Thursday, March 29, 2007

March 29th - Back in Rico

I have been trying to get back into the swing of things as I returned about 2 weeks ago; just a little too busy with lots going on. I spent several more days than I expected at my sisters in Denver and was quite ill with the respiratory thing that most everyone has had.

Before I left Iowa, I managed to fill a 40' ocean container with enough material to finish the house. It included polished granite slabs, 2,000 feet of strip yellow pine flooring, heart pine lumber, and a ton of interior trim and old doors that were all stripped sanded and finished in oil before I left. My friend, Frank, spent over a month just sanding and applying finish. I had quite a bill with the local paint stripper before I left but I am satisfied I have enough material to complete the finish work on the house... that is when we are ready. Over 1,000 pieces of trim had to be finished! Lots of other misc stuff in the container, including 2,000 feet of barnwood for Cody and Anika's house up the street and some chimney pipe to finish out their chimney.

The container was modified in Iowa by cutting two 17' x7' openings in each side at opposite ends and welding rectangular tubing back in around the cut opening. We then attached sliding barn door track and some wood frame doors covered in metal and soon we had a portable storage building that you could load and unload lumber in and out of easily with a fork lift. Four large steel baskets of polished granite added some extra weight to the container and it weighed out at 34,900 lbs! We had an 35 ton crane lift and load it on to a flatbed in Iowa. Once it reached here, I had difficulty finding a crane large enough, as all larger cranes were out working. I had the container moved to Dolores and last friday morning I showed up in Dolores, (38 miles down the canyon), and with a 25 ton crane, a 17 ton crane and a 20,000 lb forklift we were able to lift the container off and set it onto a lot next to the highway. I was lucky to be led to a nice lady who knew my family and was willing to rent me a spot to park my container for an indefinite amount of time. To boot, the large forklift is nearby and will really come in handy for loading granite and bunks of flooring. Since then I have pulled numerous items out of the container.

Just yesterday I hauled 3 old Victorian doors into the glass company to have new glass installed. They will go into the old cabin. I removed the other doors from the container as well as the jambs for the doors and moved them all to Rico and inside the house. Greenbay will start the job of prehanging 27 of the old interior 4 and 5 panel doors. They arrived safely and in good condition.

Today we loaded up anything we weren't using in Rico, such as old furniture and stuff from the cabin. Cody and I will return on Saturday morning to unload his barnwood and since an empty spot will be created in the container, I now have some room to remove items from the cabin. The container will be a huge help in storing material while we continue working on the house.

To bring you up to speed on the progress of the cabin:

Boiler and heating system are now installed. We have only the tubing to install in the warmboard flooring and the electrical connections to complete for the boiler. We will then be ready to fire up the boiler. Only 2,000 feet of tubing to install!

All interior framing is completed now. Pat has helped me finish stringing all the wire for the electrical except for the smoke alarms. Over 4,000' of wire in the place and still not done! I have learned a lot from local retired electrician Bob Akey, who helped supervise me in the installation. I think it will all work. Extra hard was the wiring in the 3 cabin walls, an immense amount of drilling and feeding wire as well as great care in cutting holes for electrical boxes, but it looks great and is satisfying to have it done.

All of the exterior doors are now in except for the front cabin door which is at the glass shop. Greenbay has built the exterior jamb for this door from some weathered 2 x12 and it looks great. I will pick up the doors on Saturday. I have ordered door bottom weatherstrip, deadbolts, door hinges, mechanical door bells to replace the broken ones on the Victorian doors and some brass strike plates to complete the installation of all the door hardware.

I met with Matt, a local cabinet maker, about making a few cabinets for me to be used in the master bedroom. It's my hope to have the 3rd floor ready to move in by May 15th. Refinished clawfoot tubs will be delivered on Saturday and Direct TV and the phone lines will be installed next week.

Insulation and drywall will come soon, right after the electrical rough in inspection is completed which will hopefully be next week. We have warmboard to install in the old cabin. Upon my return, I was amazed at how different the old cabin looked after it had been cleaned out and the old insulation board removed from the logs and now the bare logs showing. Once the electrical inspection is complete, we will be able schedule the chinking for completing the log siding and interior logs.

It's been snowing off and on for the last few days, but not much accumulation. Two weeks before it was in the 60's nearly every day. It's turned cold again and there is not much snow in the high country like there should be. I have a feeling old man winter isn't done yet. Down at the lower elevations the grass is green and trees are in bloom. Rico is usually more than a month behind, being more than 2,000 feet higher in elevation.

Pat has moved the 2nd floor barnwood siding around to the back and hopefully next week we will begin installing the siding....

More to come...I will post some update pictures soon...

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