I keep telling myself it is just a big bedroom…

The ridge board has landed and it is spectacular.  The 2x14x16 is a freshly cut piece of Indiana Poplar that was purchased from Wilhelm Sawmill in Brookville, Indiana.  They were a pleasure to work with. While discussing the purchase, they also informed us that the Indiana Poplar is the state tree!  Who knew? We all do now.

Our big lumber delivery happened and we had some time to cut down all of the 16 ft boards for the floor joist construction.  We hope to get the joists screwed together this upcoming weekend. It was so awesome to see our order in real life as opposed to the virtual shopping cart I have been staring at for the past month.  

We have discovered a couple of things we need to consider which we will review with someone before moving forward.  

Things we have consulted on:

Screwing in carriage bolts: use old holes or make new ones? We had a five-minute meeting with our neighbor, Home Improvement style, over the fence line.  It was a meeting that would’ve put Corporate America to shame with the amount of information that we covered in such a short period of time.  We are going to make one new hole for each post  and put the carriage bolt through. We are going to leave the lag bolts where they are currently.  

Our ridge board might be ½  inch too thick (it is) than what the plans called for!!  Do we need to make adjustments in how we cut our rafters?  Will the supports be strong enough with the 2×6? Should we use a 2×8 instead?  Should we order another one? The directions on the plans called for a 2×14”x16 ft but the supports for the beam calls for an inch and a half-inch opening.  I am now assuming that the board, although special ordered, would be the standard size for a two-inch width which is one and a half inches.  Per our sensei, we can still use the big beauty that we have and he will adjust the support piece to accommodate the extra half-inch.  He does not think this will at all affect how our rafters fit.

Laying out the boards for size...
We laid out the square of the floor to see how it looked.

If we could only do this again it would be damn near perfect.  Maybe we can start our own 14×14 construction consulting business after we get this sucker up.  If we can do it, you can too!

In the city we are working on re-homing the sweetest kitty ever in addition to our dealing with our ongoing saga of egg delivery.  Poor Dayz is still having trouble laying her eggs. We are really working to get her an implant to suppress her egg production. Fingers crossed we can get that on board this week or next.  She is one tough duck.

Prepping for the Sub-floor

The past few weeks have been busy but we have still been able to carve out some time to work on the cabin.  At this point, all of the beams and posts are bolted into place. We have an extra 6×6 which we may cut into fourths and wedge in between the beams for some extra support since the sub-floor may or may not sit perfectly on them.  Ok- it won’t sit on it perfectly, we already figured that out, so why not add some extra support on the front end if it is easy enough and we have the materials? The next step is to place an order for the sub-floor materials and some bungee cords to hold a tarp on it when we are done with it.  We already have the 16×20 tarp waiting in the tipi to be put to use.

The Lowe’s cart is loaded up with enough materials to get the frame up, almost through the roof.  We need to decide whether or not to order all of it now, or split it up into sub-floor vs frame which might give us some more time to get the framing order together.

Here is what is in the current cart:

13, 2x8x16’s for the floor frame and joists.  We will cut those to 14 feet.

4, 2x6x14’s and 7, 4×8 pieces of tongue and groove sub-floor for the sub-floor

4 corner braces for our perfect 14×14 floor frame that we will construct on top of the beams

Hopefully, 17 pieces of metal is enough roof.  The roof is still in the “researching materials” phase.  

28, 2x6x8’s for the frame

30, 2x6x16’s for the roof rafters

7 packs of  R-30 Rock Wool Batt insulation for the floor

A few more bolts for the beams so we can attach the extra 6×6 within the outside beams (both sizes #69527 (bigger ones?) and #63357).

Here are the things I know we need:

Tyvek wrap for under the floor and maybe for the outer walls

Bungee cords

Tyvek tape

Screws for the sub-floor.  We are getting nails for the rest of the frame. We think we are renting a nail gun at this point.

Staples (we can borrow the stapler from Milton (well, Mike, but who can’t get into an Office Space reference?).

Ice and Water something or other for under the metal roof.

