Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter (#2)

Well, today is Easter Sunday, and this is the second Easter Sunday that the house has been under construction. Each day there is some visible progress being made toward completion. Last week they started working on grading the back patio area and have mostly finished painting the inside. While they were working on the back patio, they did some work on the back yard in general. The day after they grade the back yard area and knocked down some of the scruffy stuff, we were walking around and found 2 small dead snakes. A good reminder that, at least for a while, we need to be careful around there. The pool house still needs some painting as well as a lot of little details (like baseboard), but that's OK.

Next week we are looking forward to the outside rock being delivered, the stairway treads and banister parts should be installed, the counter tops should be installed, and we might even get a start on laying the flooring. I'll get a picture or two for the next update.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Good news

We did get a bit of very good news that has little to noting to do with completing the house. A week ago, while looking around outside I noticed that many of the larger trees (including an oak that has a circumference of about 12') had not budded out yet, while everything else had. I figured we'd lost them. Looking around this morning I noticed that all but one have come out. I admit the big one does not have a lot of buds, and I'm sure we'll have to trim some of it back, but it is alive.

There were two workers out there this morning working on finishing the window sills. On Monday we are supposed to be up to a full crew working on the exterior of the house with all the scaffolding. I'm hoping that makes short work on covering the ~10,000 square feet of dome with the rocks.

The painting has gone well this week, and it looks as if everything is primed now and they have begun to pain the door frames and base board in some of the rooms. My hope is that they can finish the painting this week and the floor next week. I don't know if that is the sequence the contractor will use, but I think it is close.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Propane Gas is Being Installed

The work crews were out in force both yesterday and today. The scratch coat on the Garage is 100% done and on the pool house is about 50% done. The rest will have to wait for a few days because a) the work crew has most of their scaffolding on another job and b) it is expected to rain some over the next few days. The rock should be ready next week, so as long as the scratch coat is ready by the first of the week there is no delay. However, the main dome still needs the mesh to be applied, which requires that the front porch awning be weatherized and then the mesh can be continued to that as a complete shell.

With the decision made to put the propane tank above ground and behind the solar array, the plumbers are now laying the piping to connect the tank to the outdoor kitchen and the pool heater. It looks to me like the pipe will be finished today and will have to be inspected in the next day or two before it is reburied. While they are working on that, the clean out trap for the main house kitchen has been moved out of the middle of the patio and near where the outdoor kitchen will be located.

The main thing I take away from this post and what has been happening is the stuff HAS been happening and maybe, just maybe, we'll actually make it on the Parade of Homes in early May.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Parade of Homes

The local Builders Association sponsors a Parade of Homes each Spring and Fall. The 2013 Spring Parade is coming up toward the end of April/first of May and our builder REALLY wants the Dome Home to be part of the Parade.It is my understanding that he will be getting at least 2 different work crews to the dome starting on Monday to do painting and masonry work, plus a partial crew to start working on laying out the back patio and fence. If everything goes as he expects things will really be hopping around there for the next few weeks. If it goes the way he wants here is what should be done within 3 weeks (maybe 3 1/2):
  • Interior painting of all domes
  • Back patio poured
  • Outdoor kitchen built
  • Fire pit installed
  • Pizza oven installed
  • Driveway poured
  • Propane Tank installed
  • Counter Tops installed
  • Stairway finished
  • Flooring done
  • Lighting installed
If he can pull all this off, I think we actually have a shot at the Parade of Homes, but I think it is a very ambitious schedule to get all this done in 3 weeks. I really hope everything works out. If they get as many people working as they expect, I will probably be posting every day just to keep up with all that is going on.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Solar Power

Solar Frame photo Solar_Array_frame_web_zps7641aa02.jpg
The frame for the solar array is now in, as is the connection for the Solar Water Heater. We are certainly not going to be fully off the grid, but we hope these will put a serious dent in our carbon footprint. The solar PV array will be about 6m x 10m. By my calculation that is somewhere in the 9-10 kW range, during full sun, so an average of about 3-4 kW throughout the daylight hours or about 30 kW-hr of power daily. It does not have any tracking ability, but should still be very useful.

The inside on the dome has now been primed with tinted prime, so we can start to see the final color of the dome. The rest of the interior walls should be primed soon and then final coats will go on everything.

The stair treads should be delivered on Monday, so we will have a fully functional staircase by the end of the week.

Much design work is happening this week with regards to the outdoor layout. The fence, the driveway, the patio, etc. I am going to try to get a few renderings of the outside of the house done this week.

Finally, I think we have a fairly confident move in date on the first week of May. Just before that the area has that annual parade of homes, which is a chance for the various builders to show off what projects they worked on. Our builder wants this house to be on the tour, so I hope everything will be done in time.