Archive for the ‘Siding’ Category

Hosting Scott and Sue’s Visit to California

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Scott Andersen and Susannah Therrien flew into San Francisco yesterday and will return to Toronto on Sunday.  Scott, from Toronto, has been involved in the design of our remodel and construction since inception.

Al, Dan and Nep continued on the rainscreen while Bryan ensured we met the remaining obligations under our indemnification agreement with the City of Monte Sereno.

Finishing the Week

Bryan had made arrangements to have yellow and black warning signs made for the two live electric panels.  This morning, he picked up those signs and put one on the service entrance panel outside the house.  The other sign was for the 200 amp electric panel in the East Mechanical room.

We completed insulating the ceiling in the Wine Cellar and Wine Dining today.  The soffit needs to be insulated and that will be completed on Monday.  Next steps with the Wine Cellar will be to use closed cell spray foam and fill the cavity and create a moisture barrier.  The Wine Cellar will be at a much higher humidity than the house and exterior, so we need to ensure that moisture remains in the Wine Cellar.  After with moisture barrier is in place, we will be able to install the radiant cooling panels in the ceiling.

Al, Dan and Nep completed the siding on the East side of the house and started on the rainscreen on the South side of the house.  They will complete the rainscreen on Monday, before the first real rains of the season are forecasted to start on Wednesday.

Spending the Afternoon and Evening with Scott and Sue

Scott and Sue arrived at the job site just after 12:00 noon today.  Bryan took them on a quick tour, during which Scott opened the sliding glass door at the back of the house.  Both Scott and Sue were impressed, with Sue noting that their sliding glass door in Panama could be improved with the controls that we are using in California.

As a visitor, Scott had to go for a test drive in a Tesla Roadster 2.5 Sport, the high performance electric sports car developed by Elon Musk, which Bryan enjoyed too.  Yes, Scott had the ‘Tesla smile’ after his test drive.

Since Jo-Anne was finishing the quarter in Boston and returning to California tomorrow morning, Scott, Sue and Bryan went to Enoteca La Storia.  Bryan showed them the empty bottle of 1961 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon, which we opened at the 50/50 party on April 16, 2011 at Enoteca La Storia. 

After Enoteca, Scott took Sue and Bryan to Steamer’s Grillhouse in Los Gatos, where Scott arranged for a table instantly.  It was a excellent ending to a great day.

Tomorrow, after a lighting design session on the job site, we’re hosting Scott’s 51st birthday dinner at Nick’s on Main

Scott, after pushing the button, watches as our three-panel 24 ft sliding glass door opens.New yellow and black warning sign on the service entry electric panel on the East side of the house.


New yellow and black warning sign on the service entry electric panel on the East side of the house.

Warning sign, in English and Spanish (thank you for the translation Darryl!).New yellow and black warning sign on 200 amp panel door in East Mechanical room.



Completed insulation in the ceiling of the Wine Cellar.


Completed insulation in the ceiling of the Wine Dining. Note the wine racks in the background.


Rainscreen assembly and radiant barrier on the South wall of the house.


Primed furring strips over the radiant barrier create a 3/4-inch air gap for air to flow and to allow the radiant barrier to reflect heat.


Scott, with the 'Tesla smile', after returning the Roadster 2.5 Sport to the dealership on Santa Row.


Scott enjoyed the Roadster!


Sue, Bryan and Scott in Enoteca La Storia, with the empty bottle of 1961 Cabernet from the 50/50 party held there on April 16, 2011.


Bryan explained to Scott and Sue, 'It was a great bottle of wine but ... it was a bit young.'


Everyone enjoyed dinner at Steamer's Grillhouse.


We enjoyed a great bottle of 2005 Altagracia.


Picking Up Our Pink CAT5 and Priming the FSC Siding

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

We moved forward on several fronts today … nothing completed but solid progress.

Submitting a Draft Document to the City of Monte Sereno

The first task of the day was to drop off our documentation to the City of Monte Sereno.  Bryan handed two copies to Howard Bell, the Building Official, who stamped them as ‘Received’ and said he would review the documnet.  Howard will be in a class all day tomorrow so Bryan will follow up directly with Brian Loventhal (as one copy was for Brian).

The deadline of September 29 is looming …

Picking Up Our Pink CAT5

While we don’t need to use pink CAT5 for our C-Bus network, we thought it would be a nice touch to follow the Australian code for lighting controls.  In Australia, pink CAT5 is mandated by the building code.

Bryan picked up 2,000 feet of pink CAT5, which had been ordered through ADI in Santa Clara.  Armed with the pink CAT5 and the ferrules that arrived on September 23, we have all the materials to rough in the lighting control system.  OK, we still need the final lighting design …

Working on the Lighting Design

Bryan is still working on the documentation of the lights in the house.  After the design session with Randall Whitehead last week in San Francisco, Bryan documented most of the decisions.  He needs to finish it off and get the list of lights out to the suppliers.

