Habitat for Humanity of the Indian Wells Valley
Ridgecrest, California

Construction Project 1, 931 West Oregon Street

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Wall Raising Time Lapse Video

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Truss Raising Time Lapse Video

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Project Reports

Saturday 24 October
Thanks to a great effort, and great food at Crossroads, by Bill Corley’s crew, Breanne, and some of our staff the fence at 931 was completed today, at least 200 lineal feet. The kids pitched in big time. Some work will be needed on the south side to close off the gap below the fence and provide drainage under the fence and gate at the north side while confining Jerry’s dogs; we have old ABS pipe which can be used as culvert at the north side. Ultimately the hinge side gate post needs to be stiffened but this is not urgent.

Friday 2 October
The paving is in, but not extending 30 feet beyond the east property line in a taper, which all concerned thought is uncalled for. Let’s hope the city agrees. No word from Todd Manter; I left messages at his office and home, but we may get an eager youngster Tom Taylor Saturday. We should be able to finish the fine grading on the west side at least to where we will know if we need a small stacked block retaining wall. Then only roof gutters remain before final.

Thursday 1 October
Quirt and the crew from BCI have done a great job fine grading, including the swales and detention basin called out in the plan, and preparing for paveout on Oregon street. This has required a lot more man hours and equipment hours than our previous builds; expect some sticker shock but considering the EXTREME hardness of the compacted fill to be graded and our manpower situation it is money well spent. Pavement was to be placed “this afternoon” but Onstott’s crew had not shown up as of 3 PM. The only fine grading remaining is at the west side adjacent to 935; fortunately the considerable amount of dirt to be moved is mostly spoil from the electric service trench and is not highly compacted. Francisco has offered to help, and I will contact Todd Mather this evening for BHS football huskies.

The sea container has been moved onto the 919 lot; it ended up several feet closer to the power pole than Quirt and I had marked out; it might need to be moved a few feet west when we trench for electric utilities, dragging it requires a big grader. Despite having a nice looking flat area scraped out for it the floor buckled about 2 inches in one spot creating a tripping hazard. I suspect the steel below the plywood floor is badly rusted. I am at a loss how to repair this.

Quirt knocked down the mounds and largely flattened the lot at 1420 Farragut with his grader; his skip loader was no match for the big boulders under the mounds. I have placed a “no trespassing” sign there.

Saturday 19 Sept
With a good crew including Breanne and the “kids” John and Melody we hung all interior doors with permanent hardware, and placed permanent lock sets on all exterior doors. The garage to kitchen door self closes properly with 2 spring hinges, and the outswing door at the storage room has a security hinge. The interior is now complete ; Jerry has a key for final cleaning. Everyone is happy with the carpet and interior. Unless there is a major delay getting contractors on site for finish grading and paveout we should have a final inspection passed by the end of October.

Thursday 17 Sept
The carpet went in as per contract; a nice job. Thanks to “issues at Home Depot” the installer, working alone, started about 1 1/2 hours late, lost about 2 1/2 hours total and did not finish until about 7:30 PM; his boss at Certified Flooring had called about 4:30 saying he should be finished by then. Not possible even with no “issues”. I had to be there 4 times to be sure the right carpet and pad were on site (probably one of the “issues”) guard the site and his tools while he had to revisit Home Depot to get more material, check if he was done before the 6:00 board meeting, and sign off paperwork afterward before he could leave. The workmanship is good; the carpet is a good match to the sample. We are “go” for interior doors and door hardware Saturday. There is lots of water and Gatorade in the fridge.

Saturday 12 Sept
We passed duct leakage test (whew); note Ron Pilling with his instrument, connected and tested the dishwasher, and set and connected the kitchen range. All caulking was completed. We touched up baseboards and trim to be ready for carpet Thursday, but it will need to be retouched as I grabbed the exterior semi gloss rather than interior satin paint. Jerry will do this in the next few days as he has a key. I mounted the bumper for the water heater closet door, noting the stucco is quite fragile anywhere there is not a shear panel behind it. The hinge side gasket on the garage to kitchen door was replaced with vinyl weatherstrip, but the self closing function still looks marginal. The interior and exterior door locks and hardware were purchased. Terry and her helpers came through with great food today including tortilla wraps full of all sorts of goodies. All the drinks and a few food items are now in the refrigerator, and the floors are ready for carpet.

Friday 11 Sept
The last baseboards were set and partially caulked, and both toilets were connected and tested. Tom and Carol were on site; they placed the dishwasher and refrigerator after reversing the refrigerator door swing. It powered up OK; now we can keep drinks cold. We taped off the ceiling diffusers and shut down the cooler for the duct leakage test scheduled for 8 AM tomorrow. If we have time we should check the fit of the cookie sheet closure above the cooler. Tomorrow we should connect and test the dishwasher, clear the floors for carpet, and prepare the bypass doors for hanging after carpet installation next Thursday. There will probably be additional caulking and touchup as time permits. Of note we had great food; chicken salad stuffed tomatoes and Italian ice dessert as well as the usual drinks and snacks. Maybe this will reel in youngsters.....

Saturday 5 September
The last of the vinyl tile was sealed, the toilet set in the hall bath, and the baseboards and vanity caulked there. Of note the fire final inspection was passed Tuesday, after Kern County Fire failed to show up Monday, and they allowed the water heater closet door to swing in the strong wind and punch a hole in the stucco while checking the head there. I have a door stop and backer board to mount there. After work I met Kirsti and Jerry at Home Depot to revisit available carpet after Home Depot sold the carpet they had selected to another party while the measurements for a bid were being made at 931 W. Oregon. The carpet available now at a similar price was much poorer quality; we decided to have Home Depot reorder the original carpet; to arrive Friday the 11th; worst case the 18th. To avoid it being sold again to another party (they say they do not “hold stock”) I paid for the 99 yards of carpet and pad, tack strip, and installation, total $2,238.46 on our credit card. Installation is to take place early in the following week after delivery, Tammy the head of the flooring department (extension 123) will call to confirm. We will of course have to clear the area and sweep the slab where the carpet will be installed. BTW the #%# automated phone system at Home Depot is toast and you can’t get a human unless you know their department’s 3 digit extension; it is to be repaired. Plans are to set the master bath baseboards, toilet , caulk, set the kitchen appliances and cabinet toe kicks, and touch up paint the coming flex Friday and Saturday. That Friday the duct leakage test may take place; Ron Pilling is not sure of his schedule. Once the carpet is installed and cleaned, the interior of the house will be “finished”.

Duke, Frank, and John removed a modest amount of debris from the 1420 Farragut lot. A decision was reached not to ask Monty Boydson to knock down the dirt mounds there until he is engaged in grading at 919 and 931. The grading permit saga continues...

Friday 4 September
We had a great turnout including several BHS Habitat club members, and hence not only finished the shear panels and top plate nailing but also bracing the exterior walls for straight line and stability for rolling trusses, and added the porch post and beam. The trusses are to be delivered next Friday; we should be able to complete layout of their locations on the top plates, build a catwalk and vertical support for the north gable end truss, and make everything ready for erection by noon Saturday. We should be able to erect the small garage trusses and add blocking if we have extra time and energy Saturday. Bill will have his crew ready the following Saturday the 20th, and I will call the Seabee contact John Learman has provided. With a few Seabee folks and maybe a BHS football player or two we should have all the trusses erected that day, given good weather and light winds. Strong winds would make it too dangerous. I will bring the two rolling scaffolds, these may be useful in the garage and living room areas though they are not as stable as I would like for a big guy.

