Construction Diary

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Hi there! I'm Merry, married to Husband for 39 years, 2 grown daughters, 1 dog and 3 cats, living on a little acreage in the Midwest. I am a Christian and like writing Inspirational Christian romance (I have several books out) travel, reading, history, archaeology and writing.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The framing inside was actually done before the roof was trussed and sheathed. However, the construction crew had wood supports all around holding the sides together so pictures would have been confusing.

Once they took the supports off, the pictures look much better.

This is a shot of the kitchen. To the left is the great living room.

This is the laundry room/pantry/back door. There's supposed to be an opening arch into the kitchen but that wasn't on the plan we gave Dave so he didn't put it in. Pa and Richard will make the opening later.

These are all the rooms framed - from let to right - laundry room, master closet/bathroom, master bedroom,guest bedroom, guest bathroom.

The roof sheathing was next. We've had several days of rain and Richard has had to swab the floor so the water wouldn't swell the wood of the OSB floor sheathing. Unfortunately, we're still having rain, rain, rain!

Roof sheathed.

We had the guys put plastic sheeting on the roof to protect it and the floor beneath. Despite our efforts, the roof still leaked some, but a couple pans and buckets took care of most of the drips.

Dave installed the door! Yippee! We have doorknobs but haven't installed them yet.

We've had a busy couple days - had to go to the lumber yard to pick up bits and pieces that were special ordered. In the meantime, the fourth wall went up. The next day the trusses were craned to the roof and put into place.

The fourth side is now up.

Raising the trusses to the rooftop. Once they were in place, Justin and Luke climbed topside and created blocks between for added strength, added hurricane clips and nailed the trusses into place for permanence.

The final appearance after the crane truck finished the job.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Yesterday Richard and I went to check out roofing shingles in town while the crew continued on the house. They framed and raised the back (third) side of the house. After we came back we had to rush to go out to dinner with Mom, Pa and Becky (the neighbor). When we got back from dinner we climbed the boards and wandered around the house. Richard thinks the master bath is a little small but its the same size as the bath in the apartment in Saudi Arabia. I like it .

I'm hanging out our bedroom window...the Airstream is directly across from it right now blocking the view of the Sanctuary. We have a forest to the west of cedar and oak with a spring located right on the property line. Deer and other animals go there to drink. The spring is not visible from the house, but the creatures walking through that section of the forest are. Richard has decided to leave that area in as natural state as possible as a sanctuary for the animals.

I am walking from my pantry to the kitchen. We knew the views from all windows would be gorgeous...and they ARE! The property behind is completely screened by trees with a patch of forest between. The people who own the property only visit it once a year or so. A male turkey, 4 jakes (young male turkeys not yet old enough to have beards or tail feathers) and 2 females live in those woods. Echo has bounced them into the trees a couple times, despite the fence between their nesting grounds and the forest. The deer also use this section of the woods to hide in before going through the neighbor's meadows to my parents' property. Pa planted wheat out back of his place so they'd have snacks.

This is the back of the house. There will be a deck attached at a future date so we can sit out and watch the animals in the forest between us and the neighbor's. The back door will open into the pantry, which will also be the laundry room/mudroom. There will be two arched doorways with no doors in the pantry, one leading to the living room and one leading to the kitchen.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The crew built the frames and raised the sides, today.

Here they are cranking it up with come-along jacks and rope.

Lifting it higher.

Justin (who is also our neighbor) walks the high rail and nailguns the props to steady the frame.

Both sides are now up!

Another view.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

This is the house plan we are building.

2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a large pantry/laundry/mudroom and an open floor plan. The fireplace will be viewed from both sides. There will be a front porch and a back deck. I am working towards a carport/outdoor kitchen area on the left side in the future.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The trusses arrived this morning.

The truck maneuvers into our driveway.

Rolling them off the bed of the truck.

Off-loaded on the ground.

Monday, June 18, 2007

LOOK! A floor!

The pre-floor is done.

And this is the west wall, framed and laying on the floor in preparation for tomorrow's raising.

Construction started TODAY! Yippeee!

Starting the flooring.

Me watching progress being made.

Echo supervises from the best spot in the yard - under the Airstream where its cool and quiet.

And Friday afternoon more materials arrived! The main order came in. Lumber, doors, windows, house wrap, caulk, glue, hurricane clips, nails, screws...and lots of other stuff!

