Tuesday, July 30, 2013

the sound of silence

My house is empty. As wonderful as it was to have a house full of friends and family for a week, the quiet is bliss (as is being able to use the bathroom on a whim) . . . It's also packed with leftovers, likely cleaner than it has been in decades and totally devoid of the piles necessitated by top to bottom restorations done by hoarders. Also wonderful is the fact that I now know not only what food for 60 looks like, but that I can make it all from scratch in a day (with help from my MIL), and that 60 people fit in my house with room to spare, even when the weather dictates we can't roast marshmallows outside.

Although the original plan had been for the schoolhouse to be framed and roofed by the reunion, that clearly didn't come close to happening. Instead, we have what looks like the rib cage of a beached whale rising from the backyard.

as of Friday

Astounding, the frame is going up far more beautifully than anyone had anticipated. A fortuitous posting from craigslist provided a buildings' worth of 100 year old oak 3x12s from a warehouse teardown downtown. There are lengths over 20 feet available for free, this is becoming the sill on top of our poured footings, with all the framing notched into it. It's a sight to behold! The foundation itself proved more difficult. Our topsoil, while beautiful for planting, was impossible to compact, and the grading and base will require more gravel than we had ordered, which means we have more spreading and compacting in our future. We also discovered an underground stream that will create some drainage issues, our building is built up on the footings which will keep the framing dry, and we will likely order some Hardi trim boards which won't rot for the bottom trim work. And no, we're still not 100% sure how we're finishing off the bottom portion that sits off the ground, chances are it'll be stacked stone or brick.

filling the footings from the bucket
footings done, but we still need a lot more gravel . . .

First stud, strapped in for dear life
first notched sill section

Friday, July 12, 2013

where is my mind?

In an effort to curtail the rather unpleasant (and repetitive) posts that this tool throwing, tantrum inducing madness that was this past week would have entailed, I decided that silence was the best answer. We survived, and this week seems to have crawled back on track . . . After countless calls to tree trimmers and numerous no-shows, someone called us out the blue Monday night (some mystery person had given him our number), and early Tuesday morning he showed up after driving an hour in the pouring rain, and had the tree down in an hour and a half. The catch was, he didn't have a chipper, and didn't have time to cut the logs, so the past few days have been spent bagging leaves and branches, and cursing our chain saw.

only the beginning of the pile . . .

With the tree taken care of, the foundation should begin early next week. We spoke to the owner of the company the other day and everyone seems to be on the same page regarding our concerns over disposing of concrete, drainage issues etc . . . There is always a leap of faith involved when dealing with jobs that are out of the ordinary like this one, especially when you're working alongside your contractors and begging them to cut costs to the degree we are . . .

We haven't just been moping around the house though, we have projects in spades. Since none of them are finished though, some teaser shots will have to do.

*way out in the water, see it swimming . . .