This week was supposed to be the acid stain and concrete sealing week, but a patch on the floor that had been covered with a 2×4 for a while, and which had not lightened to the same color as the rest of the floor was STILL not uniform with the surrounding floor, and that pushed off the acid stain.  Since the acid stain is not just a color added to the surface, but a chemical reaction with the concrete, it is best to have it as uniform as possible.  So this week was spent with a high velocity fan blowing on the area and it has lightened up significantly.

But the electricity did get attached to the house, we made one outlet in one bathroom live, and the temp power pole that has been our construction electricity is no more. Other details include downspouts going in, the backsplash tiling in Natalie’s bathroom getting done, a test-fit of the beautiful 2″ thick stair treads (reclaimed Eastern Walnut treads from Restoration Timber, but fabricated into the final form by our cabinet makers Wood Classics), and the rest of the reclaimed walnut flooring getting moved up to the bedroom to get acclimated.

NEXT week is now concrete week, and our door locks should all get installed, and possibly even the solar hot water panels (though, I’m not holding my breath on that one).  The following week the rest of the cabinetry, and the initial installation of the flooring should happen, and we can start on the kitchen tiling and install the appliances.

The mural in Natalie’s bedroom gets more detail

Flooring acclimating in the master bedroom

The test fit of the stair treads – they fit perfectly! The credit goes both to American Steel and Stairways who built the staircase, and to Wood Classics who made the treads!

The treads stacked up in the office acclimating and awaiting final installation with the flooring

Thanks to the guys at Garzac plumbing, the grey water system is now plumbed up and connected. Awaiting only a grey water wetlands to start discharging water into (and, of course, a family living in the house producing grey water!)

The schematic of the grey water system (Grey water schematic) shows what is going on here, but the plumbing ended up being rather complicated as the sewer line from the rear guest house (pipe at the bottom of the picture) comes into the corner, gets joined to the blackwater outlet from the house and discharged to the main sewer line (leaving the picture at the left).

You can see the grey water line exiting the house, and then there is a big diverter valve that lets you divert the water to the sump tank (to the right) or directly into the main sewer at left (if for some reason you are using something in the house you don’t want to go into the grey water system, or if you don’t have your grey water leach fields set up yet!).  The black water sewer line exits the house below the grey water line and discharges directly out to the left.

The grey water comes out of the house too low too be discharged directly into the wetlands, so it needs a BRAC sump pump designed to work with grey water to bring it up to the discharge level (this is NOT ideal – we would have avoided much of this complicated plumbing if we could simply have a gravity discharge, but we couldn’t get it to work with the slopes of the property). The tank is not a holding tank – it is a temporary surge tank.  The pump is sized to be able to keep up with the drains in the house, and discharge water up out of the pipe sticking out of the top of the tank into the wetlands as fast as it comes in.  However, if the pump breaks,  grey water needs to overflow directly into the sewer rather than backing up into the house, so the overflow line with the white check valve on it leads from the tank into the main sewer line (if the main sewer line were ever to back up, the last thing you want is sewage backing up into your grey water system which is why the check valve is there).

The big white pipe along the top is connected to the roof downspouts and leads to the rain water cachement tank in the back yard.  The grey conduit is the main power and the low voltage data lines running to the back guest house.  I wonder if we can get a few more pipes in there somewhere.

The grey water outlet showing the diverter valve, surge tank with top discharge, overflow line with check valve and all the exits to the main sewer at left

The construction of the wetlands will be another big project, and will probably be something we have another construction party for (like the bale raising), so if you missed the bale raising and would like to build some wetlands and a stream later this summer, a general call for volunteers will go out close to the time.  Drop me a line if you would like an invite.  If you were in the bale raising party… you’re already on the invite list ;-)

The roof is on and finished, the grey water system plumbed (see separate blog entry), the kitchen counter tops are going in, tiling getting finished, the staircase has been painted and is waiting for a handrail and treads.  We passed the last “systems” inspection, and now most of those hazardous trenches crisscrossing the yard have been filled in and the water, electricity and gas can all be connected to the house…

Next week the electricity comes down off the temporary pole and the house goes “live”.  The concrete floors will be acid stained and sealed (pretty much a week long process where we can’t go in), appliances arrive, and outside the rough grading starts.

The following week (hopefully) we get the last of the HVAC systems installed (the hot water panels on the roof), and we install the upstairs wooden flooring…

From the front of the house now you can see the roof is done, but there is still an excavator for digging the gas line trench

From the back of the house, you can see the filled in trench (yay!) and the completed roof. the solar hot water panels will be mounted on the second story roof (South facing)

The tile in the master bath is done. There will be a teak screen and teak decking in the master bath, and black “river stones” around the copper tub echoing the river stones around the shower controls

The tub surround for Natalie’s bathroom is now also tiled. Jacik (our wonderful tile guy, another excellent recommendation by Jana, our color and stone consultant) with his all-Polish team of master tile setters did the master bath tiling, and were able to take the random theme of Natalie’s bathroom floor and continue it up onto the wall with the embedded fossils and pebbles

The countertops go in around the Bluestar range top. The green stone is a “leather” honed granite which has a wonderful grain and texture. The lowered pale area is a butcherblock set to Catherine’s comfortable cutting height. On the wall you can see where a bit of blocking is being added for the hood (oops), and there was quite a bit of consternation about the routing of the hood ducting, but it will turn out OK after lots of measuring and re-checking

The countertop for the “coffee area”. Also where the microwave, the oven and the fridge will go

The staircase painted and waiting for treads and a hand rail. Right now, it is still a bit hazardous every time you go up and down, but not as bad as the early days with the ladders!