October 10, 2019

October Building Update

by Alan Beatts

It's been a very busy month at the new building on Haight St.  I'll get to all the details in a second but I've got a bigger piece of news.  I finally decided when (roughly) we're going to move.

I'm aiming to have us up and running at the new building by Spring of next year.  Specifically, by May.  That is, granted, a long way off from now but at least there's a date.  Or, at least a month.

Why so long?  Well, here's the thing -- we need to get the two big jobs finished (the bathroom and the new front wall).  Both are pretty far along but, once that's done, there's still quite a lot to do.  I'd like to get the basement office in reasonable shape because trying to do that after we've moved would just be a whole lot of not-fun.  Also, there are some bits and pieces of work that will also need doing (reworking the stairway to the basement, getting the final electrical in place, and so on).  But the big one is building the shelves.  There are quite a lot of them to build and, speaking from experience, that's a time-consuming process.  Plus, there are bound to be delays as we go.  So yeah, I think that May is about right.  We'll see if that lasts, eh?

In terms of what's been done since you last heard from me:

The electrical overhaul is complete.  Last week the electricians replaced the two breaker panels for the upstairs apartments and so that job is complete, pending inspections.  That also means that the old, might-burn-the-building-down breakers are gone, gone, gone.  In addition to my feeling of relief about that, it should mean we can get an insurance policy for the building that will be a good deal cheaper than what we have now.

The rough plumbing is nearly complete.  This isn't just the new plumbing for the bathroom: since we had time and opportunity, we also replaced all the 100+ year-old drain pipes.  They were in surprisingly good shape, considering, but there were still a number of places where half the thickness of the pipe walls had rusted away.  So, probably good to have that done.  We also replaced and rerouted all the gas lines and the water lines.  In fact, since the sidewalk replacement schedule worked out (more about that in a moment), we were able to upgrade both services.  The original water supplies were 3/4" for the store and 1" for the apartments.  They're now 1" and 1 1/2" respectively.  The gas lines were similarly sized, but we stepped all three of them up to 1 1/4".  That means there is sufficient gas supply to run on-demand water heaters for both apartments and plenty of gas for out-door heaters for the garden.  Bottom line, all the important plumbing services for the whole building are brand new, stem to stern.  When you add in the electrical upgrades, new roof,  and the structural work that we've done, pretty much all the fundamental systems in the building are in top shape and should be trouble-free for decades to come.

Speaking of fundamental stuff.  The sidewalk replacement was completed last week as well.  It looks really great and, because we got the work on the front of the building completed (just in time, as it turns out), the sidewalk comes right up to the front framing and matches the level of the entry just about perfectly.  It was really hard to get all the scheduling to work out, but the product is excellent.

Finally, since the plumbers needed to do work in the lightwell area, those walls have been almost completely closed and should be finished this week.  I'll also be completing the roof over the bathroom extension so the whole place with be sealed up against weather and rain, just in time for winter.

After the lightwell walls are completed, the next steps will be to finish the final bits of framing on the front (it's only three pieces of wood, actually, but I just have not had time to put them in) and then get the framing inspection for that.  Also, once the rough plumbing is finished, there will be a little bit of electrical work to do in the bathroom and then it'll be time to close those walls, lay the tile, and then get the final plumbing and electrical work done.

It's going to be another busy month, but I think we'll be getting a lot done.

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