Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense

Ummm… Nice to meet you?

Just had an interesting visit from an older gentleman (probably in his seventies). He was driving by very slowly (which is really common with our construction project looking the way it does) and I was sitting in the garage, so I waved. He stopped, backed up, and pulled into the driveway.

I walked over and he told me he used to know someone who worked at our construction company. I confirmed who it was and said I’d pass along a hello. Then the conversation started to range all over… mostly from his side.

It went from…

  • This is quite a project. People are generally building smaller these days, not bigger.
  • It seems a shame to do this to a 1950/1960 rancher (ours was built in 1977).
  • His brother put an under-powered heating system in his home.
  • He just bought his first house last year and it’s very small.
  • The soil at his house is all clay and all the trees he planted died.
  • The roads these days are paved wrong.
  • There’s an oddly placed stop sign where he lives.

Then is started to get odd (odder?). I can’t remember the segue (if there, indeed, actually WAS one), but it went something like…

  • We just passed the mark where more of our cars are built in China than in the USA.
  • We also passed the mark where more music is downloaded than bought on CD.
  • The number of Christians in the US is decreasing more rapidly.
  • It won’t be long before God takes his blessing away from this country.

Then he said, gesturing at the house, “You’ll probably only get ten to twenty years out of this house.” Expecting some sort of “end times” religious reason (and kind of looking forward to it), I asked, “Why’s that?”.

He replied, “That’s when the Russian missiles will be coming.”

Ummm…

Ummmm... What?Then he went on about how we lost our chance to be friends with the Russians a couple decades ago and how they have three times more missiles now than they did five years ago, all trained on the USA. But we did sell them special weapons that fire rubber bullets for crowd control and they were appreciative of that.

That seemed as good a place as any to acknowledge the conversational dead-end that had just occurred, so I politely told him I’d pass along a hello to our builder and wished him a fantastic weekend. We shook hands and off he went.

And I thought, “Crap. It’s probably too late to build an underground bunker here.”

Roof Trusses!

Most of the roof trusses got installed yesterday… all the really big ones, anyway. It’s really taking shape now! …though it looks like our little house is trapped in the middle.

Roof Trusses!

Most of the roof trusses got installed yesterday!

Lots of Framing Progress

Placing the steel beam for the garage

Placing the steel beam for the garage

It’s been about two weeks since my last update and a lot has gone on since then. Wayne and his crew have been working crazy fast to get things done and the results are amazing to see every day when I get home from work.

The steel support beam was added to the garage. They started out with the beam sitting on pillars of stacked concrete blocks. That let them get the beam to the right height and steady enough so they could start adding the floor joists on top of it.

Installing floor joists

Installing floor joists

All three garage doors!

All three garage doors!

Permanent steel posts.

Permanent steel posts.

Midway through installing the joists, they finished framing the front of the garage, adding the third door (on the left side). They notched part of the existing house roof to accommodate the wall. Eventually, that roof will come off completely, but they didn’t want to do that quite yet in case of foul weather.

A bit after getting all the joists installed and putting the sub-floor down, they added the steel posts and removed the temporary concrete pillars. Now the garage is like an actual room, which was a nice transformation.

I took Megan up on top of it to get a feel for her soon-to-be living space. I think she’ll have plenty of room. Right now, it’s just a nice place to get some sun and enjoy the view.

Garage with floor installed!

Garage with floor installed!

 

Master bedroom wing... Stage 1

Master bedroom wing… Stage 1

Meanwhile, at the other end of the house, they’ve been working on the master bedroom wing. The concrete floor was poured and they had the basement level framed out in less than a week. The transformation was pretty amazing, especially from the inside where it suddenly got real seeing how the whole floor was going to be laid out. It’s much more exciting seeing it in real life than it is visualizing it from a paper drawing.

Lori and Rose talking construction

Lori and Rose talking construction

Lori and Rose in the basement hallway

Lori and Rose in the basement hallway



They ended last week having all but one wall of the first floor framed out, which includes the master bedroom, the closets, and the master bathroom. As with the basement level, it was great getting to physically walk through the “rooms” rather than just visualizing them from the drawings. Lori and I walked through it a number of times, probably with facial expressions similar to all the golden-ticket-winning kids from Willy Wonka when they first saw the inside of the factory.

Master bedroom wing - Stage 2!

Master bedroom wing – Stage 2!

Back of master bedroom wing

Back of master bedroom wing

Looking through the master bedroom

Looking through the master bedroom

Looking from the master bathroom through the closet hallway into the master bedroom and out to the porch.

Looking from the master bathroom through the closet hallway into the master bedroom and out to the porch.

