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Water Lines Are Done

This was a slow week, with illness playing a part in some delays. Not good with the weather turning cold this weekend and through next week. That’s just too easy to pass along viruses to others. As with most of the South, we have a winter storm passing through. I hope we don’t have as much as the 1 to 3 inches accumulation that are predicted.  Snow started late here.

view of back yard from patio door – big flakes

Anyway, the crew got the water line connected, so both Sharon’s house and mine have a new line running from the meter to each house. We swapped meters to keep things less confused in the (distant) future when one house gets sold. I now have a line running to the original dome, plus a t-connection taking the line around to the addition. A few extra feet, but it doesn’t run under the house. Sharon had a few addition lines run to allow her to add irrigation in her garden areas.

Water supply to old and new parts of the house split off here. The meter is about 200 feet from here, into the trees. This parallels the new gas line.

The lines for the air conditioner units have been installed, running out the back from the small loft over the bathroom, down to the A/C unit outside. I’ll decide later if I want or need to cover it. It does sit on the south side, might want more insulation.

The taping and finishing of sheet rock seams is coming along, with expectation for later next week to work on the texture coat of plaster. I’m keeping it the same as I have in the original dome. Then painting can happen.

The wall between the living room and bedroom ends without a ceiling, so the crew will put some sort of finishing cap on it to prevent it filling with dust and dirt.

That will leave installation of light fixtures and any other electrical finishing, and plumbing fixtures. And besides tiling the master bath, flooring will be installed. I have ordered an engineered cork click and lock flooring. I just need to stay calm a little longer and face the next delay. I will be moving in before long.

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Busy Week and Visible Changes

view from Sharon’s front yard (my house sits well off the road)

This has been a busy week, the gas line was finally run to my addition. It goes to a utility building behind the actually living space. I am still quite pleased with my decision to have the gas water heater and boiler located where leaking gas or carbon monoxide, even open flames, will stay outside.

new gas line, well covered and neat

At the last bit of fill work, the gas excavator guys snagged the internet cable, so another day without.

new white utility building, also sidewalk around back of house

On Monday we also had concrete delivered for the utility building floor, the front entry pad, and the sidewalk around the back. It looks great. With all the external work, I have to be careful where it is safe to walk/exit, or park this week.

New water line marking from meter near bench, down between two garden tables. That’s about a third of the distance to my house.

Thursday was water line day – the crew rented a ditch witch to dig a new line to both my house and Sharon’s house next door. We plan to swap water meters. Since we are not really expecting others to join us soon on our retirement property, we are trying to straighten out utilities and such for future when one of us dies and the other may want to sell the other house. The actual line will be put in Friday, and I guess both houses will be without water overnight while glue dries, unless they use clamps. This time we have a long feed of flexible polyethylene pipe (much better than the polybutylene used about 1975-1995) instead of pvc pipe that I know had to be glued, and joints which failed too often for my happiness. I have spent quite a bit of time Googling water supply lines.

The plumber should be in either Friday or beginning of next week to install drain lines for the mini-split air conditioning units. He’ll need to do a small adjustment on the shower drain to fit the new shower pan. Then tiling starts next week.

Another inspection passed and things are moving along

view from old dome, sheet rock up around new electrical panel

The inspector passed our framing, electrical, and plumbing, with just four small items to fix. I sent pictures (it is so much easier now that everything is done online) of the changes. So, things are getting covered. The wallboard is nearly finished, still need to cover the end of the hallway that used to be exterior concrete. The door will be removed at the end of construction and an archway finished off. The angles around doors and windows in the hallway have been a challenge, but they are quite an interesting look. I like it.

my roommates, cautiously exploring the new hallway

The glass block for the shower was delivered last week. All in good shape and I am excited that the bathroom tile and stuff will be started next week.

future reading nook between bedroom and front door

master bedroom from closet doorway

bedroom toward bath, living room to right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now they have insulation around both the master bath and powder room, ceiling done, wallboard up inside the master bath, and seams taped and ‘mudded’. I like this kind of mud much better than the red clay mud outside. The crew is also framing up the sidewalk and foundation for the utility building. Next week I will have a sidewalk all the way around the back, (front is driveway) hopefully helping to keep the red mud outside. Remembering from the initial build, there was a sea of red clay around the house for months. I think it’s going to be too cold by the time it is done to even hope to start grass seed.

view from back patio to new back door, forms out for sidewalk and pad for utility building

Another item finished is a pressure wash and paint of the old dome to match the color on the addition. I have white around glass (both windows and doors) to brighten the interior, a golden tan everywhere else.

exterior paint complete on old and new domes

The gas line will be run in this week, the utility lines have all been marked with flags and paint. There are so many flags in the area I have been using for a driveway that I need to go through the yard and out the real driveway, for fear of puncturing a tire.

