Anymore a typical day goes like this:

4:06am wide awake staring at the ceiling worrying about something, remembering something, or designing something.

5:17am fall back asleep

6:30am alarm goes off, shower, dress, grab various and assorted printouts regarding building the house

7:30am get to work, read emails, check meetings, prepare to deal with what corporate america decides to dish out

8:46am get coffee, contemplate if it’s all a bad dream (bad day), or where the time’s going (busy day) or what I’ll have for lunch (every day)

11:30am swing by cafeteria, turn nose up at basically all the specials, invoke the will of god to not eat something that will give me a coronary on the spot, and instead settle on chicken salad, which has been good lately (interestingly enough, it’s the least healthy sandwich in the cold sandwich line….I combat it by ordering pretzels instead of chips.)

11:37am take lunch back to desk and begin hunt for exotic Italian laminate for kitchen, or exotic green housewrap for exterior, or exotic thermostat with LCD screen and simulated sweeping dial. (honestly, my goal is to make sure I make the building experience so miserable for everyone I come in contact with, they’ll pay me to never do it again.)

12:15pm back to work

12:17pm I get a call, laminate is found!  Future coffee center rejoices.  Green house wrap is nowhere to be seen.  Bad house wrap.  Bad.

4:31pm leave work, figure out who didn’t do what, or who did what they shouldn’t have done or, god willing, who did what they were supposed to (present company included in all three by the way so don’t go thinking I’m perfect.  I’m not…..but I do make it look awfully easy.  Plus I have flair and wit.  But I digress.)

5:12pm get home

5:17pm leave home, goto Lowes to pick up sixteen 2×4’s, some glue, vapor barrier and spray foam insulation.  Stuff it all into a Jeep Wrangler in lieu of using a real pick up truck or, say, anything capable of safely transporting 8′ long pieces of wood.

6:20pm get back home, scarf down grilled cheese sandwich, listen to arteries harden.

6:27pm start piling kids into car to go look at the house

6:52pm look at house, remember to get trash can out there.  Pick up trash, take pictures, watch wife tempt death by walking on walls, watch kid build bird house out of joist cutoffs.

7:30pm get back home.  Cut sixteen 2×4’s into various lengths.

8:42pm finish cutting.  Go inside. Look for happiness in the bottom of a Bud Light Lime bottle.  Draw pictures and read Dr. Suess with my oldest boy.  (The grabby younger kid with the devilish smile is asleep by time I get back in the house.)

10:00pm go upstairs, check emails, write blog, search for green house wrap, check window quote, flick bug off monitor…literally, I just flicked a bug off my monitor.

11:15pm go to bed, start all over again the next day.

Today they started the first floor deck.  We’re using engineered lumber for all the joists, headers and rafters.  The largest piece of lumber on the site very well could be a 2×6.  Which means no old growth trees were likely used in making our home.  In theory all the wood used to make my house grew up (or was recycled) from sapling to lumber within my lifetime (I made that up but it sounds really good).  Even if that’s not true, it would be a pretty cool way to measure which trees you should use for building the stuff you’re going to build.  Using engineered wood also means I can span longer distances, less dead weight in the house (which is a concern with me and the cat living there), and everything is dimensionally stable and true.

Here's the stair opening. You can see all the blocking per the Superior Wall builder's manual. All the joists are engineered and look like I-beams.

Today they set the steel I-beam and laid down all the first floor joists, tomorrow the sub-floor will go on.  I’ve got to stop out and install all the 2×4’s I cut today by inserting them into the foam cavities I created yesterday.  I’ll attach them with some construction adhesive and eventually spray some insulation foam around to complete my thermal break between the cement of the wall and the cement of the floor. 

Here Christine walks on the walls to get a closer look. I contemplate whether I sent in the life insurance check. I slowly realize if she's gone I'd have to get up with the kids in the middle of the night. I quickly tell her to get back on dry land. It all works out just fine. My interaction with kids is back to the market minimum.

Some more pics from today:

Looking towards the house. It'll look a lot different in just the next two weeks.


A lot of guys use pick up trucks to haul their tools, supplies and other manly stuff. I on the other hand have a yellow jeep with 2x4's sticking out the back.

So today was my new norm.  1,440 minutes of constant “on” or preparing for “on” time.  It’s going to be awesome when it’s over and I can hopefully enjoy it all (assuming I’m not in a box under a rock from one too many chicken salad sandwiches).  And you know what, “on” time ain’t that bad.  It makes you feel alive and you get to roll with the ups, and the downs, the laughs and not so laughable moments.
“Today is gone. Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one.
Every day,
from here to there,
funny things are everywhere.”

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