November 21, 2019

November Building Update

by Alan Beatts

The last month has been a good one for the construction but not particularly exciting, so this update is going to be kind of short.  The rough plumbing is completed and passed inspection. Other than some less-than-esthetically-pleasing work in the lightwell, it's a really nice, clean job.  And, it'll be easy enough for me to re-route the stuff in the lightwell so that it's not quite so . . . industrial . . . looking.  Granted, I can understand why a plumber would want to run all the piping between waist and shoulder height -- it's easy to work at that level.  But it doesn't really make for the best look, if you know what I mean.

Antonius and Juan, our electricians, were in last week and the rough electrical for the bathroom is finished.  We just need to get that inspected and then we can get to closing up the walls. With a little luck, I hope to have the bathroom completed by the end of next month.

The framing for the front wall is also finished (big thanks to Zach for getting the last bits completed) and it passed inspection yesterday.  We need to put a little bit of electrical in that wall and then we can start closing it as well.  That job is going to be a bit long because of the complexity.  Instead of just simple sheetrock like the bathroom, there's tile on the outside to do, plus an awful lot of windows to build.  On the other hand, because that wall is mostly windows, once they are built and installed, most of the wall will be completed, both outside and in.

Regarding that wall, I did some research about what sort of wood to use for the trim, casing, and other parts of the window frames and trim-work outside.  I was looking for something that was hard (because of the wear and tear that a storefront gets on a busy street) and also rot resistant (because of the outside exposure).  I was surprised to find that white oak is very resistant to rot and insects.  It's right up there with redwood and is much, much harder.  I was astonished to find the results of a test conducted by the USDA Forest Service in which they left completely untreated (i.e. no paint or sealer) wood samples outside in Wisconsin for 22 years.  Over that time not one sample of white oak showed decay or fungal infection (  Of course, white oak is expensive and hard to work but, if we can afford it, I hope to use that for the exterior woodwork for the front of the shop.  It's sort of a shame to hide such a nice looking wood but, with a proper coat of primer and paint, I'm confident it'll last for at least 100 years.

Finally, I met with Kevin Short, our architect, yesterday as well and we came up with the lighting plan for the main section of the store.  After having guessed at that for both the current store and the cafe, it was really nice to work with someone who actually knew what they were doing.  I think it's going to look great and give us plenty of light.  The added plus is that, with that plan in hand, I can turn the electricians loose on that job.  Once it's completed, we can get the ceiling closed, which is going to make the place look completely different.

Bottom line, we're still plugging along and getting there, it's just been a little s-l-o-w this month.

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