Color

We’ve got some color on the exterior of the addition. For some reason I did not understand, they were not able to mix the same color that I already had. But since that has been up for two years, fading some, and each panel catches light at a different angle, making it look different, I just chose a light tan. I want something that doesn’t show the splash of red clay too much. Sharon is talking about a mural on the side that faces her house (the long blank side in the picture). Nothing complicated, maybe a sunrise.

first coat of paint, will need bright landscaping for such a neutral color

There have been delays, waiting on an electrical part, waiting for the gas company to run the line (should be this next week), then wet weather delayed exterior painting. So the crew has cut back a little, just testing the wiring inside. I have taken pictures of all the electrical and water lines inside. This is to give us an idea where to look in future years, should there be a problem. It is a little different digging into a foam wall compared to regular framing. In fact, I am keeping pictures of exterior trenches, too. I guess a scrapbook for future owners might be appreciated.

electrical and water lines in foam wall

The shower pan has arrived, as expected a little ahead of the glass block for the shower, from Innovate Building. I certainly hope the tile work can start the week after next, or I may lose my place with my tile guy.

shower wall will have cement board and tile, faucet in right wall

I found this picture online, from Innovate Building site. It is quite close to what I’ll have, just opening flipped to left side. I will have a barrier-free entry (no lip to step over). Colors are close to what I plan.

We had trauma last night – Sharon and I share the internet access on the property, and our modem/router died. At least we do have smart phones now to check email, but I couldn’t do anything about posting here. We’ve had some irregular service lately, which probably was that router. ATT (Uverse) got a new one to us the next day, on a Saturday! After the first 3 months (problems at a junction box around the corner, but they had to start at the house with each call), I will say they have provided quite decent service. And this makes us quite happy. We may be considered seniors, but we are both retired techies, need our internet.

I am even having a place set up at the living room end of the hallway to use as a charging station and a central place for my router/repeater. Traveling with my siblings and spouses has shown a need for easy charging access.

Exterior Water Problems, Bathroom Design

It’s a good thing we’ve had 2 really heavy rains in the past couple of weeks. It has shown a few leaky spots. We are adding one more layer of concrete on the seams, with the waterproofing compound, then the elastomeric primer and tape. I also have the Ames elastomeric paint, ready to be tinted. This paint is really good for preventing the cracks that freezing and heating have done to other brands of paint. And that should be the final seal on the seams.

large drain for yard, needs more work

The other problem is water collecting in front of the house, in spite of a French drain. We have a 12 inch pipe that runs under the new part to the back yard, but the inlet was not in place yet at the last rain, and we had water lapping at the building. We will work out a good drainage for this area – it collects from the yard uphill of the driveway, now with a building in the way.

The master bath has been on my mind lately, looking at tile, glass block, space available in the room. We have already planned for the tub, and it will go to the left of the door over to the window wall. There will be a surround built for it, and tile on the surround plus a grab bar I found for hot tubs that will swivel and lock over the tub to help with climbing out. All to help me safely use it.

tub location, pipes and wiring visible in channels in wall

For the shower, I have decided to go with glass block along 1 1/2 walls of the shower. It will let a lot more light through to the corner farthest from the window. It will have a barrier-free entrance on one 3 foot wall (no lip to step over), which will make it easier to use safely. The wall opposite the glass block will be tiled, and I found a glass tile for accent that I really like.

shower location

The crew is in the process of putting a ceiling over the bathroom. I don’t plan to use that upper space for storing anything, but I will have an oscillating fan to keep the air stirred in the living room and bedroom.

master bath ceiling

For the rest of the addition, I have decided on cork click and lock flooring. For some reason, they make it 1/4 inch thinner than other materials in click and lock, so we are going to need an underlayment at the doorways to make up that amount. If we don’t, that is enough to be a tripping hazard. I found a cork underlayment that is 1/4 inch thick, and easy to install (instructions say to duct tape it together). We’ll only need 6 to 8 inches width to make a small ramp to the door. Cork is supposed to be the best flooring in both soundproofing and temperature barrier. It is so much sturdier than what most people think about from bulletin boards. It seems to bounce back better than bamboo, so it doesn’t leave furniture marks as easily. All in all, I like what I’ve researched, I like the standard warm shade of a basic (low-priced) variety. That’s a win for me.

