Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Not quite !!TA DAAAAA!!! but even the most cynical among us has to concede it IS progress. Progress doesn't have to be slow, but it almost always has to reflect a job well done.

So far, so perfect.

We turned a corner over the July 4th holiday, and found ourselves here by the 7th:

Once the top row is done - admittedly a little more finicky than the bottom row - and we get a bit of the next side done, we can have our electric service installed. That will be a great help. Kevan can then take a kettle and a box of tea bags up there, and I won't see him until the house is done or the tea runs out.

Technicals: Kevan's two biggest problems have been warped boards (most of them) and the fact that the space around the windows that should accept the thickness of the siding does NOT. Every board that fits around all those windows had to be shaped specially for its position. This was not making for a Happy Homemaker. The only window that complied was that window to the right of the door in the picture immediately above. ONE out of 16.

Today's a holiday, as it is 90F and humid. There's some good in everything.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Those who know and care about Kevan, or at least find him useful, can breathe a sigh of relief. He has finished putting the roof on the house (see picture Right). There will be no more climbing around precariously on this steep, slippery, dangerously high roof. It is an evening of great joy in our household.

You can't tell from this picture, but all of the windows are in along the front. No front door though. Not much point, actually.

It has occurred to me that there is something in Men, they need to build their own shelter.

So, I also wish to present this one photo of the two days of handiwork of Pecca, who seems to take great pride in his own new residence. He dug it in a pile of soil outside of Kevan's project. I call it his Anderson shelter, after the WW2 English backyard air raid shelters which it so closely resembles.

All for now.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Here we are, back again. Kevan says it is a good job the house is going faster than the blog. Not much to say to that.

This is Kevan (rear view) starting to put Typar on the roof, refining his high-wire act. We wish that we had carried the Typar from just about where you see the scaffolding plank, to the same level on the other side. It would be much more economical and easier to do, as it takes just one 9' wrap around the ground floor to complete the job. Easy to say now.

This is the back side of the house, once the insulation and strapping is on... and what's that, WINDOWS??...

The reason why we are working in the sequence we are, is because it takes half a day to move the Alumapole scaffolding, so it is easier to complete as much as possible wherever it is erected before moving it again.

Because Kevan is working on his own and is unable to lift the roofing sheets, he devised this method of hauling them onto the roof. It is a 24' extension ladder covered with scrap 2" insulation. He sits at the peak of the roof and hauls them up via a piece of clothes line tied to a pair of vise grips holding the roof sheet. It worked very well while he had a direct pull, but was less successful when he came to the end of the roof and ran out of room for the two ladders that keep him up there.

Note the wood block to the right of the chute which holds the roofing sheet in place while Kevan gets down from the peak of the roof and is on the scaffolding. He then moves the chute off to the right, detaches the wooden block and lets the roofing sheet slide down into place where he holds it with the vise grips.

We picked up a hint from another site about curling the roofing sheets to make them rigid and able to be handled by a single person (or someone married to a coward).

This is the sheet ready to be hauled up to the roof. Note that the bungee cord has been taken from the bottom of the sheet. This makes the sheet more stable as it is hauled up the roof.

Kevan drilling hole for the first screws. The roof sheet is held by the vise grips (bright spot above right side of the window).

For Kevan's 61st birthday I let him down off the roof long enough to mow the fields on The Big Red Tractor (with multiple attachments and headlamps for night racing).

Friday, June 01, 2007

Well BOY can you people WHINE.. thanks for keeping Kevan interested in having a new home. And your nagging about the absence of blog gives him something to nag ME about. He's very short of material in that area.

So here is what the house looks like now. You were probably thinking that by now we'd be hanging artwork in the hall and serving tea and little sandwiches (crusts off) on the verandah. It appears you would be incorrect. Once we get the roof on, we'll probably have the house ready in no time at all.

Truth be told, Kevan is now into the death-defying portion of the building. First time he climbed up on that platform you see, wearing a very impressive harness that would've saved a horse, should he somehow get onto the roof, the platform gave away, and I'm told the clattering and smashing could be heard by the neighbors (one of whom said he almost got into the car to drive up and make sure Kevan was alright). Meanwhile, my mind and self were deep in gardening thoughts, about 100 feet away, and didn't hear a thing. Kevan was (rightfully) dismayed and disappointed that I hadn't shared his moment of drama. I'm to try harder next time, to participate.

