Oct. 15 Construction Meeting Notes

Harold, Dorothy and Bob met on Tuesday from 10:20am to 11:10.

Nails again: Owners are reporting flat tires again. We have seen heightened awareness by contractors, and crews out with magnets. The question is whether the situation has improved since these new measures were implemented, and whether it has improved enough. Saving the incriminating nails can help Bob find the source of the problem.

Roof work: Tiles are loaded for the 930s & 40s; 950s being loaded now. Installation will begin when the ; 60s & 70s are waterproof. When the final stucco coat is done (930s), all can be installed, otherwise roofs that abut a stucco wall have to wait until after color coat. The roofer’s storage containers at the 910s will remain somewhat longer.

Outdoor electric outlet covers: The project will be reinstalling these. If owners want to have their own models (e.g. with special covers for plugs that are permanently left in), they should supply those.WindowWeatherstrippingOpen

Question of white weather stripping around new doors & windows: It is not designed to be painted. Owners may paint at their own risk. (photos show the weatherstripping around an awning window open and closed)

Deck & trellis work: All decks are in, almost all trellis work is complete (970s). The grassy area being used to paint trellises should be restored within about 3 weeks, and that crew’s storage containers removed as well.

awning window weatherstripping, closed

awning window weatherstripping, closed

Cement pouring. GEM is aware that it needs to be scheduled.

Cement Tile Sealer. Bob will find out the product specs and supply them, so owners can use a compatible product if/when they seal their courtyard tiles.

Landscaping. Brian/Plowboy has been doing clean-up around the 910s, repairing irrigation, etc. They are thinking about putting in mulch until planting decisions have been made and are ready to be implemented for the entire complex. November is an optimal planting month, as natural irrigation and cooler temperatures can be expected.

Progress report

900s, 910s, 920s: Bob has completed his punch lists for these clusters, and these items are being worked on. *Everyone* (not just owners) is eager to get these items taken care of, but it is often difficult to finalize detail work.

930s: Punch lists are being compiled for this cluster as well. Window cleaning and caulking around the entry courtyards is in progress. The remaining scaffolding has been “called” (is no longer being paid for) and should be removed this week. The dumpster and port-a-potty will be removed this week as well.
Roof tile installation won’t begin until the waterproofing (underlayment and PVC) is complete in the 960s and 970s. It should happen in October. Cement pouring hopefully soon.

940s: Stuccoing is in progress. The gray Sto waterproofing coat is almost done. The general contractor is working on his completion list items there now, prior to having Bob come in to compile his.
The crew of painters is now up to 10 men, and they are working on this cluster.

950s: Juliet door bars (for the match-existing units) will be installed this week (a matter of a half hour each). Plasterers are essentially done with the lathing. It will then wait for a week or so until the stucco work on the 940s is done.

960s: All rear door/window work is complete. The front courtyard windows are being worked on, about 3 units will remain to be done at the end of this week. Essentially all plaster demo is complete (some pecking out may still need to be done).

970s: Boxing up of back patio and family room doors/windows will start at the end of this week.

Next meeting: Tuesday Oct. 29, 2013, 11am.

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Replacing Window crank handle with “propeller” model

I just replaced two of my long window crank arms with the shorter “propeller” type that don’t stick out so far. It does take more time to turn them to open the windows though. I bought a package of two (aisle 16 at Home Depot, right hand side about stomach height, $5.78). These are “universal”–come with 5 sizes of plastic sheath (ours need no. 3). The Home Depot propellers are slightly smaller in outside diameter than the original cranks, so a thin ring of bare metal shows. Not a big deal but since I was painting anyway I decided to put the red plastic cap back on, mask the screen, and spray paint them. (Better idea: use a small brush!) Below are a series of photos illustrating the process.
Amazon.com has 2 similar products for roughly the same price:
Ideal Security, 4-pack for $8, and Prime Line, 2 for $5.78.
If you didn’t do “match existing” and want to replace all of yours, a full set including the “Juliet windows” would need 11 of these I think (4 living room, 2 foyer, 3 family, 2 master bedroom). If anyone tries the amazon models, please report here in the comments whether those cover the entire metal base.


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Oct. 2 Construction Meeting Notes

Harold, Dorothy and Bob met from 11:05am to noon.

