Friday, March 28, 2014

Paul's current work site

DAY THIRTY-FOUR: Thursday we visited Paul's current work site which is in Teton Village, just outside Jackson. It is a private residence, in the $4-5 million range, being built by OSM, with Carney Architects. Here is an artists rendering, looking at the south facade of the house:

Architect's drawing of the house Paul is site manager for
It doesn't look really huge in the drawing, but it is pretty big. At the right is the garage and storage area, with bedrooms above (the entrance to the garage is around the corner on the east side); center is the entryway which is recessed (that isn't too obvious in the drawing); left is the kitchen and living-room. Behind, on the north side, is a row of bedrooms, baths and a den.

Here is how it looks at this stage of construction:

This is the west side of the house - the kitchen/living room; entry way is in center and a bit of end of garage at left
This is just a bit to the right of the picture above: showing the end of the garage and bedrooms above; note the overhang. The beams you see under the roof are all steel.
This shows the garage entrance - the east facade of the house. It's big.
So what does Paul have to do? Well, he basically has to oversee every single detail in the process of building the house, making sure it's done right, according to specifications, keeping things on schedule, keeping cost within budget, if possible. He has an office in a trailer on site where he has all the plans, and even more importantly, many three-ring binders with schedules and detailed lists of what has to be done each day, who does it, what they need, etc. He is the middle-man, communicating constantly with workers, suppliers and sub-contractors, as well as with his boss and the architects. If something isn't clear in the architect's drawing, he makes sure it gets cleared up, and that the workers know exactly what they are supposed to do and how to do it, right down to every screw. This often means that he has to make drawings to clarify and make more detailed the architect's drawings. Virtually nothing is left up to the individual discretion of a worker to do as he likes. Paul is incredibly conscientious, and OSM likes that.

Here is an example:

Architect's drawing of the main stairway to second floor in entryway

Paul looks at this plan and asks himself - how is this stairway supposed to be constructed? How does one thing connect to another? How does the landing connect to the wall? How are treads attached to the risers? If there is anything unclear or uncertain, if he sees any possible problems, he makes sure it gets cleared up and the workers know what to do. E.g., if wood is being attached to steel, how is that to be done? Etc. Sometimes this involves his making a drawing, and then running it by the architect and getting it approved. If it is a major thing, e.g., involving structural loads, that is particularly important. Nothing is built that might collapse!

Here are some interior views:
Ellen and Paul in the entryway. The stairway shown above will be to the right of where Paul is standing.
The main living room, with view to the west, seen from the kitchen area.
This is what the view will be from the living room. There are actually houses close by, but they are not visible at this angle:

View out the west windows looking NW to the Teton range
Here is a little case study in what Paul does and the frustrations that can be involved. There are a lot of windows in this house, about 30% of the wall space. The windows were imported from an Italian manufacturer, Albertini. Altogether they cost about $350,000!
Albertini windows
They are triple-paned for energy conservation. They were delivered to the site with an Albertini representative supervising the unloading. But eight days later, on a Friday, Paul got an email from Albertini saying that because of the altitude at Teton village, each window had to be calked in a certain way within ten days after day of delivery or the warranty would be voided! Imagine - scores of windows would have to be pulled out of their crates within two days - over a weekend -  and be calked. It just wasn't possible. The Albertini rep had said nothing about this at the time of delivery. A clear oversight on his part. Paul worked it out, but it took some doing. The other thing about these windows is that they came with no instructions for installation. And there is no flange on them by which to nail them to the frame. When you set them in place, there are gaps through which you can see light. This will require a lot of customized framing, Multiply all that by a factor of 100 or so and you get the picture of Paul's job!

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