Archive for January, 2009

Hosting an ‘Open Hole’ (vs. Open House) Party

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

We were delighted to invite all of our neighbors on Via Sereno and adjacent neighbors on Winchester Boulevard to come to our ‘Open Hole’ Party (it is not quite an open house at this phase in our remodel).

Of the other 15 Eichler homes on Via Sereno, 6 neighbors attended so we were very pleased.  We learned that the largest house footprint on Via Sereno is 3,500 sq ft (ours is 3,048 sq ft).  There were several discussions regarding how the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake shook the Eichlers on Via Sereno and how no windows broke in any of the Eichlers.  One question that we will address is to show the actual composition/layers from the finished floor in the lower level to the raw earth.

Preparation and Set Up

Setting up a temporary table using High Load 40 and a tablecloth on sawhorses.

Setting up a temporary table using High Load 40 and a tablecloth on sawhorses.

We set out the concrete stain samples, high density foam samples, and the re-milled original redwood decking for everyone to view and give us comments on.

Samples of concrete stain colors, high density foam and the re-sawn original redwood deck.

Samples of concrete stain colors, high density foam and the re-sawn original redwood deck.

Temporary mounting for corkscrew (gift from Donna and Mike circa Y2K).

Temporary mounting for corkscrew (gift from Donna and Mike circa Y2K).

Kate and Lucky Star, waiting patiently for our first visitors.

Kate and our Toy Fox Terrier, Lucky Star, waiting patiently for our first visitors.

John Rider's iMAC running ArchiCAD v12 showing the full 3D model of the house for everyone.
John Rider’s iMAC running ArchiCAD v12 showing the full 3D model of the house.

Our Guests Arrive!

John Rider (Jrider + Design) explaining the design to our neighbor, Ray.

John Rider (Jrider + Design) explaining the design to our neighbor, Ray.

Our neighbor, Ned, reviewing the site with author Jerry Ditto.

Our neighbor, Ned, reviewing the site with author Jerry Ditto.

Our neighbor, Eric, discussing the plans with John Rider (Jrider + Design).

Our neighbor, Eric, discussing the plans with John Rider (Jrider + Design).

Jerry Ditto and Ned reviewing rendering with Bryan.

Jerry Ditto and Ned reviewing rendering with Bryan.

Our neighbors, Paul and Siri, arriving with their daughter.

Our neighbors, Paul and Siri, arriving with their daughter.

Pia and Bryan discussing rendering.

Pia and Bryan discussing rendering.

David and Pia's son, Baby Martin, enjoying the event!

Baby Martin, David and Pia's son, enjoying the afternoon.

View of the 'Open Hole Party'.

View of the event.

Bryan reviewing rendering with Diane and Bill Brown.

Bryan reviewing rendering with Diane and Bill Brown.

Our son, Nikolas, with his good friend Ryan.

Our son, Nikolas, with his good friend Ryan.

We enjoyed hosting an event so everyone could see our progress.

We enjoyed hosting an event so everyone could see our progress.

Paul, Dave, Laurie and Robert reviewing the site.

Paul, Dave, Laurie and Robert reviewing the site.

The railing was a nice touch, especially when leaving the excavation.

The railing was a nice touch, especially when leaving the excavation.

After securing the site, Robert and Laurie hosted a wonderful, impromptu dinner at their home in Los Gatos.

Thank you everyone for coming to visit our site!

Waterproofing Completed – Pouring the First Slab on Monday

Friday, January 30th, 2009

The weather continues to be with us – today was a beautiful, warm, blue-sky California day, which allowed the team to complete the waterproofing and prepare to pour the working slab on Monday.  It was one of the warmest days in January for Los Gatos.

Morning break time on the project site.

Morning break time on the project site.

Bryan completed collating the plan set with engineering calculations to submit to the City of Monte Sereno – and then submitted the revised plans before 2:00 pm.  The changes in the plan set included:

  • One concrete wall was removed and replaced with a stud wall.  The wall that was removed was under the north side of the garage wall and affected the weight of the structure (so the engineering calculations relating the hydrostatic pressure were updated by Duquette Engineering).
  • Electric sump pumps located in the south window well and stair well were replaced with drains and overflows going to the sump pit, which has redundant electric sump pumps.
  • Location of the sewage ejector in the south east mechanical room is more precise, as it requires excavation detail.
  • Utility trenches for underground services were changed, as requested by Pacific Gas & Electric.
  • Shower stalls have changed from 36 inches by 36 inches to approximately 36 inches by 40 inches (as requested by Jo-Anne).

Update submitted to the City of Monte Sereno on 01/30/09.

Update submitted to the City of Monte Sereno on 01/30/09.

The waterproofing for the heavy, 20 inch mat slab was completed today.  As part of the warranty from Grace, photos are taken of the installation and reviewed to ensure the installation is as specified.  Bob came out to take photos.  Coincidentially, our plumbing contractor, Wes was on site so we have a quick impromptu scheduling meeting with Tim and Jorge. 

Impromptu scheduling meeting (left/right - Wes, Bob, Tim and Jorge).

Impromptu scheduling meeting (left/right - Wes, Bob, Tim and Jorge).

