January 26, 2014

Of Concrete and Carpenters

Well, it was a busy week at the ranch.
Tuesday the 21st,with the moon in the early morning sky to supervise,
the concrete for the house slab was poured.
Truck after truck made their way up the steep driveway to fill the hopper on the pumper truck while the boom was worked over all of the 152 foot length of the structure, distributing the concrete.

And the workers put in a long day doing all the floating and smoothing of the concrete.
Meanwhile in the barn, what was once just an empty shell, began to be transformed as the carpenters began framing the stud walls and the bathroom.

On Wednesday, more carpentry work included rafters for the bathroom ceiling and the decking for storage space above it, and on Thursday the barn's electrical and plumbing work began while the forms were being removed from the house slab.
Looking from south to north it's hard to see everything in the slab, but standing behind the studio and looking to the south you can see the wrap-around patio areas.

Friday the weather here in central Texas turned rather nasty with on and off combinations of rain, sleet and even snow, along with freezing temperature, so the delivery of the framing material for the house which had been scheduled for that day was postponed until next Monday the 27th. House framing should be close at hand.

January 20, 2014

Getting Ready for Concrete

Not much progress this week. All the cables that will tension the slab were put in place ...
... and the three electrical connections that must be in the slab were installed, but it was discovered that one of the plumbing connections had been damaged and would have to be redone.

A supervisor from the concrete pumper made a visit on Thursday to determine the best place to park the pumper truck and how long a boom would be needed, so we're expecting(?) hoping(?) that the slab will be poured in the coming week.
I have a small 3x6 form outside the barn's walk-in door with wire mesh and re-bar installed ready for left over concrete from the house slab pour.

The electrician for the house has installed a temorary pole with service to make electric available to the trades, so...
Work on the barn interior is also scheduled to start this week as well, with framing the bathroom first, followed by the electrical. The plumbing should be close behind. Once we have electrical to the barn, the water service equipment can be installed in the well house and then I'll be able to pressure wash the barn floor before I paint it. Then it'll be time to start moving in! When? Who knows? One step at a time.

... to be continued ...

January 12, 2014

Powered UP!

The electric service was installed this week, so now the electrician for the house just needs to make it available to the tradesmen that are working on the house and barn. It kind of spoils the view a bit but it's necessary so it has to be done.
There will be a separate breaker panel in the well house that will power the well equipment and supply all the outlets in the barn too. Finishing off the interior of the barn is expected to start soon.
The last of the forms for the concrete were added in the garage area on Saturday ...
... and one of the workers told me that the tension cables that will become a part of the slab will be installed on Monday.
For those who don't know, this kind of system makes the traditional wire mesh and reinforcing rods old fashioned by comparison. Those will only hold a slab together if it cracks while the post tension system is meant to keep the slab from ever cracking in the first place.
I spent some "quality time" with the tractor on Saturday cleaning up what was brought up from underground and spewed all around when the well was drilled. I put it where it could form a base on which we'll later build a fuel shed just outside the barn. With all the tools that will be needed to keep the ranch looking ship shape and all the different fuels they'll need including diesel, gasoline and mixed fuels for chain saws etc, well, lets just say I'm just not too keen on storing them inside the barn!
Week by week, things are happening.
OH! And I was able to get a couple of nice shots of some neighbors who live down the road that I thought some of you might enjoy seeing.

January 05, 2014

Holiday Progress

We've been making progress in the past two weeks since our last post!

The meter rack for the electric service was installed on Dec 23rd and 24th. The electric company inspected the site on December 30th and although the rack was acceptable, the engineer from the electric company called to say he was not satisfied with the tree clearing that we had done months ago. He said he could do a reinspect in three days if we could get it done by then. I asked him to tag what he wanted removed.

On the 31st, work began on cutting trenches in the foundation for the concrete beams that will be under the slab while I had a meeting with the carpenter that will be working on the interior of the barn.

In the afternoon the two of us were back to work on clearing more trees on the lower levels, and back again in the morning on New Year's Day to finish the job. On New Year's Day, during a break for lunch, one of the workers showed up to work on the foundation trenching, with his family along for a picnic and to enjoy the view. Jeesh! This place is already getting a reputation for its view! After lunch it was tough going working on the steep slope, but it's that slope that gives us our great view!

Unfortunately we also had to take out some persimmon trees as well, but there are still plenty more of 'em on the ranch.

On January 2nd I met the electric engineer again and this time we passed with his approval....Hooray!
So now we're in their installation schedule with an estimated 10 to 15 days to completion.

And when I arrived that day the plumbers were just leaving after having installed the rough-in plumbing that goes into the slab.
Moving right along!

On Monday I'll be having one of the older tires replaced on the tractor. The wear that was showing on the inside sidewall was causing it to go flat to the point where the whole tractor was listing to starboard so it will have to be retired, no pun intended, I think.
A new tire, installed, on site ... $665. The happiness of having a tractor that works ... priceless. :)