Many thanks to Kirsti and the BHS Habitat club for their cash donation, with which I bought Bosh auger bits, a high quality 6 foot level, Ryobi drills, an impact driver, reciprocating saw, spiral saw, and pneumatic 18 gage brad nailer with their Li-ion batteries and chargers, plus a 120 volt electric plane. Also a drill kit with 5 each of the small (frequently broken) sizes and a panel carrier for extending one’s arm. Tom owns several of the same tools, and showed them to the BHS Habitat club girls. I have used the drills, recip saw, and impact driver on site and found them to be quite good tools; the only issue is that the drill chucks do not grip small diameter bits well. For larger drills and hex bits no problem; fine for drywall fastening. The impact driver is great for 3 inch deck screws, OK for 2 1/2 inch SDS screws for hold downs, but too light for the 5 inch SDS screws for Strong-Walls. The batteries hold a charge amazingly well at least when stored in a conditioned space; even those I have not cycled showed “maintenance” rather than “charge” when placed in a charger after at least 5 months. These batteries should not be stored in the sea container or trailers.

Friday August 28
I made the gas connections and added the baseboards in the storage room and laundry area. Of note early on the overhead light in the storage room was intermittent- might want to check the switches and connections. I noted that the shower would probably leak at the pivot point- the instructions showed that assembly incorrectly. and the plastic drip edge was cut too short; this was corrected easily as the cutoff was found. The shower door went together easier and has a better design than previous ones. John and Jerry finished the tiling in the kitchen/dining area and the entry, and have 5 coats of sealant on the hall bath tile. 8 boxes of tile are not quite enough; I bought another box for the master bath. Note John in Navy shipboard mode with a mop and bucket cleaning the hall bath tile prior to sealing. A fan sped the drying after cleaning and sealing. J.B. Hunt delivered the 3 kitchen appliances right on time, complete with a range gas connector and dishwasher water connector which should be suitable.

I spoke with Matt Keith the architect after finding no plans for 919 on file at City Hall; he expects to have plans “for a permit” there by next midweek and a PDF file E-mailed to me. Hopefully Bill Burke’s grading plan survives scrutiny next week. I have alerted Monty Boydson that we may have a grading permit soon for 919 and we will need paveout at 931. Cross your fingers....

Saturday August 15
With the help of one of Bill’s crew we finished all the walls. Even board member John Learman swung a hammer to good effect. I forgot my camera, but Bill’s crewman had his DSLR and saved the day. He hopes to program an intervalometer function into it and set it up on a tripod atop the sea container to capture the action tomorrow automatically. I believe we have all the supplies needed to raise all the walls time and manpower allows; we have another EZE-UP to set up at the west end of the sea container and I will bring the round ice water cooler and big rectangular cooler. As of now I have not received any word of who is coming outside of our usual volunteers other than Peter Woodman but expect a good turnout of Bill’s crew.

Saturday August 8
The finish electrical was completed and the cooler was finished and started. All the interior plumbing was completed except the water heater tie in, and the furnace supply, flue, and combustion air supply were connected. The tub and showers were operated and cleaned. Next Friday the water heater, furnace condensate drain, and gas connections should be completed and the sinks water tested. If no leaks that cannot be quickly fixed appear the outswing door thresholds can go down and vinyl tiling can start Saturday. I am planning to do a Sierra Club hike Saturday unless major problems appear. Breanne came through in the clutch to tape and seal joints in the furnace supply duct where I could not reach; note how she could get completely behind the furnace. This has a larger cabinet than previous ones. We need to locate the furnace 2-3 inches farther back in the future to allow easier access from the front and sides, which would make the supply duct transition easier also, and recruit a younger slimmer worker for this task (hi Tom Taylor). We had a super lunch, which together with the cooler really energized the crew. Of note none of today’s pictures were on the memory card but were in internal memory, not viewable in the camera but recoverable with a USB connection-???. Our management team came out for motivation also, note “the boss” watching progress.

Saturday July 25
Steve has about 85% completed finish electric with help from Breanne and John, and I am well along with under cabinet plumbing thanks to Kirsti who could squeeze into the vanities to change out a couple of water supply hoses, one with the wrong size fitting and one maybe a half inch too short. The vanity tops are caulked and the tub and shower units spotless thanks to Frank and the ladies. Jerry caulked and painted the bypass door tracks and eave fascia; he and Kirsti will pick out carpet, pad, and vinyl tile soon as we have agreed on cost guidelines. Thanks to heroic digging, or rather chipping, by several of our crew and Francisco I erected our new Habitat for Humanity sign. Jerry suggested we should have available for partner families small signs they could post saying their house is a Habitat for Humanity home; he would like to post one. Next flex Friday we should complete finish plumbing and electric, and set the water heater and cooler. The weather forecast is for 102 with 20% thundershowers Wednesday through Friday with high humidity through the weekend; we will no doubt want to run the cooler. I would expect the following Saturday vinyl tile laying can start. We were treated to an A-plus lunch with baked beans and YUMMY boneless broiled chicken breasts with brownies and all the trimmings; maybe this will entice the youngsters to show up...

Saturday July 18
Jerry painted the exterior trim and caulked around the HVAC diffuser boxes, and I set some of the diffusers and the vanity tops with faucets and drains, and the side splashes. Tom fitted the kitchen sink with its fixtures, and finished all the cabinet details while filling in Jerry with vinyl tile installation. Steve is well along with finish electrical. We had enough lightning in the area to keep this interesting. There is plenty of work remaining in electrical; with luck we may have the cooler set and running next Saturday. Great food as usual; hopefully a couple more able bodies appear next Saturday.

Friday July 17
A very productive day. Jerry primed and painted the exterior trim around doorways, Tom and Carol completed the kitchen countertops, range hood, and vent, and I set the vanities and bypass door tracks. The furnace is in place thanks to a couple of able bodies; I took measurements and dropped off a sketch of the required supply duct adapter at Campbell’s and picked up the ceiling diffusers. Frank and Carol sweated buckets cleaning the floor slab where tile is to be laid, but still smiled. I plan to set the outswing door thresholds tomorrow at which point we will be ready for tile. Jerry needs guidance to pick his color. I bought the remaining finish plumbing parts and plan to make up the kitchen sink so Tom can set it. Depending on energy, people, and desire we can set the vanity tops with their plumbing accessories, or get and set the cooler and/or water heater. Steve has his parts to start finish electric; skilled help would be welcome.

Saturday July 11
I finished the closet shelves and poles, and trimmed out the tub/shower units in both bathrooms, while Tom and John Learman had way too much fun with the kitchen countertops. Our new oscillating saw proved useful. Note the contortions in the photos. They are perhaps 75% ready to set; I am confident he will have them set during the next flex Friday/Saturday work period. That’s the last we will see of Tom until after Labor Day. I expect to have vanities from Lowes during the week, and hopefully set these, the furnace, and water heater (hello Tom Taylor and Josh) that work period. Jerry did not make it; there is lots of touch up painting to do. Frank did a great job cleaning up inside and out while Carol and Breanne scrubbed the slab in the areas to receive vinyl tile. The fiberglass tub/shower units can use a good cleaning. Go team!