Question about white weatherstripping around new windows: these fit into a small groove and are slid out vertically. They are removed during painting. There are small gaps in the corners after it is cut to length.

Wooden strips in concrete of back patios: The original ones were 2×4″ redwood, and the new ones around the perimeter will be as well. Owners can replace the remaining “cross” (many have rot) with new redwood, a grout joint, poured concrete, pea gravel, etc. [Some owners have installed tile or various decking materials over these patios. A concrete polishing professional did not recommend polishing exterior concrete because weathering soon destroys the sheen and deteriorates the surface.]

Joint where courtyard tile meets the walls: any debris will be blown out, filled with foam, and caulked.

Cleaning upper deck drain: If you can see debris through the cap, it may be better to remove it by hand than try to flush it out. Once screws are removed, it may be hard to remove if the gap is full of dirt & grime. Try prying/pulling it up gently. If you notice tufflex in the joint, the problem may be more severe.

Upper deck doorstop. Disk-type stops have been approved for deck and utility room doors, for all units that don’t already have the stick-type. The rigid stick-type have been ordered but haven’t come in yet.

Replacing courtyard gate and garage-utility locks. Owners are on their own about this. Project policy is that project contractors should not be doing extra jobs for homeowners. Some solutions:
1) Have a locksmith come out to rekey both knobs to match the new ones.
2) Owners remove old knobs or buy new ones and bring to locksmith to have rekeyed (may be cheaper).
3) Use the Juliet door handle & deadbolt (if you did “match existing”) on the utility door, purchasing a simple non-keyed deadbolt and lock for that door, and dealing with the gate separately.

Owner use of dumpsters (& heavy item moving assistance). We owners are NOT supposed to be using these for our personal items. This is an additional cost for the project. Also, owners should try to keep project time needed to help moving items out of or back into patios & deck to a minimum.

Progress report. 

900s & 910s: Only 2 units still have punch list items (although some things, like replacing the deck & utility doorstops, still await completion). FINAL completion this week or early next week.

920s: Punch list items in progress. The plasterer’s completion/punch list isn’t being pushed as hard because it is exterior and doesn’t disrupt homeowners as much.

930s: Scaffolding started coming down Tuesday (10/1) and today.
Final roof tile loading is in progress today; installation with O’Hagin vents will follow.
Cement pouring is being scheduled. There are also some units in the 920s that had scaffolding, and possibly units in the 940s and beyond, which have been waterproofed and may have pouring done. (see photo of tile loading conveyor truck)RoofTileLoadingOct2

940s: All doors/windows are in, papering in is about 90-95% complete, including Eisenwall patch. The gray Sto waterproofing coat will start in earnest next week.

950s: Last pod is getting its scaffolding put up today (10/2). Juliet doors/window work beginning this week, finishing up next week. (Some owner-installed windows are still being done, waited for scaffold.)

960s: Plasterers are working on tying in rear doors (all installed), haven’t done courtyard D/W yet.

970s: Upper decks, trellises, & patio doors are already demo’d. They are moving well ahead of the “front end”/”critical path” of the job, namely the doors & windows. Roof demo is complete; “titanium” roof paper is almost complete.

Next meeting: Tuesday Oct. 15, 2013, 10am.

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White strip around all new doors & windows

Deborah noticed the white trim strip–about 1/2″ perpendicular to the plane of the wall running vertically between the stucco and the new doors/windows. For those doors (in the interior courtyard) that owners have chosen to leave white, this isn’t a problem. However, if you chose blue (and for back patio and Juliet, which must be blue), this strip is rather jarring. See photo. The email thread pasted below unfolded on the Community list.

On 9/17/2013 7:07 PM, Deborah Kuchnir Fygenson wrote:
Hello Neighbors, I commented on Harold’s blog regarding the doorstops, but I just realized that many may not follow the blog and its comments, so I wanted to voice my concern here, where more may read and respond: I was shocked to see so much white on the presumably finished doors and windows in Harold’s doorstop images. It seems to be generally the case that wall edges next to some new doors (see doorstoputility.jpg in Harold’s latest post) Imageare being left as white rather than being painted to match the abutting stucco. To me, this looks very bad, especially when the doors and windows are painted to match the original blue color. Not at all what I think was conceived of in the collective decision to match existing as much as possible by painting the doors and windows… Also, in Harold’s doorstop gooseneck images it seems that the gaskets of the new operable windows (which are visible from the outside) are white, making the window seem strangely unfinished! Shouldn’t they be a closer match to the final window trim color (e.g. grey)? I mean, it looks kind of silly to paint the window frames and leave the gaskets a high contrast color? I’ve looked through the forum and e-mails and I don’t believe this particular lack of attention to detail has been discussed on the forum. Would any care to further educate me, or otherwise comment? Respectfully, Deborah
On Sep 18, 2013, at 9:07 AM, Aranye Fradenburg <lfraden@english.ucsb.edu> wrote:

