Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Biblical rain... should have built an ark.

Unbelievable... last night in 6 hours, 17 INCHES of rain poured just 19 miles from our build site. Then another front is on the way running into the one spinning in one place.
;) What is a cubit anyway? ciao! jk

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Trimmin' the trees

We did some tree trimming last weekend to widen part of the road and clear out some of the cedars that were immediately around the building site. Here are the before & after shots of the area near the house. The angles don't match up exactly, but you get the picture!

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Heavy clouds, but no rain.

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Jim took these photos of the cantera columns for the house back in February of this year ... BEFORE it started raining. It's amazing to see the difference in the vegetation between then and now. Cantera stone is a natural quarried product made of calcite materials. The porous and lightweight cantera is igneous; formed millions of years ago by extreme volcanic heat and pressure. Cantera stone is a building material known for its natural beauty, exquisite color varieties, texture and durability. Buildings and monuments in Mexico made of cantera stone have stood for thousands of years.
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Il Poggio Umido

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Ancient Art - Shipped via DHL

Here's a link for the company on eBay we found that we purchased our mosaics. They sell around the world and their eBay rating is excellent. No problem with these sellers! They are the ones that I contacted to custom make the front entry floor mosaic pictured earlier in the blog. Contact Karl, he's the one we've been working with:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Lovely... again....

And so it goes....
Hurry up and wait...
Slab guys pushed back till tomorrow, then
Friday pest control and plastic, followed by
plumbers again on Monday.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sweat Equity... oh yea, sign me up.

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Monday, the plumber came and dropped PVC finally. Noticed the drains that are shared in the laundry room and downstairs bath were 4 feet off! Plumber swears they've never been more than 4 inches off. Lovely. They come back on Friday to take care of any issues like this. I will be on site all day for that. Today, however it was my turn with the PVC. 2, 2" PVC's for DATA/Cable/Phone and a 1.25" for the fiber optic runs from the pump house to main house. DAMN that fill material becomes hard as a rock in a couple days! Whew! I think I dropped a couple of lbs trying to dig these in. Slab guys come back today to dig beams, and pest control contractor comes on Thursday. Trust me, there will be plenty of things that both Peg and I will be doing on this build. Sure didn't get THAT service from our last home builder! ;) ciao! jimbo

Monday, June 18, 2007

Through the open doors... and where to get them.

One of the things we have done during the planning stages was to pick up items for the house and store them for the build. About the time we were doing our water well three years ago when there was nothing on our land, we met up with Antonio Ampudia, (see his link to the right) and purchased our first set of cantera steel doors from Mexico. Going through a direct supplier here in Austin would have jacked up the price 3 to 4 times, so finding Antonio was great. He comes up at least once a month with a load of material and sells here in Austin around the weekends. You can see that right? Tomato's, the peach and jerky guy.. and CANTERA STEEL DOORS! SOLD! We also purchased 20 columns, a second 8 foot steel door that comes out of the downstairs bath, as well as the pictured door that we are having custom made for out little wine room. He can have what ever you want made, if you just give him a picture. We have found out that a lot of this wacky building thing is knowing where and who to get your supplies from. Antonio is surly one you would want if you needed these types of doors.
It's not raining today, so plumber should come to drop PVC. Cross your fingers! (hurry up and wait.. hurry up...wait... you get it!)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Collage #1

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Raining Again

Don't get me wrong; we're always grateful to have rain. But this means the plumber may not be able to get his work done until things dry out a bit.

Jim thinks this is torture - the hurry up... and wait; hurry up... and wait; hurry up... and wait. Well, that and timing the draws correctly. He said the first one wasn't funded until the the very last minute. Yesterday, Jim paid Rosario the first third for his work so far on the foundation.

We've settled on the materials and design for the kitchen backsplash (I think) and we continue to collect items as we find them... some outdoor lights found on clearance at Lowes; the hand-scraped wood flooring for the 2nd floor and stairs is on back order from Lumber Liquidators; tile, beautiful tile, from the 'seconds' heaps at Architerra and Dunis; Mico faucets that were languishing in a warehouse in East Austin. I think Jim plans to order the interior doors (knotty alder) soon. Parts of the downstairs are stuffed with boxes of the marble tile we found at Costco a few months back.

If it stops raining, we'll mark the portions of the slope that we want Rosario to grade.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

.... oh great... NOW it wants to rain!


What's it gonna look like? Hmmmmmmm....

Home sweet home! (well, in a few months)
Looking an architect?
Tell him we sent you!
ciao, jimbo

Technology! Gottaloveit!

Today? Surprise inspection. And I didn't even make my bed! DANG!
I'm sitting at my office. The phone rings. "..yea this is (enter name here) I'm here for the bank for an inspection." Of course the front gate is shut and locked and I'm 45 minutes out. NO PROBLEM, for those of you that know me that is. I simply hit one button on my phone, and magically the gate opens and he drives on through. I then log onto one of the many cameras posted throughout the property and see him do his inspection at the build site which is about 1/2 mile from the front gate. I log onto the gate computer, open the gate remotely and keep it open until he leaves, gate closes, the bank is then assigned a gate code so they don't have to call from the box up front. Yes.. technology IS our friend as we build this house. We are there, alllllllllll the time. This weekend? Cameras from all vantage points around house to catch the build in time-lapse! (Ok.. I'm a dork, but in a good kind a way.) And yes, I designed and implemented said technology to be on site 24 hours a day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Waste not, want....not yet...

Plumber scheduled to come out on Friday to place the "main drain" for waste to septic. Next Rosario comes back out to finish up the beams in the slab, the pest/termite treatment, then finally the steel and plastic. Followed by inspections, form survey and finally pour. Whew! Say that 5 times fast.

We picked out our roofing tile color this past weekend as well. How exciting! Finally we have the remaining subs to sign up, including roofing, painting, trim and the like.

Many wanted to know the name of our house. It's, il Poggio Secco. This is Italian that means, 'THE DRY HILL' which when you see the dust that is on our hill, well, it's like walking on the moon at certain times of the year!! My father was in the US Navy and we were stationed in Naples Italy when I was a kid. I still remember that like it was yesterday. So this house we are building is truly a Tuscan house, not Texcan, or TexasTuscan! We've stayed with a couple our age just outside of Florence many times to pick their brain and view their 300 (yes hundred) old Tuscan farm house. They run an organic farm and B&B called Podere La Casellina. See their link to the right in our favorite links section. Michaelangelo and Silvia and kids have been a great help during our many years of planning stages. And yes we got their stamp of approval on the name as well. We were contemplating calling it, il Girisole (the sunflower) but knowing Texans it would come out "the gristle." Not good. Let's just see if they can pronounce Poggio Secco!! :) Let us know you visted the site and what you think!

My next move is to shave my head. It's already in the mid 90's and it's not the hottest part of the year yet!! So not having to worry about hair since I will be pulling it for the next few months, is a good thing! :)



93 Degrees in the Shade

When we got home this afternoon, two guys on Rosario's crew were using an electric jackhammer to chip away the solid limestone at the ne corner. Jim brought them a beer.

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