14. Up to Labor Day weekend…

What a nice view when I arrived this week.  No scaffolding on the deck, the siding all done on the front and stucco ‘green layer’ completed.  Which actually dries to a light grey color.  This needs to sit for a week and the final stucco color coat will be put on on Tuesday, September 10th.

Labor Day weekend view.

Labor Day weekend view.

Bob has been putting in insulation each evening all week.  He has been putting attic (R-30), wall (R-21) and wall (R19) all thru the house depending on the wall depth.  Even with all the insulation we took out and saved as we tore up the inside of the house, at my last count he has made four trips to Reno to pick up insulation each time filling up the back seat and the bed of the truck.  We should be nice and warm!  For the new garage/workshop this also meant setting up scaffolding inside to reach the ceiling.

Insulation in the new garage/workshop.

Insulation in the new garage/workshop.

Insulation going in to all the walls.

Insulation going in to all the walls.

Bob, Larry and Elder all work together for the siding.  They try to minimize the handling of the wood and climbing the scaffolding.  It is time consuming and difficult work going up and down the scaffolding and just working at that height with the long and heavy boards takes it out of you.  Everything takes longer than you think but the work is beautiful.

Scaffolding to the top-won't catch me up there!

Scaffolding to the top-won’t catch me up there!

No scaffolding!  Tall side cedar completed.

No scaffolding! Tall side cedar completed.

Another choice we had to make was about the eaves. The original eaves had been painted after we bought the house.  So, we either had to paint them again to blend with the new siding and continue to paint them every few years or change the look.  Bob decided he wanted to change the look and ‘box’ the eaves.  So as I noted in an earlier post, each rafter was cut to square the end.  Now as they are doing the siding they are cutting cedar to box in the rafter tails so that everything matches.  The best part about this extra work is that we will not have to paint again.  The whole house will simply be sealed with a sprayer each year or every other year and we should not have to do any exterior painting again!  Retirement here we come!

Barge rafters cut but not boxed yet.

Barge rafters cut but not boxed yet.

Barge rafters boxed in.

Barge rafters boxed in.

The JenWeld doors were ordered finished but the door frames came unfinished.  Bob decided that the front doors would look best if the frame was contrasted with the door by matching the siding.  At first I was not sure, but now I am very happy with the look and it is unique.  I painted each frame with pine conditioner so the stain would go on evenly; then painted the stain on for the second coat.

Door with unfinished trim.

Door with unfinished trim.

Door after the trim is stained.

Door after the trim is stained.

The kitchen cabinets were delivered-they take up half of the garage!  I think Bob is going to be very busy in October and December so that we have a kitchen by January!

The new kitchen cabinets arrived and are stacked in the garage.

The new kitchen cabinets arrived and are stacked in the garage.

Labor Day weekend was the first change of pace for Bob since this started.  We met at the coast near Salt Point Park, I rode up from Hayward, CA with Tricia and Jim. Bob drove over from Truckee, CA.  The weather was beautiful.  We also met our friends and their family at the coast.  Saturday morning, the guys went Abalone diving and we had a wonderful ‘abb feed’ on Saturday night.  Sunday was actually the better dive day, but we didn’t notice that until we went for a beautiful walk along the bluffs at Sea Ranch.  Monday, we slept in and did a few chores at the cabin then Bob headed back to Truckee and Tricia, Jim and I headed back to Hayward.

Beautiful walk along Sea Ranch coast.

Beautiful walk along Sea Ranch coast.

Hawk flying over the Pacific coast, Highway 1.

Hawk flying over the Pacific coast, Highway 1.

So now we are all caught up.  Next time I post, you will be seeing the items when I see them.  Enjoy the fall weather, hope we get the roof on before the rains start!

13. Stucco, Siding & a Rodeo…

Each week when I come up to Truckee, I pause and take a picture of the house from the street.  I’m always amazed at how much change I can see from week to week.  This post is about the week of August 19th thru 25th progress.

Last week was all about getting the 1st floor ready for stucco.  Then I left and when I came back the Stucco contractor, Northern Nevada Lath & Plastering, had been there and put up the building paper and stucco wire all around the house.  Larry, Elder and Bob had started putting up the cedar horizontal planking that will cover the 2nd & 3rd floor.  I must say, it was quite a nice feeling to drive up and see the siding in place.  Other than the exterior trimmed windows this is the first ‘finished’ part of the house.  It seems like all the work to date has been infrastructure and was just being covered up!

