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week 16: powwow at the howhow

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Dec 13, 2012 01:03 AM
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by bubba of the bubbles ( last modified Dec 12, 2012



I know, I know: Another late post. And you probably want your money back. But here we are...

Been a lot going on. Been having to do a lot of researching and decision making, and the decisions are needed sooner rather than later (and the blog suffers...).

Not a lot of visible progress on the outside of the house, but a lot has happened on the inside, primarily on the electric side of things.

powwow at the howhow

We met up with the builder and the electric sub (the "powwow at the howhow"; I need a job naming fights!) last Friday to talk about electric and plumbing, among other things. The electric sub has been doing a great job: Stuff is straight as Tom Selleck at a gay bar. However, there was one issue with the plan, a few conflicts with already-installed infrastructure, some forgotten items, and general homeowner changing-their-mindedness. I won't discuss all the issues (Thank Gawd!), but here are a few:

One issue is the location of this can near the back door (not the back-back door) of the house:

When its location was chosen, it was assumed the ceiling height was the same here, but it ain't (note the one footish drop just to the left of the light). So this can will get moved to the right and another one added to the "dropped" ceiling to the left.

Another issue that turned into not-an-issue was the nature and location of the lighting fixtures in the hallway. After seeing how cool the stairway space is, I got concerned that pendants would hang in front of the windows and detract from the space. However, the electric sub talked me out of changing these to cans because, holy cow, how do you change the bulbs? (The bride, ever the practical one, said "Put in 30-year LEDs and let the next homeowner worry about it.") So we decided to keep these as pendants. And then I got worried that they were located too close to the wall. They're designed to be centered on the stairway landings, and indeed they are. They are fine. I'm done worrying about them.

A bigger issue is running the main power line to the house. We were greeted by this collection of wires at the back of the master bedroom:

This is where the main electric box is going to go (on the outside, of course). This is a bummer because it's in the middle of the back wall, visible to all our peeps hanging out in the back yard. "Why is that going there?" I asked, a bit perplexed, already hearing Big D's snickers at the wall wart. Turns out the underground service got forgotten (not part of the electric sub's bid but part of the house's specs). Oops. So that needs to get added, but it's unclear if all those wires can be moved at this point or not (I sure hope so!). Worse case: Taller shrubs!

As a side note, we'll still have to run the line to the garage before we can go underground. Not great because the pole is toward the other corner of the property, but better than running straight to the house (the foreman noted that wasn't going to be aesthetically ideal with a stage and hot tub beneath).

We also chatted about where certain fixtures go, heights of sconces, locations of plugs, and some stuff that will show up in wallet-draining change orders. So it is. As the builder says, now's the time to change stuff. Gets a lot harder later...

dreams become reality?

One of the issues the electrician brought up was the ventilation fans. Instead of being just ventilation, some were ventilation + light models and ventilation + light + heater models. This is an issue for the electrician due to switch space. And he was wondering why we were putting cans in places where the fans already had lights. The end result? Looks like we're gonna get our dream fans! Woo hoo!!!

where does the telly go?

Spent some time at the house on Sunday figuring out the locations of wall speakers, recessed plugs, and speaker-wire bays. Because the framing is what the framing is, I had to goof around with where everything would go. To help, I cut a piece of cardboard to the size of a 70-inch Samsung LCD TV:

In order for this telly to work with 16-inch centered studs, we'd have to have the in-wall speakers at the side of the screen too close (for my taste...) to the side wall (wall on your right). Moving the TV over 16 inches (to the left) to get the speaker away from that wall moves the screen too close to the other side. The solution? How about a 65-inch screen instead:

Not that much smaller but creates enough space to put the speakers in the "bay" right next to the screen. Well, OK then.


The furnace got installed, and the access hole to the ERV got cut, which freaked out the builder: "That ain't gonna pass code." Not sure what the issue is (sealing, I believe), but I'm sure he'll get it figured out!

HVACers also hooked up the ductwork through the giant beam:

Mastic'd ductwork joints (yay!):

They've been there for awhile now, but the controllers for the zones are installed:

I'm going to need to document where these things are in case they have to be dealt with later. Hopefully not since we'll have to cut through the wall or ceiling to get to 'em...

pole dancing

The metalists were installing the poles for the art wall on Friday. Dang, they are stout!

met the plumber

The plumber was also at the "Powwow at the Howhow". Later, the bride asked if I yelled at him. First of all, I'm not a yeller. And second, he was kind of a sweetheart. Hard to yell at sweethearts (unless you are a yeller without a soul). My philosophy: No need to get all hoothollery until they don't want to fix a problem. If there's a problem, and they have an acceptable solution to the problem, why give yourself an ulcer? Anyway, we talked about the issues I found, agreed on solutions, and saved the hoothollering for the Cowboys (on one screen) and Redskins (on another screen) games.

the car fits

Been parking under the cantilever lately. It fits!

the schedule

After chatting with the subs, the builder and I sat down on his tailgate to chat. I was surprised to learn that he's an old raver and still attends electronic music and DJ shows (!!!). I was in several Austin electronic music bands in the 1990s that got a wee bit of press and (local) radio attention, and he had even heard of one (the Dell Diamond used to play one of my tracks during baseball games). And he's going to Marfa for the holidays, so we got to yim and yam a bit about that (I loves me some Marfa...).

And the schedule? We are ahead of schedule! The weather has been bad for our reservoirs and yards but great for building. There's really only been the one week with rain of any substance during the build (November was the driest in over 100 years). I was concerned about the weather since there was an El Nino watch earlier in the fall, but El Nino conditions didn't develop. The recent prognosis by the state climatologist is dryer than normal for the next 4.5 months.


On Sunday, after figuring out the telly bidness, we partook of brew and burgers at Hopdoddy, a local joint that recently opened a spot on the northern side of the 'hood. Not only are the beers HUGE and the burgers delicious, but the dodders have a modern edge to 'em. And we got to hootholler at those football games. A good week, I say, a good week.




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