Sunday, April 22, 2012

The view from the Youngsville Post Office.  It is really starting to look like something!

Thinking ahead

We continue to work on the framing.  Additional 2x8s still need to be installed over the large windows and sliding glass doors.  We got started on that yesterday.

I am hoping that trusses will get ordered next week - that is the next big phase!  Ordering trusses will be a huge step.  In the mean time, I'm doing things around the site that don't necessarily add to the building process but need doing like picking up all the wood bits and pieces that have become strewn around the site (my healing ankle doesn't need things to step on that will re-injure it!)

Another thing that needed to be done was move the pile of dirt in the garage into the house proper.  The pile has been bothering me for quite a while but it was one of those things that I kept putting of doing.  It was a real pain to work around and I figured that wasn't going to change so move it I did.  It got moved into the house to fill in around the foundation in preparation for our earthen floors.
The garage before dirt removal.
This may not LOOK like a big pile but when trying to work around it, it was huge. 
After dirt removal
Dirt added around the foundation, filling in a gap that was there from the grade beam pour.

"Earthen Floors?" you say?  Yes, that's right!  Earthen floors have been the tradition in this neck of the woods for many generations and while some of them look as you might imagine, if done properly and sealed well, they are beautiful and durable.  There will be some places where we may use tile or even adobe bricks but the bulk of the house will have earthen floors.  We have decided to do this for a number of reasons.  One: while it will be somewhat labor intensive, there will be no materials costs except for the linseed oil we will use to seal it.  (Traditionally, ox blood was used.) We will be getting the dirt for the floors from our friend Ramey as our dirt is too silty.  Two: it is in keeping with our decision to build as earth-friendly a house as we possibly can. Three: earthen floors are much easier on the joints to stand on than cement!  Last but not least:  Earthen floors are just plain beautiful!  Some of the floors I've seen look like beautiful aged leather.  They almost glow.  And I love the idea of having Mother Earth right beneath my feet all the time!  I went to the internet and found some pictures of what earthen floors can look like.  (My apologies to the original photographers for "borrowing" their pictures.)

Earthen floors are poured just like you would cement but in much smaller batches.  We will probably do two pours of about 1" deep each.  After the floors have dried, they will be sealed with linseed oil.  We will, of course, document the whole process.

This upcoming week may be spent in the garden.  The house has been taking up all of our time and the garden needs to be planted!  But we're taking today off!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Am definitely interested in following your progress on the earthen floors; we will be doing the same.
    Hope you are having beautiful weather there!