Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July Update

Wow, I can't believe it's been over a month since I updated the blog! Summer is here and we have been super busy - that's why!

There is still so much left to do but it is starting to feel like we are actually going to be able to move in this fall!  Each day I get up and think about what I can do. We still have some big projects, like wall plastering and floor pouring - but there are a lot of little projects that need doing as well so when I can't work on a big project, I work on a small one.

Flagstone Toe-Up & Banco

In the sunspace where the flagstone floor is I decided I needed to do a toe-up to protect the walls when wet moping the flagstone. We were gifted a bunch of flagstone strips that turned out to be just the ticket!
All the pieces were pretty uniform. It was just a matter of finding the ones that went together. Here they are laid out, ready to mortar.


There were so many pieces of flagstone that I decided to see if they could be used to top the bancos in the sunspace. To break up the linear aspect of the pieces we added some irregular pieces of flagstone and some slate that I picked up in Death Valley many, many years ago. 

In order to keep track of how the pieces went, we used a piece of sheet rock on which all the pieces were transferred just like they were to be on the banco. Then they could be placed one or two at a time. Worked pretty well!

Shower Pan

Another "small" project that needed to be done before a lot of other things can be done was the shower pan. That was Rick's project.


In between big projects I've been getting the fill coat done on the inside walls.

In preparation for plastering the adobe wall, I needed to cover all the gringo blocks and wood window frames with burlap and mud slip.

Ceiling Insulation

By far the biggest project we accomplished this last month was blowing in the ceiling insulation!  We chose to use cellulose not only for the "greeness" of it but also because it's so much easier to work with. In all honesty I can not imagine blowing in the amount of fiberglass it would have taken to do this job! The cellulose was dusty beyond description but at least it wasn't something we had to wear haz-mat suits to do!

The really funny thing was that the product we used - GreenFiber - came from Charlotte, NC - my hometown. As I was stuffing it into the blower I imagined that all that recycled paper from my home state was going to help keep us comfortable year round out here in the wilds of New Mexico!
So, here's the set up. I stood at the blower - that green box on the left - and broke up the insulation - the bags in the center (that pile is just a fraction of what was used!) - into the blower. Rick was inside - inside the ceiling, actually - holding the hose. It wasn't hard work but it was tiring!  AND DUSTY!!!

I wanted to get a picture of us in our blowing garb but at the end of the day, was too tired to do it.

We had left a slot three t&g boards wide throughout the whole house so that Rick could access the "attic". We had to come up with something to keep the insulation from falling out and came up with the idea of using the roofing underlayment. Worked great!
This is Rick admiring his handy work at the end of a day of blowing.

We are using rough cut 1x6s for trim.

We still have some t&g to install in the studio and office but ALL of the insulation is DONE!! What we have found is that now that the house is totally insulated the temperature only fluctuates about 6 or 7 degrees in a 24 hour period - and we've had some 90°+ days!

Now that the ceiling is just about done, we will be focusing on plastering the walls and pouring the floors. More building sand has been ordered and adobes for the floor will be here in a couple of days. We have been having rain almost every afternoon and evening - over 2" in the last two nights - so the ground is very wet! Hopefully it will dry out soon so I can dig mud for the plaster!!!


  1. Katy, this is looking great! It seems like you guys are definitely on the downhill slope of this project, looks it's really coming together. I was wondering, where did you pick up the insulation blower? Was that a rental?

  2. We got the insulation at Lowe's and the blower came with it. We didn't have to rent - just a security deposit.

  3. Not a bad deal. Thanks for the info Katy.

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