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Wiser Living

Finding a natural solution

Green House Girl 7

by Elizabeth Kuster

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I had another top-to-bottom tour of the Show House yesterday, and construction manager Dave Moreno updated me on all of the progress. Here’s what’s going on as we speak:

            ●  All of the windows are in, and crews are in the act of sealing them with caulk. (A nice guy from Andersen Windows was overseeing the process in person when I was there.)

            ●  Masons are continuing to lay the limestone façade. Dave says this will take a long time, because 1) we’re talking about 1,300 square feet of limestone here, and 2) the guys have to install flashing first, to prevent water from seeping in between the cracks in the limestone. Flashing is especially crucial for the third-floor terrace, because that’s where the façade will be topped off with copping stone (a thicker cut of limestone).

            ●  Dave is giving walk-throughs of the site to the electrician, plumber, HV guy and  photovoltaic (i.e. solar-panel) specialist.

            ● Framers are finishing up the final details on all of the floors.

            ● The metal stairs and railings have been ordered and should arrive next week. (Once they’re approved, they’ll be installed.)

            ● Dave’s ulcer is getting worse.

            Here’s the latest stomach-churning glitch: Turns out, there’s a discrepancy between the approved design of the counter in the Nevins Street kitchen and the height of the window the counter’s supposed to fit against. (If things stay as they are, the homeowner won’t be able to open that window.) Result: Dave says they’ll have to “switch the window out,” meaning that they’ll have to raise the bottom of it and maybe alter its location a bit. In other words, some fairly substantial reconstruction will have to be done, albeit in a small area. Poor Dave!

            His ability to multitask continues to blow me away. Yesterday, work involving five different trades—masonry, electrical, painting, framing, and window installation—was going on, and Dave simultaneously oversaw everything and gave me my tour. Yet even as he walked me through the site, his eye was noting details. Case in point: When we were on the second floor, he stopped in mid-sentence, said, “Excuse me,” and went out onto the terrace to chat with the guy who was taping the windows in preparation for painting. Somehow Dave had noticed that, on some of the windows, the guy hadn’t taped the glass all the way to the edge; there were tiny (tiny!) lines of uncovered glass between the tape and the frame that would receive an unwanted coat of paint come painting time. Amazing!

            But even Dave can’t be on top of everything all the time. Yesterday, for example, he forgot he was carrying my purse. See, whenever I go through the Show House, I’m always juggling a bunch of stuff (umbrella, purse, camera, pen, notepad, sunglasses, i-Pod), and he’d taken my purse from me at some point early on. Then, for the next half hour, he absentmindedly carried it around the site—and I absentmindedly let him. Boy, did I feel sheepish when I noticed it. This taught me two important lessons: 1) I need to be nicer to Dave. 2) I need to buy a more macho-looking handbag.