"Hamilton, Tear Down This Wall!"-- Bringing Our Construction Up to Date

reaganWalls have always been big news. From Ronald Reagan's famous 1987 speech imploring Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall to our current political situation, walls create a barrier and an image. So it is no surprise that we have been using a very critical eye in assessing where the interior walls are to be located in our new home. A particular sticking point has been the walls for the stairway to the loft space and upstairs bedrooms. Since the new house is predominantly a ranch style home, the second story has been downplayed in importance, with some concessions being made to accommodate roof trusses. But we want to make sure the stairway has sufficient overhead clearance, is wide enough to allow easy transport of furniture, and doesn't feel claustrophobic. There are building code issues to consider, and a crown moulding question as well.

So the stairway has undergone several revisions on paper to meet all of our requirements. Each do-over has reconsidered how many steps will protrude onto the foyer, where the mid-stairs platform will be, and where the required hand railing will go. The end result included a new interior wall that was constructed last week. Walking through the house with Jefferson-the-Builder the next day we got our first view of the Wall. I could see Barb's brain churning. This was not looking right at all. But I could also see that she had the answer. Guillotine the top part of the wall, put the hand rail just so, match this to that, and it could all work perfectly.

barb and jeff

Barb and Jeff-the Builder sweat the details.

Jeff didn't have any reasons why the revised plan couldn't work, but we still had to present it to Hamilton-the-Architect. "Tear Down This Wall!" Barb proclaimed. And just like Gorby in Berlin, Ham agreed. He even liked the idea. The wall chop has now been done and it looks great. Once again Barb has put her touch on a problem and found a diamond in the rough. Now we just need to convince Ham and Jeff about our crown moulding preference.

Otherwise the construction is progressing, although at times the pace seems a bit too protracted for our taste. Rough plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and low voltage wiring should be completed within the week, to be rapidly followed by inspection, insulation and wall-boarding. If the wall-boarding doesn't happen soon, it might be time for some water-boarding to get things moving along! In the meantime we are busy working out the shape and materials for the patio, completing lighting and flooring choices, and pushing hard on Stan the Cabinet Man.

Since we plan to close on sale of our Long Grove house right around Labor Day, we have rented interim housing beginning in September. In another of those karmic events that have been inexorably linked with this process since the beginning, I have found a furnished two bedroom apartment in the same housing complex we lived in 26 years ago while waiting to move into Long Grove. Instant Karma's Gonna Get You!**

One last thought. If Trump could really get the Mexico to pay for his wall, do you think he could also get it to pay for building our house? If he can accomplish that, I might vote for him after all. (Just kidding, folks!)

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** Music Trivia--What other songs have "Karma" in the title? I can think of three more. Email your answers to les.raff@post.com

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