The doors and windows order was confused - between contractor and ourselves we'd accidentally ordered duplicates and/or changed the order. I took the extra doors back to the lumber yard and got a refund. The windows order we didn't realize was messed up until Sunday when we went over the plans one more time. We ended up taking Pa and Mom out for Father's Day and then going to the lumber yard and fixing the windows order. It was an enjoyable evening despite the error.

The truck arrives.

Removing the materials. The truck driver told us that was the largest load of lumber he's ever delivered. Most contractors apparently order from various places or do partial orders as money allows.

Piles of lumber all over the yard.

The windows.

Water softener, caulk, other things.

Richard and I decided to sleep outside in the screen tent for security purposes. Many people noted the arrival of the materials and we were worried someone might want to try some larceny. So I cleaned up the screen house, put the cots inside, laid out the futon for Flint and Echo and got my glasses, book and light. A good time was had by all that evening. The night breezes were gentle, the night sounds were soft and the night sky was velvety dark. Richard wondered if God would turn on the moon, but no such luck. It was a dark and lovely night.

Bedtime with the dogs...Echo eventually got tired of me rolling over and moved to the futon with Flint.

The I-joists were delivered on Thursday of last week. These beams are custom made to fit the crawlspace foundation. It was important that they arrive first as right after applying the treated lumber spacers to the concrete walls the I-joists go on.

The truck was 42 feet in length and after jockeying for several minutes the driver decided he couldn't place the I-joists exactly where we'd planned unless he drove over trees. I instantly turned into a tree-hugger and told Richard to have him place the I-joists further out from the foundation. The contractor would just have to cart them closer.

The first attempt to back into the trees at the rear of the truck.

This was very interesting - the truck had a lift and roller system to put the I-joists on the ground. He just rolled them right off the truck and he was done!

On Wednesday last week, the contractor informed us that he'd pulled together the last of the materials order. He was able to find 3 X 10 OSB sheathing for the house about 88 miles away. He said we could borrow his trailer to go pay and pick up the goods. We have a trailer of our own so we thought we could use that. Well...we didn't make it 7 miles down the road with the load. The trailer's axle was too far forward for the load, even though the sheathing fit. The truck and the trailer were "porpoising" up and down...and the trailer was also swaying side to side. We called Mom and Pa to come rescue us with their bigger truck and our neighbor's larger trailer.

Here we are...stranded.

And this is Mom and Pa - heading home with our sheathing.

We learned from this experience...and the next day, I had the other half of the sheathing delivered. LOL

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Richard and Pa are working on the concrete piers for the porch. After a bit more prep, the first pier was poured.

Still prepping the holes for the concrete.

The first pour.

The final product. Now we wait for it to cure and then remove the forms.

We bought 15 bags of quick set concrete and had a couple in the garage...and discovered we'd underestimated by about half! Pouring was stopped for an hour while I, as the step-and-fetch person, drove into town for another 18 bags of 'crete. When I arrived at the hardware store, I was informed by the clerk that my Mom had called and wanted me to go to the grocery store to pick up a few items for her! I love living in a small town. LOL

Our building materials supplier called, too. The delivery date for all materials is Friday! YES! However, there appears to be a glitch, the I-joists were supposed to be here yesterday. I am now awaiting a call-back for that. Call-back informed me that I-joists will arrive on Thursday! Yippee!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Richard and Pa started augering the holes for the poured cement porch piers. They finished building the forms yesterday.

If you look at the final two pictures, note the satellite dish on the tree. Back when we ran the satellite cable to the Airstream it was late at night, Pa dug the ditch and Mom and I buried the cable.

As Pa and Richard worked the auger, the second to the last hole was dug...slicing right through the satellite cable! Pa simply dug cable out and will splice it later today for a temporary fix.

We will eventually mount the satellite dish on the south corner of the house and run the cable properly there.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The house's steel support beam arrived today!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Construction has started!

Well, okay, not TECHNICALLY.

Today Richard and Pa sanded down the concrete foundation top and the notches where the steel beam will go the full length of the flooring below the joists.

The beam is being delivered and set in place today. Its not arrived yet, but we are all standing around waiting.

Yesterday we ordered all the materials for building the shell, including the siding and cedar decking for the porch. We ordered all the doors and windows last week.

Waiting, waiting, waiting...I'll post photos when the truck/crane arrives to set the beam.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Burning the Brush Pile...

This is only half the brush pile - Richard burned a lot of it in a smaller fire ring to the back of the property. He is preparing this area to store the lumber and materials for the housebuilding.