Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate

I’ve got two computers at home.  I usually write this house “journal” on my desktop computer and download most of my pictures on there as well.  This morning I’m using my laptop downstairs, trying to avoid waking up my little family.  A thunderstorm rolled through and I’d say it woke me up but pretty much through out this house project I don’t really sleep anymore.  Don’t eat or go to church either for that matter.  I do drink more and have chronic neck pain so there’s that.  So this morning I could either lay in bed staring at the ceiling waiting for death to come rescue me or  I could write.  I grabbed my laptop, neglected petting the cat (she asks for so little and I oblige her by giving her as much) and stumble downstairs.  I have some new “photos” to share so I plugged in my picture-taking device.  Much to my delight the computer folder I put the new pictures in had some old pictures of when the “land” was just land.  And there’s a small picture of our building permit, and ProjectCam and all sorts of pics from just before we started just a short two months ago.  Back then anything was possible and it was exciting.

Right now the house site and project are a far cry from all the excitement, imagination and ideals captured in those pictures from before we started.  We’ve leapt over a lot of hurdles so far, but it’s a constant barrage that it pretty much annihilates any hope that this will be an enjoyable process.  The goal now is to just hang in there and hope whatever is the result of this is process is something we want to live in.  The very process, as it’s designed now, essentially reinforces the fact that a house is just a house.  A bunch of materials slapped together.  One would be remiss to read much more into it.  As an owner my primary purpose in life is to pay the bills and take what they give me. I rank just above that cat in importance, except I don’t purr when you pat me on the head and say “aw, that’s a nice smoogims woogims”.  Building a house is not at all like they show it in the movies (alright, if they showed it in the movies). These days, for me, reading Dante’s Inferno is a “pick me up”. 

I put a metal can in my driveway and each morning I deposit a small portion of my soul in it before I go to work.

A little bit has happened at the job site over the last few days.  I went there on Friday and crawled down into the basement.  I will say, it was fun standing down there because it’s the first form of “shelter” that has been created.  It actually felt like a basement, granted one with a gravel floor and trash all over the place.  That made me feel a little better.  Later today we’ll start laying down our layer of rigid insulation with a vapor barrier between it and the gravel below.  The gravel was leveled out yesterday by the “cement guys”.  I will give a shout out to my brother / contractor who pushed gravel around while I played golf yesterday.  “Better him than me” I always say.

It's starting to feel like a house. We'll have a 9' tall finished basement once it's all said and done.


Here you can see the special blocking pattern required when using Superior Walls. They have a builders book that goes over all of the step necessary to stabilize their product before building the rest of your house.


The plumber undermined our gravel footer so we reinforced it with cement when they poured the beam post pads. The large black crock is where the pump will be for the downstairs bathroom. It will elevate the waste up and out of the house towards the septic field.


Basement view showing beam posts.


View of the completed first floor deck

It’s not all doom and gloom, but it can be a bit much at times.  We’ll start on laying down the vapor barrier and rigid insulation in the basement today.  Should be an easy task in preparation for pouring the floor later this week.  Until then, I’ll try to hang on and hope it all turns out as planned.

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