Friday, August 18, 2017

Bella Terra: More Casita Roof, Windows and No Doors

From Bella Terra of Gulf Shores, Foley, Alabama      Window installation began on Monday, August 7th. What a thrill. Here are a few of the most exciting pictures.

Monday, Aug 7. Living area and garage windows are in! 

The bathroom has just a tiny horizontal window. It faces south... toward the preserve.
It will not require a hurricane shutter. 

All casita windows except the small bathroom one will require hurricane shutters. The casita itself is built to withstand 140 mph wind. The hurricane shutters will be attached to the frame just below the small top window. I'm told they are heavy and difficult to install but look nice and are adjustable.

The kitchen window also faces the wooded preserve to the south.
The storm shutter will be affixed just below the upper section of glass.

The garage window opens to the west. 

The shower stall was delivered Monday too. It's lying on it's stomach in the grass a and looks like a big dead elephant. It's embarrassing but I'll live with it.

The giant 8' front glass double doors and sidelights are expected to be delivered any day. Without the doors, the impending framing inspection will fail. David said today, however, that he will move forward with the framing inspection even with the failure to give Steve (the carpenter) time to remedy any other items found in the inspection.

Windows have been cut into the porch wall now too. These will have wooden louvers -- no glass and, of course, are not required to be hurricane proof. An "L" shaped bar will be built against the wall -- a gas grill will be on the side counter and an exhaust fan will be attached to the wall over the grill.

So this is our "look" for today, Tuesday, August 8. Metal roof installation is expected be complete next weekend.

A last minute electrical addition was made today to add two downward lights on the sides of the outer window.
The preserve behind us is home to coyotes and we are afraid they catch us by surprise at night with the little dogs.
I snapped the window pictures while Wayne waited in the topless car with the pups (in the picture below). Bless his heart, he is so "not interested" in the building process. Gnats were really bothersome so I hurried back for our late afternoon ride in his convertible. Gee he loves that little car.

The shower stall was removed from the yard and installed in just a couple days. It's a tiny thing -- about the size of the one in the coach.

Honey! the bathroom is shrinking!

Then on Monday, August 14, the huge Gazebo kit was delivered. It is as large as a pickup truck! It will be erected on the raised pad at the bottom of the picture. The pad will be stained before the gazebo is built.

The roofers returned Friday and resumed the application of metal roof panels but it still is not complete. Wayne and I began looking around at furniture and appliances to get an idea of what we'll want to buy when the time comes for that important finishing expense... er... I mean "touch."

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bella Terra: Electric and Plumbing

From Bella Terra of Gulf Shores, Foley, Alabama      Wednesday, August 2nd marked the end of the fourth week of our contract construction. The sheathing inspection by the City of Foley was done today and passed -- I don't know what "sheathing" is. Framing is nearly finished but I was wrong (in the last post) about the next phase of casita construction. My final sentence in that post was that we'd be getting roof, doors and windows next. In reality, the electric wiring, plumbing and roof would be next.  That's whats covered here.

July 31st. See the light coming through the roof? That plywood gap resulted in Steve firing of one of the framers. Surprisingly, he didn't see to the remedy right away. I sent this picture to David who will see to the remedy.
Guess the inspector will catch it if it isn't repaired properly. 

The casita roof is covered in a product that has thick black adhesive to hold it onto the plywood.
A TV will be mounted in the shaded corner of the porch. Another will be inside the casita.
This will bring our total TV count to six -- seven if we put one in the gazebo. Way too many.
 I cannot operate any of them.

The electrician began stretching electric wire through the rafters and down the walls August 2nd. I made an executive decision to determine location of the porch TV. Considering bar, grill  and window placement, seating and late afternoon sun, I chose to forfeit one porch light and hang the TV in the eastern corner. As always, Wayne isn't interested in making the decisions, but expects I'll make the right ones.

August 2 -- The Island Electric truck remained on site this evening.

