Jan 262008

We finally got trenching plans from PG&E, telling us where we would have to dig to connect to the gas and electrical mains. The gas main is all the way across the street, so Brent and his crew came back to dig early this month. Last week, we had the gas main hooked up, even though it was routine for the PG&E crew, it was kind of exciting to watch.

How often do you get to see someone welding on a pipe carrying natural gas at 50-lbs pressure? Can you spell e-x-p-l-o-s-i-o-n?


It was probably safer than it looked, but I’m sure glad nothing went wrong. First, they welded a T-shaped fitting onto the outside of the iron gas line. Then a mandrel with a seal is connected to the fitting, and drills inside the fitting to make an opening into the gas main. The gas line is attached. Lastly, the trench is filled with sand, to reduce the chance of a break if there is an earthquake.

The right-hand photo is the tile we’ve chosen for the floor. Nancy had been planning to use an Italian ceramic that looks like slate, then we went over to Import Tile Co. and found Black Brazilian Slate for under $3 per square foot. In 40 minutes, Nancy scrapped her plans, and chose a half-dozen stone and glass tile types for the floors, entry, bathrooms, kitchen backsplash and skylight on the upper deck. She is a Power Shopper, no doubt about it.

The doors are all installed now, ready for the clear finish that George has been putting on the windows. You can start to imagine the interior now, with slate floors, light colored smooth walls, wood windows and doors. We’re going to use a light-colored travertine for the entry way and 1st floor, which gets the least natural sunlight.

Below is the control manifold for the radiant heating system.


In the mean time, it’s been pouring rain for the last 2 days, with minor flooding in some of the areas around Fairfax. Our house is pretty water-tight, although we have a little seepage down the concrete foundation behind the stairwell, where we have not finished waterproofing the top of the retaining wall. Not a problem.

But the creek through town has been a torrent. The picture below was taken yesterday afternoon. The water is moving about 30 mph, and you can see that it is many feet up the bank, flowing around trees that are normally high and dry. I had to drive across a 6” river of water across the main street on my way home.


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