2012 Home Renovations – Part 31 – The Pool Liner is In

We came home from a week in Puerto Rico to find some minor updates had been made and that our pool liner had been in stalled and water was trickling in.

The sandbags are to hold the liner in place until the water can come up to that level and do the job itself.

Also the Fastlane has been installed

Michelle has some concerns about the liner color, but you can already see how it changes as the water is added.

Here is a nice overview shot from the sheltered part of the patio.

The screens in all these pictures look blurry because it’s actually pouring rain as I take these shots.

2012 Home Renovations – Part 30 – Driveway Prepped and Poured

2012 Home Renovations – Part 32 – Usable, final punch lists outstanding

WIN!: Amusement Park Ride WIN

My advice? Make this the last ride of your day. Otherwise your day is gonna be a lot shorter than you wanted….

I think I could have done this with no problem when I was in my 20’s. But my organs have enough “give” these days that I’d spend the rest of my day trying to shift them back into place.

Of course that won’t stop me from going on…  in a heartbeat!

FAIL Blog: Pictures and Videos of Owned, Pwnd and Fail Moments

via WIN!: Amusement Park Ride WIN.

WIN!: Stair Design WIN

One complaint about complying with the laws that accommodate the disabled is that they can make buildings unattractive and unwieldy.

You can either whine about the need or you can embrace it. I can’t say that the “unwieldy” aspect has been resolved but IMHO this bit of creativity certainly addresses the attractive part…

FAIL Blog: Pictures and Videos of Owned, Pwnd and Fail Moments

via WIN!: Stair Design WIN.

The insanity of outdoor lighting “standards”

Maybe I’m missing the boat here. We want to install outdoor lighting fixtures. Of course these installations need to be waterproof – at least between the base plate of the fixture and the junction box.

Can anybody tell me why it is that you can only buy 4 inch outdoor junction boxes, yet nearly everybody and his dog makes their fixtures with a 5 inch or greater base plate?

It seems the only fixtures I can get that will mate up with the junction box and be guaranteed to pass electrical code inspection are ones that are designed for use in or around barns or industrial areas. This is fine if that is the look you are going for. Unfortunately that look does not at all complement our vision for our back patio.

I *could* buy the larger light fixture and silicone the hell out of the back so it would certainly be watertight, but that seems ridiculous and may or may not pass inspection.

Both my contractor and my electrician have lamented the silliness of it all. Apparently, if anybody could make 5 inch outdoor junction boxes they’d make a fortune as this is a common issue.

Does anybody know more about this where they could offer some sage advice?

Call me frustrated


Bros: Bros Poop More Wisely

This is chronic debate fodder for the sexes. I’ve never really understood why the ladies don’t just check before using the facilities. ESPECIALLY if they’ve ever fallen in before…

The rule has to be that the responsibility has to lie with those who have to suffer the consequences (applies in all areas of life).

Of course guys, it’s just good form to put it down. Get one of these to help

FAIL Blog: Pictures and Videos of Owned, Pwnd and Fail Moments

via Bros: Bros Poop More Wisely.

2012 Home Renovations – Part 30 – Driveway Prepped and Poured

This post comprises 3 working days on the project. The first and last days were too small for me to want to post separately about them and they are all related.

On Friday (April 27) the driveway leveling was completed using the bobcat which was also used to tamp it down.

One of this project’s goals were to change the grade of the driveway such that the top portion would be on less of a grade than before to make it easier to get into and out of a car if you were in the turnaround pad and to make it easier to load and unload any vehicles near the house.

We also widened the driveway such that we can now park cars along one side while allowing other cars to get past them so that people should no longer need to park in the street when we have guests over.

To accomplish both goals consumed all of the earth dug out from the back yard and necessitated the creation of the modular retaining wall to accommodate the extra dirt used for leveling.

A pleasant side-effect of needing a place to store the dirt was that the grass / weeds in the front yard have largely been obliterated and we now have a clean slate to start again with either some more robust (and slow growing) grass or something completely different.

Also on this day the outside portion of our old half-bathroom window was covered over by some vinyl siding that was repurposed from some other part of the house. A quick pressure washing will have it looking ship shape. The entire deck area will be pressure washed shortly to get rid of most of the dirt and grit from the construction work.

On Saturday the cement trucks arrived. I think it took a total of 4 of them for this pour. I was very happy to be around for the whole job this time. The first truck had trouble backing up the grade of the driveway and eventually gave up and the next truck came and did it. I’m not sure if this is to do with the skill / aggressiveness of the driver or just the treads on the tires but it was something to watch the truck rev up and then hurtle its way up the driveway.

The cement was much courser than that used on our deck

As usual, the J&A crew worked like a well oiled machine. Everybody seemed to know what to do and where to do it. It was a marvel to see them in action

While the cement pour was going on, Michelle was meeting with a Landscape Architect (Jim Collins). He was supposed to review the entire yard, front and back and create drawings that we could use to fill our now barren areas. Unfortunately he found the cement activity a bit too distracting and wasn’t able to do the front yard. The back yard drawing looks pretty good and incorporated much of what Michelle had expressed. But the price was pretty steep @ $125/hr and 3.5 hours. Does anybody know if that’s reasonable? Does it make sense to have him back for the front? He knew his stuff but I’m much happier knowing the price before we do the job.

Also, any opinions on the plan would be welcome.

Meanwhile the work continues

And things start to look more finished

And here they begin cutting the expansion joints (or crack directors)

Work for today stopped short of the to-be-stamped areas

On Monday J&A came back and poured, colored and stamped the base of the driveway and the walkway to the front patio

We were a bit freaked out at first since Michelle had originally asked for the color to be “Smokey Blue” but then called back and changed it to be “Pecan Tan”. As you can see it looked WAY more like the Smokey Blue than Tan.

It turns out that the grey/blue stuff is just the releasing agent. The cement will be pressure washed in a few more days and we’ll get to see it’s real color then. When this was done on our back deck we were just leaving for vacation and did not see that part of the process.

Also the electrics have been largely roughed in. If you look closely you can see where the outlets and light fixtures will be going on the back wall of the lanai

And the downspout for our supergutter has been installed and hooked into our new drainage system

We did have a mishap today and now some extra ventilation now in the laundry room. That was my excitement for the morning.

Now we are waiting for the inspectors to OK the electrical rough-in and then we can finish that up. Michelle is still looking for sconces / lighting fixtures – hopefully this will be faster than the rock wall decision but that was such a smashing success that I suppose good things do come to those who wait.

I am told that the vinyl for the pool should be in any day now and all is ready to begin that installation. Best case scenario has the pool filled by this coming weekend.

2012 Home Renovations – Part 29 – Driveway Demolition, New Door, Window Gone

2012 Home Renovations – Part 31 – The Pool Liner is In


Autocowrecks: THAT’S RACIST

As always, the best you can hope for is a product that works well in its own niche. I suppose this was never really tested outside select parts of North America or Europe?

This reminds me of the mini-scandal regarding “flesh colored” band-aids… that ignored most of the world’s population…

FAIL Blog: Pictures and Videos of Owned, Pwnd and Fail Moments

via Autocowrecks: THAT’S RACIST.