Thursday, July 30, 2009

Footers, Floors, Framing & Finishes

If you can't tell from the pictures, the pace of the construction is astounding. The house corporation, construction company (Meyer Najem), and architecture firm (Browning Day) meet biweekly on Thursdays to go over what has been completed since the last meeting and what is set to be completed next. At every meeting, it's hard to believe that the list of work completed is so long and that the list of work to be done will be finished in just two weeks. The existing house is really taking shape and we're getting close to a final punch. Here are some pics from the last two days:

...I've put my hand in the wet paint on the railing about three times, despite the VERY clear signs.

New chandelier and flooring in the foyer. The floor is dirty and the chandelier still wrapped in plastic, but you get the idea.

New hardwoods in the dining room. This is a very noisy process (high pressure nail guns are obnoxious and loud), but the end product looks great!

Student room on the second floor of the south addition.

Footers for the ramp up to the concrete patio at the back door (southwest corner of the house).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

DG was Framed!

In just a matter of days, the south addition has been completely framed. These pictures are completely stunning, but I'm sorry to tell those of you that can't be here that the photos just don't compare to the seeing it in person. It is amazing to stand on the third floor and watch as architectural drawings become a fully-realized structure. I never imagined that I would be so interested by how buildings are constructed, but I find it completely fascinating. I feel I missed my calling as a carpenter or architect....

This photo was taken on Sunday evening and shows the framing of the new walls & roof on the third floor.

This is the same area as in the photo above, halfway through the workday today (Tuesday).

Here you can see where the old structure meets the new. A portion of the old roof at the back of the existing house was removed so that the new roof on the addition will match the rest of the structure. (If you need a visual, see the first picture on the post "All in a Day's Work," which shows how the old roof was constructed at the back of the house.) The idea, though, is that the two roofs will meet seamlessly, which required some reworking of the angles on the old roof.

Student rooms & closets in the new second floor.


Friday, July 24, 2009

And the Work Goes On...

The first coat of new paint in the library.

New ceiling with five can lights & re-centered light fixture, which will really brighten up what used to be a fairly dark and dreary room.

New kitchenette counter & cabinets. I can't wait to organize it!

Cement truck pouring (you guessed it!) cement.

Just-poured cement in the first floor of the new addition. I showed great restraint by not writing my name in the cement.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The View from the Top

Yesterday, Tony (site superintendent) let me go play out on the third floor. Of course, it wasn't so much playing as it was me sneaking out there, snapping a few pictures, then getting away from there as fast as possible. As you can see, it hasn't yet been framed, providing unobstructed views of the neighborhood... and ample space to fall over the edge.

The third floor of the addition will house additional cold dorm space. Since final capacity will be over 90 students, the project had to include more sleeping and study space.

View from the new third floor into the old third floor/cold dorm.

View from the existing cold dorm out onto the new third floor.

View from the third floor of the south addition onto the new sunporch over the dining room addition.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Framing Floor Two

Another day, another... floor? Yep! On Tuesday, framers completed the second floor of the south addition. And had it not been for today's rain, the third floor would have been completed by now.

But never fear! Despite the dreary day, worked continued at a furious pace inside the house. New flooring was laid and the cabinets in the kitchenette were being installed when I was there around 10:30 AM. I didn't take pictures of the inside because I didn't want to be in the way while all the guys were there. With so many different projects going on at once in a concentrated area, there's hardly enough room for the guys to work as it is. The last thing they need is nosy me & my camera wandering through their congested work zone (and trust me, these boys can get a little territorial. Tony, the construction superintendent, has his hands full with trying to coordinate the workflow on site - a total headache.).

I'll snap some interior pictures when I'm there after work hours. For now, I hope you'll be content with some exterior shots.

South addition almost completely framed.

View of both additions. As you can see, the worksite is a muddy mess! (Not a good day for sandals, as I learned when I had to climb into the house from this entrance.)

New meets Old.

New cement delivery ramp into the new kitchen door.

Interior framing (second floor, I think).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

All in a Day's Work

You saw the pictures from Friday (post "Out of the Ground").
I took these at the end of the work day on Monday.
Can you believe this is just one day?

The first floor is framed inside & out.

There will be a permanent exterior door leading into the chapter room where the hole is cut.

Just another angle.

Monday, July 20, 2009

From the Window To the Wall

I haven't posted any pictures of the dining room lately, which is a bit of an oversight on my part. In the last week or so, the roof & windows were installed in that area, making it possible to start the drywall. As of Friday, the drywall was mostly complete. Next up is flooring (hardwoods), which will take several days. Then they'll do the finishes (paint, light fixtures, switches, outlets, chair rail, etc.).

