This project has phases. In some of the early stages, the work was linear. The excavation work had to go first. The foundation footings had to be laid down before the basement could sit on them. The structural work in the basement had to be in place and pass inspection before the engineered beams and posts could transfer the weight of the house to the new concrete. The metal beams were welded to posts so the old walls and the upper floor could be demolished so the new interior framing could go in.
Russ, our general contractor, recommended that we rebuild the third floor. It wasn't meant to carry a load, was attached poorly and had been jerry-rigged a few times in the past. This took time to demo and reconstruct.
He said as soon as the framing was complete, we could start working on more than one thing at a time. He said things would start moving a little faster.
Sometime around mid-May, we reached that point. Russ stomped on the accelerator.
All the plumbing was run to the four bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room. The lines and pipes routed to the utility room in the basement and connected to the main water feed and the sewer line. The system was charged with water until it backed up and started coming out the plumbing vents on the roof, sealed up, and inspected.
The crew installed forty-four of the Going Queen's forty-five windows (I keep forgetting to ask why the one window in the basement is still waiting for its turn). The house had 27 windows as purchased. Jenny told our architect, Tom Shaw, that she wanted as much light as possible and he did a great job of making that happen. Russ then resized a few of them to bring in 11 more square feet of glass. Windows are a tricky business. The window rule-book says you have to use tempered glass on stairwells and bathrooms, that windows less than some number of inches from the floor need to have a safety rail and on and on. Once installed, we had very few adjustments to make to be in compliance. Tom, Russ and the window company did a great job making it all work together.
Some interesting OSHA approved just-in-time scaffolding was deployed to remove the exterior siding. The original skin of the house was so beautiful to see, but the crew was moving so fast that it was sheeted in plywood and covered up with some high-tech moisture barrier before Jenny could tell them to shellack it and call it done.
Frontline Electric brought in two 200amp feeds from the grid. One 200 amp feed was wired up to the house, and the other is for fairy lights in the garden. When Russ wasn't looking, I would come over and whisper all the things I wanted to do with the 200amps into the electrician's ear. After they did the work, Russ got the bill and made an urgent call to me to give me a heads up about the overages. Somehow, it ended up looking like this:
34 Low-volt/Data Ports
120 Light Fixtures
Efficiency Heating and Cooling installed our HVAC system. Rather than use Russ' usual HVAC sub-contractor, we opted to bring in our 'own’ subcontractor. This was a mistake. We had reasons for doing this, mostly around how we financed the work, but if I had to do it over again, I would not have taken this route. They did excellent work, but they didn't communicate well with the rest of the crew, or myself, and they brought in a different 'culture' that didn't mesh. The job felt like an imposition on them. To be clear, I think the work was quality and they were competent but it was a bad fit. I'm glad the system is in so I can move on from my blunder here.
There were a lot of people working on the Going Queen over the last two months. On one day in particular, I counted over 20 tradespeople in the house. You could feel the energy and skilled workmanship flowing through the house.
I’ve showed up every morning to answer questions & make decisions. I gone back every evening after everyone has left to walk through.
Before the last day of June, we had our 'rough-in inspection'. Russ explained this is the 'big one'. After rough-in passes, we are beyond all the critical work and can start closing up the house and moving on to finishing.
We passed, and the closing-up has begun. The insulation went in this week and I got word on Wednesday that the sheetrock crew was loading the truck and would start next week.