Thursday, July 22, 2010

Roofer Madness

  Ed continues with the interior framing upstairs. We've changed the upstairs closet/bathroom configuration a bit from the original plans, partly because we can see that it will fit our needs better, and partly because the plans weren't specific about heating/AC ducting. Most of it will run through the ceiling joists, but it has to come up from the basement someplace, and that someplace is now a bulkhead in the downstairs powder room and one of the upstairs bathrooms.

 Next he worked on the front window, applying a lesson learned from building the garage/apartment project where he cut the plywood to fit first, then installed it. On the house he decided to do it the other way around. He put up the plywood first, then came back and trimmed it to fit with a sawsall.

Once the plywood was trimmed, he and Rick finished the blocking on the inside.

I have no room to complain about logging in the Northwest. As I was watching the construction, I glanced up at the truss system. It was late in the afternoon and the sun was streaming through the structure. I don't know if it's art, but I know what I like. It's almost too bad it will all be covered up by sheetrock.

Finally, finally the day came that Ed has been waiting for. Last Thursday was Roof Day. After sweeping out gallons and gallons of water from the basement and railing at the wettest spring in Northwest history, he is about to get his roof. And the best part is, we subbed out this job. They showed up with two roofing  trucks full of materials and workers, and one pickup with a supervisor. 

Now Ed could have roofed this job by himself. It would have been a long, grueling job. Up the ladder, down the ladder, you get the idea. But there is nothing like the right tools for the job, and I was pretty happy to have him off that roof.

In two days, they had the whole thing complete, the mess cleaned up, and nobody hurt. That's what I call a beautiful roof.


 Ed and Rick had already put the plywood over the ends of the soffits. The guy we'll have do the gutters in on vacation, so the roof went on first. It's a good thing the roof is on too, because it's wet and drizzly today. 

   We have a mama deer that feels pretty safe around our house. We don't try to friendly her up because that would put her at risk, but somehow she knows we enjoy her company. Every year she brings her twins through the yard. She seems to ignore the skilsaw and the nailguns. And her little ones really enjoy that azalea in the dirt mound by the front porch. I can see that I'll have to be selective when it comes to landscaping.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just Imagine....

  It was time to do some cleanup on the job site. This was something Elicia and I could help with without being in the way. I wasn't looking forward to carrying bucket after bucket of sawdust and wood debris down the ladder, but it had to be done.
   The distance from the second story floor to the basement floor is 26'. That's a really long way to fall, and a really hard surface to hit, especially when it's an hour to the hospital. Elicia is really careful around the construction, and she's very good on the ladder, but she's 11 and easily distracted. I'm not 11, no spring chicken, and I don't bounce well.

  Hmmmm...  Maybe we could use gravity and part of that distance to our advantage. Ed decided to build a plywood slide to the first floor, and just throw the debris down, instead of going up and down the ladder. I liked the sound of that!

 Rick and I blocked off part of the  unprotected staircase entry. Ed made a plywood ramp from the second story to the first story floor. Elicia and I started throwing stuff down. Very therapeutic!

 It didn't take us long to get all the roofing debris and framing cutoffs thrown down. Then we swept and swept, to get all the sawdust out. Ed wanted to get up there and snap lines for the interior walls, and the floors needed to be clean to take the chalk lines.

  While Elicia and I were cleaning upstairs, Ed and Rick started the interior walls downstairs. I've been walking around inside this house for two months, but it isn't until the interior walls get framed in that I get a true feeling of how the rooms will be.  The load bearing walls were already up, but these are the walls that more finely define the areas of the house.

  They began with the wall separating the bathroom from the laundry/craft room.They framed the wall on the floor. I know this is boring stuff for anyone with a construction background, but for me, it's all new territory. I was thrilled. This is a room where I will be spending a lot of time...the craft room... not the bathroom. It was my own small defining moment.


  This is where the groceries come in, the wet coats get hung up, the dog gets rinsed, the muddy boots get stashed. This is where I hope to expand and improve my stained glass hobby. I want to explore oil painting. You get the idea.

  The enthusiasm was contagious. Elicia helped Ed snap a chalkline for the bathroom wall.

  By the end of Friday, the bulk of the downstairs interior walls were framed. I know they won't make much sense yet, but work with me here..
   This is the downstairs bathroom off the craft room.
Both of the full baths on the first floor will be arranged with limited mobility in mind, in the event that we need that in our senior years.

Between the craft room and kitchen is the pantry.
Shelf after lovely shelf to store way too much stuff. But I never know when I'll have to whip up a gallon something, oh, say,  Aunt Joyce's Secret BBQ Sauce. Yes, that actually happened to me, and I had everything I need in my pantry! 


   On to the entryway coat closet, and powder room.
Maybe I'll do a stained glass piece for that powder room window....hmmm.
   And that wall where the lumber is stacked?  The piano is going right there!

   The downstairs bedroom has a very nicely sized bathroom and walk-in closet.  I can finally picture the rooms. I'm starting to dream about paint chips and furniture arrangements. We still have such a long way to go before I even start painting, but until then, I can just imagine...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Deja Vu

   In spite of drenching rain, a lot got done this week. I went down the the west pasture and took a photo of the house from the field on June 28th.  Just for fun, compare that one to the photo I took this afternoon from about the same spot at the end of today's entry.

  Ed and Rick continued putting up the fascia boards. These all have to be up before they can be up before the roof sheeting is installed. And Ed really really wants the roof on. Every time it rains, the water filters through the second floor, drenches the first floor, drips into the basement, and has to be swept out with a pushbroom. Not fun.

  In addition to that, just a little drizzle makes the footing up there very very hazardous. They're already working on a slope. It's really high. I'm stressing out.

The clincher was that last piece of fascia board on the west side of the house. That side is on a slope and is the same side where the driveway is excavated for the basement entrance. Ed's very careful, but there is a darned limit to my capability to smile trustfully and grit my teeth.

I broke, and ordered safety harnesses.

   Tuesday evening after the day's work was completed, I took a look at the front of the house, where all the vent blocking was, framed by the fascia board around  the eyebrow dormer. There was a rare sun break, and it was keenly sculptural. is where you find it!

July 1st. It's cloudy. I'm sure summer is right around the corner, but I'll believe it when I see it. Ed and Rick started putting the sheeting on the roof. Yea! I hauled out the safety harnesses and Ed agreed it was a good idea. Whew!
   He couldn't resist. He had to scare me to death with a  "Look, hands!" He's just a boy at heart.

The John Deere was a workhorse again. Ed used it to lift the plywood up to the roof line. From there, he had to manhandle it into place. He just makes it look so easy.

The attic side of the plywood has a silver backing which aids in insulation. We're using TechShield. Of course, we'll use standard insulation as well, but every bit helps.

 Friday it rained. All day. That made it much too slippery to work. It also soaked the basement one more time. After 1 1/2 inches of rain, it finally subsided.
   Saturday, Ed and Rick went back up. By the end of the day, they had the entire north side of the roof complete. They also felt like they'd been run over by a truck. That is some really hard work!

   Sunday was Independence Day, and Ed took the  day off.  
   This morning he was back at it. By the end of the day, the majority of the south side was done too.

   Now, remember that shot at the beginning of this entry? Here it is again, with roof sheeting. It is really looking good!