blogging our home building process

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Snakes, Whiskey and Wood

"Snake wrestling, tick fighting, scorpion killing, black widow smashing" were the words Dad used to sum up his experience while helping work on Deeradise this week.  I'm sure he's looking forward to getting back home to Florida and lounging by the pool.  Nevertheless, he was a great help and we appreciate him coming all this way to help out!  Thanks Dad!

The blocks and sticks are finally starting to look more like a house.  The basement walkout wall was erected this week as well as the center carrying wall.  All of the floor trusses were put in, the advantech flooring laid and the subfloor completed.  The temporary stairs were also made and installed so we can now easily get to the first floor from the basement.  Oh, and the nasty job of water-proofing the basement got done, too...thanks again Dad!

Cristi, Dad and I did make it to the Smokies to get our hand-carved front door from the local artisans at Smoky Mountain Critter Carvins.  We also picked up a Jack Daniels whiskey barrel used at the distillery in Lynchburg, TN from Reel Barrels.  It smells authentic, too!  Cristi and I actually toured the Jack Daniel's distillery a couple of years ago - well worth the trip to Lynchburg in case you are wondering!  We actually plan on turning the barrel into a sink for our half's gonna be sweet!

As for the snake wrestling and such, we did see our first snake at the property this week and we learned that East Tennessee does in fact have two varieties of scorpions - supposedly, the sting isn't any worse than a honey bee but hopefully we will continue to see them before they see us!  Cristi is going to be equipped in a full body armor suit the next time she comes out to help!

probably a rat snake as it was pretty docile although it could also be a pine snake

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Pool Is In!

Just kidding!  Although, the garage looks more like a pool as it is holding at least a foot of water right now thanks to the abundant spring rainfall in East Tennessee!  Cristi and I had discussed putting in a pool just a few weeks ago but I don't think this is what either of us had in mind!  We are already 2.5 inches over the average rainfall for March/April and April is only half over!

Despite, the wet conditions, Ron and I got alot of work done this week even though it doesn't seem that way now that I'm writing it down!

We cleared another 10' of trees in front of the house so there was a lot of chainsawing and burning going on.

large lumber load delivered by Christmas Lumber early in the week

Headrick Excavating was back out to finish the leach field and septic.  We then got our state septic inspection and passed!

the leach field which is our backyard!

Most of the week was spent on forming the bond beam.  (As I explained to Cristi, this is a horizontal layer of concrete used to reinforce the wall.)  Harrison Concrete and Action Pumping were back on site pouring all of the basement walls solid with concrete as well as pouring the bond beam. We then installed the seal sill and sill plate so we are ready for framing!!!

building form boards for beam

Sill Plate

We also ordered all of our exterior doors this week from our friends at Lowe's who continue to give us great deals.

Coming up next week, we have some help flying in from New Port Richey, FL.  My dad is coming in Wednesday thru Monday and boy, do I have his work week filled!  We will be water proofing the basement and building the basement wall.  We do have one "fun" day planned as Cristi and I had already made plans to go to the Smokies on Friday to order our custom, handcarved front door insert from the local artisans.  We might sneak in a little trout fishin' too!  (We do want Dad to come back!)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

And, Then There Were None!

1700 blocks laid all in their rows!  This week ended the block work! We are extremely thankful for my buddy Ron as he laid them all but 2 - I laid number's 6 &7 in row 7 of the garage.   Was I a big help or what??  Between everything else that I have going on and being hurt I didn't get to be much help which wasn't in the plans. This coming week we will be forming the bond beam on top of the block and then pouring the whole wall solid.  There isn't much else to say so we'll just show you the pictures.


rear left corner of basement

left side wall of basement

front left corner of house

13 courses of block

front of house

We did order our windows this week - a little later than we had originally planned.  We didn't order any of the windows we had mentioned in our previous blog.  We ended up going with casement windows from Valley Building Supply.  We also spent quite a bit of time this week making some final changes to the floor plans.  (The septic leach field did not get put in this week due to the excavator's schedule but it should happen this next week.)

we discovered this week we have numerous dogwoods on the property

doe a deer - the spring weather has brought them back!

the turkey didn't want to pose

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Burn Baby Burn!

I never wanted to be a fireman growing up, but I sure played like I wanted to be one this week.  I have singed the hair on my forearms and came home so black with soot that Cristi had to do a double take when I walked through the door!  (And, yes, I'm walking this week; the knee is much better!)  Most of my week has been spent inhaling smoke and burning a 50'x25'x10 (yes, that is feet!) pile of brush/trees to ashes between rain showers.


The pile had to be burned this week as the septic leach field is getting finished next week.  If we had waited to burn the pile until after the leach field was in, we would have melted all of the plastic septic pipes so it was kind of a priority to get it done this week.

The awesome free gas grill we picked up off
to save us from eating sandwiches every day!
 We had a lot of rain this week in East Tennesse.  I'm beginning to become like my father-in-law as much as I'm watching the weather channel these days!  Anyway, Ron laid as much block as possible this week when it wasn't raining.  He cut in the rebar in the 8th course of block and expects another full week of work before the block is finished.  Hopefully, the rain won't slow us down this next week. 

front left corner of house
front right corner of house

front right corner of house, left corner of garage

back of house - walkout basement
front of garage
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