Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Musing about siding and remudling....

I am about half way through the 10 day obsessing from our building project. The flight to the beach leaves in a few hours. 5 nights in Boston was nice. I took a quick train ride to Quincy (Wollaston to be exact) to see if our old house was still the single story 1900's bungalow as it was when we sold it about 5 years ago. Not much to my surprise it had sprouted a story and a half. It is still the same yellow and now looks like a 2.5 story late Victorian without a lot of embellishments. They did an okay job with the redo with the added materials matching pretty well but if I were doing the addition I would have made it more Craftsman in feel. At least they did not drop the ole double wide on top of it like we often saw in Chicago. These often look like the double wide factory was using helicopters to move houses and a cable broke while the house was over a nice turn of the century bungalow.

Well..... we are getting ready for a siding party. We are going to be cutting and installing our board and batten poplar siding. It is going to go from the mill to the dunk tank to the side of the house in a few quick steps. The mill is about 10 feet from the house right now. We are going to use Jassco stain for the siding. It has lots of bug killers in it and is a good color brown. We used it on most of the other exterior wood on the porch etc.

If anyone is interested in joining in on the party let me know via the blog.

For the frame raising we had over 35 people show up and there is a nice DVD of it.

Look out for a lot of new posts next week when the work starts back up.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Time away ..... and interior photos

We are pushing to finish enough on our house to the the certificate of Occupancy "CO" in late July or early August. This has meant many late nights working on the house.

Now I am forced to spend about a week and a half off of the project. Right now I am sitting in the lobby at the Marriott Copley Place in Boston waiting for a room mix up to be taken care of. I am here for 5 nights for the Endocrine Society Meeting. The meeting has nothing to do with home improvement except to give time for the ole' body to mend itself from the various bumps and bruises over the last few months. After that it is off to the beach for a few nights with Stephanie, the boys and her parents. This will be the first break we have had from the project in over a year.

It will be interesting to check out our old house in Quincy (south of Boston) to see if it still exists in the shape and form that we left it in about 5-6 years ago. At the time it was one of the last small Bungalows (c.a. 1900) that had not been changed into a 2 story Dutch Colonial.

Okay ... here are the obligatory house pictures. These are some of the interior shots of the second story timber portion of the house. Once the frame was up it started to look more like an abstract representation of the trees that the timbers were cut from. Once we have the dry wall up un the walls there will be a great back drop for the frame.

Well ... the hotel room has been worked out. More updates soon.

Monday, June 19, 2006

BMR Weekend Update

No pictures on this post ... we were too busy this weekend to shoot any. Hopefully I can get a few pictures over the next few days.

The solar kiln was opened and we started to unload the floor boards. They are 4" 4/4 Southern Yellow Pine boards from trees on the building site. Coleman and I planed about 20 of them down and placed about a 4 ft section of flooring in the kitchen using cut masonry nails since the floor is face nailed. It looks cool but will take some time.

We also got real itchy putting up the insulation in all of the walls. That took about 6-7 hours to complete over several days. It is nice to have that out of the way. It sure makes a difference in keeping the place cool. Next it placing the insulation in the floor joists .... then on to the insulation inspection.

The well is going in early this week so a few trees had to go to get the truck in. We also spent a few hours grading the 1/4 mile driveway using the tractor and a box blade. That may of been my favorite project on Father's Day.

Finally, we installed a full size insulated glass door on the porch side door opening. It was a return at Stock Building Supply so it had no door frame. I made an old time door frame by cutting down some rough pine to size, planed it, rabbited the tops of the frame and hung the door in the frame. It was the end of the day and as I worked on it I thought that it was going to be a bad idea to start this project with a lack of coffee ... but it went much better than expected.

Now only a million other things to do to be able to move in. We are getting ready to put our house on the market so we may need to rush to finish the place if it sells quickly.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tubing, tubing and more tubing....

Towards the end of last week we rushed to finish our rough-in in preparation for the inspection (more on that later). We decided to use radiant heating as the major heat source. For the 1200 sq ft of living space we placed nearly 2000 sq ft of pex tubing (including potable water). Every thing was done in the DIY fashion. All of our radiant specific items came from www.radiantec.com. They have been great.

When tubing is placed under the floor joists it is held up using pre-formed aluminum plates. We made our own press and made about 600 14x14 in plates using about eight 40 ft rolls of 20 inch aluminum flashing. Our friends Scott and Kelly sold us their extra 1200 ft of ½ in pex tubing from their house project and the remainder came from Lowes.

We decided to skip buying fancy manifolds and sweat up our own. The second floor (880 sq ft) has 5 zones and the lower level (approx 300 sq ft) has 2 zones. Other than tightening the valves all tested out okay. It was interesting when our building inspector wanted us to let some air our of the gauges since you can buy preset 100 psi gauges to fake the pressure test.

While we were at it we placed hot and cold water sillcocks on the back of the house for a future outdoor shower that we will put into service once we move in.

Now we need to order our hot water heating source (likely a Takagi tankless heater) and have the propane tank delivered and buried.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The stone porch columns go up....

We finally got around to doing the stone work on columns supporting our 40x10 ft covered porch. There are 5 columns ranging in height from about 7 feet to 1.5 feet tall. They started out life as 8x8 CMU blocks on a 20x20 footing. We filled the blocks with concrete and rebar.

All of the stones have come off of our 20 ac development. We jokingly talk about going to the stone store, which is the new drive that was cut into the hill side on the property. It is lined with tons and tons of mainly pink granite. When we were doing the timber frame we also often had to go to the lumber yard to get "one more" timber. We would go up the driveway and find one of the 80 ft standing dead southern yellow pine, drop it, drag it to the saw mill in 13 ft lengths, cut it up and within a few hours it was in the frame.

There is a learning curve with the stone work. The mortar was too wet at first and the stones were slumping off the side of the column. This is a pain when it happens 3 times in a row after about 1 hour of stone work each time. That is when we stiffened up the mix and worked on two columns at once, alternating between them so they have a chance to dry. As you can see we are going for the "old timey" look so it takes less skill.

This was a great opportunity for Stephanie, Joshua, Jacob (in the picture), and me to work together gathering stones and tossing them into the back of the truck. All in all this is a fun project.

View My Stats