Thursday, January 28, 2021


 The next month it was back with the pick-ax... this time for the foundations forms for the porch!

Monday, January 25, 2021

Metal Roofing

 I drove up to the site one March morning, and the roof was already close to halfway on! We were so glad that we didn't have to DIY this one!

We chose a simple roof-line, so it was roofed very quickly. We minimized any cuts that had to be made (only one pipe in back for the plumbing vent) and exhaust vents were going to be put into the walls and not through the roof. The attic vent is a ridgeline vent.

We chose a 50-year metal roof, in "storm gray" (keep that in mind, it will show up later!). Depending on the day that gray changes to a cadet blue instead of the dark, warm gray. But it's a good color and we don't regret it. There is a special sort of paint or coating on the underside of the metal to help extend the life of the roofing, too. 

(You can see our little bit of green spring in this photo, we enjoy the few weeks of green hills while we have them.)

The roofing crew did very swift and quality work! It would have taken us weeks, and they had it all done in one day. 

Unfortunately, there was one huge disappointment.

As the last bit of roofing went up, we reached down to pick up some of the scraps that were scattered here and there. We picked up a piece of a black, gritty material. "What's this?" It was the narrow strip that goes up just under the roofing on the eaves to prevent ice damming, we were told. It was like asphalt.

Unfortunately, that was NOT the material we wanted, and not what the manufacturer recommended for ice prevention. There are new non-abrasive materials on the market now which were named for this type of metal coating. There was a possibility that we were voiding our under-paint warranty. 

The roofer had given us a bargain on the entire project, and was unwilling to guarantee his work should it fail in 25 years (which was what we had requested he put in writing). Instead we were told that this is the way it is done out here, that this was the way he was trained to do it by a very experienced local roofer, that he's not seen a roof damaged at all due to this underlayment, etc. etc. Basically we got nowhere.

This caused many a sleepless night, let me tell you! And every time we hear the roof do it's crackle sound when the sun comes out (with expansion/contraction) that scratchy underlayment comes to mind and we inwardly cringe. Visions of rusty and crumbling metal eaves come to mind. 

No one is going to be taking the roof off to correct the underlayment (or even check on it...); it's there until the roof needs replacing, which could be less than 50 years away. But for all we know, we might be dead by then! It was a hard thing to let go, but we eventually had to quit stressing over it.

Other than that, we have no complaints about the roof; we were just sorry that we couldn't put it down in the books as a "job well done" in its entirety.

Friday, January 22, 2021

January Weather

 Our winters can change their mind a lot. 

On Sunday, I went on a hike up the hill to get a picture of the view so you can kind of get a sense of what can be seen from the roof.

It was in the 40's but the sun was so warm, a coat was probably a mistake. 

Then today there was this:

I measured 5 and a quarter inches before it stopped snowing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Let it Snow


You can't see it well in this photo, but it started to snow (in March!) just as the last bit of sheathing went on the roof. It was slippery up there, but he was happy; at least it couldn't snow IN the house anymore!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021


The last glimpse of the sky before sheathing was done. It would have been nice to have a "glass peak skylight" to shine down through all the layers of house, but I guess second floors, ceilings, and attic storage spaces are more useful.

Sunday, January 17, 2021



The house was now provided with some eaves to shed the rain. What a sound...the rain dripping off of our very own eaves.
Of course, it needed the rest of the roof, too...

Getting more of that "real house" look!

Saturday, January 16, 2021

That piece on the end...


I have a hard time remembering all the roof-part terms sometimes. I am told that this board covering the rafter ends is facia. I did a quick google search to see if I was spelling it right (there are two correct ways). I was rather surprised at the #1 definition they supplied:

noun: fascia or facia
  1. a detachable covering for the front part of a mobile phone.
  2. a wooden board or other flat piece of material such as that covering the ends of rafters.

I have never called the parts of my phone any such thing (except maybe "cover? screen?"). Funny how it should have become the top definition when the architectural application of "Fascia" is much older. 

And speaking of applications, do you know how the men got the fascia up? Do you think they walked that scaffolding around the house? Nah, that's too much trouble. They leaned over the top of the wall and nailed it on backwards.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Set and Ready to Go


Trusses all set, extra stuff done, next up: sheathing.
Still a little scary looking, eh?
For some reason I do not have a clear daylight picture of the aforementioned mountain view from the top. I will have to find another one for you at a later date.

Here's the interesting rock view from the other end of the house, though.
Maybe I'm weird, but I find this view interesting, too!

Monday, January 11, 2021



Gable ends were built, and it was time to set the trusses. 


It was at this point that various shades of regret started to grow over us like a gloomy day in February (which it was in these photos!). 

There was an extra danger of my husband being up so high, a danger I was not fully aware of: he would see how fantastic the view was. 

