Still Wired and Stoned

When I woke up yesterday morning it was 15°f. Three hours later it was 2°. This morning it was -11°f. Next week a couple of days have a high of -12°f. We’ve had a bit of an easy winter so far this year but it’s catching up quickly.

Despite the cold, work continues – mostly stonework and electrical with a bit of HVAC, plumbing and carpentry. Chris has been here several days taking care of a number of items like the doorway in to the Blue Zone (vino & veggies), the LL Bathroom that had to be redesigned when another wall was put in the wrong place and we decided to leave it, etc.

Sam with a piece of buttered pie.

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With that in place he tries a few other stones and determines he’ll have to cut one to fit. This is the west face of the north chimney over the porch roof.

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A traditional stone structure (still common in Europe) is built with stone first and then the interior is fitted to the stone. These last hundreds of years. In the U.S. we do the exact opposite. We build a wood frame structure and then attach a stone veneer to it. Below is a good example of what happens; two layers of paper on the wood sheathing, a layer of rain screen (mortairvent) so that any water that does make it through will run down the rain screen, then lath screen with a scratch coat applied to it. The stone is then fixed to this with mortar.

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Sam placing another stone. It’s a slow tedious artistic process. Dan has a great crew of people doing this work. If you look close you’ll notice three bits of rope sticking out between the stone and flashing. These are weep ropes that conduct water from the rain screen to outside.B1200SW 103

We’re slowly getting shingles on the roof. The north side (to the left) will have to wait until the stone folks are finished with both the north chimney and the one in the middle of the peak so that the shingles don’t get damaged.B1200SW 104

The roofers, Pedro and Noe, created this work of craftsmanship for the saddle to insure that we and the structure stay dry. This was several days work and a lot of going up and down the ladder. One more example of why we chose Rick Hendel to build our house. Details and good craftsmanship are critical. This will stay exposed but the paper under the shingles will overlap it. It’s kind of too bad that this can’t be seen easily from below. When it’s done I’ll get a good drone shot of it to hang on the wall somewhere.
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The east side roof and all of the breezeway/garage are finished except for a bit near the central chimney. It looks really good.
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Spencer smiles at something Dan said.B1200SW 107

Dan proves that he can do more than just build a great crew.B1200SW 108

Electrician Art Work. No, they’d not been drinking too much. There will be sconces on the wall here on either side of a vanity mirror. They leave the loops in there and then after all the trim is done and they know exactly where the sconces will be they’ll reach in with a hook to grab the wire.B1200SW 109

Lighting circuits that will be connected to dimmers.B1200SW 110

All tidied up. From left to right; Two dimmer panels, 200 amp non-critical circuits panel, 200 amp critical circuits panel, 200 amp TOU (Time Of Use) panel, and 100a sub panel.

Our 400 amp primary service is divided in to critical and non-critical circuits. The critical circuits can be powered by Tesla Powerwalls or a generator when grid power is out. We have more critical circuits than can fit in a single 200a panel so Mike added the 100a panel for them.

The TOU panel is for charging our cars and other battery electric things and is it’s own 200a service. It has a low rate during the night and a much higher rate during the day. Keeping car charging and similar stuff to overnight hours when other usage is low helps the power company balance grid use. Within the next couple of years we’ll likely have an electric pontoon and possibly an electric ski boat. Electric ski boats are much better to ski behind since torque can be controlled in a very exacting way and batteries can be placed easier than fuel to create a balanced boat and smaller wake. 

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Back side of the dimmers.B1200SW 112

Wire for AV and Network.B1200SW 113

These fixtures may need to be replaced. These are intended to use Phillips Hue or LIFX GU10 lamps. This fixture may overheat the lamps since it is very small which hinders heat dissipation inside, has very little external surface area to act as a heatsink and is painted which hinders heat transfer out of the fixture.B1200SW 114

Stone meets trim. SW corner of north chimney at the roof.B1200SW 115

Fixtures in LL shower that may need to be replaced.B1200SW 116

More electrician artwork! B1200SW 117

A larger GU10 fixture next to the smaller type installed in our showers. The larger fixture has more area inside for heat to dissipate, a lot more surface area to act as a heatsink, is made of aluminum which will conduct heat better and isn’t painted so heat should be able to transfer out of the fixture easier. I’m doing some testing with these to see if the smaller one will work.B1200SW 118