August 23rd view of the house.

August 23rd view of the house.

The separator ledge for the rock wall that will go below the stucco was also another finished item. Yeah!

Stucco paper & wire, rock ledger board all installed.

Stucco paper & wire, rock ledger board all installed.

Bob had just finished the final sanding on the ledge and re-stained the edges as I arrived.

Bob near the ground floor entrance.

Bob near the ground floor entrance.

Saturday and Sunday were busy days.  We got up early and met Stevo, the electrician, as he had more items to wire.  The smoke from the Rim fire and American fire was very thick.  We had just started to see the smoke let up after 10 days when the Rim fire smoke started moving in.

Smoky morning.

Smokey morning.

Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday, Bob & I volunteered at the Truckee Rodeo.  Turns out that Larry’s wife Stephanie was one of the main coordinators for the rodeo and all of the labor is volunteers.  Originally, Bob & I were going to take tickets.  Bob was quickly drafted as the bartender at the rodeo’s upper deck seating area.  I ended up at the gate since I can only make Gin & Tonic’s!

Bob quickly moved from checking out the bar to behind the bar!

Bob quickly moved from checking out the bar to behind the bar!

Bob's bar tending behind the 101.5 sign!

Bob’s bar tending behind the 101.5 sign!

Our friends couldn’t believe that Bob would volunteer to go let alone work at a rodeo!  But we had a good time and met quite a few people and will probably do it again next year.

Late Sunday, we made a quick trip to Reno for insulation and supplies.

12. Catch up Post

This is how Bob and I are living in Truckee.

The perfect living room?  Not!  Notice the garage thru the window-this window will be gone.

The perfect living room? Not! Notice the garage thru the window-this window will be gone.

Temporary kitchen.  It is amazing what you can cook in a microwave, rice cooker, crock pot & wok!

Temporary kitchen. It is amazing what you can cook in a microwave, rice cooker, crock pot & wok!

We put all new windows in the house during late July and early August.  Except for the windows on the main floor all the windows are the same size as before.  They needed to be replaced since they were fogging and not as energy efficient as we needed.  It’s great to have nice, clear windows but we gave up a little glass space and Bob will need to trim out each of the windows inside the house as time goes on. (Bob knew this of course, but it was a surprise to me!)

Sample of new windows from the inside with trim to fix.

Sample of new windows from the inside with trim to fix.
Many also lost the wooden sill.

The large pane windows on the 3rd floor loft were replaced a few weeks ago.  Except for one window near the tree branch that could not be replaced until the electrical panel was done.  So for a week or so we had this great open air view through our bedroom door!

3rd Floor windows all out.

3rd Floor windows all out. The one near the tree branch was out for a few weeks.

View from the 3rd floor with the windows out.

View from the 3rd floor with the windows out.

New windows on 3rd floor loft.

New windows on 3rd floor loft.

The guys put on the ‘belly band’ which consists of ice & snow guard (the black stuff) all around the house to mark the separation of the 1st floor from the second floor and then installing 2″ by 12″ heavy wood trim as the top of the stucco and the bottom of the cedar siding which is going on.

Garage built with window and new window exterior trim in place.

Garage built with window and new window exterior trim in place.

Belly band going up to separate the stucco 1st floor from the rest of the house.

Belly band going up to separate the stucco 1st floor from the rest of the house.

Elder & Bob putting up the wood trim for the 'belly band'.

Elder & Bob putting up the wood trim for the ‘belly band’.

The guys did all of this, plus putting in the front door (finally).  Wouldn’t you know that after waiting so long for it to arrive, the complete door was 4 inches narrower than we ordered due to the sidelights being 12 inches each instead of 14 inches each.  They had to re-frame the entry as we couldn’t wait for a new door to be built!  At least the door is the correct size and we can live with the narrower sidelights.

The new front door.

The new front door.

All windows and doors are now in on the main level.

All windows and doors are now in on the main level.

