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October 30, 2006


a good portion of the panels are up.  looks to be more than half.  the shelter crew was also working on site today to frame the decking off the master bath.
we're up to 10kwh used.

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October 26, 2006


I will be in class for the next 3 days and unable to document and post about all the action I expect to be going on over at the site.  so how about an intermission.
I have had a few people email me asking about our west austin (west lake hills) location.  and for those of you who are not familiar with austin, it might appear from the pics that we are building in a suburb or rural location.  yet, we are exceptionally close to downtown, zilker park (acl etc), the capital, UT campus and most importantly kat's work.
and while our mailing address is austin, we live within the city limits of west lake hills.  after years of legal disputes with the growing city of austin, WLH became a sort of island.  it refused to conform with city life and enforced rigid local codes to preserve the rural feel of the area.  and while we may own an acre, the city feels that they own the trees.  it was explained to me that each home is to be surrounded by a donut of forest.  we have a 50 ft setback and we can only landscape 30 ft around our home.  the rest is to left as it is.  while this seems problematic, it has been instrumental to why we like the area so much.  I enjoy the lack of sparwling front yards.  of course, WLH has almost no flat land.  by WLH standards our lot is flat.  many homes are perched on slopes over canyons.
so on my initial scouting trip that we saw on the first post of this blog, I drove through west lake hills.  called my wife and although it was out of our budget, I admitted this location would be the best possible.  not only was our lot almost directly across the street from one of the best elementary schools in the austin area, but I saw some nice examples of modernism.  I've included some pix of homes that are near ours. 
below is by dick clark
all those trees also sorta kinda put a damper on my ability to get good pics of my neighbors homes.
behind all of the green is a home that was constructed of rammed earth.  the walls are 2 ft thick!  much better pics of that house using the link above.
and this is from a lot that is just 10 down from ours.  they have a fantastic view of down town and the capital. 
lets all take a moment of silence to mourn the loss of our pumpkin.  it couldn't hold on till halloween.  it grew fuzz and collapsed over night

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we have a roof on our garage

modal had been asking for the roof to arrive asap.  and it did come early.  but we have to exterior walls to apply it to.  so it's currently stacked up on our garage foundation
our panel manufacturer has had several delays and we are once again told our panels will be delivered at 7.30 tomorrow morning, not all of the panels.  supposedly they have enough panels done to give the modal crew one whole day of work.  also the big douglas fir glulam beam has been ordered and scheduled to arrive next thursday.  if we have no more delays of materials, the next two weeks ought to be a flurry of activity (at least it better be!) as modal is anxious to finish this job and move on.  I like their get it done attitude.
the foundation was wet and all that glass was showing.  I found the "B" for beer in the foundation.  I'm rewarding myself with a tecate. tecate

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This is what Austin looked like this morning. It's clearing up now with blue sky and white clouds at 73F - another nice, warm, picture perfect day. The image below can be found at News 8 Austin.


I visited the construction site this morning, at about 8:15. It rained pretty hard yesterday, so the trees looked happy. Structall's trailer was there before me. They were able to finish our roof panels five days ahead of the schedule. Cool!

I definitely need to start another blog to showcase Paul's many talents. I went home last night and he had installed spot lights in the little nook that he just built several days ago - after he replaced the old bulky 2-up oven (it's huge) with a built-in space for our microwave oven and a new oven - all by himself. I will take some pictures and post the link here later.

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October 19, 2006


so I think I've already made a public confession of my fear of heights.  I managed to get on the second floor today.
the e39 looks so small from up there
interior walls are going up.  nevermind that we have no exterior walls.
the area that has no subfloor will be an exterior deck.
the chopsaw guy has a nice work space.  I think some day I will replace those sawhorses with a red sofa or two.
the interior walls to go up already have their base in place.  makes for short work of the actual framing since the layout is done.

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October 17, 2006

blue and green! I don't think so.

finally we get some subflooring down.  it really did change the feel of the space.  it was now a shelter.  it felt like actually being inside something.  it also frames the view.
I found the crew looking at this!  it's somewhat accurate.  they were using this to understand what goes where.  of course we will NOT have lavender wall sections and green flooring.  WLH code would not allow us to if we wanted it.  a few other features of the home are not indicated as well. 
I climbed a ladder to try and take in some view.  there was a gap between the top of the ladder and the 2nd floor that I was unwilling to cross.  so these pics were probably taken at what would be knee height.  it's good to see that we are above most treetops and will have a nice valley view.  note the show-off who is doing a tight rope walk across one of the joists.
when I left they were about to slap down the subflooring on the master suite wing
the latest update on the panels arrival on site is this friday, possibly next monday.  I know modal is anxious to get this knocked out.  they have a 15 man crew on hold for the ...erection.

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October 16, 2006

2 kwh worth of work and an end to the drought

more rain delays.  we do need rain in a bad way.  yet it's bittersweet for us as the bank does not stop applying interest to the construction loan on rainy days when no work can get done.  will be glad to get to dry in so we are not held hostage by weather.
we have an indicator of how much work was done last week; 2kwh
the bottom plates waiting for wall panels, there is a thin strip of blue foam between the foundation and the metal plate; thermal break?

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October 12, 2006


modal construction had the crew making progress.  from here we should start to see a house start to evolve around the skeleton
has anybody noticed the blue skies and those big cottony clouds that seem to be in the background of most pics? 

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October 11, 2006

new set of hard hats have arrived

the next crew have arrived and ready to start bright and early (7 AM) tomorrow.  we've seen some delays due to materials and rain.
a detail of the floor joist.  I needed to put something in there for a reference of scale.  my foot is usually handy.  it's a size 8 in case you wanted to buy me some shoes.
metal framing provided by dietrich
subflooring should start to go down friday (weather permitting)

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October 04, 2006

a review of the progress so far

this is a picture I took today from where the gate used to be
this is from a similar vantage point taken in april
and this was back in 2005
the light gauge steel crew is set to start tomorrow.  they use small power tools that will start sucking their electricty from our new meter.
here is the current reading on the meter.  will be sad to see those zeros disappear.

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October 02, 2006

adios to structural steel crew

the structural steel crew finished up today. 
the floor system is to be delivered thursday, and panels are to start arriving next monday.

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