Saturday, August 27, 2016

Construction update...

Construction update...  Progress on our mud-room and deck is about to come to a screeching halt, I think.  I just remembered the other day that hunting season for elk is about to start here – and that means my builder will be gone.  He lives for hunting – to say that he is an avid hunter would be seriously understating his love of it.  Now I'm seriously worried about the mud-room being done by winter!

Meanwhile our little “filling station” is coming along.  Our mason was here yesterday morning to put the cinder block walls up.  He and his sidekick make this sort of thing look very easy – but if you've ever tried your hand at it, you'll quickly discover that it's much more difficult than it appears.  In particular, getting the walls straight and square takes quite a bit of knowledge and skill.  These walls, to the best of my ability to measure them, are perfect.  Note the nice touch of filling the corner holes with rebar and solid concrete.  That little building is going to be very strong!  Next step on this one is up to me: I'm going to a rock yard in Tremonton to see if I can purchase a solid piece to make a roof for this thing.  After that, I'm going to weld a door frame from steel tubing (probably thick-wall 1.5" square tubing), and then for the door itself.  I'm planning to make the door from wood bolted onto a steel frame, lockable.  I've got a craftsman lined up to do the plumbing.  That's harder than you might think, as we have to use steel pipe jacketed with plastic for corrosion resistance.  The pipe will have to be cut to length and threaded, something I have neither the equipment nor the patience for.

We also got our new air conditioner compressor installed on the new pad.  You might remember we needed to move our existing compressor to make room for the new deck, and I decided to replace the existing compressor at the same time.  The new one is a much higher efficiency model (SEER 16, which is good for a single stage compressor).  What I wasn't expecting is just how big the new one is: easily three times the volume of the old one.  It's the exact same capacity (three tons) – it's bigger because it has bigger, more efficient coils, and those take more room.  Our craftsman did his usual great job.  This is the same fellow who (with his helpers) installed my office air conditioner last month.  He'd never billed me for that work, so I told him I'd block his exit from my driveway until he let me pay him both for that job and this one :)  The entire bunch of work (about 7 hours of three men), including the cost of the new compressor, was less than the best online price I found for the compressor alone.  I have no idea how this guy stays in business!

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