Friday July 3
We finished the interior painting; Jerry has come up on the airless spraying learning curve with coaching from Duke. We used about 28 gallons, leaving Jerry about 2 gallons for touchup and an unopened 5 gallon pail that I will store in my cool “almost basement” for the next house. Toward the end we were using less paint and getting a more even application than yesterday and this morning. I gave Jerry a current La Habra color chart for stucco; as soon as he makes his choice I will get Bowling Brothers on it now that the concrete flatwork is done. Desert Garage Door can install the rollup door almost immediately after for full security. Tom will lay out for cabinets next week; hopefully I can get some help from him early next week to put in the up-dux so Comfort Zone insulation can do the blown in attic insulation. H.S.I can now final out the fire sprinklers. It’s coming together. Now if we can get a grading plan for 919.....

Saturday June 27
Tom set most of the kitchen cabinets while the ladies hung most of the window blinds. I added the outside hose bibbs and most of the interior water stop valves while Steve got a god start on finish electrical, especially in the kitchen and garage. Caulking and touchup painting is ongoing as the extreme heat and low humidity are causing miter joints to open up. The furnace is on site; I plan to set it next Friday/ Saturday and finish the plumbing sufficient for water test. Duke has instructed Jerry on painting the outside of the exterior doors and their jambs and stucco mold now that the color coat is on. Hopefully by the following work day, July 11, we can set and run the cooler. This should be OK even if the ceiling diffusers and furnace supply duct adapter and damper are not in place. We had an eager crew and great snacks and lunch, despite the heat....

Thursday June 25
The “French vanilla” stucco color coat went on; surprisingly Bowling Brothers does not recommend water mist curing. The blown in insulation went in; R-28 minimum, I have the certificate and have forwarded it. I have alerted Desert Garage Door; they will install a basic 8 foot rollup door probably after July 6th when their next shipment of doors comes in. Tom has started setting kitchen cabinets; we should continue with these, finish electrical, and finish plumbing Saturday. Also exterior paint touchup and doors, and painting the water heater compartment, missed last week. Next flex Friday and Saturday we should be able to set the cooler and furnace.

Saturday June 20
We finished the interior painting; Jerry has come up on the airless spraying learning curve with coaching from Duke. We used about 28 gallons, leaving Jerry about 2 gallons for touchup and an unopened 5 gallon pail that I will store in my cool “almost basement” for the next house. Toward the end we were using less paint and getting a more even application than yesterday and this morning. I gave Jerry a current La Habra color chart for stucco; as soon as he makes his choice I will get Bowling Brothers on it now that the concrete flatwork is done. Desert Garage Door can install the rollup door almost immediately after for full security. Tom will lay out for cabinets next week; hopefully I can get some help from him early next week to put in the up-dux so Comfort Zone insulation can do the blown in attic insulation. H.S.I can now final out the fire sprinklers. It’s coming together. Now if we can get a grading plan for 919.....

Tom and I installed the up-dux; blown in attic insulation is scheduled for Thursday morning. Tom will lay out for cabinets midweek (I will be hiking Wednesday) , Steve will wire the kitchen outlets in advance of cabinets; hopefully we can at least bring the cabinets in and check them out if not start installing them Saturday. I have alerted H.S.I and am awaiting their schedule to finish the fire sprinkler installation, and am awaiting Jerry’s alternate choice of stucco color coat; his first choice id “French vanilla” for Bowling Brothers to finish stucco.

Friday June 19
Cory Lara’s crew completed the concrete flatwork as well as backfilled the gas service trench adding the requested sand shading above the poly pipe. They were well on their way at 7:00 sharp; I believe they had concrete arriving at 5:45. The finish is excellent; I sprinkled the surface before leaving around 2:25 and asked Jerry to do so several times in the next few days.. They repaired minor damage to the cooler chase from a close encounter with their Bobcat.

Duke remasked the windows with help from Tom, and Jerry sprayed the first finish coat on all but the bypass doors, and a second coat on the garage, living/dining, kitchen, and kid’s bedrooms walls. We have about 12 gallons of paint to finish the job. It appears to me that there may be issues with uniformity of sheen, Duke will be there for coaching tomorrow. We should complete the interior painting tomorrow, and perhaps exterior painting of the exterior doors. Final painting of exterior door trim should be done after the stucco color coat as stucco finishing tools are dragged over it. I have a current La Habra color chart for Jerry to choose from; the color coat can go on next week. Up-dux can go in as soon as we are happy with the ceiling, followed by ceiling insulation and trimming out the fire sprinklers.

Saturday June 13
Thanks to the same great help we had yesterday we hung all the ceiling and a good portion of the walls, especially closet spaces where we could use a lot of cutoff pieces of drywall. Note Breanne pitching in. This kept everyone busy till midafternoon without having to haul in more drywall; I am told High Desert True Value will get the material in stock next Wednesday for the remainder of the 114 12 foot sheet order. Note the feeding frenzy at lunch; great food; I have some leftover muffins and cookies in the freezer for next Saturday. If we get the same crew then we should finish the drywall.

Friday 12 June
Meeting Cory Lara this morning, the stars aligned and he was able to set line and grade from the drawings I have and the property corner monument at the northeast corner of lot 23 (919 W. Oregon) ; his string line passed under the small white trailer, no need to move it. Checking against existing curb on the north side of Oregon reviled parallism within 1/2 inch. Forms are set for inspection by Larry the assistant city engineer tomorrow. We exposed the existing gas stub and the conduit entries into the garage with hand digging (I got a good workout); Cory’s very agile Bobcat backhoe made quick work of the remainder. It should be inspected by PG&E late today or tomorrow; another miracle was getting a quick response from Richard the chief PG&E planner. The trench bottom is clean with no rocks; we may or may not need sand “shading” for the plastic gas line, hopefully the inspector will be in a good mood and not require it. Of note the existing stub was not sand shaded. I surrounded the trench with caution tape and our “no trespassing open trench” sign.

A minor glitch; we are required to have 400 square feet of off street parking, and now for the first time a 6 foot long transition from sidewalk height to driveway apron; earlier 5 feet sufficed. Making the driveway width 12 feet rather than the 14 foot full width of the garage front elevation used at 935 W. Oregon, which will allow the driveway to be straight and perpendicular to the street, falls short by 1-3 square feet depending on the exact length of the apron, dictated by its slope requirement. To be certain of meeting the requirement we would have to angle the driveway by 1 foot east. Board members, your thoughts?

