Saturday, April 28, 2007

Back Up On The Roof

The roof is done!! We finally got through the bad weather and got all the ladders and pick boards freed up and everything set back up outside and finished the roof and all the trim and flashing. What a pain in the butt. Early when we started back on it, the pollen had just started to fall in a big way and that roof was slicker than owl grease. It was very difficult to get around on but it rained the other day (yea!) and washed all that off so working today was fine. You may not see much difference in the roof but all that right on the edge has previously not been there. It was just this ragged looking edge for a long time.
This is a close-up shot of the trim that goes on the gable ends. Allen had this made special because the standard pieces they gave us were a lot bigger and really looked goofy. They stuck further out and we wanted something that had a more streamlined look. It's still kinda big but it looks good in place. You can see, it caps over that last rib on the decking and is screwed tight against the verge rafter.

The trim is run on the sides and then the ridge cap is installed over them. It makes a nice smooth look there. You can cut the ridge cap off wherever you want and we thought it looked better sticking out past the trim about a half inch. This is the little tiny short piece over on the east side of the house. This little area will eventually disappear and be integrated into the rest of the roof when the other half of the house is built.

This is the flashing under the clerestory windows. All of this is fairly easy to install; not rocket science. Flashing under shingle roofs always seems more complicated to me. But this is a pretty simple roof; no valleys or other weird stuff. Well, the clerestory section is a little weird but not too much. You just have to make sure on your flashing that everything is layered. Note the flashing up under the Tyvek and the siding will, of course, extend down over all of this to that inside corner in the flashing.
We also hung some more Sheetrock today and did some cleanup. I'm glad the roof is over because it takes so long moving all that scaffolding etc. around. I think that part of getting set up took almost half of the time. Well, any high work on this house takes a long time to set up for. The siding will be the same way and painting.
One other thing about this roof, it is MUCH cooler to work on than a standard shingle roof so I think it is really doing it's job of reflecting heat. Now, granted, it's not August but you could place your bare hands on the metal with no problem and I know of times that I have actually blistered my butt sitting (with blue jeans on) on a shingle roof in the springtime.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

How Long Has This Been Goin' On?

On the road to our place they are currently building several houses and have just finished several more. They throw these houses up in a matter of months. They can have one framed in a week. I'm on month 17 now I think. It's starting to get to me just a little. I know that these other houses are just your run-of-the-mill boxes; poorly designed, heat traps but it's sometimes easy to get discouraged. I am a little discouraged. I also know that we have not been able to work continually. I think this is the worst part of building your own place. Sometimes I have to wait on my paychecks to build up to purchase certain items. When we work overtime, I am way too tired to come home and pour more concrete or whatever. Sometimes I just go down to the house and sit and look at the house and I get even more overwhelmed because I end up thinking about all that I still have left to do. That's a bad attitude I know. I have had virtually everything handed to me so I don't want to appear ungrateful. I think staying at the house on the beach has made it worse for me. It's sooooo nice to have windows to look out of and a stove and a shower right in the next room! I also have not thrown any pottery in over a year. I miss that. I see artists friends of mine that are being in all kinds of shows and galleries ( I'm happy for them; they are good) and I think I'm really stupid for taking the time to do something like this. I should be working on my art; I'm not too bad at it. I might get somewhere with it. Yesterday, I had to type up a bio for a magazine that I have written an article for and the editor told me it could be up to 500 words and include my work, family etc. All I could come up with was about 100 words about work. I could not think of anything else to write about but WORK. I see all you other bloggers out there who have wonderful families and kids ( and I'm happy for you too) and I think everything I have done has been a mistake. Who puts so much effort into a damn house? OK. I will try to come back with a better attitude.
This photo shows some of the Sheetrock we have hung lately. Very tedious pieces to cut out but they were not near as bad as the clerestory ones. This is part of what is taking so long. Allen told me the other day that everything I want takes the longest, is the hardest to do and the most aggravating to work on. I guess so. Usually it's the most expensive too but I have gotten around that this time. As soon as I pick out what type of speakers I want installed and where they go in the living room wall, we can finish hanging the rock and get somebody up here to finish it. I hope. That's one thing I don't want to do myself.
My fig trees and stuff were coming out nicely and I was hoping for a good surge of growth from them but then we had a cold snap a couple of weeks ago that just froze the crap out of everything. I don't think it killed things but they are just sitting there now; not a green leaf on them.
I really want to have running water by the end of May. That is my next goal.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Blowin' In The Wind

Happy Earth Day, everybody!!! It's a beautiful down here in Alabama; I hope you all are enjoying the wonderful place we live, wherever you are. To celebrate the occasion, I had the crap scared out of me by a snake, dropped a rock on myself and got really blistered yesterday. This post title is for Allen as he is a big Dylan fan and I thought it could be construed to be appropriate for today and the photo.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Flock Of Seagulls

Oh man, I can't believe I used that title! That really dates me, I guess. Just a few more beach photos. I liked this one because all of the seagulls were facing the same direction, which was into the wind I believe, but I thought it was interesting because cows will do the same thing. I've been told that cows all turn their butt to the sun, thus all face the same way, so that they are not grazing with the sun in their eyes. Makes sense but I think they do it just because they are cows and have a herd mentality. The fewer cows there are, the more likely they will be pointing in a bunch of different directions. There are those 2 rebels in the photo though, that are facing the other way. Damn non-conformists! You're all just alike!
There were deposits of seashells all down the beach but were all small stuff. The biggest of these were only about the size of a quarter. We wondered if BIG seashells ever washed up and somebody just got there before us and scooped them up or was there some physics thing involved here. I guess maybe the force of a heavy storm could cause the sea to deposit it's heavier items on the shore then.
Well, tomorrow we are going to be back on the roof since we have freed up our ladders and such and hope to finally get that completly done. My septic system is set up to be installed by the end of this next week. Yea!!! That tax refund came in just in time for that. Now, I've just got to get water flowing to the house. I don't think I've posted the new sheetrock we hung and stuff so I'll try to get that up soon. The walls are starting to close up!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hello Again!

