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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Team Work

We continue to inch along with the instillation of the OSB roof decking.  This is a big/hard job.  Those sheets of OSB are heavy and unwieldy and they have to go UP a long way. It became obvious very quickly that Working Together - understanding where the other person is and where they are going and what they are doing and what you need to do -  was the only way this job was going to get done with just the two of us.  Rick works on the outside using the extension ladder and cleats screwed on to the decking.  I'm inside on top of the scaffolding.  Rick pushes the OSB up, I grab it and pull the rest of the way then we nail it on together.  Then move the scaffolding, the gizmo and ladder, grab another piece of OSB and up it goes. Sometimes we can get two pieces up before moving the gizmo and ladder but the scaffolding has to be moved each time - and it's a heavy sucker!!! Moving all the bits actually takes as long - if not longer - then the actual instillation but it has to be done.  We are finally getting into a rhythm though, so it's going a little faster.

A note here:  You might ask why we don't hire some help?  Well, we've talked about it and the truth is that money is a real factor in this whole project.  We are really trying to do this and pay as we go.  It is going to cost a lot to get the electrical done (Rick decided that that was one piece of the project he really didn't want to do so we are hiring someone for that) so anywhere we can save will mean more money in the "electrical kitty."  And - we really do want to see how much we can do ourselves.  We will not, however, turn away offered help.

So, piece by piece the roof decking is going up.

North side

West side

East side
These pictures represent about five days work.

Our friends Steve & Karen (they own the property with us) came up for the weekend and we were able to get a lot more done!  It makes a huge difference having two more sets of hands and eyes and working together was a breeze!

This picture just shows what a bunch of old farts can do when they put their minds to it.

Everyone who helps on the house gets to sign it somewhere.  Here's Karen adding her signature.

 After a weekend of work great progress has been made!  Thanks guys!

Two more days work and we've finished the second course on the north side of the house.  While the monsoon rains have started to diminish for the time being the afternoons are now starting to get hot again.  (It was 90° when we stopped for the day today.)  It's baking up there on the roof - not good for us old folks - so we decided that for the time being we will work in the mornings, get all set up for the next day's work after lunch so that we're not up there in the heat of the day.  Our goal is to complete the decking and get the framing inspection done before August 28th when our friend Dennis will be back to help with the rest of the roofing - which I think is doable.  Wish us luck!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Inching Along

So it's now time to start adding the OSB sheathing to the roof.  This is something neither one of us have ever done so it's a bit daunting, to say the least!  Those sheets of OSB are heavy and the roof is high!  We needed something to help us get them up so Rick constructed another gizmo - something else he found in one of our many books on homebuilding.

It worked great and made it so we don't have to lift the OSB so much.

But as we're installing the first sheets we start to notice that things aren't so square.  We stand back and realize that in the days since the trusses went up, the sun, rain and wind have caused them to start to warp.  After much mulling and discussion and standing back and just staring, we decided we needed to check the space between each truss as we go so out came the spacers.  This turned into a pretty tedious job.

Two days later and all we've managed to get up has been 7 1/2 sheets.  The weather has played a part in that (you can see the clouds in the pictures) but our caution has played a bigger part.  When you're not quite sure what you're doing, you tend to go slower - and we certainly have been going slow.  Do we go all the way to the peak as we go or do we do one or two courses all the way around?  How are we going to get to the top?  What is it going to feel like to be up there even using 2 x 4 cleats?  Are there any other gizmos we could build that will help (no).  What will we do if we get all the way around and things don't match up?  The discussions have been endless. 

The OSB will only go to the edge of the walls.  On the overhangs we will use three 1 x 4s under the roofing material so we decided that maybe the best course of action would be to install the first 1 x 4 all the way around which would allow us to make sure all the trusses are spaced correctly and will give us an edge on which to set the first course of OSB - plus it's an easy task <G>   So yesterday, that's what we did.

This phase seem endless.  There's a LOT of OSB to install!  So I've found myself remembering how much gravel I had to shovel and how long that took and I realize that we just have to take it one sheet at a time!  Hopefully now that we've gotten this far and are feeling a little more confident, the process will go faster.