Bathroom Decorating Decisions

preparations for front entrance and sidewalk

future sidewalk and flowerbeds at back of house

The changes lately have been small details and some exterior landscape work. Not easy to get interesting pictures. They are preparing for another pour of concrete, for an entrance at the new front door, a sidewalk around the back or the building, a pad for a utility building to hold water heater and furnace, and filling in the gap where the old front patio was removed to create a foundation under the hallway.

outside back door, looking toward future utility building

We have another delay – this one with the electrician. My foreman has done the wiring and boxes, but wants his electrician relative to look it over before finishing and getting the inspector out to approve. The electrician has had a family emergency with illness, so the delay.

Of course until the electrical is approved, the wallboard can’t go up. And we need that to finish things like bathroom sinks, tiling in the bathroom, adding the plaster finish and paint inside. The flooring will not go in until after all else is done.

They will be installing the exterior doors and last window this week. That will be nice, I can actually let the cats out (maybe one at a time) to explore the new space after it is fully enclosed. Not that either cat is going to escape unless something scares it. These two back away from the door, knowing their good life is safely under a roof, utterly cautious.

I like this for my master bathroom

I’ve decided to keep my bathroom tile as a light beige porcelain, with a swirling pattern. Large tiles for the floor, then in the shower floor, small tiles in a variety of beige colors. The shower wall will probably be same or similar (maybe lighter beige) tiles as the flooring, just smaller. I will probably have a stripe of bright glass tile for decoration. The walls themselves will be painted in brighter colors, as that is the easiest and least expensive way to redecorate if someone tires of the colors. After living in an older apartment with pink fixtures, I have always gone with white. Some colors just do not coordinate well with others.

I am communicating with a company that does glass block showers, and will see if it is feasible to put that in, and if I can afford it. I’d certainly like the light shining through. It would be nice to have one end flush with the rest of the floor, so I wouldn’t have to worry about stepping over a rim while balancing on one wet foot. That is do-able with other materials, but the glass block is well suited for a curved wall, open on the end. Whatever we end up putting in for the shower wall, we will need to build a tiled wall in front of the foam exterior wall, so a fold-down shower seat and grab bars can be hung.

Walls Are Framed

We got hit with a lot of rain from tropical storm Nate. Although the weather channel officially said Seneca got 1.54 inches, Sharon’s rain gauge showed 5 inches in our yard. There are still spots to work on leaks, but it takes a really heavy rain to show them, hose was not sufficient.

French drain between driveway and new dome – white pipe is for a yard drain

The French drain was dug for the side of the dome which has the land sloping down to it. This should catch runoff and divert it around the house (also runoff from the dome, as there is no roof and gutters). The other side has so many utilities coming in, it would just confuse things to add a French drain, and the ground slopes away anyway. We do have a large drain that runs under the foundation, to take water from the driveway to the back yard.

yard drain to empty into back yard, downhill from house. L-shaped trench beside it is for electrical conduit.

I am now on the waiting list for a gas line to be run to my house – should be in 3 to 5 weeks. They will give a courtesy call a few days ahead, so I can arrange things. Like having Sharon present to supervise so her plants can be moved instead of plowed through. I also plan to have someone put in a new water line (swapping meters with Sharon’s house). The extension of the electrical line from the meter to a new breaker box for the addition (the original is fully used) is in a buried conduit, and the space between my back patio and back door has already been dug for that. The only remaining excavation will be to extend the septic drainage beds and connect the new drains to the septic tank.

Shape of future powder room – will have a pocket door and enough room to turn a wheel chair, if needed

Wall framing is done. This really shows me how much space I’ll have. Some of the electrical outlet work is under way. The lines for radiators are installed under the floor.

living room with sub-flooring and red plastic pipes for radiators along the edge

I like being able to see what the new place will look like with walls framed in place. They are also starting the ceiling over the master bath.

master bath will walls and start of ceiling

I have someone lined up to work on the bathroom tile and shower, plus odds and ends of finishing. Our goal is for him to start tile November 1. I need to make a decision on tile, floor I know, but shower walls are still in question.

master bedroom, prior to closet and living room walls (too much equipment to get a decent picture now). Giant window is for emergency egress, and is 5×5 feet.