Tuesday, December 5, 2017

It's Moving Slowly

Some days the build just crawls, but the cold weather keeps popping in and out and we've both had to cut firewood. Hal has been moving fill dirt onto the site to bury the footings, and just before Thanksgiving we put up a few ceiling joists and purlins though they aren't actually screwed into place yet. Tomorrow we may get a little more done, we'll see. Here are the most recent photos.

Hal standing on joists to add purlins in the garage
adding purlins close-up
soil on the footings, now there is also soil inside the garage
Well, someone had to decorate the new house

Saturday, November 18, 2017

All the Trusses are Up!

As of yesterday all the trusses are in place. There are still many purlins and ceiling joists to install and that will happen as there is time and good weather. They have to be squared up as well. Don't want a crooked house. I've been so looking forward to this point but I am so tired from it all, it's hard to really appreciate it. Especially when there is still so much to do.
looking in from the garage end
Hal securing the final truss

All 17 trusses looking straight at the front of the house

Friday, November 17, 2017

T3 Final Truss Lift

Hal lifted the final truss yesterday afternoon in what I considered too much wind, but he was going to do it no matter what I said and it is up. It attaches to truss T4, but 2 feet lower as it is innermost garage roof truss.

T4 Lift

This is the single truss at the end of the house between the house and garage. and the next one to be lifted on Nov 14th.

T1 Lift

The first of 3 single truss lifts, the endwall of the garage, completed November 11. It went really fast, probably because it was so light compared to the others I could winch one end saving Has from running back and forth. Had to slow down the video to see it.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

T6 T7 Lift

Today we put up the last of the truss assemblies. this is over the master bedroom, bath and guest bath room. Three trusses total, we will add the missing purlins and ceiling joists when everything is up. After this there will be 3 individual trusses left to get off the ground. It feels really, really good to have these up even if they're only chained in place till Hal can secure them with ledger locks. Tomorrow's weather is calling for rain, snow and high winds, not sure how much he'll be able to do, but he's going to try.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

T 5 Lift is Complete

We raised this one yesterday. There are only a few joists and purlins attached along with some cross bracing to keep the weight down as these were the biggest trusses and also because they were squeezed between the 4 posts and had to flex to get them to the top so they could spring back out on top of the posts. Hal will have to install the joists and purlins at a later date. First we want to get the remaining trusses raised.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

T-8 and T-9 Truss Lift

On the 22nd Hal and I raised the smallest trusses, 24 feet long, with the new winches. Actually Hal did 99% of the work as the handles on these were rotary and I did not have the arm strength to continue after the first couple of turns. These winches worked very well though and hopefully will work just as well when it's time to lift the longest trusses in the build, the 40 foot T-5s.

Here is a link to a slightly longer video of this lift. Halfway through you'll notice the angle gets tilted. The battery died and after replacing it I did not really have time to line things up, but it's still obvious what happens. I really need to find my tripod!

T8-T9 Lift.

These trusses are for the small bedrooms' wing.
The new trusses are next to Hal's truck

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The T2 Trusses are Up!!!

And it got a little hairy toward the end as the ratchet handle teeth started failing but with a little help from Hal's tractor we got the 4 trusses up!  He has ordered bigger, stronger winches for the rest of the house. Hopefully those will work better with fewer hiccups.

4 winches, one on each pole 

smooth notch atop pole of for straps

destroyed ratchet handle
Hal bent that handle off to be able to attach a socket wrench to continue turning. At that point we were only about 8 inches from the top and he used a 4 x 6 pole in the tractor bucket to push each truss corner onto their respective poles.

Link to a very short time lapse video of the T-2 lift. I tried embedding it but got an error.

In the meantime, until the new winches arrive, we have plenty of joist and purlin (joist hangers on the roof side) hangers to attach.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Happy Anniversary to Us

Actually our anniversary was a few days ago but we finally were able to go out to dinner tonight on Hubbard Lake at Churchill Pointe Inn. Had a great corner table with a nice view of the lake, and the food was wonderful.

There was garlic butter escargot for an appetizer with crusty bread, then we both had a terrific thick lobster bisque. Hal had crab cakes for a main course, which I got to try. Great flavor, perfectly cooked. I had pan fried lake perch with homemade dill tarter sauce. The fish tasted great with and without the sauce.
forgot to take the photo till I'd eaten the other 2
the lobster bisque with a dribble of sherry in it
lake perch

Maryland style crab cakes
The sides were sauteed zucchini and buttered parsley new potatoes.

And because it was our anniversary we got to share a complimentary slice of key lime pie.
And Hal selected a pinot gris from J Vineyards in California. An excellent choice.

