blogging our home building process

Sunday, July 31, 2011

They Say Everything Is Bigger in Texas...

but they should see how we do it in Tennessee!  This week was all about the wrap around porch.  The timbers we had been waiting on got delivered late Monday afternoon for the start of a productive week.  These beauties are 8x8 and made from Hemlock which is an insect resistant wood and they look sweet!

8x8 hemlock timber post

First, we had to cut the timber posts to size which took some time.  Then the garage trusses showed up on Tuesday adding to the local lumber pile.  The driveway looked like a lumberyard with all the decking materials and trusses!  It was hard to find a spot to work.

lumber yard

garage trusses

Next, came the installation of the rim joists for the porch which wasn't easy since the side/rear deck is anywhere from 11 foot off the ground.  Then, the remainder of the decking was installed...all 1100 square feet of it!  It is awesome to be able to see the wrap-around porch in all its glory now and it does seem big!  But, it's going to be well used and we are looking forward to spending a lot of time out on the deck.

installing timber posts

installed rim joists

no direct house entry from the garage - you have to walk on the covered porch to get in the house via back door

This next week, we'll continue working on the porch as we have to install those "purty" logs sitting out on the driveway and put the roof on.
log to the right is one of the entry way logs

entry way log

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Plumbing, Logs and a side of Garage

All of the plumbing drains were installed this week. We now have pretty white pipes with purple spots on them all over the house! (the purple spots are pvc cleaner which goes on before pvc glue is applied.)  I am still partial to purple and white even if I don't live in KS anymore...still love my KSU Wildcats!  I guess that is also a dead give away that Jason isn't writing this week's blog as he would never call plumbing pretty nor admit liking K-State!  (He's an OU fan.)  Ron needed the tub drains and shower valves so that meant I finally got to have a little fun doing plumbing fixture shopping! 
K-State inspired plumbing!

Jason and I both scoured the internet for faucets and sinks.  We discovered finding a roman tub faucet with a minimum spout reach of 10" is close to impossible to find.  We found two!  I even called Delta, Moen, Kohler, and Pfister personally to verify they didn't have something.  I also discovered that you can't buy a galvanized bucket sink anywhere!!  (We were going to make our own but the local building codes wouldn't let us.)  I finally found a copper version to suffice for the top of our whiskey barrel in the half bath.  We found a rock sink at Southeastern Salvage in Knoxville for the upstairs "western" guest bath.  We managed to order all the bathroom fixtures except the master bath faucets/sinks.  Oh, and Jason found an awesome shower system for our shower!  It has 2 shower heads and 2  jets - there is no way you aren't going to get squeaky clean in this shower!
rock sink
Tuesday we were finally able to pour the remaining half of the garage slab floor as the rains held off until Thursday this week.  We also got a delivery of cedar logs from Everhart Lumber on Tuesday to be used for the front porch posts and interior accents. 

cedar logs
The load of porch timbers that was supposed to get delivered early this week didn't come.  The mill's saw didn't get fixed until the end of the week so that means hopefully next week we'll have the porch timbers and be able to start back up on the wrap around porch.

So, instead of doing porch work, the garage framing got started and all the walls were up by Saturday night.  The trusses are being made by Christmas Lumber and should be delivered early next week.
front of house w/garage

side view w/garage

Saturday, July 16, 2011

And this week at Deeradise...

 The weatherman forecasted at least a 30% chance of rain each day this last week which caused us to rearrange some of our work schedule.  We really wanted to get that garage floor poured but it just didn't happen.  Most of the work done this week was all inside.

Monday:  I went to Tellico Sawmill and picked out our logs for the front porch.  Tellico Sawmill has provided me with a lot of great stuff on my previous cabins and its run by some great folks.  Meanwhile, back at the fort, Ron finished up the basement framing.

storage room wall was built

Tuesday:  After Cristi made changes to the basement, the entire stairway was torn out and rebuilt.  She is now happy and that means the rest of us are happy, too!  The basement bathtub, toilet and sink were installed allowing us to cancel the porta potty which saves us $70 a month.  I believe Cristi's words were 'hallelujah!' - she sure isn't going to miss using that porta potty!

newly redone bsmt stairs that will now be open to the bsmt

basement bath - we are using the laundry sink temporarily during construction
 Wednesday:  After Cristi made changes to the master bath layout, the linen closet was torn apart and rebuilt in her "preferred" location which I have to admit was a really good idea.  A flush mount cabinet was also installed in the toilet per her request.  The master tub was also installed.

master bath toilet drain

master tub with the newly relocated linen closet

flush mount cabinet, but we're thinking about making it a bar window so we have a full service toilet :
Thursday:  I started installing the electrical boxes in the basement and hung the electric panels in the mechanical room in the basement.   Ron, finally tired of the 2 foot step to get onto the porch, made same temporary stairs.  When I showed Cristi the picture, I think she was more excited about the stairs than hearing the inside toilet was usable!  Her short legs made that step pretty difficult and she was quite appreciative of Ron for making the steps.  The upstairs shower was also installed.

temp porch steps - hallelujah!

upstairs guest bath

Friday:  Some outside frame punchout work got done before the torrential rains forced us inside to install all the wall blocking and bracing.  The timbers for the porch were supposed to arrive today but we got a call late Thursday that the saw had broken and we'd have to get our delivery the first of next week.  I guess it didn't matter anyway since the rain would have prevented us from picking back up the porch construction.