Well, we are back from our little vacation...sigh... It was a working holiday anyway; I had to fufill my end of a barter deal I made for my house so we really worked about the whole time. Not a bad place to have to work though. We were in the Panama City area of Florida. Beautiful beaches but it was still a little cool.
We got about 3 hours to play around on the beach. We found some cool seashells. Ate a lot of really good seafood.

These little birds were fun. They were in a little fresh water stream flowing down to the ocean. They were really enjoying taking a bath.
I hope to have more up about the house soon. They are having us work 10's at work so I'm pooped when I get home but I hope to post again soon.

Monday, April 09, 2007

What's Going On

I have started installing the plugs where we have hung Sheetrock just to have some more places to plug in tools and stuff. I wanted to show this because Allen says this is the commercial way of wiring plugs, not the way most residential plugs are done. I don't know much about electrical work but he has been teaching me some and how to do plumbing also. Anyway, he wires these little pigtails (what I am pointing to) at each plug and switch so that if the plug or switch is defective, it does not kill the whole circuit. This way the plug is sorta on it's own little driveway off the main road instead of a junction in the main road. I think I am explaining this correctly but if not please let me know. These are all 15 amp plugs in the bedroom and living room areas but in the kitchen and bath, I am using 20 amp plugs. They don't cost much more and just gives you a little extra coverage.
We finally finished hanging the clerestory wall and Allen has mudded it completely also. It will be my job to sand and prime it. We were trying to get this done before we took all the pick boards down etc. and not have to put that stuff back up again. I am going to set up a rolling scaffold in the living room now to finish this stuff because we need to ladders and pick board outside. We have hung more Sheetrock but I'll show that later.

I finally got my slate floor laid out the way I want it for the bathroom. This is the standard pattern but I didn't have ANY extra to try to do any kind of an unusual pattern. In fact, all those 6x6 holes in the pattern are going to have to be filled in with some other type of tile but I thought that would look cool. I want to have the Sheetrock in the bath finished before I put the floor down but I had to know what kind of tile shortage I was facing. I do have a little extra that you can see in the background but that will have to be used to do the cuts around the edges.
We are actually going on a little vacation to the beach this Wednesday so I may not post again until next week but I wil try to get one more up before we leave.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Paint It Black

Actually, I see a black door and I want to paint it red instead of the other way around. Sorry Mick. I have had the door up to the house for some time but just never put it on. The was a salvage door off a job but it was about 4 inches too short as all of my doors are a full 7 feet instead of the standard 6'-8". This requires a little more effort to find what I want. I plan to cut out some of the recessed panels in the door in some sort of pattern and replace them with architectural glass. But that will be one of the last things we do since I don't want to break the glass moving stuff around. Allen added 2 inches of a compatible wood to the top and bottom of the door and since it is going to be painted, you will never see that. The door is solid fir and such a nice wood I hated to throw it away. Plus, it is from a friend of mine's house who is a really cool lady and so I will always think of her when I see my door.
I meant to elaborate more on the last post about the trials and tribulations of building your own home but I was in a hurry and lost my train of thought I guess. Pablo's comment on the lady writer who built her cabin reminded me of what I meant to say. I also did not realize that I had put up one photo that I had already used on a previous post! I am probably repeating myself on some stuff and if I am, please bear with me. I have been pretty tired lately; the schedule I have been keeping and the type of work I am doing now has been taking it's toll on me. The Big House was a very unusual job. We don't normally get stuff like that. The job I'm on now is typical. I will try to post some photos from that job as it's a little hard for me to explain some of the stuff. We have a 3-day weekend though as they gave us today off and we were all very excited for that.
I would encourage anyone, who felt they had the ability and desire to build their own home, to do so though. What I meant to say on that post was that even those of us who do it for a living experience mistakes and problems. We are not roofers and ran a little of the roofing lapped the wrong way, I did a little layout wrong, drilled some holes in the wrong places etc. We all mess up but as we always say, you can fix just about anything. Some mistakes take a little longer than others to correct than others but it can be done. I think doing things yourself makes you appreciate the effort more also. I am really going to love my house and cherish it. The bloodshed has been very minor on this house and I would probably be ridiculed (sweetly though) on the job for even mentioning such as we have seen some REAL bloodshed there. In fact, the week before I made that post, the HVAC man cut his hand on some duct work and we had a fairly exciting time there for a while. It was just me and the super so I grabbed the guy's wrist, held it above his heart and applied pressure to try to stop the bleeding. We had moved the first aid kit up to the next floor where the work was going to, so while Gary ran to get that I also held 2 Kleenexes, that I just happened to have in my pocket, on the wound while the man called his boss with his free hand. By the time we got him bandaged up there was blood all over me and the floor. We are supposed to wear latex gloves when doing stuff like that but you don't have time to look for that.
One thing that I also thought about recently is that even among my fellow carpenters, very few of them build their own houses anymore. Of the older men I know (say nearing retirement age) it was very common, in fact, an odd thing if you didn't. But the younger ones rarely build something like that; they have someone do it for them or purchase homes already built. I wonder what the reason for that is? Is it our society's "want it now" conditioning? or the way the carpenters are trained now? It's more of just a job now, not a way that young men are raised up anymore. I don't know. I know that they all look at me like I have 2 heads when I say I am building mine. Probably partly because I am a woman but they also seem quite proud of me and encourage and advise me.