Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Day 237 - colds and wagers!

Hello again. I wasn't able to get out to the house today after work in time to take photos, as it was too dark. But I was able to see that great progress is happening. The plumbers are all a-plumbing, the electricians are all a-wiring. Well, not all the electricians -- Nick apparently looked like something the cat dragged in and the dog wouldn't eat (i.e. he was feeling very lousy!) so he went home. On the crew side, Sean is not feeling well either so may not be in tomorrow.

Today, Dave and I made a wager. Dave has said that he can have our house finished by the end of January, except perhaps for the trim out. So I wagered him $500 on this. I gave Dave 5:1 odds, so if he doesn't make it then he owes me $100. We would be very happy if we could move in at the end of January.

Fireplace... Dave framed the base and is framing the opening for the fireplace so it can be installed on Monday.

A couple of hiccups today...
Stone removal... Steve Berry was going to remove the stone last week, but that didn't happen, and then it was going to be on Monday and then Tuesday and then today. Well, the ground was so saturated with all the rain we got on Monday (40mm) that they were only able to get 6 loads out of there. At the other end, it was a disaster unloading it because it was so mucky. We will have to wait for the pile to drain a bit more before they can haul it away, and hopefully it won't freeze before then.

Plumbing... Charles asked me to arrange for the tubs and a toilet to be delivered. So I did arrange for the tubs and a toilet to be delivered. But we also need the waste and overflow for the tubs, as well as the control valves for the showers. But since those aren't the tubs, I didn't ask for them to be delivered. So I need to call the plumbing supply store tomorrow morning and get it sorted. They are not large items so I may need to pick them up myself and take them out to the house. This won't be a problem tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Day 236 - too dark for pictures

I went out to the site after work today, and it was too dark for pictures, so no photos today. It hit 17C today, which was a record-setting day (previous record was 11.7C in 1966). All the rain made the driveway very soft - a real mess. It was so soft that I got stuck. This is the same thing that causes potholes - loss of friction.

More electrical progress.
More plumbing progress. Pressure tank installed.
Interior framing almost complete.
Starting framing doorways with 2x4 to give the door frames rigidity.

Things to do:
Ask for fireplace to be installed.
Ask for bathtubs to be delivered so they can be framed in.
Ask for a toilet to be delivered (so we can get rid of the Johnny On the Spot).

It looks like the floor finishers cut the pipe from the well when they were finishing the basement floor. Since it's cut right next to the floor, some of the concrete will have to be chiselled out in order to splice the water line.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Day 235 - we got the power!!!

Monday, Nov 28th, 2005

I am glad to report that Hydro One didn't lose our connection order for today. This was supposed to happen last Tuesday, but at least it is working now.

The first step is to pull the cable from the road to the meter base. Before we could even get the connection order, Charles had a hydro trench dug, a conduit containing a pull rope placed, and then the conduit was buried to the appropriate level.

This is at the other end of the cable. When the two guys (above) were pulling the rope, the guy shown here was unrolling some cable from this big spool. Once the required length was pulled through, he got out these massive shears to cut the cable.

A number of steps are missing here as the hydro workers didn't like their picture getting taken. These steps included: splicing the power supply from the step-down transformer to the cable that was just installed in the conduit; installing insulating cover over the splices; running the cable through another conduit before hooking the cables to the meter base and leaving an "underwriter's loop" at the bottom of the hole); energizing the cable and testing that there is power before installing the meter. This testing step is what is happening here.

And this is what we've all been waiting for. The meter reads 00003 and the little disc is not turning. This is probably the only time you can ever see it not turning (unless there is a blackout!)0

The crew took advantage of the mild weather to build a set of temporary new stairs in front of the laundry room door.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Day 234 - Biting the bullet...

Last weekend, Charles told us that he thought we wouldn't be able to move in at the end of January as planned (according to the revised revised plan). Despite Dave's assurances that everything would be finished except for some of the trimming out work, it seems quite clear that this just will not happen by the end of January, although it should be finished by mid-February. So I bit the bullet and changed the ticker at the top of the blog from building completion of mid-December to moving date 4 weeks later than originally planned (Jan 25th). I think I will take Dave up on his statement of an end-January completion and make a bet with him on it...

