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Notes, 3 July 2015

  • Framing is underway! We are now officially saving this house from itself.

    Before: To the right of the wheelbarrow is the wall of studs now removed between the kitchen and family room.
    Before: To the right of the wheelbarrow is the wall of studs now removed between the kitchen and family room.
  • Ron and Cris from Ranserve took out the wall dividing the kitchen from the family room. For the first time, we get a sense of what the united spaces will feel and look like. Large, open, executed to plan. Compare large photo at start of this post with wall removed and temporary supports in place, to the photo above that shows the stud wall to the right of the wheelbarrow. In the larger photo — that is a temporary wall in place to brace the second story until the LVL is properly installed.
  • The LVLs are delivered. Now Ron, Cris and crew can fix the structure of the house.

Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) is an engineered wood product that uses multiple layers of thin wood assembled with adhesives. It is typically used for headers, beams, rimboard, and edge-forming material. Wikipedia.

  • Ron labeled each LVL to ensure proper location and installation.
  • Some of the LVLs will be trimmed horizontally by 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch to ensure the ceiling is flat.
  • Ron and Cris spent 2 July with a laser checking the first and second floors for level — critical prep for proper framing. The slab that is the first floor deviates about an inch from left side of house to right, front to back, which is nominal, no fixes required. The existing framing for the second floor also varies maybe an inch around the perimeter of the exterior walls, but there is a hump of more than one inch where the stairs meet the second-floor hallway. Ron advises that this can be shimmed and minimized. Overall, no surprises, no catastrophes. In fact, the nominal levels will make parts of this remodel easier.
  • Ron also “discovered” another 5-to-6 inches of linear space to add to the kitchen, front of house to back, when using the laser to check against the plan dimensions. Ron and Steven discussed options and decided to add the extra inches to the narrow cabinet at the end of the kitchen counter that runs under the window; it is drawn in the plans at 9 inches wide, now it can be 12-to-15 inches wide, making it that much more usable. The key to making use of the extra inches is ensuring that the center of the cooktop and the center of the island are aligned as framing rolls forward. As a spinoff, the window above the sink and the sink will shift 5-to-6 inches to the left, ensuring more natural light reaches further into the kitchen.
  • Mark Rehberg from Ranserve arrived while Steven and Ron talked through the floor levels and bonus inches in the kitchen. It’s payday! Mark distributed envelopes to everyone on the Ranserve crew. Steven does not qualify. Dang.
  • Decision. Mark, Ron and Steven discussed the Hardie siding for the exterior — integrated color that does not need painting for 15 years vs. primered siding that will need to be painted after it is installed and then repainted periodically through the life of the house. It is Ron’s experience that the siding with integrated color is more difficult and time-consuming to install; the framers can’t scratch or ding it without damaging the integrating color, which will require a time-consuming process that uses color-specific touch-up paints that must be applied per factory rules. As a result, the framers will have to go slower, adding to labor costs. And, according to Michelle, keeper of all things estimate at Ranserve, the Hardie with color will cost about $4500 more than the primered Hardie, while we might save $4500 on the initial exterior painting after installation. So it’s a fiscal wash. Steven makes the decision. We will use the primered Hardie, not the integrated color.
  • Habitat rescheduled the 2 July pickup of donated items. Second pickup is on schedule for 8 July, with third pickup now scheduled for 15 July.
  • Larry Weisinger at South Star Bank reports he is processing the first draw payment to Ranserve by the Leons.
  • Steven is beginning to research new glass doors for the fireplace.
  • Steven and Jacquela met with Jana Birdwell, real-estate agent, to discuss how and when to put existing house up for sale.
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