We have a wonderful view, overlooking a rural valley, with rimrock and buttes in the distance. There is just a peek-a-boo of some snowy peaks if you are in the right place and squint through the trees. But on the roof, you can see a whole lot more. 

Yup, he wished he had built a three-story house.

The thought did occur to us that we weren't that far along yet... what if... what if...

Ah, those "if only we had..." thoughts of missed opportunity. Had we had rafters instead of trusses, we could have had a loft with an even more interesting view. Had we had bonus trusses instead of attic storage trusses, we could have had  extra bedrooms and put in some gable windows to see the amazing view.

Of course, those thoughts only come when you have already bought and set the trusses!

A second-story balcony is still not out of the question; but missed rafters, we shall always regret you.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Blue Skies Smilin' At Me


"The sky is the only roof I have over my head..." 

 I'm really getting into the old tunes here... Blue Skies and Breezin' Along with the Breeze come to mind when looking at this photo. For a while we had a glimpse of amazing blue for the ceiling!


In other news today, I have done a video! It is for my papercrafting blog, but now that I know how to use the video and recording editing software, I can start thinking about compiling some of our house building videos to post here! Most of them are short but they might be of interest to you!

I learned a lot making this video. I learned that #1 as soon as I press "record" all the dogs in the neighborhood bark and howl, a toddler yells over his toys, children stomp, a loud and interesting scientific discussion happens right outside the closed door and a banjo plays. #2 is that I can't talk and work at the same time! After what I feel was a dozen takes, I found that the voice-over style was for me. 

There were a few glitches and the duplo-tower-camera-holder was still not high enough, but beyond that I'd like to know what you think! Would you like to see some house-building videos? With maybe some banjo tunes in the background!

Friday, January 8, 2021

Up to the Top

My job was to keep the little ones at the edge of the woods and out of the way, and to take lots of pictures.

 It is difficult to see in this photo, but the power line is between the pole on the left of the photo and where the crane is. The trusses had to be swung up to the house with utmost precision. The truck had to be on uneven ground next to the top of a cut.

 The trucker was not at all happy about this situation. Not at all.

The truck had a difficult time finding a balance I guess. There was some reason that the trucker doubted the stability of his unit when he got it all set up. There were those ever-present power lines.

Eventually I was called from my job by the trucker. "Watch these wheels," he told me, "the moment you see them lift off the ground, I want you to SCREAM."

Well the wheels never got off the ground and the trucker did an excellent job. I got to see how stressed-out he was up-close though. He was beet red and so tense I thought he was going to have a heart attack. I divided my time between watching those wheels and watching him in case he held his breath too long.
All's well that ends well. But I was pretty sure he was going to go back to the company office and resign that very day.
Thankfully, putting trusses on your house is not something that has to be done repeatedly!

Wednesday, January 6, 2021


Having the trusses delivered to the "back yard" was one of the things that made this truss delivery "exciting" for all.
Even though it looks like there is plenty of room, it's actually a limited space...
...because of that power line that runs between the house and the truck...
...across the area that we needed to have that crane working in.
Before the real fun can begin, the trusses have to be unloaded.


Tuesday, January 5, 2021


 It was February when the trusses arrived.

It was a pity that the truck wasn't able to get those trusses up to the house a normal way. We are too far up from the street to be able to use the regular crane, and with no truck-accessible driveway. 

Our driveway had long been partially de-constructed because of its uselessness; it was too steep, as it turned out, for getting an RV up to the pad, so a new pad was built halfway down. The "driveway" became a wide path instead.

 The truss truck driver needed to be closer, so the only way was to pull up in a neighbor's driveway, and over across an empty lot to the back of the house. In the mud. The resulting deep ruts made nobody happy.

To Be Continued...

Monday, January 4, 2021

Ordinary Life


 Between big house-building events, the little things had to get done, and we set up a sort-of-ordinary life in the shell of the house. Making lunch in the cold, with no sink and the wind flapping the house-wrap "windows" was an experience!

The formerly rained-on structure was getting a chance to dry out on sunny winter days, and smelled like wet sawdust and OSB. We were quite worried about it; our goal was to have a mold-free house. Thankfully those very large window-holes let in lots of dry desert air.

When building a house is NOT your full-time job, things go pretty slow at times. Sunny weekends were usually taken up trying to make progress on the house, rather than doing something more social or fun.


As homeschoolers, there's always Monday! A week-day hike or outing to explore the local scenery made sure I didn't have a handful of "Jack-a-dull-boys" on my hands!

Saturday, January 2, 2021

The Box

 And now back to our regular programming...

Second floor walls up.


Appropriately, photos from a past January...crisp and clear, and bright as all new years are. 


You've heard of the scarlet cord? Only this is the orange air compressor hose...