Summer of Construction Part II

Week 6: June 17th & 18th 

This week I had the privilege of working with a volunteer group called “The Disciples.” They were a great group to work with because they have been volunteering with LHFH for many many years now and are very experienced. They were able to put up all the framing and structure of the house in a matter of days after countless hours of work. After the framing and trusses were put up, we nailed styrofoam blue board and house wrap over the OSB plywood, which helps with keep the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer from weathering. I also helped insert the windows into the house, which is done before the siding can be put on. To attach the windows to the house, a heavy duty glue is put around the part of the window that will be resting against the house, then once it is in place the window is nailed to the framing opening. It requires enough nails that are about a couple inches apart from one another around the entire window. It is important to make sure the window is firmly attached to the house so that air cannot easily seep through any openings. Another great part about this day is that the owner of the house was working with us. It is awesome being able to actually work with the people that will eventually own these homes. 

This is the framing of the garage, located on the front of the house. You can see the CMU foundation under the framing. The blue board and house wrap are on the left side.

This is the framing of the garage, located on the front of the house. You can see the CMU foundation under the framing. The blue board and house wrap are on the left side.

The next day I went with the Construction Director to get a building permit from downtown Lexington for a couple of the other building sites they are going to start working on soon. There are many requirements that have to be completed before a site can get a building permit, such as getting in contact with the water company to make sure there will be access to water at the site approved from the water company. When getting the building permit we were required to have a driver’s license and to sign in because it is a very secured building. Even though you usually do not think about all the permits and licenses needed to start building on a piece of land, these are one of the most important parts of the building process. I had never even thought about all these little details required for building a structure. 

Week 7: July 9th 

Today I went in on a Wednesday instead of a Tuesday. I worked with another volunteer group this day. It was Schneider Electric Company, who were volunteering as a company retreat. We worked on a different site that one had a couple of the exterior walls up and none of the interior walls up yet. Our job was to nail together the remaining exterior walls and place the on the inside of the house so that all we had to do was push the wall up to connect it to the others. The picture below shows the last exterior wall getting ready to be put up. 

The last exterior wall is ready to be put up.

The last exterior wall is ready to be put up.

It took a lot of man power and people to get the wall up but the most exciting part is putting up the last exterior wall. I took a video of it fitting into place completing the entire exterior of the house, but the video would not upload unfortunately. After the exterior walls were put into place we set up all the interior walls. During this time I was able to use my knowledge from Lindsey’s Construction Systems class. The volunteers were putting together one of the walls that would have a door and a window. While setting it up, the volunteers did not really know the difference between the jack stud, king stud, joists, and headers. While the Construction Manager for this site was doing something else, I noticed the were putting the header and jack studs in upside down and they were starting to nail it together. I got the Construction Manager and told him what they were doing and he came over and I had been correct. If I had not noticed they were putting the jack studs and headers in upside down, they probably would have nailed the whole thing together wrong. It definitely helps knowing how the construction is supposed to be put together. This was a great group to work with as well. The last thing on this day we did was put OSB plywood partially over the CMU foundation wall and under the blue board to help make it as weather resistant as possible. 

Week 8: July 15

After the Tuesday Construction Crew meeting that I attend, I went with one of the Construction Managers to his site to help him work on the house. I got to actually get on the roof of the house that just had plywood on it. I was a little nervous at first, but once I was up there it wasn’t so bad. I help him nail the rest of the plywood onto the framing and trusses because he had to get all of the done before the roofing crew could come to put the roof on. He made it clear that the more the nails you use the better, because it is very important to make everything as sturdy as possible. I also helped one of the other Construction Managers on his site. He needed to make a vapor barrier in the crawl space of his house. It is a good thing I am not claustrophobic because the crawl space we were working in for hours was only about 4ft tall. The vapor barrier is a big black tarp material that is taped on the entire floor and walls of the crawl space to help keep the water and vapor out of the crawl space that has electric, HVAC, and plumbing inside. It took a long time but it helped him having another set of hands to get it done in half the time. It was important to make the tarp as flat and secure as possible, but we were able to do this pretty well. 

