Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Final Exterior Wall and more Trusses!

Well, we seem to have gotten a break from the rain...we had about four days last week without rain (then it rained on the weekend) and now we've only had isolated sprinkles around town the last couple of days.

(Aurelia took this picture, she really likes the way the project looks from the road.)

Adam and Andy managed to get the last of the exterior walls up on the second story,

as well as some of the roofing on the covered portion of the deck (directly off the second story floor)

I really like this view.

AND the trusses over the second story.

Great progress!

This is the view from one of the windows in the guest bedroom!

We should be ready for visitors in about a year!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Boy oh boy, has it been raining!

We have been deluged by daily (and then some) thunderstorms that have brought many inches of water to our uncovered new house construction.

The forests love it but we could do with a little less!

The rain has made the wildflowers prolific
(along with the wild pollen count!)

Adam did manage to make some hard-to-see progress this weekend on the second floor, in Andy's absence.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rafters Up!

Much to my chagrin, Adam and Andy spent all of this past weekend working as volunteers (by themselves) on a school project at Pine Forest, and were unable to work on the house at all. It is to their credit that they took this school project on, as it was something other people had started but failed to finish. They stepped in on a very rainy, blustery weekend and put in a total of 36 hours trying to finish it while also watching all three kids. Enough said.

However, they made a lot of progress Monday afternoon, putting up the rafters over the loft section where the kids' rooms will be.

The TJI's that form the rafters are very heavy and it was a touchy process for Adam to lift one up to Andy where he would barely get a hold on it (while standing on the scaffolding and reaching out to grab it).

Once Andy had a hold, Adam would climb the ladder and grab the TJI again, at which point they would slide it into place and nail it in.

While I was photographing, Adam tripped while trying to lift the heavy TJI and dropped it.
He curled up on the ground to get out of the way of the falling lumber. It still managed to get him in the leg and he ended up with a scrape.

I was screaming and running over to him, and the only thing he had to say was "did you get it on film?" (I didn't.)

They completed placing all the rafters after these pictures were taken, and now on to the next part of the project (finishing the 2nd story floor and putting up the remaining posts and trusses over the rest of the 2nd story).

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Second Story Walls Up!

A big step forward came with the construction and placement of the second story walls, which will form the "lofts"of the kids' rooms (on the right side of the picture at right) and the office/spare bedroom (directly above the kitchen and entryway, on the left side of this picture). The wall pictured at right, with four windows, is made up of five sections. This wall is also known as the clerestory because it will allow southern exposure to the bedrooms on the north side of the building. I think I finally found a way to get a sketch of the house layout loaded here, see below. If you click on the image, your browser should enlarge it for you so you can see what I'm talking about.

Adam and Andy Wheeler constructed the wall sections in the only large portion of the second story floor (above the entryway) then had to find a way to tip them up and walk them down the length of the lofts. They tried on their own but couldn't quite make the walls go vertical, due to the size and weight of the wall sections.

Adam made several calls to friends for some quick help, all of whom were unavailable. Fortunately, Therese had a break from work at just the right time and managed to add her brawn to the task, which was accomplished with only a healthy amount of fright at the consequences of one of those wall sections tipping over while being walked to the correct placement site. After we tipped each one up to vertical, we held on tight and lifted it onto four pieces of 3 inch PVC to "roll" the walls to the proper position. It was harrowing to say the least, rolling a very heavy wall along, fearing at any moment it could fall to the ground and take us with it!

After placing all the wall sections, Adam and Andy then had to brace them which required Adam to perch on the existing trusses (with little support). Andy was perched on scaffolding on the second story floor, and Aiken provided the mobility Andy needed, by pushing the wheeled scaffolding along as each new brace was placed. Click on the picture to enlarge it and see more detail! The straw bales under tarps in this picture are stacked around the outside of the south and west first floor walls, making them impossible to see.

Next step is putting the roof trusses up for the second story. This may happen next weekend.

We are making much better progress now that Adam has reliable help in the form of Andy, who has lots of experience at framing houses (just what we needed at this juncture)!

Stay tuned, we'll be placing those bales by the end of August at this rate!