Thursday, March 13, 2008

Busy days at Boothe Mountain Retreat

Today was a big day at BMR ... but first I need to catch you up.
As noted in the previous post, we got our plans approved on Feb 10th for our much awaited house addition. That was just over a month ago. Instead of doing the addition solo we decided to bring on a rag tag crew of two, or one, or one and one half ... depending upon who shows up each day.
Well, even so things are moving at a much faster clip than they did a few years ago when we started on the building phase of the timber frame portion of the house. We got the excavation done the weekend of Feb 10th, poured the footings on the following Tuesday (while I was in NYC) , the blocks arrived on Wed and we started the block work on Saturday. My crew (jeff and scott) laid about 3.5 cubes of block the following week while I was at Disney with the family. They even got the parging done and much of the block filled with grout. You may see how my difficulty trips are just happening to fall during crucial times of the construction process ;)
So we are three weeks into the process and the foundation is near complete. This is a lightning speed compared to the timber frame several years ago where we got our plans approved in early Jan, excavated a week or so later, spent a few months in the mud, poured footings in April and finished the block work around Aug/Sept. That was 8-9 months not 3 weeks!!! wooo hooo. (Note to self: Laying 1200 block all summer does not prove anything other than it is cheaper to get some help than to pay 3 extra months on the lot loan.)

The last two weeks were spent damp-proofing the walls, laying pex for radiant heat (I did that for the most part), preparing the under slab plumbing etc. This was all the fun stuff.

So a month after getting the plans and 4+ passed inspections the pex was pumped and the place was ready for one big concrete pour. We decided to call in Tony and his crew of co-workers to help with the pour. We did the slab in the barn and while it is nice for a barn, it would not make a nice house slab. Tony et al did the slab for the lower level of the timber frame a few years ago and he outdid himself this time.

People all mustered between 8 and 9 am and the first of 3 trucks arrived at 10 am. I was down for the count with the flu and only half of my crew (Jeff and Scott) showed up since Jeff called with a kitchen pass that morning. By 6:30 pm all were gone and we had a slab that you could see your reflection off of the next morning. We rented a power trowel and it sure did the job. After bull floating the surface we just let it set up for a while and then hit it with the steel ... the steel of the gas powered trowel that is.

Fast forward two days and out framing package from Stock showed up. They used a boom crane and placed everything around the site in perfect piles. It sure beats using Lowes or Home Depot and the pick-up truck. Jeff and Scott got the sill plates in place today and the back first story wall is up.
A little faster than timber framing .... but I still love to sharpen the slick and cut into a fresh Southern Yellow Pine timber straight off the mill.

Photo credit: Joshua age 8

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