Week of March 19, 2007

The garage concrete slab was done on Tuesday. During the week while we waited for the concrete to cure enough to work on, we put the finishing touches on our front porch roof, worked on framing bits on the inside of the house, cleaned and organized our construction waste. With this done, we can have our site graded and get ready to implement our landscape plan. Since it has been our goal to limit our construction waste from the beginning of the project, we have surprisingly little waste to deal with.

Saturday we put up the walls on our garage. We built these walls at school during December. Take a look at the December 10, 2006 journal to see us building these walls. With the slab in place, we could measure the exact distance the bottom of the garage door beam had to be above the floor. Mr. Miller, Eugene, and Jesse finished the modification of the beam over the garage door opening on Friday. This 22 foot wall will be moved to site and installed next Tuesday.


Click on the link above to see our garage being built. With such a rainy week and cloudy beginning to the morning, Saturday turned out to be really warm and sunny.

End of the day. We would have completely finished the back of the garage but we have to cut the door opening in the concrete a bit bigger and we can't do that with the wood wall up. Notice the housewrap on the garage. This feature is usually never done by builders but we are keeping all of the wood assemblies dry and if they get wet, they can dry and not rot.

A nice end of the day and now we have two buildings on our site.
Look at the March 11 journal entry just two weeks ago to see Home B.A.S.E. working in a snow storm.

Week of March 12, 2007

We had almost the full spectrum of weather this week: warm, sunny, torrential rains which flooded our basement, cloudy, snow, sleet, and cold with partly sunny skies.

The front porch with the hip roof was fnished this week. The garage foundation was squared up and the sill plates attached so the walls can go up. We cut off the anchor bolts which were incorrectly placed so as to be flush with the top of the sill plates. We have a video of that below.

Also, the finished grade elevations for the concrete garage slab and apron were established.

Flashing to keep water that filters down between the porch slabs and the house was applied according to the Water Management Guide from the Building Science Corporation http://www.buildingsciencepress.com/books.asp?CatID=21
See the green/high performance detail below.

Steel anchor are bolts no match for Home B.A.S.E
Grinding off the anchor bolts after we countersunk them into the sill plates. Notice the snow on the sill plates.

Framing for the front porch.

Sheathing the front porch in the rain.

High quality work in fitting the hip supports.

Mr. Miller and the finished front porch.

Finished back porch.

Finally, a picture of the Loch Ness monster! Someone unplugged our sump pump from the outlet next door the day it rained 1.5 inches. We finished the cleanup on Saturday.
Mr. Beck said his feet were numb by the time he got to the pump.

Green High Performance Green High Performance
Here we are applying the waterproof membrane supplied by the Contract Lumber Company www.contractlumber.com
This membrane goes underneath the housewrap and extends below the sill plate to keep the water from wetting the wooden parts of the house. This is done only where a porch slab contacts the house. On the rest of the house, a metal drip edge will hang below the first course of siding and will "kick-out" the rain water away from the house.

The garage, squared and plated.

The trusses for the garage will be delivered within a week.

Week of March 5, 2007

Our project is seemingly going just a bit faster now.

We put on our front porch roof trusses this week along with taking out the bracing of our gable end trusses and straightening them. Our trusses are about eleven feet tall, and straightening and re-bracing them was a really big job.

Our back porch is completely finished and the concrete was ordered for the front and back porches and the garage floor. That concrete flatwork will be done when the ground thaws enough for that work to proceed.

We intend to start on our garage this week.

These clothes are illustrative of what it takes to build this house and what we go through every week. Those who were on site Saturday, worked in the rain throughout the morning. They continued to work in the afternoon, and it became partly sunny and warm. Can you identify the wearers of these clothes? Hint, the five present in the picture are Craig, Jesse, Megan, Vinnie, and Jimmy.
Left: Taking apart the trusses. We came in on Monday and started to take the trusses down from the front porch roof. We didn't think we could do that in three hours. Not only did we take them down, but we took them apart, cut them to the correct dimensions and had them ready to take back to the truss company to re-press the truss plates back on. We took them back to the truss company on Wednesday and we picked them up on Friday. Thank you Truss-Worthy Truss company, a division of the Conctract Lumber Co.

We get a lot of extremes in weather, sometimes all in the same day. these pictures were taken on Wednesday. By Friday, we were down to t-shirts. Far left: putting up the back porch trusses. Right: Anne is nailing in blocking to support the back porch trusses.

Measuring for the ledger which will carry the front porch roof sheathing.

Round II: Installing the front porch.

The students who stayed until the end of the day on Saturday always get more than they put in.

Those who build together, build community together. This picture, taken at the end of a long workday, is a visual joke for those who who were together on Saturday.
Week of February 27, 2007

Friday was a day without classes for the students but they came out and put up the front porch beam. The crew was led by Cassie's father who is a contractor who came out to work with us.

Megan and Vinnie stayed until 5:30 to finish up the odd and ends framing bits and sat on the beam for the end of the day picture.

This pictures below show what could have been a very disheartening story. On Saturday March 3, the entire morning was spent laying out the front porch roof in the living room so that the crew would be able to efficiently lay it out working up in the air on ladders.

However, in our effort to move the project along, we fast-tracked the ordering of the trusses before the porch had been built. Our porch was built in the center of the porch walls (by code) which made as-built porch, four inches shorter than the trusses.

Mr. Beck came out for three hours on Sunday to figure out how to make this right without taking down the trusses but there was no other alternative than to take them all down. So an entire Saturday was for naught.

Will have to take them down next week.

Laying out the front porch in the living room.

Building the front porch, round one.