It’s Autumn in Ohio.  Which means it doesn’t stay light out much past 6pm and is pitch black at 6am.  Generally these are the two times I am out at the house.  Rain clouds don’t help the situation. 

What this means for you is that you don’t get to see any new pictures. 

Yesterday we had the framers back on site.  I trudged through the rain and mud and left a punch list tacked to the foyer wall early in the morning.  I then had to bolt to work and then onto a design crit at the Institute of Art.  The Rabbit likes the whole house building thing I suspect.  I filled his tires with air the other day to give him a fighting chance when I go barreling down into and up out of the valley that our new home will be located.  The right rear was down to 10 psi, so maybe he picked up a nail.  I have to keep a close watch ’cause he’s not one to complain.  It’s a miracle we’re both not dead yet.  I’m pretty sure if we did wrap each other around a tree on some inky black rainy morning I wouldn’t die.  Who would they call to say something’s wrong with the house if I wasn’t around?

I was a little concerned regarding the window installation.  I left various notes not to molest the mylar balloons, lest all the gas escape out of them for lack of a thoughtful touch.  Wasn’t too long until a series of phone calls to the site ensued to explain what to and not to do regarding everything from the windows to the porch construction.  The dim morning light revealed nothing except more rain being pushed across the windshield.  By time we got to the third phone call of my claustrophobic, cross town commute the Rabbit’s front tires were slipping enough to remind me he was there.

“They’re going to mess it all up, we need to go back.”

“We don’t need to go back Rabbit.  We need to go to work.  Have a little faith.”

[Yes, I mentally talk to my car.   Contact my therapist and take a number if that alarms you.]

Turns out man does not live by faith alone.  I’m pretty sure they screwed up my windows.  Not so much that all the gas is gone in two of the largest windows in the house.  Rather they cut the balloons and it doesn’t look like the tubing is crimped so I have my suspicions.  Luckily the gas, which makes the window cost more and perform better than cookie cutter windows, is colorless and odorless.  So there is no discernible way to tell if it’s inside the window or not.  Now technically I don’t know if it’s in there or not from the factory but lets assume the window company filled them with gas.  I now have doubt in my mind regarding the presence, or lack there of, of gas, that will drive me certifiably insane at some point in the next 1-30 years that I’m alive and live in the house.  That’s apparently where faith gets me. 

I’m working out a deal to get a window tech out to assess the situation. Afterall I already know at least one window needs to be refilled because someone cut the balloon outright during unpacking.

Meanwhile the blue rigid insulation is going on nicely.  On top of that are firring strips for the siding.  For the board and batten siding we have horizontal firring strips and vertical strips covering the seams of the rigid insulation.  For the lap siding we just need vertical strips.

The roof is scheduled to start being installed next Monday assuming the weather is nice.  Electrical, plumbing and HVAC rough’s should be done in the next week.  For a water tank we found out today we’ll be going with an 80 gallon electric tank.  I may switch to 50 gallon to minimize the amount of water we have to heat and idle.  We had to switch from the gas-fired tankless water heater because we’ll be using a hybrid gas and geothermal heating system.  The geo system will pre-heat the water, therefore an old-fashioned water tank will be just as efficient as the tankless, or so I’m told.  I’ll wrap the tank in insulation to retain heat and keep our utility costs down.

For future power supply options or expansion I checked with a local solar power company.  All we need to do is leave one 15-20 amp breaker slot open in the garage panel and run a conduit from the garage attic to the electrical panel.  The garage really is the best spot for photovoltaics.  We don’t want to mar the aesthetic of the main house with PV cells.  In theory I can power two cars with a closed system in the garage and never pay for gas again (except for the Jeep).

The porches are being framed in this week in anticipation of the roofer starting.  They also built the office platform for my studio.  My punch list for the framers includes the items that will be needed for the insulation as well such as firring down the roof to get 16″ of blown cellulose insulation in the roof.  I’m trying to get them to use the left over 2×4’s from the window packaging to save me some money and trees.

Today’s only eye candy is the front hall pic.  We landed on a design.  I’ll talk more about it when we do the walk through.

I’ll jump onto the stair case designs next.  We’re way behind on a few of the design items.  We actually need to select flooring now too so we can match the stair treads to the flooring.  My carpenter (aka my brother) isn’t talking to me right now ’cause I got short with him regarding the windows and my lost gas.  I have faith at some point he’ll start talking again; after all he’s not going to want to keep walking around my kitchen cabinets in his shop, right?

Now I haven’t been going to church too often with everything that’s going on, but I suspect the big guy will let it slide for now. Which gets me thinking. There’s a lot of faith involved when one takes on this kind of project. Faith that it’ll turn out half way decent.  Faith that we’ll all be talking to each other when it’s done. Faith that my kids will forgive their old man for spending their college fund on the wild goose chase that is this environmentally friendly house.  Faith that I’ll still be married and / or alive at the end of this god awful process. (just kidding honey, I love you, please pick out flooring for me already.)

Faith that when this ridiculous carousel that is my life spins around to the other side there will be a brass ring there waiting for me.

Faith that I’ll be able to grab it.

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