Saturday, January 31, 2009

Raise the roof flag

I have some vague recollection that there is a tradition of hoisting a flag once the roof is on. Does this qualify? The roof has been framed up and the tar paper has been put on. All this activity was on Friday in anticipation of no work on Monday and Tuesday because of a forecast for rain and/or snow. So Pat wanted to have some coverage there to protect the somewhat open side of the house.
From the street view you can see that the addition will blend in nicely. Very little of the wall will show and the rooflines follow very closely on the existing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

They work on...

Despite the snow and cold the men are on the job and the power tools rule. Yesterday Pat was here by himself and got the framing up for the roof. This morning they had to cut a hole in the downstairs bedroom wall to place a steel post to support the other end of the big black beam that runs above the alcove to the new ground floor entry door (see earlier post). The correct door, by the way, has now been ordered.

I guess this will be my chance to get that bedroom painted since it still wears it's original coat of "builders beige".

Feel free to say you admire my artistic camera work! I like how the snow looks on last season's echinacea (coneflower) seed heads

A snowy day

I thought you might like to see some views of my garden today. The snow amounts are not great, maybe up to two inches, but it does make for some pretty photos.
All mod cons but no central heating. I don't think there are any residents in this upmarket home for now.
This part of the garden remains building litter free. Hooray for that.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday followup

It has been a very cold week up until today when suddenly, mother nature pulled out a "warm" day and I was able to go out without a coat (well, I did have on a turtle neck and a long sleeve woollen cardigan along with corduroy trousers/pants...). The contractor decided to send additional people along to help the one carpenter who had been working alone all week.
Here we are at midday (above). You can see that the magical moving scaffold has now been erected on the back side and to the full height. Framing work is underway at the second floor level. At this point the workers went to have lunch.

Now this is progress at the end of the day (above). They have worked more on the framing and, hidden from view, have been adding the insulation and more inside the "silo" which we cannot see right now.

Additionally, you can see that they have begun the framing on the cantilever portion which will contain the home entertainment center in the family room on the first floor and my fabric storage closet on the second floor. Tomorrow a workman will come to weld the joint between the big black horizontal beam and a vertical metal post in the side wall of the elevator shaft. (see, I can call it something other than the silo!!)

On Thursday I spoke with the brick mason contractor so we are looking forward to that as well. He tells me that the recycled brick that has been saved is about 35- 40% of the brick we need. That was somewhat lower than I was hoping but it is better than nothing.

Progress is being made.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Postscript to Inauguration Day

We were "here" but not "there".

For weeks now we have been privy to all the media/security/police warnings about the closures and restrictions planned to impact our area. It seemed to be that the message was unless you are a healthy,tall adult and have somewhere to stay inside the security zone then it is not worth your while to come to be witness to the inauguration. We did not fit either category.

The day dawned with a cold forecast but the potential snow flurries stayed away and even though the temperature may not have cracked the freezing point, the sun did shine. Here in suburbia the traffic was even lighter than on a Sunday. But, oh my, those people who went to the Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue had great fortitude.

I have no photos to post of this event. I'm sure you all saw great coverage on TV or the Internet.

Inauguration Day 2009

Here it is...Inauguration Day 2009. The day on which we see the peaceful handover of power from the 43rd President to the 44th President. Casey and I have been (for us) glued to the television for most of the day.

But in between we were conscious of hammering and banging outside in the construction zone.

Today's progress seems to have been the installation of the heavy steel beam which will take the load of the cantilever section but which will also tie the elevator "silo" to the house. I believe they are going to have to install a steel post in the side wall to carry this beam (it was expected that there was a concrete structural wall all around the ground floor but that turns out not to be so).

You can also see the new entrance door to the ground floor which was installed yesterday. Oh my, that is not the door that was specified. Let's wait and see what will be done about rectifying the problem.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Working despite the weather.

It was a very cold day today so it is as well that the two carpenters are Pittsburgh natives. They hammered and sawed, they moved ladders around, they rebuilt the scaffolding and by the end of the day, as you can see, they have put in the framing up to the first floor level as well as getting it covered in.

