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Careful With That Axe, Eugene

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jan 04, 2012 02:04 AM
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by Steve Rapport ( last modified Feb 02, 2011



He's not a homicidal axe-wielding maniac, he's actually a good guy, chopping through the street on Talbot Avenue to expose the gas main. Digging by hand he created a four foot wide bell hole which PG&E will use tomorrow morning to attach a new gas pipe to the gas main.

Not many people know this, and I didn't know it until yesterday, but you can't get both your gas and your electric hooked up by the utility company before you get your certificate of occupancy: you can get one, or the other. I chose electricity, but Rich the Contractor pointed out that we need gas service in order to fire up the radiant heat, and we need the radiant heat to warm up the house before we install the hardwood floors. The moisture in the sub floor must be below a certain level, and the hardwood, which will be delivered on site tomorrow morning, has to acclimate at room temperature for 72 hours.

And yet... our temporary power is provided by cables attached to the portable toilet, and the location of the portable toilet is preventing us from pouring the concrete for the entry walkway and the landing adjacent to the entry ramp - and without that we can't finish the house. We can't move the toilet further up the hill because there's nowhere on site to locate it where it won't be in the way, and we can't move it further down the hill because the cable isn't long enough. In short we're in a bit of a pickle, and I'm working with the city and the building inspector to extricate myself from this bizarre Catch 22-esque situation.

Yesterday the guys from Doty Stucco applied the scratch coat, which is the base layer of portland cement plaster, to the basement walls, and on Thursday they'll apply the next layer, the brown coat, and then a week later the final grey acrylic top coat. As you can see, the lower level of the house already looks wonderful in its new coat, and I'm excited to see what the end product will look like.

Today the sewer trench was backfilled, and tomorrow, after PG&E lays the gas pipe in their trench, we can backfill half of the trench before laying conduit for AT&T phone and Comcast cable on Friday morning. Once that's done we can backfill the entire trench and start digging the final trench, for water service.

There's a possible wrinkle in my plans to get my certificate of occupancy as soon as humanly possible, as Irwin the Radiant Heat Guy reports that for reasons I can't begin to understand the Munchkin boiler which will fire the entire heating system is still on the East Coast, and won't be out here for at least ten days.

Nevertheless, thinking positively, while also remembering that there's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip, I aim to move into The Minnie House in just 20 days.




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