Meanwhile: In reply to someone named Anonymous who asked about the legality of balloon framing in Maine - this isn't balloon framing, but thanks for your concern.

Elizabeth has updated her blog for the second time this year (like mother like daughter). Things are going well down in Mexico.

And Frances: we hope to see you sometime!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Taking a breather.

First, to update our introduction, as of tomorrow none of us are "fifty-something". As of tomorrow, we are both "sixy-something", although I am much much younger than Himself. The fact that he was born prematurely, in August, doesn't save him from this. Never mind that at 60 he can build an amazing house after a lifetime of not building houses; I make better muffins than he ever will.

So! Leaving that subject, here's the house a week ago, above.

And here we are today. And there's more on the sides you can't see. Kevan's up top today in the bitter cold, avoiding the ice patches on the tarp, sanding down the edges of the floorboards where they stick out too far. Tomorrow Peter returns to help get more of the wall sheathing up, with the immediate goal to get the roof sheathing done ASAP. NOAA has promised us a coming week of sunshine, although not warmth, which will help things along.

Here, you'll have to start taking my word for it that the tilt in the photos is the photographer (me) and not the construction. This is the view from the livingroom into the kitchen (the right half of the far end) and dining room (the left side of the far end). There will be 4 windows and a door down at that end. The two rooms will be about 15x16.

Logically enough, again pardon the tilt, this is looking at the livingroom end from the kitchen/diner. There are 5 windows on the right corner, and one window on the left wall. There will be a woodstove in the left corner. The livingroom is to be 12x16. The stairs, both to the upstairs and the basement, are between, and we'll have 15-lite glass doors into both hallways from the livingroom and kitchen to increase quiet and a sense of privacy.

This is the view from the livingroom. I think we plan to have a windowseat all around, but I 'm sure Kevan would say "fine, but lets get windows in before we worry about seats." Right he is.

This is the view from the kitchen sink. Imagine Landscaping. That's Jim and Barbi's house next door. It will be a comfort to have that to look at.

This is the view from the dining table (proposed). The road runs along there, in front of the buildings and between those old apple trees and the field you see out of the righthand window. Again, please imagine landscaping (something with a little flowerbed please, and maybe a small herb garden for the bees?)

Watchdog installed. We can move in any time.

Sophie loves this spot, but Pecca won't come into the house. Even one without doors and windows is just too confining for our wild child.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Fall colors gone, this is still a pretty view I'll see from my bedroom window. That's our barn standing (against all odds) on the righthand side, and the gnarled tree in the foreground is one of 11 gnarled and hollow old apple trees in our fields. This year we got a respectable 20 five gallon buckets of apples from them.

Progress Report on the Work in Progress... now that we are starting to notice some changes.

This is how the house looked around November 4th. Kevan elicited help from Peter and Casey to put the roof beams onto the bents. You can see the constructed beams on the bedroom floor waiting to be lifted into place. The instructions said to lift them in pairs, but it was all we could manage to get one up at a time. As the day was calm, we had no problems doing it this way. We did, however, brace them as we went along.

Here are the last three roof beams waiting to be put in place. Kevan made these on his own and it was all he could do to lift them upright and manouver them to where you see them.

Here you can see the framing of the windows and the gable end nearest the road.

Framing complete and now ready to start putting the 1"x8" t&g white pine sheathing on the building. Did you ever think you'd see the day!?

This sheathing will be the inside finish of the house but is put on the outside of the framing so that the framing is exposed to the inside.

This is Pecca, our legal immigrant dog from the wilds of Mexico. Our daughter wanted to give us a truly unique souvenier of her summer of archaeology in Puebla, and Pecca was it.

He's still a puppy, but he is good at helping Sophie with the napping. "So you don't have to" he says. Muchas gracias, Pec.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Just a p.s.

I realized that some of you might not have much of an idea as to where we are going with this, so here are the floor plans for the main floor and the upstairs.

Changes will be made as we go along, especially to the bathrooms, where we can't make up our minds about things.