Purgatory

Courtyard Lighting Revamp

The last post covered the work we did in June of 2018 to replace the glass in three of the courtyard lights. We held off replacing the side glass in the remaining two until we could sort out a better way to seal them.

On the first of February 2019 we had a small storm with moderately strong winds.

We had a work crew scheduled that next morning to help finish some cleanup, and when they rolled in they remarked on the fact that one of the courtyard lights had toppled over. Needless to say we were pretty upset to discover this:

Thankfully only one of the two lights at the boundary of the courtyard and driveway was toppled, but such a catastrophe made us worry for the other lights. Just a few months earlier we thought we had “fixed” three of them.

The bright side of this was that none of the glass in the top portion of the lantern shattered and while the plastic bottom inserts got blown about, the lantern itself was mostly undamaged.

So we moved things to safety and assessed the damage. The base of the column sustained some damage, and the source of the collapse soon became apparent. The steel rods that had been the central support for the structure had rusted through and with the gusty storms we have here, it was only a mater of time.


I waited until spring arrived and then started the process of not only getting the toppled light back up, but also insuring the other four were revamped to prevent something similar happening to them. I called F & F Steel, the same mob who had fabricated and installed the absolutely wonderful new ladders that are attached to the sides of the great room and studio building. They were pretty backed up with big projects and recommended a smaller shop, so I had said shop send a guy out to take a look at things. Then I waited…and waited. The guy ignored my many calls and messages asking for the quote to be sent to me, so we could review the scope of work they were prepared to complete. I ended up calling F & F back, and apparently since we’re not terrible people to work for, Carlos, their lead foreman type, came out to see what was going on in person and make some suggestions.

Carlos ended up suggesting one of their steel guys come out on a weekend to handle the project on a time and materials basis, and so I gave F & F the go-ahead to order new rods and we waited for those to be ready.

Finally in mid September of last year, everything was in place, so I called in an to United and we purchased our very own a man lift. Amusingly enough at that time we also had a rental scissor lift on site due to another project, so when Ysrael from F & F arrived one Sunday morning, he was spoiled for choice.


It didn’t take Ysreal very long to get all five lights sorted. He replaced all the rods and cleaned up the majority of rust on the bases. Using the lifts to pull the columns up and out of the way made the job pretty easy.

It’s a good thing we did this project: several of the lights would certainly have suffered a similar fate to the one that toppled. That would have made us very very sad.


Our project for this spring/summer is to finish some clean up on all five by replacing the light sockets and sealing the lanterns a bit better against the elements.

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