Here are some photos of the concrete pour for the driveway, front walk and firepit area. Note our contractor installed PVC pipe runs under the driveway and front walk to accommodate later installed irrigation pipes and cable. Nice to plan ahead for those items.
We had some left over wood from the beautiful beams in the great room. So, I had the carpenter make a work bench top for a nook in the garage. Its about 22 inches deep, with 2 large timbers next to 2 smaller ones. Originally, I set the top of the bench at 42 inches. But, after installation that was clearly too high. At that height, it would be hard to get leverage to push or hammer an object on the bench. So, we dropped it down to about 37 inches, which will work much better.
Clawfoot tub in its native habitat (e.g. discarded in a field).
About the time the foundation was being poured, we made a visit to the Clawfoot Tub Doctor, located near Brenham, Texas to see about purchasing an old cast iron tub. Mike, the owner (and resident tub doctor), showed us the inventory scattered through his field. We selected a 5 footer, which had an old nickel fixture, and made a deal with Mike to refinish it all. He worked more quickly than we did and the tub was ready in about a month, with new white enamel and a working fixture.
With Mike’s help we loaded the tub onto the bed of our F-150, with his forklift. We then drove it back to the house, where I had a couple of burly guys waiting to help us unload. I would guess the tub weighted about 200 – 250 pounds, and could be managed by two strong fellows.
My wife decided to remove the antique claw feet, and our carpenters prepared a wood cradle from some scrap wood from another project. It’s not yet installed — I will post another picture when were are finally done.
Made in the good old USA and, yes, it really is “old” — 1927.
There is a temporary electric meter set by our utility provider for construction, but getting the permanent power was more of a challenge than we expected. The old house had the electric meter on the front of the house, which was less than 100 feet to the transformer on a nearby telephone pole. We designed the new house with the meter at the back of the garage, to keep it out of sight and we planned to put the electric line underground for safety and aesthetics.
Well it turned out that we should have consulted our electric provider earlier in the process. Running the power to the garage was a longer distance than the utility preferred, due to line resistance and potential power “sag”. The extra distance was about 70 feet or so, which on its face does not seem like much. While I never got a clear answer on the maximum distance the meter should be from the transformer, it seems like anything over about 150 feet poses potential problems. The distance is a function of a number of variables including, size of the transformer, size/resistance of the service line, and customer power demand.
Also, running the service line underground required the utility company to replace a telephone pole on the corner of our yard, so that all the utilities (including cable/internet) could be properly dropped down the side of the pole. Time for the new pole and transformer upgrades were 6 – 8 weeks, given the utility’s heavy work schedule. Also, trenching for the new conduit had to be carefully planned to avoid running too close to an existing large pecan tree.
So, all of that caused us to have to re-juggle our schedule for landscaping and related work on the site.
Now we are just awaiting our utility to come and pull the wires through the new underground conduit.