Meeting Cory Lara this morning, the stars aligned and he was able to set line and grade from the drawings I have and the property corner monument at the northeast corner of lot 23 (919 W. Oregon) ; his string line passed under the small white trailer, no need to move it. Checking against existing curb on the north side of Oregon reviled parallism within 1/2 inch. Forms are set for inspection by Larry the assistant city engineer tomorrow. We exposed the existing gas stub and the conduit entries into the garage with hand digging (I got a good workout); Cory’s very agile Bobcat backhoe made quick work of the remainder. It should be inspected by PG&E late today or tomorrow; another miracle was getting a quick response from Richard the chief PG&E planner. The trench bottom is clean with no rocks; we may or may not need sand “shading” for the plastic gas line, hopefully the inspector will be in a good mood and not require it. Of note the existing stub was not sand shaded. I surrounded the trench with caution tape and our “no trespassing open trench” sign.

A minor glitch; we are required to have 400 square feet of off street parking, and now for the first time a 6 foot long transition from sidewalk height to driveway apron; earlier 5 feet sufficed. Making the driveway width 12 feet rather than the 14 foot full width of the garage front elevation used at 935 W. Oregon, which will allow the driveway to be straight and perpendicular to the street, falls short by 1-3 square feet depending on the exact length of the apron, dictated by its slope requirement. To be certain of meeting the requirement we would have to angle the driveway by 1 foot east. Board members, your thoughts?

The last interior trim, except the base in areas which will get vinyl tile, was placed, and all trim was caulked and nail holes filled. We should be ready to start masking windows and finish painting the interior next flex Friday and Saturday; the steel exterior doors still need a TSP washdown. With an eager crew we finished before lunch. It is forecast to be HOT; hopefully we can start before 8 AM. We have a full bundle of base; the small amount of random length loose material at Home Depot was beat up and would have cost only about $7 less than the bundle, (assuming I could find enough usable). 6 sticks should be enough to prepaint together with the 1 piece loose in the living room. The top and bottom of the interior doors are primed together with the shelf supports. The melamine coated shelf material is cut to fit and marked, it should not be painted except the cut ends just before final installation.

Friday, 5 June
Most of the baseboard in areas to be carpeted is in; I bought the jamb material for closets and shelf melamine clad material together with the last 2-0 bypass door slab. All but one jamb piece is in. Toward the end of the day our Ryobi cordless brad nailer stopped auto feeding; the driver blade will not retract on its own to allow the next nail to move into position. After some misunderstanding at Home Depot and me speaking to the Ryobi east coast headquarters the assistant manager went beyond the call of duty and exchanged our nailer for a new one (free exchange is good for only 90 days; limited warranty is 3 years, it was purchased last year). Home Depot is the authorized center for warranty repair for Ryobi tools; what I was told initially, that they are not, is incorrect. We owe them thanks. I suspect a return spring broke; maybe due to too much shock at the end of the stroke, we should set the pressure to where the nail is just sunk properly. It’s not a heavy duty tool.

We had just John Learman, Jerry, and myself today; we will have 4 tomorrow at least for snacks. Great food today. I only snapped 2 pix as we went all out with the finish carpentry. We should finish this tomorrow, leaving the melamine shelves loose after cutting to size as they do not need painting, likewise the baseboard in tile areas. This should be marked on the back for location, and finish painted with the rest of the interior and the bypass door slabs. With luck, Jerry can start finish painting next Saturday.

30 May
Hooray, Mediacom is back from the dead. Thanks to a large and really eager crew and plenty of food and drink we set all the interior doors and cased all but the inside of the water heater and furnace closets. Also we got a good start on baseboards. I donated a new Graco spray gun with which Jerry painted the sea container with Duke’s expert coaching beginning at 7 AM. It looks great; Jerry would be happy with it in his backyard (chuckle, chuckle). He is now fully able to operate and maintain our airless spray equipment. A surveyor, BJ Tucker, from Inyokern visited the site briefly this morning; I had spoken to him earlier to arrange a Thursday meeting at the site with all the notes and plans from Bill Burke’s earlier work with us, to see what he can do for staking curb/gutter/sidewalk at 931 and possibly preparing a grading plan for 919. Hopefully this will happen Thursday; I will be out of town Monday and Wednesday. No word yet from two civil engineers in Tehachapi and Bishop; these would be much less convenient to work with. With a bit of luck we should complete interior finish carpentry next flex Friday and Saturday, for painting the following Saturday.

23 May
Steve and I purchased all the interior prehung doors , 5 of the 6 bypass door slabs, and all the long length casing, base, and windowsill stock as well as the door casing sets; this material is inside the house. With Jerry and Frank’s help we set 4 of these doors, cleaned up the rough openings, and primed the bottom edges of the doors (the faces are preprimed). With a couple more eager beavers we should complete the interior prehung doors next Saturday. The remaining jamb, track, door, and shelf material I can get as needed without needing the trailer. The new (BHS H4H club donated) 6 foot level was a great help; I expect several of the new (BHS H4H club donated) tools will come in handy as work progresses, as well as the cordless air nailer for casings. We have enough tools to have 2 door setting teams working simultaneously. Go team....(Thank you BHS H4H club for the tool donations, WOW!!!!!!!!Emoji

Saturday 16 May
Thanks to Duke’s tutelage and an eager crew we completed the drywall priming; both Brieann and Jerry cut their teeth on airless spraying. The drywall mud, tape, and texture job was quite good. We used close to 25 gallons of primer; I expect a similar amount of finish paint, to be applied after we complete interior doors and trim (almost all of this is pre primed). Next flex Friday and Saturday we will need plenty of eager beavers to start this, especially early Friday to help me get the material. I will be out of town Thursday. Thanks to the food ladies we had plenty of lunch even though more crew showed up than I expected, a good thing. All the Gatorade left from previous weekends was drunk, about 8 bottles of water remain. I will bring my 5 gallon water container with ice next time. The stucco base coat was applied Wednesday when I was out of town hiking; it looks good.

Tuesday 12 May
A light orange peel drywall texture was completed today; looks good, I have the key loaned to the workers. Examining the “fossil record” of paints remaining from 935, Behr Premium Plus satin interior tinted “cotton whisper” was used inside while Behr Premium Plus exterior flat tinted “Swiss coffee” was used outside. Behr has changed their paint formulations and names since. A Glidden interior satin paint on sale could not be tinted to a similar color; another Glidden tint base which could was only about $10/5 gal. cheaper than the new Behr formulation which replaced “premium plus”, and was rated lower by Consumer Reports. Hence I purchased 20 gallons of the new Behr satin tinted “cotton whisper” and 15 gallons of Glidden PVA drywall primer. There is about 3 gallons of PVA primer and a similar amount of “cotton whisper” remaining from 935; these should be usable in the garage. Of note there are now 5 gradations of sheen; gloss, semi-gloss, satin, eggshell, and flat for these paints.

Hopefully Duke and I can check out our airless sprayer Thursday and get it ready; I have purchased a new .015” wide fan tip, face hoods, pump armor, and masking supplies. Jerry is eager to start on masking and priming; another body or two would help keep everything going. We have plenty of goggles and face masks for those near the spraying operation. ATT00001.jpeg

Thursday May 7
This morning about 10:15 the second coat of mud was on in the garage, the tape and first coat of mud was not quite done in the house, with only 1 man working. Given the weather forecast it is unlikely, but not impossible, that we could prime drywall Saturday. I have canceled food for Friday and Saturday; there is Gatorade and some snacks available in the sea container.

