Friday, June 19, 2009

Numerologically Correct Addresses

So I was finally assigned the addresses for the project. They are 4774 - 4799 Rock Row Drive. They start in the 4700s based on the city grid, but why 25 addresses for a 15 home project?
Because the guy that assigns addresses at the city is obsessed with numerology (what better job for an obsessive numerologist than assigning addresses). He sums each address and if the number is not in accord with his beliefs he wouldn't let us use it. So the project numbers skip in several places. For example we have 4774, 4776, 4778, 4780 and then it skips to 4786. Apparently 21 (the sum of 4 + 7 + 8+ 2) is cursed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Progress Update

So far we've spent about 3.5 million on the project. It averages out to about $7,000 per day. Now that Phase 1 and Phase 2 are underway there are usually about 30 laborers on site each day.

Phase 1: The exterior is about 95% complete. Lots 2+8 will have flooring installed next week.

Phase 2: The framing is 100% complete on the 2 story homes and about 75% on the 3 stories.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Construction 101

We've done this multiple times on all of our projects when there is a material that we need fast:

If we need something ASAP and don't have a previously established contact, the last resort is to thumb through the Blue Book (like the Yellow Pages but only for construction) and call 3 or 4 companies to get proposals. After chhosing the best company, when the material is delivered see what company is on the side of the truck, or ask the driver where he is coming from, or who he usually delivers for, and call that company directly the next time.

I know it is amazingly simple but it is also amazingly effective at cutting out the middle man. Its like buying plants directly from Monrovia Nursery instead of Home Depot.

Last week we saved about 50%, or $900, on a simple gravel order using this technique.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Drought Tolerance

In light of L.A. city's new water regulations (restricting irrigation to only water on Monday and Thursday after 4), I thought I'd show an example of the irrigation needs between sod and drought tolerant landscaping at Rock Row.
Let me first explain that the sod in the picture was only temporary for the opening party in March (our LEED rater freaked when she saw the grass at the party since sod is obviously a big no no for LEED). The permanent grass we're going to use for the grasspave driveway is a special drought tolerant fescue blend that only comes in seed so it wouldn't grow fast enough for the party.
After the party we have only watered the sod as much as the permanent drought tolerant landscaping. The picture below shows how each plant has survived over the last two months. The drought tolerant planting has thrived with water about every three weeks while the sod is 95% dead. About 1/3" of national water use, about 7.8 billion gallons annually, goes to outdoor irrigation.