“Wood” You Please Build My House!

All things come to him who waits. ~Woodrow Wilson

Monday, October 28, early morning, Bill’s phone rings. It’s Jim, Sr. He says that the trusses were being delivered and Bill better get down there. It really is nice having neighbors close by who look out for you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Bill rushed to change clothes and drove down to the site. Only to find that they had already left. But, they left us these!

Trusses

Trusses

Trusses

Trusses

For our house plan, our framer only uses trusses over the garage area. Thank goodness the delivery person dropped the trusses off next to the garage. The framer will bring in a crane to lift the trusses when he gets to that point in framing.

I came down shortly after the truss delivery to check out our first lumber delivery. I was excited! Bill said this was the first big smile on my face since we started this house-building project! ๐Ÿ˜†

Happy Sandy!

Happy Sandy!

I went back up to our apartment while Bill worked on making more wood for cabinets. Unfortunately, Sunday when he was making dovetails, he had an epic fail. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ Something went wrong with the dovetail jig or some piece of equipment and it apparently was slipping a little at a time without him knowing it. Pros: Bill has lots of practice pieces of drawer wood, lots of wood chips for the chickens, and lots of kindling. Cons: Bill had to make more wood and lost a day’s work.

I text Bill two hours later (10:00 am) to see if any more lumber had been delivered. He answered, “No!” I text again at noon and got the same reply. I asked if he should call Chuck at Kight Lumber. He text back a few minutes later and said that Chuck said lumber was on the way. So, I went down and waited and waited and waited. I enjoyed the sunshine and walked around the site dreaming how it would look in the next couple of months.

Bill came to a stopping point at making wood and decided to drive back up to the house to eat lunch. I stayed down at the pole barn. It was 1:30 pm. No sooner had Bill got up the driveway to Jill & Jim’s house, the truck pulled into our driveway and backed into the area in front of our house. I called Bill to tell him to come back down.

Lumber delivery truck

Lumber delivery truck

The guy started to unload a bunch of boxes and put them on the garage concrete.

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Nails

Nails

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Silver rolls are termite shield

Stainless steel rolls are termite shield

Sill plate sealer

Blue foam rolls – sill plate sealer

Closer up of lumber truck which had 2X6’s for exterior walls and insulation boards (blue boards).

Lumber truck

Lumber truck

The delivery guy and Bill discussed where to unload the lumber and Bill suggested behind the house. So he moved the truck. I kept wondering how he was going to get all that lumber off the truck. We soon found out. Talk about “dropping off a load of lumber!”

If you watch the video you will hear me say, “hmmmm!” after those blue insulation boards fell off sideways! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Thank goodness they were all okay.

Bill checked on the lumber afterwards and all was fine. The lumber company also sent a box of heavy-duty plastic to cover the wood since we had a large weather system heading our way. Before leaving, the delivery guy covered the load of lumber.

Bill checking the lumber that was dropped off

Bill checking the lumber that was dropped off

Just a little chipped up, but not enough to hurt anything

Just a little chipped up, but not enough to hurt anything

Covering the lumber

Covering the lumber

All covered up

All covered up

Bill and I decided to cover the trusses and the boxes of supplies after the delivery guy left so nothing would get wet. Later in the afternoon the rest of the lumber was delivered. And those delivery guys covered that lumber, too.

More lumber trucks

More lumber trucks

Jim talked with the framer on Monday and he said he wouldn’t be able to start until Wednesday. Bill didn’t tell me that until Tuesday morning. He knew I would be disappointed. And, of course, I was. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ They were predicting rain for Wednesday and Thursday, so I told myself that the framer would probably start on Friday when it was supposed to be nice and sunny.

Tuesday, Chuck from Kight Lumber came out to check and make sure they had delivered everything. He and Bill went through the list and then looked at the house plans. I was at water aerobics and grocery shopping when all of this was going on. From what I gather, there was discussion about beams – how many, how long, where they were going, etc. Bill and Jim and Chuck work through this. A 28ft beam was delivered sometime Tuesday.

Tuesday evening Jim came up to the apartment to discuss “the beam” which we were installing between the family room and kitchen/dining area.

