Sunday after the big weekend blizzard.
I had a time lapse camera set up across the street taking pictures every 5 seconds. The batteries lasted from April 12th through June 1st. I got the video (the camera creates an AVI) and edited out all the nights and weekends. It’s almost seven minutes long which is longer than I wanted, but speeding it up in my editor didn’t work too well, so I left it alone.
We’re having a geothermal HVAC system installed and they started drilling the wells a couple weeks ago. The original plan was to have four 250-foot holes for the larger geothermal unit and three 250-foot holes for the smaller unit (because of the length of the house, it’s more efficient and cost effective to have two units like that). However, around 80 feet down, the driller hit a big area of sand and the hole kept collapsing back on itself almost immediately, so the hole plan had to change. There will be twelve 80-foot holes for the larger unit and eight 90-foot holes for the smaller unit. Our whole back yard is currently dotted with holes spouting black tubing!
Once it’s all done, everything will be hidden four feet underground, so it’s no big deal. It will actually be a little easier on the geothermal pump because of the shallower wells. We just have to make sure that any future construction plans don’t dig down deeper than four feet!
It’s amazing the progress that’s been made since my last update (which was, admittedly, a long time ago). We’re still living in the center section (the original house, basically), but both additions are nearing the point where they’re going to be drywalled.
The roofs are done and shingled. The windows (except for one that’s on order) are all installed. The interior framing is (I think) all done except for, perhaps, a few minor things. Plumbing, electrical, and HVAC work are done on the garage wing and have been started on the master bedroom wing.
That’s expected to be completed by next Monday or Tuesday so the inspectors can check it out and the insulators can come do their bit. After that, it’s drywall time!
I don’t have a current, full exterior view at the moment and it’s raining right now, so I can’t go take one, but here’s a shot around the back of the master bedroom wing. They just finished roofing the porch out of the master bedroom so I took a picture of that and of the view that we’ll have from the bedroom out onto the porch.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking from the master bathroom through the closet hallway into the master bedroom and out to the porch.
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.
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.
Some 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.
Our 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.