Rowhouse Plumbing and mechanical underway

Plenty of interior work is now proceeding at the rowhouse.  With the basement slabs cured we can much more easily get on the plumbing and mechancial ladder work under the main floor. With three houses there is lots of space to have multiple crews work and we’ve also got to get the basement interior framing going.  Fire separations and sound proofing are an interesting part of this project and we will show some details later.

 

 

 

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Drainage pipe going in. What the photo doesn’t show is how freezing it is.  Two heaters are running to keep the abs pipe warm enough to glue.   

Kitchen progress house #2

We selected a new kitchen supplier and working with them has been good so far.  They run an efficient operation and it appears quite systematized how they operate.  The second cabinet package was completed today and it looks good. We’ve chosen some exceptional appliances and the countertops and tile should be very stylish. Templating and stone install is booked to start right away.  

 

ready to template.  

ready to template.  

No more winged rats

the framers arrived on a snowy Saturday morning to install the windows.  One of the main benefits of getting the windows in is the defence against easy access for the local population of winged rats.  

With the man lift platform on the machine, hideously awkward upper windows go in safely and easily.   

 

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I think city hall should regulate the winged rats out of business.  Or fee them to death.  

 

despite the hideous weather, the windows are going in.  

despite the hideous weather, the windows are going in.  

Adventures with Lux

The cold weather has delayed my siding guys a lot as they’ve pursued other jobs that can be completed with less finger frostbite. Despite the conditions we are now approaching completion.  The lux is a super nice product. I’m planning to use it again and now I’ve got a lot more experience in quantity estimating.  I prefer the solid colours over the wood grain stuff and the silver metallic is the easiest choice.  

 

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Lots of lux is going on the side cantilever.   

Rowhouse - power trowel basement slabs

The placing crew was off to an early start and had poured most of the three rowhouse slabs before noon.  With heaters running we are sort of simulating summer conditions down below but placing concrete in winter is never ideal.   

Getting the mess associated with concrete work out of the way and avoiding potential damage to windows and doors is a bonus of not being at the lockup stage while doing this job.  Fortunately the framers are planning to be back tomorrow to install the windows.  Next up are the roofers and that will he the end of exterior work for a while.   

 

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The slabs are setting up and being polished by the power  trowel.  All this hard work eventually gets covered up in flooring.  

Construction idiots

Every once in a while, and perhaps too frequently, pure construction idiocy is encountered on the job site.  Battling this idiocy is constant hardship for the builder, who also needs to watch out for entrapment by his own personal idiocy.  A challenge we have had lately, a growing trend in the industry unfortunately, is tradespeople that have little concept of responsibility or respect for the project. This is manifested in many ways, usually I see it as thoughtlessly leaving some hardship for the next person, or damaging other work due to carelessness.  Simple tasks like closing doors (and locking them) is often too much to ask.  Just tonight I did my ritual drive by of the project and of course the front door is flapping open in the -13 C winter darkness.  And I am pretty sure I know who did it...and that crew has earned the construction idiocy award for valentines day 2018.

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Spray foam on skylight framing

One idea I adopted from another builder was to spray foam the chimney shaped box that penetrates the attic between the ceiling and the roof.  Ultimately the idea is to avoid problems later that can be extremely costly or painful to deal with.  Discoloured or moldy drywall due to humidity and air leakage on the walls is a problem that I don't want to encounter.  So thanks to whomever it was who had the idea to spray the skylight framing.

The spray foam is down all the way to the poly vapour barrier in the ceiling.  This will reduce the likelihood of air leakage and condensation in the attic or inside the house being a problem, permanently.  There are many shoddier ways to do this job but the chance of condensation problems during severe weather is not worth the risk.

The spray foam is down all the way to the poly vapour barrier in the ceiling.  This will reduce the likelihood of air leakage and condensation in the attic or inside the house being a problem, permanently.  There are many shoddier ways to do this job but the chance of condensation problems during severe weather is not worth the risk.