Monday May 4
This morning I added a few missing screws, trimmed some loose paper and plastic, and stuffed insulation above the head jamb of the garage to kitchen door. Bowling Brothers had patched the lath at the west master bedroom window early this morning. Lath and drywall inspection was passed before noon; the new inspector Dale, 661 364 6773 had not called. I spoke to Hernandez drywall, who will meet me at 8:00 tomorrow and will try to have mud/tape/spray completed and dry Saturday; no guarantees. I left a message for Bowling Brothers they are go for stucco. I have a call into Dale to ask if dual flush toilets are legal, and if hard wired with battery backup smoke detectors (which we wired for) are now prohibited; a note at the building department counter says only 10 year lithium battery powered smoke detectors are accepted in bedrooms, but “hard wired is acceptable in the hall”. One wonders how the requirement that all detectors sound if one detects smoke or CO is now met.

Saturday May 2
We completed checking and fastening drywall today before lunchtime; it’s ready for inspection. Midafternoon Danny from Bowling Brothers Plastering called and expects to patch the lath around the reset window first thing Monday morning; I’ll call for lath and drywall inspection Monday after 10 AM. If passed (almost certain) Hernandez drywall should be able to start mud/tape/spray shortly; with luck it will be dry by Friday or Saturday. We would then be able to prime the drywall prior to starting interior millwork. I’ll keep everyone posted.

Saturday April 27
We managed to hang all the drywall despite delays obtaining material. Quite a bit of work remains setting all fasteners properly below the surface, and a bit of cleanup of corners. The west master bedroom window turned out to be out of square enough to prevent the sliding unit from sealing properly. We had to cut away the stucco lath and reset the window; it appeared that the adjacent shear panel protruded into the rough opening slightly, and rather than trimming it as necessary the window had been forced in out of square. Fortunately no damage to it; it is now set properly; we need to check our windows carefully. I will let Hernandes Drywall we will call for inspection after next Saturday. Bowling Brothers plastering will be out of state for several weeks; I’ll let him know he needs to patch the lath. I hung the door from the garage into the kitchen and installed a temporary lock (not keyed alike to the others) to secure the house; no more birds. The garage is open for Hernandes; I have an extra house key for him. Great food as usual along with plenty of drinks, and Brieann provided good help.

Thanks to help from Steve and Jerry I picked up the kitchen cabinets from Home Depot after the usual frustrating delay; once the paperwork was straightened out the lumber area workers were very helpful. It turns out with carful arrangement of the cabinet modules like a Chinese wooden puzzle they fill our trailer completely with no chance of jostling around; Bill Corley’s truck and trailer was not needed. Jerry and I had them in the warehouse by about 4:00. No apparent damage and all 19 modules were received, but as Tom feared at least one door shows a big knot; he usually is able to select modules from stock to avoid this.

Saturday April 18
High Desert Home Center never received any drywall; with the help of one of Bill Corley’s crew I picked up 24 12 foot sheets at Home Depot, after a long wait with 2 others in the loading area who did not seem motivated to clear the way. With only about half the crew we had last Saturday there was enough material on site to keep them going until we returned, and we completed hanging all the walls where 12 foot sheets made sense in a long day; I was there until 4:30. Everyone had a good time; we had great food and plenty of cold drinks; it is getting warm. What remains can be completed in 1 day with 8 foot sheets and cutoffs. David, Breanne, and Jerry pitched in; Jerry is getting good with a Roto-zip. A big hand for Bill and his crew...

Yesterday I got a call from Home Depot that our special order cabinets came in, a week ahead of schedule. These need to be picked up next flex Friday and stored in the warehouse. WE should make a careful check of our fastening of the drywall, and should be ready for drywall and lath inspection early the following week; then on to stucco base coat and mud/tape/spray on the drywall.

Saturday April 11
Thanks to the same great help we had yesterday we hung all the ceiling and a good portion of the walls, especially closet spaces where we could use a lot of cutoff pieces of drywall. Note Breanne pitching in. This kept everyone busy till midafternoon without having to haul in more drywall; I am told High Desert True Value will get the material in stock next Wednesday for the remainder of the 114 12 foot sheet order. Note the feeding frenzy at lunch; great food; I have some leftover muffins and cookies in the freezer for next Saturday. If we get the same crew then we should finish the drywall.

Friday April 10
We had a great crew and great food; hung 55 or so sheets of drywall. which went smoother than previous houses; some of Bill Corley’s crew had previous experience with drywall. Due to mixups at High Desert Home center we do nor have our full order of drywall. We got 75 12 foot ceiling rated sheets last week and are invoiced for 81; I had ordered 114 sheets as well as 15 8 foot sheets of moisture resistant drywall; this last was delivered. Just after we finished today I checked at High Desert; they then had 16 12 foot sheets not marked as ceiling rated. My suggestion is to hang all the ceiling including closets, bathrooms, and garage with the ceiling rated material before running out of it, then get what High desert has to use on walls; if we still have energy remaining we could get more from Home Depot. The moisture resistant drywall cannot be used on ceilings, but goes on the bathroom walls around the tub and shower, and the lower course behind the vanities, washer/dryer, kitchen sink, and dishwasher. My camera, which had been showing problems with the lens retracting and extending for some time, has finally died.

Saturday 28 March
During the week the wall insulation went in, and the fire sprinkler plumbing was tied in and tested; presumably passed as I have not been informed to the contrary. Six BHS football huskies showed up with their own shovels and did a great job backfilling the plumbing trenches. Our partner to be Breanna together with Duke and Dave pitched in; it was completed well before noon. We were able to feed them snacks and drinks but they left before the pizza lunch. Steve, be sure to forward this E-mail and my thanks to their coach. I added the last bit of pipe insulation and called for an insulation inspection Monday. Jerry and I used our new cordless brad nailer (cool toy) to furr out the exterior door jambs to meet the drywall.

Checking with High Desert home center; indeed they only have about half the 12 foot drywall in stock that we need. and with the head man out no one could assure me that they would have enough for delivery prior to next Saturday. Home Depot does not deliver drywall. Hence I told Bill Corley, who needs to know this evening (before Sunday service) if we would be ready, that we would be hanging drywall the following flex Friday and Saturday. Both Steve and Tom Taylor should be available then (not this coming Saturday). We can do prep work next Saturday; checking out of line studs and protrusions, getting fasteners and tools ready, and perhaps paint the sea container. If we are burning with energy we can get 8 foot sheets and green board in my truck, and do the bathrooms.

Tuesday 17 March, 2015
Lathing is underway at 931; will probably be finished tomorrow. I have requested a 3 cu.yd. dumpster from Waste Management to be delivered tomorrow, about $162 per month, 3 month minimum, first month billed in advance. It will be emptied once per week, 500 lb. weight limit (no concrete rubble). This is the same service we had at 935, slightly higher cost. 3 months should get us through lathing and stucco, insulation, drywall, and finish carpentry, e.g. most of the bulky debris . Tomorrow A.M. Tom and I will round up as much Styrofoam lath scrap as possible into a couple of trash barrels I have, to be emptied into the dumpster when available as strong winds are forecast.