The past week (August 12-18th) was all about getting ready for the stucco contractor. They needed the 1st floor exterior ready for stucco which means that all the door & window trim must be installed and stained. Each trim piece had to be beveled toward the stucco side and each cut had to be stained prior to going up.

Trim almost complete. belly band complete and building paper installed  at areas with trim.

Trim almost complete. belly band complete and building paper installed at areas with trim.

On Sunday, August 18th, we took a drive to Portola, CA to check out the Railroad Days making a long round trip to Reno for supplies.  Turns out much of the activity was Saturday so it was pretty quiet in Portola.  The drive was beautiful and we stopped and had lunch near the Feather River just across from the old WP tracks that run from Portola to Reno.

Feather River-so beautiful!

Feather River-so beautiful!

Next post–will be the stucco going on and cedar siding going on.  It’s starting to look like lots of progress now that the infrastructure (gas lines, water lines, waste lines, foundation and electrical rough) is done!  Thanks for checking in!

11. Garage & August 10th weekend

Well I am getting caught up.  You are almost getting real time updates.  Hopefully, next week I’ll catch up and just do weekly updates from now on.  After the cement pour the garage/workshop was started on Monday,  August 5th.

Garage walls going up!

Garage walls going up!

Larry and Elder started framing the new garage on the 5th and by Aug 7th they were ready to start placing the rafters.

Walls framing in place and window framing begun.  If you look closely you can see the wall separating the workshop & storage area.

Walls framing in place and window framing begun. If you look closely you can see the wall separating the workshop & storage area.

No small task to get the rafters in place.  At the end of the day, 3 rafters were hung.  Each rafter was over 100 lbs, had to be cut to match the angle of the existing rafters on the house to tie in and needed to be cut at the other end to fit into the new exterior wall.  Then a second rafter had to be fitted the same way so that each ‘rafter’ was really 2 rafters each.  Raising and lowering the boards by hand was quite a task.  The next day Bob joined them and they had a better 3 person system for hoisting the rafters and on Aug 8th they completed all 18 double rafters!

Rafters going up!

Rafters going up!

Shear wall put up around the garage.  Doorway framed for storage entrance from the deck.  Rafters in place!

Shear wall put up around the garage. Doorway framed for storage entrance from the deck. Rafters in place!

Here you can see the new larger window in the living room. Also, you can see the living room window looking into the garage which will be removed.

Here you can see the new larger window in the living room. Also, you can see the living room window looking into the garage which will be removed. Skylights will be added.

On Friday, Aug 9th they tied in the new garage to the existing house roof and started putting in the steel fasteners.

Tying in the new rafters to the old rafters.

Tying in the new rafters to the old rafters.

On Saturday, Stephen Corrales known as Stevo came back to continue to work on the rough electrical.

Stevo!

Stevo!

It’s amazing how you live in a house and you have enough light but the minute you open up the walls you want more lights, more electrical outlets and changes!  Stevo has been great and very patient with all my ideas.  Stevo worked all day Saturday drilling holes, pulling electrical wires, and installing the fixtures in the walls so that we can install the fixtures you will see!  He will have many days helping us before this project is done.

Bob and Jim LaBarge, Tricia’s husband, also worked all day Saturday. Jim put in Cat5 cables and Coaxial cables for TV’s and computer equipment in every floor of the house!  Who could ask for a better son-in-law.  Instead of spending one of their rare free weekends having fun; Tricia & Jim came up to give us a hand on whatever needed being done.  I have to say Jim had the most work to do!  Tricia & I even took off to the pool for a couple of hours.

Bob installing can lights and Jim installing media wires.

Bob installing can lights and Jim installing media wires.

Jim!

Jim!

The past week had been Tricia & Jim’s wedding anniversary.  So when they said they would come up for the weekend the least we could do was take them to dinner for a late celebration.  We found a great place.  Lake Mary’s dinners are a yearly tradition that are prepared in a small cabin and diners are seated on a meandering deck over looking St. Mary’s Lake.  This private lake has homes surrounding it and the lake is used for Sugar Bowl snow making during the winter.  It is a beautiful setting with beautiful grounds and the food and staff were excellent.  If you ever get the chance, make a reservation and enjoy this setting for dinner.

Jim & Tricia, with dining area in background.

Jim & Tricia, with dining area in background.

