Archive for January, 2008

tuesday is combo day.

January 30, 2008


for the low price of getting up early and making many phone calls, you too can have

1 framing job completely finished (even soffit!)

2 inches of closed cell foam applied under your subfloor

and a large helping of corrugated siding.

and because the sun was shining and the wind was blowing, spring-like, we also gardened and took a lovely walk, visiting various eastside neighbors. there was an hour when i was a public safety hazard, because i went to mccoy’s to buy wood i wasn’t expecting to need, and the only available vehicle was my friend/neighbor’s minivan. it was a squeeze, but 25 mph later with red flag blowing behind and the trunk open all the way (i really hope i didn’t lose a stroller out the back), i delivered 34 12′ 2×4’s to the mpv’s of today, claudio and primo, who finished all the other work by 11:30 and said sure, they could build frames for all the skirting. ! we now have one more weekend than we did this am.

skirting frame

that’s the framing. and the 2×4’s in the foreground are the extras i can return because they decided to use as much scrap lumber as possible to save me money! any builder reading this will understand my shock. i think this perhaps qualifies us for a green building point or two.


these are the foam covered men under the house. they almost got skirted in, but los hombres mentioned above very carefully left them one exit point.

here’s a shot of some of the insulation.


and some siding:


lastly, the end of day time lapse. tomorrow may very well bring the end of siding and roofing will follow closely thereafter.



have you ever lay awake late at night, wondering if you needed to get an engineer to draw a roof framing plan, and now you have a roof, but no framing plan, and, heavens, how will you ever pass the framing inspection?

January 29, 2008

that was me.  i fretted.  i talked to taylor.  i did pray about it, but i still lay awake wondering if i should call the engineer who designed our foundation but is seriously amazing and this isn’t something i should bother him about (he’s a pier expert).  or if i should call the company that does the other stage inspections and ask them to cobble together something after the fact and hope that i didn’t screw up by telling the framers that whatever they thought would be good would be good.  aieeeeeeeeee.

so i thought all weekend.  i lay awake.  i woke up early with my stomach turning over.  hello?  it’s a framing plan for a roof that i already have.  but the inexorable logic of it didn’t really seep into my being until late in the weekend, and then i looked worried one moment and spouse asks, ‘are you worried?  what are you thinking about?’ and i tell him, and he just laughs.  i realize i’m a dope, but it was great to be told that there are things to worry about in life, and plans for roofs that you already have aren’t those.

so, bright and early monday morning, deep breath, but no terror…….i call the head inspector for the company i’ve been using, and ask, apologetically and perhaps a little overwhelmingly beseechingly, if i need a roof framing plan, because, well, i have this roof, and i did discuss it with the other engineer, yada, yada, yada.

‘is this commercial or residential?’


‘nope.  you’re fine.  we’ll look at it and then the city inspector will look at it.  that’s all you need.’

i have never been more aware of how stupid worrying about tomorrow is.  there’s this part of the book of matthew in the bible that makes the case for not-worrying so well i have committed it to memory, mostly because i always find myself worrying.  it was idiotic to waste any stomach acid on that one.

ok, enough about my mental status over the weekend.  lesson learned, i hope.  things are happening in infill-ville.  the metal cornice is going into place.


i think it’s great that the flashing around the bottom of the cedar matches the windows and also the corner pieces.  perhaps i’m just saying that so maybe you’ll notice.  i’m enjoying consistency of theme – the simplicity of it, and the ease with which we can make decisions based on it.

also being carefully assembled is the metal siding :  they started at the back of the house, so in this picture the guys are all standing on the pool cover (osb and 2×4’s) working.  you can see easily how much of a squeeze the pool was/is.


the week looks to be busy, which i’m thrilled about.  tomorrow is supposed to be insulation of underhouse and underbalcony spaces, meeting with plumber, 2 framers doing finish-up work like missing boards and window caulking, and more metal.  and in between, the small enthusiastic ones and i will be gardening in the community garden.  we have the goal of planting lettuce in february, but that will mean a lot of mulching and turning of earth.

so……… about that roof.