We were supposed to meet the flooring supplier yesterday, but some of his crew got stuck on a job and he had to go help them out. So we met Mike at the house today to go over some of the selections. Overall, we are happy with our selections, and happy also that we have been able to stay within budget. Hopefully there will be no hidden surprises there.

Just when we were leaving, we noticed that the half wall in the laundry room was framed to the ceiling. On the plan, this is called a "utility tub", and is intended to be an area where we can wash Tawny when she gets all muddy. At one end, this is supposed to have a half wall where the faucet is attached. I will talk to Dave about that on Monday. (When we got home I checked the plan and it is not clear from the drawing that it is a half wall.)

Looking ahead at the weather, it looks like we will have some amazing mild weather this week. This is a fabulous opportunity to get the rest of the exterior work completed.

Needless to say, we are all quite tired.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Day 233 - A busy Saturday

Here you can see the results of the electricians work. The yellow plastic grommets are snapped in place in the cutouts in the steel studs to prevent the electrical wire from getting cut or damaged by the sharp edge of the metal.

This is Heinz, the cabinet maker. Heinz is taking the exact measurements for the cabinets, so they will fit precisely. Here Heinz is comparing his drawings for the main bath with his measurements.

This is Thorson, whose company installs vapour barrier and ceiling insulation. Fiberglass batting costs $1.50/sf to place and blown-in cellulose costs $0.85/sf. We need the fiberlass on the cathedral ceilings (the blown in stuff will slip down the slope) and the blown in stuff will be over all the flat ceilings. From a budget perspective, we are going to skip insulating the garage which would put us 35% over budget for the insulation. Without the garage, we will be 4% over budget. We will need to insulate the ceiling whenever we hook up the heating in the garage slab.

Other people came too - Renee the drywaller, who I didn't even see because I was talking with Dave the electrician - and I am sure there were others.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Day 232 - A huge hurdle... accomplished!

Driveup - noon on Friday Nov 25th.

The final details of the roof were completed today. Since we are not doing the stucco and stone until next spring, the crew is installing Tyvek to protect the exposed plywood from the weather.

This is our driveway! The pit-run gravel was spread out and a layer of crushed stone was spread out. As the gravel and stone was starting to freeze as it was getting spread out, the driveway is a bit bumpy, so we need to drive on it to pack it down as much as possible.

This photo shows the framing for the planned entertainment center. This photo is taken from inside the closet looking towards the great room.

Here we had planned to install a flat screen tv flush with the wall, and have the other components in this closet. However, as we are over budget on the house construction itself, this will have to wait. In order to make it easier to add in the future, Dave has framed in this area so we can just remove the central rectangle and then finish the edges.

This is how the electrical is installed in the exterior ICF walls.

A slot is cut in the styrofoam with a sawzall or a drywall saw and the wire is pushed into it. A chunk of foam is cut out and the box is screwed to the concrete with a Tapcon. After installation, the ICF is foamed at the top plate to seal this off which will create a dead air space.

The surprise

In yesterday's entry I wrote that we had a surprise for the crew. Because we hit our major hurdle - our first bank draw - we took a hot lunch out to the crew as a thank you.

This is Freda serving the lasagna.

Here is a hungry Patrick getting ready to chow down.

Chris energetically tackling his plate of grub.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Day 231 - Lots of VSPs

Lots of snow today. As it's the first major snowfall of the season, there are the usual large number of accidents (48). Only crazy people don't have snow tires here in Ottawa!

Perry, driving the yellow Cat, came to spread the pit run gravel that was left here yesterday out on the driveway. While this brought the height of the driveway up to the garage door level, it also ensured the hydro trench is covered by the required depth. We will put a layer of crushed stone on top of that next week to provide a nice hardpack surface.

This is the propane heater in the garage that is preventing the freshly poured concrete from freezing. Concrete curing is an exothermic (heat releasing) reaction, but it needs some help in these temperatures. As it cures, the moisture is released. Also, the products of combustion from propane is carbon dioxide and water vapour. Between the moisture from the concrete curing and the propane heater, it creates a mini rainforest, warm and dripping water, under these tarps.

