Sunday, November 14, 2010

Last Piece

So, by about 3:15 module number 3 had just been set. This gave us 45 minutes to unload, strip and place two more modules. It would have been a travesty to stop because of the logistics of setting up the next day --- towing the cars again, hour and a half to set up the crane, etc. Let's just say by some miracle we got it finished in one day. Let's not talk about how, okay? Let's just say we finished by 4:00 and leave it at that.

Thanks to everyone who made this day possible! The folks at IBS who finished constructing the house in 3 weeks, the crane operator who seamlessly set the pieces, the IBS finishers who expertly laid the modules in place, Helios who organized the process, and, most of all, Jeff and Kate, who's vision became a reality on this day!

Will post some more pictures of the completed house, which was difficult on the day because it was dark and there was a 220 ton crane sitting in front of the house. It's only a matter of weeks now before we will be able to move in, and we are so very excited!

Almost Done

We all held our breath every time they placed a module. But it was so very, very cool! Now it was starting to look like a home. Our home.

We found out there is a group of guys (yes, they are all men) that travel across the country just setting IBS's homes. Because we were in IBS's "backyard" as they said, the owners of the factory came to watch the setting. They stayed there all day, knowing that we were making history by being one of the first prefab modular homes in Chicago. They seemed pretty happy.

Flying House

It was rather nerve-wracking hearing the creaks of the module being lifted off the truck. The crane operator seemed bored, sitting with his feet up as if he did this sort of thing every day (well, actually, he probably does).

The neighbors (and we) were open-mouthed as this giant piece of a house was flying through the air. Several IBS folks manipulated the module with ropes on each of four corners, swinging it into place.
This picture is a little out of order, as it is the second module, but I didn't realize how awesome a photograph would be from the back of the site until then.


About 9:30 the first truck arrived with two modules. This truck was approximately 72 feet long so the logistics of making the turn onto our street had everyone holding their breath. Fortunately, the turn was made and all were happy. The first thing that happened after the truck arrived was the "stripping" of the model. No matter how this sounds, it wasn't sexy. It took approximately an hour for the IBS folks to unwrap all the protective sheeting and planks that held the module in place for its ride to Chicago from Middlebury, IN.
Now it was time to lift and set the first module...

Zero Hour

So last Tuesday was house setting day. Our permit was from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, so there was a lot to do. As you can see, a ginormous crane came to our street and took about an hour and a half to set up, placing counterweights all around it so there would be no "tipping" which could have been pretty awful. Also we needed the City of Chicago to come tow the cars that didn't heed the "No Parking" signs, of which many of them didn't. They were a little late with the tow trucks, so we got started a little late.

Crowds starting gathering basically thinking, "What the hell is going on here?"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Moving Right Along...

It seems Jeff and Kate are doing much better at documenting this process than I am, so please look at their blog [] which has videos and describes in more detail the processes that are happening.

In our world, we were told that we were responsible for buying 38 of the 50 light fixtures in the house. We were a little surprised by this thinking that IBS would be providing more of the fixtures than they are, but at least we have the ability to pick out things we like. We met with Kara Manning at Lightology who was incredibly helpful in helping us pick out reasonably priced attractive fixtures that are also energy efficient. For our LEED Platinum certification we need to have at least 28 of the 38 fixtures be energy efficient (LED or flourescent) which is not that easy to find. Fortunately Lightology had a lot of solutions. We are saving our "non-ultra-energy efficient" selections to some of the more fun lighting options, such as the pendant light over the dining room table where we don't want to skimp on style or ambiant lighting. A question did come up for lighting options that can be "retrofit" with energy efficient options and whether that would meet the LEED rating since a future owner could go ahead and put regular old incandescent bulbs in without recourse. We are still following up this and will keep you posted.

In the meantime, we've been struggling to get Peoples Energy to come out to the site to set up gas service. They've been a little difficult and slow to respond. Thank goodness for our superintendent Tom Cichy who seems to have the patience of a saint. We called ComEd, and they seem to be a little more on top of things, but service needs to be installed after the modules are already on the site.

We are still assuming that the modules will be set the first week of November (or maybe slightly later). Will definitely post pictures of the setting, but more important hope to get pictures of construction in the factory to show you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 10

Michael took this picture on the way home from work. Major progress! We are meeting with Helios and Jeff tomorrow so will definitely get status report and more pix.