Saturday, August 30, 2008

Even when it doesn't rain . . .

But first, the cistern. This is big. I thought it was going to be plastic, but it's concrete, and in two parts. This shows the first one. It's situated behind the house, next to the carport. That way, it's less likely to interfere with the underground electric and cable. And the underground geothermal. And it connects to the underground water collection system. But I'm getting ahead of myself again.

These pictures are from August 12, 16, and 21.

When I saw this, I thought it might be a place where we could bury the Cardiff Giant. Yes, Mom and Dad, that made more of an impression on me than the Baseball Hall of Fame.

And the cistern is big.

So big they build it in sections.

They seal the sections with green goop.

They use a specialized truck to bring it and place it.

And the truck needs special bracing so it doesn't tip over when the boom is extended. I'm glad the construction is done, so they don't use this board for anything else.

This is what it looks like when it's all put together. And remember - this is only half of it.

This is one of the two roof water washers.

We're scavenging the water that hits the roof and passing it through one of these washers before it hits the cistern. It's like the first stage of a reverse osmosis system - this is where the big physical stuff drops out of the system. The intake and outflow pipes are higher than the floor, allowing us several inches of gunk accumulation before it needs to be cleaned.

How does the water get here? Glad you asked!

It collects from the downspouts and then funnels along the side of the house, and along the back.

Here's the part about the pouring. We have a sidewalk on the front of the house.

And a front porch, and the beginnings of a side patio.

While they were doing all that, they poured the bottom part of the ramp. We decided to have a switchback and extend the carport, instead of having it be an L shape and take up space beside the cars.

They're doing work around the bridge, too. This is a retaining wall. We'll probably try to get some ground cover to hold the driveway edges in place. But it won't be kudzu.

Inside stuff: the tub in the hall bath has been taken over by flooring:

Neat sunlight at 6PM. The floors are not finished yet - they'll glow when they're done. And the difference in shadow height is because the doors slide past one another, and one comes down farther into the beam of light. If they were french doors, the shadows would be the same height.

This is the laundry room. The outside door here goes to the carport. The cabinet will have a utility tub in it. The shelves are for stuff - books, keys, mail coming in, things headed out. In this picture, your back is to the master bath.

Here's the same room from the hallway door. This is where the washer and dryer will go.

These shelves are in the little closet of the master bedroom, the one over the basement stairs.

And here's what those stairs look like. The light over the landing is attached to the bottom of the closet.

Yes, we have a safety wall, and a handrail.

On both sides!

The kitchen is shaping up nicely

and the bedrooms have the fans installed.

And yet from the outside, not so very much different.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Floors and walls

The biggest changes this time were in the floors (hardwood is all down!) and the walls. All pictures are from Friday August 8, 2008.

The cabinets have been delivered, and are mostly installed.

This is where the fridge goes.

Tile on the floor of the hall bath

And the master bath

The master bath has a Smurf crossing marked:

Oh, wait. It's just a seam being held in place.

The hallway in all its glory

(but I found out that the nifty orange that's visible here will be hidden by the door to the computer room. Woe is me.)

This is the angled part of the little closet in the master bedroom, over the basement stairs. The knock-off Croc is included for size comparison.

Bettie makes sure a sliding door does its thing right

This is the view when standing at the kitchen sink.

And from a few inches over, which seems to be preferable to a chunk of window-frame

(yes, that's the front window reflecting in the window. Open floorplans are neat!)

Down in the basement, the electrical panel has been completed, down to the regulation cardboard map

Some of those wires will be connected to the contents of this pile-o-lights

And I'm hoping, real hard, that this isn't the final configuration for the air filters for our system.

On the outside of the house, we have working porch lights

What we don't have is wire. Some enterprising individual snipped a coil of electrical wire from the outside of the house. The builder had to disassemble the wall to patch the wire so it would be long enough again.

These pictures show that we live in the bottom of a sunlight well. The first is the line of sunlight hitting the trees at about 8PM. The second is the wall of trees that blocks the light.

And that's the latest update.

Friday, August 8, 2008

In living color

This post has pictures from Saturday, July 26.  There are two flavors of stuff here, wooden floors and painted walls, with a sprinkling of weather conditions tossed in.

The floors were about half-way done when we stopped in on Saturday.  This one is looking at the dining room from somewhere near the front door.

The stuff under the wood is this:

We decided to get the wooden registers that are flush with the floor, instead of metal registers attached to the top of the floor.  Better looks, and fewer snagged socks when Bettie or I go sliding across the floor.

The gloopy junk that patches the holes is

And the floor looks good, even before it's all down, and before it is stained.

This is where the hallway (wooden floor) goes into the laundry room (vinyl floor).  We call this picture "the meeting of the toes".

Yes, those are flip-flops on my feet.  It was a rainy day, and I didn't want to get my knock-off Crocs messy.

How messy was it?  I think Bettie's qualified to be an off-road racer now.

She's also a window-sill color picker

And a room inspector

Which brings us to room colors.  The blue room above is the spare bedroom.  The orange one is the computer room.  The spare room is all blue.  The computer room is not all orange.  The computer room window faces south, so there will be lots of good light coming into the room.  The wall opposite the window is painted white, to splash the light around.  The wall with the window in it is painted green, to complement the trees and field through the window.  At the carport end of the room is the brown wall, for a nice background to the computer screens.  And the orange wall is where the closet is, to give a splash of brightness to the whole thing.


It wasn't intentional, but the orange wall is visible from the carport door entering the house.  I think that's neat.

For other rooms, we're having a brown in the great room (kitchen, dining room, living room).  You can see that they saved paint by leaving the walls bare behind where the cabinets will be.

The hallway is a lighter brown.  This is the coat closet down near the carport door.

The master bedroom.  I didn't want a light purple, so we compromised on this cream color.

And the laundry room, just inside the carport door.  The doorway you see the edge of here is into the master bath.

Color details may look different in real life as opposed to these pictures.  We try, but the shadings (especially the brown wall behind the computers) look very different based on flash/no flash, outside light, and phase of the moon.  Something like that.