This is the crew taking a break in the stairwell to the garage. As noted above, this is probably the only warm spot in the house right now. The guys huddled in the small space, with the hoodies, toques and glove hands reminded me of a scene from (a) a prison movie or (b) some resistance fighters or special operatives from a WWII movie.

When I was at the site this morning, I spoke with Charles and Dave about the size/shape/location of the bulkheads. Dave and Charles had some really good ideas about it and Dave used his huge artistic skill to demonstrate the idea for the entrance from the hall to the great room - here's a shout out to Dave for that. I liked this idea better than what we had thought of, so we will do that.

I also spent some time going over the electrical plan with Dave, the electrician. You can see a photo of Dave from the June 3rd post, or click here. Dave was asking questions like how high do we want the lights in the bathroom. Huh? We've never even thought about that!!! Dave had lots of other questions, some of which I was able to answer. I will take some photos tomorrow so you can see how the wires and boxes are installed in a styrofoam & concrete house.

A surprise and thank you...
Friday should be a big milestone for us with hopefully getting the first bank draw. And it should also be the last day without heat, as the electrical hookup is now supposed to happen on Monday. (You may recall that we had expected it on Tuesday but Hydro One appeared to have "lost" the connection order... Bizzare...)

Anyway, back to the context... In appreciate of what the team has been able to accomplish, Freda and I have a surprise for the crew tomorrow. I can't post what it is because they read this blog too, and then it wouldn't be a surprise, would it???

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Day 230 - Exciting times!!

Great news! The roofers finished the roof today, and the bank appraiser visited the site.

I spoke with Cathy. the bank lady, this afternoon. The appraiser offered to come back on Friday to see if some other work would be completed, which would increase the amount the bank could release to us. After a discussion with Charles, I didn't want to hold up the first advance for a small amount, especially since I thought it might not be achievable. I discussed this with Cathy and decided to pull the trigger on the first mortgage advance, since it wouldn't be much more if we waited until Friday -- and we really can't wait.

In order to trigger the draw, the appraiser has to send her report to Cathy, who sends paperwork to the mortgage department, who then sends the funds to our lawyer, who keeps 10% (Ontario law) and then gives us a cheque for the balance, after doing some legal stuff. This means we should get some funds in our hands on Friday sometime. We then take that cheque back to the bank, pay down our line of credit, and then draw it up again to give to Charles. Whew!

After that, visiting the windows company will be at the very top of our list.

All downhill from here...

Yesterday, the concrete was poured in the garage, so the concrete is all finished. Also, because the septic was inspected (and passed of course), it was backfilled (after covering the pipes with some styrofoam to help protect against freezing). The Hydro One guy did not come out to connect us up to the grid as we had expected, so hopefully that will happen today.

We are now passed the 50% stage and can have more trades involved in completing the building. Still to do:

This week and next: electrical and plumbing rough-in. The crew will be working on installing the vapour barrier, getting heat in the house (!!!), hurricane clips on the trusses, Tyvek wrap on the plywood exposed to the elements, stairs from garage to basement, and I am sure a myriad of other details. Hopefully the replacement windows and doors will arrive in this time (see Oct 14th entry for details). The aluminum soffits, fascia, etc, should be installed, as well as the garage doors.
Week of Dec 5th: electrical & plumbing inspections. air test, insulation blown in.
Week of Dec 12th: board and mud (drywall installation). Will likely only do one pass of the mudding in the basement (budget reasons) and no mudding in the garage (no heat there). This is expected to take 2 weeks. This must get done before Christmas!!
Week of Dec 26th: prime and prime check. Paint walls. Prime and paint trim separately.
Week of Jan 2nd: start flooring installation.
Week of Jan 9th: start trim & interior door installation. Cabinet installer can start here too.
Jan 16th: paint walls and trim, 2nd coat.
Jan 23rd: finish plumbing, electrical, and mechanical. Fix any wall damage, and paint touch up.

So - if everything goes exactly right, and nobody is sick or materials delayed or whatever, then we will be able to move as planned. But that is unlikely, whihc is why we need to find some other place to live. So far, the only place we've found will cost us over two thousand for one month... (Gak!)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Day 229 - Making progress

Pouring the garage floor.

