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House Building Saga, Part the Ninth December 16, 2009

Posted by ficial in house building.
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Another productive day, if not quite as much as the previous one. The weather was much colder today, but clear and sunny as well – all in all much nicer. We had three of the pro crew for the morning, then Craig showed up for the afternoon. We also had a volunteer for the day, Trevor.

The site got a light dusting of snow the prior night, so Amy and I did some cleaning and brushing while the crew began deconstructing the temporary shelter. Then I climbed up the scaffold to screw the tops of the upper rafters. It was pretty terrifying, especially first thing in the morning and using not the best tool for the job (a 1/2 drill rather than a hammerdrill, the latter of which is a truly awesome too… well, the former is too, but for applications other than driving screws while 20+ feet off the ground on shaky scaffolding at 8:15 AM). So, after a few I decided to leave the rest for the pros and work closer to ground level – I did enough to know for myself that I could do them if I had to, but since we’re paying for help, I don’t have to.

By the time I got back down the temporary shelter was largely in pieces, and Amy and I cleaned and organized them while the crew did the final bits of deconstruction. Trevor showed up just as we were taking our morning break – ideal timing :)

After coffee (or, in our case, tasty, rich hot chocolate) we did yet more site cleanup, organizing, and prep work while the crew put up the north east post. Then we all put three beams into place. We had a very tight fit for one of them, but over all it went quite smoothly, and by lunch the activity room was done except for the rafters (yes, it’s a big except, but the end is in sight).

After lunch the crew worked on setting one of the porch posts while Amy, Trevor, and I set to strapping and pegging. We did one beam that was in place a couple of days ago, then all of the new beams. In that time the crew got the porch post set, only to discover (luckily before we’d lifted a beam into place) that the post was actually about 3 inches too tall. Craig arrived at about that time and got that straightened out. Then one beam for that post was lifted into place, only to discover we had it flipped end-for-end from the correct orientation (based on erroneous interpretation on my part) so the corner brace wouldn’t fit. Eventually it got flipped and placed, just as I was finishing the last of the pegging (Trevor and Amy had switched to helping with the beam placement).

Over all, a lot got done despite some complications. Three more rafters to raise and the main house frame is complete. Two posts, one beam, five long rafters, and five really short rafters to raise and the porch will be complete as well (though one of those posts and maybe the beam will require some modification). If everything goes smoothly we could have the frame finished tomorrow. If not, it’ll be finished on Friday. After that, on to the roof boards!

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