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.

Windows 2012

I took a field trip to Antcliff Windows in Burton, MI near Flint. Antcliff is a family business started by the current owners’ father. The senior Antcliff loved to hunt and although he has passed on many of his trophies occupy a unique conference room at the plant. I was introduced to a couple of them: 

We’ll talk more about Antcliff at a later date but for now we just want to point out two things. First, we were really excited to be able to find a local product (the glass comes from Guardian Industries, another Michigan company) that gives away nothing to the big names in the window business. Second, the pricing is very attractive for a number of reasons:

1. the factory makes many of the parts from rough lumber, 2. we are buying direct from the factory – no distributor, no wholesaler, no retailer – each takes a markup for most national brand windows, 3. no big marketing or advertising money that has to be recouped, 4. local means minimal shipping expense and less pollution making these windows really green! So this is the finished product but there is a lot more to the story and we will get back to it soon.

Our carpentry crew had a productive week. By late Friday most of the first floor exterior walls were in place and it is starting to get a little personality.