Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays!!!

The holidays are here once again and work continues at a slow but steady pace. This time last year we had just started putting up the straw walls! My, what a difference a year makes!

We still have inside plumbing stuff that needs to happen but in the meantime we are doing what we can. More drywall has been installed.
We finished the wall between the living room and studio. That's a lot of wall!

This is the wall in the sun space.

And this is my pantry! (Oh what dreams I have for this space!)

The drywall is really starting to give a sense of "house" to the place and while there's still drywall that we can do, we decided to focus on the tongue & groove ceiling because once that is done, we will be able to blow in the insulation which will make the house a lot more comfortable!

The T&G is Aspen and is really beautiful!  We have 10' lengths and with the help of the handy, dandy BoWrench that Rick found online we are able to put up full 10' lengths. This tool is the greatest thing since sliced bread and has really made this phase of the building project pretty easy. It's definitely easier than putting up the roof!!!
This is the office ceiling.  This end of the house has a hip roof which is going to make the ceiling a bit challenging. We've installed all the T&G up to the hip part. We still have to figure out how we're going to do the rest.

Until we do, we have moved into the rest of the house. As I mentioned above, there is still some plumbing venting that needs to be installed so we're working around those areas.

This is looking down the hall towards the office and studio.

The ceiling in the sun space is done up to within a foot or two of the peak. The space that is left will allow us to get up there to blow in the insulation. The picture doesn't do the wood justice - it is really beautiful.

We are currently working in the living room.

Now that winter and the holidays are upon us, it's good to take time to reflect on the past year and all our many blessings.  Most of our blessings are in the form of friends. We are so blessed to be living in a place that is not only beautiful but where we are surrounded by wonderful people. Their support - both moral and physical - has made this project a joy. From the loaning of tools to the hands-on help, we wouldn't be this far along without them!!!

So - to all of our friends and family near and far we wish you all the best this holiday season and for the New Year. We hope to see you all out here soon!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Winter is Here!

Winter arrived this week with a vengeance! While we didn't have a ton of snow (maybe 3 inches) we had horrible wind and now it's bitterly cold! Needless to say, we are grateful for the wood burning stove. While the lack of insulation in the ceiling allows heat loss, the fire does provide warmth enabling us to continue work - which we're doing. (I keep reminding myself - and Rick - that this time last year we were stacking bales and all we had for protection was plastic!)

Tongue & Groove, "Lintels" and Drywall

We've got two major tasks ahead of us: installing the tongue and groove ceiling and drywall on the framed walls.

Slip had to be applied to the top of the bales before we could start on the T&G. Once the slip was done baffles had to be installed between the trusses to allow air flow.

With baffles done we could finally start on the T&G BUT we could only do two courses because cob had to be stuffed in the crack between the T&G and the wall. Our walls aren't very even so there were gaps of varying sizes. If we didn't stuff cob in the cracks we would risk losing a lot of insulation once we start blowing it in. Thankfully I was able to get the cob work done before the bitter cold hit us.
Here you can see where the cob was stuffed in the cracks.

This is looking from above. The T&G is on the bottom right.

Tongue & Groove

In order to make sure the first course of T&G was level all around the whole house, we used a water level to mark all the trusses.
Rick using the water level

A test.


First piece nailed up!

First two courses.

Three courses in the living room!


We didn't have to install lintels above all the doors and windows - we used boxes attached to the trusses to hold the bales instead - but we decided we did want the "look" of lintels so we got some rough cut 2 x 6s and cut them to fit. We're very happy with the way they look.


Before we did all the rest of T&G we decided we wanted to put up the drywall first. That way the T&G will butt up to the drywall instead of the other way around. We figured it would be easier that way.

We are total novices at drywall (as we have been with most of the tasks involved in building this house!) so we started in the studio. The studio walls will be mostly covered by model train layout and shelves so we could practice here without worrying too much about the way it looks.

Studio wall from the living room.

Bottom half of the wall done!

The high today is supposed to be in the mid 20s but there's a fire in the stove and it's sunny so after lunch we will be back out there putting up more drywall. Things are moving along.