This blog is solely about the start-to-finish construction of a house.
It is recommended to start at the earliest post and proceed chronologically.

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August 31, 2014

Old School Scaffolding

A-Frames and Scaffold Planks
The next major phase is to get a roof on this building before the rains come.

Oops, too late.  It rained yesterday.
(Luckily not very much)

To get access to this side of the roof, large A-frames were built.

August 28, 2014

Overheard on the Jobsite

"I could go the rest of my life and be happy never hearing another AC/DC song."

August 25, 2014

Stepping Up

Much Easier Trip to the 2nd Floor
Stair framing is in place.  Nice and solid.

Note the blocking in the side wall for mounting the future handrail.

Roof Framing Progress

The Cantilever   (that blocking is temp)

Trusses were placed fairly quickly last week, and work began on the gable overhangs.

We have one particularly large overhang above the roof deck, which is exciting to see take shape.

August 24, 2014

Exterior Insulation Arrives

Rockwool Insulation
Five pallets of rigid rockwool insulation board was delivered on Friday.

I'll explain the role of this insulation in the wall assembly in a future post.

August 22, 2014

Happy Anniversary Lisa!

Pizza & Champagne amidst the sawdust

August 20, 2014


They could at least be clever or artistic...
Our jobsite sign was spruced up with a local arteest's poignant message.

August 19, 2014

Roof Trusses

First Bundle of Trusses Takes Flight
The roof trusses arrive, and are craned onto the top of the building.

August 15, 2014

Construction Financing

Grass is always greener on someone else's piggybank

If you are considering a project of your own, and need to secure financing, we suggest you start on this as soon as you can, and schedule a lot more time than you think you'll need.

A discussion below.

August 13, 2014

Window Arrival

Big and Heavy
The windows arrived today...too bad we aren't ready for them quite yet.

The guys successfully moved them into the house without damage - something I've been plenty worried about.  Replacing a pane of insulated glass that big is not a simple endeavor.

We did have a little bit of a casualty, however, on the supplier side of things.  Here is how the windows looked when the truck was opened:

The leaning windows were just fine, but the one on the ground isn't operating quite right.  Also, it crushed a box of screens, so those will need to be replaced.

But WE didn't damage anything (yet), so congratulations all around to the JRA crew. 

Now if we can just keep them that way...

One of a few stacks of fragile goods.

August 12, 2014

Overheard on the Jobsite

Guy 1: "You're not as perky as yesterday."
Guy 2: "Yes I am!  I'm plenty perky."

August 09, 2014

2nd Floor Walls

View of House from Garage
The first walls on the 2nd Floor are going up.  Nice big windows, set back into a framed-in slot.

View toward M.Bedroom from Roof Deck

August 07, 2014

Advanced Framing

Not illustrative of the subject - just a shot I liked
We have designed this house to utilize a technique called "Advanced Framing", aka Optimum Value Engineering (OVE).

These fancy names just refer to a few framing techniques that:
1. reduce the amount of lumber in your walls, and
2. increase the amount of insulation in your walls.

(Which really are the same thing due to cause and effect.)

Here are a few of the principles we are employing:

August 05, 2014

Overheard on the Jobsite

Whooo! It's like an amusement park ride!

(i think someone slipped on a board or something?)

Floor Trusses & 2nd Floor Deck

Looking West - faint line of West Hills in the distance.
All the floor trusses have been installed, and covered with the subfloor plywood.

We are using a nice sturdy 1 1/8" thick subfloor, for a good solid feel underfoot, and no deflection to worry the tilesetter.

Subfloor is glued and nailed with ringshank nails per APA recommendations.  Just because I can't help myself, I'm adding screws as well.  This floor will not squeak if I can help it.

View from the front door, down toward the Living Room
Standing on the first floor now is a different experience; the floor above really defines the volume of the rooms.  (And provides some much-appreciated shady places on the site.)

View from kitchen toward outside of Living Room.  Big windows!
Soon the bracing can come down in the Living & Dining

Soon stairs will go in, making the trip up to frame the second floor a little easier.