Sunday, March 25, 2007

Take a look

Finally, a couple of good photos of the pretty much finished exterior. The only thing missing is the first floor deck and soil fill / landscaping. These photos taken on an overcast day tend to make the siding look grey, but it actually has a tinge of green in it.

One thing not visible at all is the newly installed geothermal heat pump system, including three 300' deep wells in the back yard. The wells serve as the heat exchange tool, meaning there is no exterior condensing unit whatsoever. No noise to hear while relaxing on the rear deck, except for the occasional chatty Tufted Titmouse.

Now I'll have to come up with some kind of scheme for actually spending time relaxing on that deck! It will be much easier to meet that goal if we have lots of friends visiting, so come on out to take a gander and we can all relax together.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spy photos

Here are a couple of photos I received from my contractor's cell phone camera. Not quite the same as being there in person to see, but not bad for a long distance love affair. This view is a little deceptive because I've yet to bring in fill dirt around the house. That dirt will make it look much less tall once installed.

This shows the Knotty Alder front door. It also shows one heck of a big step off the front porch, which will be eliminated after I install the fill dirt. Hopefully I'll get some better photos within a few weeks, but for now I'm working away in D.C., making some money to help pay for this place.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

New Orleans, again

Last year I interrupted the steady stream of Wimberley postings for a different sort of construction story. Last week I returned to New Orleans again to continue the rebuilding work, so once again these pictures are not of Wimberley. The drywall being installed is not at our Wimberley house. (Although having this crew working there would have been great!) This first photo shows us putting up a new drywall ceiling in a small community center in New Orleans' 9th ward.

What really struck me about the trip this time was that is wasn't mainly about construction, although we did do some of that. It was more about our group of friends (2nd photo), actually enjoying ourselves in a weird sort of way. Discovering together that:

  • Old ceiling framing is never straight
  • People really DO fit 3,000 SF of stuff in 800 SF houses
  • Our group could win an Olympic snoring competition

I had the pleasure of working with one of my oldest friends Mark (he's not really old, just a long time friend). Here we are taking a photo break after several hours of ceiling work. We managed to escape New Orleans with only relatively minors dings and scratches, although Mark's small head wound did provide a little excitement for awhile. I really enjoyed meeting several people for the first time, and it amazes me that we could work side by side, all day, as if we had years of experience together. And even after long work days, we were able to enjoy each other's company in the part of New Orleans that people DON'T wish they could forget about.

And the last photo shows the biggest difference from the last trip, at least for me. My sweetheart Ann went along on this one, and thank goodness for me she was truly glad that she went. Here we are at the dinner table after a hard day's work. Note that she's sporting some mega-sized mardi gras beads which were an award for her presence as a newcomer. Ann blesses so many parts of my life, but I never expected her to bless the construction part of it!

Hopefully my next posting will show a Wimberley house which looks completed (at least on the outside). For the next few weeks I'm stuck in Washington DC on a work assignment, and being away from Wimberley has never been harder. Rumors are that the exterior really is complete.

Spring time in Wimberley, snow in DC. I'm in DC. What is wrong with me?