We may have to eat here again when they reopen next spring.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Trusses in Position

Click on the photos to make them full size.
garage in the front with trusses placed willy nilly but off the ground
It took more than one day to set them all up off the ground and then another day and again today to take the ones placed alongside the garage and lay them back down then pick them up again with the tractor, ropes and a winch to maneuver them inside the garage and line them up where they are going to go. But here they are, all 17 trusses, in the 300 pound and up range, set up to prepare for lifting.
all the trusses in place

Looking at the garage end
Next we have to add purlins and some hardware before lifting them into place. But not tomorrow, it's going to rain and we need a rest!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Trusses Came

The trusses finally came 3 days ago. When the delivery guy dropped them however, we had to drag them back off the hill they slid over. Can't have trusses bending over a hill no matter how low a hill. It is recommended to stand them up as soon as possible so Hal did what he could before it rained.
rotated trusses
One truss also had tails 1.5" too short but we confirmed with the pole barn company that we can use it, just attach the fascia differently. Hal stood the 3 smallest ones next to the poles they will attach to. The others are all much bigger and he will need help today to position them.
trusses 2 and 3 are are the right, stacked together
Other things Hal has been doing is lining the crawlspace skirt boards with rigid insulation. This will help keep the crawlspace warmer in winter which will help keep the floor warmer as well.
foil covered foam boards
It's slow going but it is still progress.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Little More House Build Progress

After the concrete cured for a couple days we took the bracing down and Hal got to work on laying perforated 200 feet of drain pipe inside the future crawl space to keep things dry in the spring. He covered the pipe with drain stone, then landscape fabric and fine sand one half yard bucket load at a time. More fill will have to be added to ensure the concrete footings are buried to frost grade. In our area that is 42 inches. That won't be fun as we have to bury those footings only 6 inches at a time, tamping the fill solid with an 8 foot long 4 by 4 dropped from a 4 foot height. There are more than 25 footings.
laying out the drain pipe
covering pipe with rock
Till then Hal has been adding the skirt and underskirt boards which do a couple of things. The finish grade comes to the bottom edge of the top skirt board and provides a base to attach the steel siding. The under skirt board is buried and is there to help deter digging critters from entering the house.
a few skirt boards and the sand inside the crawlspace

6 nails per end on each board
I don't have any photos yet as he only bought the insulation yesterday but Hal is also lining the interior of the skirt boards with rigid insulation to help keep the crawlspace warm in winter which will in turn keep our floors warmer.

And our steel siding did come. I don't have a photo of the gray roof sheets but here is the lovely blue of the sidewalls. It took the two of us 3.5 hours on a very hot and humid day to move the blue sheets one or two at a time into the pole barn. Some of the sheets were over 20 feet long. We opted to leave the gray ones outside and cover them from the weather. Hopefully they won't rust.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Rain Stopped

On last Friday the rain finally ended. Saturday and Sunday were spent bailing out several holes, probably about 70 gallons total. One hole collapsed so much from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey that we had to add new bracing to straighten the pole.

Lots of water
more water

Then we had to scoop out all the mud from collapsed holes.

Hal and I were exhausted by Sunday night but at least it meant Hal could call the local concrete company on Monday to schedule the delivery.

On Tuesday we had half the holes filled and today the other half. At last we have a foundation!

the truck driver threaded the needle to fill the interior holes

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


There are 23 poles up, at least, but it's been raining, and the deliveries that were supposed to come on August 31 have not arrived. There has been no contact from the pole barn company or any of the vendors or delivery people. It's getting, old, boring, and frustrating. Hal was able to do a little on the build today but without me there, we can't finish the leveling and straightening of the poles. It takes 2 people and I have to wait at home for the shipment that is supposed to come here.

I am annoyed.
23 poles before leveling

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

18 Poles

We have 18 poles up now. Put up 8 yesterday including the 6 tallest, heaviest laminated poles. Today we hope to put up the last 8 tall poles, but it's going to be hot and humid so we'll have to see how long we can last. But here is the current photo of 18.
We hope to get everything ready for the concrete pour by the end of the weekend as next week the roof trusses and steel siding get delivered.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Putting Up Poles

The holes were approved by the inspector 2 days ago and yesterday Hal, with a little help from me starting putting up the poles for the walls. Yesterday the 4 corners of the garage went up. We also made sure they were straight, level and in the exact spot in relation to the strings on the batter boards.
4 poles at garage corners
 Today we put up another 6 but decided to wait until they are all up to square them up to each other.
10 poles
It's going to rain tomorrow so we will have to wait another day to do more.

At last it's starting to look like something other than ground with a bunch of holes in it.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

And the House Build is Started

Yesterday Hal rented a bobcat with 24" and 18" augers. We have to dig several 36", 30", 24" and 18" wide holes for the concrete footings which will support the frame of the house. As 24" was the biggest auger we could get we have to dig them out wider. The soil is clay and very hard. We hired a neighbor to help yesterday but he wasn't available today so we continued digging the holes wider by ourselves. The holes need to be about 21-24 inches deep though the plans call for 18" deep footers. A little extra concrete in the footings doesn't hurt.

Photos from yesterday.
attaching the 24" auger

Hal getting ready

The first hole
Today Hal and I worked on making them wider and perfecting the ones our friend dug out yesterday.
Hal digging

Lots of holes

removing dirt
If it doesn't rain tomorrow we will need to dig some more.

Tiger Game

Went to the baseball stadium the night of the 9th. The Tigers were playing Pittsburgh. The Tigers haven't been doing well but we were treated to a near no-hitter. Justin Verlander was pitching and the final score was 10 to 0!  Had a blast with Hal's sister, older brother and his wife. Tried out my ZS-50 from our seats in row 13 behind the Pittsburgh dugout.

Hicks hit a standup double and advance to 3rd on an error