House Building Saga, Part the Eleventh December 21, 2009Posted by ficial in house building.
After two days off and a lovely party the last night, 6:30 AM was especially early today.
Amy headed to Williams for a day at the office while I headed out to the construction site today. For the first 45 minutes of the day I tried to make myself useful, but mainly stood around watching people work. A couple of guys were tackling the bottom three rows of the roof boards, another was dealing with the last row on top (it required a wider board, which had to be purchased between Friday and this morning), and another was prepping some of the roof for the eventual roof panels.
Around 8:45 the panels arrived. They came on a big truck, which luckily had its own unloading machine (a moffett – i.e. a truck-mounted fork lift) so we didn’t have to ask for or hire outside help on that task. The roof panels are really big – 4 feet by 16 to 22 feet, and a foot thick. They are also very light for their size (2 people can carry a 16 footer without problem), being made largely of styrofoam. Normally this is a great feature, but it was a bit problematic with all the wind today. Generally it went well, but one bundle got blown off the lift. Thankfully it seems only a minor ding to one piece resulted. Writing a check for the delivery fee was certainly the most useful thing I did in the first hour.
After the morning hot-liquid-break (hot chocolate for me, coffee for others) we contemplated the panels. Amy and I had thought they were all going to be pre-cut, but it turns out that a number of them have to be cut in half in the field. Three of us worked on figuring out how to cut them (ans: measure and mark, then a skil saw for the wood side, then cut the styrofoam with a hand saw from the other side, using the first cut to keep sawing square). The other two began laying out lines to place the panels on the roof. Before lunch we’d gotten several panels cut, the layout done, and the first panel in place.
After lunch we managed to get three more panels done and generally to work out a few kinks in our process. Earlier we’d discussed getting a crane to lift the panels into place, but it turned out that, though awkward, we could lift and maneuver them ourselves. The most time consuming part of the process was precisely positioning them once they were up, and screwing them in place.
Over all we didn’t get quite as much done as I’d hoped today, but we figured out a lot of things and I expect tomorrow to go much more smoothly and quickly since we can just dive in to the work instead of stopping to figure things out every step of the way.