The first, short week of January went very well.
The drywallers (Duane Sandridge and his crew from Roaring Fork Drywall)
started and finished, with the "nail inspection" needed on Monday before they can start taping and
Our stone masons made a good start on the porch, and the log guys continued
building the stairs, and set two log posts on the porch to carry the handrails - this had to be done before the
masons started their work on the porch stone.
and I did many unplanned small jobs needed to keep the masons and drywallers working uninterrupted - mostly
missing or uneven framing, or leftovers from framing that were in the way. We also did a little of our own log
On Thursday the cabinets were delivered (they now almost fill the garage
basement - we call it the "studio"). We also were honored by a visit from our new (English) friend
Val Cooper, her "beau" Doug and his sister Patrice (from Phoenix).
On Friday (with Ben back in Edwards on other projects), I started siding
inside the Master bedroom wall. I continued this for 5 hours on Saturday, by which time I had about 50%
finished the wall: tricky work, but it should look pretty good. Jenny joined me to do some much-needed cleanup.
With Kevin in Texas
for the week, Ben worked with me Monday through Wednesday and Mike Tuesday through Friday (I'm very glad these
guys are so willing and able!) We worked hard, but often found ourselves fixing problems inherited from the
framers or Superior Walls (see the June "timeline" if you've forgotten that saga).
On Wednesday I found Ben lying on his back "sawzalling" (the sawzall
is a hand power saw that will cut through virtually anything - a "must" on any building project)
through a sill plate that overhung the concrete walls below by an inch or two, making the stonemasons' job
impossible. Last month we "furred" out another wall to compensate for the same problem (a 4 inch
overlap). This time we employed the sawzall and brute force! After Ben had turned the corner (literally) and
faced the 28 foot east wall, I took over - his time was better spent scribing logs. Here I am lying down on the
job - "thank you" Superior Walls! I'm inclined to send them a bill for our time and effort.
By Friday we had finished our log work in the basement and siding inside the
Master Bedroom and Dining Room bays. Could that be the last of the siding?!
The construction adventures this week included the delivery of interior doors
(which were the wrong ones - so our builder had to reorder the knotty-pine doors we wanted, with a 2-3 week
delivery time!), and Troy (of all people) of Rocky Mountain Infrastructures (RMI), pulling up the
power line with his backhoe, "frying" the electric meter and losing our electrical power (it was a
freak accident). He did this while digging a trench for the gas line (why wasn't the gas line laid with the
other utilities?!) As a result I called on our good next door neighbor, Tom Alby, who let me connect 200 feet
of cable to an outside socket (thanks Tom!) ... RMI also supplied a generator. Since we needed plenty of
heat inside for drywall texturing and painting, and because our gas-fired furnace wouldn't be working after
all, we had to order a 500 gallon propane tank and heaters. Mark Briels (M.B.E.) personally came to our rescue
the day after this mishap, arriving before sunrise to restore the electric cables to the house, and by day's
end we had power again - thanks again, Mark!
With the nail inspection passing on Monday, the drywallers worked from
Wednesday through Sunday to tape and texture the sheetrock. We chose a medium "skip-trowel" finish
which will look great. They were a great crew and we'd recommend them: Roaring Fork Drywall from Silt,
Dan and Delroy (our stonemasons) also continued and virtually finished the
outside stonework - looking fab!
The house is now looking like a home, rather than a building project -
at last! The next week "should" see a start to the painting (walls and logs), installation of
cabinets and ordering/delivery of our tiles. Could we be "in" by the end of January?
Painting did start - thanks to Jack Anderson, and progressed well, with most of the drywall painted by
the end of the week. On Jack's recommendation we went with an egg-shell paint on the walls ("Navajo
white") and a "flat" (matte) "half formula" (a lighter version of Navajo white) on the
ceilings. It looks terrific.
All the plumbing fixtures and fittings were delivered (Kohler and American
Standard), and tiles were selected and ordered. The tiler (Larry Rose) should start on Monday.
The bad news this week was that our "wait" for the gas line to be
installed was in vain - every day we heard: "tomorrow", but tomorrow never came and Monday is a
public holiday! So we still have no heat, and rely on the temporary (and expensive) propane, plus the real fire
which we light often (see the photo album). Hopefully next week ...!?