Because the forecast was for the temperature to drop to -7C overnight, the crew was going to place some insulating tarps on the concrete, cover the garage doors with poly to keep the cold wind out, and also place a heater in the garage. Charles checked with his concrete experts to verify that this would be sufficient to keep the concrete from freezing and ensuring it could cure properly.

No roofers today.

Yeseterday evening's forecast was for bad weather today, but it turned out not to be too bad.

The solarium window with the missing pane installed.

The house is getting close to being weather tight.

The plumbers been here...

Hopes dashed

Yesterday, I wrote: " hope the rain mixed with snow holds off for two more days...." No such luck I'm afraid.

There was a light drizzle when I started out walking Tawny this morning. Then it turned to snow, then rain again, and then back to a very wet snow and stayed like that. That snow could be slippery on a plywood sheathing, so I hope that won't delay the roofing.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Day 228 - An incredible November morning

This is the status of the roofing on Monday morning. The shingling is pretty much done on the other side of the house at the back. The front is all done.

It was an incredible day for November, a balmy 6-7C! A great day for roofing, and much warmer than it was last week!

Yesterday I posted a picture of the solarium window with a piece of plywood fastened over it. Well, the missing solarium window arrived yesterday.

In other news...
The septic system was inspected today, and passed. Yippee! Now it can be backfilled.

The plumber came today to continue with the roughin.

The electrician was supposed to come tomorrow but won't be able to start until Wednesday due to a delay on the current job.

Concrete for garage floor should happen this week.

Fascia/soffit/etc should start this week. That will be the Sandalwood colour, as previously noted in the Nov 13th entry.

We are getting our final quotes for the trim. For some bizarre reason, the phone and fax for our supplier of choice say "The number you have reached is out of service" but they are still in business. Bizarre!

Confirmed that we are on the schedule for the garage doors installer. Hopefully he will be able to do that in a week or so. He needs the floor poured first (of course) and the aluminum wrap installed on the garage door frame. The doors will be Garaga Standard+ XL in Claystone with raised panels. I wanted to get the wide raised panels, but it is not available in the widths we need.

Schedule woes...
Charles told us on Saturday that it is pretty much certain that we won't be able to move as planned on Jan 25th. Unfortunately, this means we need to find some place to live for a few weeks, or a month at worst.

Soon, Soon, Real Soon Now.....

Talked to the roofers and they expect to be finished on Wednesday, and then we can get the bank draw initiated on Thursday and perhaps get funds from the lawyers by Friday.

I took some pictures and will post them this evening.

So I hope the rain mixed with snow holds off for two more days....

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Day 227 - a day of details...

We met Charles and the roofers at the site today at 10am. We took a box of timbits for the roofers, to help them keep their strength up. We spent about 2 hrs with Charles going over details of placement of fireplace, showers, bathtubs, toilets, etc... Soo many details! And then after we got home, we spent about 4 hrs going over the trim requirements. Our brains hurt!

This photo is in the garage. There are four loops of heating tubes placed in the garage. It is not quite sufficient and there is a small gap there. It hardly seems necessary to put in another set of heating manifolds and buy another 1000' feet of tubing for this, so the tubes will just be shifted around slightly to fill in the gap.

This is the front door, sans window, secured against the elements etc. As previously noted, the doors were ordered without windows in error.

The blog entry from April 12th (architectural drawing) shows the windows in the doors.

This is the window for the solarium. As the glass for the central pane is missing, the crew put a piece of plywood over the opening and fastened it to the window frame. You may recall that the rough opening was a bit too big, so the window was raised up. The gap underneath was faced with styrofoam and filled with fiberglass insulation.

This the main bath area. As you can see, the drain for the tub is on the right, which makes it a right-hand (RH) tub. Charles asked us to confirm the dimensions of the tub and the installation method, so the walls could be framed precisely. We went to the plumbing supply place and discovered the order had a LH tub! Fortunately it is a stock item so there was no restocking fee.

This cloud turned out to have a silver lining... While we were there, Andre checked the status of the order, and everything had arrived excepted for the main bath sink and a towel bar. We looked up the main bath sink and discovered it was a sink with 8" centers, but the tap (which we bought months ago) has 4" centers. As the supplier hadn't shipped the sink yet (although it was schedule to ship on Monday), we asked him to cancel that order and change it to a 4" center. Hopefully Andre was successful in this!

