Browsing Archives for March 2008

Ridge Beam – The one at the very very top

Header – The wide board above the doors and the windows.

Purlins – The horizontal wood pieces on the trusses.

Joist – The heavy duty wood boards that support the floor

Riser – The “up” part of the stair

Tread – The “step” part of the stair

Gypsum – Also known as sheet rock – but saying gypsum makes you sound smart.

Friese Board – The trim piece that outlines the gable

Rafter – Old school roof construction. Like they made back in pioneer times. They built the roof on our house this way cause it was so dad blamed steep.

Truss – Factory made roof parts ordered and delivered to the site. The barn roof is constructed of trusses. We designed half of the trusses in a traditional manner and half we designed to house a loft, up under that there barn roof.

Sheet Rock

March 3rd, 2008

The sheet rock is going up, very slowly. But I have gotten used to the slow building pace. There are even some good things to be said about slow building. You can make changes and it is no big deal. You can move outlets from one side of the house to the other. You could even re-wire and or re-plumb the ENTIRE house. There is never really a rush. You also get to know the men working on your house.

Out here in these parts we don’t have many big sheet rock crews, roofing crews, or electric crews – and our contractor seems to prefer the single man operation when subcontracting out jobs. So these various subcontractors are around for several days to weeks, depending on the task, and you get to know them. There are certain advantages to this. They can’t get really angry with you for asking them to move that light fixture just a little more to the right – and then the next day maybe just seven more inches to the right and then the next day. I think I liked it better in the first location… if they know they have to see you the next day and the next day and the next day. You learn to get along.

The country doctor and I were visiting the work site together and the builders and the electrician were taking their morning break with a box of donuts and coffee. They were talking about sheet rockers and how difficult their job is. Lifting the 9′ X 4′ sheets overhead and holding them in place, while screwing it in – even with the proper tools this is a back breaking job.

The country doctor mentioned that he takes care of a few men who have bad backs, bad ankles, spongy knees, crackly hips, elbow no bendo, necks that have gone soggy, and fingers that hang uselessly from their hands. He asks them what they do for a living.


Then Larry the electrician piped up. He said that he knew of a small wiry fellow who amazed him with his ability to lift the heavy boards of sheet rock and install it. One day he asked the man how he did it? The man replied…

“Sometimes I fill my shorts with blood.”

And so with that bit of wisdom , the coffee break came to an end.

Countdown to Move In

March 3rd, 2008

Oh Dear – I am afraid that the next few weeks are going to be a hectic spasm of activity. Here is what has to be done before we move in on July 1.

1. Paint all interior walls three times (one coat primer, two coats color) – this is my job, I primed the upstairs this weekend.

2. Paint all ceilings – Dennis and Jordan’s job.

3. Drag reluctant tile contractor by his throat to the house and get him to install a tile floor in at least ONE bathroom, so we can have a functioning bathroom when we move in. I feel certain I am going to have to stand over him with a hack saw and a gleam in my eye until he is done.

4. Install wood floors throughout entire main floor (Country Doctor’s job)

5. Move contents of current house to new house. (all warm bodies in family will work on this).

6. Have lateral field installed and hooked to house so that we can flush.

7. Hang light fixtures

8. Install carpet in upstairs bedrooms.

There are many many other things that have to happen before the house in finished – like paint cabinets, install cabinets, tile other bathrooms, trim entire house, install plumbing fixtures, paint and hang doors, etc, etc, etc…but they are not as necessary as the aforementioned items. And even though it is somewhat overwhelming and not likely to work out as I would like, I am looking forward to all of it. I will be happily working in the depths of my house, covered in paint, sweat in my eyes, but a big smile on my face. Very happy to be getting to do something I always dreamed of. I may not see you all as often as I would like, but I will try and update occasionally. Tomorrow please stop by as I will be typing out my grocery list for you.