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Work Continues on Sheetrocking, Electrical, and a New Balcony is Added

May 8, 2011 - This week we got much of the wallboard up, and by Friday we are about 20 sheets short of having all the walls done. We still have our work cut out with the most demanding wallboard job ahead of us - the ceiling of the video production room. We will have to rent a scissors lift to safely get the 50 or so 4' x 8' sheets of 5/8 inch wallboard affixed to the ceiling. Each sheet weighs over 70 pounds. Once the ceiling is in place, we can have ComforTemp back to blow in the insulation in the attic - it will be nice to check that off the list.

We also got a great deal of the electrical outlets and switches on the second floor working. One room at a time, Lalo was able to get the wiring completed and the lights on. He also ran some of the wiring we added to the big room. Each bank of lights has its own set of switches and dedicated breaker which should really help during video production shoots. We fixed some of the wiring and conduit on the panel boxes, and with some luck, should be able to have the electric company back out later next week to power up the building.

Adam and Alan turned their attention to the 2nd floor landing on the west side of the building.We looked through the scrap pile and realized we had enough material to piece together some metal C channel to turn the landing into a full balcony. You can see some of the guys handy work in the photos of the deck shot from the underside. Once the 3/4" plywood decking was added, the railing beams were welded in place. Everyone who has toured the building has commented about how much they like the 2nd floor decks. We will now have another one for our tenants and their employees to enjoy.

Our engineer Ron Saikowski, told us to use concrete footers for the ramp beams. In the spirit of the project, we returned to the scrap pile and found the empty  5 gallon Mascoat Weatherbloc pails that we could set in the ground and fill with cement. Adam took care to set these concrete footers one inch lower than the container floors, so we can slope the dirt to drain water away from the building.  

We spent several hours over the weekend organizing the scrap material piles. With our budget being strained to the limits, we have to find creative ways to add new things to the building, with out adding additional costs. Smaller sheets of wallboard most contractors would throw out, are finding their ways to walls that will not be exposed (example: the kitchen walls behind the cabinets).

The Cyc walls in the video production studio will be build primarily from scrap OSB panels from the building roof and siding. The forms for the flat-work are some of the same forms we used on the foundation, and the scrap wood from the building frame out.  It is great when you can be green and save money in the process. We also have some plans for the scrap metal that will be turned into decorative features at the end of the project.

Rain has not been a factor on the project, at least for the last 91 days. That is how long it has been since we had any kind of significant precipitation. The ground is rock hard, and with temperatures now in the low 90's an afternoon downpour would cool things off without causing any significant delays. In Texas you have to be careful what you wish for - this lack of spring rain could be followed by summer floods.

Next week Fernando from Flex Builders will return with the AC units which we will mount on the roof of the building. We will order fire emergency lights and install them as shown on our electrical drawings. We will spend a great deal of time taping and floating the wallboard, and of course, installing the "rock" to the ceiling in the big room. With some luck, we can begin texturing the walls and get the work on the handrails completed.

Posted by on May 08, 2011

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Adam welds a column to a metal plate anchored into the concrete footing

An addition was added to the landing to the second floor to make it into a full balcony.

Handrails for the balcony are welded in place.

The metal tubing will help support the balcony and walkway on the 2nd floor.

We re-used the 5 gallon Mascoat buckets for the footers on the vertical supports.

A example of making good use of scrap materials for the new deck.

The video production room has a bank of 20 amp switches for the lights.

Our highly organized scrap pile. When we need something we check this pile first.

Wood scrap that will be used for the flat-work walks around the building.

As with any job, you should take time to smell the roses whenever you can. In our case it's gardenias. Our 9' bushes exploded with blooms this week.