Another remodel update

It’s been a while since I posted anything about our remodeling project, not for lack of progress; rather, it’s been due to a lack of time! So here’s a quick update, text only. (I’ve got lots of photos, but I haven’t had a chance to Photoshop them, or even transfer them from the camera!)

Tree removal and stump grinding is done. (This took care of all the remaining junk trees in the back yard.) This deserves a post of its own, and hopefully I’ll have time for this over this weekend.

We got our permits. It took quite a bit of leg-work on my part, especially toward the end of the process, but after 22 months in our itty bitty house we finally had our plans approved.

We hired a general contractor. (I was planning on GC’ing myself, but we found a good, *reliable* GC who was willing to work with us to keep the costs within our budget.) This will push the cost up a bit, but these guys have really been moving the project forward.

Barb’s quilt studio is going on a slab floor. The footing has been dug, forms for the slab are up, the gravel is in place, and the in-floor electrical outlets and conduit are just about ready–we’re just missing one junction box. Once the final J-box is set for the last floor outlet, we will be ready for plastic and sand. When I left this morning, rebar was being placed in the footing trench. We still need our power and comm (telephone & internet) conduits run through the footing, but once that’s done I think we’ll be ready for our pre-pour foundation inspection, and the slab should be poured early next week. Woot!

The addition is going to take longer. The quilt shop is a separate structure, so there’s no need to match the existing foundation height. Also, the house (and addition) have stem wall foundations, i.e. crawlspaces, which means we need to build the floor after the foundation is poured and has had time to cure a bit. We’ve also run into some problems with our plumbing and sewer lines. The water main that the USA folks marked was abandoned apparently, because when the crew was digging the foundation/footing trench they cut a “sprinkler” line which turned out to be our water main. Doh! (Another episode that deserves its own post, especially since I wasn’t able to find anything on the ‘net about how to clean debris from the toilet fill valve/diaphragm. The closest thing I could find was “[How To Check or Adjust the Fill Valve][fill valve howto]”.)

Most of the addition’s footing trench is dug, and the rest of it should be finished today. We have to move the sewer cleanout since the addition will cover over the current location. The water main will have to be re-routed back to the edge of the property (more or less where it was when the house was originally built), because it’s currently running right up the middle of the yard and it’s only buried 3-6 inches deep. The trenching for the water line should also be finished today, so we’ll probably return the back hoe this afternoon — too bad, ‘cuz I was having a lot of fun playing with it in the evenings! 😉 Most of the “outside” forms for the new stem walls are in place, but we still need the “inside” forms. We also need forms built for all the interior footings in the addition. Rebar still needs to be set, and the power & comm conduits have to be routed from the quilt studio, up through the footing and into the addition. That sounds like a lot of work to be done, but the GC thinks they will pour the concrete for both the slab and the addition at the same time, early next week. That’d be cool by me, because once the foundation is done the project will really take off!

[fill valve howto]:

About Jim Vanderveen

I'm a bit of a Renaissance man, with far too many hobbies for my free time! But more important than any hobby is my family. My proudest accomplishment has been raising some great kids! And somehow convincing my wife to put up with me since 1988. ;)
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4 Responses to Another remodel update

  1. Barb says:

    No pictures! No more updates! Don’t forget comments from the neighborhood monsters….

  2. Glenda says:

    Just wondering what happened with Sac Metro and the fire requirements. We’re going through the same process.

  3. Jim says:

    Turns out we didn’t need fire sprinklers because the shop was classified as “unoccupied space”. Since the shop isn’t attached to the house, only the primary structure’s square footage was counted. The “flammable footprint” of the house, (which includes the garage, front porch, and eave overhangs),
    with the addition is about 3,200 square feet. The fire sprinkler requirement doesn’t kick in until you hit 3,600 square flammable feet.

    The downside: to get the shop designated a U-space, we had to install a garage door, no flammable floor covering (i.e. concrete only), and we aren’t allowed to heat/cool it.

  4. Jim says:

    (In response to this comment.)


    The nearest hydrant is about 280′ from our property line. The fire department wants a “real” (as opposed to Wharf) hydrant within 250′ IIRC, but they told me that they would have accepted 280′. The only unresolved issue was whether the water pipe feeding the hydrant could supply enough water, which I never pursued since we didn’t have to make either change.

    Because the hydrant was acceptably close, we would have had the option of either upgrading the hydrant or installing fire sprinklers throughout the house. Since we didn’t have to do either, it saved us about $6,000-$10,000.

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