Thursday, February 25, 2021

Porch Foundations

 Ledger board bolted to the foundation.

I had wanted a porch on this property before the house... the shade is invaluable in the summertime!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021


Besides the decking, we had a load of 4x12's sitting in the house. This is because we saw some thick stair treads at a local old mill. We thought that would be a unique way to do our stairs... but I think these were twice as thick... 

(Interesting to note that these giant boards varied wildly between under and over 11"... I knew that lumber wasn't really what it is labeled, but I didn't think it could be an inch and a quarter short in places....)

Monday, February 22, 2021

Rainy Day Blues

 Porch prep... and the porch foundations were swimming a bit in the spring rains...

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Monday, February 15, 2021

Our Laundry Moves In Before We Do

 Families should never move their stuff in during construction! Never never never! Builders don't like having to clear out toys, appliances and boxes when they are trying to get something done.

(I'm sure that the boys loved seeing a hammock move in on top of the decking, or trip over a toys on their way to the window...)

But when you have so many people living in an RV, some bit of normal life has to spill out somewhere, and it naturally goes to the nearest building, be it a shed, garage, or house. 

It was about this time I realized that we should have built the garage first. 

One thing was for certain: trips to the laundromat were going to add up to a fortune, and we needed our own laundry facilities on-site. 

(Turns out hammocks are great drying racks for a family's worth of socks...)

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Close to Home

Some very generous-hearted church members let us not only rent their RV, but move it onsite. I still can't think of it without crying. We will always be so thankful for them! 

Alas, the driveway turned out to be way too steep for anything but 4WD vehicles. The placement of the RV pad had to be changed from next to the house to below it. This involved a long time in making a new clean out and water supply, and getting it approved. The driveway had to be cut into, becoming a wide path, and a pad built. A friend did all the tractor work.

Here we parked our temporary home. We hoped that this would speed up the house-building somewhat, as we could skip the 40 minute drive in the evenings and weekends.

(From time to time I may post a little tip about RV living, as things come to my memory...)

Tuesday, February 9, 2021


Since we often spent all Saturday at the site, we set up a dining room table. It was made from the last piece of subflooring, leftover from that day that we finished laying the first floor. Turns out a table in the house was handy for more things than mealtimes, though sometimes it was in the way!

Monday, February 8, 2021

That Handy Foam Board: the Stairs

Foam Board comes in handy again! 

Yet another adjustment: because of changes on the second floor flooring, which triggered Murphy's Law and the Domino Effect, the stairs were going to end up coming out further than we had planned on. This was more than a disappointment, it was a potential annoyance, akin to someone sticking their feet way out in the path when you are trying to walk through the living room.

But, it was also an opportunity. 

If the stairs had to come down that far, could we not do something fun with them? 

What about a landing that turns the stairs, but has a little seat to sit on and overlook the living room? Could there be a little peek into the kitchen from a seat? We decided that would take up too much space.

Could they be a different shape? Do something different on the way down?

Again the foam board came in handy for design decisions.

Maybe they could come out and get wider, sort of a "grand entrance" feel.
Or maybe they could sweep off to one side or another.
This was close to what we built in the end. But, you never know, that idea of the landing seat might still come to pass! 


Monday, February 1, 2021

That Handy Foam Board: Kitchen Planning

Foam board sure came in handy many times. From RV insulation to kneeling pads for the builders, we always had some hanging around. It also came in handy for the "kitchen."

We were in a bit of a hurry to get the plans made and then submitted for the house, so the kitchen was a rough sketch at best (this would come back to bite us later, of course). It is something that takes a great deal of thought and design. With two cooks in the kitchen, it had to be a design that we agreed on as the most useful for our own ways of doing things. That was a lot of conversation! 

 I did do some reading on kitchen planning; and, taking warning from one designer's mistake, made sure I knew where the garbage can would go at the very least. Other than the plumbing and the big windows (light from two sources is an important home design tip), it was just a big, blank room ready to have a finalized design.

Some dimensions naturally change as you build. Finding that the kitchen columns, for instance, have to be scooted just a bit (which messed up one of our designs some) or that the window size had to shrink because of cost can send you back to the drawing board in a hurry to design compromises.


 But I wanted to know what it would be in real life; so we took the foam board and cobbled together a kitchen! A full-size fridge and freezer seemed to just loom over me on one wall. I found that tucking "them" into the corner felt better in person.

What do you think worked best? I'll have to let you know someday how it all turned out, stay tuned:)