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House Building Saga, Part the Fifth December 12, 2009

Posted by ficial in house building.
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Craig and his whole crew were with us Friday for lots of arranging and heavy lifting. We got the grounded posts set up for the last bay of the main house area, and all the beams and joists for the second floor in that area as well. The work went pretty quickly – it’s amazing how fast an 8 hour day goes by when you’re hard at work the whole time. Things generally went smoothly as we’ve all more-or-less figured out how to work together and we’re comfortable with the the quirks of the site as well (e.g. not much tripping over that pipe, familiar with how much to lift the scaffolding so it will move and still fit under the beam, etc.).

There was a bit of panic the previous day when we thought one of the posts was missing a key tenon, but early Friday morning Amy figured out that the tenon in question was probably at the base of the upper post – we checked and it was so crisis aborted.

House building, especially timber framing, is a very male dominated job. Partly it’s tradition/culture, and partly because it requires a lot of lifting really big, heavy things, where both more upper body strength and the leverage and reach of a larger body are big advantage. This has made it hard for Amy to get involved in many aspects of the job. There’s a lot of directing and organizing to do, but that doesn’t keep one as warm and it’s much less hands-on, which is a bit frustrating. I often step out of the way when the crew is working together lifting a big piece, but I have the luxury of that being a choice. Were it just Amy and I and maybe one or two other people, we’d all move things together, just using more staging and thinking a bit more about balance points and leverage. So, while it’s certainly going up quickly with the pros doing a lot of the work, there are trade-offs beyond just the money.

The shape of the house is really showing at this point, and it’s beautiful. We’re remembering some of the design details we discussed years ago as we see them revealed in the structure. We love the wayt he spaces interconnect, and we’re both really looking forward to living there. In many way the land and yard is where the primary interest lies for both of us, but we really felt like if we were going to build a house we should take the time and effort to make it a good one. It will be.

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