Sunday, August 5, 2012

Owner Building a Home - Week 11 - No, We Are Not on Vacation!

I was asked recently by a couple of ladies if we were on vacation.  After all, I haven't posted all week.  And it feels kind of neat to know people are tracking our progress so carefully.  I apologize, I really do.  This week we have worked everyday, except Tuesday, but it hasn't been that exciting.  And I have hardly taken any photos. But progress is being made.  Since things are a little more boring and a little less photographable (if that is even a word), I figured I would post at the end of the week saying some of the things we have been working on. 

We finally finished up back framing this week, I think.  There may be a few things here and there that need to be done but it is essentially done.  Back framing, for those of you unfamiliar with the term, is when you go and inspect your framing to ensure all the bottom plates are nailed down, all the corners are nailed together, all the door plates have been removed to allow for doorways, all the corner blocking is complete.  It is boring but important work. 

This week I also framed the walls under the staircase going up and created the doorway for the staircase going down.  I also framed all the half walls upstairs that surround the stair opening.

Jason spent a bit of time on the roof with Mr.W shingling.  Mr.W LOVES our roof (note the sarcasm).  It is not fun to work on such high roofs with steep pitches.  They look fantastic but they require a lot of mental alertness to be aware of what is going on.  They were both harnessed in so that gives me the confidence to know they will be okay but they always looked so tired when they came down from the roof.  It takes a lot out of them.  I really appreciate their willingness to do it even though it is not the most fun. 

Heating ducts and plumbing pipes continue to wind their way throughout the house.  That is one part I have a hard time picturing since it will require bulkheads here and there to cover the pipes.  I am so thankful that Mr.W is highly creative and comes up with great solutions for how to make it all look good.

When we installed the roof of the garage, it didn't quite come up to the exterior of the house.  There was a space of about 3 feet since we are making a second stair case from the garage up to the office.  Well this week the guys worked on blocking of the trusses and adding some 2x10s to make a landing up in the office.  Mr.W laid out the one staircase stringer for me but I was unable to get to work on it.  That is my project for tomorrow.

We also moved both the kid's one piece tub/shower into position and our corner air massage tub into the master bath.  Those need to be in place so the plumber knows where to drill the drain holes.  He has also told me I need to go shopping!  I love it when I HAVE to go shopping, even if it is for a Neo-Angle shower, a shower pan for our master bath, some drain assemblies, a sink and faucet and the range hood fan.  Those items are needed to know where to rough-in the plumbing/ducting.  That was one of the reasons we went to Grand Forks for the day on Tuesday.  We left around 9:30 in the morning with the 2 littlest girls (the oldest 3 kids stayed with Grandma) and came back home around 7pm.  In Pembina I had a number of parcels waiting for me, including a sink, some faucets, door levers and kitchen cabinet hardware (and school curriculum but that is not house related).  Then in GF, we picked up the last toilet, some more faucet/shower items, and some recessed lighting.  We had wanted to get even more recessed lighting but they were out of stock.  We also went to a flooring store and fell in love with a pecan flooring.  At $10+ per sq.ft, we are looking at other places to get the same item for a better price.

The guys also worked on the insulation stops up in the trusses.  Those are pieces of cardboard that are stapled in place at the end of the truss - it holds the insulation in the attic while creating an airspace needed for the ventilated soffits.

Earlier this week, Jay spent quite a bit of time adding fill in front of the house to bring up the level to where it needs to be.  That means we no longer need the temporary steps at the front of the house.  He also filled in some of the missing OSB on the front of the house in the lounge area.

We also installed almost all the windows on the second storey. I love our windows. I love our rain glass obscured windows in our Master Bath. The texture is so fun! We ran into a snag with our rake head window for our lounge (the pointed window has been made with the wrong pitch) but are working with the window company on that.

I also learned this week that our kitchen cabinets will be delivered at the very end of the month.  There is no way we will be ready for them at that point so will we need to figure out a place to store them.  Hopefully at that point we are drywalling and will be able to move them into the garage shortly after that.  I really look forward to opening one of the boxes and seeing my cabinets in person. 

Praise the Lord, this week we actually got rain.  The first rains started on Wednesday evening when we were working at the house.  All of us were thankful the roof is almost all shingled which meant we could stay dry in the house.  Our evening was cut short, though, when the power went out due to the storm.  Trying to load everyone back into the van without them getting too wet and muddy was a bit of a challenge but we did it.  The power was only restored the next morning so the generator had to be used for a bit again.

I don't know all that this week holds but I sure hope we are able to finish up all of the framing stuff so we can finally get the inspector in and move onto the next stage.  We have to add all the interior strapping, rough-in electrical and the insulation before we can drywall.   We have 3 full weeks to finish all that in order to get the drywallers in the last week of August.  We may be spending a few more evenings on the site but since I strung up lights, we can work much longer into the evening.


  1. It's looking like this project is coming along nicely. Are you going to sort insulation out for the walls and the loft now or wait until things are a little further along? Or have you already done it and I missed it.

    1. Insulation for the walls will be going up in the next 3 weeks and the ceiling sometime after the drywall so it doesn't all fall through to the house! :)

  2. It looks fantastic!! Once again, I'm inspired to go build something!


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