Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Steel Yourself

Second floor steel
The steel yard finally delivered the steel we had ordered to frame the second floor. We had the design guy use steel framing to get some nice, open expanses that you couldn't do in wood without support pillars; it makes for a very open floor plan. Of course, the price of steel tripled between the time we designed and the time we ordered the stuff. Oh well.

The huge blocky thing sitting just inside the front door is the second-floor shower/tub, which of course can't go upstairs until we actually have an upstairs.

Mike has finished sealing all the seams here (at least the visible ones; he was still working on the back when this pic was taken) and I think it looks quite cartoonish, like a drawing of a turtle's shell. Of course, the whole thing will be painted a solid color eventually so we won't have that chunky-line look.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Progress Report

Lots of progress to report, now that we had a clear day!

Mike goes skyward
Mike goes up in the lift to put the final seal on some of the seams. Hopefully it set up before the next wave of rain hit at about 5:00 this evening.

Working on the railing
Meanwhile, the rest of the guys finish off the railing on the deck stairs.

Two car garage!
We have a garage door now!

Yes, it's big enough for two.
I had a ridiculously luxurious tub in the master bathroom at our California house, and was sad to leave it. Imagine our surprise when we found that a corner whirlpool tub wasn't that much more expensive than a regular tub. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Rainy Day Blues

Drought has been gripping the Midwest this summer. Rain has been sparse & the corn is pretty much a total loss in this region. Lawns are brown & the smaller trees are looking pretty peaked. Therefore, I can't be too upset about the soaking rain we've been having for the last several days that has finally brought some much-needed water to the area.

We can't build in the rain, though. The septic guy can't dig in the rain. We can't paint the exterior of the dome in the rain. The steel guys won't deliver the second-floor framing elements in the rain.

So, no progress until the site dries out a bit. :-(

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Front & Back Decks

Stairs coming down to garage level
The stairs coming down to ground level from the rear deck zig-zag down next to the garage opening, from which you can presumably access the rest of the back lot. A garden & compost pile will be situated just a little below the house, so I imagine this staircase will get a lot of use for running out to the pile with kitchen scraps. (I was a lousy gardener in California, always forgetting to water, but hopefully can be a bit more prolific here in Missouri.)

Front entry... note the deck echoing the shape of the entry dormer
Todd must have goofed on his calculations for the lumber needed for the deck, because we had way more than we needed. Hey, why not build the front deck with the leftovers, instead of pouring cement for the steps like we had originally planned? Todd quickly designed a nice entry area deck et voilá. Saved us a little money on the steps too, since we don't need to get the cement now.

A cozy nook
Here is the north-east-ish corner of the kitchen (it's sometimes hard to describe which corner is which since the rooms are not square... but anyway) The refrigerator will be here at the end of the countertop. On the other side of the wall, in the family room, the wood stove will occupy this corner and serve as our zone heater when we just want to warm the living area. We put a deposit on a wood stove last weekend, a smallish one since we won't be using it as our primary heat source; but we got a nice glass-door model so we can use it, fireplace-like, to take the edge off a chilly evening & create a cozy ambiance.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

All Hands on Deck

Kitchen deck was started today. We will have a nice west-facing deck area with room for a table & some chairs & maybe a grill or something, so we can sit outside & admire the sunset on nice-weather days. We originally considered building it out of that engineered faux-wood decking material, which lasts just about forever & doesn't need to be refinished every year; but eventually we realized that pressure-treated lumber had to be used for the framing in any case. In the end we just went ahead & built the whole thing out of pressure-treated lumber. There will eventually be some stairs going down to ground level, too.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Turtle Soup

Here is the dome with the seams finished (but not quite dry; they are still darker than the panels. The whole thing will be painted, of course.)

The continuing adventures of Steve & the local wildlife featured a large snapping turtle today. It was a vicious brute, too, with claws a couple of inches long and a nasty beak. Nonetheless, Steve was determined to have it for dinner. Hopefully he will meet with more success with the turtle than he did with the turkey.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Driveway Skirt

Today the driveway skirt was poured, along with some more finish work on the seams. First the driveway guys used a jackhammer to knock off some of the flashing & unevenness from the slab edges.

Then they dumped a bunch of gravel into the form.

Next, the concrete is poured for the driveway skirt & the generator pad. Note the lovely pictures from the new camera, an anniversary prezzie for Mike! We can get a whole lot more detail in the pics now. Love it.