April Showers

Well, April has definitely not disappointed it's reputation.  We had a few weeks of Spring weather and then we got some cold rainy/snowy weather again.  Even though the weathers nothing to brag about, these floor to ceiling windows overlooking Coventry lake still make us smile.  We're crossing our fingers that May flowers will be right around the corner.  

Room with a View

It’s been a while since we’ve blogged but don’t worry; we’ve been keeping busy.  Take a look at the progress over at our Coventry Lake site.   The structure of our first home is fully in place and would you take a look at that view!  We think our new homeowners won't have too many complaints about watching the sunset over beautiful Coventry Lake from their living room...or kitchen, dining room or bedroom for that matter!

Rough Framing Complete

There is a lot to be said for simplicity and our carpenters finished up yesterday by completing this punch list:

For the record, they did clean the house and stacked left over material for our lumber company to pick up for credit.

And we wasted no time getting the painters to do the entire outside today.

I think the colors look really great with our Michigan quarried natural stone.

Tomorrow the roofers will be here to install those shingles that are stacked up on the roof today.  All this is going on while our masons keep rocking on. More about that later, they will be here for awhile.

What a (Short) Week that Was

Since our last post before the long Labor Day weekend a great deal has happened. The basement concrete floor was poured – all 3500 square feet of it!  It took as many as 8 guys to keep it flowing to the right places as it came off of the truck. [gallery link="file" ids="225,224"]

Here is the finished job after two days of curing.

Cement Basement

We then saw cut (about 3/4 of the way through) this big slab into smaller sections to provide a convenient place for cracking if there is minor movement.




Sometimes it cracks on these cuts, sometimes not and sometimes it doesn’t crack at all.Because of our great sand base, I am thinking this slab will fare pretty well in this regard. Only time will tell and narrow cracks with minimal vertical displacement are considered cosmetic and no repair is required under National Association of Homebuilders standards.

The last of the trusses have been set, the exterior siding and wood trim is mostly in place and the roof is about 75% covered with the engineered roofing panels that come in 4×8 sheets.

Oh yeah, we have WINDOWS! We will also install some temporary doors on the front and to the garage because the finished ones won’t be installed until we are almost done with construction so they won’t be damaged.

With all this going on we have notified our painter to come in next week and paint the exterior and the roofer is awaiting our call to install the shingles.

And just to add a little more stress, our purchasers (remember them?) decided the upstairs we built with 3 bedrooms instead of 2 was too cramped and have asked us to tear it apart and redo it again to 2 bedrooms with 2 full baths. John the carpenter says it will take about 40 man hours to do this but the purchasers want what they want and have agreed to pay so here we go again. Here’s the new plan.

The first shipment of stone – about 25 tons – will arrive from the Michigan quarry along with supplies so our mason can start work on Monday. He needs to get going because he will be on the job for a month or more. We will try to get a date to visit the quarry and see how they cut the stone slabs and then make them into squares and rectangles approximately 4″ thick so our mason can handle them.

There is a bunch more going on but that’s enough for this post.

Gables, fascia, and more - Oh My!

This is how we were looking on this warm, sunny late August Friday afternoon:

Our roof is starting to really take shape and the carpenters are working hard sweating the details on the trim boards. This is pretty precise work and is why we prefer to call these guys “framers” rather than “rough carpenters”. Here are the changes just during this week.

By the end of next week we will be looking good! It won’t be long before the roofers, stone masons and painters are doing their things.

Going up!

Our engineered subfloor dried out very nicely after all the rain and the carpenters started building walls:

Walls in this house are of 2×6 construction for strength, rigidity and to permit more insulation in the wall cavity. They are built lying down on the floor and then raised in to place. After the studs,plates and headers are assembled to provide for the correct window and door openings they are covered with sheathing. We are using 1/2″ engineered panels to provide strength, prevent the walls from racking out of plumb and as a straight and solid backer to attach our cedar shake siding to. A quality house wrap membrane to keep air and water out (and allow moisture generated inside to escape) is applied before the siding is put on.

It all goes together like this:

We put construction adhesive under the bottom plate before we raise the wall to seal the wall to the floor and help prevent air infiltration. Then the wall is raised in to place and braced and it really starts to look like a house!

Going Up

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Just when we were getting going nearly 2 days of rain stopped the carpenters just short of finishing off the deck and starting on some walls.  Well, we get to test the manufacturer’s os the engineered wood subfloor’s claim that it is unaffected by moisture since it sure got a good soaking. [gallery link="file" ids="156,155"]

And here’s what we have coming this week:

Sunny Weather Forecast





I guess we can hope the rain comes at night.:-)

Laser Beams

It’s great when a plan comes together! On Saturday, before the carpenters arrived on Monday, I met with John, the head carpenter and owner. We wanted to make sure that the lumber yard, that he had the correct plans and any change orders that affect his work and that the lumberyard had sent the material they needed to set the steel beams. We found a couple problems, located our salesman and arranged for John to pick up some material he needed first thing Monday. When the crew arrived Monday they started by stringing lines all over the place and measuring in at least 3 dimensions. Before they lifted the first hammer or moved any steel or lumber they wanted to be sure the foundation folks had done their job right and found they had. They actually used a laser to set the footings, walls and block. Amazing! Laser Beams







Then came the steel beams, laser straight:

[gallery link="file" ids="160,162"]

Next, the engineered to be laser straight I-joists (if they were higher tech they would be “iJoists”) are placed mostly running front to back 16″ on center to form the deck.

[gallery link="file" ids="159,158"]

Laser Beams

Then the engineered floor panels will be fastened to the I-Joists with heavy construction adhesive and nails from an air powered nail gun to provide a sturdy, squeak free floor. This all seems to go pretty quickly but we are looking here at 3 days work for 5 men and one machine that does a lot of the heavy lifting and saves backs and time. We will try to keep track of the carpenters’ hours as we move along.

That’s all for now. We will probably be talking again this weekend!

If I were a carpenter...

The 4th of July midweek holiday, extraordinary heat and a few storms have conspired to keep our carpenter tied up finishing his last job :-( and just like that, we lost 2 weeks from our schedule! He moved his big sky track lift in last Saturday and was going to start Tuesday, Thursday, Friday…. Here is John and his lift truck and van. John the Carpenter

We met this morning to make sure we can get going on Monday and that’s a good thing because he needed some additional material for bracing the steel so we arranged for him to pick it up at the lumber yard since they can’t be there first thing Monday. No excuses! Meanwhile, we continue to work on selecting suppliers and contractors and to put together pictures and samples of all the standard selections.