"You can live here without even being here"

The floor guys arrived yesterday and began what appears to be a 93 step process. Wet grind with diamond pads of increasingly finer grit. With mopping and vacuuming between each grit. One. Room. At. A. Time. Takes awhile.

Not sure if I mentioned. When the head floor guy arrived last week to survey what he was getting into, he suggested we caulk between the drywall and the floor. He uses a lot of water... Don't have to, but if it was my house I would. The concrete wizards of Benchmark Concrete recommended this guy as the only guy to use. So, we, meaning of course Tony the Painter (2TP), used most of a case of caulk caulking the floor. Looked great and really finished off the drywall where it will be behind molding and never be seen again. What the hell, it's the Quail Manor.

Quick asides.

  • Overheard the electrician (JCE) talking to the solar guys the other day. Called the Quail Manor "The biggest small house you'll ever see". Think it was a compliment. With JCE hard to tell. Anyway, made me laugh.
  • Then yesterday Manny et al. (the HVAC, air conditioning for the less technical among us, guys) were installing our Nest Thermostat and firing up the air conditioning, more on that later. CtC showed him our internet connected irrigation timer. I'd showed off to CtC earlier in the day after he had inadvertently cut an irrigation line in the pergola digging a trench for some conduit, more on that later too, by turning on the zone so we could test his patch. I was in knee deep in a boulder filled trench (freaking NOTHING is easy on "A" Mountain) conduit trench as well, not cutting irrigation lines I might add. So I did the turn-on FROM MY iPHONE. I'm pretty sure when someone grimaces a little and shakes their head while walking away, it is a sign of awe and respect, right? Anyway, that is what CtC did. So, later when Manny is doing his thing, CtC shows him the irrigation timer. Manny does the grimace and head shaking thing and mutters "you can live here without even being here" and walks away.

Back to the floor guys. Turns out a damn good thing we caulked. The Quail Manor looked a bit like a filling swimming pool from all the water they used to clean! One damn clean, and smooth I might add, floor though. As I touch base with Troy the Floor Guy (TFG) through out the day he keeps muttering about how good it is to work on a Benchmark floor. It was damn smooth before TFG even touched it! End of day, some kind of magic potion that hardens the concrete is smoothly applied all over to soak in and sit overnight.

It will be soaking and sitting in a perfectly temperature controlled the Quail Manor. Don't have gas connected yet, so don't know how the heat works, but the AC works a peach! Best I can tell the unit up on the roof is dead silent. Manny et al. went to turn it on to test air flows only to find it was already running. We'll see how it does in the dead of night, but promissing. I went to play with the Nest Thermostat, had too. It was dark so I'm raising my hand to give it a nudge to wake it up. It woke up before I got there. Must have seen me coming. Pappa's home! Need to do a little reading up on the Nest. It knows me already and I need to return the effort.

Today there is more grinding, dry this time I think, and then a sealer is applied and buffed.

Only disappointing thing is the bathroom floors. Instead of the finishing making them look more similar, it may be highlighting differences. The color is pretty close, but the main floor is a lot more interesting. I suspect the bathrooms being smaller may be more perfect. While the main floor being larger has more character building inconsistencies. All look fine though...

Meanwhile, outside, Haul'n Otis et al. are back. Now we're covering the native"A" Mountain rock we inherited. With non-native rock. Figures.

The driveway is getting compacted 3/4 inch (19.05 mm) Pioneer #57. Rock gets a little less imaginative names than paint. The 10 ton dump truck containing 5 tons of Pioneer #57 backed right up Otis's recently finish graded and compacted driveway at the Quail Manor. There was no sinking in of any kind. Left 5 tons of rock to move, but no tracks. Think the Volvo will do fine.

The courtyards have similarly be graded and compacted. But not before your musist awoke during the night thinking oh shit, we need to get conduits in the courtyards and surrounding environs for the grill and fountains BEFORE the non-native rock goes down. 0 dark 30 confab with CtC. Digging commences and conduit arrives before Otis et al. so we have precedence and can complete our task. Fortunately Otis had reinforcements so I was able to hand the worst of the digging off to David (who is really a welder and helped me do the pergola roof and will be building our wire fences). I moved back to my more appropriate task of straw bossing and being the electrician. 

The courtyards are being covered with compacted 1/4 inch (6.35 mm) "minus". In Denver they call it crusher fines. Our flagstone in The Yard Mahal is set in crusher fines. We wanted something that was basically inorganic dirt and crusher fines fit that bill. Generally accepted downside to crusher fines as a walkway is they tend to get tracked inside. We're hopefully we can manage that issue... The courtyards will be compacted. Paths around the Quail Manor grounds will be the same stuff, NOT compacted. Less formal on the grounds.

Got a good start on the pergola with the crusher fines. Looks great. Experimenting with moisture content during the compaction. Should have consulted with our Civil Engineer palls. We're working empirically in the barrio. Got it a little wet late yesterday so backed of to allow it to dry and will tackle again in the morning.

Compared to the native "A" Mountain rock and dust dirt we call native, when you walk on the crusher fine stuff, it's like walking on the pads SWITBO has in the kitchen. Nothing is smooth on "A" Mountain so walking is this subconscious constant balancing act. Not inside the Quail Manor courtyards. Smooooottttthhhhh...

So, that's the news. Here are some pictures.