Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene and other roofing matters

small puddle.

leak above.

We are pleased to report the house survived nicely through out the storm.  Like an expectant father, I woke up at several points during the night on Saturday PM/Sunday AM to check on the upstairs and on the basement.  Thankfully, all was well.

We did discover several leaks, however.  We are assessing the damage today--hopefully with the roofer who installed the new roof back in October of 2009.  See older blog post for more info and judge the confidence we have on his abilities to repair his own work....

UPDATE!  The roofer came by and patched the roof.  A few details:

We thought we were buying a 1.5 year old roof installed properly ...  we had a letter of guarantee  ...

It was installed as per the previous owner's instructions.  Apparently, he did not want it "heat" applied, so it was put on with adhesive only, over basic tar-paper, nothing special.   OSB was substituted for the plywood called for on the invoice--my guess it was the roofer here, trying to save a couple of $$.  Finally, upon examination of a section of roof cut out for the solar fan, the nails used were not galvanized nor roof nails...

There are many ways of doing something, and construction is no different than software programming in this regard.  so, buyer beware... 
The roof membrane had come detached from the parapet wall.  So, a patch is being applied over the parapet cap.

Again, in the rear of the house, same issue--the original "new" roof membrane had come detached

And around the hatch...

Finally, a couple of seams were patched.  Louis, holding the torch and roof membrane, made good on his guarantee.  BTW: that is a 1400+ degree Fahrenheit propane fired torch...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

choosing tile: Tile World--Flushing, NY

Although the color on the image is a bit washed out, the basic matching can be seen.  We chose the mosaic for the back-splash, the slightly grained composite floor tiles, against our "rye" stained maple flat-front kitchen cabinets.  Tile Floor: Provenza--an Italian quartz-composite tile, with 40% post-consumer content; Back-splash: Hirsch Glass Cabinets: KraftMaid; Counter-top: Quartz Surface by allen + roth (Sage Surfaces) Sugarbrush color

Tile World in Flushing is perhaps the best showroom for tile we have come across so far in our travels--NYC and beyond.  Yesterday marked our third trip to the tile-meca to finally purchase.

TW has good service and a HUGE selection--two floors of tile, and downstairs, there is a kitchen cabinet showroom. KitchenWorld.

Our sales person was attentive, and patient--although, as we were undecided in many cases, she buzzed off to take care of other customers in-between her attention to us.  It all worked out in the end.  Tile purchased, and samples in hand for Salem, our contractor.

When we first looked at kitchen cabinetry, we sat with a TW/KW designer, and mocked up our kitchen space.  The pricing was reasonable, and the available selection was pretty decent.  Although ultimately we went with Lowes for the extended no-cost financing options, the folks at KitchenWorld were efficient and friendly. 

Bath tiling decisions next....

Saturday, August 20, 2011

sustainability vs. practicality

In construction, there is going to be waste product.  Traditionally, the industry scraps over 30% of what comes onto the job site.  Up until recently, most of this waste material--packaging, broken items, left-over wire, ends of wood scrap, nails, screws, etc, etc.--wound up in a landfill. 

I am happy to report, the practice of not recycling the waste or not wasting in the first place, is slowly falling out of favor, for a multitude of reasons.  But, sustainability is not the first on the list. 

Generally, the first priority is to maximize use, thus maximizing profit. Engineered pre-fab houses or parts of them--framing sections, for example--are great ways to maximize the material use, and minimize waste, since the pieces are assembled off-site, in a highly engineered and controlled environment.  For example:

Low energy consumption processes and careful use of materials to limit waste and scrap are only part of Topsider’s commitment to sustainability and resource conservation

Now why do I mention this?

In the upcoming posts, I will be detailing the reasoning behind why we chose certain materials, our struggles with waste creation and disposal, and my feelings about the Reno-construction industry as a whole.  Please stay tuned!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Early August, and the windows go in; framing takes a back seat to the unpacking

The window installers came by last week, and did a quick, efficient, and bang-up job of placing the nine replacement Pella Impervia (a fiberglass composite window).  The crew of three (contracted by WindowRama) arrived early (before 7am) and were done by 2pm.  They installed new aluminum flashing and caulked the install perfectly. 
Window Information

Installer Crew

Final install

Monday, August 1, 2011

time for a brief update, post-move

Seeing it's been over a month since we've checked-in with you all, here is a simplified pictorial version of what has been going on with the house renovation, beginning with the move:

According to this Chinese calendar page, July 28th was deemed a good day to move--and apparently, get a hair cut.  So we took this as a good sign and moved on the 28th.

Yes, they were our moving crew.  Nice guys; move took 8.5 hours, and every inch of the truck... 
First floor, middle room, before move...
After move...
Polly enjoys the yard in the AM, Saturday, July 30, 2011, two days after the move.  Notice Verizon came in and relocated the diagonal wires--well the most offensive ones anyway...

Framing comes along slowly upstairs; all walls which need to be re-built are now down.

First we clamped off the ceiling supports...

Then we tacked the true 2"X3" pieces together.  Many were twisted; we did our best to try and true them up.  Thanks Nelson for the help!
We went with Kraftmaid (an Elkay company) cabinets from Lowes for the kitchen.  We are still deciding on the color.  More on the  decision  to use Lowes in a later post.
Polly meets with Jim, the Lowes kitchen specialist.  For nearly THREE HOURS!