Beam on floor plan

Beam on floor plan

He said we had to decide how far down we wanted to install the beam so he could tell the framer in the morning. And, he said that the decision would be based on how high our trim for windows and doors was and where we were installing the headband throughout the house in each room. OMG! Bill and I looked at him with blank stares! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ We didn’t know how to answer him. Bill said he didn’t understand it all and even though I thought I understood part of it, I didn’t know the answers to tell Jim. Jim asked us to come downstairs and he’d show us what he was talking about using their beam as an example.

What Jill and Jim's beam looks like

What Jill and Jim’s beam looks like

Jim said we had to decide how far to place the beam and then decide how much decorative trim (what you see in their beam above) we wanted to use that would come down to the height of the finished beam. As I’ve said before, we say our house is a mini Jim and Jill house as far as our interior trim. However, we do have a different trim for the top of our windows and doors. This is what ours will look like.

Trim Casings, Stool and Apron

Trim Casings, Stool and Apron

We said to Jim that we want our finished beam to come to the same height as theirs. Our frame was a slightly different size than J&J’s but Bill and Jim determined where the beam would hang. Jim wanted that information by the time he met with our framer at 7:30 the next morning on our property. Jim gave us some homework to do making sure we had the headband figured out in each area and that it would work at the same height we had chosen in the kitchen/dining/family room (at 8 ft). We decided on the headband height at 8 ft based on the fact that we have soffits in the dining area that come down to 8 ft. This was tricky business.

The beam had to be decided before the framer framed that section. So, that part was decided. However, Jim gave us some homework. He wanted us to look through our house plans and see if the headband worked at 8 ft throughout all the other rooms. Also, he said to think about if we wanted any more beams or decorative drop downs anywhere in the house. Here is an example of what Jill and Jim did in their hallway and entry into hall.

Drop down decorative dividers

Drop down decorative dividers

Here is a picture of how the headband works in J&J’s kitchen.

Beam and headband

Beam and headband

How headband circles around every room

How headband circles around every room

Jill and I are huge fans of architect Sarah Susanka. I think I own all of her Not So Big books. I LOVE her Home by Design book. She explains how you can break up or designate areas of your home just by using trim or drop-down ceilings. Jill and Jim used the decorative drop down trim above the opening when you transitioned from their entry to the hallway (seen in one of the photos above). Then, they used two more in the hallway. One was to designate that the area was still part of the main level living area (office and half-bath). The last one in the hall was to designate that area was another entry area from the garage (an open mud-room type entry with cubbies for coats and shoes).

Another idea that Susanka uses in her house designs for Prairie and Craftsman homes is the headband. The headband provides a connecting theme from room to room throughout the house. It can be made of different widths of wood. It is also a great way to make ceiling heights look taller. That is accomplished by painting the area above the headband a lighter color than the wall color. The ceiling is painted and finished in the same color as the section above the headband. Susanka says, “So the entire area of the room above the headband is like the lid of a box.”

So, back to our homework. The next morning Bill and I looked at our house plans. We decided we didn’t have any other areas in the house where we needed a beam as a divider. We double-checked the height of the headband in the kitchen/dining area by starting at the height of the soffits in the dining area and working our way around to the beam. The 8 ft height worked great and that would butt up to the top of the big decorative beam. The trim for the beam will be 12″ and that will bring the beam to a height of 7 foot from the floor. That was the height of J&J’s and it was perfect. Whew!

I looked through the plans and decided I thought we could add a drop-down decorative divider at the entrance to the hallway to the master bedroom suite area.

Entrance to Master Bedroom suite area

Entrance to Master Bedroom suite area

Bill and I thought we were okay as far as the headband in all the other rooms. I said I wasn’t planning on using a headband in the laundry/pantry room.

We went downstairs with our house plans and a camera. Thank goodness Jim and Jill were up and ready for work and gave us a few minutes to talk over ideas. We shared our idea about the decorative divider at the master bedroom hall and they thought that was good.

Drop down decorative trim to divide spaces

Drop down decorative trim at master bedroom hallway

Jill checked each of our rooms to make sure the headband at 8 ft would work and she said it did. She also said we could do the headband in the laundry/pantry with no problem. I may still do it. ๐Ÿ˜• What’s a little more wood, right?

The only part I was struggling with was how to make a transition from our very wide entry (which has 9 ft ceilings) to our vaulted ceiling family room.

