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September 6, 2004

Today, we got much of the metal on the shed up. Three sides are done and the door is installed. I didn’t get photos of work done later in the afternoon but will take some tomorrow. We should get the whole thing completed tomorrow. Oh, we will be putting in “windows” (clear stuff that fits over holes in the metal) but have to order that so it will probably be a couple of weeks. It’s a cheap alternative to windows, perfect for letting in light in the shed.

We have a new floor plan now. We increased the size of the house from 30′ x 50′ to 40′ x 50′. So, we played with some house design software and, thanks to a lot of great input from many folks, we’ve come up with a floor plan that really works for us. I’ll have to convert the final draft from the drafting file type to a photo/jpg one so that I can post it. Will try to do that this week.

Piles of metal past the cistern.

More piles of metal at the end of the driveway.

Cutting the first sheet and ready to screw into place.

Finally some going up!

I heard a rustling in the woods. Turned around with my camera, saw some blurry movement, zoomed in, and…. Sasquatch was hiding in our woods! (Okay, okay, so it was just Isaac climbing a tree.)

First wall up (south side) and trying to decide which color of trim to use. We decided on the red.

And from the bottom of the driveway.

September 5, 2004

Today, the frame for the shed went up. We had to run back and forth to town several times due to bad luck. (Everything we even looked at broke. :-p ) We finally got it done, though! Tomorrow, we’ll start putting on the skin.

Warning for those on slow dial-up, like poor little ol’ us: Gobs of photos on today’s entry so it’ll take forever to load.

Aaahhh!!! My retinas!!

Plate bolted to the concrete and a corner welded to that.

Four corners welded in place.

Making the trusses.

First truss in place.

Second truss in place.

Starting on the roof perlins.

Completing the frame.

Done!

September 4, 2004

We uncovered the shed pad and kicked off the forms now that it has cured. It turned out well! But… I can’t remember if I mentioned the troubles we ran into on the day we poured the shed pad. We got shorted 1/2 yard of cement. We happened to have some Quikrete here so mixed that up and it was just enough to finish the pad. We didn’t have enough to complete the step, however. That’ll be fixed and redone when we get around to it. For now, just pretend it’s done. ;-) Tomorrow, we start on the shed frame.

August 26, 2004

Another one of those not-so-perfect days. The cement truck arrived on schedule. The paperwork had the order right. We ended up getting shorted at least 1/2 of cement, though. Luckily, we had some bags of Quikrete here so we mixed them up and added it in–just enough to get the pad done. There wasn’t enough for the step, though, so we’ll have to get some more Quikrete and do that later.

After the float and trowel work, Steve ran the helicopter thingy (what is it called??). He didn’t get to that until after dark, however, so there are no photos. The pad is now curing for a week or so and then we can begin to frame it up.

Here are Steve and Isaac troweling the edges.

And Steve using the float.

August 25, 2004

After soaking down the dirt build up for the shed and further compacting, we got ready to pour the pad. We built and placed the forms, made sure all was level, had to add a bit more dirt in some places and take a bit out in others, and add rock dust as the final layer to get things to the right height. The forms are up, rebar is in place, and visqueen is laid out. The cement truck should be here tomorrow.

Here it is ready for tomorrow’s pour.

And a gorgeous sky as the sun was setting!

August 15, 2004

We started on a shed today. It will be 15′ x 15′, metal frame and skin, on a concrete pad. Due to the slope of our property, we had to due quite a bit of buildup with excavated dirt from the house. It will be used to store various building supplies and tools for the house as we progress. After the house is completed, it will be used as a tool shed and extra storage.

We first took some measurements with a water level to get a basic idea of how much slope there was. Then, Steve began bringing dirt over, load by load.

Here, you can see the rough forms we set up so we could eye the level as we went along.

After we had it roughly level, Steve drove the tractor over it a few times to compact it.

Tamping down the sides with the tractor bucket. This gives you a good view of how much we had to build it up.

Completed build up, compacted.