Given the weather and the progress, Tim scheduled the pouring of the 3 inch protection slab on Monday and Wes will have his crew on site on Tuesday morning to do the plumbing rough-in.

The protection slab will allow Bill Brown’s team to complete insulating the east and west walls, then put the Grace Preprufe 160 on all the exterior walls, and then have the rebar placed.  After that, we’ll be ready to pour the 14 inch structural slab and then shotcrete the perimeter and interior walls.

South window well completed, showing the waterproofing and drain.
South window well completed, showing the waterproofing and drain.

 

Waterproofing completed, ready to pour the protection slab on Monday.

Waterproofing completed, ready to pour the protection slab on Monday.

Bryan was ensuring the site is ready for our ‘Open Hole Party’ on Saturday afternoon and our neighbor, John McLaren, stopped to see the progress.  

John pulls up to the project site.

John pulls up to the project site.

We’re ready for the first showing of our project site to our neighbors and friends on Saturday afternoon! 

 

 

 

 

Our Gopher is Back!

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

It was a beautiful, blue-sky California day.  And our gopher was back.

Our gopher is back!

Our gopher is back!

With all the construction activity over the last couple months, we were sure that we had annoyed everyone, including the gopher in the front yard.  NOT.

It was a bitter-sweet sight this morning – a fresh gopher mound.  (At this point, we’re not going to invest in ‘Gopher John’ to come for a visit.)

We were able to get the invitations to the ‘Open Hole Party’ sent today.  Most via e-mail with hard copy for everyone on Via Sereno.  (Yes, the hard copy had ‘Open Hole Tour’ as the subject line.) 

This open house (or open hole) event will be the pilot – a starting point that we will be able to improve upon.  We have a quorum for Saturday, so it should be fun for all.

Oh … the construction activities?  The waterproofing continued today.  Everything is looking fine.

Waterproofing continues.

Waterproofing continues.

Just need to manicure the construction site on Friday so we can impress our guests on Saturday.

Waterproofing the Mat Slab with Preprufe 300R

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Detail, detail, detail …

Waterproofing is all about detail.  One must take great care to ensure that all the overlaps are done correctly, the seams are taped, and the work is done thoroughly at all times.  And, of course, to work quickly and expeditiously.

Bill Brown's team working on completing the insulating and waterproofing.

Bill Brown's team working to fit the rigid insulation and lay the Preprufe waterproof membrane.

Our site had a number of Bill Brown’s team working in parallel – completing the final insulation placement and laying the Preprufe waterproofing membrane.  Simple yes, margin for errors – zero.

Fitting the rigid insulation.

Fitting the rigid insulation.

The crew completed almost half of the waterproofing on top of the insulation today.  We’re pouring the 3 inch protection slab on Monday.

Half of the waterproofing has been completed.

Half of the waterproofing has been completed.

We’re not insulating the window well or the stair well.

The window well is not insulated - it has geotextile fabric on the top of the crushed rock, even with the insulation.

The window well is not insulated - it has geotextile fabric on the top of the crushed rock, even with the insulation.

Waterproofing Starts

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

We’re now seeing some very visible progress on the site.  Of course, most of the progress is ‘infrastructure’ and, once completed, will not be seen again.

For example, the rigid insulation (Dow High Load 40), is now neatly in place and ready to be hidden by the waterproofing.

Rigid insulation in place over 3/4 inch crushed rock.

Rigid insulation in place over 3/4 inch crushed rock.

As well, the first waterproofing was completed today.  The sewage ejector will be be at the end of ~50 ft pipe runs so it will be ~5 ft below the rest of the foundation.  The exterior walls of the sewage ejector were formed and then, inside of that, the first waterproofing was completed.

We’re using Grace Preprufe 300R under the mat slab and using Grace Preprufe 160 on the walls.

Grace Preprufe 300R, for all waterproofing under the mat slab.

Grace Preprufe 300R, for all waterproofing under the mat slab.

This photo shows the first waterproofing in place, where the sewage ejector will sit.  They poured the ‘protection slab’ over the waterproofing today, so this is progressing nicely.

Waterproofing around sewage ejector.

Waterproofing around sewage ejector.

Placing High Load 40 Styrofoam

Monday, January 26th, 2009

With the 3/4 inch crushed rock groomed for the plumbing drains and the corresponding compaction completed, the crew placed the Dow High Load 40 rigid styrofoam in place.  After taping, they will prepare the Pre-Prufe waterproofing membrane over the styrofoam sheets.

Laying out Dow High Load 40 rigid styrofoam.

Laying out Dow High Load 40 rigid styrofoam.

Bryan and his father drilled a hole and put the 10 ft pole on the temporary site office so it can support the Davis weather station.  This was a two-person job that had to be completed before John returns to winter in Edmonton, Canada.

Pole on temporary site office for Davis weather station.

Pole on temporary site office for Davis weather station.

Bryan’s father, John, struggles with a smile, knowing he returns to Edmonton, Canada tomorrow where it truly is winter!

John on the project site, knowing it is back to Canada tomorrow!

John on the project site, knowing it is back to Canada tomorrow!