“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. 🙂 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! 😆

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. 😥 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.

IMG_2588IMG_2589

Nails

Nails

IMG_2591

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! 😯 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. 😦 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! 😯 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. 😕 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!

4 thoughts on ““Wood” You Please Build My House!

  1. Yay!! Framing is such a fun part of the job — it all goes very fast. I have one thing that you have probably gone over and over, but I need to mention it anyway. When the framers framed out the downstairs doorways, they did not allow enough height for the thickness of our floors, and when the underlayment went down and I could measure, considering the thickness of the hardwood I was installing —- alas, the doorway openings were going to be too short! The framers were not happy to have to re-frame all of the downstairs doorways 😦 – as you can probably imagine. Just thought I would tell you that little glitch story — there are always glitches 🙂

    Thanks for such a great narrative — you have a fantastic memory!

    love to you both, arlene

    • Thanks, Arlene! We’ll be sure to check out the doorframe situation. Yes, it is always something. Bill found two issues already – one with block and other with HVAC placement. But both can be remedied. It pays to have Bill down at the site. That way he can text Jim with photos if a problem arises. Bill and Jim had to go down to look at the issues with flashlights last night.

      Photos and conversations with Bill help the memory of events. I’m glad I’m blogging it because it’s a great way to understand the process.

  2. I’m exhausted every time I read one of your posts. I think just picking out paint color is tiring. I can’t imagine the time you are having to spend on every detail.

    • Robyn, I’m holding my breath that everything we’ve selected will look okay. Haven’t decided about interior paint colors! That will come later and will probably need help on those.

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