Written by Barry Warsaw in house on Fri 06 March 2009.

Okay, we have roof and insulation estimates. There are basically three options. The most expensive involves using this foam insulation between the attic rafters. This would give us essentially a conditioned attic which would be usable in for living space in the future. Given the price, and what we're going to use the attic for this seems overkill.

The second option involves insulating between the joists in the second floor ceiling but there are problems with this approach because batt insulation to code won't fit in the old shorter joists. So this option will include building up the joists to accept the R38 insulation.

The final (and cheapest) option seems best to me. This involves using 12" rafters in the new roof so that it can accept the 10.5" R38 batt insulation. We're going to go this route and it'll cost us approximately $6500. I have to hand it to the builder for really working with us to make this as palatable as possible. It's definitely not something I expected to spend money on and it's definitely a painful hit, but in the long run I think it will work out by giving us much better insulation and usable attic space. I also think it will be easier for the builder.

Now we just need plans for the roof, and the county will probably have to approve it. (I wonder how much that's going to cost?!)

Insulate? Holy Moly!

Written by Barry Warsaw in house on Fri 13 February 2009.

We got quotes on the roof insulation. Wow, it is not cheap and it makes the whole roof proposition an even harder hit. It's going to add $2000-$3000 onto the total cost of the roof. Tom will work up specific estimates and we'll go over these at our next production meeting.

Nothing is happening at the house.


Written by Barry Warsaw in house on Wed 11 February 2009.

Not much is happening, as we're waiting to decide about the roof. We need to get insulation numbers. Tom really thinks rebuilding the roof is the best thing. I tend to agree, but we need to make it fit the budget.

We told Tom about the placement of the kiln, which we want to put in the unconditioned space. This shouldn't be a problem, but we're still waiting to see the electrical bid.

A new roof?

Written by Barry Warsaw in house on Tue 10 February 2009.

The builder is recommending that we rip off the old roof entirely and rebuild it from scratch. The cost came in at $4700 but that does not include insulation (or the 20% change order markup), so we'll need a complete price in order to decide if we should do it. This is a big hit to the budget, but it seems like it's really going to be the best option. We'll need architectural and structural plans for the new roof, which basically must look like the original roof in front (hip with dormer) and like the plans in the back (hip joint to match the front).

We looked at the shingle colors - I think Jane would love to go dark dark, but that's not nearly as energy efficient as a lighter color. I think we'll end up compromising on something like Forest Gray which is just a shade or two lighter. Wouldn't it be great if we could just layer solar panels over the entire roof? Maybe in Max's first house.

We met the stucco contractor today, who dropped off some samples and a color palette. Seemed like a nice guy and he offered to take us around to some of his jobs to see his work. I'm sure Jane will take him up on that. Sounds like he can basically match any paint color in the stucco; we also need to pick a finish. Jane's leaning toward the coarse grain for the majority of the house, with a fine finish for the trim. The really coarse finish just didn't do it for us.

The cabinets are killing us! We did a plan at HD for some fairly standard KM cabinets. I'm not very psyched about them, and it's really difficult to get cabinets that don't look like they belong …

Continue reading »

Little things

Written by Barry Warsaw in house on Wed 04 February 2009.

Lots of little things today, but not too much progress. Tom came up with a great, simple idea for the stair posts, involving bearing the load on the existing steel beam in the basement, then pull that load across to the outer wall. This means we won't need to break up the concrete and pour another footing, with the sleeve around the waste pipe.

We don't want to overbuild the existing roof, nor do we really want huge trusses because both options will severely limit the amount of usable space in the attic. We need to get options and costs on our alternatives.

Jane is still thinking about the RTA cabinets. Everyone's saying "Don't do it!" because of the amount of work involved and the low margin of error. Still, to get close to the cabinet allowances, we may have to do it this way. No decision on the cabinets are made yet.

The bay window will be insulated after the close-in inspection, so there's plenty of time for that.

Tom will get Jane square footage for tile, so that she can start looking into that.

We're still waiting on the electrical proposals.

We'll need to pick the shingle colors this week. This is especially important because we need to match it to the stucco color, which we also have to start thinking about.


Written by Barry Warsaw in house on Sat 31 January 2009.

We got some cost estimates on the two alternatives we talked about previously. As suspected, both the additional insulation in the exterior walls, and the beadboard in the porch are too expensive so we'll pass on those.

The porch, with a wood flooring, is framed up to the headers. We're still waiting for structural on the bathroom and roof, and we're still waiting for the partial lien wavers.

What's goin' on

Written by Barry Warsaw in house on Fri 30 January 2009.

The porch deck is being built now and the basement plumbing is done.

We've talked more about the structural options for keeping the existing bathroom. One option is to bring a footer down through the corner of the new basement bathroom. The unfortunate thing is that this drops right onto the waste pipe, with a sleeve to protect against any future settling. This would entail tearing out more of the original cast iron.

We also learned that the basement slab falls 2" from front-to-back but nothing significant side-to-side, so this will probably be easy to level out in the new slab.

There's a conflict in the roof drawings. We noticed that the architectural drawings say to tear the back roof off, while structural says to build over the existing roof. We'll have to think about options for resolving this and work out some numbers.

One time sensitive decision coming up is the rough-in kits for the showers, and we'll need to research the water heater a bit. We're also waiting on structural for the stair support options. In the meantime, the porch will be framed out.

I had a thought about some extra porch steps leading down from the small corner jog to the Louis side. Steve said he'd think about this, but I get the sense he's not crazy about the idea. I don't think Jane is either, so I'll probably be convinced to drop it. :) Jane is also thinking about doing beadboard between the porch roof beams and the ceiling, but again, it probably won't be cost effective to do.


Written by Barry Warsaw in house on Wed 28 January 2009.

Today's production meeting needs to be rescheduled due to the snow, but we did get the window list in an email and will review that.

Return from vacation

Written by Barry Warsaw in house on Tue 27 January 2009.

We were on vacation for a few days, doing some much needed detox on the ski slopes.

On our return, we saw that the whole addition is framed out, but not yet under roof. The brick exterior on the back of the old house has been demoed but not yet cleared. There's some kind of weird contraption on the roof. I wonder what that's all about?!

There's not much other activity at the house, probably due to the snow.

More considerations

Written by Barry Warsaw in house on Thu 22 January 2009.

We thought about a couple of extras today:

Since the front wall where the bay window is was torn out, we noticed that the existing house is basically uninsulated. One of the things we're considering is tearing out the few outside walls we aren't touching, insulating, and re-drywalling them. It's tricky though because we've got some weird 1930's pre-drywall covering on the studs. There's only a few walls we're talking about, but it's still probably more work than we want to pay for. We've asked for an estimate and will get it from the builder soon.

There's another issue with the existing bathroom that we're not touching. There's a question about how the support for the new stairs is going to tie into the perimeter wall. This beam runs under the existing bathroom, but the plumbing is essentially in the way. We've asked for an estimate to tear the bathroom out and rebuild it, but it will probably be cost prohibitive. We're looking into other options, and are consulting the structural engineer to see if we can just drop a post down into the basement.

I also walked the site with one of the electricians, looking at what we want (especially with some kind of X10 setup, the network cabling and the additional outlets in the office and computer closet. We'll review his bid when it comes in and probably get a second bid as well.

Good news! The plumber's come in and verified that we will not need an ejector pump. I'm really glad we won't have to worry about that gross little addition.

The framing out of the ground floor is continuing apace.