Thursday, July 19, 2012

Owner Building a Home - Day 45 & 46 - Siding and the Bonus Room

DAY 45

I had told Jason last night to please not start on the siding before I arrived.  I really wanted to be part of that action.  And he obliged.  When the guys arrived on site in the morning, the first thing they tackled was putting those small piggy-back trusses on top of the attic trusses.  I actually have no idea how they did it since I wasn't around to watch and every time I think to ask, Jay isn't around.  But it must have worked out as planned since I haven't heard any complaints of how it went.

* Edited to add - Mr.W attached some 2x4s across the trusses then stood up there while Jason handed the small trusses us to him.  Easy peasy, as Mr.W likes to say!  *

When I arrived with Mr.E around 10ish, Mr.W set me to work installing siding!  He showed Mr.E and I how to do it, installed some with us and then let us do the rest on our own.  It is not a particularly hard job but putting siding on the gable ends requires an awful lot of cutting.  Since we are installing fiber cement siding, it required cutting with a cut-off blade meant for concrete.  And it involves a whole lot of dust.  I wish I had been wearing a mask and I will be sure to wear one on Friday when we put siding on the end of the garage wall. 

I had read some comments about fiber cement siding about how it chips easily, breaks easily, scratches easily, etc.  I found that those can all be true if you don't handle it carefully.  If you cut it slowly and carefully, chips are eliminated.  If you keep the protective foam between each piece in place until you install the siding, the scratches are eliminated.  And if you don't step on the siding while it is lying on the ground and be careful how you lift it, it won't break.  Mr.W compares installing fiber cement siding to the finishing details on the outside of the house.  It requires the same care and precision you take with the interior details like the casing of doors and windows.  With vinyl siding you can be quicker and hide a lot of mistakes - there is less room for error with fiber cement.  But once it is installed, it is oh-so-lovely! 

I also learned how to use a framing square to find my 8/12 pitch.  I tried to use a cut-off piece as a stencil to mark each end cut but somehow those angles never turned out right.  When I used the framing square, the ends were perfect!  So we spent the remainder our our morning finishing one of the gable ends and then the afternoon putting siding on the other gable end.  It was longer and required more time.  It also requires me to measure accurately so I don't have to recut pieces, which takes more time.  But eventually we found our groove - hopefully the siding on the garage goes quicker because of that groove.

While Mr.E and I were working on the siding, Jay and Mr.W and another wonderful worker, Mr.G, were working on the bonus room, installing the sheeting and shingling the roof.  That is a 12/12 pitch, which means it is a 90 degree angle at the top.  It is steep and tall and is still sitting on the ground.  Once again, we are so thankful to be working on the ground.  Those guys continue to do an excellent job at shingling and the roof is looking so lovely!  I did take some photos of Jay working on this roof but they disappeared from the camera.  Grr. 

Today the kids spent the whole day with us.  It wasn't quite as hot as it has been so they played at the site.  I found some toys for them and we brought their bikes along.  They amused themselves nicely for the day but are looking forward to grandma's tomorrow.

After everyone went home for supper, I stayed at the site to finish up my work and clean up.  I get tired of seeing all the mess so I made a good dent in cleaning it up.  I know that we will have the site looking much cleaner real soon.

DAY 46

I cannot resist starting this post with a joke.

Q:  How many guys does it take to find a framing nailer?
A:  At least 3 and even then one will call his wife to ask where it is and she will tell him it is in the toolbox where all 3 guys had already looked and determined it wasn't there.  :)

We are getting closer to the 8am Monday deadline and still there are many things to do.  But, each day we work hard and accomplish much and know that we will make it.

Today I got a lesson on the mechanics of a home - mostly the heating/cooling and air handling aspect.  We are still working through what kind of a heating/cooling system we want and it is important that I understand how different systems work so I can fully support Jay in the system he thinks is best for us and this house.  It is not traditional and requires some creative thinking but it is what will give us the end result we are looking for which is warmth and comfort on each level without a whole bunch of bulkheads.  We will talk it over with the mechanical guy tomorrow to see if we can figure it all out.  It leaves me a little stressed and I am losing sleep over it since it is such an important part of the comfort of the house but I know it will all work out.

Once I put that out of my mind, I set to work helping Mr.W create the little roof/overhang on the garage wall.  After lunch, we were trying to continue work when the power went out.  We thought we tripped a breaker so Jay and Mr.W went to check it out.  We had no power at all.  While Jay went to find a generator, I called the hydro company to discover a neighbour, just a short drive away, pulled a power line down on himself while he was in a combine.  They had just received the call and had dispatched help when I called.  So, we used the generator for the rest of the afternoon and finished up that little roof, including the shingles.  We also installed the house wrap for that end so that we are ready to go with the siding tomorrow. 

While we were working on that, Jay was building the final wall for the house!  It is hard to call it a wall since it has so many openings but it is the front of the garage where the two garage doors and one man door are.  He got that put together and we stood it up.  Then he had to do some other renovation work on my china cabinet build out to accommodate the trusses that will sit upon it.

Earlier today, before I arrived, the guys framed out the front wall on the office and sheeted the floor of the office.  I forgot my camera at home today so I have no photos but I will be sure to take some tomorrow.  We are getting so close to being ready!

*Edited to add the garage photo*

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you, Chantelle. Fiber cement sidings will last if you just take good care of it. Anything not taken care of will rot, chip off, fall off, break and fade. I wonder what the house looks like now. Please post some pics again. I’ll be more than glad to come back and view it from time to time. :)
    Sandra Ludwig


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