In the first portion of this Odyssey, I didn’t know how to post pics, so I just set the stage as a narrative. Stage #2, The Travail, will, I hope give you some idea of how this thing went together. It seems that the dog ate the early pre-digital camera, pics, so I’ll have to start with the project already well underway.
We were already “spooled up” for the day when a neighbor came in from his work and wanted to nail up a few pieces. We said, “Knock yourself out. We’re gone.” That’s Miss Honey Ma’am in the “white flowerdy” shirt. The lady in the middle is one of our friends who came to see the progress and the other is our neighbor from across the road.
The exterior walls are almost completed. The low wall is the beginning of the wall that separates the living room on the right from the kitchen/utility on the left. There will be a vertical timber at the end of this wall to frame the opening over the bar. Notice the vertical 2×4’s braced off against the walls. These were to keep the faces of the timbers flush. Landscape timbers are 3 inches thick, but random width, so we had to decide which face of a wall would be flush and which “wild”. This was in July, with temps in the hundreds and we had to check the braces at least every hour, because the SYP two-by’s would warp in the hot sun.
Another shot of the neighbor, looking from the hall into the master suite. The timbers on the floor are the beginning of a hall wall and a closet in the master suite. We found it best to frame the door and window openings and plumb and brace them before nailing the timbers up, because we could just butt the timbers to the frames to ensure a plumb and square opening. The base row of each wall was nailed through the timber, the sub-floor, and into the floor joist below. They haven’t moved, so far.
The interior walls are almost completed. This is from kitchen across living room to hallway. Another note about the bracing. The braces for the vertical two-by’s were nailed to short 2×4’s that were nailed into the joists with 8 to 10 16d nails and several times the braces pulled the short 2×4’s up from the floor. Man! It was hot!
This is the North wall, showing windows for master bath, guest bath and a third bedroom (my music room, now). The concrete pads and piers are on six-foot centers both ways. This accounts for the 385 sacks of SacCrete that we poured by hand.
The kitchen walls are up and we’re installing ceiling joists and tie beams across living room. These beams will become trusses and a walkway to a loft room. We hadn’t thought about a loft room at this stage, or we would have pitched the roof a little higher.
Looking in the front doorway. The man with his hand on his hip is my best buddy. After MHM and I (mostly her) got the foundation and sub-floor up, his job went on 4×10 hour days and he offered to help on his off-days. We probably would not have made it if not for him. He got laid off a few weeks later, and since he had been driving over 100 miles to work and back every day, he offered to help us dry the house in for $300/week. We jumped at that, and work progressed much more smoothly and faster. When it came time for the ceiling joists, rafters, roof decking and metal roof, he brought his son and the son’s friend (both Houston firefighters) aboard. That was a Godsend, because MHM and I just were not up to that.
I like this shot. Looking down hall to the guest bath in back. The door on right is master suite, the first on left is guest bedroom, which we will furr out and drywall and paper and the second is another bed (my music) room.
From here, the house looks huge! This is the South wall. The small window is above the kitchen sink; the larger one at the “breakfast nook” at end of kitchen. Notice that the outside is “raggedy” looking. That is because the timbers are not all the same width. They are all three inches thick, but range from four to four and a half inches wide. We could only flush one face and let the other run wild. That’s why we call it “rustic” and not ”crude.”
From the kitchen, looking at the rafters, collar ties and knee wall at living room.
Building the trusses to support the cathedral ceiling over the living/dining area. Thirty-eight from front wall to back.
I just love to look up there and see all that wood!
Looking in the living room window at the trusses and walkway. I liked this shot.
Almost dried in. This decking is called Tech-Shield. It has an aluminum coating on the under side. I cost about three dollars more per sheet that OSB, but WELL worth the money. The attic ceiling is not insulated, (but the floor is). We can work in the attic for a couple of hours in July and August (100+ degrees outside) and not break a sweat. Amazing stuff!
This is the shot we’ve been looking for since April!. It is now mid-August. Twenty-six gauge metal roof. I’m getting too old to re-shingle a house and I figger that this will take us out.
After we got the insulated doors and windows in, we had a 2300 square foot, three-bed, two-bath house dried in on an acre of land, and a $5000 aerobic septic system for $12.50 per square foot, including the land and the septic system.
Stay tuned for the GRAND FINALE: The Prize
-- rejo55, East Texas