And here is a similar photo angle with the loose fill insulation blown in.  This approach should drastically reduce heat loss through the ceiling and have a very long service life with no upkeep concerns.

And here is a similar photo angle with the loose fill insulation blown in.  This approach should drastically reduce heat loss through the ceiling and have a very long service life with no upkeep concerns.

Window delivery rowhouse

The rowhouse approaches lockup stage now with the widows delivered and ready to be installed.   Having the windows in will at least allow us to run some portable heaters to make interior work more possible.  Given the forecast it does seem like we will need to do the plumbing and mechanical under some adverse conditions.   

The windows received a significant insulation upgrade by going to a triple glazed specification.  This makes a big difference during the colder months.

Roofing has been another story of weather delays.  The flat roof portion is time consuming and needs better conditions. Once we get the roof and windows done it produces a better indoor work environment.  So let’s hope for a Chinook.   

 

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I selected some fun looking entry doors for the rowhouse.   Install should be soon.   

Winter vengeance on the builders

With the frequent blizzards that have been hitting the City regularly this February, construction conditions have been ugly.  The sad tale of construction woe does make for an interesting 26a st streetscape.   

 

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Rowhouse infloor heating

The final pre pour work was completed today with the install of the network of pipe for in slab heating.  Once inspected this will give us the go ahead to pour the concrete and we can start developing the basement living space.   

 

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Lots of heat pipe is fastened using the low tech method of cable ties to the rebar.  

Rowhouse slab prep

With under slab drainage work approved we called in the gravel slinger prep crew to level and insulate the base. From here we can get the infloor heat system installed and another inspection.  Once that passes we can pour the basement slabs and that contributes mightily to productivity and ease of movement for the plumber and mechanical installer who work next.  Plus we have somewhere solid to sit, rather than hang the furnace.    

 

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Gravel is in and compacted.  Note the top of slab is 6 inches higher than this level.  

 

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The styrofoam is down and seams taped.  Top of slab is now 4 inches higher.  Rebar is next.   

Kitchen begins

the crew got off to a great start at the semi d.  Indoor work is a relief compared to the hideous deep freeze we are suffering through.  

 

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kitchen is well underway.  

Could it be any worse?

It appears that the defunct and demolished olive chicken shop is planned to be replaced by a coop gas bar and quickie mart.  This is basically a disaster for the community. Already well serviced by gas stations it appears a rare large lot is destined to be another gas station for the next 50 years.  What a waste.  

Is this yet another example of why Killarney needs a new planning document?  I’m surprised the market would be supportive of another gas station when there are so many close by. How can we rid this community of car based development yet still allow the market to dictate what goes where?  Tough questions but this gas station is the wrong answer. 

 

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This is a terrible use of a Killarney corner double lot with commercial and residential zoning in place as part of the main street initiative.

Goodbye Olive Chicken, we hardly knew you

The demolition of the site formerly known as Olive Chicken is now complete.  This is a prime commercial site on a very large commercially zoned lot, measuring approximately 125 ft x 100 ft in depth, with a very large amount of frontage onto 17 ave.

Commercial / Multi Family Project (BP2017-15843) is Hold. Permit created on 2017-12-04.

It also appears that an application has been filed for a multi-family project with commercial use on the lower level.  I will attempt to preview the drawings and offer some commentary on what is planned.  What I can say right now, is that a tired old chicken shack on a huge lot surrounded by parking and tumbleweeds will not be missed.  It is time the valuable land in these areas are developed with the needs of 1.25 million residents in mind.  So thumbs up to whomever is tackling this project and investing significantly to make our City better!

Looks like it sold recently as well for a significant sum.  The buyer must be very serious about getting started.

                       REGISTERED OWNER(S)
REGISTRATION    DATE(DMY)  DOCUMENT TYPE      VALUE           CONSIDERATION
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

171 176 651    09/08/2017  TRANSFER OF LAND   $2,500,000 
Now that the site is demolished, I'd challenge anyone to remember what was there previously without consulting google maps.  What this site needs is a landmark mixed use project that will draw new residents and businesses to the area.