Saturday:  I finished laying out the basement electrical design and Cristi helped nail up the boxes. Ron started installing plumbing drains.

Hopefully, we'll get a completed garage slab this next week and get back to working on that wrap around porch!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

This Week at Deeradise...

Monday:  Happy 4th..I went to bed at 8:30 and didn't see a lick of fireworks although Ron and I did go through a few 50 round drums on my Sig Sauer 522LR and took the Mossberg for a spin too, so I guess we created our own fireworks!  Prior to the fun, we made all the joist and top plates for the wrap around porch.  We also had to move the basement bedroom window down a foot so that the wrap around porch deck above would flow more seamlessly with less steps.  Unfortunately after doing that, I now wish all the windows in the house were a foot lower because it gives a better sense of openness to the room with the large casement windows we will be using.  It also rained and I ordered more t & g (tongue & groove) as well as all of our porch timbers and logs.  We can't do much else on the porch until the timbers/logs arrive.

joist/top plates for wrap around porch

Tuesday:  I tore off the built in place forms Ron had made for the other side of the garage slab which holds all the rebar in place and the magnesium skreed board that was used to level the slab.  We then prepped the other half of the garage slab for pouring which included laying the mesh, rebar, and another skreed used for leveling the concrete.  Other items getting done today included some miscellaneous framing.  We also got our casement windows delivered today.

casement windows which will be put in after the porch is done

Wednesday:  We were supposed to pour the other half of the garage slab but it rained off and on all day, so it was back to some miscellaneous framing which included some design as we go style building.

Thursday: Framing started in the basement.  (We are only partially finishing the basement but completing the basement bath so we can use it when we come in from working outdoors.)  We placed the tub in the basement bath and built the equipment room in the basement that will hold the water heater, the electrical and audio video panels.

basement bath

equipment room in basement
Friday:  Again, we were going to pour the slab today but the weather showed rain and we canceled the order only to have it stay dry all day.  Weathermen have the only job in this world where you can be wrong 65% of the time and never lose your job.  So, instead we built the basement bedroom and started on the basement frame punch list.

braces in the basement were completed
basement bedroom
Saturday: More basement walls were built and once the boss showed up (Cristi), we got more work.  The master bath and basement stairs got some revamping thanks to her.  Thankfully, we haven't had much rework from our initial framing but Cristi's "suggestions" did seem to be worthwhile to help the layout of the bath and stairs so we opted to do the re-framing.  Cristi and I also took a hike on the property.  The blackberries stretch at least 500 foot on one side of the property so we set off to pick some berries from the back 40.  We found the deer trail and scared a few bunnies but we got about 7 lbs of blackberries which made all that briar scratching worthwhile.

storage room in bsmt

future bar/game room in bsmt

home theatre in bsmt
hiking through the back 40


Monday, July 4, 2011

Decking Dynasty

Deeradise's namesake

young buck and hopefully our new "pet"
It sure was a hot and rainy week.  We managed to get the first half of the garage slab poured on Tuesday.  Hopefully, we'll get the 2nd half poured this next week although there is a chance of rain every day until Saturday.  I'm sure as soon as our house is finished the rain will stop and we'll be in a drought for the next year but until then, it sure does keep a coming.

This pic is before the power trowel was used
Despite the weather, the porch continues to develop.  Everything is about the porch right now as it will also double as scaffolding once it's completed which will make it easier to continue working on the second story and roof.  The porch is no small feat though and will take a couple more weeks to complete.  I knew the porch was a good size but didn't realize it was 1100 square feet!!  I think that set in after I saw the large load of lumber awaiting me in the drive which was to be the deck and porch roof.  I spent 3 days staining just under half of the 260 2x6x12 tongue and groove in the 95 degree heat while working on my tan.  I still have about 144 boards to go but that will have to wait until next weekend and that is just the porch roof.  Not to mention, there is staining the deck and all the wood we'll be using inside the house.  I'm going to be a stain master by the time this place is done!

decking!!  it's going to be soooo nice!

mammoth load of tongue & groove to stain

garage came in handy!

i think i prefer last year's camping at Balsam Mountin, NC to this year's 3 day binger of staining for the 4th

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