Safety harness

Liquid nail for under the sub-floor

Here are things I think we need:

Flashing for the roof

Some kind of screws for the roof

Other things…

We are heading to our neighbor-consultant’s house this week to go over the list and shore it up a bit.  This sub-floor project is going to be fun!

Homework

Make your list and check it twice!  It will be so nice to have another set of eyes to look at our materials list.  Of course we will have to take another trip to the store for something. Don’t you always?  To ensure, however,  that everything that must be delivered by truck is included will be key since our Honda Fit can only hold so much.   We have pushed that poor car enough.  

Here…enjoy an amazing glass of Perriee’s pineapple-mango home-brewed kombucha.  That carbonation is beautiful.img_3586

Soggy and Successful Saturday!

Cabin Corner

Water in the hole!
Water in the hole!

It is January and it should be cold.  It has not been cold and we knew we needed to take advantage of the weather to get the piers for the a-frame poured before it turned.  Even though it was warm, it has rained a lot and there was a significant amount of water in those holes, which if frozen, would prevent us from putting concrete into them until a thaw.

 

The morning Perriee and I were getting ready to go to pour the piers, before we left the city house, I declared that I did not think we would be able to complete it.  There was still so much prep work to complete and I was sure we were going to run out of time. We had to dip the water out of the holes, re-cut the new concrete tubes, cut the wire to fit into the holes and get the concrete bags to the site- all before one drop of concrete went into a hole.  

I could not have been more wrong.  My brother met us there in the morning and we got rolling.  I love it when he comes out for so many reasons, but a big one is because when he says he is coming in the morning, it forces us to get up and moving in order to be ready when he is.  When you have help, you don’t make them wait! By the time he left the cabin site that evening, we had poured 6 of the 9 piers. Perriee hauled over 2000 pounds of concrete down to our spot between the two days, 1600 at least on the one day.  Elaine popped in to haul a couple of loads of concrete and gravel with her during the day and I was able to tag team a couple of trips, but I honestly don’t know how she did it. The mud was thick, the path was long, and the cart had two wheels.  The bags were 80 pounds a piece. She is amazing.

 

While Perriee moved the concrete and gravel, my brother worked the piers.  We had to first mix concrete in the holes where there was still some remaining water.  We carefully dumped the dry mix into the holes and churned it like butter with a piece of wood.  After the holes were filled, we leveled the tube on top of it, packed gravel around the base, and filled the tubes with mixed concrete after fitting the rebar and wire inside of them. He lifted and shoveled and mixed and scooped and leveled all of the heavy stuff.   By the time we finished our last pier for the night we were exhausted. Perriee and I made some delicious wraps in the tipi and went to bed. It was a solid 12 hour day and despite our fatigue, we were pretty darn proud of ourselves.

 

The next morning, Perriee and I finished the last two piers.  To be efficient, we hauled the rest of the concrete bags down before we started and ended up with three left over. We then had the privilege of hauling  them back up the hill.  We got our money back for those bags that very day. If I know anything about concrete, it is how they get heavier when they soak up a bunch of moisture from sitting around doing nothing.  I was not going to risk that. It was evening before we we made it home to the city, but again, we were tired yet accomplished. It was exactly one of those weekends where we felt we were living life to the fullest.  

So tired!
We poured the 7th pier by Biolite!

Next steps?

The next steps will be to cut the 6 x 6 posts which will serve as the connecting points for the beams and attach the 2 x 8’s to them.   I feel good about it and am looking forward to putting the next supply order together.  We pretty much have enough to attach the 2 x 8’s except for the hardware needed to attach them.  The next order is going to be composed of the sub-floor materials.  

 

Thank you brother!  Thank you so very much for rocking out this foundation project with us. We.  Did. It. Concrete. Bags. Are. Heavy.

Homework

Ride the wave of victory.  I want to hang on to this moment for as long as possible.  It will be a couple of weeks until we get back out there to work on the next steps.  In the meantime we will bask in our win and you should bask in your wins too!  

Tipi entryway
We threw down some gravel and mulch to help with the doorway. She sure is looking green these days!

