I was traveling for work the majority of last week and this week, and I heard that Seattle has been having a crazy week of weather! There’s been an insane amount of rain – flood warnings were in place with the torrential downpour. And on Tuesday there were crazy winds with gusts up to 60 miles per hour. People all over the Puget Sound (including our new neighborhood) lost power for days. Due to all of the inclement weather, a couple things were delayed on the project. First off, the siding company was supposed to be there this week, but they were unable to finish their last job, so that delayed them getting to ours. Also, the power company (Tanner Electric) was going to transfer the power line from the temporary power pole we have to the permanent underground service to the house. Needless to say with all of the outages in the area, they had more important thing to deal with than our house.
The combination of the siding and the permanent power line to the house is now on the critical path for our schedule. We need the power to run the furnaces and get the house dried out, and we need the siding to keep the rain out.
Although the weather has been nasty – they did install the fire sprinklers in the house. In private homes, King County requires fire sprinklers for all homes where a firefighter can’t walk 150′ around the house and touch all sides. Had I realized this was a requirement, I likely would have shaped the house differently just to avoid the fire sprinklers. I think they’re such a waste of money and hopefully we’ll never have to use them. Plus, they just add more things in the ceiling…not exactly my favorite.
The fire sprinkler system has to be designed by a licensed technician, then a permit is needed from King County which shows the sprinkler design. Once it’s approved at the County, it’s installed in the house and then inspected and approved by the County.
In addition to needing fire sprinklers, the placement of them has been such a huge nuisance. Because we’re having a coffered ceiling in the kitchen, theoretically smoke could get trapped in one of the “squares” in the coffered ceiling and not set off a sprinkler head. To design around that, we’d either need to install a sprinkler head in each of the “squares” – which would have cost us another $2,500 – or keep the original quantity of sprinkler heads but put them on the beams. I absolutely did not want to spend a penny more on sprinkler system. The cost for the system was already higher than our initial estimate from last year, and I hated the idea of having to spend more money on something that is likely never going to be used – and on something that doesn’t give me any value. It’s not like spending $2,500 to get upgraded appliances, or nicer trim work. It’s literally spending $2,500 on something that will never be noticed or used. So no way was that happening. But that meant we had to install them on the beams to meet the current code – such a disappointment. The beams are there as a fun ceiling detail in the space – and then with adding the sprinkler heads on them, it only accentuates the sprinklers, not disguises them. So we’ll end up having four 3″ sprinkler head caps (which will be white) sitting flush on the 8″ wide beam. It’s not the end of the world, and in this battle of budget versus design…design lost. Let’s hope more things don’t end up this way!