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. Ironically, I’d asked about this when I’d first met the HVAC contractors, and at the time (not knowing what the flooring was going to be) they’d said it wasn’t needed.

The unit isn’t very big. This is the tank that feeds the steam generator that feeds the air handler that pushes the air out throughout the rest of the house.

Whole-house humidifier

With that in place, the bamboo could go down in the master bedroom…

Master bedroom floor

and the guest bedroom…

Guest bedroom floor

…and the bamboo for the office could come out of its boxes and start “acclimating” there.

Office flooring "acclimating"

Sometime last week, or maybe even the week before, Kurtis had put a sealant on the slate flooring and accent pieces in the master bath. This is what the flooring looked like before the sealant (and the grout) were applied…

Master bath tile

…and this is what it looks like afterwards.

Master bath slate post-sealer

Hard to believe it’s the same floor! Edith and Kurtis told me the colors would “pop,” but wow!

Besides the humidifier, one other plumbing-related system went in this week: a water treatment system. The neighborhood is served by a water company’s system, but the water is still very hard. The same company provides the water to my current house and I have calcium build-up everywhere.

I really don’t like water “softening” systems, especially for the way the water feels and all the salt that would have to go into my septic tank, so I asked my plumber for other options. He proposed two: one called EasyWater, the other used to go by the Pelican brand name. Both treat the water so the calcium crystals won’t adhere to each other and to the surfaces of pipes and fixtures. EasyWater does it electronically, Pelican by running the water through a filter. Both, Dan said, work equally well (he has both at his house) but since the Pelican system was a few hundred dollars less, I went with it.

Pelican system tanks

(One of the fittings for the right-hand tank was leaking when I took the picture. It’s fine now.)

I mentioned mirrors in the title, so I guess I’d better say something about them. On Thursday, I spent the afternoon in Tucson with Edith, looking at the remaining granite for possible use in the guest bath, checking out patio furniture (more on that in a minute), and talking with her mirror supplier, since I need mirrors in the master and guest baths. We looked at glass styles (beveled or not, and how much) and frames.

Frames need to be picked where they’re going to be installed, so on Friday Mo brought a bunch down to compare while he also took field measurements. I made my selections and they should be ready in a couple of weeks. Mo also took with him an antique oval mirror I’ve had for ages to fix some of the decorative woodwork at the top. I’m planning on putting this mirror above the dresser in the master bedroom.

Like the mirror frames, the cloth colors and patterns for the patio furniture should be selected on-site. Edith stopped by today so we could do that. We were standing in the kitchen, just about done, when she said, “There’s a bug or something on your shirt.” It was near the collar on the left side, where I couldn’t really see it, so, modern technology being what it is, she took a picture of it with her phone and showed it to me.


OK, now what, coach?

It walked up the rest of the shirt and onto my neck. This could get interesting.

Edith was close to freaking out. I decided to calmly and gently walk out onto the west patio and see if we (I) could encourage it to go elsewhere. A breeze blew it down onto my sleeve, and from there I was able to get it to walk onto a piece of paper, after which it flew away. My birthday present was not getting stung. I’ll take that!

What’s on the agenda for this week? I’m not really sure. Kurtis is on vacation while the office flooring “acclimates,” so no other tile work will be done either. The bases for dining room table are being built down in Tucson, but they won’t come down until all of the other furniture does. Edith can get Paul working on the bases for the other tables for the patios, and the granite cut for their tops. Mo’s working on the mirrors. Maybe some more touch-up painting. I’m sure Bill’s got some things in mind.






2 comments to Into the Home Stretch–Mirrors, Floors, and More

  • msbmw72  says:

    Sealant! It IS a game changer! And….what to do with yourself for a whole week????? Gee……let me count the ways!!!!! That wasp????? Left up to ME and it would have been discussing his after life with his Maker!

    • Ross Lampert  says:

      Don’t worry, Jackie. I’ve got PLENTY to do this week, starting with editing a couple more chapters of my next book.

      As for the wasp, my hand-eye coordination’s none too good when I can’t see my target (it’s marginal even when I can), and there was no way Edith was going to try anything, especially when the wasp was on my skin, not my shirt. All’s well that ended well. The wasp survived to do whatever it is wasps do, and I’m not dealing with the after-effects of a sting.

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