Sunday, November 25, 2007

more thanksgiving work

Some folks went up for more work this Saturday--and we're a few steps closer to a house!

We didn't get a good pic of the beautiful new stairs on Friday, so I thought I'd start with that celebration.  Thanks for your good work, Dad! 
Andrew and Jay worked hard all day, installing the rest of the deck joists for the outside edge sections, and carrying all the wood for the joists into the house.  I'm grateful for anyone who'll do heavy lifting and carrying down that hill...and I'm especially grateful for Jay and Andrew!
Here's the front of the house at the end of Saturday--Matt finished the sheathing on the front.  Doesn't it look splendid?!

Now, when the deck is built, we can finish the plywood sheathing on the back of the house, and it'll be all covered.  (Of course, there is still the roof...but that's for another day.  ;) )

Saturday, November 24, 2007

giving thanks for good work

In our new Thanksgiving tradition, we spent part of this holiday weekend working off our turkey with some housebuilding, and we're thankful that we got to do it with so many good friends!

Phil worked with Brandon and his friend, Tony, on the plywood on the front wall, using our new scaffolding.  (I lurked around them, too.)
Shan prepped a wood column for the center of the back wall, and drilled a whole bunch of holes to attach the board that'll hold the deck joist hangers to the edge of the house.
Jay and Dave worked on the back deck, drilling into concrete, hanging brackets, and more.
Mom and Dad came up for the first half of the day.  Dad finished the stairs, and Mom cut blocking for the front wall and plywood for the stairs.
Here's Dave with those brackets on the back deck.
Karen, Ryan and Karen's mom, Linda, brought up a tasty lunch.  Ryan put his hammer to work, removing nails from some boards upstairs.
He and Karen used the new stairs to check out the house progress!
Marian and Wayne laid the first joists for the deck.  They are good and strong and well-placed (of course!).
Sometimes, it takes a whole team to get this in place.
The folks in front did a wonderful job of adding lots of plywood (and layers of scaffolding!) by the end of the day.  Just look how tall Tony is...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

one step at a time...

This week, our biggest progress has come in something like steps...

Matt and I found a set of scaffolding that meet all our hopes on Craigslist this week, and he picked it up on Thursday and took it to the mountains. Happily, it came with its own trailer, which also carried some long boards we needed on up the hill.

Now, we'll be able to climb higher and work in safety.

PLUS, as an added bonus, Dad and Matt put the first set of steps up on the staircase in the house. Now, you can climb REAL STAIRS all the way to...the landing and turn.
Since we're not working on the house this weekend, I got to do something I haven't done in a long while: visit Julian as a tourist.  Some friends came down to visit.  Besides checking out Julian, we had a picnic under the big oak tree, and explored the house.  Oliver rather liked the stairs to nowhere, and is pictured demonstrating his status as king of the plywood pile.

You can see the trailer of scaffolding just over Colleen's shoulders, too!

Monday, November 12, 2007

friends and veterans

On Friday, Dad, Matt, Don and Josh worked on things--they didn't take pictures, so there's no evidence to share here (incriminating or otherwise).

This Saturday, some friends came to help with our project--Marian and Wayne, Amanda from Boston (er, Cambridge), and Jay.  They helped make progress in hanging plywood, building stairs and hanging rafters.

Here's Jay (in the back) getting a rafter ready to hang, while Marian and Amanda cut some plywood sheathing for the back wall.
Wayne helped Dad make progress on the stairs to the second floor, too.
Jay helped in many ways (as usual).
Marian and Amanda built experience with the nail gun.  The plywood is in place. 
Today (Monday) is Veterans' Day, and we celebrated with more work.  Matt is our resident veteran, and that's what he said to do.  Mom and Phil and Shan came to play (er, work), too.

Phil enjoyed the rock-climbing-like aspects of construction today.  We tried to persuade him that the nail gun in his hand clearly distinguishes this work from rock climbing in its usual sense; his acrobatic artistry would not be constrained.  Happily, he and Shan finished the sheathing on the east wall--now both east and west are complete!
Mom got into lots of action today--holding ropes, cutting blocking, gluing flooring on the stairs' landing.  
It's been exciting to watch some of the last, oddly angled rafters go into place--and to see how good everyone's getting at the rafter-raising work.  They make it look so easy... (though that height, on that thin little ladder, never really looks "easy" to me!)
Now, only two pairs of rafters, plus the back fascia, remain to hang.  Then, we'll be ready to figure out how to get all that plywood up onto the roof!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

more walls, more rafters, more deck

We had two lovely days of work on the house this weekend--on Friday, Dad, Don and Matt went up. Look how happy Don looks. I think that's because he knows he's gonna help put almost all the rest of the rafters up. And he gets to wear the new safety harness, so he's less likely to fall while doing it...

Saturday, Phil, Josh, Jay, Mom and I came up, too, to join Matt and Dad. We worked in a bunch of places. Starting the interior work of building the stairs and the wall behind them, putting up the last little wall that goes between the steel column and the edge of the back, and putting the vertical supports for the back deck up.

Josh didn't get to wear the safety harness for this step, but he did get by with a little help from a friend. Thanks, Phil...
Then, Matt got to try out his plan for getting the plywood sheathing on the house, up high: rock climbing gear. It's like climbing a mountain, holding a nail gun.
Josh got into the swing of things (pun intended) and helped secure more plywood into place. You can see it in still, or in video...

Jay and I shared the glamorous job of holding the plywood in place, from inside the house.

But lest it look like I spent the day holding ropes, I thought I'd include an action shot of ME: nailing blocking into the front wall. My *favorite* job. (Remember, cousin Sarah?)We'll be working again next weekend--Friday and Saturday. Let us know if you can help!