Before we went into the house, we threw the kong around for Tawny. Despite the frosty temps, Tawny went into the water a few times and swam around. When we got into the house, she picked up this short piece of 2x4 here (in front of her) and ran around. It took me about 5 times to get a picture of her that wasn't a blur, and was only able to get this one because I got her to sit down first.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Day 224 - roofing progress

Thursday, Nov 17th, 2005

No drive-up photo today as it would be the same as yesterday. However, the difference today is that the roofers are hard at work. Here the roofer is working on finishing the valley. This part goes more slowly as each shingle needs to be trimmed along the valley line. It was so windy yesterday afternoon that the shingles were flapping and tapping out mystery messages to each other in morse code.

This is a closeup photo of the ridge vents. They are constructed out of heavy gauge steel using the same material as the valleys. They were fabricated in the east end of Ottawa by a guy with a metal brake. Ridge vents give more venting space than the traditional types of roof venting.

I wrote above about the high winds experienced yesterday. In fact, it was so strong it blew Charles sign over, breaking the uprights in the process. It had blown over a few weeks ago and I stood it up and put a "few" rocks on the base so it wouldn't blow over. Since it couldn't blow over, it just broke!

I will not be able to visit the site tomorrow morning, so there won't be any new pictures until the weekend. Hopefully the roof will be almost complete by then!

We meet Charles on Saturday to review the expenses to date.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Day 223 - rain again

Drive-up, Wed Nov 16/05Drive up, Wednesday November 16th.

Here you can see what the roofers accomplished on Monday. They did not show up yesterday, they did not show up today.

interior framingHere you can see that the interior framing is proceeding, despite the inclement conditions indoors and out! The steel tracks are fastened to the concrete with a nail that is driven with a 22 calibre shell. The steel studs are placed in the tracks, levelled and then crimped to hold them in place until they can be screwed together.

It will be a real relief when the roof is finally shingled so the crew can work in the dry and the warm. They are working hard and making good progress without complaint about the rain and the cold.

Glen, installing the septicThis is Glen, he is installing the septic system.

Since the ground level will be above the septic tank (the blue part, partially visible here), Glen is installing a couple of extenders, black plastic rings that screw into the tank and then the lids screw into them. You can see one is already installed on the access hole on the left.

The black octagonal tank on the right is the effluent pump chamber. The effluent passes through a filter before flowing out of the septic tank into this pump chamber. The filter prevents any solids from passing through to the pump chamber, which helps increase the longevity of the pump. A float triggers the pump to push the liquid out to the septic field. There is also a high water alarm in the effluent chamber set just above the float, which will trigger if the pump fails to empty the tank.

Because the piping out to the septic field isn't 5 feet or so below grade, Glen will place some styrofoam insulation on top of the piping before backfilling. The septic will be inspected before that happens of course.

The removal of the big pile of rock has been deferred until Monday. Because of all the rain, the place that was going to take the rock is too mucky, and they need to let it dry up a bit. Hopefully this will happen by Monday!!!

More warehousing...
Today Freda picked up a light fixture for over the kitchen sink, it has 4 halogen bulbs so we can angle them to give good working light.

When we were purchasing the exterior door handles, we forgot about the basement door to the garage and the cold storage doors, so Mark picked up some inexpensive door knobs for that today.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Day 222 - snow/freezing rain

Drive up - Tuesday Nov 15th.

Can't quite tell how much shingling happened yesterday because of the skiff of snow. No roofers today as the forecast was freezing rain in the afternoon. It should get to 13C overnight, so we shouldn't have that problem tomorrow.

There was a cold stiff breeze blowing through the house today, so the crew installed the doors to the great room when I was there this morning. Andre, the heating guy arrived to do some more work in the basement.


We woke up this morning to a light snowfall - the kind with big fluffy flakes. It's still too mild for the snow to stay, so it will not last.

The propane supplier called this morning (7:08am) to see if the gas piping is ready for hook-up, as he won't deliver the tanks until everything is ready. As I couldn't say definitively, although I think it is all ready, he is going to check with Charles. We need power to run the heating pumps so we can't turn the heat on even when the tanks are delivered.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Day 221 - more progress

Drive-up, Monday morning.