Now that the site is demolished, I'd challenge anyone to remember what was there previously without consulting google maps.  What this site needs is a landmark mixed use project that will draw new residents and businesses to the area.

Rowhouse plumbing - much jack hammering needed

the plumber was on site today and we tackled the dreaded task of hammering through the frozen solid ancient river sediments.  Many existential questions were asked, such as, why am I doing this, don’t I have a dozen more urgent concerns than jacking this hideously tough rock?   At least we are making progress.  I need these basements done, and poured.  Soon. 

 

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a lot of hard work is invested in making these basements drain properly.   This needs to last decades with little to no maintenance. 

The second basement gets its plumbing rough-in.  Contrast the amount of excavation required vs the downstream basement.  Three hours and it is basically done.

The second basement gets its plumbing rough-in.  Contrast the amount of excavation required vs the downstream basement.  Three hours and it is basically done.

Construction screwups. Learning from somebody else

Construction screwups happen to everyone and normally the cause is someone not taking five minutes to read the instructions. This can lead to some awful problems with no apparent solutions. 

Once evident, the screwup then leads to the blame game where everyone points at someone else and the builder points at whomever is closest.   

The trades and suppliers are experienced at these affairs and like to redirect the responsibility upwards toward the builder.  They do this by having the builder sign off on shop drawings.  This means that the builder has to take responsibility (in theory) for endorsing mistakes in the drawing that the supplier produced.   

Once the mistake is encountered the supplier can avoid responsibility for their own negligent design work by saying the builder agreed to it (as if anyone would knowingly agree to purchase a product with a design flaw).  The problem this 'sign away responsibility condition in the contract' is the builder hired the designer for the accuracy of the drawing and for their ability to follow instructions.     

In this instance the fancy oversized and built in fridge requires a trim kit to fit properly in the kitchen.  Because the builder and designer were negligent in following the instructions (i.e did not read them) the cabinets were made wrong and fixing them is now almost impossible (unless cabinets can stretch).  I was called in as the known instructions reading paranoid person and the mistakes were quickly identified.  Solutions are all invasive and will take serious time and effort (money) to implement.  I'm not sure what will be done to deal with the situation.     

 

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the double fridge doesn’t fit within the cabinetry properly, what do do?  I’ve learned a lot about what to do and not to do that will make my life a lot easier in the future as I have a project coming up and intend to specify this fridge.     

Metal siding part 2

the siding contractor was able to take advantage of the mild winter conditions and install a few of the metal siding faces on the building.   We’ve all learned a lot about the capabilities and challenges of the system.  Looks great overall.  

 

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Finishing starts - semi detached project

We’ve now arrived at the finishing part of the project at about day 110 of the build.  Walls are primed and the ceilings textured, and the door and trim material is ready on site. I have the schedule adjusted to the completion of cabinetry and paint and will be finalizing the remainder of the flooring and tile deliveries.  While a lot of work has been completed, much remains as we approach the fourth month anniversary of the site work.   

 

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A lot of white all the way up to the skylight in the stairwell.  

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material is stacked inside ready for our next contractor to start.  

Sewer install - inner city

My contractor arrived to start the install of storm water, sewer and treated water.   This will require two destructive trenches into the city street and and the prepayment of a big fee (done months ago).   

 

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Water shut offs means the water is ready to go.  

 

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The sewer connection point is a long way away so the trench extends across the road.  

Killarney modular daycare is assembled

In unrelated Killarney news, a daycare operation is going ahead using modular construction techniques.  This is really interesting and looks well executed.   

Im now reminiscing about my old modular building days up north.  Maybe I can dig up an old photo of that project and post it here.

 

 

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Soon to be a happy place filled with lots of kids.  For now the cranes are lifting the last of it into position.