Monty’s backhoe operator is in the hospital, hence no trenching, no word when he will be able to work. Chuck Cordell is a possibility if Monty is delayed more than a couple of more days. The pipe and fittings are ready for sewer and water connections.

I spoke to architect Matt Keith this afternoon; he apologized for not letting me know progress on plans for 919 (4 bedroom garage left); he had received my Feb. 20th E-mail request. He believes he can get plans through Bakersfield plan check in time for a building permit before 1 June. He is as much in the dark as I am for costs of upcoming code changes but thinks “people will step up to help Habitat for Humanity build”.... I mentioned the need for a Title 24 page covering a forced air furnace and evaporative cooling (again); he thinks he can work this through his outside consultant for this.

I mentioned the retroactive requirement for providing for a future tankless water heater that Chris the inspector laid on us at 931; he said this is incorrect and that requirement should be applied only to tracts mapped after the code change (2013?). No big impact to provide this at 919; cost is less than $15, but I wonder about the precedent it sets.

Friday March 13, 2015
We set the water heater compartment door surprisingly easily, flashed and trimmed all the exterior doors to be ready for lath, and added nailing for ceiling drywall along the gable end walls. No drywall clips needed on this house. Monty did not trench; he has not replied for when he will do so. We finished before lunchtime today with great help from new SEABEE volunteer Mike Schwenk, another tall strong youngster for drywall. If we get the trenching done early next week we have a shot at insulation the following week and drywall the 27th and 28th.

Saturday 28 February, 2015
Steve completed rough electric. All the plumbing is still holding pressure; I’ll call for inspection Monday. Several BHS Habitat club kids showed up and did a great job cleaning up the site and scraping/wire brushing rusted areas of the sea container with Chris and Frank providing direction, as well as securing loose seams in the HVAC insulation. All set for Jerry to pressure wash and airless spray paint the sea container. Procuring exterior doors at Home Depot was a hassle, taking well over an hour. The wind made it difficult to handle doors but we managed to set the front door with much difficulty with twisted and out of line framing, our electric plane will be needed before drywall. We had planned to make the doors from the garage into the kitchen and exterior inswing doors for better flow; just as well we did not set them as there may be a conflict with countertops we need to resolve, in any case all the doors should be set after next Saturday. A new food volunteer provided a great lunch and snacks; the kids did not stay to enjoy lunch.

Saturday 21 February, 2015
We had a large turnout including 2 young ladies Porcia (18) and her sister Rochelle (17) and nearly completed rough electrical. More than enough great food was provided. The PEX plumbing is holding pressure. With the great help of Yom Taylor I added “deadwood” ceiling drywall nailing on some partitions parallel to the trusses. I have a couple of video clips of Tom in action on the deadwood with the palm nailer. I’ll get a little new 2X4 and 2X6 material and finish this next Friday; drywall clips will be needed only on gable ends and perhaps the water heater closet. W can start on windows and exterior doors the upcoming flex Friday and Saturday, finish the electrical, check taping on the duct insulation, fill the DWV plumbing with water, and call for inspection. Monty, who is out of town next week, should be back the following week to trench for water and sewer connections; when water is available the fire sprinkler system can be connected and tested. Note John holding a moldy $10 bill found under the lumber pile in front of the house; a new donation? What disinfectant should be used?....

Saturday 14 February, 2015
All the remaining wiring including low voltage was run today, but per Steve’s request the 120 v. wiring was not staples or stripped. Just Bob Westbrook, Jerry, and I managed it, Duke for pix and thanks to Marty Corzine for yummy sandwiches. With luck we will be ready for inspection following next Saturday.

Friday 13 February, 2015
With a good crew including “real” electrician Darrin Rigney we ran more than half of the Romex wiring; we should finish tomorrow. Steve would like us not to staple the Romex or connect the grounds, just in case something needs to be changed. Lots of good food, thanks. I finished the last of the plumbing insulation and nail protection, and added the flex ducts for the vent fans. Dave swept floors and Frank had his 500 watt smile, as usual, together with lots of help. Go team!

Saturday 7 February, 2015
Thanks to a large eager crew we placed all the electric boxes well before noon, hence snacks but no lunch. I pressurized the water entry- no leaks; I had brought all the supplies I have for leak detection- none needed. Tom Taylor helped finish the pipe insulation; rough plumbing is now completed. I have received an estimate for insulation, showing $110 additional for the garage walls. 6 12 foot sheets and 2 8 foot sheets of drywall should do the walls; with supplies for mudding and taping, corners, etc. perhaps $185, Jerry being willing to do the mudding and taping. An agreement was reached to add this cost to the price of the house vs. coming out of the $1000 allowance.

H.S.I. is scheduled to install the fire sprinkler plumbing Wednesday; they should finish that day. Plans are to pull wiring next flex Friday and Saturday. We should be ready for the “4 way inspection” by the end of the month, ready for doors and windows, lath, and wall insulation.

Saturday January 31, 2015
I finished the PEX and water entry, on air test found and repaired a solder joint leak with the assistance of new volunteer Darrian, but we were not able to find another tiny leak with soap solution. Some framing cleanup was done and the sewer cleanouts added. I plan to ask H.S.I. to start their fire sprinkler plumbing next week; that plumbing should not impede finding and fixing the leak. With a full crew including Darrian who is a professional electrician we should get well into electric next Saturday assuming H.S.I. is finished. With 100 PSI of air and a thicker soap solution we will hopefully find the leak; if not my 2015 HFHIWV donation will be an ultrasonic leak detector; these are well reviewed for tiny air leaks. Connecting city water is a last resort as it is difficult to dry the system out to allow reflow of a solder joint leak, and the danger of a hard freeze still exists. Only 3 BHS kids came; they did a great job of rebuilding the swale and berm between 935 and 931 but left before even having snacks; hence we had a lot of good food left over. Since young ladies have better high frequency hearing than old guys, if one can be enticed to listen next Saturday they might find the leak; one did so on a previous house.

Friday January 30, 2015
With an eager crew including new volunteer Tom Taylor we ran almost all the PEX water plumbing. and added blocking for stucco lath at the porches, as well as furring around a window and door, and sway bracing at walls parallel to the trusses. Tomorrow we should finish and air test the water plumbing, and be ready for H.S.I. to run the fire sprinkler plumbing next week. A bit of good news: Ron Pilling was able to get a Title 24 document properly addressing our combination of a forced air furnace and evaporative cooling. now calling for a HERS duct leakage test as was done on the previous 2 homes and not refrigerant charge verification, after a week of negotiation. New requirements will be in force for our next house at 919 W. Oregon; hopefully these will soon be clarified. No word yet on the number of BHS kids for tomorrow.

Saturday 24 January 2015
We had a great day with both partners Brieann and Jerry, and a new volunteer Tom Taylor showing up as well as the regular crew including Dave and Duke. We had a super hot lunch- thanks. We finished the duct wrap, Steve got a good start on electric junction boxes and I ran the hot water PEX tubing; I had installed the tub/shower valve assemblies and the water heater manifold midweek. Tom Taylor was a great help drilling holes for wiring, pulling PEX, and adding blocking; a strong youngster eager to learn and able to help midweek at least for now. Being certified as a Sysco network technician and hoping to get a job on Center as an IT trouble desk worker (poor guy), he might be able to help with office computer issues. He may wish to apply as a partner, along with a worker at Desert Industrial. Note VP David sweeping floors. Frank turns 80 on the 27th; cheer him on. Now you know why we need young blood; Tom and Joshua....