Week 9: July 22

Today I got to work with AutoCAD all day. One of the houses needed a ramp off the side door for ADA requirements. I was taken to the site and we drew up on a piece of paper the dimensions the ramp needed to be and where it would be located on the house. After drawing it all up, I pulled up the entire Construction Documents on AutoCAD so that I could add the ramp on. I added it onto the Floor Plan of the house and also to the Elevation. I was the only one out of the Construction Crew that knew how to use AutoCAD so it really helped them out. I added the ramp with three different lengths. The lengths that I did were a 24ft. ramp, 16ft. ramp, and a 12ft. ramp. I liked being able to use the skills I have learned in the University of Kentucky School of Interiors this past year. It took a little adjusting to remember all the different commands on AutoCAD but they all eventually came back to me and I was able to get done what they needed. Below is one Elevation and one Floor plan in PDF form for the updated Construction Document. It is really hard to see because it is so small, but I added the 24ft. ramp on the Right Elevation and then also on the Floor Plan, shown at the top of the border of the house. I also added the 16ft. and 12ft. ramp on. 

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Week 10: July 29

I worked on a little AutoCAD today in the beginning of the day. I had to make a few adjustments and was asked to put the documents on my flash drive so that I can put all the updated documents into one binder PDF. After finishing up on AutoCAD, I went to one of the new construction sites. It was ready for the CMU foundation to start, but the problem was that it had just rained. Where the ground was dug up to start construction, there were puddles of water in them. This prevents the construction from starting, so our job was to get all the water out. We used a suction device that is set into the deepest part of the hole and it drains the water into a tube to be pumped out to a higher elevation. We did this at several different spots of the dug out part. Unfortunately for me, I was in charge of plugging it in which is right where the tube connects to the suction device and it shot off and I got completely covered in mud and muddy water. It didn’t happen once, but twice. I just laughed it off because I came into the job knowing I would be getting dirty. It’s cool getting to see the construction and getting dirty side of putting a structure together. We don’t get to get that physical interaction and experience when we are on our computers designing spaces, so I am very glad I got to experience and understand how everything comes together and needs work together to be a successful structure. Here is a picture I took of my muddy clothes, but it definitely does not do it justice. I looked 10x muddier than the picture shows and it sure was funny. unnamed




Working on CAD

This week began with two show room visits on Monday, Mees Marble and Tile and also Carpet One. I have been working with flooring a lot within the past two weeks, so these two seemed appropriate for me to drop in and do a quick visit.

On Tuesday Deborah had a one hour consultation scheduled with a client whom needs help finishing their basement. As of right now it is just concrete flooring and wall studs. The clients expressed how they want to transform their bare basement into a functional space – guest room, play room, TV room, and a kitchen. In addition they are hoping to have office space, storage for all types of objects, and a linen closet. Their style is Pottery Barn-Golf-Americana. After the initial interview Deborah and I immediately measured the basement and took pictures of the entire space. I worked with putting the plans on CAD and so did one of Deborah’s old interns. Her old intern trained me as she went along and worked me through every question that I had. It is great to have one on one help with a professional who is excellent in CAD! The next step is optional layouts which will be started on Monday.

Between working on the new project, the Donghia rep came in to show us new products. I fell in love with all of Donghia’s wall coverings and furniture. I learned during the meeting that Donald Trump furnished Trump Tower up and down with Donghia’s products which makes sense because the line is absolutely fabulous. The rep also showed us a couple of other lines and one of my favorites was Maya Romanoff.

It has been a great week and I have learned a lot. I am down to two weeks left, but a lot still in store!


Big City Dreams: A Picture Worth 1,000 Words

Wow! What a crazy busy week in the windy city! I was busy with trips to the Mart, helping finish client presentations, speaking with numerous vendors, making charity baskets, and tying the knot on a friendship that will last a life time.

This busy week left me with a true glimpse of how life will be post-graduation. From the 3 hour commute, to a full 8 hour day on a daily basis, some may say that I am crazy. I am here to tell everyone how crazy passionate I am about what I do. This summer has truly submerged me in the real life as a designer. To walk into an extremely successful studio, in one of the largest cities in the world, and come across a colorful world full of people and knowledge has been the most beneficial experience any student could ask for. It has taught me to push myself and be the best designer I can possibly be. Being on my own in the city has also taught me a great deal. It is all about independence and making decisions that impact the greater good. These are all precious moments that I will never forget. I will bring these life experiences, along side my sketch book,everywhere I go.

This week made it difficult to put the camera down. My eyes were in a constant state of wandering. It felt as if I was looking at everything for the very first time. I saw new hardware and fabric lines from different vendors, new fabric combinations for clients, and a plethora of inspiration from my taxi fares and long walks within the 60622.