The tolerance levels are very tight and the shaft has to be very accurately built.That's a steel beam all the way at the top and there is another one to go in where you can see the small blue square of tarp between the ground and first floors. This will anchor the shaft as well as carry a cantilevered portion which will be at first and second floor level only.

Since tomorrow will be even colder(there is the potential to get to zero degrees F) they left everything wrapped up as tightly as possible.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Working on a higher level

Today they erected a multi level scaffold so they could take out bricks higher up the wall. Then at the end of the day they covered it all up with a heavily insulated (not!) sheet of plastic.
You can see the framing for the elevator "tower" that the carpenter has built at ground level. Since it is one team of workers who take down the bricks and someone else who does the framing I guess we won't see more framing until the balance of the bricks are down. And that noisy job will continue for another few days as it is slow progress to carefully remove brick and clean it up so it can be reused.

For the girls from Oz

I'm sure you will have fun with this - we had to add another bathroom!

Friday, January 9, 2009

What a difference a day makes.

Friday morning brought workmen on site at 7:20 am. And they got busy and soon had things ready for the inspector to come look and give it his blessing so concrete could be poured.

It must be obvious to anyone that we have a building site now as today has been a flurry of vehicles. Here is the concrete truck and they're getting ready to off load concrete into a handy little motorised wheelbarrow thingie. (I just missed the men donning their concrete boots.) Just before the arrival of the concrete truck came the lumber yard truck with materials for the framing which they unloaded in front of the dumpster but which has had to be relocated closer to the worksite.

And here are the workmen working the concrete. The fellow to the right is inside the portion that will be the elevator shaft. That is the total amount of this building project that touches ground. The balance is the slab for the new patio. You might be able to see that where there was a hole in the wall on Monday it has been temporarily closed off to keep winter weather and critters on the outside.

Greetings from Lake Clayalot

On Tuesday and Wednesday we had rain. Now as you can see the upper dam wall held and the flood waters were not so high that they overflowed the lower dam wall. All this meant we had no action on the work site. By Thursday morning the upper puddle had subsided and the lower puddle was frozen over. Just look at all that drainage pipe laying around to say nothing of the disconnected downspout.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Introducing the jackhammer

So today Casey and Rolo and I found out all about our abilities to tolerate a jack hammer. Workers arrived on site at 7:30am to discuss the day's target - how to open up the concrete wall at the ground floor where the elevator door will need to be. We know we are not the worst off - consider the poor guy who spent the entire day trying to take out that portion of the wall.
In the meantime, more clay was dug away from behind the foundation for the garden wall so drainage pipes could be laid. Pipe was installed and covered over with gravel and clay. More mess was created and the wire for the "invisible" dog fence was cut so I had to search out the instruction book to find out how to stop the incessant beeping from the control box about that small problem. Rolo meanwhile has no clue about the "fence" being cut but he could not understand why the floor was shaking and making very loud noises all day.

Needing some relief from the jack hammer noise I went out to take down the holiday lights from the neighborhood sign and then onwards to do more errands. On my return I discovered that a dumpster had been offloaded on the front lawn - only problem is that half of it is on the neighbors front lawn. Sigh.

The forecast for tomorrow is for freezing rain, sleet and ice.

Isn't this exciting?

Friday, January 2, 2009

some slow action

Today, perhaps because I slept late, workmen did arrive on site and do some noisy work. They cut out the existing brick at the ground floor level where the elevator "silo" is going to be located. We need them to work carefully with the old/existing brick since we need to reuse it as this brick is now no longer made. The bricks they took out need to have the mortar knocked off them and then be stacked carefully for reuse. And there they are, stacked under the blue tarp in the sunny shadowy photo. I would have found someplace better for them to be stacked, but they didn't ask for my advice. The unclean bricks are underneath the red cover.The poor grass is crying at the abuse that has already been heaped upon it.

This is my first post without Geoff standing at my elbow. I really did not want to have the photos first, or in the order they appear but, hey, that is what we have. I still have some things to learn obviously.