Entry to vaulted ceiling family room

Entry to vaulted ceiling family room

This is a wide span of 9 ft ceiling height, with a beam to the right that drops down to 7 ft. The ceiling height changes at the family room with a vaulted coffered ceiling with a flat center. I didn’t want a plain drywall opening at 9 foot. So Jill and Jim suggested we make a drop down 1 foot wall right before the dotted line designating transition from the entry to the family room (on the plans above). We will run a headband at the bottom of the wall to continue our theme. It will look like the entry wall from J&J’s hallway to their two-story family room. The exception will be our wall will be almost 18 feet wide!

Drop down wall from entry foyer to family room

Drop down wall from entry foyer to family room

Once all of that was decided, I took pictures of everything so we could use for the framer and trim carpenter. Bill asked that I print out the pictures so he could keep them down at the pole barn where he had a table designated for house plans, specification document, and photos.

Jim took the kids to school and came back to meet with the framer. Bill got everything together and headed down to the site. The good news was that the weather held off on Wednesday, temps got up to 75 degrees, and the framing crew got in a full day’s work. Here are pictures of what they accomplished the first day.

Installing insulation board

Installing insulation board

Installing the sill plate

Installing the sill plate

IMG_0884See the 28 ft beam in the photo below? There is only a part of it in the photo. It’s covered in plastic.

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Floor joists going in

Floor joists going in

More floor joists laid out to nail

More floor joists laid out to nail

Day 1 completion

Day 1 completion

Day 1

End of Day 1

Floor joists done!

Floor joists done!

Bill has been working on the cabinets in-between helping out with the contractors. He got the dovetails working again.

Cabinet drawers dovetailed

Cabinet drawers dovetailed

Beautiful dovetail work!

Beautiful dovetail work!

Drawer without a bottom

Drawer without a bottom

One big 'ol drawer made

One big ‘ol drawer made

We had a washout today because of the weather. Here was our radar earlier this morning. Hasn’t gotten better.

Today's weather

Today’s weather

Can’t wait until I see some vertical boards going up tomorrow. Framer said the house would probably take 1-1/2 weeks to complete. I hope the weather holds up!

Nothing is Certain except Death, Taxes and Delays!

Can you tell I’m a little frustrated? Insert sarcasm font!

Yep, I got home yesterday from bible study to find this:

No Change

No Change

No lumber. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Jim called the framer. He said it is now looking like Tuesday, Oct. 29. Unfortunately for us, he is having a tough time estimating how long it would take him to frame a 11,000 square foot home! Yep, that is what he is framing now. Ours should be a breeze for him!

Lumber is supposed to be delivered Monday. Below is our forecast for next week. Bill has purchased tarps to cover the lumber.

Weather forecast

Weather forecast

This is a depressing post. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

Let me see if I can add something that made me chuckle yesterday. I was helping Jack with his fill in the blank spelling/vocabulary homework. The sentence was: We (blank) our grandparents with hugs and kisses. The spelling/vocabulary word was “welcome.” I said to Jack, “Hey, you don’t welcome me and Papa with hugs and kisses!” He looks at me and says, “That’s because you are like parents now since you live with us!” ๐Ÿ˜† That Jack! He always has such insight.

Bill is getting ready to make dovetails for the drawers for the kitchen cabinets. For those who don’t know what that is, here are a couple of pictures.

Tails & Pins of the Dovetail

Tails & Pins of the Dovetail

Dovetail joints

Dovetail joints

I took some pics of his “almost” finished wood for the drawers. He still has to cut the wood to size.

Wood for cabinet drawers

Wood for cabinet drawers

More wood for drawers

More wood for drawers

And, here is a shot of his newly built table saw. He said he didn’t clean it up before I took the picture. But, I told him this is the way it usually looks when he’s working with wood, so might as well show it that way.

Saw table

Saw table

It was good to see one of my kitchen cabinets framed again. I had helped Bill take them all apart when we sold our home and put all the wood pieces in storage. Bill put together the gas stove-top cabinet to start. He needs to temporarily put the cabinets together to make sure the drawers, doors, hinges, slides, and handles will fit. All the drawers and doors will be soft-close. No banging dishes in my kitchen! Once all of those are done, he’ll take the cabinets apart again so he can put the Danish oil on them then apply layers of finish.

Stove-top cabinet

Stove-top cabinet

Notice Bill’s use of some of his clamps? You can never have enough clamps! ๐Ÿ˜€

To explain the cabinet above, the face frame is made of mahogany wood. The side extensions are made of mahogany because this cabinet will extend out 3″ from the other cabinets (like a bump-out cabinet) and the extension will be visible. The sides are prefinished plywood. Here is a look at what the kitchen cabinets will look like some day.

