Wednesday, March 30, 2011

606 Carlton: Rafters!

Thanks to Dylan for the extra hands and the photos...

Monday, March 28, 2011

606 Carlton: More Photos (Bay Window + Sheathing...)

View of the shed through the future bay window:

Friday, March 25, 2011

606 Carlton: Photo Update (more walls up!)

The scaffold makes life much easier at the building site:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Roof drop

Upon putting up the first wall today, it makes me think that my roof is just way too tall. I'm going to leave the kitchen as the tall room. I like the idea of having one room with a dramatic, open feel; it seems like the kitchen could benefit most from this, as it is a standing area and could use a lot of good, old-fashioned, natural light.

This desire for a lower roof has led me to drop mostly the entire roof by 2 feet (aside from the kitchen, and the bedrooms - the bedroom ceiling dropping just 6"). I am now planning to use traditional 8-foot studs, whereas I had designed the walls with 10-footers (hence, the two-foot drop). This will result in the house sitting a little lower to the ground - a little more settled and relaxed of a feel. It will additionally result in a lower heating bill, and a great reduction in the amount of materials I will need (fewer courses of strawbales, shorter posts, less plaster, etc...). 

With this drop, I've altered the form of the roof. The kitchen now has its own shed roof that stands tall above the rest. It's a slightly more dramatic, modern aesthetic.

Old roof design:

New roof design:

First Wall

After working on the DBDB project with Dylan this morning, I hopped over to the house site in an attempt to finish the subfloor. I didn't quite finish, because I ran out of adhesive (again! what poor planning, I thought I bought much more than enough this time...). There's just a little corner left to do. With the leftover daylight I had, I was able to put up the first stud wall! This will be the North wall of the kitchen, where a big, walk-in pantry will be.

In hindsight, I'm glad I didn't build the earthen oven under the overhang of the shed yet. This area is functioning very well as a window storage spot. The window that you see is one of triplets. I'm going to install two of them side-by-side on the south side of the kitchen, bay-window style.

I'll definitely be finishing the subfloor tomorrow, and continue framing!

DBDB garden shed

In the last couple weeks, Dylan and I have gone out to work on the shed 3 or 4 times, and have now finished it to the point at which Ash and Giovanna want to take over with the cob sheathing layer, and exterior earthen plaster. Check out the DBDB blog for more detailed posts. Here are some spoiler photos below...

When I bought my Makita cordless drill, I was less than pleased about the LED light that activates every time the trigger is pressed, thinking of it as a gimmick. After 2 years of owning the drill, I can't even begin to count the number of times that I've appreciated this gift of light - anything from working in a dark barn, to using it as a flashlight for walking through the woods, to simply working into the night (thanks, Makita). Here I am attaching the metal roofing after dusk:

Door installed, steps for getting in, and walls ready for cob!

This was my first chance to use the new truck rack for carrying ladders! Taz, Giovanna's dog, was a great companion for us throughout the entire project.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

606 Carlton: Update

My documentation of the house project has been sorely lacking as of late, due mainly to the lack of charged batteries I have had in my camera. The last house-related blog post gave you the impression that the house looks like this:

This is no longer the case...

The concrete truck came two Fridays ago, for a very eventful pour. My parents were in town that weekend, and have photos of the pour on their camera, which I need to get. I could go into a great amount of detail about what happened that day, but the most important thing to note is that I experienced the terrifying occurrence of a form-break! I made a rookie mistake on my form design, despite how stiff and rigid it looks in the photo above. I will explain this another time, with a diagram. A picture is worth one thousand words, and so:

The beautiful, organic curve of the wall (in the right side of the photo) was not intended, but instead was a result of my form bending apart with the force of the concrete. Luckily, it didn't totally bust open, or I would have been in big trouble. The emotion I felt welling up inside of me when it happened was quite memorable - hearing a huge "crack, crunch, whooooosh," and looking over to see your form twisting, and stakes popping out of the ground, and concrete squeezing out the bottom - the number of gray hairs in my beard doubled that day. I intend to write a poem about it when I have time.

Anyways, more on the pour later....

I haven't yet removed all of the forms. Here's the pile of form lumber thus far, which I need to sort through with a hammer and drill, to get the screws and nails out, and then stack up properly.

Floor joists up!:

The crawl space:

I spent today putting up the subfloor sheathing, which basically means covering up the floor joists with 4'X8' sheets of OSB. Tomorrow I'm going to finish this subflooring job, and frame in the crawl space doorway (which you can see in the photo above). There will be a human entry door, and then a double-wide door for shoving materials into the space (like plywood, lumber, pipe, etc...). I can't wait to have the crawl space completed enough to start storing things there!

Truck Mod: Almost done...

Here's what it looked like the day I made it:

The panels can easily slide on and off, depending on whether they are needed.

The modification happened just in time. I've been utilizing it quite a bit - both the rack, and the raised bed. This morning I had to get 11 sheets of 4'X8' subfloor sheathing. This is pretty heavy stuff. The Nissan took the load like a champ (even though I didn't - I very awkwardly tipped my cart over in the Home Depot parking lot and spilled everything on the ground: sheathing, lumber, bolts, caulk, etc...). I bought 2 new ratchet tie-downs so that I can secure my lumber properly to the rack.

Things to do:
1. add some hooks in strategic places along the sides of the rack to attach the ends of the ratchet tie-down to
2. paint the wood with deck stain for durability and water resistance
3. add a lock, so that I can store tools in the bed in watertight containers (?)

Photographic Update: Pickard's Mountain Cottage

Danielle and I squatted at the Pickard's Mountain cottage on Sunday night, after a long afternoon (and evening) of lime plastering at her house (which I have to get some photos of...). Margaret, who recently moved out of the cottage, was nice enough to have left plenty of candles and fire-starting supplies next to the wood stove, so we enjoyed both light and warmth. The cottage is now about 2 years old, and looking no worse for the wear. Of course, the earthen plaster is becoming slightly weathered (which is expected). The green roof is looking better than it ever did (thanks Margot!).

The Eco-Institute is moving, and so the garden beds have been moved, and the fence taken down. The space feels a lot different without the high deer fence. It makes for great photos of the North side of the cottage. Can you spot it in the photo below?

The lime mural has held up really well:

I hadn't seen much of the floor for the past year, as Margot's bed was on top of it. It is in great shape, and feels so good to walk on with bare feet!

The brick entrance pad is still one of my favorite parts of the cottage. The bricks are dry-laid (no mortar or grout), and haven't moved a millimeter.

It looks so nice now that the grasses and flowers have gotten a chance to take over around the cottage - it finally doesn't look like a work site!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Preparation for Concrete Pour #2

I've been continuing work on the form for the foundation wall. I had to push off the arrival of the concrete truck for a couple days, but it is now scheduled to come tomorrow (friday) morning.

Some photos of the form:

Vertical and horizontal runs of rebar:

Interior bracing, to combat the force/mass of the concrete:

Exterior bracing:

I ran some PVC piping through the form. One of the pipes will be for the black water, and will connect to the sewer. The other two are just there for when I want to run electric and water into the house through the foundation (and whatever other lines I might need to run).