December 4-10

December 4 - Friends and family work day. James and I head up first, Elaine and Ken follow. The erectors didn't finish on Friday, but enough is done for us to get to work on the blocking we need to be able to nail the roof deck to trusses. This job involves drilling and counterboring holes to bolt 2x4's to the trusses. Ken and Elaine handle the drilling, James and I do the bolting. After all, doesn't it make sense for someone with a fear of heights (me) to be on open trusses 10' in the air?

Look ma - no hands!

After a while, I can get used to the height, at least long enough to pose on the 1.5" wide ledge with a drill in one hand and a wrench in the other.  Of course, moving along the truss required both hands in firm contact with the truss.


James doesn't move much faster on the steel than I did, though he probably was less unhappy about being there at the start.


The last task of the day is unloading the table saw from the pickup. It's too heavy for us to lift by hand, so what else comes to mind? Looks scary, but it worked out pretty well - no pinched fingers, no sore backs, no damage to the saw.

December 8 - The steel erectors have been at work installing the wide flange I-beams that form the perimeter of the roof. You can finally start to get the feel for the full height of the house. The space between the top of the bond beam and the perimeter steel will contain windows - glass completely surrounds the top of the house and the bedroom.

The erectors seem to be having trouble reading the plans. All the beams are installed about 1.5" out from their correct position. This results in a gap where the beams at the ends are supposed to join the beams running down the sides. In addition, the truss extensions that carry the beams are not where the engineer spec'ed them to be, which is a problem. The scuppers (they are the "downspouts" you see on the right of the picture) are supposed to be level, but an engineering oversight has allowed them to twist the I-beams. We're waiting for the fix.

We've been waiting a break in the bad weather, but it doesn't seem to be coming. With all the delays in the steel work, we finally acknowledge that winter's on us and it's time to close down the site.  Nobody's happy about this decision, but the risks of a ruined ceiling and ruined floor are too great. If last year's weather is any indication, we should be able to start again in March, maybe even February if we get lucky.