One more time on the concrete floors...

Another delayed post. This time due to travel back to Denver. So no apologies. This musist was beat. Little less beat now, but still on the negative side of the ledger. The Quail Manor is becoming dangerously close to a job!

Terry, the Grand Poobah of the concrete wizards, was by on Thursday. They had time to pour on Friday morning so he wanted to get eyeballs on. Had two revaluations:

  1. He could not bare to pour grey concrete back into the bathrooms. It may have been the influence of the Queen of Color back in the office. His SWITBO.
  2. This was more like a concrete counter top pour than a colored floor pour. They could mix on-site. He may have been annoyed at the concrete company too. They were really sticking it to us for the small amount of concrete we needed. 

How ever we got there, they were able to site-mix the colored concrete. Very good news for us. Great thanks to the concrete wizards at Benchmark.

I did not get to spend a lot of time on the process as I was packing the car and cleaning-up DnT's so I could evacuate. They used a mixer not unlike the one frequent readers may recall Tony the mason used when building all the walls. The Benchmark one looked maybe a bit bigger and a whole lot newer, but same process. Cement, sand, and aggregate (Tony did not use aggregate) were shoveled into the mixer, water added, then carefully measured (according to the amount of cement, sand, and aggregate) brown dust was mixed in. Lot of round and round and out comes brown looking concrete.

They wheelbarrowed it into place.  While not a lot of concrete was needed, seems like a lot when shoveling components and wheeling it in.

I was pretty concerned with the joints. The bigger the bullnose on the joint, the more aggregate would be exposed. The original joints show no aggregate since they were tooled when wet. What they do is grind a bullnose half the size of the magnificent original bullnoses. The new cut lines are a quarter inch bullnose. 

To tool the concrete as smooth as they get it, it has to dry quite a bit. John, the Grand Poobah minus 1, was doing the finishing. Was just getting started when I left. Have some pictures CtC sent over, looks pretty good.

Now to see how the color comes out. Lot of uncontrollable variables so bit of a crap shoot. Will get some updated shots from CtC on Monday.

CtC got busy installing the blocking that he and Jake, the architect, went a few rounds over the other day. There is a shot in the pictures where to the left you don't see any light coming from under the eves and to the right you do see the light. The left is the side with the blocking. Something about being nailed into the trusses AND the top plate of the wall, wind loads, up lift. Stuff like that.

JCE. The pose is staged. He's measuring air...but we wanted an action shot since some readers like those.

JCE. The pose is staged. He's measuring air...but we wanted an action shot since some readers like those.

Jason the Cynical Electrician (hence forth to be designated JCE). Installed the service entrance. To satisfy all the ground clearance requirements for overhead service, the pole sticks up out of the roof a few inches more than they are supposed to allow without guy wires. I hate guy wires. The structure seems so obvious. So we have a plan, but will see if we skate through the inspection without them. 

A careful review of the pictures will reveal there are actually two service entrances. Eventually there will be two meters:

  • The entrance nearest the back of the garage is the normal electrical service (200 amp).
  • The one next to it is for the solar system.
  • I've gotten a little confused, but there may be a third meter inside the garage for the solar that shows how much solar energy we are generating. The third meter may actually be embedded in the Inverter that converts the Direct Current (DC) generated by the solar panels on the roof into Alternating Current (AC) the house and public electric grid can use.
  • What the electric company cares about is:
    • Their meter
    • What they call a "Net Meter" that is netting what we get from each source. As I understand it, this is what we are actually paying. Electricity Used from the grid minus Solar Electricity sent back into the grid.
    • And a disconnect that isolates the solar system from the grid. This disconnect is also a big deal in the event of a fire. The fire department wants to kill ALL the power in the house and will throw both disconnects. I guess solar systems are a pain the butt for the fire department. Buggers up there making DC that can be a real shock (pun intended) for anybody putting an ax or something sharp into them. The code requires a 3 foot path around each bank of panels so they have a way to move around and chop holes in the roof. Like they're going to chop a hole in the Quail Manor's roof. Good luck!

To keep stuff out of the sun - that I've observed this summer just kicks the crap out of anything exposed to it - we're putting everything that is not required by code to be accessible outside, inside the garage.

JCE also started placing boxes. As befits the Quail Manor, these are WAY nicer boxes than I have ever seen. Not the blue plastic crap you get at the Depot. These are study brown composite that are screwed in. Adjustable so they are perfectly plumb. Not that any of the studs are not perfectly plumb, but gives us another degree of freedom.

In the interest of stirring-up workplace tension, I speculated that JCE could not keep-up with Micrometer Bob (the plumber). Orthogonality and all that. He scoffed and said something about this will not be hard. Don't want to stir-up any trouble, just say'n.

On the one hand, I'd prefer to get back before drywall goes up so I can personally judge the competition. On the other hand, be nice if the drywall was done before I'm back down there since that is a big ole milestone. I can probably judge from some CtC pictures well enough.

Posts will continue to be spotty. On the east coast for awhile. Keep checking though, who knows what hijinks will ensue without my steady hand at the tiller... I've been hearing references to Captain Chaos. Maybe a good thing I'm out of Dodge for awhile. The proof will be in the outcomes I guess... Not sure how often CtC reads this, but there's a challenge for him!

Here are latest pics. The first couple of floor shots are before I left. The later ones are courtesy of  CtC showing the finished product. Also an action shot I had forgotten about of John starting the finishing process.