Monday, November 29, 2010

Putting The Roof On

For all intents and purposes winter is here in ND. Sure it is still technically Fall, but our daytime temperatures are no longer breaking 32 degrees. You would think that I would be really worried about getting a roof on our house. I would be, except after thought and consideration we decided to contract it out to a professional. Were it mid September I think we would have tried it ourselves, but at this stage of the game speed is important.

At first we contacted a truss company, but because of the complexity of the loads, they recommended having it hand built. They also recommended a framer. We couldn’t be happier with the contractor that is going to put the roof on. We haven’t seen his work yet, but he has been very easy to work with and very patient with us first time owner-builders.

Before he could get his job done we had a little work to do. We needed to put the wall plates on the top of our stone walls (I apparently forgot to take a picture of this, I will next time we go out). In order to do that, I ground down any high spots we had on top of the wall. This wasn’t rocket science but it was a dusty, messy job.

Once we had it ground down to an acceptable level, we proceeded with the plates. We chose to put down AC2 treated 2x12s. Normally I wouldn’t be a fan of treated lumber, but these days they say it is safe (no longer contains arsenic). I still wouldn't use it near plants or crops but in this application it seemed fitting. A note of caution here, only certain fasteners work with AC2 lumber. It can be corrosive so make sure you use approved materials such as hot dipped galvanized or stainless steel. Before putting the 2x12s on top of the wall we put on a double layer of 30 pound roofing felt. I call it cheap insurance against moisture.

We are also working on putting in the window and door bucks. I don't have photos of the complete process yet, but here is what it looks like when they are in. I will document the whole process in the next blog.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Taking The Forms Off And Back Filling

After finishing the stonework, we had a date with the scaffolding one more time. We had to get all those forms off. It took some time but it felt good to be done with form work for the year.

Now that the walls are up we decided we better get the back filling done before winter rears its ugly head. The code book has a chart containing the R-Value and dimensions of the insulation required for frost protected shallow foundations. The chart references the amount of heating degree days in your area. You don't have to understand heating degree days, just be able to read a map.

We put in a loop of drain pipe around the footing to drain water away from the foundation. In order to maintain the right slope, our method was to snap a chalk line and then make a ridge out of gravel to rest the pipe on. It worked pretty well.

We also insulated the berm wall.

Then we called on Jenn's Uncle Tom to help us out once again. It was only fitting that the man that made the hole, filled it in.

He did a great job and this is what it looked like at the end of the day.

Here's our stonework with the forms removed and the sand washed off.