Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More floor joists

April 24

Another busy week. The second floor joists are almost in place. Next will be the kitchen ceiling which we plan to give a timber-frame look using the hand-hewn beams that Jack contributed to our project. They come from his grandfather’s 1860’s barn. Dennis helped us today to get the longest of them (18ft) in place ten feet up on the existing walls by lifting them in place along with Sam and a neighbor. Hopefully sometime next week we should be able to start work on the second floor walls. We need to get a roof on soon to protect our already completed work from the spring rains!  Jim

This house is freeing and restricting. I am able to learn so much and see wonderful results. At the same time I must and have said “no” more times than I have in the past. If I want to reap the results of this project I, in turn, must cull other opportunities. I am happy with the work so far and am better understanding the entire picture.  Sam

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kitchen floor joists

April 7

Work of late has been a little like playing crack-the-whip. The going seems easy as we cut the floor joists and timbers. When it comes to leveling and setting, the inertia picks up and the real effort and work kicks in. What at first seems easy, take caution, more work is around the corner. Sam

Kitchen floor joists all laid and leveled...a bit of a challenge considering the field stone wall they were set against. Plate is also secured to the walls and now ready for the second floor joists. The four 6x6 posts in the center of the house will support the second floor as well as the cupola at the center of the roof. The warm weather has given us a head-start here as has the lack of rain. We are both tired and a little overwhelmed at the end of the day but need to get as much completed as we can before the bugs and heat of summer which can't be far away. Much of the lumber we are using is recycled so extra time is needed to trim it all to the same size as modern structural members. We are beginning to see what the inside of the house will look like as the work progresses.  Jim

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


April 3 2012

After a long winter of working indoors we have finally turned our attentions back on the outside and the house itself. We were fortunate in the last couple of weeks to get nearly all the roof and floor boards from a turn-of-the-century barn that was coming down about 5 miles from here. For a couple of weeks we hauled boards and pulled the thousands of nails from them so that we can re-use them on the roof and for the attic floor. This week we are trying to get the sill plate in place and the three laminated beams that will hold up the second floor joists. The warm weather here has put us ahead of schedule.  Jim

My brother asked me around February when we would start working on the house. When have we stopped! Things are larger than I imagined. Jim has five or six tasks lined up so I will never get bored. There are of course the main carpentry tasks on the house to complete, minor landscaping, and doing little things to prepare many steps ahead of ourselves. Although I am not a fan of grass; it is a waste of gas and time to mow and a poor use of land, the little we spread to help with erosion has added a nice color to our site.  Sam