Lake Mary, if you look closely you can see ski lifts on the mountains.

Lake Mary, if you look closely you can see ski lifts on the mountains.

By the way, those mountains are much higher than they look in this photo!

Beautiful fire pit area, Bob, Tricia & Jim relaxing before dinner.

Beautiful fire pit area, Bob, Tricia & Jim relaxing before dinner.

Much has been done for the electrical but my favorites are new can lighting in the kitchen, living room and hallway to 2nd floor bedroom and 4 new outdoor lights on the deck and exterior electrical outlets!  I won’t be able to complain about the dark main living area much longer!

10. Concrete final pour…

The concrete foundation preparation and pouring took longer than we realized and happened over 2 weeks.  This meant that starting the garage/workshop had to be delayed.  So in the meantime Larry, Elder and Bob worked on various tasks that also needed to be done, just in a different order than planned.  This slowed things down some and meant moving the scaffolding more times and deciding to get more scaffolding to reduce the number of times it must be taken down and put up somewhere else.  I plan to do a post soon to recap the various items that were happening during these 2 weeks.  Back to the concrete work!
The prep…
The foundation work needed to sit for a few days and be inspected.

Garage foundation perimeter

Garage foundation perimeter ready to be filled & completed

On July 31th the work began for the final phase of the concrete work.  Fereira Construction’s excavation crew came back and filled the garage foundation area with gravel and compacted the gravel so that Steve Neft’s crew could come back and finish the forms and steel rebar required.

Front loader

Front loader brought to move gravel & dirt before the cement crews work

Gravel delivery

A full truckload of gravel being delivered

Filling in garage foundation

Front loader filling in the garage foundation

Spreading the gravel

Spreading the gravel out for the garage floor

Compacting the gravel

Compacting the gravel for the weight of the cement

Drip line gravel

Spreading gravel along the garage drip line & building small foundation for cement pad in front of the garage

It is apparent that Jim Fereira’s crew and Steve Neft’s crew work together very well and coordinate with each other.   They also spread gravel around the what will be the drip line of the new garage and finished moving dirt and created a pad for a small concrete area outside of the garage which will be under the new deck extension.

When that was completed they moved gravel to the other side of the house for us to spread after the new roof is in place.  They also moved the remaining dirt piles and made us a level spot where in the front yard over the new trenches were put in for a picnic table or chairs in the shade for a later date.

On August 1st more work was done.

Excavation crew dug the holes and cement crew put down the moisture barrier

Excavation crew dug the holes and cement crew put down the moisture barrier


The Pour…
We noticed that on August 1st it was chilly in the house. A big difference from the heat wave of the previous week where the upstairs bedroom was so hot we choose to sleep down in the 1st floor in-law unit.  This morning, August 2nd, at 7 am it was 35 degrees outside and a toasty 40 degrees in the house!  By 6:45 am trucks and people began to appear at our house.  Neft Construction’s crew was here plus a pumper truck where the cement would be dumped in and pumped up to the area for the new garage and pad in front of the garage.  And a regular cement truck with the cement.  Everyone seems to have a role to play and there was very little discussion as each step started.

By 8:40 am, the slabs and entries to the new garage/workshop looked in place.  Then the finish crew started making everything smooth while others started cleaning tools and boots!


Along with all this at 8 am Larry and Elder, the two carpenters, came in and started working and two plumbers were back to finish the gas, water and drainage lines they started yesterday.  While the cement crew finishes; the carpenters are cutting roof rafter tails to get ready to install new barge rafters all around the house and Bob is cutting out the subfloor in the kitchen to give the plumbers access to the drain lines and water lines between floors.   Not even 9 am!

During these few days,  I also finished staining all 4 sides of all the barge rafters-a 2 day job.  It is almost impossible to imagine all the small jobs that it takes to get each job done.

Bob & Larry inspecting the pour the next morning

Bob & Larry inspecting the pour the next morning

Side view of walkway

Side view of walkway

We are almost done with the tearing apart and creating the new infrastructure to begin construction on the new garage/workshop, storage area, deck, kitchen and dining room.  Yeah!

