Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Well, we're on our way again.  The drywall finishers have been hard at it the last two days, and it's good to see positive progress on the house.  I stopped early this morning to hook up a dehumidifier to aid in removing all that excess moisture that's being introduced via the tape and mud process.


All the corners are going to be rounded bullnose rather than sharp 90 degree corners.  We like the smooth appearance this gives, and considering the round design of the house, it seemed appropriate.

Everything is coming together quite smoothly.  After priming they will do a knock-down finish to give depth and texture to the ceilings.
An artist at work.  This is one portion of the build I had no intention of touching.

We're hoping to have tape and texture done by July 4th, so we can paint that weekend. :)


Saturday, June 22, 2013


We camped out at the house last night so we could work on things today together.  We had some serious storms come through, and as heavily insulated as the house is, we could barely tell the wind was blowing outside.  That makes for some restful sleep for a person who gets extremely nervous in bad weather.  Having previously survived having a house dismantled around your ears by a tornado while you are in it will do that to a person.  We got a bunch of stuff cleaned up and put away all our tools so the drywall finishers will have a clean slate Monday.  In order to have the main bathroom ready for drywall finishing, we needed the shower installed.  We've been fighting with the plumbing contractor to get it done right since this project started.  As usual, when you can't get someone else to do something, you do it yourself. 
We did get a rare chance to relax for a short time and actually enjoy our surroundings.  We sat on the partially finished deck to eat our breakfast, and watched a pair of last years twin fawns (brother and sister) wander almost underneath our elevated deck as they sauntered by the house.  They got within 20 feet of us and were completely unconcerned as they passed by.  later we had a little spotted fawn (without his mother) trot right under our bedroom window on his way through.  We can't help but feel relaxed and feel the tensions of the day to day slip away when you are in an environment like this.  We can't wait for this to be our every day, full time home!

Our little neighbor coming up to greet us.

If you can't get the people who are paid to finish a task do what is needed, you simply do it yourself if you want the project to progress.  We seem to be doing that more and more as we go along.  The curved doors will go on after paint and tile are finished

Thursday, June 20, 2013

We finally took care of a major problem that's been plaguing us, and now things should begin to progress and get back on schedule with the house again.  All my subs are back in line and ready to get to work.  In the next week we figure to have the drywall finishers in doing their thing, and concrete being poured in the garage, along with some concrete repair in the basement.  Plumbing and electrical are standing by and ready to go when we reach their portions near the end.  We went to our local Menards store and ordered some finishing items for our master bathroom and started picking out paint colors tonight.
I lost several days on the house because I was helping at work to cover shifts for a coworker who is out with an injury.  We'll have a couple of days to get some things done on the house, then it's back to work for another extra day prior to my regular weeks schedule.
Early this week I did manage to get quite a bit finished on the deck platform.  I'm just charging ahead with all the straight portions to cover as much surface as possible, then on a weekend when Debra is able to help, we will slice up all those angles between sections (it goes much faster with two pairs of hands).

The main portions of the deck floor are now around to the half way point.

It's measuring and cutting all those little transition areas between sections that really eat up the time.  It's hard to tell from this photo, but there are no top fasteners anywhere on the deck.  Everything is done using special hidden edge screws. Very secure and very clean.

Unfortunately, not all the lumber delivered with the deck was in as pristine condition as the lumber inside the house.  I'm trying to pick and plan so as to arrange and cut each questionable piece to get maximum utilization out of what I have to minimize waste.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

6/8/2013 Delays, confusion and frustration.


Delays, confusion and frustration.  The drywall taper was pulled from our job, so we still cannot get in and paint.  Unknown when (or if) he will be back.  On the good side though, we did get our rain gutters finally installed, and with all the rain we've had lately it is really making a difference.  They have drastically cut down on how much and how fast the ground around the house is washing away.  With the drywall inside the house now done, we have moved to the garage ceiling.  We were hoping to wait until the floor was poured to make it easier to maneuver the hoist, but decided we needed it done now in case our taper comes back, he can finish everything at once.  With nothing but gravel and dirt for a garage floor, we have to put plywood down to make a stable area to operate the drywall lift.  It's a real pain to work with and decreases our safety margin, but we do what we have to do to get things done.  After the nasty fall from the ladder recently, you'd think my guardian angel would be able to take a break, but no.  Closing up the house about midnight two nights ago, my foot slipped off the edge of the 12 inch wide ramp we use to get from the house to the garage, and I fell about four feet onto the concrete garage footing and the gravel floor.  Hurt my arm, my knee, and my ankle is still pretty tender.  My father was constantly doing something clumsy to hurt himself when he was alive, and I definitely have his blood in my veins.  Last Thursday I got a start on the custom shower base.  Because it is an odd size/shape, there is no such thing as a drop-in shower base.  I am making a concrete floor, with a layer of concrete, a rubber membrane, and a final layer of concrete.  The tile will be layer number four.
To take advantage of the beautiful (and rare) sunny day, we moved out to work on the deck today.  I believe I mentioned in a previous posting how incompatible geometry and I are.  I know we chose to build a round house and I should have expected more of this, but really, enough is enough.  It's not just angles, but compound angles and cuts galore.  Thankfully I have my lovely and ever so patient spouse there to assist and keep me moving on a constant, if slow track.  Hopefully things will work out one way or another, and we can get someone in to finish taping our drywall so we can do paint, flooring, staining, etc.
First layer of concrete laid for the walk-in shower base.

We had the gas company pick up our temporary propane tank this week.  With the Geothermal, we are now an all electric household.

Retaining wall block was delivered.

We decided to pump up the air mattress and camp out after working long and late last night.  I don't care if it does have doors, windows, and heat.  If there's no indoor plumbing, it's still camping!

One of our kitchen windows was broken way back in January during the unloading of the semi's.  We finally decided to fix it ourselves.  It took 15 minutes.

Enough with the damn geometry already!  The number of angles and odd cuts is unbelievable.  Add to that, our deck goes around more than half our house.  I keep telling myself, "the view will be worth it....the view will be worth it"........

We are using a Kreg hidden fastener system that will result in no breaks in the top surface.  That will make a cleaner look and should help eliminate splinters, and deck deterioration.  It is taking more than 2-3 times as long to do, but the results will be worth it.