When going through the Artemide showroom on August 30, 2011, we discovered the Artemide’s Mouette lights, which look like airplane wings or birds in flight.  We couldn’t think where they could ‘fit’ in our home.  On the weekend, when going to the Artemide catalog again, we started to visualize how there could be a series of three individual lights that would like like they were emerging from the lower level (basement) and exiting through the clerestory windows in the atrium.

Bryan gave Scott Andersen and Sue Therrien, who are visiting us on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the address of the Artemide showroom in San Francisco so they can see the lights and then help with the design.

Time to focus on this one …

Priming the FSC Siding

Al started priming the FSC siding yesterday and then Al, Dan and Nep were cutting and installing it.  Al decided it would be more efficient if he and Nep primed all of the siding.  Then, they ccould all work together on getting the siding installed.  Especially since another box of Cor-A-Vent should be delivered tomorrow.

Dan got another couple sheets of siding up today.  These were some of the most difficult sheets of siding as they require holes for the electric receptacles and the air vents.

Lots to do tomorrow.

Especially since Scott and Sue arrive on Friday!

Photo from the Artemide catalog showing the Mouette lights in the San Francisco Airport (SFO). These lamps are very cool ...

Another photo from the Artemide catague showing the asymetric Mouette lamps. Note the glass bridge in this photo.

Our pink CAT% matches the smaller loop of pink CAT5, which was included in our light switches. We can now start wiring the switches together.

Bryan picked up another 5 gallon pail of tinted primer as the FSC siding is soaking up the primer!

Al primes another sheet of FSC siding ...


We're using all stainless steel nails on the exterior so we don't run the risk of seeing nay corrosion caused by nails.


The primed, back and front, FSC siding installed on the West side of the house.

The West wall is looking great after the inital pieces of siding have been installed.


Starting on Our Rainscreen Over the Radiant Barrier

Monday, September 26th, 2011

With the approval of our building wrap by the City of Monte Sereno on Friday afternoon, we started on building the rainscreen over the radiant barrier on the West side of the house today.  Dan Shurter joined the team today and will certainly increase our capacity and accelerate our progress.

Addressing the Issues Relating to Our Solar Rebate

Our rebate under the NHSP expires on September 29, 2011, which is only days away.  On Friday, September 16, 2011, the Building Official at the City of Monte Sereno, Howard Bell, noted that the installation is complete but he would not approve the permit.  Since then, we have been working with the City of Monte Sereno and Pacific Gas & Electric Company to search for ways to connect our solar photovoltaic system to the grid through our temporary electric service but have not been successful.

Bryan met with Brian Loventhal, City Manager, today and Brian requested that we submit a document outlining the situation we are facing, the alternatives, and a proposed solution.  Brian noted that he cannot address the issues relating to our project based on conversations.

So, Bryan focused on documenting the issues relating to our solar rebate and a recommended solution.  He will deliver two copies to the City of Monte Sereno on Tuesday morning.

Starting on Our Rainscreen over the Radiant Barrier

We noticed that the siding on our house was damaged by water and sunlight, and needed maintenance.  To address this, we decided to extend the roof overhang as much as possible and to use a ‘rainscreen’ to reduce damage caused by moisture.  In addition, we included a radiant barrier to reduce the cooling load in the house.

While researching radiant barriers, we learned that a radiant barrier is not effective without a 3/4 inch air gap over the radiant barrier.  This ‘fit’ well with a rain screen design as the back of the siding needs to be exposed to air.  We found a product, Cor-A-Vent, that could go at the top and bottom of the wall that would allow air, but not insects, to flow through the air space.

For siding, we worked with Robert Spaulding (Roseburg Forest Products) and Chris Tritschler (Channel Lumber) to specify and source FSC siding that would be the closest match to the original siding that Eichler used.  Note that the original siding is still on the structure, it is under the Tyvek building wrap and the radiant barrier.  As well, Chris provided the FSC furring strips for the rainscreen.

Front view of the rainscreen design. Air enters at the bottom and flows out the top. Furring strips every 16 inches on center.

Detail of bottom of rainscreen, showing how air enters through the Cor-A-Vent.

Top of rainscreen, showing how air exits.

FSC siding from Roseburg Forest Products.

Roseburg Forest Products' chain-of-custody number is stamped on each sheet of siding.

FSC furring strips, primed and ready ...

Radiant barrier at front of house.

Furring strips on 16-inch centers on West side of house.

Fresh air intake (bottom) and exhaust air (top) that supply air to, and exhaust air from, the house. These air flows go through our heat recovery unit in the Air Handler room.

Detail at top of wall, showing wooden beams above windows.

The first sheet of primed FSC siding is in place.