9. Electrical Panel…

You may recall from the “excavation” post that we decided to move the electrical service underground to the house.  In the past, wires for electricity, phone & cable came from the telephone pole to the house attaching at the roof just above the old front door.  This caused pulling on the roof barge rafters during heavy snows and it was messy looking.  So we decided to add a trench to move these wires underground, and they now surface near the 1st floor entrance and go into the new electrical panel.

On Friday, July 26th, Tahoe Donner-PUD (TD-PUD) turned off the electrical power to the house around 1 pm.  TD-PUD also disconnected the power lines from the telephone pole to the house and pulled the new electrical lines to the house thru the underground conduit.

TD-PUD disconnecting the electrical wires from the house.

TD-PUD disconnecting the electrical wires from the house.

The carpenters had brought a generator so they kept working thru the day.  Larry and Elder took out the old pipe containing the electrical lines from the roof to the 1st floor laundry room.  Then they were able to take out the old front door, frame in the new wall and area for the new 6 foot wide window which goes into the new kitchen.  Before this is over the 1st and 2nd floors facing the street will have been re-framed completely with new shear wall installed!  The 3rd floor framing and existing shear walls will remain.  More work than we dreamed on that snowy February day!

Framing the new kitchen window

Framing the new kitchen window

Getting ready to set the new kitchen window

Getting ready to set the new kitchen window

On Saturday, July 27th, Stephen Corrales, known as Stevo, came and disconnected all of the the lines into the old panel, installed a new panel and reconnected all the lines into the new panel.  This was an all day job.  He also untangled some connections which he didn’t care for and the new panel will give us more circuits for the new kitchen and workshop area that will be needed.

Old Panel

Old panel; all inbound electrical from top. Wire to house from both the top & bottom

New Panel

New panel; note the pipe coming into the bottom

On Monday, July 29th, Larry and Elder put in the new kitchen window  This was great-more light in the house and windows we could open at will!

New kitchen window installed

New kitchen window installed

The Town of Truckee is closed on Mondays as they work Tuesday thru Friday, so the inspection for the new panel took place Tuesday morning.

Bob was able to make arrangements with our neighbor to plug in the refrigerator during the 4 days without power.  He used a battery solar light from Ikea to see and the gas grill outside to cook.  He tells me that he also unplugged the refrigerator for a couple of hours each evening to watch the TV news and a program or two.  We are so lucky to have neighbors that are so generous to allow us to have this power.  I had brought up ice chests and Bob was planning to get dry ice for the refrigerator contents.  This made his weekend much more pleasant!  He managed fine but didn’t care much for the cold showers (electric water heater).

Tuesday, July 30th, Truckee approved the installation; Tahoe Donner-PUD turned the electricity back on; Stevo, the electrician turned back on the power to the house and the hot water heater started warming up!

8. Roof removal

We used to say roof tear-off when Bob was in the roofing business but with a large metal roof like ours it is really a removal process.  We are using Sierra Sage Roofing for the new roof.  They came on July 24th to remove the old roof.  They have a crew that comes in and unscrews all the screws holding the roof and they lower each section down.  Then they bring a flat bed trailer in to take the metal to recycling.  We hadn’t thought about this so much we just knew we wanted a metal roof so that the snow would slide off and not accumulate like it does on a composition roof.  Turns out the recycling is an added benefit.  The crew also was careful to put each screw into a pile so that cleanup after the removal was minimal!  Certainly not the clean off mess and dumpster I remember from taking off roofs in the past!

Starting the roof removal

Starting the roof removal

'Riding the ridge line' three stories up!

‘Riding the ridge line’ three stories up!

After the metal is removed

After the metal is removed

Of course, what happens as soon as you take off the roof?  Rain is forecast, and it didn’t just rain it came down in buckets on July 25th!  Luckily the forecast was early so the crew came back out and put down plastic before the rain and we didn’t have any leaks in the house.  Bob was checking places for most of the evening! The roof removal was finished July 26th and the roof underlayment was in place to fully protect form any more weather.

Roof prepared and waiting for the next phase

Roof prepared and waiting for the next phase

We needed to have the roof removed early so that the carpenters could: trim the rafter tails; remove the old blocking and put in new blocking; build the new garage/workshop and sheet it for roofing; and put up new barge rafters (fascia) all around the house before the new roof is put on.  The garage is being built as I write this.  The last rafters for the new roof area were finished on Wednesday, August 8th.  They are working finishing the tie in to the old roof today.

