Day Fourteen: Cousteau Renovation

When it rains here in drought stricken Texas, that is good news.

 But when the weatherman starts talking about softball size hail it isn't such good news.  We don't have television here at the job site, so I don't know if the weather presenters in Austin are as "end of days" as the ones in Dallas.  Every time rain is forecast or thunderstorms are on the way, they make it sound like we need batteries and duct tape.

But early in the day, well before the rain, the new mailbox was begun.  And the stone work completed.  The little plastic cap you see is to protect the top from the rain.

In the first image you see the old mailbox.  It consisted of four 2 x 6's that had been nailed together to create a post.  These were set into a small lump of concrete.  Scrap stones were then used to build a "box" around it.  Of course this post rotted away,  the stones then began to crack and collapse.  If water is allowed to get into mortar joints, then freezes, it will crack away.  When it is a hollow box, the potential for collapse is pretty high.  The original builder thought it was a good plan to "cradle" the mail box between two boards which then made a nice spot for all the leaves from the crepe myrtle to collect and rot.  A real party.  But a new foundation was dug and poured and the new box built with a different stones that match the ones on the house.  We also used a rectangular form that relates perfectly to the rows of stone columns on the front porch.   A modern mailbox with a big storage area (locking) is now installed so that during vacations, the mail can safely pile up inside.  In the next few days, after the mortar cures, we will install the address numbers and the light.

Of course Omar and his team have been at it all day.  Every dent examined and filled, and second coats of some enamel has been applied.  It will certainly take more than two coats to cover the red.  All pigment and not much body to this paint.  You can see the small rust colored areas that have been filled with automotive putty (an epoxy) and ready for sanding.  The sound of sand paper has been pretty loud all day.  Imagine sanding a smooth wood plank ceiling overhead.  That's they lengths we go to to make sure that everything ends up as slick as possible.

But as exciting as all this is, I am most excited about the progress being made on the stencil pattern for the Master Bedroom.  You can see the close up and then another shot that makes the scale more clear.  It will be applied on the beadboard ceiling.  We are tweaking the rust stars now.  I'm quite happy with the result.  This Master Suite is going to be pretty spectacular and exactly the kind of retreat my Client requested.  Please click on the images to enlarge.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions.  Have a great evening!