January 27, 2008

it didn’t start.  just had to say that.  lots of time today in a dress, heels (hello?!), and sitting talking to friends, followed by changing out of dress and heels and chatting with more friends.  followed by shopping with our kids for cheap clearance clothes (they each got $50 to spend on their own clothes), and then more standing around and talking with friends, after which i returned home to, well, sit and talk to more friends.  and now it isn’t saturday anymore, so i can say that the roof should start tomorrow.  here’s hoping for a packed and speedy week.


January 26, 2008

is beautiful house numbers.


lunch out with friends

time to hug the boys and drink an entire french press in front of the fire without microwaving anything

a waterproof shower pan


news from the roofer/waterproofers that they’re starting tomorrow!

remnants of a party in a house that doesn’t even have heat


being content in slow weeks and fast weeks, late nights, and still enjoying this process. (perhaps even enjoying it more as it goes on…)

errand running and trim painting

January 25, 2008

there are many ways to fill a rainy week, and with one house going up and another prepping to go ‘out,’ so to speak, there are more things to do than we can possibly dream of doing. rooms around our house are being prettified, neatened, puttied, and primped. lots and lots of paint has been and will be rolled and brushed (i do trim, the man does rolling), and the closets are being leveled, as we had a completely empty one before. where will we live if the house sells fast? only god knows. but things are set to keep moving on the new, so we’ve got to get hopping up here.

while i wasn’t posting, i was back in the land of way-too-many-phone-calls. of course, that means i’m at home, where i concurrently wash dishes (i always seem to be washing dishes and wiping counters), talk to males, answer questions, read notes, try to remember what i’m aiming for that day (goals, you know, gotta have goals), and call people on the phone. sometimes it’s a little harried. but in the past four days, in addition to fiberglassing and independent gate-fixing at the community garden, we picked a: security company, tile installer (showers and floors), stove, and wood floor. there’s something to be said for forward progress, even if only preparatory.

so tomorrow we’re back to the cold outdoors, where the house will be wired for alarm, the metal for roofing/siding/corners/window flashing/fascia (that’s the edge of the roof) will all arrive on a trailer, and we’ll probably chat with some neighbors and see some friends. and maybe break out before rush hour?

some have asked when our projected finish date is… perhaps march? if things continue the way they have, we’ll be easily done in march. but, things don’t tend to speed along in all parts of a house. i’m going to be doing my best to stack everyone up as fast as i can, but i know we’re set for some long nights and weekends of wood floor and wall panel installation ourselves (you can’t pay drywall crews to put in not-drywall), so we shall see.

pit-pat. pit-a-pat. pit-a-pit-a-pat.

January 22, 2008

oh, the rain came down.

it poured and poured.

‘wet feet.’…’wet face.  water in my eyes.’

‘mud…mud, mud, mud.’

-in the rain with baby duck by amy hest

that was a backhanded recommendation for a kid’s book, but also a great summary of urban infill this week – rainy.  the one thing we’re waiting on right now is clear skies, for the only thing left before rough inspections (framing, mech, elec, plumbing) is roofing.  and you can’t put on a torch-down roof in the rain.  so perhaps the end of the week?

on a happy note, that means i was at home all day, in front of the fire with my spouse, reading roots (a very little), drinking coffee, and calling tile guys to gather bids for floors and showers.  there is one interesting note regarding these tile bids, but one that has applied across the board in building thus far:  the disparity in bids is astounding, to the point that i wonder how some of the men/companies/crews ever get any business.  i feel grateful to have found disparity, as it means there is actually a low bidder (or 2), but in a three bid system [which i use every time i can find three qualified, well recommended options] i would not have expected such price variation.

