Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Houston, we have a floor!

After several days of being without tools while the van was being fixed (a special thanks to Glenn's brother Kal for figuring it out and getting it running), we are finally making decent progress on the homestead. Floor joists and some of the plywood was done on Saturday courtesy me and Glenn and today, my brother Jer and Glenn almost finished the floor.

Saturday was the first day I got cold, cold on the job site. Usually, my Carhartts and hoodie and headband are enough, but we had sideways snow most of the day and it took me several hours and a hot bath to thaw out. I have a nice little "skiers tan" going on though.

The day began of course, scraping ice off the boards - imagine that. The picture that I got doesn't do justice to the amount of ice was actually on this particular joist.

We finished installing the floor joists and began putting plywood on before it got dark. Believe it or not, we were still working at 7:30 even though we couldn't tell if we were hitting nails square or bending them over.

For those of you who are wondering, let me describe the physicality of building in the winter. First of all, you are about 3 sizes bigger than normal because of the several layers you wear to keep warm, causing you to get stuck between joists and studs that you can normally walk between. That many layers also makes it next to impossible to bend over without shoving the contents of your stomach into your throat. If that wasn't enough, lifting your snow trodden heavy boots and fighting against all the layers to raise your leg enough to climb a ladder, adds a whole other dimension to the word exhausted.

Once you get past all that though and begin to see a house materialize in front of your eyes, all the obstacles seem worth it. (It helps, too, that we're finally out of the basement for the time being).

This is what it looks like at the end of work today.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Slow, slow, slow....

Slow going is the name of the game this past week. We had weather issues. We had generator issues. We had floor joist issues. None of which is completely resolved. Now we're looking ahead to holiday issues. I'm seriously considering removing the countdown clock as it about gives me a stroke every time I look at it.

The good news is, we've got reinforcements coming next week. Son Steve is on Winter break and can help and even brother Jeremy may be able to help out a couple days. Once we get the floor on, it will be smoother sailing, but until then we're slowly losing faith that we'll come even close to making our deadline.


At least someone's still smiling.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Staying ahead of the weather

Most of this weeks work has been bracing the tall foundation walls for the rest of the backfill, covering the lumber so we can find it after the snow storm and strawing the footings so the frost doesn't heave them. Despite the winter delays, progress as of Tuesday evening includes all of the exterior basement walls standing. Interior structural walls next and then rim and floor joists. If it were summer, we'd have the floor on by the weekend. We'll see.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Finally Framing

So we dusted off our Carhartts, let out our tool belts out a couple inches and began framing the basement walls. We didn't get started until 2 and it was dark by 5, so it wasn't a real productive day, but we made a good start.

It's been well over 3 years since I've done any building, but it must be in my blood, because I felt like I was in my element. It all came right back.

Me and the Delta are long-time friends.

Basement walls are such a challenge. The ground is uneven and makes building walls difficult, every stud has to be cut, and there is a lot of planning that will affect future progress.

Spectators and photographer/helpers.


Four lone walls is all we got up. After scraping frozen sand and ice off the walls, getting all the tools out and set up, we finally got rockin' and rollin' and then it was dark.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Getting closer

These pictures were taken at 5:30pm. It seems like I have to leave work at noon in order to get a shot in the light. I can't believe how early it gets dark.

Forms were stripped today. Damp proofing is complete. Inspection tomorrow and backfill next. Hopefully, we'll get a good portion of the basement walls up Saturday.

In the garage.