Project Update – January 2015

This post contains details on two recent projects I’ve completed during the past couple of months at the Byrne residence.

The first project was the installation of an August Smart Lock. I had read about this intriguing device many, many months before, opting to place an order for one that was going to be part of the company’s first production run and then wait (not so) patiently for it to arrive – in early November, it did!

The simplicity of the packaging was indicative of the simplicity of the installation – I read through the handsome installation guide, then got right to work. A strip of masking tape held the exterior portion of the deadbolt in place as I removed the two screws holding the interior latch in place. With the interior latch out of the way, it was time to choose the correct adapter plate from those supplied, attach it to the interior portion of the deadbolt using two screws, then insert a color-coded plastic sleeve, (based on the manufacturer of the deadbolt), to mate the adapter plate to the deadbolt itself. The last step was to insert two AA batteries into the machined Smart Lock housing and then mount the housing onto the door by closing two wing-like arms, (one on either side of the housing), that secured the housing firmly to the adapter plate, (and to the door).  Lastly, I attached the cover plate to the Smart Lock housing by rotating it, thus locking it into position.

This next image shows the August Smart Lock fully installed. The scale of the device is pleasing and the satin finish complements the surrounding materials quite nicely, (e.g. the corten steel door frame, polished stainless steel door handle, satin finish of the maple door and the acid-etched copper detail visible on the left-hand side of the photograph).

How does the lock work? In short, remarkably well! The application was extremely easy to configure on our smartphones, requiring the creation of an account, then associating each account with one of our smartphones, each of which was, in turn, paired with the Smart Lock itself. The application interface is rather intuitive – if the deadbolt is in the locked position, the icon shown is a bright red circle and if the deadbolt is in the unlocked position, the icon shown is a bright green circle.  To activate the Smart Lock, it’s a simple matter of pressing the icon in the smartphone application, which acts like an on/off toggle.

The same color convention is used on the Smart Lock itself – as it transitions from being locked to unlocked, a bright green circle illuminates temporarily, and you hear a pleasant chirp. If the Smart Lock is transitioning from being unlocked to locked, then a bright red circle illuminates temporarily, and you hear the same pleasant chirp.

It’s possible to set up alerts, as well as configure the Smart Lock for visitors, service providers and other family members.  …and you can configure it to automatically lock after a specified time interval, and to open automatically as you approach, (or more precisely as your smartphone approaches), the property, (the approach distance is configurable).  I’ll provide additional updates about the August Smart Lock in a future post after we’ve gained some additional experience with it.

The second project involved replacing the original HVAC supply outlets mounted on the floor of the Dining Room and the Living Room with supply outlets made of cherry wood, to complement the surrounding cherry wall panels and trim.  These new supply outlets had been specifically designed for use on floors – more on this toward the bottom of the post.  Here’s a close up:

These next two images, (below), are of the white plastic supply outlet used throughout the Byrne residence – usually mounted on the walls and ceilings, (and up until this past Monday, they were also used on the floor).  The photographs were taken to illustrate the diameter of the entire fixture, (5″), and the exhaust port, (2″), in the center of the fixture.

These images were useful to our HVAC specialist, Will Heald, who worked on our behalf to place the order with the local distributor for The UNICO System, thus ensuring the correct supply outlets would be requested from the factory.  Happily, all went according to plan, and the new supply outlets arrived – literally – at our door about a week later.

This next photograph is of the new cherry supply outlets sitting on the Dining Room table after I unpacked them.  Though there are only twenty, (20), floor-mounted supply outlets in the Dining Room and Living Room, we opted to order two dozen, giving us the opportunity to carefully select individual supply outlets that would relate well to one another in terms of the variations in the cherry wood grain, as well as to the surrounding cherry wall panels and trim.  It also meant we’d have several spares, just in case something happened during installation…

The final image, (below), is of one of the supply outlets when viewed from directly above.  This photograph illustrates how rich the cherry wood looks once a light application of oil has been applied to the surface.  It is also possible to see the black mesh screen that covers the supply outlet port, thus preventing larger objects from accidentally dropping into the duct work.

The entire replacement project took about a day and a half to complete, with much of that time being consumed by the curing of the construction adhesive used to bond the supply outlets to the concrete.

We anticipate the new supply outlets will withstand light foot traffic better than the original supply outlets did, due largely to the beveled edge, (making it less likely for a visitor to catch their shoes on them).  Additionally, we really appreciate having the ability to lightly oil the cherry wood from time to time to maintain the silky appearance we’ve been enjoying since completing the project this past Monday!

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