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House Building Saga, Part the Twelfth December 25, 2009

Posted by ficial in house building.
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It’s now been two full days since we were last on site, so this is feeling like a real vacation now.

Last Wednesday morning I headed up for 1/2 day of work before we left for NH for Christmas with my folks. In Williamstown there was a light dusting of snow when I headed out. In Stamford there was already 1/2 inch on the ground and it was accumulating quickly. Despite that, Craig and three of the crew were there (one had already left for Christmas on Long Island) working hard. We got a couple of panels ready to go, then the crew put them on the roof while Craig and I put the upper porch rafters into place (or at least, most of them – one really should be left until after the wall SIPs for that section are in, since it goes hard against them).

Working in the snow is definitely harder and more dangerous. For one thing, snow flakes have a tendency to blow in one’s eyes, meaning there’s a lot more blinking and distraction. For a second, the surface condition is very dynamic. One can have great footing, but five minutes later a step in the same place is slippery. This wasn’t too much of an issue for the rafters, and in fact it even helped a it in some ways – the rafters were easier to slide around on the staging. However, the roof work was getting downright dangerous.

Around mid morning someone broke out the radio. Just about at a time when he snow was so think one couldn’t quite see the road from the house the weather report came on, and told us there was a chance of flurries in the morning. By lunch time it had snowed 2-3 inches and only one set of roof panels had gone up because people had to work much more slowly and carefully. At that point we called off roof work and focused on ground-level jobs. Each roof panel has various prep work it needs – splines set, marks made, screw positions counter-sunk, panels sorted, cut, and positioned, and various other such things. All this prep work means that once the weather clears up sufficiently the rest of the roof panels should go up pretty quickly.

Around noon the crew broke for lunch and I left for the day, to get a few things done (e.g. packing) for the Christmas trip. I don’t know what exactly they got done in the afternoon – the snow was letting up so they might have started work on the roof again, or they might have continued ground work. The wall panels are scheduled to arrive the morning of the 28th, so there were a few things that had to be moved around to make room for them.

Getting down the driveway was a bit scary – the truck (borrowed from my dad for a few weeks) was sliding around more than a little bit. The experience reinforces my desire to move the driveway to make it a bit longer and slightly less of an elevation change once construction is complete.

And now, we’re off for Christmas actual-vacation, with about 5 days of not working on the house!

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