Monthly Archives July 2016

Mirrors, Floors, and Tile

As I expected, this past week has been a busy one as construction work wraps up. The mirrors went in, the last of the bamboo flooring went down, and almost the last of the tile backsplashes went in.


Mirror-maker Mo was back on Tuesday with the mirrors for the master and guest baths, plus a repaired antique mirror that will go in the master bedroom. He uses this way-cool laser device that guarantees a level mirror.

Laser level

Once he locates the horizontal and vertical centers on the wall, he uses the laser to show them along the full width of the space. By raising or lowering the height of the horizontal laser line, he can identify exactly where the mounting holes should go.

Leveling using the laser

And the end results are…

Master bath mirror

…in the master bath, and…

Guest bath mirror

…in the guest bath.

Office floor

Kurtis is back from vacation, a...

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New Home: A Quiet Week Before the Final Push

Not much has happened this week. With the bamboo for the office floor needing the week to acclimate, tile and flooring setter Kurtis took the week off. Pretty much everything else depends on that floor getting done. The final push to finish everything will resume on Monday.

“Monsoon” has arrived in this part of Arizona, though, which is a good thing. This literally is a monsoon–which just means a change of the prevailing wind direction–in our case from west or southwest to southeast. With the monsoon comes lots of moisture all the way from the Gulf of Mexico, which means thunderstorms and the bulk of our average 14″ of annual rain. The storms tend to be very spotty: raining like crazy at one spot, bone dry five miles away.

Saturday was a good rain day, with 0...

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Into the Home Stretch–Mirrors, Floors, and More

We’re getting into the home stretch–no pun intended: the whole process of building this home has been a stretch! While there’s been some touch-up painting done this week, the biggest news has been regarding the floors.

I’ve written before about how there was moisture coming up through the concrete in one of the guest bedrooms, the master bedroom, and the office. Not a lot, but enough in a couple of the rooms to be “out of tolerances” for the bamboo flooring we wanted to put in. The final decision was to lay down a sealer coat on the concrete and put in a whole-house humidifier, since bamboo is so sensitive to humidity, or the lack of it...

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Makin’ the Shade

It’s been a long time coming but the shade over the south patio finally got installed on Thursday and Friday. This was the last major thing to be done on the exterior of the house. (Some of the cabling for the railing on that patio still needs to be run–more on that later–but by comparison, that’s a small thing.) So what does it look like?

Let’s go back and take a look at the big hole that was. This was one side…

South patio slat support beam

And this was the other.

South patio support beam east side

(It’s harder taking a picture of a hole than you might think! )

With that portion of the roof wide open, the patio below was very bright.

Nearly finished south patio

But now that the slats are in, things are A LOT different. This photo captures how different they appear, even though they’re all installed at the same angle relative to horizontal...

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Out With the Old (Vigas and Beams)

One task that might not seem obvious at first when it comes to building a new home, green or otherwise, is deciding what to do with the old place. For me, that’s been an easy decision with this house: sell it! I HATED this house for the first couple years I was in it–a long, sad story I don’t need to repeat–and yet, to my amazement, I’ve now been here for almost 10 years, longer in one continuous stretch than any other location in my adult life! But before it can go on the market, certain things need to be fixed, especially the rotting exposed wood “vigas” and beams.

The current house is a Santa Fe-style place, which means it has a flat roof, parapet walls, and these round wooden things sticking out of the walls that are supposed to look like the tree trunks “Native” peoples used to suppor...

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