It’s been a fairly hectic few days balancing family, house building, and life in general.  If I were to take a piece of paper and list all the good things on one side and all the bad on another I know which side would win.  Let me preface this by saying, in the grand scheme it’s all good.  No one’s died, yet.  No war or famine has broken out, yet again.  No over hyped hurricane came crashing down upon us.  But holy smokes building a house has taken ALL of the fun out of “building a house”.  Between contractors, mother nature, selling our current house, etc. etc. enough is enough already.  Death by a thousand little tiny paper cuts.

So what have I been up to.  I leveled out the gravel in studio.  I used a rake and got most of it down to about level.  Upon that stone I put a 6 mil vapor barrier down and 4″ of rigid insulation and soon it’ll get 4″ of cement, just like the basement.  I rimmed the outer perimeter with 2″ of rigid to create a thermal break between the cement floor and foundation walls.

6 mil vapor barrier over crushed stone in studio.

 We also got the post holes dug for the porches.  Sono tubes were inserted into each hole.  When they pour the cement for the studio and garage, they can pour the tubes at that time as well.  We also got the first utility trench dug from the electrical box to the house.  The excavator came up with a plan to dig it where I had cleared some brush a few weeks ago.  This saved some distance (distance = money) and we saved the cherry tree by the driveway.   
Finally after 3 weeks we got the rough framers back out to the site.  It’s an Amish crew and I don’t know what in the heck they do but they’re lightning fast.  I used to frame houses and I don’t think we were ever that fast.  Too fast in fact because I have no idea how half of the energy-saving details are going to get executed in between them working so fast.    
We got to see the “house” for the first time today which was exciting for about 5 minutes at work.  I showed it off on my iPhone like a new dad would show off his kid in a nursery window.  Then the stress starts surfacing again.  There’s still a lot of confusion on my part regarding how the house is supposed to be sealed up and the framers are moving fast. 
The main structure is going up.  They forgot the front door, the family room square window isn’t square, I know the gable in the master bed room is wrong and will need amending, and the laundry room is way, way, way too big.  The last one is our fault.  The architect didn’t have a laundry room in the original plan so we turned the master bath into one (moved the bath).  We saw it today and it’s about the size of our kitchen.  We’ll partition it out some more and maybe add some closet space for the laundry or master bedroom. 
They’re making the house out of wood; that part is at least correct.

A few highlights of the day:

Our oldest son, seems to like the house and is excited (even if his parents aren’t excited at least he is). 

There’s an interesting thing about the two square master bed windows.  One faces east and one west and they each perfectly frame a tree in their view.  After weeks of my a-hole neighbor telling me about sight lines, mother nature serves me up an ironic little goodie.  Now each day I’ll have morning tree to the east to say “hi” to and an evening tree to the west to say “goodnight” to.  The nice thing is it was a totally random occurence, I don’t think anyone can take credit for it (I certainly won’t).  The east tree is a cherry tree I was able to save near the drive.  The west tree is in the preservation area (the one I’m hoping doesn’t die).

As we were leaving we saw a really nice 8-point buck feasting in the east meadow.  He seemed totally at ease with us and with all the destruction we brought to his back yard.  I can’t wait for the brush to grow back in and turn the land emerald again.  Maybe that buck will come visit us after we move in. 

He probably doesn’t care if my rafters are off by 8″ or not.  Or if there’s a draft at the top of my walls.  He’s happy eating and running around the yard with the other deer. And that’s the kick in the butt that our land gives me every time I get down on this god forsaken project.

I’m guessing maybe I shouldn’t care so much either.


Latest wall section, created by yours truly.


Good MorningTree


Goodnight tree


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