Sunday January 17, 2015
Duct insulation was nearly completed; to finish we need to buy more material. Blocking of diffuser boxes was completed, and the toilet flanges were grouted in. All the PEX to copper stubouts for fixtures and the water heater are in place and the tub/shower trees are made up ready to go in; I hope to do this midweek so we can start running PEX next Saturday. We can go as far as the water entry but this cannot go in until I get an answer on the need for a pressure regulator as this cannot be installed with the entry in place in the stud cavity. The water entry must be in place before HSI can install the fire sprinkler plumbing, which needs to be in place before electrical.

Friday January 16, 2015
The last of the duct taping was done and a good start made on insulation. The toilet flanges were set and the HDU4 hold downs installed, along with blocking on all 4 sides of the diffuser boxes. W e had a new volunteer who really got into duct insulation. The copper water stubouts are placed; tomorrow I hope to secure these and install the tub and shower valves together with the water heater supplies. STILL no word from Matt Keith the architect on the Title 24 document or the building inspector on pressure regulator requirements.

Saturday January 10, 2015
We had a good turnout including the new partner, and both Duke and Dave, who pitched in, (note Dave’s dual hat for safety). We completed the HVAC duct installation. cooler chase, and DWV top out. Next flex Friday and Saturday lots of duct sealing and wrapping, toilet floor flanges, a little blocking and framing cleanup, and starting the PEX water plumbing. Lots of good food appeared, and Duke took some prize photos.....

Saturday, December 20, 2014
Thanks to a large eager crew the roof was completed and a good start made on HVAC ductwork. SCE set a new pole with transformer next to the existing one a few days ago and energized our panel-no more drawing power from Kim. As usual Duke took lots of pix; a few attached. The new partner Breann helped in various ways. I managed to plumb the trap and drain for the tub/shower unit (always frustrating) and start on the shower. Fortunately the walls are straighter than in past houses. Plenty of good food appeared. Consensus is no work next Saturday; after the New Years day bash the following Thursday we might be able to work that flex Friday and Saturday if we are not too inebriated. So far our safety record is spotless...

Saturday, December 6, 2014
Those working today were Bob Westbrook, John Learman, Jerry Wuest, David Mechtenberg, Frank Buffum, and Breiann Martquez (a working mom with 4 kids and the newest partner family whose house we will be working on next). Tina Rockdale provided super morning snacks and a great lunch. Kirsty Smith, Principle of Murray and on the Habitat Board, came by to see if we were really working. Several rows of roofing paper and shingles were put on and the place cleaned up. Frank "supervised" and took photos to prove that we were there.

Friday Nov 21
Tom and John got a good start on the black iron gas piping; Tom is training John in the fine art of cutting and threading. Carol stained the garage portal. I located the furnace return air opening in the closet and made up the plenum, to drop in tomorrow. More than enough good food for 4 folks; there is enough drinks and some snacks remaining for tomorrow. Maybe roofing material delivery tomorrow, but forecast too windy to start if it arrives. No clue if anyone will be working the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but probably not many.

Wednesday Nov 19
Our inspector OK’d the roof after noting the truss clips and sway braces on the longest truss webs at the front of the building, and a casual inspection of the roof deck nailing. The issue of Structural Wood Systems being a certified truss fabricator had been resolved between Gary Alred and him previously; it seems that a typical bureaucratic paperwork and computer update snafu had happened. The diagonal braces I had installed were indeed “overkill” but better than another delay and hassle. The roofing material is to be delivered mid day Thursday; remembering the biltz build I will check to see the proper material is being delivered. We will not have Steve or Josh, and Tom only one day; we need all able bodies over 18 for roofing.

SCE came out at 8:00 sharp and “mandrilled” the conduit using a aluminum slug about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 4” long, pulled through with our rope and retrieved with a long piece of 5/8” webbing. They used a long fish tape to thread our rope through; didn’t need my Shopvac. In the future we can do something similar using a short piece of 2” PVC pipe as a slug and call it “mandrilled”. The original engineering study only considered the load of 935 W. Oregon; now it seems a transformer will be required at the pole near the handhole box to supply 931 also, in turn requiring the existing pole with all its phone and cable TV services to be replaced. This won’t happen until mid to late December at the earliest. I caught the drift that SCE would rather not energize our service until the house is finaled, but they would “put it on the schedule”. We should either pay Kim a modest amount for power used by our compressor during roofing, and perhaps chop saw and airless sprayer later on, or use our generator.

Saturday Nov 15
Thanks to great help by the BHS football kids the cable TV conduit was added and the trench was fully backfilled. The remaining exhaust fan was installed and all the sheet metal exhaust ducts were brought up through the roof. Truss clips and H1s were added in order to satisfy the (premature, in my opinion) inspection requirement, holes were drilled for black iron gas piping, and a start made on the cooler chase. I plan to add additional truss bracing Monday so hopefully we can clear up inspection issues with an on site meeting with Gary Alred , owner of Structural Wood Systems our truss fabricator, the inspector, myself, and hopefully Dave Mechtenberg. Time is not firm as Gary is negotiating with the inspector; hopefully Wednesday. Goal is to get roof deck signed off in time to get roofing material loaded before flex Friday. I had planned to add most of this bracing, clips, and H1s after the roof was on and the trusses had taken roof dead load deflection, in order to get required bearing on the garage east wall. I shimmed the trusses at the wall to get bearing now prior to adding the H1s. Fortunately despite this the ceiling plane will be more true than on previous houses; the truss camber is more uniform. Some truss lower chords are toenailed to interior walls where they were in contact even without roof and ceiling dead load; clips totally redundant there.

We had great food to energize the kids; many thanks. Duke snapped lots of pix but about half were no image as were all I shot later, and every test shot here this evening. Note Steve humping loads of dirt to aid the kids. Looks like the almost 20 year old Kodak which has been through hell has finally stopped clicking...

Nov 10
Monty returned at 7:00 sharp and completed the trench by around 8:30; the ground was extremely hard for most of it. For the last 10 feet or so approaching the entrance panel I got some good upper body workout with my heavy mattock (the HFHIWV one is way too wimpy) to remove a big step in the trench to allow a smooth curve in the conduit, which still had to bend more than I had thought possible. Jerry was a great help gluing up and placing the conduit; definitely a 2 man job. Duke came by to snap pix and offer helpful advice. Monty thinks it will pass; I have left messages on landline and cell for the SCE planner Hugo Ayala (cell 760 317 7404) asking for an inspection and OK to backfill. The SCE office on S. China Lake Blvd. was closed for “unresolved facility issues” as well as the holiday; I have left a message for Duke to follow up tomorrow as I will be hiking. I have called City Hall for building inspections of our roof deck and the service entrance panel, and left the green ladder behind the garage for roof access. If everything passes we should be able to partially backfill for phone and cable TV conduit placement and hand dig the last bit at 45 degrees to the main trench for these to reach the pole Thursday and/or Friday, and fully backfill Saturday, hopefully before someone falls in the trench.

