Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day 15 - Sheeting is Down, (Some) Walls Go Up!

I think this is the point in the house-building process when I start to get really excited.  Walls!  It is the point where all my visions of the house start to take on a reality, a shape, a starting and a stopping point.  Each room becomes defined and starts to take on a life.  From this point on, each step is a clarifying of the room.  But the walls themselves, for me, they are when my heart starts to beat a little faster and I want to jump up and down with excitement.  I may have even squealed a little!  We started framing the walls.

I have framed walls before.  We framed out our whole basement so I know the basics of wall building.  But there are your average wall builders - that would be us - and there are your expert wall builders - that would be Mr.W.  The walls we frame will be walls but they may not be perfectly square or perfectly straight.  Mr.W's walls are perfectly square and perfectly straight.  He is an artist.  And he was doing his best to teach us his craft.

So, after the guys spent the morning finishing up the sheeting and clearing the space, Mr.W spent a lot of time measuring and calculating and measuring and snapping lines and calculating and measuring and snapping lines.  Apparently you don't plunk the walls down just anywhere!  He measured and calculated and snapped the lines for (almost) all the exterior walls.  I just followed him around holding the measuring tape or chalk line.  When he was satisfied that our walls would be where they should be, he put on a wall-framing tutorial.  I am so impressed with his attention to detail and how he explains everything so well.  Like I said, he builds his walls straight and square so his way is a great way.  It may take a little longer to frame the wall (maybe, but maybe not) but it is framed so well.  I will write another post (if he allows - he may not want all his trade secrets shared!) explaining how he does it because I find it so interesting.  Plus, there are at least 4-6 different reasons why he does it the way he does.  And, if you ask Dr.Phil's notorious question, "How is that working for you?", building walls Mr.W's way works great!

Another thing I love about how Mr.W teaches is that he will TELL you how it should be done and why and then SHOW you how it should be done and then TELL YOU TO DO IT while he watches from a bit of a distance so you don't feel intimidated.  He isn't afraid to step in a give advice here and there but he also knows to leave you to figure some things out on your own.  He knows the first wall you build might take 6 times longer than anyone else.  He knows that with the first wall you build you will need his help over and over and over.  And he knows that you will eventually get it.  He is so patient and so encouraging.

For me, today was slightly stressful (and did I mention it is still HOT!).  I am not an "oh, that is good enough" kind of a person.  But sometimes I feel limited by my abilities to get things exactly the way they should be. Today I was slightly terrified of the framing nailer used to put the wall together.  It is a large nailer and it shoots large nails.  And if I miss the stud, the nail comes out the other side and could injure you.  It makes me really apprehensive.  I would much rather cut the studs or the sheathing for the wall and attach that then to put the wall itself together.  Using that large nailer when I know it is facing down is just fine.  Using that large nailer when it is aiming in other directions makes me nervous.  But I know I will figure it out with time.  We only have about one million linear feet of walls to frame - one would think I would get some practice!  And tomorrow, if it doesn't rain, we will be right back at it!

Yeah, I know, it is only 4 walls.  4 little walls, at that.  But those little walls have all the same principles needed to make big walls so it seemed like a good place to start.  Well, Mr.W had a bunch of reasons but it didn't really matter to me.  We framed some walls.  I am happy!

PS:  No pictures of me today and hardly any of me from yesterday - my photographer has been chilling at Grandma's house and hubby doesn't think of taking pictures!  And I feel dumb asking him to take pictures of me!  :)

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