Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Weekend Post (late)

It was more Hardie plank this weekend, and one new corner log!

(note the clear space in front of the sliding glass doors...moved to make way for the ceiling material...pine tongue-in-groove)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Some new stuff!

Well, Therese took a quick trip to New York this week to visit for a few days and drop the kids off to spend some time with her parents, but Adam stayed busy on the house and has some progress to show!

Adam finished the Tyvek process on the first floor south-facing wall, which consisted of the strip at the top of the wall. This was in final preparation for installation of the Hardie plank. Today, he made it about half way through one side of that wall with the Hardie plank, most of which he did by himself with the assistance of some little hanger tools that are very cool (hold the plank at the right level for the overlap until he's able to screw it in place).

Therese spent the day helping Adam (nominally) with the Hardie plank and putting in a bale wall up against the forest to use up some of the "ruined" bales. We hope they're up to the job, at least for a few years. The bales in the wall will be covered with stucco (at some point) to preserve them at least somewhat.

Earlier in the week, Adam also managed to Tyvek the second story, west-facing wall (very tricky on ladders and planks) as well as to install the small window up there (Aiken's loft window). This will all be covered with Hardie plank eventually.

Additionally, Adam trimmed all the windows on the southern-facing first floor with the Hardie plank trim, prior to putting up the planks.

We'll be busy this week finishing with the Hardie plank and finishing the third tier of the bale wall (also known as the "wall of shame" for all the bales that went bad due to bad luck with the weather and inexperience)! With the kids in Rochester all week, we have no excuses not to work!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

July 12 Update

Some significant progress this week, though only one picture to show...

The roof is finally really close to being COMPLETELY finished, just a few ridge caps remaining...but all the little pieces of metal for the second story roof went up on Thursday and Friday evenings...

Saturday, Adam and Kyle put Tyvek on the clerestory wall and put the windows in up there, and then did the sheathing of the second story portion of the in Aiken's room (northwest corner).

Today, Adam worked on cutting out a small window in Aiken's second story (west-facing) and putting up trim around the downstairs south windows (Hardie plank) as well as trimming some of the metal on the 1:12 pitch roof to ready it for the final flashing. These don't show in the picture as it was taken this morning before working.

The "wall of bales" you see in the foreground of this picture is our "wall of shame"...all the bales that went bad due to moisture over the winter and even in what is normally our dry spring. We now have (what we hope is) all the bales we need stored under roof, either in the house itself or in the barn. Good thing too as we have started our real "monsoon" season, when it can rain just about every afternoon. We had a good downpour today for most of the afternoon and if you read last week's update, you'll know we had huge rainfalls both Saturday and Sunday (though most of the weekdays were dry this week).

We took delivery of quite a few materials on Friday as well. After much deliberation about what to put on the outside walls where there will not be plaster (wherever the walls had to be sheathed) we decided on Hardie plank instead of cement stucco. Hardie plank is a cement plank with faux wood grain on it that is very tough and so fire-retardant that it usually carries the benefit of a reduction on your insurance bill. They come in a cement gray, so they will be painted. This will basically be for both south-facing walls (lower and upper) and Aiken's second story portion. That arrived and we picked out some FREE paint at the dump with which to paint it. We were thrilled to time it just right and Adam made it to the dump on Friday before their fresh supply of newly mixed paint was gone... We had a choice between brown and grayish green and decided the grayish green will look better with the windows and roofing. Therese spent the weekend painting...stay tuned for some pictures of that maybe next weekend. We also got the soffett material for all the eves. We ordered the ceiling wood, pine panels, but it will take a couple more weeks to arrive. We also got all the clay we will need for the first coat of clay plaster. The latest plan is to do clay plaster for the "scratch" coat and lime plaster for the second and third coats (more expensive but a better final product). When the lime hardens it is more waterproof and will act like a rock exterior on the house whereas clay plaster would degrade with moisture and time.

I think that's about it for now! Just trying to keep to a regular update schedule here!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Retaining Wall

(Beginning trench on Friday.)

(Mostly finished wall on Sunday afternoon.)

Adam and Kyle spent a sometimes very frustrating three-day weekend building a retaining wall under the patio/next to the deck on the south side of the house this holiday!

Happy Fourth of July!!

The frustration came from the torrential downpours that occurred on Friday and Saturday at just the wrong times and just about ruined the wall.

In addition to Kyle's and Adam's hard work, we would like to thank Dwight for delivering some excess gravel from the DOT to us on Friday morning (the official holiday).

Adam rented a cement mixer from Total Grand Rental (no thanks to Home Depot rental unit), and got the sand from The Landscape Connection here in Flagstaff.