Clearly we will need lots of able bodies for all this; I’ll know Thursday if it’s a go. BHS football prime beef-here’s your chance to impress. Worst case there is plenty of fan duct and furnace flue/air supply top out, blocking, and sheeting the garage gable end and a 4 foot section of the south gable end for the cooler chase Saturday. The laundry exhaust fan, garage gable vent, and continuous ridge vent material have arrived. Hopefully next flex Friday and Saturday on to roofing and maybe gas piping if we have the appropriate crew. BTW tonight’s sunset was cool, a pix to add to the trench pix.

Sat 8 Nov
I topped out the DVW plumbing today, and Monte dug about 2/3 of the electric service trench; he plans to start at 7 AM tomorrow to finish it. As expected he could not trench a straight line near the garage wall, having to reach in from beyond the north and south garage walls. Hopefully the 3” PVC conduit will make the bend, if not we will have a lot of hand digging. With Jerry’s help mid morning I plan to try to place the conduit; if successful I will call for the SCE inspection along with a city inspection of the roof deck and service entrance panel, hopefully Wednesday while I am off hiking. Steve will check availability of BHS H4H Club members and footballers help for Saturday. If we really luck out we may be roofing the following flex Friday and Saturday; the continuous ridge vent material has arrived.

Friday 7 Nov
Over Friday and Saturday the finish fascia was added, nailed off, and painted together with the eaves and rakes. Note our president pitching in. Most kitchen cabinet blocking was added, bathroom vent fans, water heater flue, and dryer vent installed, and a start made on DWV plumbing top out. No word yet from Monte on trenching for electric service. I plan to finish the DWV top out during next week, maybe with a bit of help from Tom the kitchen range hood and bathroom fan ducts through the roof so we can get a roof deck inspection next week. There are hints of a big change in the weather the week of Thanksgiving; maybe we can be roofed by then. Many thanks for good food; we have a health conscious crew. Fruit, vegie salad, omega-3 trail mix, home made chili and rolls went quick.

Sat 1 Nov
The electric service entrance panel was set and wired for a garage GFCI outlet. No word yet when Monty will trench for service conduits. Thanks to Tom having painted the finish fascia material Friday a good start was made in adding it; fastening it with my light duty nail gun. Tom nailed off the roof sheathing with the heavier donated gun (thanks Russ) ; it’s very easy to miss the bird blocks without knowing it, especially where some are too close to the wall line. With a bit of rework and topping out the DWV plumbing and vents next flex Friday and Saturday we should be ready for roof deck inspection the following week. I will get bids from JB wholesale roofing and Home Depot for roofing materials. A good start was made on blocking in the kitchen walls for cabinets with help from Jennifer and her dad; there is lots of blocking to do in various places. A cool day, more than enough Gatorade, food quantity was just right. Next steps are roofing and installing the fiberglass tub and shower units with their drains, and running black iron gas, just in time for Bob Westbrook’s ability to get into tight spaces....

Sat, 25 Oct
All the eave and rake framing and sheathing is in place, and almost fully painted. Nailing of the roof deck remains to be completed; the donated nail gun can be used with due care. The seismic anchors at the gable ends are in place, and the garage door opening is trimmed out. This should be allowed to fully dry (and shrink) and the screws retightened before painting. All the electrical conduit material, and the entrance panel, are on site awaiting trenching. We had a good day with a cooling breeze, not strong enough to be a problem, and both Duke and Dave came out and pitched in. We had super food for the crew, including home made cranberry bars; many thanks. Note in the pix how Frank loves painting...

Fri, 24 Oct
A warm day but no wind; we were able to paint/stain most of the eave and rake framing, and add most of the show board. We should be able to finish the remainder fairly quickly before the forecast strong winds, after which there is plenty of blocking and connections from the gable end trusses to the shear walls to add. The finish fascia can also be pre painted if the wind does not raise dust. We has plenty of Gatorade and snacks; there is enough left for tomorrow. Dave rounded up plenty of lunch. As usual Duke got incriminating photos, a few attached, after straightening in Picassa. I will get the remaining PVC conduit tomorrow to be ready for electric service trenching, which hopefully will happen late next week. We have plastic snow fence which can be used as a temporary barrier on top of the trench spoil along Kim’s property , as well as caution tape, for safety until backfill.

October 18
A good day with a couple of extra folks who were very helpful. We trimmed most of the truss tails, added as much sub fascia and a bit of barge rafter as we had usable material for, painted the show board which will go on the eaves, and added it on the west garage eave after painting the structure, ahead of trenching for electric service which will make access difficult there until inspected and backfilled after conduit placement. I will mark this out Monday, right now Monty is busy but possibly it can be trenched next week. I plan to buy lumber and paint midweek to allow completing the eaves and rakes, and mounting the electric service panel, the upcoming flex Friday and Saturday. If Monty can trench next week I will try to set the panel first, possibly with help from Tom. Be warned, I showed Duke the movie mode on my old Kodak camera, it works, now no one is safe. Download the free Apple Quick Time player to view these. Altrusa provided more than enough food, including home made peanut brittle (yum, yum, note the feeding frenzy) ; none went to waste as leftovers were taken home by several.

October 11
We managed to complete sheathing the rear portion of the house and nearly complete the front portion including the garage, despite a setback with staggering joints, thanks to several extra folks showing up. Perfect weather held with no wind; the structure is now stable for anything but extreme wind. We should finish sheathing, trim rafter tails and outlookers, and maybe add some sub fascia and barge rafters next Saturday, and start painting these. Duke came out and took lots of pix, a few attached.

October 10
A good day; we added 3 courses of sheathing on the long east side of the house after truing up the north gable end, adding outlookers, and spending some time getting the first course in a true line; our chalk line had drifted (all it takes is a tiny splinter sticking up). Once done, the rest of the sheathing went up “ lickety-split”. Note the stylish hard hats. We should finish or close to it tomorrow if the wind stays low as forecast. Plenty of food, just enough Gatorade. We had 5, maybe 1 more tomorrow. Forecast is a few degrees hotter tomorrow. Go team!

Report made Sept 26
Thanks to Bill Corley and crew and several able bodied volunteers rounded up by Margie Schultz the trusses went up in record time. No wind, fairly cool, perfect. We even managed to get hard hats on most of the crew. Most trusses did not have excessive camber which made lining up double trusses and getting the required intermediate bearing fairly easy. Kudos to the Altrusa ladies who brought out lots of great food, drink, and ice to keep the crew energized. After erecting the trusses we added the rat runs to stabilize the lower chords and most of the bird blocks at the eaves. Next flex Friday and Saturday we should finish truing up the gable end top chords, add permanent bracing, finish the bird blocks, add outlookers for the rakes, and maybe start sheathing the roof. Once we have some sheathing on to make everything stable we can snap chalk lines and trim the rafter tails for the eaves, and the outlookers for the rakes, before adding sub fascia and barge rafters. I will get some new straight ? 2X4s for this. As usual Duke took lots of pix, 154 and one of Bills crew took a time lapse series of the whole operation which should make a cool video. Note the small American flag added to the temporary support for the south gable end, celebrating topping out just like the big steel...