Layout of cabinets

Layout of cabinets

In the photo below the granite will not be that color.

Mahogany color cabinets

Mahogany color cabinets and island

Shows the bump out of the stove top cabinet

Shows the bump out of the stove top cabinet

Tuesday Bill and I stopped at Tri-State Stone and Rick was in the process of ordering our stone and creating an invoice for us. He said he was so glad we stopped in because he wanted to get my opinion on the trim stone for the fireplace. He had three different choices for us and he was leaning toward one that looked very similar to the trim squares I had designed. Did I take photos of any of them? Noooooooo! What is wrong with me? ๐Ÿ˜ก The smoother and lighter stone trim was my favorite. However, the color had a peachy look to it. Of course, Bill liked the peachy color but shook his head and said he had no say in colors. (That is so right!) I asked Rick if he could get the trim and keystone in a color that would blend in with the Centurion Suede stones – a greyish brown. He said he could. It’s a done deal now. The stone is being ordered.

And, the weather has turned cold. Bill is finding that the insulation alone is not enough to keep him warm in his pole barn with this cold front that came in. Since the radiant floor heat isn’t ready yet, Bill had to find another way to be able to heat the barn while he makes cabinets this winter. Yesterday, he bought an electric heater. It is supposed to heat up to 1500 square feet. I hope it works for him. He is trying it out today.

Electric Heater

Electric Heater

But he had to buy a 10 gauge extension cord to reach the saw post to plug it in! That thing cost almost as much as the heater!

10 gauge extension cord

10 gauge extension cord

If the heater works we might also use it to heat the house when they install the dry wall. Well, that is, if we ever get our framer to begin framing!

Until the next delay . . . ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomorrow, Tomorrow . . . You’re Always a Day Away!

Delay is preferable to error. ~Thomas Jefferson

Yep, we had another delay. I was really hoping to have some photos of our house being framed. Unfortunately, the framer had another delay. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ He told Jim it’s looking like Thursday, October 24 to start.

However, the good news is we still had some activity at the construction site.

Bill installed a saw post, which is a temporary power post. I’m thinking it is called a saw post because you hook your saw up to the electricity on the post. Sounds logical, right? Anyway, it was the post that Jim’s parents used when they were building their home. Bill installed this while I was on my little vacation. He said it was really heavy and awkward.

Saw Post

Saw Post

Close up of all the wiring

Close up of all the wiring

And since the concrete guys were available, they finished the rest of the foundation by spreading rock into the crawl space. Boy was there a lot of rock.

Piles of rock

Piles of rock

Spreading the rock in the crawl space

Spreading the rock in the crawl space

While some guys were spreading the rock, one guy pushed dirt all around! ๐Ÿ™‚ All of this foundation is supposed to be under ground.

Dirt work

Dirt work

Moving that dirt

Moving that dirt

And, they also had to install some pipes. First was the pipe that will bring the water from our well to the house.

Installing

Water pipe from well to house

Next, they needed two pipes to drain the crawl space.

Crawl space drainage pipes

Crawl space drainage pipes

Here’s what the crawl space looked like with rock in it.

Crawl space with rock

Crawl space with rock

We had heavy rain the weekend before they did this so we had standing water. They put more rock over that.

Standing water

Standing water

Then, they decided to pour our garage floor. The excavator had to dig out a lot of dirt from our foundation for the pole barn pad. I’ve been told they don’t put dirt back in those areas before laying the concrete. Instead they put rock. So, we had MORE rock delivered. A lot MORE rock. I think Bill said 6 more truck loads. This is gonna cost us!

More rock

More rock delivered

Rock for the driveway up to the garage

Rock for the driveway up to the garage

In the picture below, the top part is our front porch. Looks like it will have to be filled with rock eventually, too! The bottom half is the rock in the garage area before the concrete was poured. Bill said that the very thick layer of rock made a very good foundation for the concrete and should eliminate cracking.

Rock in the garage area

Rock in the garage area

Then they started working on the garage floor.

The garage floor

The garage floor being prepped

HVAC duct work

HVAC duct work

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Here comes the concrete

Smoothing out the concrete floor

Smoothing out the concrete floor

And, here is the finished product.

