April 24-30

April 26 & 27- Ken and Teresa accompanied us to the ranch for a two-day work detail. Now that the trusses are in correctly, it's time to put down the roof deck (or ceiling, depending on your point of view).  Because you can't really nail into steel, the first step in to install wooden nailers to the tops of the trusses and along the bottom flanges of the I-beams. This is time consuming because there are many pieces to install, and each is bolted, either through the gap between the top L's that form the trusses or are bolted to studs that had been welded to the I-beams. Everything had to be cut to size, predrilled and counterbored. Of course, you're working up in the sky. 

Our web site now pays homage to the grand tradition of the construction trade - pictures of "girls" with power tools. Maybe not quite the Ridgid Tools calendar, but here's what was going on -

Teresa was in charge of the chop saw, doing most of the cutting.

 

Admittedly later the next day, Elaine starts redistributing the large piles of earth that remain after the rammed earth was completed. She's trying to redirect the flow of water across the site so that it doesn't flow between the house and the bedroom.

OK, now that we're done with our homage to construction tradition, it's only fair to show Ken hard at work installing the blocking.

 

This session also saw the delivery of the materials for the roof deck - a pretty much full tractor-trailer load of wood. Many tons of woods, nearly all of which has to be moved to the roof level.

April 30-May 1 - After a few days to rest, regroup, and wait for the weather to clear (only a bit), we're all back at the ranch - Ken, Teresa, Elaine, and me.  We've got some more nailers to install and lots of roof to nail down. Ken and I try to screw the nailers to the truss extensions (the tubes welded from the truss to the I-beams), with very limited success. Lots of effort, very slow going.  We get only about a quarter of them done, then shift to nailing the roof down. Elaine and Teresa do the culling of the lumber, rejecting the really bad stuff, cleaning up the dirty boards. They also cut a miter on one end, the other will be cut in place after the deck is nailed down.

With 700+ boards to lift to the roof, we improvise some fork lift tines for the Gehl and lift the wood to the roof level. Another foot would be nice, but it's a huge help as it is.

You can't quite tell, but the sky is actually pretty gray, with rain showers coming and going. We're constantly scurrying to cover the wood, the tools, then get out of the rain. By the time we get everything covered, the rain passes and we start over again.

 

We don't get nearly as much done as we had hoped, but at least you get a sense of what the ceiling will look like.

After all this time with a clear sky between the walls, the ceiling seems to really darken the interior. It's probably not practical to ask Jonathan (the architect) to figure out how to make a weather-proof house but still leave the top open to the sky.