grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

21-31AUG11 - Sultan, WA (house almost done & tractor repairs)

Amazingly, almost nothing happened in the last 11 days in the way of house construction by the contractor. For some reason the builder likes to do as little as possible at this stage until the granite countertops are installed?

22AUG (day 42 of construction) – the poor guy who installed the laminate floors on the 18th of AUG was forced to come back & install expansion joints in certain locations. We pointed out to his crew that these expansion joints were clearly shown on the plan. When he did not put them in we called the seller of the flooring; apparently after three days of debate the installer “lost”.

30AUG, Tuesday (day 43) – the finish carpenter shows up to install interior doors; then the granite countertop guys show up to install the countertops; & then to add to the “confusion”, the painters arrived to paint the exterior.

31AUG (day 44) – plumber shows up to install all plumbing fixtures (including hot water tank). Finally toilets independent of the RV holding tank, & a hot bath with almost unlimited hot water (until we get shower curtains for showers)!!!

For our part we started out on Sunday, 21AUG, by taking a break & running into the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard for market day. Most towns in the USA have at least one market, if not more. In the last twenty years many of the neighborhoods of Seattle have started markets, usually for the summer/fall months only. Ballard’s is one of the oldest & one of the few that runs all year long.

We got there early which was a good thing, because this is a very popular market! Ballard was primarily a “Scandinavian” neighborhood for decades, but that has been slowly changing over the years. It was also the first incorporated city after Washington became a state. Ballard was bigger than Seattle, & might still be an independent city if Seattle hadn’t locked up all the surrounding water rights! Ballard realizing they couldn’t expand without drinkable water eventually voted in 1907 to be annexed by Seattle; this vote is still seen as a mistake by some a hundred years later.

On Wednesday, 24AUG, Dan BBQ’d some of his infamous pulled pork & we offered to share it with our neighbors across the road (Bob & Sara Johnson). The “catch” was that we would need to bring over to their house since our future yard is a dust bowl & our house isn’t ready for entertaining. It was a good time with good company.

Although things were pretty quiet on the contractor front, we did manage to accomplish the following during this time:

>>>begin staining molding
>>>begin installing molding
>>>installed “wells” around foundation ventilation openings
>>>installed arsenic filter at kitchen sink & refrigerator ice maker
>>>painted the mud room
>>>painted the master bedroom
>>>installed kitchen window blinds
>>>installed 2nd bedroom window blinds
>>>retrieved washer & dryer from cousin Paul’s
>>>took delivery of refrigerator & dishwasher
>>>installed refrigerator

During all this we also started on repairing our tractor. Like we said in our BLOG of 14AUG, it lost oil pressure & Dan then discovered “parts” in the oil pan. After consulting with a repair “guy”, Marty, it was decided that the parts were what is called a thrust washer & shims from the front end of the crankshaft. We then discovered finding these parts for a 58 year old Continental Motors engine is not easy. After internet searching & numerous phone calls we were directed to Montes Equipment in Chicago. Dan also learned that Continental made engines for many car manufactures (but not the big three) & others; & the old company slogan was - Powerful as the Nation.

We finally got the parts & the tractor is in the barn with the whole front end disassembled. (getting the tractor to the barn without a running engine was an experience) First thing Marty & Dan discovered was that the main bearing on the front of the crankshaft was for a different Continental engine. Their guess is some farmer in the past had to replace the bearing & used the closest thing he had. Since we don’t want to remove entire engine & crankshaft to replace this bearing, we are leaving it as is. Meanwhile we have discovered that the oil pump, water pump, & some other misc parts are bad. More to follow!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

15-20AUG11 - Sultan, WA (latest on house construction)

15AUG - enough work has been done on the house (ie electric, water, & driveway) that we can leave our almost permanent spot at Evergreen State Fairgrounds & "camp" on our own property

16AUG (day 39 of construction) - garage door installed; kitchen & bathroom cabinets installed

17AUG (day 40) - laminate floors delivered; measurements taken for kitchen countertops (granite); electric connection for "emergency" generator installed

18AUG (day 41) - laminate floors installed; vinyl floors installed in bathrooms (2) & mud room; vinyl countertops installed in bathrooms

Sunday, August 14, 2011

01-14AUG11 - Monroe, WA

Here is the latest summary on our house construction (see proceeding BLOG entries for past details), once again things have been going pretty “heavy” over the last two weeks:

01AUG (day 31 of construction) – taping & “mudding” of the drywall commences. Note to insure dryness & no mildew, the furnace is set at 80 degrees & left on 24/7.

03AUG (day 32) – taping & mudding of drywall is finished.

04AUG (day 33) – blown-in insulation is installed in attic over “flat” ceiling areas.
05AUG (day 34) – driveway is smoothed & covered in 5/8 inch minus rock, giving us a freeway smooth drive. Septic installation completed, now we need toilets. Drywall sanded & primed; primary contains a sealer in its mixture, giving another vapor barrier.

07AUG (day 35) – drywall in garage taped & mudded. (Oh - Happy Birthday Dan!)

09AUG (day 36) – second coat of primer on drywall.

11AUG (day 37) – drywall finish painted; kitchen & bathroom cabinets delivered.

12AUG (day 38) – installation of electrical fixtures throughout house.

During this time we didn’t really take a break from property/house unless you count shopping at Ikea, Target, Sams Club & Frys Electronics for household appliances. Meanwhile Dan was operating our 60 year old Ferguson tractor when he noted no oil pressure. Upon removing the oil pan he discovered what looks like bearing “parts” in the oil – not good!

Also, Corrie has started landscaping the “yard” by planting rhododendrons, various trees, heather, etc. In the process she has learned about the northwest’s gardener’s number one enemy – the mole. Just like all that have preceded her, she has tried traps, poison, etc, with only partial success. For every mole that meets its demise, it seems like two take its place! Whack-a-Mole anyone?

Tomorrow, 15AUG, we finally get to move from our almost permanent RV site at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, WA, to our property (& almost done house) just outside of Sultan, WA!!!