like “oh my god a cliff-face!” (Also you can see Scott waving in the first picture.)


And some random critters to round out the post!

cimg1471.JPG Mr. resident chicken.

cimg1481.JPG Is MY plycraft chair!

cimg1491.JPG You bore me.