Saturday, January 15, 2005

I ordered the glass for the Hall project on December 3rd. Little did I know it would be January 7th before the last piece would be in. Suddenly, as I placed the order there was a world-wide shortage of glass. It had nothing to do with the order being placed in December...Christmas plays havoc with the construction trades.

Jacob's delivered the order promptly at 9am on Monday. It was a pretty large order for the size of the project. We had a 5'o"X4'0" slider, two 8'0"X5'6" plate windows and a 4'6"X79" sliding door unit. All of it was custom glass set in bronze aluminum frames. Nice stuff with a nice price tag....but it will be well worth the money and time when the project is finished.

Harry and I had a plan. We would install the large plate windows first, followed by the new sliding door unit. We would secure all in place. Set the wedges. Insulate and spray foam and call it a day.
All went well. The large windows were a pain to put together, but wow, they looked great when set. Harry and Roberto finished up the windows while I assembled the sliding door frame. It was a tight fit in our framed opening. Harry and I smiled and knew we were lucky...we would later claim we planned it that way. We knocked off at around 4pm after a good day. $.50 beer night at the Pub was calling.

Tuesday dawned another warm January day. Our goal for Tuesday was to remove the existing 8'0"X6'0" sliding door unit and re-install it in the new framed opening. We would then tear out what was left of the old window wall. Remove the old glass. Disassemble the old mahogany window frames to be cut into trim and sweep up the left over mess. We would then take a piece of the old sill to make the buttom frame for the small sliding window unit. with that finsihed all the glass would be set. We made a good show, but that was to much work for one day. In the middle, I had to run for lumber and supplies. We fell a bit short, but knew we had done a good days work. As we took the old sliding door unit apart we noticed it was the same as the new unit. Not is size, but in quality....they were both made by the same factory in Martinville, VA.
The old unit was made in 1968...the new unit was made in 2004. They were the same in workmanship....very good door units! West Window and Door has not changed there design or quality for over 30yrs. That is one reason they are still in business today.....we could all learn from them. When it is good...don't change it!!

Wednesday the weather was much the same as it has been for three weeks. Cool nights and days which reach the sixties. The forecast was for nasty weather by Friday. We would have to move fast to finish the glass set and have the outside siding and trim done as well flashed to avoid interior moisture. we finished up setting all the glass, windows and doors and set about finishing up any wall framing as well as sparying foam and insulating where needed. Harry began to make a list of materials for the exterior trim and Roberto and I began the clean-up for an early knock off...$4.00 wings at he Pub!! We cleaned well and re-oranized our tools. We tarvel with a mobile woodshop so it can get out of sorts quickly. We were finished by 3pm. Anita drove up as we were leaving. I was glad. I wanted to be there when she was able to stand in the new space with the old wall removed. An additional 200sqft doesn't sound like much until you realize how narrow the room was before. We did have some bad news for her. The house is post and beam. We are enclosing a 6'6" cantilever from the living room above. Two large beams extend through the space to posts on the outside. The old wall had two posts running under the beams, but they were carring no real weight as there were no concrete footing under the posts. we were going to remove the posts and open the entire room up. The beams are 16" deep X 5" wide. they would esily carry the weight above as the roof load is carried by two more posts under the roof walls coming down the structure. When we tore out the wall we were disappointed. The beams were not solid. They broke over the posts at the old wall....with a short six foot beam carrying the cantilever. we could float the beams with LVL's, but the Halls did not wan to spend the extra $4500.00 to clear the space. She was a bit down, but we had told them of this possibility beforehand. Bill showed up and they both stood in the space for the first time. Even with the posts it will be an awesome home theater den!

The weather forecast was awful. The spring like winter we had enjoyd after Christmas was coming to an end. We needed to get the outside of the room covered in wall foam, siding and trim. We also needed to make sure the exterior crack and crevices were filled. Water was going to be an issue....good flashing design was needed. We set our thoughts on thses issues as we formed a materials list. Roberto was busy cleaning old interior trim while Harry and I set our for lumber. Again, Douglar Fir is suddenly in short supply in the Triangle area. I remember while I was in high school every major lumber yard carried great stacks of DougFir. You could always count on West Durham Lumber, which sold out in Novemebr to Talbert's Lumber from Roxboro.....Talbert's is not going to stock finish grade DougFir. After many miles and calls we found what we needed and headed back to the jobsite. The three us us spent the rest of the day ripping ply, fir and mahogany. Cutting finish angles and placing trim and siding was the end of the day.

For once the weather folks were correct for Friday's forecast. Friday morning at 4am the thunderstorms started with a vengence. Thunde, lightning, heavy winds and buckets of rain. I knew we would not make a morning of exterior work. Met harry and Roberto in Creedmoor. At that time Harry's truck clutch started giving him a fit. Here we were, in the pouring rain and falling temps figuring out a broken clutch. We pieced it together and moved on. Harry and Robert went on toward Durham to being laying tile. I headed for a granite yard to find samples for a project next month. It was still raining and the breeze was blowing. I had on my rain shell, but even with that on the driving rain soaked me. I ran the samples by our February client and headed for Durham. It was continuing to rain as I found Harry and Roberto laying out the design for our tile project. It was then I saw that the project had leaked during the night. It will stop as we finsih the exterior trim and flashing. Harry needed some supplies, so I hopped in his truck and made a quick run. It was then I noticed I was not feeling 100%. Returned about noon and wanted some soup. We took lunch at a soup joint in Chapel Hill and went back to work. The rain had stopped, but the temp was dropping! We worked until 3pm. I was tired, not feeling well, frustrated and ready to go home. We left, went by the Pub and I had a shot of whiskey. Came home and went to bed.

The beginning of the week was awesome. The end was wet, cold and frustrating. It happens, but even in that...I love what we do!!

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