I believe there has been a little talk about paint inconsistency, but I think the inconsistencies were confined mostly to the tops of doors. Some homeowners had gone ahead and painted them, others wanted clarity with respect to the terms of the contract and how they were being fulfilled. Can’t remember how that ended up–most of us who are still in the thick of things merely pray for painting, period–but this does sound worse than what’s been discussed before. I hope we can do better.

Yes, this was also a concern that we expressed, as the 1/4 inch white lines around doors and windows is aesthetically unappealing, and is also inconsistent with the “match existing” emphasis that was heralded. Furthermore, because the painters have to lay on clean lines on either side of the white lines… this results in double the amount of areas that appear very sloppy due to the line being blurred or not in a straight line, and also paint being on the white… if there as simply one line from the stucco color to the door trim, I believe it would look better AND given that the chance for errors decreases by half, it would hopefully result in much great success of having properly painted (e.g. straight) lines.
Shane & Kary

–On 9/18/2013 4:00 PM -0700 Rudolph & Woolley wrote:
I believe that at least some of these white strips (the vertical ones
around the doors) are vinyl that is put in to define the end of the stucco
installation. You can find uninstalled examples of the product currently
in the 950s. It is manufactured by the Vinyl Corp which has a big web site
and makes dozens of products.

their technical specs sheet for these kinds of products (I think) is here:

That sheet says that paint adhesion is excellent and no priming is required.

So it seems to me that in principle there is no technical reason not to
paint these strips.

–On 9/19/2013 4:34 PM -0700 gail humphreys wrote:
Hi folks:

Some clarifications:

To allow free discussion to flow re the Project without exposing the WCPHOA to possible defamation lawsuits, we decided to make the website accessible to WCP homeowners only.

The board has a significant list of concerns re the work of the architect.

The white stripe around the doors was an oversight by the architect.  (He might argue that it was an intentional attempt to save costs.  We did not request it; he did not ask us.)  The strip is actually metal, and comes from the factory pre-painted.  Painting it  was not written into the Spann contract.    We believe that the architect focussed on the leak-remediation portion of the project—for which we believe he has done an excellent job—and treated casually the aesthetic elements of the Project.  We had a
meeting with him recently.  It was not particularly successful.  While the Board has taken no formal action, I think our feeling is that we have so many challenges before us, that to go forward with litigation to get the architect to pay for the aesthetic oddities just doesn’t make sense.  Our other choice is to pay for the changes ourselves.  Our budget is very tight right now and our future expenditures are not certain.   So, we are fixing small things, like the door stops, and passing on larger things, like the white borders around the doors.  When you paint the inside of your unit, you could do the strips yourself.  We will have the correct paint colors available.  Personal observation:  I no longer see the thin white strip. It just disappears in the whole of the  finished Project.

Hope this helps.
[note: Gail later sent a correction that the strip is indeed plastic]

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Sept 17 Construction Meeting Notes

Harold, Dorothy and Bob met from 11:02am to noon.

Nails, screws, metal scraps on hardscape and in landscaping. Bob called an “all hands” meeting at 10am Monday–all of the foremen and workers came together for a discussion on safety & leaving a secure and safe job site. They will take much greater care to pick up any nails etc. when they see them–no matter whose they are, and to clean up more carefully at the end of the day. The roofer, plasterers and general contractor are now all aware and have agreed to this. However, we cannot expect a 100% find rate, but remain vigilant and take precautions.

