Licht'n Stein Scrapbook

Selected annotated pictures from our project.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Open Walls Open House

Dear friends, colleagues, current & future neighbors!

Well it’s been a while since we had a formal open house, but many of you have stopped by and helped (most notably Todd & Eva, Alex and his father Mark, as well as Daniel and his sons Adrienne & Eugene), browsed the site, and encouraged us.

Since November, when I sent the last email, we’ve accomplished quite a lot: The windows are in, the siding is on, the steel roof is on, the rough plumbing is done, the venting is 90% done, the electrical rough-in is 95% done (and I got the “coveted” rough-in inspection sticker from the state electrical inspector!) as is the network/phone wiring, and the speaker/audio-distribution wiring. The ceiling is already sheet rocked and by the end of this week most of the other interior walls will have one side sheet rocked, too. And best of all the project is under budget, in scope with a quality that exceeds our expectations. And on a project that started in September 2005, we’re only about two to three weeks behind schedule.

Next week our interior walls will be filled with “shredded recycled newspaper from Mason City, Iowa mixed with water and corn starch” also commonly known as Cellulose. So this weekend will be the last chance to see the “guts” of the house before we close it all up and move to the next phase of painting and tiling. You’ll also be able to see the stone facing of the masonry stove that began last week (using local stone from a quarry 30 minutes from Lanesboro).

Open House

If you’d like to stop by and see our little dream coming true, please join us on Sunday, April 2 between 1 PM and 6 PM. We will have wonderful pastries from the Lanesboro Pastry Shoppe and around 4 or 5 PM some Pizza’s from Lanesboro’s “Rhino’s” pizza shoppe.

To allow us to plan accordingly, please let us know by Saturday night whether you’ll be coming “for pastries” or “for pizza” (or both ;-).

Also please mark your calendar to join Jennifer and me and my parents, who will be coming from Germany, for our official house warming party on Saturday June 10.

We are truly looking forward to seeing you!


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Our 15 minutes of fame...

Local reporter Lisa Brainard published a very nice write-up about our project. Read more on the Republican Leader web site.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Electrical Work is progressing nicely!

On Sunday, my friend Mark and his son Alex stopped by and we were pulling the wires for the lighting circuit for the upper level. Now all I have to do is do some finish work.
The electrical boxes depicted above are, from bottom to top, outlets behind Jennifer's nightstand, switches on Jennifer's side of the bed (one dimmer for a reading light and one 7-scene controller for whole house lighting control), and, from the back, the light switch in the attached bathroom (one dimmer for the vanity light and one switch for the fan control).
In the background you can see some of Jürgen's work - the stub for the drain of the bathroom sink along with the hot and cold water supply lines. The framing for the tub can be seen on the right.

Am Sonntag haben mein Freund Mark und sein Sohn Alex vorbeigeschaut und wir haben die elektrischen Leitungen für den Beleuchtungstromkreis für das Obergeschoss verlegt. Jetzt muß ich nur noch die Leitungen annageln, damit auch alles ordentlich aussieht. Die elektrischen Dosen, die oben auf dem Foto zu sehen sind, sind, von unten nach oben gesehen, die Steckdosen hinter Jennifers Nachttisch, die Lichtschalter auf Jennifers Bettseite (ein Dimmer für ein Leselicht und ein Schalter für die Steuerung von sieben Lichtszenen von der Hausbeleuchtungsteuerung). Der oberste Schalter, von hinten betrachtet, ist der Lichtschalter im and das Schlafzimmer angeschlossenem Bad (ein Dimmer für das Licht über dem Waschbecken und ein Schalter für den Lüfter). Im Hintergrund kann man auch etwas von Jürgens Arbeit sehen - das Abflußrohr für das Waschbecken und die Heiß- und Kaltwasserrohre. Das Gestell für die Badewanne ist ganz rechts im Bild zu erkennen. Posted by Picasa

Passive Solar is working!

The overhang is shading the windows.
The sun penetrates the whole depth of the living room.

The pictures above were taken shortly after 12 PM noon about half way between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. As you can see the overhang is shading the windows a little bit, but still the sun is able to penetrate the whole width of the living room. When I put the thermometer in the sun, I got 88°F/31°C! In the shade it was still going up to 64°F/18°C and we didn't have the propane heater on for about two days! The outside temperature was somewhere in the upper 20s (-3°C).

Die obigen Fotos habe ich letztes Wochende um kurz nach 12 Uhr gemacht. Zeitmäßig sind wir jetzt ungefähr auf der Hälfte zwischen der Wintersonnenwende und der Frühlingssonnengleiche (sagt man das so?). Wie man sehen kann, schattet der Überhang den obersten Bereich der Fenster, aber die Sonne scheint trotzdem noch ganz bis zur hinteren Wand des Wohnzimmers. Als ich im Wohnzimmer ein Thermometer in die Sonne gestellt hatte, ging das Thermometer bis auf 31° hoch. Im Schatten waren es immerhin noch 18° und dabei haben wir die Propanheizung (die im Keller steht) für zwei Tage lang nicht angehabt! Die Außentemperatur war ungefähr -3°.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Little House on the Prairie

How a little sunshine can make look everything just a little bit more nice... Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 04, 2006

More Siding

This week Lyndon & Paul (with help from Gene) got a lot more siding done. Lyndon spent the most of his time on caulking all the seams of our Certainteed fibercement siding (no rotting, very infrequent painting!). It's a tedious, boring job, but he's very good at it. He actually got special pre-stained caulk that perfectly matches the color. The "cedar shingles" in the gables are also fibercement - they come in 4 foot lengths in three different patterns to create a true "random square, staggered edge" pattern. Posted by Picasa

View from the South

View of our house from the dirtpile to the south...The "greyish" trim will be painted a "guacomole" green once the temperatures get higher. Posted by Picasa

A Tale of Tinted Caulk and a Talented Craftsman

This is a detail picture of Lyndon's Caulking can see the red caulk between the red fibercement boards and the composite (fibercement & wood) trim (which will be painted guacomole green). A true craftsman's work! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 26, 2006

We've got some siding...

At the beginning of this week the crew of Clark Construction, i.e., Lyndon & Paul, started putting up our siding. We selected Certainteed Fibercementboard as our siding material as it requires less maintenance and does not use wood. We went with the pre-finished option (in barn red) though the problem with that is that the paint peels off on the edges of some of the boards, so that some touch up will be required. But hopefully the rest of the paint will last the warrantied 25 years...

The grey trim around the windows will be painted a "guacamole green" but we'll wait with that until the weather gets warmer (although we're experiencing temperatures in the 40s). In general we've been really lucky with our winter weather - I don't think we've had a single day in the single digits (at least not while the crew was working on our house).

Well, as always, if you're reading this and are interested to see it for real, feel free to stop by any time - just call me ahead on my cellphone!

Christian Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Back to Germany

Yesterday I dropped off my dear friend Jürgen from Germany who has helped me tremendously and diligently over the past three weeks. The picture above shows him in front of his final "master piece": my 12-zone radiant floor heating distributing system.

The black things are the zone controls (to be controlled via programmable room thermostats) and the red things are the four 10W 24VDC circulation pumps. The zones are carefully distributed across all four pumps so that not one pump will have to do all the heating all the time. Each of the four supply manifold also has a separate ball valve (above the pump) and a drain valve (at each horizontal end) so that repairs or flushing can easily be performed without having to dismantle the whole system.

The white pipes are the actual Wirsbo Multicor (PEX-Aluminum-PEX) radiant floor heating pipes. The pipes going down are for the three zones in the basement. The pipes going up are for the zones on the main and upper levels. Posted by Picasa