Thursday, January 27, 2011

Feeling Groovy


I was away on adventures with Builder Gary today and didn’t get down to the house until after lunch – excuse me, I should say dinner.  When I got there, I looked out the living room window and saw that the framers were roofing the little porchlet.


They had the main porch all finished and felted.  The roof on the house didn’t get felt. We used a new product called Zip Loc that was decking and felt all in one product.  But since we used the groovy boards on the porch, felt was called for.


The area outside the French door will be a grilling deck for my gas grill and Big Green Egg.  So convenient – just outside the kitchen!The little porchlet will house a hanging bed.


Here’s one from my inspiration file.  I think we are going to get some good reading (and napping) done out there!


I trudged on out in the back yard to get the full effect.  Here you can see why we wanted to keep the gable end and the window.  It just goes with the rest of the house.


Zooming in a bit you can see the openings where the french doors and fire place will be.  We don’t want to put those doors in until the chimney is built.  It would be bad – really bad- to drop a brick on one.


Jogging back up onto the porch, you can see the opening to the hobbit hole attic.  That is where the chimney will be.  There will be a brick chimney all the way up and out the roof on the porch side.  The framers went ahead and roofed over the opening for the chimney to keep the rain out until the chimney is built.  You’ll notice that there are no rafters, just the roof decking.


This is the end of the story of the groovy roof decking. (With a little groovy mood lighting courtesy of sunlight filtering through the felt.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Getting in a Groove


It’s been fun watching the porch progress.  It was the last thing to be framed, because we had to get the steel and the welder down here for the steel moment frame.  We needed the moment frame to add strength and stability, because of all the arched openings below.


At Christmas, they had the basic frame of it done with floor joists and ceiling joists, but we had a change of heart.  The plan was to have a flat ceiling and an attic  above, but we thought better of it and decided to have the ceiling go all the way up to the roof.


At that time, there was some discussion about leaving the gable end open, but we decided that it we kind of liked keeping it as it was for strength, shade and looks.  We even liked keeping the window in the gable.  Won’t that be fun to have a window on a screen porch?!


The view from the  Family Room and Kitchen is going to be awesome. There will be a fireplace in the middle opening and French doors on either side leading out to the porch.


This extra little bit of porch just outside of the French door is where we will have our hanging bed.  I can’t wait!


It was exciting to see the roof framing going up. We could start to see the vision of the porch over the party pavilion coming into being.



Here’s a peek at the porch from  the upstairs stairwell window.



From the inside, things were looking pretty cluttered with all the ceiling joists still there, but we had a plan.


To make the structure nice and strong, the structural engineer suggested doubling the roof rafters every 5 and a half feet - or where there was going to be a column.  At this point there would be a rafter tie at the ceiling joist level, but the rest of the  ceiling joists could go away.


More like this!  You can probably tell here that Builder Gary saw the structural engineer’s doubled rafter and raised it a rafter tie.  He decided to have a rafter tie on either side of the doubled rafters and box it out to look like a beam.


Here’s a closer look, and here you see today’s development: a roof.


Doesn’t it look great?


And here’s a view showing the view, the boxed in beams and the window opening.

The roof decking material is working out really well.  Builder Gary came up with a wonderful solution to getting a v-groove ceiling economically. 


He got this 2x6 tongue and groove pine.  We’re using the v-groove down for the roof decking/porch ceiling and then flat side up for the painted t&g porch flooring.  That ought to make a sturdy floor!  And as a bonus the party pavilion that we’re going to park cars in will have  some v-groove action going on it its ceiling.

Isn’t that groovy?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Arch Nemesis


When the framers started making the arches back before the snow, they ran into a little problem.  As you can see here, the arches didn’t match up.

The problem arose from the arches that serve as the car entrance into the carport being wider than the other arches.  They didn’t realize what this meant until they worked around to the arch that sat beside the car entrance arch.  Ooops!


So we began a pow wow over how to fix the problem.  Do you make each arch have the same height and end point and let the radius be whatever it needs to be or do you keep the radius constant and shift the arch up and down until the edges match?


Plus we decided to let the brick be inside and outside of the carport, so we had to widen the openings to allow for the width of the brick. So, we had to erase and start over again on the arches. 


We also decided to close up the rectangular opening.


Our esteemed architects, Denise and Justeen,  pointed out that it was important for the radius to be the same so that when you looked through it, you saw the same curve.  And so we did.


I can’t wait to see it all done in brick!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winding Up the Windows (and Doors)


While the snow still sat on the ground, the framers got back to work on the last few windows and doors.


I really wanted to see them set this huge triple window with transoms above that is in the breakfast nook, but they snuck it in while I was away. I guess they’re camera shy.


Or maybe they got mad when I took this shot and then decided flash would make it better:


I guess when you’re on a ladder ten feet off of the ground trying to set a door or


on a ladder 15 feet off of the ground trying to set a heavy triple window with transoms, you really don’t appreciate the miracle of flash photography.

I can appreciate that. I can also appreciate this angle. It sure does look good from here,


and from here,


and from here!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Harry Potter and Hobbits Welcome Here


I was so delighted to see a door framed under the stair beside the lower entrance.  Not only do I hate wasted space, I want to be hospitable if Harry Potter should stop in for a spell. 

It also brings back great memories.  In the house I grew up in, we had a coat closet in the front hall that went all the way back under the stairs, under the landing and had a little window at ground level back there.  I have no idea why the builder put a window in a closet and behind the shrubbery, but I do know we loved it. 

It was such a neat place to hang out, play, escape from the world, and –most importantly- escape from baby sitters we didn’t like.  One of us would go hide in there and then the others would go “look” for the missing sibling until we were all in there, stifling the giggles while we listened to the panic struck sitter calling us and trying to find us.  Oh, those were the days. My kids are too old for sitters now, but they’re getting a secret space.


Or more specifically dear daughter is.  In the back of her bedroom is a hobbit hole door that leads to this attic space.


It has a little window (and no, it’s not ground level just floor level), which will make it a great place for her to set up her easel and spread out her paints.


Looking back, you can see the door into her closet and the room beyond.  What a fun hidey hole and a great sanctuary!  The beagle approves.


Since we didn’t anyone feeling left out, we stole some space under the eaves and some space from the linen closet and gave son #3 a really cool closet.  This will give him room to put his dresser in the closet and free up some floor space in his room.

All we need now is a secret passageway.

Or maybe we already have one and we’re just not telling.  If we did, it wouldn’t be a secret, would it?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Plumb Tickled


I was plumb tickled to see the plumbers brave the slick roads on Saturday and continue the rough in plumbing.



They were hard at work, measuring, drilling holes and spreading the purple wonder stuff all over the pipes.  The plumber with the tape measure (another Jason) is my new best friend.

He told me that when he won the lottery on Saturday night, he was going to buy the plans off of me and get Builder Gary to build him this house.  He absolutely loves it.  That makes two of us!


The other thing these guys absolutely love is the open web trusses.  It sure does make their job easier.  The way they shook their heads over having to drill through the occasional beam, I don’t know what they would have done if they had had to drill through every single joist.


Before long they had bathrooms stubbed,


laundry rooms stubbed,


ran the vent pipes up,


and victoriously out through the roof.


Meanwhile, Jason the Mason’s sample wall bit the dust when the house wrap went up.  Kinda made me think of Jericho. 

Only without the trumpets.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011