pretty on the outside

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Apr 292008

Vargas Construction is finishing the exterior stucco today, and here are a few pictures. What surprises me the most is how different the finish looks at different times of the day. Above, you see the house early in the morning, and the stucco looks like a nice medium gray, with slight sage green tint. But during the day, under direct sun, it’s a lot lighter.


Here is the work underway, and the final result on the 3rd floor deck. It’s pretty bright, under direct sun. Nancy wasn’t completely happy with it at first, because it looks awfully light. But in the morning and evening, it looks great, and the color seems to compliment the bronze and the cedar accents nicely. I’m also happy because this color will help keep the house cool during the summer. We don’t have any air conditioning, and it regularly hits 95°F or even 100° midday during July and August. The window system will help keep the house cool…but I’m glad we don’t have a darker color that would absorb more heat.

(Note the beautiful bronze paint job Nancy and I did on the spiral staircase 🙂


This last shot not only shows how bright it can look, but how hard the Vargas crew works. These guys rock.

In the mean time, George and I are priming all the sheetrock walls in the house, and starting to paint the final colors. Steve and Tom Tillson have come in to built our interior stairs, the plumbers are finishing the radiant heating system, Division 7 is waterproofing the shower in the master bath, and I’m working on the cable railing. I’ll have more pictures shortly.


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Apr 122008

Finish details are appearing as we push towards our move-in date. We hope to be in the house in early June, and that will require completion of the kitchen, a bathroom, exterior deck railing, working doors and lighting, and a safe stairway. We have a lot to do, and I’ll be taking time off work to do as much of the finishing work as I can. I’m already acting as the project manager, with a PERT chart scheduling the subcontractors, showing dependencies, etc.

Over the last two weeks, we’ve seen the drywall crew complete most of the mud and taping, the stucco crew have applied the “scratch” coat and the “brown” coat, and the elevator and garage doors have been installed. For the first time this weekend, the house is an enclosed, contained structure that we can lock up at night.


Here are pictures of the elevator installation. You can see steel channels bolted to one side for the lift mechanism, with the hydraulic ram and cable that raises and lowers the cab. The next picture shows the frame that the elevator cab is built on.

The finished product is on the right. We got bronze hardware to match the windows and door fixtures. The elevator is made by Savaria Concord, and Nationwide Lifts did a great job of putting it in for us.

This makes our house accessible for our parents. It also gives us a way to get the kitchen appliances up to the 3rd floor!

Below are some pictures of the drywall and stucco crews, both hard at work and taking their lunch break. These guys worked long days, and one full Saturday, to get the job done while the weather was good.



Right now, the garage ceilings and the exterior railings are all painted, and we’re ready to do the garage walls and start painting upstairs when the walls are ready. In a week or so, I hope to be starting to assemble and install kitchen cabinets, having someone start the bathroom tile work, and installing the cable railing for each deck. And we’ll be working on the interior stair way before the end of the month. I also want to have a working toilet this week, so we can have the fence and porta-pottie removed from the front of the house. Our neighbors will probably appreciate that 🙂

No time to rest.