I hope you all enjoy the numerous amounts of pictures from this week.


What a Summer

This week marks my last full week here at Pollert Designs. We started our week at my favorite farmhouse. As mentioned in my previous blogs this is a large old farmhouse that sits on miles of corn fields. The owners are the fifth generation of their family to live in this architecturally beautiful home. I have assisted Bruce in picking out certain finishes and a plan of action for this home. I am happy to say that the process of enacting our plans is finally underway. We visited to check up on the painting and make sure everything was going as planned. Though there is still a long way to go – it looks great so far! (Check out the pictures below)

On Thursday of this week Bruce entrusted my fellow intern and me with the task of picking out hardware for a client’s home. We ventured to the store and as always did our best to complete the task. Unfortunately there was not enough stock to comply with our task of 29 knobs — We tried! All in all it was nice that Bruce trusted us enough to complete tasks without him. Maybe they were just errands, but we liked it!

My Friday in the office has been spent taking inventory of all the furniture, pictures, lamps, and accessories he has in stock. It’s not the most fun job, but it is a necessary aspect of owning your own business.

This next week Bruce is on vacation, so my last official day in the office will be Tuesday the 5th. Now that my internship is coming to an end, I realize even more what a great opportunity this has been. I have learned a lot about local residential interior design. I have met great people and look forward to keeping in touch with Bruce to see how the rest of the jobs we’ve been working on turn out! Also, Pollert Designs is heavily recruiting me to help with their open house this coming fall — They mark everything in the shop down significantly and decorate with all their Christmas stuff they have purchased from market – all while listening to Christmas music and serving food! It really has been a fantastic environment to intern in and has made for a great summer!


meirs 4

meirs 3

meirs 2


Getting Ready for School


This week I worked on reorganizing a media center (the new word for library in a school) in an elementary school, it is one that I had worked on last summer in Elizabeth Town. What I did last summer was drive up and count and measure all the book shelves and the tables and chairs so that when the new building is built we can use the existing furniture and match new furniture to it so that they can save money, because the existing furniture is in great shape. Our company is not supplying the furniture we have just agreed to help with the layout of the media center and making sure the old and new furniture matches. I have been talking with the furniture people on rearranging the bookshelf’s and the tables in a way so that the flow in the media center works well with the needs of the school.

Last week I had mentioned getting to possibly meet with customers in West Liberty about the paint and floor pattern, but sadly the meeting time was during the time of my photography studio so I was sadly unable to attended the meeting.

Attached is a couple of photos of the old school and media center.


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Busy Week at CG !

This week was a short week for me but it was full of hard work. This week Andrea and I finally got a chance to really work on the resource room. On Monday I had my first run in with a difficult rep. It took up a lot of the day, but it taught me some great lessons. I learned to try and come to an agreement and it gave me a chance to work on my communication skills. I learned from other designers how to best handle situations like this and over all I think I handled it well. This week I worked on putting away a lot of fabric memos and literature that had been piling up. Andrea and I also worked on bringing the fabric binders in from the warehouse and into the resource room. The fabric binders are very important to designers and reps because it is the master copy of fabrics. Many times if we don’t have a specific colorway that a client or designer wants I go to the binders. It was a lot of work moving and rearranging things in the resource room, but in the end we came up with a great system that will help CG Concepts and reps happy! So all though this week was made up of mostly organizational aspects of design, it was very rewarding because every time we do something like this I can see how happy it makes the designers. Its also great to see the changes happening at CG Concepts and little things like this help keep the progress in motion!

See ya next week!!



Week 5

     The beginning of this week I spent a lot of my time finalizing our new resource library. It is important that everything is accessible and easy to find so the designers do not have to spend too much time looking for a fabric or a finish sample.  We created a final design for our Teknion finish wall and came up with ideas for our Teknion fabric wall. The office was recently renovated and is almost finished with just the kitchen and bathrooms left! We are doing a lot of little things around the office to prepare for an open house. The renderings I created a few months back of our new office are below.  

     This week I also made a few trips to the new UK Study construction site. Through this project, I have learned a lot about the process of an entire project from the beginning starting with a new construction to the final installation. I am excited to watch the install process and view the finished product. 

     The end of my week was spent online training. I learned a lot more about the products we sell as well as the different computer programs and software we use to design spaces. I am excited to continue to grow as a designer!

-Andrea Burns

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