7. Concrete Part 1…

Who knew it takes many steps to get a new concrete foundation poured in two different sections of a house. Certainly not me.  We had to have the existing foundation removed in the lower corner of the house which is under the corner section of the 1st floor entry/laundry room.  Then we needed the new foundation poured for the garage/workshop space on the opposite side of the house.  This was done by Steve Neft Construction and crew.  Steve Neft oversees each part of the process and does much of the detail work himself to make sure that each step passed inspection and is done to his high standards.  This part of the work was done over 2 weeks starting around July 16th.

After the excavation crew (Jim Fereira excavation) did their work on July 15th, the excavation of the existing foundation was done by Steve’s crew.  This involved a man jack hammering & using a pick axe to get out part of the cement floor of the 1st floor entry/laundry area and all of the foundation in that corner.  This took tthree full work days and was completed on July 18th!  Before this demolition could start Larry, Elder and Bob had to put up shoring. They shored up inside the laundry room, the garage and outside under the deck.

On July 18th Steve Neft also cut out the doorways from the existing garage into the new garage area which the carpenters had already framed.

Two new door openings into new garage/workshop.

Two new door openings into new garage/workshop.

On July 23rd they put in the forms and the foundation framework for the new garage area.

The foundation pour on July 24th was the first of two cement pours we would need.

Existing foundation replaced in corner of house.

Existing foundation replaced in corner of house.

Additional bracing and bolts were placed in the new foundation at various places.

Additional bracing and bolts were placed in the new foundation at various places by the carpenters.

Garage/workshop foundation footings poured.

Garage/workshop foundation footings poured.

Each step of the way we also had to have Town of Truckee Inspectors sign off and Steve Miller, Engineer, sign off that the foundation work met the design requirements.

While all of this was going on:  new windows were going in all around the house, the roofing company came and tore off the old roof and the new electrical service and panel was installed.  It has been busy!  I’m trying to catch up these blog posts so I can be updating you in real time very soon.  Please have patience with me.  Thanks!

6. Introducing Larry and Elder…

Well it’s time I introduced you to Larry Buranzon, General Contractor, and Elder Perez, Carpenter.  These two great carpenters have been helping Bob since the July 11th start date every week, Monday thru Friday.  Larry has over 30 years in the building trades and has been a General Contractor in the Truckee/Tahoe area for about the past 10 years.  Elder and Larry have worked together on many projects over the last 8 years.  They have helped Bob immensely with all the new code requirements, major structural changes, calling in great sub-contractors and keeping the job moving forward every day.

The first challenge was to take out that structural wall left over in the old kitchen.  They put in ‘shoring’ which is basically BIG posts connected to both the rafters and the floor a bit away from the wall to be taken down. In some cases they do this on both sides of what is being moved. This holds the rest of the house in place while they do the work to send the load where it will be in the new layout.

Between the kitchen and atrium they added ceiling joists in the atrium area, moved out the old headers that would have been hanging down into the new kitchen dining area and put in a new, stronger beam up into the ceiling area and attached it all together with Simpson Strong Tie metal fasteners.


Then they removed the old sliding door and atrium windows and framed in the location for the new sliding door which will be at the end of the dining area.  They also framed in the area which will be the new entry front door and side windows which should arrive any day.  Each night they cover these openings with plywood to keep the critters out and give us some privacy.  They are waiting to frame in the new kitchen window until the electrical panel is replaced because the large metal pipe is actually the electrical service that comes in from the telephone poles to the top of the house and then runs thru this pipe down to the old electrical panel near the 1st floor entry door.

New slider and front door openings from the inside.

New slider and front door openings from the inside.

View of new openings from the outside.

View of new openings from the outside.

Plywood is our temporary closure to the outside each evening.

Plywood is our temporary closure to the outside each evening.

As you saw in earlier posts, Bob had done most of the interior tear out before they started.  But, it seems like every week there are more places to take out sheet rock or sub-floor to get to some hidden place that will need work for structural changes, electrical panel changes and/or plumbing.  Our house looks like a very large mouse was loose making new holes in the sheet rock. Bob is acting as the ‘gofer’ (AKA go for this and that) to the hardware store, dump and Home Depot during the week.