Upper deck doorstop. The bumper that keeps the deck doorknob from hitting the parapet wall (also found on utility room and some other open-out doors) is a flexible model that rusts, and bends when not hitting at 90 degrees, allowing the lever to strike the wall (see separate post with multiple photos). In the meantime Stonemark has priced out a rigid aluminum stop, which will be installed wherever there are currently stops (upper deck, utility door, some other doors). The new ones are scheduled to arrive today. The replacement work for the 900s-920s will be done when the NRP door hinges are replaced. From the 930s on these will be installed directly. Note that these are screwed into the doors, whereas we previously had semi-spherical models that were mounted on the walls.Image
If your unit had “gooseneck” stops in the tile or concrete flooring before the LRP, those will be replaced with similar models. If you didn’t have any, you won’t get any.
Discussion why the architect chose to change these from the existing saucer-type mounted on the wall, and whether the Board would want to make an executive decision to “match existing.” (Not known why this principle wasn’t followed in this case.)
Considerations: Aesthetics, user-friendliness, cost, time–we’d have to see what we think about these issues. Would it have to be run by the architects? Given the cost concern, it would be good to let them know, even if not officially soliciting an opinion. Would this affect any warranty? We don’t know, but it is not a big deal.
The flexible stops cost $0.68, the aluminum ones $2-3. Harold found a ” Convex Door Stop, Wall Mount” for $4.69. If only the 930s-970s got these, we’d need about 90 of them (2/cluster x 5 clusters x 9units/cluster), for an added cost of $180 or so.
Wall units would be used only on units that don’t have those installed in the door already, with no choice. The Board should decide this. [It was discussed briefly at the 9/17 Board meeting, but until the warranty issue is resolved the Board doesn’t want to make a call on this.] (see separate blog post)

Door edge and jamb painting. It was clarified that the door edges–top and sides will NOT be painted blue (if the owner has chosen to have blue on interior courtyard doors), whereas the jambs (the framing in the house wall) WILL be painted blue. If blue paint was “slopped” onto the edge of a door it will be cleaned up during the completion/punch list process. (Note that owners are responsible for painting–or not–the white interior of the doors.)Image

Progress report. 

910s: Punch list items in progress.

900s: Punch list items in progress.

920s: First two units are into punch list.

930s: The color coat is almost complete on several pods, will be complete next week with scaffolding coming down, and final roof tile installation following. Exterior lights are being installed. (Do the roofers need the scaffolding? Not necessary, but convenient. The stucco contractor calls in that he is done, but the scaffolder may not come right away to pick them up.)

940s: Are about 4 weeks behind the 930s: all doors & windows are installed and papered in, with some fine tuning in progress. Courtyard tile work is in progress.

950s: Door setting is about 2/3 complete; last doors will be set this week.

960s: Boxing up of back side doors in progress, with first ones being removed now (photo).Image

970s: Roof work well underway; deck and trellis work is imminent.

Roof work/Tile loading: All roof work, except the tiles that can’t be installed until after the final stucco coat, is expected to be done (“dried in”) by the end of October or early November. However, the cement tiles won’t be loaded in advance anymore, since so much leaf debris settles up there and must be cleared off before the tiles can be installed (lesson from the 920s). When the roof work is done, the 910s parking lot containers will be removed. One fewer unsightly thing to see when driving in!

Question about a broken courtyard window: please report this to Bob as soon as possible, so that the responsible party can be determined. If this is impossible, the cost will fall to the project.

Damage to shrubs at base of scaffold ladder: this could have been avoided if the shrub had been cut back to clear a path to the ladder. Can Bob work with the landscaper to try to mitigate damage?Image

Next meeting: tentatively Tuesday Oct. 1, 2013, 11am. 

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Wood vs. Metal door sill trim detail.

Following up on the Aug. 26 post, where Cynthia reported that her wood trim had been glued to the floor causing added expense to remove, here are some photos of the two types of trim being used to close the gap between the new door threshold and the owners’ flooring. The first two are examples of stainless steel with tile, the next two are two different types of wood trim. The installers decide which is more appropriate–just so you know what you are getting in to. On the last photo (metal with carpet) note that the owner has painted the aluminum astragal (the vertical strip closing the gap between the doors) white. You can click the images to enlarge them and see the differences.

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Juliet door–levers now on outside

Something else we noticed today: while the added Juliet door railing height is required by code, the levers on the outside are not. We used to have flat caps where the exterior doorknob would be, now we have levers, which look rather silly. (Photo of those will be added soon.)


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