I’ve been framed!

Building the back wall The framing of the garage started on Thursday and continued through Friday. After a bunch of prep work and measuring, they framed up the back wall of the garage which has a door and three windows. They built the main part of the wall flat on the floor and then used their forklift to hoist it into place, nailing it to the sill plate.


Hoisting the wall Hoisting the wall

The weather really treated us well and the rain stopped before 6:00 am on Friday morning. The day turned beautiful and the framing started up again around 7:30. They framed up the end exterior wall and then continued around the corner to the entry door and two of the three garage doors. They couldn’t do the last door yet (the one closest to the house) because they’ll have to remove the roof of the existing garage for that to happen and they weren’t ready to do that yet.

Going around the corner Two of three doors completed!

The main support beam for the garageSome time around noon, the beam was delivered that will span the garage. Wayne (Co-Del Construction) found a used beam from a building that was getting ripped apart in Red Lion, and he saved us a bunch of money by doing that. They’re planning on putting the beam up Monday or Tuesday, I think.


After lunch, they framed up the internal walls and then started putting the sheathing on the exterior walls and it really started to look like an actual building. By the time they left for the day, they had all the exterior walls covered and had framed around as far as they could go at this stage.

Exterior sheathing Look! Real walls! It almost looks like an actual garage!

Big garage doorsOur garage doors are oversized and standing next to one made that quite evident. I should have no trouble parking my M1 Abrams tank in the garage, which is good because I hate leaving it out in the rain.


So… here’s the final shot from up the bank at the end of the garage. Things are really shaping up!Shaping up!

Foundation Stuff

No more garage door!Last week was a busy week. I didn’t do any updates because a lot of the work was not particularly interesting from a picture standpoint. Now that it’s all done and some additional foundation work was done, there are plenty of pictures that show the progress much better.

Inside the garageThey finished all the block work for both the garage wing and the master bedroom wing. In the process, we had to lose one of our garage doors because they had to cut a huge chunk out of the concrete floor to run some pipes and tie in that part of the existing floor to the new floor of the new garage.  The second picture is on the other side of the no-longer-existing garage door.

Losing the garage piece by piece

As you can see, they also removed the bottom half of the wall at the end of the existing garage. That was a really bizarre sight to see when I got home that day. They didn’t remove the entire wall for a couple reasons, one of them being weather. The other reason is that the electrical panel is on that wall and they’re not ready to have that moved yet.

Master bedroom wing foundation wallThe master bedroom wing block walls are all done as well. In this picture, they’re not quite done, but they were the next day. They ran short of the right kind of block for the rest of the top row (on the right side of the picture). They only needed about twelve more blocks. Doh! But now that is all done and it’s about ready to have the floor poured as soon as some electrical fixtures are set up for an in-floor outlet in the library.

Future computer room door Back inside the garage they also removed all the drywall and the plywood from the attic space. They knocked out the back wall and framed it out for the pocket door that will lead from a hallway into the computer room. That was another disconcerting scene to see when I got home, though I didn’t notice it when I walked past the first time. The second time, I did a jump-back, wide-eyed double-take when I noticed it!

They poured the entire new garage floor on Monday, April 13th starting very early in the morning. The floor took just over two truck loads of concrete. For the third load, they got enough to pour the computer room floor as well, so now two out of three foundation floors are all poured and ready to go!

First truck load of the day!

First truck load of the day!

Spreading the concrete around

Spreading the concrete around

Finishing it up

Finishing it up

Computer room foundation

Computer room foundation


Now the house won't be stolen!

Lori engraved our names in one corner of the garage floor, including a 2014 penny for the year we bought the property and a paw print for the cats. I told Lori I thought it was a good idea to have our names engraved on it so nobody could steal the house.

Just for good measure, Yoda inspected the new garage floor and seemed to approve. Time to frame it up!

Yoda approves.

More block walls

Back corner of house

Back corner of house – garage and computer room

The block walls around the garage and the computer room are all finished. The masons were working on the master bedroom wing walls today and are almost finished there as well. They won’t be around on Thursday and it’s supposed to rain on Friday, so we may have to wait until next week to see all the walls completed.

Other things will probably happen during that time, but we don’t know exactly what yet.

Computer room

Computer room

Computer room

Computer room

Master bedroom wing

Master bedroom wing

Master bedroom wing

Master bedroom wing

Master bedroom wing

Master bedroom wing

Master bedroom wing - Fireplace/Porch bump out

Master bedroom wing – Fireplace/Porch bump out

Soda storage!

Soda storage!

 

Building up!

Garage wing block walls!

