The Bulkhead Gets Stucco

Things are slowing down just a little – mostly because there are a few critical things that can’t happen for a couple months (utilities and windows) and there’s no point in doing a “hurry up, then wait”. It’s better security-wise if they work a little slowly so someone is in the house every (week) day. They’re still making progress though…

Right now the critical path is the roof (when it rains we still get a fair amount of water in the building). To do the roofing all the stucco work needs to be done on the bulkhead and parapet walls. We were a bit nervous about the stucco color. We really wanted to see samples, but the contractor took our “sand color” comment and ran with it. Luckily he did a great job interpreting what we were looking for and we like the color…

Bulkhead with stucco being applied

The only question is whether the color is too yellow. We had an architect with us yesterday when we saw it and her first comment was “oh… yellow…” There are some pictures where it looks more yellow and others where it looks more tan. Thing is, if it weren’t at least a bit yellow it could look drab or dirty. Yellow is what gives it it’s brightness.

Bulkhead roof with stucco partially finished

And one more, taken the next day (later in the day after I intially wrote the blog post)…

stuccoed bulkhead

So as soon as the stucco is done the next job is putting 4″ of insulation on the roof deck, building up a cricket on the front roof, installing a drain pipe from the front roof to the rear roof, and then putting on the actual roofing material. The contractor is going with a seamless spray-on system – a Kemperdur sytem.

We want a fairly light color because it would be reflective and cool. The next issue will be the color of the roof. New York City is starting to require white roofs. At first I was thinking we’d be required to literally have a white roof. But when I went and looked into the colors that are available Kemperdur roofs it seems that somewhat counter-intuitively white is not the coolest roof color. On that linked page the higher the numbers the cooler the roof. So “Cool Adobe” is the most reflective and has the highest overall “SRI” score, while “Cool Mint” is best at giving off heat. I just sent off a request for samples so we can see the actual colors. Right now we’re leaning toward “Cool Mint” – so we’ll literally have a “green roof”. I’m hoping NYC law doesn’t literally require a white roof since there are colors more efficient (and attractive) than white…

Otherwise, we’re still working out the details for the windows and exterior doors. The architect pushed back a little on the contractor’s dimensions and installation methods plus there were details that had to be worked out with the manufacturer.

The (steel) staircase in our unit is also a point of active discussion. In the process of doing shop drawings we realized there were some headroom clearance problems for the first flight of stairs. So we’ve had to reconfigure things somewhat. The funny part is we like the new configuration better than the original one. The only downside is that the steps will be slightly steeper than we wanted (7.4″ rise per step instead of 7″) – but it’s necessary to get headroom in our powder room.

We also heard through the grapevine that a neighbor (on 122nd Street?) has been calling the police about our building. One time they said work was being done on the weekend when that wasn’t the case – maybe they just saw Dan and I in the building (but the police have never come by while we were there). Another time they said a fight was happening at the building when nothing like that was happening. Apparently the police are now pissed at the caller and want to figure out who they are so they can pursue the person for filing a false police report (multiple times). All I can say is… Seriously people… Do you want the neighborhood to get better or not? How is an abandoned building that would have had serious structural stability issues in a few years better than having us fix up the place?

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