Shiny concrete floor

Shiny concrete floor

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Bill picked up after the guys left and did his first burn in the fire pit.

fire pit

fire pit

Remember that saw post Bill installed? Well, Vectren came out to inspect it and told Bill he needed to install an 8 ft ground rod to it. He thought it was going to be a pain to hammer it into the ground. But the guy at Lowe’s said to dig a 8-10 inch hole about 10 inches deep and fill it with water. Then push the rod up and down a little at a time and the rod would go all the way in. He had his doubts that it would work . . . but, sure enough, within 5 minutes Bill had installed that ground rod. He wished I had been there to videotape it because he said no one would believe that it actually worked!

Ground rod in the hole

Ground rod in the hole

Friday Vectren sent a crew to install our new pole! The good news is the old pole was . . . OLD! And, we were able to move it several feet away from the driveway which is what we preferred. And, they installed a new pole for Jim and Jill, too!

Drilling to install our new pole

Drilling to install our new pole

There she goes up!

There she goes up!

See the old pole to the left? Yeah, it needed to go. ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_2535Here’s the new pole with the transformer installed on it – ready to go! And, the old pole gone.

New Pole

New Pole

Here is the saw post with our temporary electricity. Now, we’ll start getting an electric bill from Vectren. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Saw post

Saw post

Bill said he needs to buy another long extension cord to get the electric back to his pole barn. He still plans to run his saw, planer and joiner equipment using the generator until we have full electricity hooked to the pole barn.

Guess what? Bill started working on cabinets again! After an almost five-month hiatus, he’s back! He started what he calls, “making wood” this week. “Making wood” means he takes rough sawn wood, runs it through the joiner, then the planer, and finally saws the wood to size using the table saw. It then becomes finished wood. This week he was working with maple for the drawers of my kitchen cabinets. The cabinet frames, drawer fronts, and doors are made of mahogany wood. But the drawers are made of maple. Sorry, I have no pictures of this. I’ll take some soon.

Bill did find a use for the very fine wood chips. Jim, Sr. is going to use the chips for the chicken pen and Jill thinks they can use them for bedding for the guinea pig and rat. Bill fills up a 30 gallon garbage bag of wood chips for about 5 pieces of wood when he’s making wood. He makes lots of wood chips! When we lived in our other house, the guy next door used the chips in his horse barn.

Want to hear the latest on the fireplace and stone saga? While I was on vacation, Bill took the new fireplace design to Rick, the stone guy. Rick really like my design and thought the lighter color border would really look nice and he could create something similar for us. Whew! But, it doesn’t end there. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Rick emailed Bill on Wednesday to ask if it was okay to order the stone. He said he would need a deposit to place the order. No problem. Bill emailed Rick to tell him to create an invoice and send it to the construction company so we could get a bank draw the first week of November. Then, Thursday Bill says to me that he wanted me to consider changing the exterior stone back to what we originally picked out! He thought we should use the Centurion Cutface (Suede color) for all the exterior (wainscot, columns, and chimney) and use the Centurion Stack (Suede color) for the fireplace in the interior.

Yep, we went there again! ๐Ÿ˜† Honestly, I was fine with the change. The colors are the same. The Cutface stone has a rough edge and Stack has a smoother one. After having a brick fireplace for years and trying to clean dust from it, I thought it would be better to have the smoother edge for the fireplace. Bill agreed. We emailed Rick on Thursday about the change and said it was our last one. I hope it is!

Centurion Suede Stack Stone

Centurion Suede Stack Stone

Centurion Suede Cutface Stone

Centurion Suede Cutface Stone

Before I went on vacation I found out that Costco has a cabinet company and their October flyer said they had a big sale going on for the month of October. I checked out the company online and called them. They have a free design service, too. I ended up sending snapshots of the two bathrooms from our floor plan and the dimensions of cabinets we wanted. We already had two quotes for the bathroom cabinets and had decided to go with one local company. But I was having second thoughts on the stain color and I didn’t want 4 drawers on the sides of the cabinets. I wanted 3 drawers. And, I realized we had never had the bath storage cabinet quoted. (See photo below of Jill & Jim’s bath storage cabinet we wanted to replicate.) So, if we were going to have to get a re-quote, I might as well check out the new company, too, and compare the two.

