Monday, August 28, 2006

Gables and Stairs

Not a lot of major stuff lately, but things are moving ahead.

The HVAC rough-in started today, and we finished the stairs from the first to the second floor. Those were a real head-scratcher because of the landing and doorway that will go through to the bonus room.

The distance from the first (finished floor) to the landing was divisible with a 7" rise. The distance from the landing to the second finished floor was divisible by 6-5/8". Not the best way to do a set of stairs, but it seems to be OK.

My thought was that a slightly shorter step up after a landing (going up) would be safer than a taller step. Further, on the way down and after the landing, the slightly longer step down does not seem noticeable. I am going to post this over in the Breaktime forum at the Fine Homebuilding website to see what some experts say.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Not much to say about this one. It was a long day, but I'm not complaining since we had a crane. The rafter tails are not long enough so we will be scabbing on some extensions prior to sheathing. They plan on completing most of the sheathing by Friday.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

New Site Supervisor

This little hummingbird built a nest not 6' off the ground and 20' from the house. The wife was the first to spot it. We think she's sitting on some babies.

More Interior Walls

This just about does it for the interior walls. The wife and I finshed the interior walls by building the walls for the office, powder room, and her closet on the first floor, and the bedroom and bathroom walls on the second floor.

The picture with the dogs shows the foyer and the door to my office. The dogs are looking out the front door and the powder room is on the other side of the wall on the left side of the picture.

The picture that looks like a jumble of studs is taken from the office looking back towards the powder room (there is access to the powder room from the office via a pocket door, or the hall via a regular hall). You can also see in that picture the small pantry and the HVAC chase.

The picture taken from above the top plates is the upstairs bedrooms and the bath they share (and a nice view up the bay)

This week the crew will finish framing the garage walls (those are being built conventionally) and get ready for the trusses and crane on Wednesday.

Check back Thursday.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Anybody out there?

I know that we have some family and friends checking out this blog, but I am curious who else is out there. I put a sitemeter counter up and I see that folks from all over the world have clicked over for a look-see (Cool!).

I am guessing that most click over from the updates I put on the Breaktime Forum over at If you've been checking this site on a somewhat regular basis or just clicked over from Breaktime, Thermomass, or where-ever, click on the small "X comments" link at the end of every post and let me know.

Lurking is allowed, but if you have any questions about what I am doing or why, ask away.

We hope to wrap up the interior walls this weekend.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Interior Shots with the Second Floor now up

These pics show the clerestory windows from the inside. (Those openings are actually for 2 windows each). The three on the right are high up on the wall in the great room. The one on the left is in one of the upstairs bedrooms. That picture was taken from what will be the other bedroom and through where the upstaris bath will be (Since there are no interior walls on the second floor yet)

The other two pictures show the loft/balcony from above and below. The stairs come up there and the area below the loft defines the kitchen.

3 Days Later, a Second Floor

They put down (up?) the second floor deck on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, they stood up all of the second floor walls.

The headers for the clerestory windows were installed before they put up those panels. The windows on the three bumpouts (and one in-between the two upper bumpouts) will probably be cut out and bucked today.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Weekend's Worth of Interior Walls

A friend from work came over Satuday. He helped me with the two main load bearing walls. It took him, my wife, and I to raise the big one. The reason that the one wall is made from 2x10's is because it will support a SIP above, and a run of trusses over the master suite. The 2x10 gives us the width we needed. Also, the studs in that wall are 24"oc and layed out so the trusses fall above each stud. In any event, getting those walls raised was the main goal for the weekend.

The next day; however, the wife and I made a bunch more progress. We did the rest of the layout and cut the bottom and 2 top plates for all of the first floor walls. We even got a few more of the smaller walls up, too. Mainly some short walls in the powder room that tie into the pantry and HVAC chase.

The goal for this week is to get the second floor deck and walls up and be ready for the trusses.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Tall First Floor Walls

(Wow!) Now we can really get an idea of how the great-room is going to look. The tall windowless wall on the right in the interior shot will get some windows later. You can see the open spot at the top which will receive the header. The big window wall is topped by a gable. We spec'd that truss as "load bearing" so we could get away with the long SIP headers.

We are going to work over the weekend to get two main interior walls up so they crew can work on the second-floor deck on Monday.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What a Difference a Day Makes

The picture from the previous post showed a completed floor deck on 8/2, here is what was done by 2pm that same day.

The panels ARE structural, but some window openings will still require headers. The other window openings - those not cut out yet - are field cut with an electric chainsaw with a special baseplate attachment. Then the foam is removed to a depth of 1.5" from the cut and 2x6 lumber is installed around the perimeter of the rough opening.

Floor Deck Done, Ready to Raise Some Walls

I wanted to throw this quick one in here to show that the floor deck was done. The picture you see here was taken from a vantage point that I am using on a regular basis. I don't hold the camera in the exact, perfect spot every time, but the idea is to show a chronological progression.