Landscaping: Week 11
May 1-5, 2000
More stone work this week, both inside and out.
The coping tiles have been added around the spa. They had to remove one bit of stone that was too high… it will be replaced later. Work is also progressing on the stone pathway that will surround the house. I’m becoming an expert at cleaning the spa.
At one time today there were 3 different crews working, then the house cleaners showed up. Busy day. The dining room has over 1/2 the tiles set – quite nice. With grout it will look even better. The stone and steps around the spa also look quite nice.
The same stone on the dining room floor is going to go on the fireplace. But the mortar probably won’t stick to the paint; the fireplace needs to be roughed up. The plastic comes out and the fireplace is attacked with a motorized wire brush. Lots of dust comes pouring out the doors from the dining room to the back yard. But what’s that noise? A car alarm?
The plastic didn’t stop the dust from getting to one of the smoke alarms and faking it out. Not just any smoke alarm, but the one tied to the house alarm system that causes a call to be placed to the monitoring station. Oh shit!
I called the monitoring station and canceled the alarm before the fire trucks arrived, but a deputy sheriff still came over to see what the ruckus was about. He said he wanted to see the inside, having noticed all the work the past few months. He got to watch me turn off outside alarm, reset internal alarm, then repeat as it went off again 5 seconds later until the dust settled a bit.
I vacuumed the detector and taped a plastic bag around it to keep more dust out. The work crew decided the wire brush wasn’t working very well, anyway and went to plan 2. Steel mesh is being fastened to the fireplace using concrete nails and large washers. The mesh will hold mortar.
While the fun was going on inside the house the steps by the spa got closer to completion, as did the walkway around the house. The section of roof to be removed was prepared by removing the post and fake beam from the bottom and the tar and gravel, plywood, and insulation from the top. Tomorrow the corner should be cut off.
Inside: the floor tiles are in place and we picked out the color of grout we like. The steel mesh has been fastened to the fireplace and the whole thing slobbered with a stickem solution that’s supposed to make the mortar stick better. Outside: both roof and step have been clipped so they are now parallel with the dining room doors. It really opens things up. The steps were slightly expanded on the sides. It’s going to look great covered with the slate tiles. The pathway around the house is almost done, too.
The stonework around the spa is done. They didn’t like the drainage in one spot, so ripped it out and did it again. It looks like rain water won’t drain into the spa, any more. There’s less and less stuff in the driveway; enough has been moved that they’ve started to cover the brick on one side. The other side has been cleaned up, ready to plant.
Lots done this week – things are really coming together. Holes were punched in the retaining wall for lights and they’ve started covering it with a layer of stucco. The front retaining wall is capped and the brick prepped for its stucco layer. The dining room floor has been grouted and the fireplace is taking shape. Great colors.