Monthly Archives: February 2014

and then there’s the wiring issue….

I imagine that a certain amount of frustration is to be expected anytime you take on a large construction project. With that in mind, aside from a few hiccups along the way, we consider ourselves relatively lucky that most things have gone smoothly thus far. That is, if we don’t consider the wiring issue.

We were initially referred to a local company, McCray Electric, when we first began to put our plans for building in motion and scheduled an appointment to meet with them back in September. Completely clueless as to how to go about lighting our cabin or where we would need to place all of the outlets, we took our cabin plans in and met with them to discuss various options and ideas, feeling very confident when we left our meeting that they would do a fantastic job. They said they had wired other log cabins in the past and seemed well aware of how to best go about the job, bringing up things we’d never even thought of. After discussing the project in length, we were told that they would go over the plans a bit more thoroughly in the coming week and then get back to us with a price quote and give us a complete plan for wiring our new cabin. Several weeks went by and several phone calls were made, each time we were told they would get back to us with a quote, “tomorrow”.  It’s now February and we’re still waiting for them to call “tomorrow” with their price quote!

In the meantime, construction began and we needed an electrician to go ahead and start wiring as the logs were being laid. At Mr. Lipham’s recommendation, we agreed for him to bring up his electrician from Alabama to do the job. We absolutely loved Andy (who turned out to be Mr. Lipham’s son for those of you who haven’t been following all along) and found him to be much fun to have on the site. Clearly he was knowledgable not only as far as the wiring, but in all areas of building a log home. The problem was, after wiring half the cabin, he had to return home to Alabama and the rest of the wiring was left to another member of Mr. Lipham’s crew who had been helping Andy wire the basement and first floor.  We soon began to suspect that the only training Raymond had in running wire was the two days he worked with Andy before he had gone back home to Alabama. The idea was that Andy was going to return to finish up what Raymond couldn’t do at the same time Mr. Lipham returned to finish up the few construction projects that were left undone when the building crew had left. Unfortunately, circumstances did not allow for them to return when they had initially planned and, as we needed to move forward with construction, we eventually had to make other arrangements to get the work completed.

Having little luck in finding an electrician that would come in to finish what Andy had left undone, fix the mess that Raymond had made, as well as to sort through the quagmire of unmarked wires that were running haphazardly throughout the three floors, Dave finally decided he’d take on the project himself. Having a father who is an electrician, as well as having previously wired a house that he had renovated in Richmond’s historic Church Hill, he was no stranger to the task. He’d just been trying to avoid it. He has now spent the last three weeks sorting out the mess of unmarked wires, starting by first by going wire by wire, attaching a 9volt battery on one end and a current detector on the other,  painstakingly going through the entire cabin trying to figure out what runs where and labeling each with a sharpy as he goes along. He has also confirmed what we had feared- that everything Raymond had run on the second floor, as well as much of the main floor, has to be redone.

While we’ve been working on the wiring, Todd Hawkes and crew have started putting the stone on the chimney….AWESOME!

Gentry Well Works have been back as well…

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drilling the well…we have water at last!

Okay, so we don’t actually have water in the cabin yet, but, thanks to Gentry Well Works Inc., who came out this week and drilled our well, we’re that much closer to running water. Hooray! The septic system should go in next week so it’s only a matter of time now…

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front porch stair rails, check… fireplace stone, check…

We had started working on the handrails for the front porch stairs the day we finished the interior of the fireplace but ran out of time so that was the first on our agenda to complete this past weekend.

Next, we set the log mantel supports in place so Todd Hawkes and his crew could begin putting the stone around the fireplace.

After looking through countless samples of rock, we had settled on using Eldorado stone veneer in Shadow Rock Willow and were extremely pleased with our choice! Our initial reason for using a wood burning fireplace insert and stone veneer was to cut back on cost a bit but in the end we could have done a full masonry fireplace for what we ended up paying!

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