Friday, July 20, 2018

Construction Progress

I just returned home from spending seven days out at Nordegg.  In the process I missed an Eskimos football game and two Renegades hockey games.  But, it was worth it because there has been a lot accomplished out at our property.  On July 12th I headed out for the day and met with the installers from Rolltek Rollshutters.  They installed shutters on all the windows and doors of our cottage and garage.  These will provide added security as well as storm protection, improved insulation, and light control.  I'm really happy with the quality of the product and way that the shutters function. I returned home from Nordegg that evening, and packed up the remaining supplies needed for an extended stay.
On the morning of Friday July 13th I picked up my friend Rob in Nisku.  He had flown to Edmonton the night previously, from a jobsite he had been working on up in Yellowknife.  He had graciously arranged to come out with me for a few days to finish the electrical installation at my cottage.  We arrived out at the property about noon on Friday and quickly set to work unpacking and getting to work.  When Rob came out with me back in March we did all of the electrical rough in.  Now that the insulation, drywall and painting is done, we came back to finish everything.
All the switches, receptacles and fixtures needed to be installed.  And all the home runs needed to be routed into the main panel and connected with breakers.  There were also a few other devices to be hooked up including the water pump, and electric heater in the basement, and high and low level switches on the water storage cistern.  We spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday working on all this stuff and had it pretty much ready to go.
This electrical installation was actually supposed to start last September but an early snowfall on the last day of summer 2017 delayed the start.  We finally got back at it in March, and now an additional four months have elapsed to the completion.  The materials list was originally made up last year, and there were some changes and adjustments made over that time.  Needless to say we had some extra materiel that was not needed, and more seriously we were short a few things.  My contractor Scott of Shunda Creek Contracting has a gold mine of materials in inventory at his place and we raided it a few times to get some of the things that we were missing.  Scott's cooperation was very much appreciated and I have to make sure and bring him out some of his favorite Rum to acknowledge that.
I also called on our friends Shelly and Eric to pick up a couple extra breakers for me in the city, and bring them out for me on Sunday.  Rob and I made a quick run into Rocky Mountain House on Sunday morning and managed to pick up a few of the odds and ends that were missing, but the Co-op store in town didn't have everything we needed.
First thing Monday morning Scott showed up with his trackhoe and excavated a trench to run the power supply line to the cottage.  We removed the temporary power panel, and strung the line over to the house.  We had left a big coil of extra wire in the ground by the temporary panel so that this could be achieved without any splicing.  I had arranged for Fortis to come out that morning to disconnect the meter for us and shut off the power.  Nick, the technician arrived right on schedule at 9:00AM to look after this for us.  It was smoking hot on this day, and my thermometer recorded a temperature of 36 degrees at about 12:30 in the afternoon.  I suffered a little heat stroke as we worked in the hot sun pulling the cable, sleeving it into conduit, and installing the new meter base.  I had to retire to the shade for a while and felt better by later in the afternoon.  By about 1:30 in the afternoon we had everything back filled and connected and were ready for the power to be turned back on.  We called Nick and he was able to return almost right away and get everything hooked up for us.
When we turned the main panel on there were a few hiccups.  The breakers popped on a couple of circuits due to a couple minor wiring errors.  We got everything fixed up and by the end of the day we had power in the entire cottage.
On Tuesday Rob worked down in the crawlspace finishing up the connection of a couple devices while I worked out in the garage.  We ran a 30amp supply from the main panel in the cottage to a sub panel in the garage.  I installed some receptacles and lights out in the garage and when Rob finished up down in the crawlspace he came out and did the connections out in the garage.  By this time we had complete power in both buildings.  All the receptacles and switches are installed, the water pump and hot water heater are functional and all the light fixtrues and alarms are working.  There are only a few little odds and ends that I will need to look after later.
The two exterior light fixtures on the cottage need to be installed.  One is installed now but it needs a little adjustment.  There is a wasp nest in the soffit by the second one, so we left it alone for now.  A bunch of the cover plates need to be installed.  A thermostat needs to be added for the electric baseboard heater in the crawlspace.  And the ceiling fan can not be installed until I finish the pine on the high ceiling.  Other that that everything else is done.
On Tuesday afternoon, with everything pretty much wrapped up, we jumped in the ATV, threw in the cameras, and took a ride over to Shunda Creek.  That water level was higher than I have ever seen it before and at the waterfall, we were not able to cross.  I brought along two of my 4x5 cameras with two tripods and Rob and I spent a couple of hours photographing.  This was the first time I had shot any film with my big camera since the beginning of May when I shot the old hotel sign in Stettler.  Rob got a chance to try out my Ebony with the asymmetrical rear standard.
I very much appreciate Rob's help with this project.  I am a pretty handy guy and can understand just about anything construction related... but I really struggle with electrical.  I have now learned a little about the basics, but there is no way I could have done this on my own.  I really enjoyed the few days that we spent together this past week, as well as back in March.  It gave us a chance to visit and reconnect.  We used to get out together with our cameras on a very regular basis when Rob lived in Beaumont.  But, he moved to British Columbia a few years ago and although we communicate regularly by e-mail, we don't see each other all that often.  We usually connect for a trip somewhere once a year or so....  This time around there was a lot of discussion about all sorts of topics, we listened to music on the portable stereo all weekend, ate really well with big evening meals, had a camp fire almost every night, and drank lots of beer.
By Wednesday morning there was nothing left to do but pack things up and go home.  We stopped for lunch in Rocky Mountain House, and I dropped Rob off at the airport at around 3:00 in the afternoon.  He was catching a flight home to BC for a few days, but has to fly back up to Yellowknife shortly to go back to work.

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