Imagination!Today is the first day we were building up rather than down. The block arrived this morning and the masons all but finished laying the block for the garage wing. It was exciting seeing the beginning stages of the walls, including the locations of the doors.  Up until this point, all this stuff could only be seen using the power of… imagination.

Door for the garage entryway Never having been through this process, I was amazed at how many different sizes and shapes of block they use. There were special corner blocks, different size blocks for different height walls, different widths and thicknesses.

Angled blocksThere were even angled blocks that they’ll use for the master bedroom bump-out.

Tomorrow, they’ll work on the master bedroom wing and the computer room extension.

 

Block waiting for the master bedroom wing

Undeterred by the mayhem

These two bright, cheerful guys were poking out of the dirt today. They were a delightful splash of color in our mud world!

Spring flower! Spring flower!

Panoramic views of construction mayhem

Today was a gorgeous day, so, just for fun, I went out and took some panoramic shots of the construction site, one from each side of the house. Click for the full-sized images.

Front of the house

Front of the house

 

Back of the house

Back of the house

 

Garage end of the house

Garage end of the house

 

Master bedroom end of the house

Master bedroom end of the house

 

Removing bricks and testing missiles

Master bedroom end of the house Today, the guys did some surveying work, marking the edges of where the block will get placed, for the mason who’s coming on Monday to lay block. The also removed a lot of brick from a few places on the house.

In the first picture, they removed the top row of brick and also removed the brick from a space to the left of the chimney. That’s where a door will break through from the existing basement to the hallway into the library and office.

Garage end of the house In the second picture, you can see the brick removed from the garage end and part of the back of the house where the computer room will be.

You can also see a lot more mud than a few days ago, mostly because of a lot more bulldozer traffic, but also because we got a huge rainstorm last night and, well… mud.

We’ve got a pretty good site now to get the “missile testing” comment from the movie The Money Pit.

The Money Pit - Missile Test Site

Disregarding my predictions…

Setting up the forms As I posted yesterday, we were expecting the footers to be poured either tomorrow (Friday) or Monday. However, Wayne hedged his bets and ordered the concrete for today… and ended up getting everything ready and inspected in time for the delivery. So our footers were poured today instead of first thing next week!

They poured for the master bedroom wing, the garage wing, and the computer room in the back of the house. The weather held out with nothing but a light sprinkle of rain at one point that didn’t affect their work at all, so it was the perfect day to do it.

Pouring in the concreteNot only did they get everything poured today, but they had everything so precisely ordered that they ended up with only half a yard of concrete left over. Evidently that made one of the guys kind of nervous ("That’s cutting it too close.") but it worked out perfectly.

Decaying wood They also spent time removing the bricks from the end of the house next to the garage wing. We discovered that, back in 1977 when this house was built, it seems they didn’t know about house wrap or moisture barriers or that type of thing because the plywood underneath the brick was really badly decayed. Of course, it’s been 38 years, so I guess that’s not all that bad for having no moisture barrier. I imagine that will be the case for the rest of the house, too. Fortunately, it’s all coming off, so that issue will be resolved by the time we’re done.

More pictures… (click to embiggen)

Starting to pour

Pouring Pouring Pouring

Garage wing with footers and post foundations poured Master bedroom wing with footers poured

All the brick removed from the garage wing end of the house Garage wing footers

Update… with pictures!

Co-Del Construction Today they finished digging the footers for the garage wing and the computer room, adding substantially to the dirt pile height. They started staking out the footers for the surveyor to check and will finish that up tomorrow morning. If they get done early enough, the surveyor can come out to do the inspection tomorrow which means, if approved, Wayne (from Co-Del Construction) can go ahead and order the concrete. So the earliest the concrete could get poured is Friday, but they’re expecting that it’ll probably be Monday.

Fortunately, the weather folks are forecasting pretty spectacular weather next week, so the pouring, blocking, and whatnot (always with the whatnot) should go without a hitch. Before we know it, they’ll be framing it up and we’ll be all “Holy crap! It’s a house!”

In the meantime, here are a number of pictures from “Footer Excavation Day.” (click to embiggen)

Garage Wing

Garage Wing

Garage Wing

Garage Wing

 

Garage Wing

Garage Wing

Master Bedroom Wing

Master Bedroom Wing

 

Master Bedroom Wing

Master Bedroom Wing

Master Bedroom Wing

Master Bedroom Wing – Wayne has to use a shovel

 

Master Bedroom Wing - Done!

Master Bedroom Wing – Done!

Driveway (Half of it)

Half of the driveway

 

Our new back yard landscaping!

Our new back yard landscaping!

Backyard and our slowly disassembling deck

Backyard and our slowly disassembling deck