Sunday, February 27, 2011

Stop in the Name of the Law!

Everything was rockin’ along last week. 

The masons continued their work on the fireplaces,


the low voltage guys got things wound up for the inspection,


the framers continued putting up the fascia,


Builder Gary’s faithful sidekicks boxed in the gas fireplace in the living room,


the roofers came and put down a  layer of felt paper,


and the guys from Wolf Lightning protection brought out scads of thick copper rope:


which they fastened along the ridge poles,


with lightning rods going out through the roof.


They pulled the wire (rope) down the end walls and fastened along the eaves,


down the walls of the house,


and out at ground level


like a little pig tail in to the yard,


where it will be tied into a buried loop of copper wire.

Take that, lightning!

Anyway, this was the scene when the electrical inspector came out to inspect the rough in electrical and low voltage.  This was the scene that he tried to alter by dropping a stop work order on us.

I was off at the flower show and came back just as the dust cloud was dissipating.

Apparently, the electrical inspector wasn’t aware that the electrician had pulled a low voltage permit.  Then when he saw the lightning protection going on, he demanded to see the Georgia license of the lightning guy.  The lightning guy does work all over the world and has an international license.  Therefore he doesn’t need a Georgia license, right?

Not according to the electrical inspector.  The inspector’s supervisor told the lightning guy that the international license was fine, but at this point the inspector was on a roll.   He dropped a stop work order on the build and threatened to haul the lightning guy off to jail.

Gary talked him into letting the masons and the framers continue their work and just stopping the lightning protection and any further low or high voltage wiring.

So there we stood at 2 PM on a beautiful sunny Friday needing to finish the lightning protection.  I wanted them to keep working.  Builder Gary didn’t want to have to spend the evening collecting bail for the lightning guy.

I asked to see the inspector’s card.  Not much information there:


The flip side didn’t even show which inspector came out,


But my money’s on ol’ Colin.  Just sayin’….

One nugget of information that the card did reveal was the name and cell number of the supervisor inspector.  I called him.  Builder Gary ran away.  He doesn’t trust me to mind my manners.  I merely put on my blonde wig and asked the supervisor to explain what had happened.  He told me that it was a mistake. He was lifting the stop work order and we could keep on stringing copper cable.

Whew!   Back to work they went and finished up the lightning job.

Then on Saturday, the plumbers came out with little jackets.  You see the rough in plumbing failed its inspection, because the recirculating hot water pipes didn’t dress properly.  Apparently it was a black tie affair and a black jacket was de rigueur.


So, they came back down and dressed all the recirculating pipes according to code.   A dress code for plumbing pipes. Who knew?

I can’t wait for more fun with inspectors next week.

And just in case, does anyone know the name of a reliable bail bondman?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Putting a Damper on Things

Is it an oxymoron to say that I was excited to have a damper put on something?


The brickyard was out of dampers and left them off the order when they delivered the bricks.  So, yesterday no brick work was done.  The dampers arrived today and the masons got right back to work.



Have you ever wondered why dampers have adjustments?  I mean, after you open the damper and build a fire, are you really going to say, “Gee I think I’ll reach up there and open the damper a little more?” 

Maybe it’s an energy saving measure so that you can close it down a bit when the fire dies down.  But I still wouldn’t want to reach up through the smoke and grab onto a piece of cast iron that has been above the fire for an hour or two.  Would you?


Anyway, I think there is a lot of appeal to being a mason. You get to play with building blocks, and with mud.


Big, glorious, gloppy wheel barrows full of mud.


And then you get to be all precise and get everything all trimmed up and level so that nobody knows what a mess you made.


Meanwhile not to be outdone by the mason’s neatness, here’s Bill:


Bill has been hanging around for about a week. 

He’s been hanging around the rafters, the ceiling joists, the floor joists, and everywhere else.  And while he hangs there, he pulls cable.


Miles and miles of cable.


Boxes of every color cable imaginable.


There is so much cable here you can hardly swing a CAT (5 or 6).


But see how it is all so neatly labeled? Soon it will all go into the home automation panel and each labeled cable will go just where it needs to for the alarm or the audio system or the computer network.

Meanwhile out front, the framers were back doing a little tidying themselves.  Check out the before:


and after:


They were putting up the cornice boards and the fascia.



Everything was getting trimmed out and ready for the roofer.


And speaking of trim,


Builder Gary nailed up a few pieces of trim around the window and the corner so we could get a sense of scale.  The corner board looks kind of bulky on this short wall, but…


taking in more of the house, it doesn’t seem so bad.



I guess that’s how it is supposed to look.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Madness


Things were really popping today! When I got down to the new house to do the electrical walk through, the plumbing inspector had already been there, and the water meter guys were getting ready to tear things up.


Then I walked in and found the gas fireplace sitting in the middle of the living room.


Not to be outdone, Jason the Mason and his crew were well on their way to building the firebox for the family room fireplace.


We walked through checking on canned lights in the kitchen,


outlets on the porch, and all the rest.


Meanwhile back at the street, they had dug up the road.


They found the water main, and attached…


this nifty little gizmo to tie us into the city water.


Then they put the “magic bullet” down in the trench at the curb and let it work its way like a pneumatic robotic mole under the street to the waiting water main.


While that was working, the guys got to work measuring out the 1” copper pipe that would connect the water meter to the main.


When the trusty metal mole came through, they taped up the end of the copper pipe …


and fed it through the tunnel to the hole in the street.


A little coaxing, some hand tightening,


and a little wrench work later, we had a fountain


arcing across the driveway.

Satisfied that the first bit worked, they got to work on the business end:


They had to put this water meter in,


leaving some pipe for us to attach to,


and then encase the whole deal in the cast iron casket:


Soon enough it looked like a water meter.


They didn’t exactly put it where I had my stake, but hopefully we’ll get the gas people to work around it.

Meanwhile, back in the bat cave,


The gas fireplace installers were smoking along.


What light above yon window shines?

Yea, though it shines like the moon, methinks it is instead the hole for the vent pipe.


They got the vent out where I thought it would be the least conspicuous, and they installed the bling:


I think we can paint it to match the siding, and it will be very low key.


And this is how it is placed in the room as you enter from the front foyer.


Meanwhile in the family room, Jason wanted to demonstrate the arch he plans to put on the fireplace. He was just about finished with the firebox and wanted to make sure the height pleased me.


The height I had to be to get this shot did not please me, but I just had to follow the progress from above. The fireplace on the porch will have a raised hearth, so although the fireboxes are back to back they aren’t completely symmetrical.

From this view, you can see the ash drop and the tunnel where the gas starter will run.

While all this was going on, the low voltage guys were steadily stringing up boxes for phone, computers, tv, internet, alarm, smoke and carbon detectors, etc, and the electricians were working on their punch list from the inspection. A sheet rock installer was measuring and taking notes to prepare a bid, and a foam installer and a cabinet maker were finalizing their bids.P1140724

The house looks so peaceful sitting there. It’s hard to imagine what a hive of activity it was today.