Chronicles of the Design & Construction of Two Waterfront Hurricane Proof Dry Stack Modular Green Custom Homes
1. Villa Lagoon, Wilder Italian Style Home
2. Nasello Italian Style Home

September, 2008 Construction

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I am definitely behind in my updates. But one thing I need to do right away is purchase faucets for the tub and shower, upstairs shower and sinks everywhere. I was told by Dan that I could pay a lot of a little, and choose any brand I wanted as long as it was Delta. Then Randy, our plumber said the exact same thing. So Delta it is... they said we could always be sure to be able to get parts if I used Delta Faucets equipment. I looked on ebay and sure enough, there are people selling Delta brand faucets, but I think to keep things simple, I will go to eFaucets and order all of it at once online.

Note: everything arrived in what seemed like a matter of hours ! "eFaucets" is highly recommended ! Click the image.

If I can afford it later on, I found a website that has cool ceiling appliqués that could give me a classic Italian style ceiling on the first level of the house. One has to dig thru the site to find various ceiling medallions, etc. but there is some nice stuff there.

Big day for us ! The three concrete cornices with curved tops that we have been waiting on cane in today ! They are massive and beautiful. This mould was made by at DacArt especially for this job. I got to see the mould in progress a few weeks ago when I paid a visit to the DacArt plant. It was a huge thing  made from no-telling-how-many individual pieces of wood. When I saw the mold, it was getting finished up by the master moldmaker, and was going to be transported to another area the next day to have epoxy applied, I am sure that they will be able to use it for jobs in the future.

Delivery of concrete cornices, curved sections

Several different attempts were made to get the cornices to flip onto their backs so I could get the concrete acid stain on them.

The proper way to do concrete acid stain is to allow the concrete to age and cure for some extended period of time before you apply any acid stain color. I just cant do that in this case. These cornice pieces were just recently poured, as in last week, but we need to get them on up on the house so the roof can go on asap. It will be interesting to see what, if any, is the difference in outcome of color or permanence by having applied the acid stain to 'green' concrete.

The cornices have some very rough surfaces on the curved parts. I found that the foam 'brushes' that I had been using were not getting the liquid down into the recesses, and if I pressed hard against the surface to try to get it in the holes, the result was a stream of liquid that quickly ran down the curve and onto places it was not suppose to be. So I switched off to using a synthetic bristle brush, which did a much better job on this rough surface.

This photo shows how nice everything was before. Everything was level and we had worked hard to start wildflowers and keep them watered.

The plan was to grind off the iron hooks at some later time. I sure an glad now that we had not already done that.

The soil was still loose underneath and my baby plants were tiny. All the loose soil washed out and the erosion was bad.

Now on to our Hurricane Gustav and Ike damage. We had HUGE waves in Gulf Shores and a lot of the area close to the beach was under water. We had minimal wind except right out at the water's edge. During Hurricane Ike we went down to the beach on Fort Morgan Road and I took some photos of the huge waves. The sand was blowing so hard that it really stung our skin and I was afraid that my camera would be a goner.

Most all the work that we did on the bulkhead was undone by the storms. The loose dirt that was under and behind the old left over cornice blocks was all washed out and of course all our little seedlings are history. :o(

BUT, compared to what happened to those poor people in Texas and Louisiana, I don't think I have much to complain about. It was unfortunate that the timing was such that we did the work on the water's edge in the middle of storm season, but it couldn't be helped.

I won't spend any money on any repairs down there until storm season has passed. Then when I do, I will make sure that the vegetation is encouraged to cover the soil completely, as where ever there is good dense vegetation, there is no erosion. We just didn't have enough time for our little seedlings to mature before these storms came.

September 19th, 2008

Today the crew placed the first curved cornice. While on the ground, they had to get it in a correct, vertical position so it could be lowered as it would sit. There are three round eyes in the top of the cornice. They used a chain to connect to the third hook so they could level it.

Pick-up eye-bolts are embedded into the tops of the cornices. They are recessed so we will not have to do any grinding... maybe just some patching.

We are now having fabulous weather, cool evenings (60's) and delightfully warm days, not hot like it was for about 3 weeks straight.

West elevation. Next door is some undeveloped land that is divided into 10 lots. No one has built any houses yet. I walked over to the new street they put in for the 10 lots to take this photo.

When I left today Don was on the man-lift using a piece of wood to help position the cornice at the right angle. He is on 2-way radio with Mike who is operating the crane.

There are some decorative pieces that go on the flat parts of this area above the panel. We do not have them yet.

Some of what is going on at ground level.

We are having to cut all our steps. They came in larger than the support system that we have built.