Friday saw delivery of our "antique" wood floor from Jake
Schloesser (in Carbondale). It took several hours to carry this valuable wood down from the trailer on the
drive and through an open basement window, where Jake and Ben "stickered" the pieces. This is a
process that involves placing small pieces of wood between layers of stacked wood so that air flows freely,
allowing them to acclimate (acclimatize for the English!) to our air and humidity. This "heart pine"
came from a rice mill in Arkansas, built in the early 1900s, but originally was used in the 1800s on the east
coast to build a sailing ship. Being that old it has beautiful grain and color and lots of
"character" with stains, nail marks and other blemishes that we love and that we'll try not to ruin
by too much "finishing". We look forward to installing this wood as one of the last jobs before we
move in - soon?!
After a week of very "bitty" jobs (log peeling, exterior trim,
installing audio speakers, etc.) - not too satisfying - on Saturday, in contrast, we (Ben, Kevin, Theresa and
I) worked with Mike Manuppella (Scott's brother and a master carpenter) installing the cabinets in the Kitchen,
Laundry and Master Bathroom. They are Schuler cabinets
(from Home Depot) - absolutely gorgeous, knotty pine, burnished and slightly marked to give an old
This week the Daly Homestead (it's starting to look like it!) was a hive of activity.
The carpenters started doing finish trim inside - jam extensions on the
windows, casing around doors and windows and some special finish work on the "lids" of the bay
windows - excellent work! John Creech (CBI) rejected the trim material supplied with our log package
(too rough) and instead bought some excellent knotty pine - it looks very fine. John also finished the truss
glass with wood carefully cut to the irregular lines of the logs - tricky work.
The painters continued, bleaching logs to remove the yellow look, caused by
long exposure to the sun. This is important because the siding we have installed and some of the newer feature
logs are much lighter in color and we want a consistent look.
The tilers started work on Thursday (not Monday!) in the Master Bathroom (we
plan to lay the tile in the Laundry and Mudroom).
Tim Hunter poured the concrete slab in the garage, sonotubes for the garage
truss support posts, and a small slab for the porch steps. Keeping the concrete warm enough to cure was a
The Daly boys and Mike finished the cabinets (this took about two more days)
and worked on various odd jobs including scribing more accent logs for the mudroom. We spent a lot of time
"facilitating" for other subs ... clean-up in particular.
Finally the gas line and meter were installed, so we look forward to seeing
plumbers and electricians on Monday. We need the lights delivered (they've been on order for a while) for the
electricians to install, but they can only work on our project Monday-Wednesday (committed to other work after
that), so it's going to be "touch and go". We also hope to have radiant heat by Wednesday. I plan on
us moving in Feb 9-10, with a partial C.O. (Certificate of Occupancy) on the 8th. This requires us to have the
wood floor finished (and counter-tops, sinks and taps in the kitchen) by then ... ideally we should have
radiant heat for at least a week to make sure the wood is ready. However, we must start laying the floor on
Monday 4th, so the wood will have less than a week.
On Saturday I spent 4 hours cleaning up so that the carpenters, plumbers,
electricians, tilers and painters can ALL work on the house next week - we are really pushing to
completion; normally these "subs" would not be working at the same time.
January 28-February 1
Jenny left for Dallas, Texas
on Monday, so I traveled to and fro with Ben and Kevin on Monday and Tuesday, staying the nights at Ben and
This week went pretty much to plan, although we didn't have heat until
Thursday and the electricians left on Wednesday night (as planned) with another day's work still to do, and
they will hopefully return next week. Radiant heat (in the floor) is wonderful - no more propane! The lights
did arrive on Tuesday, so I spent half the day driving (in a blizzard) back to the RV park to fetch the truck
(needed to transport some big boxes), collecting and delivering the lights to the house, then returning the
truck to the RV park and bringing the Subaru back for our return journey to Edwards. The truck is only 2-wheel
drive and not suited to driving mountainous terrain in heavy snow! I passed several accidents, but, thank the
Lord, my travel was more or less without incident.
While Jack stained the logs, and Sergio
and Manuel continued building the stair railings, the other carpenters completed the window and door casing,
and the tilers continued their work in the Master Bathroom. By the end of the week they just have the shower
floor to tile, then grout all the tile.
The hot tub would have been fired-up, but the installer discovered a frozen
pipe: the tubs are built in California and tested before shipping, but apparently they don't appreciate the
importance of completely draining the system before delivery to Colorado!
RMI filled in the gas and phone line trench and the trench in front of
the garage, so, if we weren't using the garage for construction, we could drive in and park!
We had some fun installing the audio and phone outlets (Theresa helped with
this on Friday), building railings for the porch and Laundry, and I spent Friday making the porch steps.
Next week we start laying the pine flooring, so I spent Saturday preparing and
cleaning. Next week could be the last week before we unofficially move in. God willing.
Come back soon to check on our progress - when will be "in"!?
God bless and Happy New Year,