This picture was taken from a corner of the old dining room looking into the new. It is huge!

This picture was taken from one corner of the new dining addition looking down the length of the addition towards the library.

Student room carpet & paint with baseboards installed.

Lookin' good!

New paint and carpet in the basement study rooms. It is so calming down there - a definite plus for studying!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Out of the Ground

This week I learned the construction saying "getting out of the ground." As it was explained to me, the most difficult part of any large construction project is all the foundation and structural work that happens after the groundbreaking. That is where there tend to be the most delays and surprises, which can wreak havoc on a project's timeline. Weather is a huge factor in that stage, as well as unexpected findings in the ground (can you say "sewer line?") that can necessitate changes to the structural drawings or designs. However, once you're "out of the ground," delays tend to be minor and the project can clip along pretty quickly.

The south addition is officially out of the ground. Wood framing has started and, barring lengthy rain delays or unforeseen disaster (though I shudder to even mention that, lest I curse the project), it should be completely framed by this Friday! After that, the order is: roofing, windows, MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) rough-ins, drywall, doors, painting, finishes. Of course, it takes a lot longer to do these things that it takes to list them. But from here on out, work will continue to move forward six days/week (yes, they're working Saturdays, too) and we shouldn't see any massive delays.

Framers raising the walls on the south addition. This wall appeared about ten minutes after I took the next picture below - obviously they are working hard & fast!

Framers working on the first floor of the south addition.

Framers on the first floor of the south addition. The majority of the first floor addition will house the chapter room, with a expanded kitchen storage on the right (east) side.

Framing is complete in the interior of the basement addition. In this picture, you can see frames for the the closet doors in the student rooms that will be in that area.

Another picture of the addition's basement. Notice the wood framing, steel structural supports, and large window well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beginning, Middle, (End)

I thought it would be fun to play a little game of "Before & After" with some of the pictures I took on the last day of school.  But since we're still mid-project, calling the construction photos "after" just isn't fair.  How about we call these the "middle" pics and we'll play a full game of "Beginning, Middle, End" sometime in August?

At the point I took the "beginning" photos, some furniture & decor had already been moved around, but basically the house looks like how it used to.   Honestly, I'm getting so used to seeing the house all torn up that the "beginning" pictures are kind of shocking.  I almost forgot how the house used to look... which, of course, is exactly why I took the "beginnings."  

Formal, Beginning. 
(That's Delt's Trike trophy displayed prominently in front of fireplace.  DG won Trike this year - Mom's proud of you, girls!)

Formal, Middle.

Library, Beginning.
(At this point, lots of lamps and decorative pieces had already been stashed in here.)

Library, Middle.
(New ceiling & painted bookshelves.)

Card Room, Beginning.

Card Room, Middle.
(Goodbye, window!)

Are you as excited as I to see the End?!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Neither Quantity Nor Quality

So, as promised, I took my camera to the house to take pictures of the new flooring, which at this point is about 65% installed.  Unfortunately, when I got home and loaded the photos on my computer, they just looked really crummy.  I'm posting them anyway, but they just don't do the flooring justice, because in reality it looks really nice.  Plus, especially in the student rooms, the carpet really brings together the new wall paint colors.  I'll do better tomorrow, I swear!

The student room carpet has a stripey pattern in browns with flecks of a grey-blue that matches the wall paint.  In the picture above, the baseboards haven't yet been installed (hence the unpainted edge where the wall & floor meet).

Here's another picture of the student room carpet in a different light.  (The to-be-installed baseboards are stacked on the left side of the room.) 

Terrible picture, I know!  The new hallway carpets are a dark chocolate brown.  

This week, the masons have been laying the brick on the exterior walls above the new sundeck and on the right side of the picture (west wall).

New wall built in the old chapter room.  Desks will be built on both sides of the wall to extend the basement study space.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Mother of All Blogs

All day I've been blogging about books (a shameless plug for, and so I thought I ought to give a little attention to Sweet Home Delta Gamma, lest anyone accuse me of being a neglectful house mother.  I was just at the house today, but sadly I forgot my camera.  I promise to bring it tomorrow so I can snap some amazing pictures of the new flooring the guys started to install on Friday.  For now, here are some pictures of the new roof and the new tiled floors & walls in the basement bathroom.

On the left, the new shingles.  On the right, the old.  The old will be torn off when they extend the new roof onto the south addition.  You can see that the new roof has a similar (though more vibrant) color and also has more texture, which I think is more interesting visually.

New floor & wall tile in the shower room of the new basement bathroom.  Also, lighting has been installed.

The tile work is very extensive in the new bathroom, covering all the walls from floor to ceiling!