Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday on 62nd Street

After a week's vacation in Hawaii (our first vacation in 7 years), we are back to working on the houses on 62nd Street.  We're feeling refreshed and reinvigorated, and the houses are definitely coming along.

At the Delaney House, the gravel for the slab was put in place while we were out of town.  The guys also stripped the walls in the bedrooms that need to be shear walls, and reframed the back wall of the house (which was completely rotted).  They also have beam up to hold the floor joists for when they cut them to start building the stairs from the second floor down to the first floor.

Afternoon in the Delaney House

Now that the house has a relatively level floor (even if just gravel) and the walls are attached to the upstairs, it feels like a house.  The raw spaces are becoming rooms, and having the windows framed shows what the light will be like inside.

The new Delaney Living Room

The satsuma plum tree that we moved over is also doing great, and has lots of new branches.  It seems quite content in its new setting, and should help give us some screening and some plums in the not too distant future.

The Plum Tree, surrounded by building materials

We spent today working on the front steps of the Cheney Cottage, fine tuning them so we are now ready to have the walkway poured, along with the two concrete steps at the street.  I also contacted Eric to ask him what's up with the driveway - we want to get that in as well, along with the walkway to the Delaney House.  Of course, the rains finally seem to have stopped, but we want to have the walkways in place so, when it does rain again, we don't have to deal with the mud.

Next weekend, the plumbing begins in earnest in the Cheney Cottage.  The scraping is almost done, so we've asked Tom Pedemonte to give us a quote for finishing all the woodwork.  We're also getting quotes for having the floors redone and for kitchen counters.  We have a stove and a refrigerator for the kitchen, but we're still looking for an 18" wide dishwasher.  And of course: plaster, heating system and lots and lots of painting.  We're not done, but we're getting there.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Delaney has Landed

Next Wednesday it will be two years to the day when we moved the first piece of the Cheney Cottage off its original foundation. Today, when we had a break in the rain, the last of the two houses was settled down onto its new walls and foundation.
The west side of the Delaney House on the new first floor wall

The Delaney House, which has sat on cribbing since we moved it to the back of the lot on 62nd, was lowered gently onto the new first floor walls. Tom and I watched as the house settled down, and we could hear it creaking and groaning as it settled in. It's a perfect fit, and the house is now being secured to the wall.
Neil "adjusts" the back wall to fit

Phil's crew is removing the cribbing, and then Eric's crew will start building the front walls.
Beginning the process of removing the cribbing

We ran into Pete Alvarez, our neighbor on 62nd who has been amazingly helpful and supportive during this whole process. Pete said "The two of you look so happy!" It really is a relief to know that both houses have foundations supporting them. They're not moving again. Ever.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Electrical Service

Geoff Williams installed the service panels on the Cheney Cottage, so I spent the weekend hooking up all the wiring from the Cheney Cottage. It was grueling work, but ultimately, I got it all done, and the house is ready for its electrical inspection.

One the electrical inspection is done, we will contact PG&E to come and hook the service up to power. Our past experience with PG&E has told us that this can take weeks and weeks to accomplish.

But the big news is out back: the Delaney House will be set down on its new walls on Tuesday. Phil Joy is making his final appearance on 62nd Street with his crew, and they will gently lower the house down onto the new first floor. Once the house is down, they'll take the beams that have supported it for the last year and a half and pull them out. Then Eric and his crew will finish the front wall of the first floor.

We're also putting in an order for 12 Kolbe windows, and should be receiving them in the next few weeks. We'll be ordering siding as well, so we can start buttoning up the outside of the Delaney House.

Stay tuned for photos of the house being lowered. I can't believe we're almost done moving these houses around!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Getting Ready for Touchdown

The Delaney House will soon be on its new walls. The work is progressing, and it appears that next week will be the time for the house to again sit on walls and the new foundation.

Here are the latest pictures:

The new west wall, with the house hovering above

No front walls yet, but the east wall, and interior bearing walls, are in place.

Jeff Williams, the electrician, is coming on Thursday to install the service panel, so I can spend the day Saturday hooking up all the circuits. And then next week, the return of Phil Joy. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Kitchen Cabinets

This weekend, we got a lot accomplished, and the crew working on the Delaney House is getting a lot done too.

Out back, the Delaney House now has three exterior walls, plus the bearing wall down the front hall. We expect by the end of this week, the house will be ready to lower onto the new foundation, and Phil and his crew should come back the week of the 9th to do just that.

In the Cheney Cottage, we're making progress too. We finally installed some of our 1949 St. Charles cabinets. We put up plywood on the walls, to make installation easier. We made bases for the cabinets to sit on (that will be hidden behind the toe kick) and then screwed the cabinets to the plywood.

This week, the electrician is coming to install the box on the side of the house, and then next weekend we'll finish making all the connections for the various circuits. The Cheney Cottage, as far as we can tell, had about 5 outlets when it was built. Now the house will have 14 circuits, with separate breakers for the dining room lights, dining room/living room outlets, kitchen outlets, kitchen lights, refrigerator, dishwasher, bath/laundry, upstairs bath, outlets in the west bedrooms, east bedroom outlets, upstairs lights, outside lights, smoke detectors and water heater. It reminds me of when we worked on the Parker Street house, a house that only had 4 outlets. It's amazing that people didn't have the need for electricity (other than for lighting) back when the Cheney Cottage was built. Times have changed.