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When building a house, there are bad owner months and good owner weeks.  Progress will seem to drag on and on and on, and then all of a sudden, big apparent progress will happen.  Putting up a timberframe is one of those ecstatic owner weeks as so much seems to happen all at once.  Sheetrock (drywall) going up is another.  Windows is a big one.  Windows went in this week.  It was a good owner week.

I designed many of the windows to go all the way to the floor.  Sure, it means you can’t put any furniture up against the wall there.  But older houses often had them, and they are truly wonderful, particularly if you have nice views out of them.  Furniture, other than a bed, a few chairs,  and maybe a few tables, is highly over-rated compared to windows.

South Windows

South Windows

Breakfast Nook

Breakfast Nook

East Windows

East Windows


Well, the house is finally mostly dried in.  The roof sheathing is all mostly in place in any event.  We’re using this product, from AdvanTech, which is basically plywood, but with a rubber-like coating on it that sheds water.  You seal the joints with a special tape, and you have a non-leaky roof for a while – at least a year.  Beats the heck out putting up tar paper and going back up to fix and replace periodically.  The wall sheathing is a similar AdvanTech product, so no need to put up ugly Tyvek there, either, with similar problems.  Good products – we like ’em.

The windows will be delivered in early November.  Until then we have put plastic or sheathing up just about everywhere to start the process of drying the house out.

In the picture below, you can see the porch piers in place – building the wrap-around porch is the next project for the carpenters.  While the  porches are pretty big themselves, we’re hoping they will actually make the house look smaller, as they should tie the house to the ground much better.

 

Dried In

Dried In

 


After putting the main tower cap in place, we were able to get some more remote-cam shots from the end of the crane of the roof in progress.  This has been something of a nightmare – 50-some individual roof sections – and the last few months just putting this together.  These shots are from about a month ago – thankfully, the roof has been almost completely sheathed since then – we’re mostly dried in now as far as the roof is concerned. Which is a nice thing, as I right now hear rain on the roof for the first time in a long time….

More Roof
More Roof
More Roof
Even More Roof

While progress is being made, there have been a few recent setbacks, too.

Brad, one of the most valuable guys on the crew, got in an accident about a month ago and won’t be back on the job for months and months still the docs say.  Biggest setback, of course, is for Brad, who has been in a lot of pain, and can’t work.

And then Bruce, the general contractor, just had to go and do about the same.  Got himself in an accident last week, and broke his knee and wrist and generally banged himself up.  Three months ’till he can put weight on his left leg, the docs say.  He pretended when I saw him today that he plans to be on the job site this week.  He really looked like it.

Bruce Recuperating

Bruce Recuperating


It’s been a long while since I’ve posted – a little over 3 months.  That’s primarily because there hasn’t been a lot of apparent progress in that time.  Usual summertime vacations for the crew, etc, but also the roof framing is something of a nightmare with over 50 different sections what with all the different roofs, many of them broken up with dormers and other “decorations”.  But the roof is finally coming close to completion, including finally putting the main tower cap in place.  We finally decided that it won’t be too much harder to finish it in place rather than on the ground.  The main thing is we want to get the house dried in.  In the forties this morning – fall, and winter, is a’ comin’ on.

Roof Progress

Roof Progress


The Sticks and Stones crew have been going full-bore on building the roof for the house the past coupla weeks.  And this is no mean feat.  A couple of months ago I counted up over 50 different roof sections.  And we’ve added a few more since then.  And just Friday, Steve from Streamline and Bruce from S&S tweaked the design again in some fairly major ways.  It’s kinda complicated.

Shown in the pic below is Kenny Huffman, who has definitely received short shrift on this story so far.  Kenny works for Sticks and Stones, and is close to, if not the lead guy behind Bruce.  Kenny used to work with his dad in the family machine shop (Fathers and Sons thread) and is particularly adept at visualizing in 3-D.  This skill has come in particularly handy with the nightmare that is the roof.

Kenny is one of those guys who will do just fine no matter whatever happens with the world because he’s just plain dedicated and capable in making and fixing all kinds of real things.

Roof Framing

Roof Framing


Before he left, the crane operator attached a camera to the end of his boom and lifted it up about 90 feet up into the air to take some pictures of the house and garages below.

House from Above

House from Above

Garage from Above

Garage from Above


After the octagon timberframe went up, two more frames went up and in place.  Both of these are heartpine.

First, another level of the tower.

Tower Frame

Tower Frame

Tower

Tower

Tower in Place

Tower in Place

In the front right of the picture above, you can see the pyramid that is to go on top of the tower.  We intended to put it up, but after watching the tower getting taller and taller, we decided the better part of valor was to finish the pyramid and put in place after it’s got roof framing, flared skirt, ox-bow windows, and copper roofing in place, and then lift it up.

Finally, the timberframe roof for the master bedroom went up.

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom


Trish and I are still hiding out in the West Indies, waiting for spring to arrive in Floyd, but progress continues. This past week the guys put together another octagon timberframe for the second floor of the “minor tower”. This one, because it is a bit bigger than the ones below, and because the driveway is extremely muddy, had to be put together on site.

Starting Assembly

Starting Assembly

Finished Assembly

Finished Assembly

This section is all walnut, cut partly from Crooked River Farm, and partly from neighboring farms. All sustainably harvested, and all produced with local craftsman.  Should be really cool once it’s finished.

In place

In place

From below, the timberframe casts quite an interesting profile on the sky

From Below

From Below


Vasse just sent me a picture of the copper roofing project.  He says that it’s just him and the roof, and he’s seriously outnumbered.  He’s moving around the corner today, which looks like a bit smoother sailing for a couple of days.

Roof

Roof