As I was getting the pictures ready for this post I came across the folder of pictures from a year ago.  That's when I was shlepping gravel!  It's good to look back and see just how far we have come!  It's encouraging!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Final Rafter Work

We have one more rafter to make - the gable-end overhang rafter - before we can start installing the OSB sheathing on the roof.  But before we got to that all the attic rafters needed stabilizing.  We've put a couple of pieces of OSB on the rafters that allow us to work up there without the need of the scaffolding but there was a lot of wobbling so spacers needed to be attached to minimize that.

Rick found a great tip in one of the many reference books we've been using.  You set a nail in each end and bend it over so that you can hang the spacer in place to nail it.  It worked great!  It frees up your hands so that you're not holding the spacer in place while you're trying to attach it.  The picture on the right shows most of the spacers in place.  What a difference they made!

Next we needed to construct the rafter.  We did it much the same way we did the last rafter we installed but there the similarities stopped.  This rafter was going to be more complex and a lot harder to install.

Here Rick is measuring for the joist hangers that needed to be attached for the spacers.

To get this rafter up we were going to need help - at least mechanical help!  Rick built a "gizmo" that attached to the existing trusses and stuck out with a pulley on the end.  Here he is attaching it in place.

Gizmo in place ready to attach to rafter.  The top of the roof pitch is 17' above ground!  This was going to be challenging!!!

Rafter is attached and the lifting process begun. You can see the decorative gusset on the front of the rafter.

Finally up!  This was not an easy job - even with the gizmo!  And there were times when I questioned whether we'd get it up at all.  I know we would not have been able to do it without the gizmo!!!!

End of first day's work!  At least it's up.  

Second day - most of the spacers are in.

Here Rick is toenailing spacers into truss - just to make sure . . . 

Good Job!!!!  

Looks good!

Here's a better view of the decorative gusset.  Nice touch, I think!

All the truss work is done!  Now it's time to start getting the OSB sheathing up.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Family Affair

Between the very hot weather and Rick's work, progress on the house has been slow to non-existant.  Family arrived on June 28th and while we needed to play tour guides, we did manage to get some things done.  The small trusses on the hip roof needed to be installed and some gussets needed to be added on the back side of the beam across the opening to the garage.  Diagonal strapping also had to be installed.

But first a little play.  Our grandsons, Kyler and Riley thought the scaffolding made a wonderful jungle gym!

Here's my niece, Caroline, putting up one last piece of the bond beam that we had forgotten.  She drove all the way out from North Carolina and brought her hammer (that was her late-father's) and a couple of nail pouches - also her late father's.  After a couple of hammer strikes, she started feeling more comfortable with her role as house-builder-helper and did a wonderful job.

Here's Rick and my son, Dylan, getting ready to install the final trusses.

Almost done with the last of the trusses.
Dylan nailing up one of the gussets at the back of the big posts at the garage opening.

Daughter-in-law, Julia, nailing up the other gusset while Kyler and Riley hand her nails.

Because they were such good helpers, they got to add their names (and hand prints) to the framing of our house.

Caroline and Rick adding strapping to the inside of the big garage beams.  The wood for these beams was pretty green when we got it so we added these straps to help keep them from twisting as they dry.

The day I had to take my son and his family to the airport, Caroline and Rick installed diagonal strapping.

It was wonderful having my family out here to help.  Their energy will forever be a part of our house.  Now to get them back to help with the plastering!!!!

July 8th

All of the manufactured trusses were finally up but there was one that still need to be constructed and installed.  We will have a pull down stair in the garage that will lead up to the storage area above the garage.  In hind sight we could have had them construct a regular attic truss for us that we could have modified but we didn't realize that at the time so we had to build one.

Installing this truss really made me appreciate even more the help we had with all the other trusses!  And to think that we thought we could do it by ourselves - not!  This truss wasn't big but it was a challenge for just the two of us to get it up.  We did it, though, so now our house doesn't look like it's missing a tooth!
This is Rick installing the framing for the opening where the drop down ladder will go.

After much heave-hoing and up and downing (Rick had to go from one side to the other, up and down the ladders a number of times, in order for us to get the thing centered correctly) we managed to get it in the right position!  I'm still not sure how we did it but all of a sudden it was right!  Must be a Spirit truss!

Done!  Just a couple of braces yet to add.

The final roofing project before sheathing and roofing material can be installed will be to build the extension that goes out over the garage end but that's for another day.