so, tomorrow may bring fiberglassing of the two shower pans, which i’ll be sure to capture on film, though i hear is noxious to the point of sickness.  i used the wonders of the internets and craig’s list today to buy cedar sealant with no shipping and post the job of painting the sealant in ‘work gigs.’  i received over 20 offers before i pulled the post, and start interviewing tomorrow.  i am learning the value of delegating, even though it’s my own money i’m spending.  specialization means i can still read to my sons occasionally and not spend hours in the car every day gathering and searching.

grateful for a rainy day.

forgive me for waffling here, but it’s not too bad today, and i was just thinking

January 19, 2008

if you aren’t doing anything, why don’t you come to the house anyhow?  it’s cold, but wear some warm clothes, as my mom likes to say.  and if you really need to, bring along an americano.

we’ll still start at 4, forgive the mud on the stairs, and pass the word.

abort! abort!

January 18, 2008

the lot is a mud pit!

i wore inches of mud on my shoes to the dump!

i wore it all over my self home again!

and buckets and buckets of water have been vaccuumed out of the house!  (the wet-dry vac has never been so loved)

we promise to reschedule.  there is already a small keg of nxnw pale ale waiting, and a lot of pork roast for tacos on the egg.  today the framers finished, minus a few correctables for a convenient moment.  there is also a door handle and lock on the front door.  wow, eh?  like a real house.

best moment of the day was standing in the back of the truck at the dump, birds circling in every direction, as i shoved schmuck out with gusto in the rain, wet up to my knees, smiled at all the guys in even bigger trucks all around me, and relished the fact that i was the only girl around.  i couldn’t feel my hands, and i didn’t quit.

ahhhhhhhhh, entrepreneurship.

January 18, 2008

friday, 6:22am.

wool socks? check.

wool sweater? check.

funky jeans with lots of pockets? check.

orange bank of georgia hat for rain? check.

big big big ford ranger for going to dump? check.

roots (by alex haley) to read later? check.

invoice for first roofing draw? check.

list of people to call today, scribbled hastily in front of fire last night right when i walked in the door so that i could actively put it out of my mind before dinner and playing a family game of ‘ticket to ride: europe’? check.

creativity and determination? i hope………. check.

coffee?  gotta press publish, and then check.


January 18, 2008

for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to harvest.

a time to break down, and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.

people all around me these days, as i am raw in moments and ways that i don’t like, because i’m fundamentally uncomfortable with people seeing glimpses of me that i don’t see of myself.  i relish and have learned to relish honesty, but dang, if it isn’t tough to know that people are seeing into my very soul and seeing its faults, and then to realize that they don’t hate me.

i am insecure.  and therefore shocked as i look back on all these weeks of being me, that our friends and neighbors and relatives and my very own wonderful mother have so many encouraging things to say, and chastising things to say, and give well meant pieces of advice not just about building but about being.  i am being built in this process of building.  and i never knew how many people i need and delight in – and not a moment of ingratitude do i want to have.

i have had moments of anger and afternoons of stomachaches because of people dynamics at the house that stress me completely.  i have never worked before.  i have never been the boss.  i want everyone to like everything all the time in every way (an absolute impossibility).  and then i dump all this on the people who drive by or call.  and they don’t hate me for it?

thank you.  and just in case our kids read this, i never ever ever tell them i love them enough.  every night when i go to bed i wish i could have done a better job of just kissing them more.  they are quite good sweepers (don’t call cps, please.  they are also doing history and spelling and math).  and they’re silly and eager and random.  and ari today told the head roofing and metal siding guy that maybe santa should use gasoline instead of reindeer. ?

it was really really cold today, and for some reason i didn’t wear warm clothing.  i will try tomorrow, mom.  wearing the $1.25 sweater present brought to me on monday (pure lambswool goodwill warmth) i’m sure finishing framing up will be great.  that’s right folks.  we’re moving on.

and, for the record, siding a three and a 1/2 story stair tower is time consuming.  the daily picture:


thanks for checking in.