Leveling Out

Cabin Corner

The progress we made in the last week was a tad bit of two steps forward and one step back, but the next step forward will not take as long as the last ones.  Does that make sense? My brother came out and helped us level out our concrete form tubes, and the satisfaction of completing that task was beyond exciting.   It took a bit of time getting going, but once we found a rhythm, the three of us knocked it out.  It was amazing to see the 2 x 8 x 16s laying level across the tops of them all. If looked like the site of a home. It looked like we knew what we were doing. 

 

Another victory that arose was having the first round of materials delivered to the farm. The order was perfectly complete and I only ordered one item that needed to be exchanged. It was pretty exciting.  

The step back?  We made the decision to cover or concrete tubes with 2 x 8s across the tops with the tarp over it all. The tarp did not quite cover the tubes to the ground and it has rained since then…a lot.   I think we need some new tubes. The ones there are looking a little soggy. The plan is to fill those tubes up this weekend. We. Can. Do. It. The. Concrete. Bags. Are. Heavy.

img_3241
Perriee cutting threaded rod with the angle grinder.

Homework

Keep practicing the art of maintaining a level head.  I often get my mind-set on reaching a benchmark goal and then get frustrated when I don’t get that far.  Then, I lose sight of the progress that was accomplished through it all. Then, I feel silly when I see all that has really gotten done and realize I did not appreciate it.  It’s practice. I will keep practicing. I did pretty good this week.

 

Birthday Weekend 2018

Cabin Corner:

Four tons of gravel is scheduled to be delivered to the homestead this week.  The man I spoke with about the delivery really made me realize how much I need to learn the lingo in the area about where we live.  “You are over there on top of the hill, right?”, he said. “Uhhh…I think so?” “Are you close to the fire department?” , he asked.  “Ummm, I am not really sure”, I replied. “My mother lives over that way, I’ll find you.” There were a couple of more exchanges about where he thought we lived at, then we started talking about payment.  All cash or check. No problem, except for the fact that I did not know if Elaine and Matt would be able to give him money at the time of delivery.   He was not at all concerned and was completely comfortable just having us pay him over the weekend.  People over there are just so very kind. It is so refreshing.

In addition to the gravel order, I have loaded up a cart on Lowes.com and am hoping for an easy truck delivery to the farm.  Since we are getting a truck full of bags of concrete, we went ahead and threw in about 40 bags of mulch in order to touch up the Tipi Trail when we’re done trashing it with our equipment.  We also added 200 feet of garden hose that should reach us at the bottom of the trail in order to avoid the need for hauling water down to our spot.  This will also serve as a life-saver once we move in.  We will use the access to water for both the ducks and some gardening, not to mention for basic teeth brushing and dish washing.  I can’t wait.

All of the holes are dug and currently sitting at a two foot depth.  We decided to go ahead and continue digging down to three feet this weekend, before adding the gravel.  Three is definitely the magic number in this case.  That is the frost line level in our area and we might as well go with it.  The post hole diggers made a 9 inch diameter hole and we will top them off with a 12 inch sonotube pour for a bit of extra stability above ground.  From there, we will add a 6×6 post to the top of the footer and build up. Not sure how exactly yet, but one step at a time, right? We have some ideas of how we want to do it based on a combo of advice and YouTube videos.

Cast Iron Cooking Corner:

I made the best oatmeal for breakfast on Sunday morning.  It was full of apple, walnuts, cinnamon, butter and brown sugar.  Delicious. It took forever because we let the fire go out overnight on Saturday since it was actually pretty warm in the tipi. I did not even think about firing up the propane stove until it was almost done.  Next time!

Gadget Corner:

We left the Biolite Campstove with Matt for the week to see what he thinks about it.  In the absence of excitement, we may return it and put the money we spent towards a different solar package with a little more power.  

Homework:

Don’t be afraid to make your own recipe.

My homemade spaghetti sauce is a hybrid of the influence of many different sauce makers in my life.  I add the carrots from one person, the Worcestershire from another, and the meat from someone else.  Why can’t the cabin design be similar?  I am pretty sure our cabin is going to be a big combo of our advisors input as well as the internet research we have done  on the internet and other places. Ask your questions, get your answers, then make your own decisions.  It is ok to try out your ideas.  Make it your recipe.  

Nikki