Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Arizona Part One

What does one do with a hundred photos of a job? Pick a few and call it good. This post is just the beginning.

We first visited the site May 5th where we met the owners, saw the place and shot a few photos for reference to work up an estimate.

This is an off the grid Owner Built Straw Bale, ten years in the works. The inside has been completed beautifully, all earth plastered walls with earthen floors, even the kitchen.

The exterior plasters were a different story, aside from just not being completed, the mixes used were not acceptable for exterior plaster, way to much sand and the clay soil on site was weak.

We were brought in and asked to look at finishing the exterior. It wasn't until we actually started the work that the problems became apparent. Our major concern was the sandy mixes that had been used, a little water and the plaster just washed off the wall. Might have been ok on the North and West with the large overhanges but not for the exposed East and South sides. Also the details around the doors and windows and the electrical boxes were not thought out. Those details alone chewed up a good 4 days of rework. We also noticed the were no window sills on the the South side and the plasters were touching the ground.

Our initial estimate called for two visits. We felt at the time the first visit would be for 9 days with the goal of completing the North wall, and prepping the others as far as we could. This 9 day plan turned into 13 days.

North West View - The Front

South West View - The back

6 Tub Mixing Station

North Wall prior to our finish

This was the one wall the owners had hired a stucco guy to finish. Looks good in this picture but upon close inspection we determined the whole wall had to be recoated. 

All the mud around the doors and windows and electrical boxes had to be removed and reworked with lots of burlap along with 1" to 2" electrical plaster rings added. At least the electrical boxes were metal and not those plastic ones.

Completed North with what we call Art

Raised Accent around the front door
This accent served two purposes. One was to break the 60 foot wall into two halfs. There was no way we could have done a finish on a long wall like this in one day in 100 degree temperatures and no humidity. As it was, just completing 30 feet was quite a challenge. Also, Satomi with her Artistic eye, felt this wall would look stark and needed an accent. We built out a 1 1/2" relief and applied a brown color coat.

Stay tune for more!

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