On August 2  the recessed can lights were mounted into the vaulted ceiling of the casita. 

August 2  inside the garage. I suppose the electric box will be to the right on the white paper. 

Wayne is standing in our single closet August 2.
 The tiny closet measures  just 2.5' x 2.5' and opens from the bathroom.

We will forgo the porch light on this side of the door to mount the television.
Two windows will be cut into the wall and an exhaust fan will be mounted in the center over the grill.

On Monday evening, David sent a text to say plumbing would commence Thursday and the roof installation was scheduled for Saturday. HVAC work is expected sometime in the next few days too.

We enjoyed a string of three days without rain but the next four days brought showers, including a near full day of steady rain on Friday, August 4th.  It would be Saturday evening before we stopped in to see the progress. Here's what we found....

Saturday, August 5 - Here's what's cooking on the porch...
Water, electric, sewer and gas lines for the still-to-be-built bar. 

August 5 - electric box has been installed.

Washer and dryer connections are complete by August 5 too. 

Kitchen plumbing - also August 5

August 5 Lexie and Ozzie join me for a visit to the location of the toilet. 

August 5 - The exterior is covered with Hardie Board.
A light mounted on the southeast corner will show onto the wooded area behind us.
There is an ever growing coyote population in this preserve.  They howl when emergency sirens go by.

August 5 - two fan mounts and six recessed lights are mounted in the porch ceiling.
NOTE: The gap in the roof plywood appeared to have been remedied when this picture was taken.
The roofing crew came in on Saturday, August 5, despite the 70% threat of rain which finally gave way to fair weather. Appears the job requires just two guys, accompanied by two pre-teen boys who look to be more trouble than worth. Nevertheless...

Saturday, August 5th -- Sheets of metal are going onto this side of the roof.

The front has roof panels a few hours later

August 5 at the end of the day.  Still incomplete though.

The view across part of the lake from our site

A 40% rain chance remains for the next two days, followed by three days of 30% chance. It keeps the grass green anyway.

At this point we are pleased with David Thompson of Gulf Construction in Fairhope. The construction pace seems steady and well managed.  We are approaching the point of the first construction draw which occurs once the utilities are roughed in. Not to be confused with the first payment to the contractor: A deposit was made prior to commencement of construction.

I am happy... hope to remain so.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Bella Terra: Framing The Casita

From Bella Terra of Gulf Shores, Foley Alabama          Framing of the casita began on Friday, July 7th, four days after the concrete pour. We signed the casita building contract with David two days earlier, July 5th. The contract was drawn and approved way back on June 16 -- before my angry outburst described in gruesome detail on an earlier post. I guess everyone was afraid of me -- with good reason. Nevertheless, we are all legally bound to proceed with this endeavor now.

After a great deal of urging from me, David reduced the fourteen week construction period to twelve... though I know that deadline really is not likely to be met.

The final "all horizontal" view of our lot as first material delivery happened Thursday, July 6th.
There's no power to the pedestal yet so the framing crew uses a generator. Bet the neighbor loves that.
The framing contractor, Steve, seems a likable and dependable fellow. 

Then on Friday, July 7, we built a wall!
The framing crew is much too small for my liking -- a mere 3 guys the first few days. 

Saturday, July 8th -- three walls!

July 10th -- the garage framing is added (right side). There's David in blue shirt and ever present flip flops.
 I worry ... don't want him to be injured. (Might cause construction delays.)

July 11th - Wayne's standing in the golf cart garage.
We will have space for shelves and washer and dryer too. 

July 11th - Hard to see but the boards in the middle are porch support posts.
Three or four are needed to support the 12' forward section and 8' sides of the porch. 

From the rear. 

Lexie and Ozzie enjoy exploring their new place.
Can you see them there on the right... 

The area in front of where Ozzie is standing will be laid in circular patterned pavers -- it's the fire pit area.
Lexie is standing on the raised pad where the screened gazebo will be built.
The concrete will be stained once construction is complete. 

