Monday, August 28, 2006

It Won't Be Long Now

Hopefully, it won't be long before this thing is topped out! I wanted to add one more pic of the rafters (a detail shot) but Blogger was having "issues" and wouldn't let me add anymore photos and I don't have time tonight to mess with it. Anyway, we got the last of the rafters up! Yea!!! We also got the rafters tails on that go on the lower end ( I don't think they were on when I took this photo) but we still need to add the ones on the top end that will make that overhang over the clerestory windows. Once again Ted came to help and it was greatly appreciated as these rafters were very heavy. I bought 24 footers but we had a little drop so they were around 22'-6" when cut. The boys at the local lumber yard were very sweet to let me pick through a whole new bundle of 2x10's to get what I wanted. They will just load up the first ones they snatch up if you let them and these needed to be pretty clear and nice. Next, we will deck this part and then it's time to add the sleepers and insulation etc. and the final roof. I am aiming for the end of Sept. to have the full roof on.
This is just something that I thought was funny that ya'll might like. Last weekend we bought a watermelon from the local farmer's market and put it in the creek to chill. Well, we forgot about it until this weekend. So, I go trotting down to the creek to retrieve it and was a little suprised to see it still there, same place and seemingly undisturbed. It wasn't until I reached down to pick it up that I saw somebody had beat us to it. I guess it was a little turtle found this and realized he had hit the motherlode. He ate his way in one side and out the other. It was completely hollowed out!
Can you imagine being so engulfed in food that it surrounded you? That you could just roll around in what you were eating and then to actually eat it all??!! Maybe he had help; maybe there was more than one turtle. I hope he enjoyed it but it seems like he did by the way he ate every speck of red.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Light From Above

On Saturday we got the clerestory windows framed up completely and sheathed too. The Great and Wonderful Mr. Ted came and helped us again and he also got a good many rafter tails cut out. For my part, I ran up and down the ladder delivering material and then cooked lunch. I grilled some hamburgers and corn on the cob that we had picked up at the farmer's market that morning. So, it was a pretty good day even though the heat has come back with a vengeance. It had cooled down to the very low 90's but this weekend it worked it's way back up in the high 90's.
Now, here you can see all the windows that are going to be on the south side of the house ( on this half) and that are used for solar gain in the winter. I have calculated the square footage amount of glazing (just glass) here and it comes out just slightly below 7% of the total floor square footage. I believe it was somewhere right at 65 sq. ft. of glass and this side of the house is 936 sq. ft. The solar book that I am going by recommends between 7 (for this area) and 12 (for very northern areas) percent. That one window on the far right, next to the 3 kitchen windows, will be shaded completely by a covered walkway so I did not include it.
Pablo had posed some interesting questions and I thought I might elaborate on them some. He asked what I was having to pay to have the power lines brought in. Well, all utilities are required to get their product to you (meaning the edge of your property) at no expense to you. Once they reach your land, then you start paying. The new power lines and poles will mostly be on Fred's property (since the closest pole to come off of was on his land) so all I had to get was his permission to cross his land. I believe the power company will set one pole on your land for free and then however many else are required to reach your site, you must pay for. They can span 350 feet between poles so they only need 4 poles, I think, to reach my house; 2 on Fred's land and 2 on mine. If I had wanted to have the power lines run underground from the place they hit my land, that would be very expensive I believe. Such large service lines would require them to be buried very deep and I would have had to pay another contractor to come in and possibly have that inspected etc. etc. Not worth it to me. Now, if you are building a house you will have to put in a temporary power pole at the house site and you buy the meter box and breaker box. If you are in a city limit that has building codes you will have to have an electrician pull a permit and hook this up for you. This cost varies of course. I am waiting to see if the power is going to cost me anything as I am not completely sure about all of the power company's policies.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Night and Day

The past couple of weeks we have been concentrating on getting power lines run to the house site. The land is pretty inaccessible except for the road we put in; steep hills, lots of thick forest. We have kinda been putting this off for whatever reason but we just had to get to it. I was able to procure a free backhoe, which helps greatly, and if you can swing that you generally don't get a choice about when you get the equipment so you just have to stop whatever else you are doing and use it. Anyway, we did not want the power lines to come down the driveway because the power company loves to whack a 30 foot wide swath all the way down the lines and it would have just destroyed the looks of the drive. So, we had to convince them it would be easier on everyone if they would come in this back way. There is a small subdivision at the end of the valley (and the land) that they could come off of so we cleared this road to show them the lay of the land and that it is actually closer this way. The power man came out and Allen showed him around and he agreed to do it this way! I was very happy. If another house is ever built out here it would be on this side anyway and so the power will already be there. Now, I know I said that I wanted to avoid wanton destruction of trees coming in one way and this road looks horrible so I know somebody is thinking, "that really helped". Well, here's my thinking. The drive has old growth forest also (which is very pretty and home to many critters) and this area is relatively new stuff. Very thick and not too pretty. Another big thing is that, to everyone's horror, the power company here has started using RoundUp to keep the land under their lines clear. They spray everthing anywhere and it looks horrible and I believe is very unhealthy. In this area of my property, I intend to keep it cleared anyway for pasture and can possibly keep the power company from spraying if I can keep the foliage cut back. The power company will only have to set 4 poles so I don't think it's going to cost me anything and eventually I want to run underground from the last pole to the house. I don't like to see power lines etc. It will probably take a few weeks to actually get the lines in so for a while still we are on generator power.
I just happened to be up at our little apartment at sunset and snapped this pic. This was unusual because we have been working so much lately alot of times we don't actually get to the apartment until way after dark. I thought it was a cool view because you can see over into the next valley.
Well, this weekend our friend Ted is coming to help us again and we will continue to frame the rest of the roof. I want to have that done by the end of this month. I am going to have to start setting some hard deadlines to motivate us more.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

5 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days

Well, I haven't been gone quite that long but it was longer than I thought. Time flies when you're having fun or just working way more than you should. Not alot was going on with the house itself for awhile as we were trying to get a road in the backway for the power company to bring the lines in. I don't want them to come in down the driveway but that's another post. Anyway, this past weekend we were back to framing and got the roof over the kitchen area framed, decked and mostly felted. Many thanks to our good friend Ted who came and helped us on Saturday. It takes quite a bit of time to cut out and sand all those rafter tails.
Allen didn't have a good pair of tennis shoes to wear on the roof so I got decking duty. That's okay though. That's one thing that you can look back at and really feel like you accomplished something cause you can cover so much square footage with just a few sheets of plywood.
We are using 5/8" CDX plywood for the decking and since the rafters are going to show on the inside we will put the roof insulation (1 1/2" rigid foam board)on top of the decking between sleepers with the metal roofing on top of that. I will use some type of nice 1/4" plywood or other covering (bamboo?) to finish the interior ceiling between the rafters. The clerestory windows will frame up next over the metal beam here and then we will put up the rafters that span the living room area.
I just LOVE the way the rafter tails look on the inside when you get a whole wall of them. The bottom of the metal beam here is at about 10'- 8" so it's a nice, open feeling but not too high I don't think. It feels very comfortable to me. I'm very excited by this! It almost feels like a house!! I hope everyone now can see how this monstrous beam I built is going to work. I know it's hard to imagine some of this crazy stuff without seeing real drawings. We are still winging it a little but I am happy with how its coming. Well, looks-wise not time -wise. I am so ready to get moved in. When we get the whole roof on it might be camp out time!!