The roofers are hard at work. This photo was taken around 9am, and you can see the ice and water shield is laid out, as well as some of the roof valleys.

The ladder device on the right (behind the Dave-Van) is used to lift the shingles to the roof. One guy on the ground loads the shingles on the shelf, pushes a button and the motor carries it to the top in seconds where the second guy unloads the shingles and sends it down for another bundle.

I spoke with Charles this afternoon, and he said he was impressed with how quickly these guys are doing the job. They have worked on some pretty steep roofs, based on the photos on their web site, St. Pierre Roofing & Son. (You can see the same red Dodge truck that's in front of our house in photos on their web site.)

Installing the doors. This is the door from the garage to the house, it opens into the laundry room. As I wrote yesterday, the doors are being installed so that we can secure the premises.

Coming up...
The hydro trench passed inspection, so we got a connection order for Tuesday November 22nd. We filled out the account form for the propane supplier today and Freda will fax it in tomorrow. We should have the tanks in place by the time the electricity is hooked up, so we can have heat in the building next week.

Drywall: The guy who did the drywall for two neighbours came by to see progress. He will be giving us a quote later.

Phone/network/alarm wiring: Charles and I spoke about this. We got an estimate from the Pookoo Group so may get them to run that for us.

Interior columns: I am going to meet Charles out at the site tomorrow to discuss the interior columns. Freda and I spent some time this evening talking about the trim. I may post an entry about the trim sometime. We have simplified our plans for the trim somewhat for two reasons, (1) some of the trim we had planned looked too formal for our tastes, and (2) the everpresent budget. In this case, reason (1) was the driving factor.

Powder room: previously I had blogged how we mistakenly ordered the wrong faucet for the powder room. We returned the incorrect faucet and ordered the proper faucet and sink from Preston Hardware. The new sink/faucet combination was a bit less than the original plan, although that difference was unfortunately consumed by the restocking fee for the tall faucet.

Kitchen backsplash: we have been trying to figure out what to do with this. Freda would like to get some glass tile there, but it is so expensive and we are trying to find something that is suitable and won't break the bank. We inquired with the granite people how much a backsplash would cost, but after talking about it over supper we don't think we will go that route.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Day 220 - Some things I forgot to blog about...

This entry is a bit of a catch all, as it contains various items I forgot to mention before on the blog.

Roof: Today was another beautiful day - started out very mild (at least 15C) and then got a bit cooler and windy. No rain is forecast for tomorrow, although light rain is predicted for Tuesday. The roofers took today off to recover their energy, so no change in the roof status.

Patrick's daughter: Patrick's daughter Julia has her own blog. Amazing, considering she is just over 7 months old!! You can check out her blog here.

Electrical: Last Wednesday evening we met with Charles and Dave the electrician to go over the electrical plan. Framing needs to be completed before Dave can start. The current question is if the electrical work we discussed fits within the estimate.

Aluminum colour selection: I wrote yesterday that we met the owner of the roofing company, Larry. He gave us the colour samples for the aluminum which is used for soffits, fascia, etc. Today we drove to the house that has the stone that we are going to get and checked out the colours against the stone. So we have selected "Sandalwood". (The other colour shown in this photo looks quite blue here on my monitor but is really very close to the colour of the window brickmold, which is really a greeny-blue .)

Framing inspection: inspector came by on Friday to check the framing inspection and had a few minor comments, which Charles is going to check out with the truss supplier.

Exterior lighting: Mark wanted to get some low voltage lighting for wall wash lighting, but it looks like that will be cancelled for budget reasons. We hope to run some wire in the soffits at least.

Expense review: We are meeting Charles on Saturday to review the expenses to date.

Moving ahead:
Fireplace: The fireplace has arrived, and Charles has asked us to have the supplier deliver and install it. Since the dimensions of the unit are not known to the crew now, they will frame the wall around it.

Stucco: Charles is going to arrange a meeting with us and the stucco contractor. One of our neighbours who is building a house (move-in in 3 weeks!) said he is going to wait until next year to complete the stucco and stone on the exterior, so as to avoid the added hassles and cost of tenting and heating. We will talk about this with the stucco man when we meet.