Master Bath Storage Cabinet/Seat

Master Bath Storage Cabinet/Seat

Within several days I received a quote for all the cabinets from All Wood Cabinetry (Costco). They were about $1000 higher than our local cabinet company. The quote said they were all wood construction and had soft-close doors and drawers. I could order sample doors for quality and finish. But the two times I asked what wood the cabinets were made of, they never answered me. I got an email last week asking me if I had received the quotes because I had not ordered any sample doors yet. I emailed again that I would not go any further in the process until someone answered my question about what wood they were using. I promptly received a reply stating that the majority of the cabinets were made of maple but they also used other hard woods (which they didn’t mention what kind – again!). Since Bill and I wanted Hickory for the bathrooms I emailed the company back and said we were not interested.

Last week I made another visit to the Lensing Home Consultants center to check out the finishes for the Peace Valley cabinets. Originally, I liked the really dark black cabinets, but I was wondering if it would be too dark with the tile flooring and granite countertops we had selected. Here are the two finishes I’m considering.

Bathroom cabinet finishes

Bathroom cabinet finishes

Bathroom cabinet colors

Bathroom cabinet colors

I emailed Rick at Lensing to see if I could get samples of the two finishes and asked if he had any photos of their cabinets since all I had was a sketch of what they would look like. He quickly replied that he would have Peace Valley make me two sample doors – one with each finish. Yay! I can’t wait to get them. By the way, I’m leaning toward the Brandy Wine finish. But, we’ll see . . .

I also called Surface Encounters in Noblesville where we picked out our granite slabs and ordered them before our move. I wanted to make sure they still were holding our granite. Everything was still good and I gave Luc an update of how our construction was going. I asked if he could also get us samples of the granite we picked out for our kitchen and bathrooms. He checked his stock and called me to say he did have samples. Then I asked if he could mail them to me. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ I told him I’d pay for shipping. He was supposed to call me back Friday to let me know if they could ship them or if I’d have to pick them up. But I didn’t hear from him. I guess I’ll call him tomorrow. I really need the samples to make sure everything looks good together. And, we will need the kitchen countertop sample to pick out our backsplash tile.

Bill found out he has another PIA (pain in a$$) job that has been assigned to him. He needs to install a vapor barrier (heavy plastic) for a conditioned crawl space. It wouldn’t be as bad a job if he could install the barrier now over the rock like in the photo below. He could stand up and do it.

Crawl space with rock

Crawl space with rock

But, he can’t install the barrier yet. He has to wait to install it AFTER the framer (which means the floor boards will be installed) and AFTER the electrician and plumber have run their cables and pipes through the crawl space. The barrier has to be placed over those items. Which means Bill will have to crawl through the crawl space and install it. Jim just gave Bill an article on conditioning crawl spaces and they suggested using mastic to seal the barrier to the inside of the block walls. Poor Bill! He thought he would never ever apply mastic again! But, he is hoping he can get it in a caulking gun. Bill hopes this is his last PIA job for the house construction. He would prefer to work on building the cabinets while the contractors do the rest of the construction work. I prefer that arrangement, too!

Our son Bryan came yesterday for a visit. When he saw the house foundation he said it looked smaller than he imagined. I said I had the same feeling. But, Jim and Jill say we will go through the small and then big (or just right) feelings throughout construction. I’m hoping it feels just right after the framing starts!

Until then . . .

Building a Good Foundation

hard-workThe last time I posted the block layers were suppose to arrive and install the block. Well, they came on Friday, September 27, and worked and worked.

Block installers

Block installers

Mortar sand and concrete

Mortar sand and concrete

Laying out the blocks

Laying out the blocks

Put it over there

Put it over there

The end of day one of block laying

Towards the end of day one of block laying

Sewer pipe

Sewer pipe

After the block layers left around 2:30, Bill went to work. No one wanted to apply the mastic (tar) on the blocks. It was even noted on the block layers contract with JQM Construction that their work did not include applying mastic. Bill even asked the workers if anyone wanted to do the job that day and they all said, “NO!” The purpose of applying the mastic coating is to restrain the entrance of moisture into foundation walls. It was a dirty job. Poor Bill took on the task. He worked until dark applying that yucky stuff with a brush. He wore throw-away clothes and shoes.