Duke and Charlie taking a popcorm break in the shade. (Another excuse for a cute kid photo for all of the relatives checking our progress. ;-) )

August 10, 2004

Happy Birthday to me! Guess what I got for a present? Cement! Woo hoo! Steve stayed up all last night finishing things up in preparation for the cement delivery today. He’s now snoring rather loudly. Things didn’t go perfectly today but, because we all pitched in and worked our butts off, it got done. Two cement trucks came and poured the footing this afternoon. Steve, the kids, and I all worked to get it level and smooth. I’m too pooped for any more details but I posted today’s photos for you all to look at. After a few days of curing, we’ll get started on forming up for the floor to be poured. Oh, yay. More cement. Why, yes, you do detect a bit of sarcasm.

Here’s the trench with plastic and rebar set, awaiting the cement.

Beginning to pour the cement. We had two trucks of it.

The footing after it was poured. Sorry for the bad photo.

Steve and Cody, our 10 year old. Cody was mostly a gopher today but you can see that he did get down and dirty a bit.

Isaac, our 7 year old workhorse. Man, that kid is strong!

Duke, our 2 year old, and Charlie, our 3 year old. Both helped quite a bit in their own ways, getting very dirty in the process.

Steve, down for the count. Poor guy.

Steve, attempting to get up. Emphasis on “attempting”.

Me. Sorry, but this was all that was left of me at the end of the day. The rest of me sweated away into a muddy pool.

August 9, 2004

It finally stopped raining long enough for things to dry out. Perry was able to come out today and dig the trench for the footing. After he left, the whole family went to work with hoes, rakes, and shovels, cleaning out the trench and squaring things up. At bedtime, 9:00 p.m., I took the kids inside. Steve, however, is still out there as I’m writing this at 1:00 a.m. He’s laying the plastic and placing the rebar, welding it into place, etc. The cement trucks are due to be here tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. to pour the footing so everything has to be ready for them. There have been so many delays already, due to rain, that we don’t want to have to reschedule the cement trucks. We’re finally making progress again!

FINALLY! It dried out enough for Perry, the tractor fella, to come back out. This afternoon, he smoothed out the site again (it had been mucked up by the heavy rains) and dug the trench for the footing.

A pile of rock dust for leveling under a concrete pad for the shed:

And, a great wood cookstove we found in the local classifieds. This should be all of the heat we need in the house. If not, we have backup plans.

July 14, 2004

It’s been a boring couple of weeks since the last update. It just keeps raining and raining and raining… We have had a couple of dry days now and we hope it continues so that Perry, the tractor fella, can bring his backhoe up to dig the footing. The floor of the excavated site has started to dry nicely but only the upper crust so far. Underneath is still a soggy mess.

The big news for today is that the first load of concrete blocks and pallet of mason mix were delivered. Steve brought home a couple of rebar bundles and will begin cutting and bending them as time allows this week. We also bought and brought home a 1500-gallon cistern for the new place.
A couple of bundles of rebar, just dropped off and ready to be cut.

The first load of 12″ concrete blocks, just dropped off.

A 1500-gallon cistern for storing rainwater run-off from the roof.

The excavated house site, still waiting to completley dry out from recent rains. There have been a few “landslides”, due to the frequent, heavy rains over the past couple of weeks, that will have to be moved.

June 28, 2004

We just began construction on our new home. I will be documenting the building in photographs as we go along. I am not yet sure how I will arrange the photos on this site so stick with me as I play around a bit and rearrange things.

The tractors arrived early and got right to work. The operators were very skilled and things went well. The excavation for the house is done. The new driveway was roughed in and some grading surrounding the site was begun.

Here are our future views will be from the front of the house. There is currently dirt obstructing the view but, after the construction is completed, the dirt will be sloped away from the house for drainage, allowing us some great views. There are six photos below, three sets of two. The first of each set shows the current view from the front of the house. The second of each set shows what is hidden by the dirt now but will be seen after final grading is completed.

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