As you can see, the changes from the exterior are rather subtle. So what's happened in the last month?
- The framers completed work on the structure
- The structure went through two rounds of inspections before it passed. There were a few minor corrections that the framers had to make, and the structural engineer needed to update the structural plans
- A contractor for the roofing was secured
- Work on interior plumbing has started
- Windows have been ordered. This is probably worth an entire blog posting of its own.
Factor in a few days waiting between some of those bullet points, and you get about a month. Having an independent general contractor vs a larger builder means that there is less project management and available resources, so things take longer to accomplish. The reward for the trade-off is usually a lower construction cost and slightly greater flexibility.
|Underneath the ground-level patio|
Above, you can see the extra framing added to the stairwell to give strength to the stairs. I had the option to box-in the entire structure (like in the concept drawings), but decided against it since it reduces the amount of available space on the patio. It also doesn't do anything negative aesthetically, in my opinion.
Inside, some of the changes are more visible.
|2nd floor bathroom plumbing|
Aside from the plumbing, you can see that the framers meticulously built up the height of the floor in between all the studs in the house. This is in preparation for the concrete flooring that will be poured some time hopefully next month.
The framers also added ties and hold-downs everywhere. This helps add earthquake resistance and further strengthens the entire structure.
The plumber started on his work as well. Most of the drainpipes are in, and a lot of the PEX tubing for the hot and cold water has been strung just in the last few days. There's more tubing to come once he starts on the hydronic heating system.
What's next? The plumbing needs to be finished. The windows are due to arrive in a week or two. The materials for the roofing arrives in about a week, so the roof can be installed. Once the roof is in place, the structure can start to dry out and electrical wiring can be installed.