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RE: Eldorado v. natural stone veneer (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: kygirl99 on 01.06.2008 at 12:27 am in Building a Home Forum

We used Eldorado stone on our outdoor fireplace in our California home and for our wall around our front garden. We liked it so much that we will use it again for retaining walls and fireplaces in our new home.

Here is a photo of the fireplace. It was the Rustic Ledge profile in the color Durango:

almost finished:
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complete:
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We also used Eldorado Stone for our front retaining wall and light posts. We opted for one that was easier to install, the Stacked Stone profile in the Santa Fe color.

My husband did all of the installation and it wasn't hard.

here are pics of the retaining wall, both in progress and completed:

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NOTES:

RETAINING WALL FOR PATIO
clipped on: 01.06.2008 at 11:42 am    last updated on: 01.06.2008 at 11:43 am

Video and Digital Construction Pictures - Of Critical Importance

posted by: grandlaker on 09.03.2006 at 05:46 pm in Building a Home Forum

I consulted this forum regularly before and during the construction of our house. I know people occassionally mentioned taking pictures, but I don't remember anyone stressing the critical importance of documenting the constuction process and the reasons why it is so important. Having just been forced to revist the issue to deal with a problem, I thought it might be helpful to pass on some thoughts, some of which were learned the hard way.
1. If you don't have the equipment already, budget the purchase of a video camera and a digital camera into your construction costs. Don't try to borrow cameras from others; have your own and take them with you every time you visit the construction site. You can also use the equipment to record ideas you see as you walk through other homes for sale or in process of construction while you are designing and planning your home.
2. Make sure the dates are properly set on the cameras. This will provide an automatic date record of the events and construction progress.
3. Take pictures of the site before any construction starts, especially if you are building on wooded or rough terrain. You will be amazed to look back when you finish and compare what it looked like when you started.
4. Prior to and after each significant step (e.g. pouring slab; insulation), record the before and after. Also visit the site every weekend when workers are not present and record the progress made that week. Narrate and comment fairly, both positively and negatively. If weather was a problem, make a note. If there is a reason why something was not done when it was supposed to be done (e.g. a subcontractor was delayed on another job), note that information as well. Remember that the video may become Exhibit 1 in a lawsuit if you get crosswise with the contractor. You don't want to be viewed by the jury as someone that just can't be satisfied. If something is obvious (like a trashy construction site), let the video picture speak for itself. If you asked the contractor to take care of something and he didn't, you at least have a record of noting when you became aware of the matter. Remember that regrdless of whose "fault" created the problem, spotting potential errors early helps both you and the contractor.
5. Noting matters on the video also allows you to review the tape once you return home. You can then make your memo or email to the contractor alerting him to the potential problem or possible change. Document your communications in writing to avoid miscommunication. If the contractor gets tired of memos or emails, tell him that you know he is busy and you are just trying to be helpful and make sure there is no misunderstanding.
6. In my opinion, the most valuable part of the recording is for future repairs or additions. Knowing where the electric wiring, vents or lines run after they have been covered up is invaluable and may save lots of unnecessary repairs in the future when a problem is being investigated.
7. Once you are in your new home, burn a CD with pircures and take it along with the tapes to your safe deposit box. In case of a fire or computer crash, you will have a set available for insurance or rebuilding.
Now that we are finished and the "ordeal" is over, I enjoy looking back and taking pride in what we accomplished. There were cetainly times that I had my doubts, but as with most life experiences, we tend to emphasize the good and deemphasize the bad. Hope your home building experience is enjoyable.

NOTES:

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clipped on: 09.05.2006 at 12:13 pm    last updated on: 09.05.2006 at 12:13 pm