The power pedestal wiring was inspected on Wednesday, July 12th and we established the first utilities account we've had in seven years. (Insert icky face here)

Porch framing started - July 12th

On Saturday, July 15th, the roof was started. Gee, it looks big now.
Our typical pattern for watching the construction process is to take a ride over in the golf cart after dinner every evening, after the workers are gone. As I do love seeing construction, this is sometimes difficult for me...

The front porch roof decking was started on  Wednesday, July 19th. Steve found a few more framers, though some of these had to be fired. Seems he is able to keep a few going all the time though. I like Steve so far. 
We were "weather lucky" through the first two weeks of framing. Fast moving showers come almost daily but we didn't have any complete wash-out days until Monday, July 24 when a long train of thunderstorms lasted from before dawn until lunchtime. In early afternoon, some clearing came and progress continued.

July 20th. Standing in the doorway, the full bathroom is on the left.
Kitchenette is on the right with a pocket door into the golf cart garage where we'll have laundry space too. 

July 20th. The golf cart garage and laundry. There will be a double door here. 

By July 24th, the roof decking was coming along nicely and it's easier to see the porch area.
Still a couple of posts to be installed. 

July 27th from the vacant lot beside ours. 

July 27th. Our neighbors are gone now and this angle gives a good look at the comparative size of our casita alongside theirs. The porch and garage make the pitch of the roof higher. Our screened gazebo will be placed similarly to the neighbors and the paint colors will be the same. Our concrete stain will be darker than theirs. 

July 27th from another angle. 
July 27th David, the contractor. No, he hasn't been to the beach.
He continues to impress me with his positive attitude, attentiveness and courtesy.  
Steve on the roof and one of his carpenter helpers, below. It bothers me that they work in the oppressive heat.
They are finishing the roof decking and making way for the roof to be installed in the next few days. 

Steve's girlfriend comes along some days. It's cool on the porch and they have a radio blaring. 

David continues to feel the project is moving along at a good pace and despite the daily showers, we aren't being washed out.  This concludes the casita framing post. Next, we'll watch the metal roof, doors and windows go in.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Going Topless

From Bella Terra of Gulf Shores, Foley, Alabama      The neighbors beside us here in the temporary RV site have a Mustang convertible that they keep under a canvas cover when they aren't here.  Richard, the neighbor, calls it his "fun" car.

I didn't realize it but the Wayner was developing a secret desire to have a "fun" car too and seeing Richard's Mustang intensified it. He confessed to me a couple weeks ago when he saw a red Mustang convertible with a "For Sale" sign in the window out on Highway 59 in Foley. He stopped. He looked... but the red Mustang didn't meet his stringent standards......

So.... we began looking for pre-owned convertible makes and models online. I helped him with research of convertibles. We looked at everything from TrueCar to Carfax to Car Trader to dealer sites to Craigslist. He broadened, then narrowed his convertible car choices to Ford Mustang, BMW, Lexus and Mercedez Benz. He prepared a list of pre-owned convertibles for sale in the area. Last Monday we drove to Mobile to see a Benz, Lexus and Mustang. Tuesday we drove to Destin to see a BMW. Wednesday was Pensacola Day where he checked another Mustang, another Lexus another Mercedez Benz and another BMW. It was hot and tiring work, but we kept going, Lexie and Ozzie in tow every mile.

Thursday was a day of rest from the physical car search, but not from the mental one. He doubled down on his research and made more phone calls.  By Friday evening, he had decided on the BMW he saw in Destin. Of course, that would be the car.... the farthest distance but it was a good price, with low miles and in fine condition. It's a 328i hardtop convertible. He bought it from a widow from Birmingham, now living in Destin. Strike up yet another Craigslist success story for us.

Here we are, about to go topless.

A couple more pictures....

Ready for an early evening ride in Pop's new car.