Bill after a long day

Bill after a long day

Bill and his mastic bucket

Bill and his mastic bucket

One wall with mastic

Westย  wall with mastic

See the exterior door into the crawl space above? I will never be crawling in there. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Back wall with mastic

Back wall with mastic

More blocks

More blocks

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Garage area on the left and Laundry and Kitchen area on the right

Front view of the house

Front view of the house

The block layers came back and worked on Saturday to lay more blocks. Then, they gave Bill the news that they needed more blocks. Like 185 more blocks! They worked until they used up all the blocks. Bill had to call and order more blocks and had to be at the block supplier early Monday morning to pick them up. The guys said they would be back Monday to finish up. Bill ended up having to make two trips to get block as he borrowed Jim’s parents’ Expedition and their 16 foot trailer. Those blocks were heavy. At least he didn’t have to load and unload the blocks. ๐Ÿ˜• Well, he did end up picking up a bunch of them this week when he was cleaning up.

Monday the block layers finished their job. The top one or two rows of block that will show above the ground are cutface blocks. Bill did not apply mastic on those. They look really nice and we can paint them to match the house. The back doesn’t have any of those blocks because we don’t have any that will show – most of the back of the house will be a very large long patio.

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More mastic to apply

More mastic to apply

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As you can see from the photos above, we had some rain, but as Jim said, at least the rain did not prevent us getting the foundation laid – which is always a concern at this time of year. Bill tried to get the rest of the mastic applied on Monday before more rain headed our way. He thought he was done at the end of that day. But, Jim and Bill had to re-evaluate where the ground was going to meet the blocks, so he had to apply mastic on more rows of block today. Bill says he done with that messy job! ๐Ÿ™‚

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See the cutface blocks on this picture?

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View of the front of the house foundation

View of the front of the house foundation

This is what they left behind

This is what they left behind

Look what else was delivered this week!

Dumpster

Dumpster

Bill spent a lot of time this week trying to build a table for his saw as he got rid of his old one when we moved. He’s getting there. And, he also installed a light (running off the generator) so he would have some light in the back of the workshop.

Making a new saw table

Making a new saw table

Let there be light!

Let there be light!

And to let you know that you can never have enough clamps (Bill’s favorite saying), here are pictures of all his clamps.

New Clamp rack

New Clamp rack

Rack Bill made that he outgrew.

Rack Bill made that he outgrew.

And just a funny . . .

Shark jaws mounted on his soon to be half-bath walls.

Shark jaws mounted on his soon to be half-bath walls.

Bill also made lots of phone calls this week making arrangements for electric, gas and plumbing services. He finally got word that Vectren will be able to install the correct transformer on a new pole at the end of our driveway. Bill also made arrangements for a saw post to be installed 75 ft up from the new pole. That will give temporary electricity for any of the contractors needing some power. Of course, that also means we’ll be getting an electric bill soon. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Last Saturday we bought our fireplace. Firemaster was having a big sale so we decided to see if we could get a better price than our original quote. Turns out they had given us a really good deal but brought it down even more for us. We ended up getting to meet the Enerzone sales representative and he was very helpful and gave Bill a free wood moisture tester. Yahoo! And, you might know that when we were looking at the model we were buying the top grate was different from the one I had used to design our fireplace. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Turns out we had originally ordered the better grate. So, of course, I had to redesign that fireplace yet again. It’s not too much different from before, but it changed.

Fireplace before I knew grate was different

Fireplace before I knew grate was different

Fireplace design with new grate

Fireplace design with new grate

Bill is taking this design down to the stone guy next week. I’m done with this – I hope! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jim text Bill today that he heard from the framer and he will be able to start on our house in about 1-1/2 weeks. Oh goodie! I’ll be back from my trip then. However, we need to order our windows and doors tomorrow before I leave!

I’ll leave you this time with some pictures of the chickens that live next door at Jim and Joan’s. The chickens are laying 3 eggs a day. So we have plenty of free eggs now!

Two of the roosters from the first batch that Maggie didn't kill. And, they are mean.

Two of the roosters from the first batch that Maggie didn’t kill. And, they are mean.

Five laying chickens and one rooster from the second batch

Five laying chickens and one rooster from the second batch

They fly on top of the coop

They fly on top of the coop

If you look really hard you can see a brown egg on the right in the tray

If you look really hard you can see a brown egg on the right in the tray

I hope things aren’t too crazy for Bill while I’m gone. I hope he gets to finish up his workshop and get started on those cabinets. Soon I hope to post pictures of house framing and cabinet building!