Thursday, August 23, 2012

Progress update - plumbing, HVAC and electrical

Progress continues at our house, with the plumbing, HVAC and electrical crews working hard to get things finished before the walls close. 

I'd like to take a moment to mention my Dad.  He just recently "retired" and has been helping us manage the plumbing, HVAC and electrical work.  My Dad has built several homes in the past and knows the ins and outs of this part of the process, whereas to me, it's a completely foreign language (more on that later).  He's been an incredible resource in making sure that everything is running smoothly and we won't have any regrets once the sheet rock goes up. 

This part of the process started off with a bit of confusion, as the plumber was first in.  Apparently the HVAC guys should've been first in line, but since there was a bit of a scheduling mix-up wit the HVAC company, the plumber lucked out and was able to get started before anyone else.  This led to a bit of a space war when the HVAC crew showed up.

Here's the recap:


The plumber was first in, which gave us plenty of time to get to know him and go through all of the plumbing details in the house.  We worked through the interior, going through the placement of each fixture throughout the kitchens and bathrooms.  Then we made our way outside where we added a hot/cold fixture towards the front of the house for washing dirty cars and mountain bikes.  We also put in an extra large hot water tank and a circulating pump to ensure that we always have hot water.  I've been nothing but impressed with the plumber.  He's a good guy, knowledgeable, reliable, always on time and has a sense of humor to boot!  In his words, "We're using 3 inch pipes and that diameter should be just fine, because if you have a 3 inch turd, you have a problem."  Awesome.


The HVAC guys were the next to show up.  This was the most difficult and stressful part of the entire building process so far, because they were Ukrainian speaking and had limited understanding of English.  We had a small issue with the vent fan in the powder room, and finding a place to put it, as the plumber had hogged a bit of joist space.  I attempted to use my Google translator while sorting through this issue and since the translator is quite literal when converting Ukrainian to English, we ended up with a discussion about "bigger hair dryers" instead.  Thankfully we were able to get everything sorted out in the powder room and moved into the issues in the kitchen.  Again, it was a space issue in the joists.  We ended up changing from a circular to a rectangular duct to properly vent the range hood (more on the range hood debacle in another post).  Our other HVAC issue was that we lost a significant amount of space in our master closet corner to allow for the chase for our air return.  This is an issue that we didn't have a lot of choice in sorting out.  My husband's suggestion is that I stop buying shoes.


Our electrician is awesome!  The journeyman has two apprentices working with him, one who "isn't on the job anymore."  With that being said, the journeyman and the remaining apprentice are great guys.  They've done an incredible job wiring the house and doing a very detailed walk through with us to make sure that we're putting in all of the wiring that we want now and in the future (electric car hookup).  I feel as though the journeyman has treated our house as though it's his own, which has been fantastic.

Snapshot of the plumbing, duct work and electrical in the great room

Wiring in the garage

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