Thursday, August 26, 2010

The North Wall

Even though it looks like not much progress has been made since the last blog, I swear we haven’t been slacking. Well, except for the blog author, he’s always slacking.

After we topped the west wall, we decided to work our way around the north wall, leaving the south wall for the grand finale. In order to do this we built up a small section on the east wall bringing it up to the four foot level of the north wall.

Setting forms where there wasn’t anything to set them on proved to be difficult. What we did was used 2x4 stilts. This in its self wasn’t the difficult part. What was tough was plumbing and leveling forms that were basically hovering in the air. Once we got everything straight and true, the pouring wasn’t anything different.

Also, in the spirit of multi-tasking, the well has been drilled and Jenn started doing the pointing. The well is 190 feet deep and the water line is fished in under the foundation. The water has been sent to the lab and we are eagerly awaiting the results.

It didn’t take Jenn long to get her pointing system down. Just like everything else, it takes longer than we would have thought but she’s getting pretty good at it. We plan to do a before and after of the pointing process, but we haven't gotten around to it yet.

Even Bailey came out to help.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

We Top The West Wall

Well, despite the heat and ridiculous humidity, our crew has completed a portion of our house all the way to the top. The west wall is topped. We leap frogged our forms up to the 9'4" total wall height using scaffolding and ladders. The work gets tougher the higher you get, but thankfully it's also exciting the closer you get to the top. The bandanas may make us look like really cool pirates, but they actually serve a purpose. It keeps the sun off my shaved head and allows more air flow than my ball cap, which I think just received it's sixth layer of dirt and portland cement. Oh and .... ARRRRR shiver me timbers!

In the last set of forms we embedded threaded rod into the wall every two feet. When the wall is completed all the way around, we will use the threaded rod to attach wooden sill plates in order to fasten the roof trusses.

Once the concrete was all the way to the top of the forms I used a piece of 2x4 to screed them smooth. I also troweled them to make them look more finished (I don't have a picture of that). I don't think it was necessary, but I had the trowel and I couldn't just leave it.

Today, we went out there and removed the forms so that we could ooh and ahh over our beautiful stone wall. We recovered most of the sand that was used to keep the concrete from oozing out all over the faces of the stones. What was remaining we hosed off so that the paparazzi could snap a few photos.

As a special feature, we placed a heart shaped stone over our first door box. We plan to put them over all the doors.

And, voila!

Oh look, it's the happy homesteaders in their natural environment.