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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Doorstop issue

At today’s construction meeting Dorothy and Harold discussed with Bob the first solution to the rusting exterior flexible doorstops–rigid aluminum ones. These are needed for the upper deck and utility doors. We noted that these are mounted on the door (not the domed models on the wall that we had). While the utility room door hits the wall at 90 degrees, the upper deck froms an oblique angle that could, over time, loosen the stop in the door. We also noted that the new stops stick out farther since they need to be longer than the door levers, which we judged an aesthetic disadvantage. While taking pictures to illustrate the problem, we noticed that, since the new open-out doors are not recessed like the old ones were, they open (almost) completely (180 degrees), and can hit the wall or open awning windows. Some of the old doors had “gooseneck” stops screwed into the courtyard/patio tile–these will be replaced if there originally.
Do residents have strong opinions about which solution is better–rigid door-mount vs. convex wall-mount? If so, please discuss in the comments section, below.Image
Above is the solution used on the 900s-920s, which will soon be replaced by rigid models of the same type. Here is what can happen if the door is opened vigorously–the lever hits the wall:
But will the rigid replacement loosen over time because it hits at an angle? How much are we willing to spend to buy convex models (flexible cost $.68, rigid $2-3, convex $4-5)? (We need maybe 90-100 for the remaining clusters, so the added cost would be about $200.)
Finally, not to confuse matters, here is what a new gooseneck stopper looks like:
And here is the application on the utility room door:

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Watch out for nails (email thread on flat tire danger!)

Harold: the emails below were sent to the community list on Sept 11, continuing until Sept. 15 with Harry’s photo of the “catch” of his magnetic sweep:

Harry's magnet found over 100 items around his unit.

Harry’s magnet found over 100 items around his unit.

I’ll add that Dorothy has sent around several warnings about this since last fall, and that the contractors have been notified. However, since it is impossible to prove which nail came from where, homeowner vigilance is the best remedy: walk to your mailbox and keep an eye peeled!
Dear Neighbors,
this morning I got my first flat tire, due to a gigantic nail. Several hours and hundreds of dollars later, I am sending this warning so that, hopefully, it won’t happen to you. Since my car was parked in the visitor lot next to the 970s, I believe the nail must have been on the road. Maybe we can all keep an eye out for nails & screws on the road as we drive, bike or walk out or in–in addition to checking around our units and clusters as we already do?
Dominique 977
The roofing trucks ‘race’ around the outer roadway (and often turn around in my cluster) spreading nails long after the roofing work in the cluster was done. As Dominque notes, I always go not only behind my garage, but out to the mail boxes in the first cluster to make sure that I don’t drive over any nails.

I was surprised to still be finding nails until I saw the truck driving into my cluster and the speed at which it was moving.

Cynthia 919

Dog walkers unite! Those walks are a great time to find nails. I collect
one or two on the perimeter road most days I’m home. In our cluster, I’ve
been finding a few each day around 4 to 5 pm (18 nails on Monday) on the
few weekdays I’m home. It will help if we all ramp up the patrols, to
protect our tires and our feet.

This information should be sent to the roofers, in particularly Frank,  who drives the truck, so that they are more careful in the future and  perhaps inspect the road after they are done each day. Maybe the board  would like to send the message.
Eduardo Raposo, #913.

Sigh, so sad to hear that this is still happening. I’ve experienced three flat tires since the construction started, all from a variety of nails and screws. Sears will repair a puncture for $20.
Bob Nieder
Unit# 911

Thanks for the tip, Bob. And thanks to Tess for the dog walking / nail spotting patrols!
What I found was that if you get insurance on your new tires, which costs about $20, they will fix or replace them free of charge for the lifetime of the tires. I think it’s well worth it.

Better yet for COSTCO members who buy their tires at COSTCO, they fix your flats and rotate your tires for free.
===========Sept. 14 the thread migrated to nails in the landscaping; I don’t have all of the posts; Cynthia noted that she found lots of nails in the greenscape around her unit.
How about once the construction is over, you hire someone (me) to go through the entire complex with a metal detector. Problem solved.
We have a metal detector you can use.
Catherine Weinberger
Harry Nelson:
Another possibility is to sweep with one of these…. perhaps they even can be rented…
However, the metal detector is still a good idea for non-magnetic metals.
Wow! Our neighbor in the 960’s stepped on a nail in the garden area and drove it into the sole of his shoe. Be careful folks until we can get this cleaned up.

Tetanus shots up to date?

Found 5 mails today in the common drive area in the 960’s.


While we had some nails in our cluster, nothing like what you show has turned up. I wonder if the accelerated work schedule is a factor, causing them to be less meticulous about these things as they pick up the pace.
Juan, 900s
Hi Juan… when I walked around before sweeping with the magnet, I saw maybe 5 nails (or screws) on the surface.
I was surprised at how many popped up out of the dirt when
I dragged the magnet around. I should have said 100 fasteners… add up the nails + screws to get over 100.
I think all the metal was magnetic… lath + fasteners mainly.
all the best, Harry

Thanks Harry! I would urge everyone to be extra careful while walking around. Construction debris has reached Palm Plaza and to a much smaller extent, the swimming pool area. Most likely the workers are not always responsible for this spread, as I cannot imagine how a worker could have dropped the screw I found in the swimming pool area, many feet inside the fence. Ideally, kids should always wear sturdy shoes and long pants while playing outside. But of course the weather and children’s whims are not always cooperative. So we can only do our best. And yes, keeping our tetanus shots up to date is always a good idea. Maybe Hilary and I should invest in a magnet, too. Harry: any suggestions on how to go about getting one? 🙂
Xiao-bin (967)

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