Large Mouse holes

Various holes in parts of the house we were not remodeling!

On the weekends we clean up the scrap piles again and go to the dump and usually Home Depot to get ready for next week. We also try to take Sunday off to relax and recharge for the next week.  Luckily, Larry has connected us up with some supply houses that make deliveries of much of the hardware and lumber needed.  Truckee Tahoe Lumber must love us; they seem to bill us every day and deliver more lumber as each step moves forward!  This way we don’t have to store a lot of lumber and also don’t risk it disappearing overnight.
As of August 5th Bob tells me just a few more walls and ceilings need to be removed for the new electrical changes in the living room and hallway!  Do you know how messy sheet rock dust is?

5. Excavation!

Monday, July 15th the Excavation Contractor came with all our favorite toys which can power thru things that shovels would take weeks to do.  Jim Fereira of Fereira Construction, Tahoe City, CA is the contractor and again we could not have asked for a better crew.  On time, efficient and work done right the first time.  The agenda:  1) take out 2 tree stumps;  2) create a drainage trench between our property and the neighbor down the hill from us; 3) cut in the trench required to move the electrical, cable & phone utilities underground; 4) dig the trenches for the garage/workshop foundation.

You may say-hey, move utilities underground was not listed on the scope! You would be right.  We realized that this is the time if ever to get rid of all the ugly wires from the telephone pole to the house and to remove possible winter issues with too much snow breaking the lines away from the house.  So–what’s one more trench!  Lucky for us we have our friend Vince to convince us that this is a good thing and to explain the process, so that when we call Truckee Donner Public Utility District we know some of the questions to ask so that we could get to the right person to walk us thru the process.

The stump removal…

The drainage ditch…

Two feet in from the property line a trench was dug and filled with gravel which we had delivered earlier.  The wattle (rolled straw) will be removed after all construction but the trench will stay to capture snow melt so that it will work its way into the ground and not just run down to the street. I’m not sure yet if it will also be covered with dirt after construction.  Time will tell!

Drainage trench

Drainage trench

The utilities trench…

We had to have more ‘special dirty sand’ delivered even though we had piles of dirt that had been dug up.  But that was the least of our worries.  Turns out this is tricky business! USA coordinates with all utilities for underground digging.  They notified the appropriate parties to come out and mark their line.  Southwest Gas knew exactly where the gas lines were.  However, the Sewer Department knew where the clean out was and had a hand drawn map from 1983 but said that the excavator should see a change in the dirt.    On top of that we shared the sewer line with the neighbor and the Sewer Department was not sure where it split off. Really! Our contractor had done many of these and assured us it would be OK. The new trench had to be threaded near these lines but with keeping certain distances. They did break a sewer line, but promptly fixed it.  Specific depths had to be dug and specific conduit put in for the electrical, sand separation and then separate conduit for phone lines and cable service.  Our contractor, Jim Fereira, was just such an expert!  He carefully curved the trench as needed and passed inspection from Truckee and the Public Utilities District without a hitch.

Special dirty sand was delivered

Special dirty sand was delivered

The few markings are the flags. Trench has to be on our property which is the narrow side past the yellow guidewire.

The few markings are the flags. Trench has to be on our property which is the narrow side past the yellow guide wire.

A different machine was used to trench than was used earlier to dig out the stumps

A different machine was used to trench than was used earlier to dig out the stumps

The deepest part was for the electrical conduit.

The deepest part was for the electrical conduit.

The utility conduit was buried and marked with tape.

The utility conduit was buried and marked with tape.

Then the cable and phone conduit went in.  They even saved our small pine tree.

Then the cable and phone conduit went in. They even saved our small pine tree.

Foundation trenches for the garage addition…

After the utility trench you got the impression that this was the easy part of the day.

Outline and center support for the new garage/workshop area.

Outline and center support for the new garage/workshop area.

Yes, all of this was done in one day with an expert contractor! Not to mention that other work was going on inside the house at the same time. But that is for another post!

Today is August 2, 2013.  I have a lot to catch up.  I hope to go thru the pictures and catch you all up to date soon.  It’s impossible to to day to day so I am grouping the major projects for now.