Propane: this is the fuel for our stove, our boiler (heat source), our dryer and our fireplace. We have selected a supplier and will contact them on Monday to arange delivery of the tanks.

Doors/security: the doors are going to be installed on Monday and the doors to the building will be secured with a lock and 2x4s.

Garage doors: Garage door supplier has been contacted to confirm the order. He will install the garage doors after the floor has been poured.

Cabinets: We have tentatively set up a meeting with the cabinet maker so he can come and take his exact measurements and start fabricating the cabinets for the kitchen, powder room, master bath, main bath, and laundry room.

Critical path: the critical path (the things which must be completed on time in order for the project to complete on time) seems to be: roofing, framing, electrical, drywall, finishing. Currently we are stuck on the roofing phase.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Day 219 - beautiful sunny mild day

Drive-up - Saturday.

This is the view of the garage from the driveway, taken about 24 hours after yesterday's photo. The main part of the garage roof you can see from this angle is completed.

As you can see, there is no hydro meter installed yet.

This is the view of the back of the garage roof. It has been started.

When I was taking the pictures, the owner of the roofing company drove up. He said this roof was "complicated" and would take "5 days of good weather" to complete. But yesterday, the roofers said it would go "quickly"! These two statements seem to be in conflict, in my opinion!

By my calculations, the roofers applied 18 bundles of shingles today, or just over 600 square feet. At that rate I figure it will take another 10-11 days! Yikes! It is perplexing why, for a fixed price job, people don't want to get the job done as quickly as possible.

Getting the roof done is the most critical part of the project, as it must be completed before we can get more money from the bank. So naturally, we are both eager and anxious for this to be finished.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Day 218 - nice, but cold

Drive up - Nov 11th.

Garage is first to be shingled in order to provide some protection for the garage floor, which is being prepped for pouring the concrete next week.

This is the garage floor being prepared.

Crushed rock was placed and leveled. The insultarp and wire mesh was placed, and now the heat tubing is being installed. Once the floor is poured, the garage doors can be installed.

This is the view of the garage from the driveway. The wood blocking, in front of each door, forms the lip at the garage doors.

We talked briefly to the roofers as they were leaving. They said the roof will go quite quickly. They plan on working on the weekend if the weather is nice to get it completed as quickly as possible. We are glad about that of course.

Remembrance Day - Nov 11th, 2005

Remembrance Day ceremony at Kanata Cenotaph, November 11th, 2005

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Bill Christopher - virtual memorial - Calgary Highlanders. Circumstances of death unknown. However... my speculation is that Bill was wounded at the battle of Hoogerheide (Oct 10/44) and then killed during the South Beveland action (Oct 14-31). This speculation is simply based on comparing the dates in the telegrams with the dates of the battles the Cgy Highrs. Some Google Earth coordinates on this here.

Ron Taylor - virtual memorial - Royal Canadian Artillery. Killed by a mine explosion. Circumstances of Ron's death are documented in the RCHA book "Right of the Line: An Anecdotal History of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery from 1871" by Mitchell, MC, CD Maj. G.D. (1986). Here is the excerpt:
"November 17th was an especially sad day for the RCHA. Lt Hugh J. Bedell, the RSO, and his driver L/Bdr Ron F. Taylor were killed by a new type of mine. They had gone forward on a preliminary survey of the gun area to be occupied by the regiment in relieving 3rd Fd Regt with Porter Force. Having some knowlege of mines, Bedell had removed one of this new type for inspection by experts. It exploded while being lifted from the jeep. Ironically, Taylor was one of the few long-service men then slated for leave in Canada."
The real irony was that Ron Taylor was filling in for a fellow driver, his buddy Bauman, who was sick with food poisoning.

When Bauman got back to Canada, he named his son Ron in honour of Ron Taylor. We met Ron in Ottawa at the new Canadian War Museum this summer.

Picture of World War II graves from the Canadian war cemetery in Goosbeck, Holland. Some of these soldiers were killed during operation Market Garden, better known as "A Bridge Too Far" (movie info).
(Image from here.)