Thursday, January 31, 2008

the cupola

. . . has arrived.The king suggests a contest inviting you to Guess Which One's the Cupola!

The only problem is that I'm worried about the the results if I suggest that - as the prize - we will put up the one that gets the most guesses.

It's an interesting thought, that's for sure. . . .

So, what do you say if I say that the winning entry will be installed atop Houndstooth Studio, pictured below?. . . that blue oughta stand out real good. . . .

Monday, January 28, 2008

roof and tower

Remember the front left corner? Here it is again. Finally - something is happening on this corner. We have a a roof! And to the right, you can see the beginnings of the tower. . . .
Here's inside the tower, looking out front.
And a goodly portion of the roof is on. The sky is still visible for a few days longer.
The house is finally starting to take shape.
This is so cool!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

roofings, continued.

The roof is going on.

Here's the studio - roof on - looking out the hole that still remains where the fireplace will go. Eventually.
Below, the cathedral-ceilinged bedroom stands out, as the main roof is still off. The Dulles Airport-like roof to the right of the bedroom is over the porch, and will tie into the main roof.
I find it amazing to look at this structure! Here's the bedroom ceiling close up.
The courtyard is finally frozen hard enough to walk without accumulating heavy pancakes of mud on my wellies. Below: a view from the courtyard out to the front.Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing the front "yard" restored to meadow clearing - minus construction skiffs and lumber stores and scraps. I've been haunting all the garden catalogues and trying out a million and one colour and plant combinations in my mind. How's this one for a gorgeous day dream: a wildflower field of Queen Anne's Lace, Echinacea, and Cosmos? oooooooh! gorgeous. . . . .

this is Joe

He's our head carpenter. Good guy! When I asked if I could take his picture, he said,

"Sure! I'm not 'Wanted!' for anything anywhere - I've raised 3 daughters and have been married to the same woman for 30 years. . . Ain't nobody lookin' for me. Snap away!"

Right you are, Joe.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

one step forward, one step back. . . .

What a puzzle to put together!
OK. . . . the trusses are on. Looks like a cathedral, doesn't it?

Let's step back a bit to get a better overview. Here's the view from the living room (still uncovered) towards the kitchen, which is now covered by the engineered trusses.
Unfortunately, the studio is going backwards. . . . It appears that the trussing didn't match the elevation - meaning: "It doesn't look like the picture." They've torn out the offending trusses and I think they will "stick-build" this portion, to suit. Otherwise, we were going to be ending up with one tiny little stucco/timbered portion sticking up above the roof that would look rather like the triangle eye on top of the pyramid on a one dollar bill.

In the king's last house, he ended up with what he affectionately referred to as "Neal's tits" - the architect's miscalculation which resulted in two protrusions into what would otherwise have been a circular ceiling line.

"This would be more like a single nipple. . . ."

Anyway, it's gone now.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

here we go. . . .

One last shot of the unobstructed sky over the house.
We can still see the sky through the rafters at the studio - but not for long.
Here's Julio and a guy we haven't met yet putting one of the engineered trusses into place.
And another - now a scissor truss - being swung into place.

They've been working all morning.
Houndstooth Studio has a roof.
Here, the view from the courtyard.
I expect things will look very different - yet again - tomorrow, but here's what we've got so far.
Stay tuned.

the hand. . . .

raising the roof

It's scheduled for today!

Tom-builder advises that the crane arrives this morning and will hoist all the puzzle pieces into place. The king is coming home early and we're going down to watch. Oops - 'scuse me while I go recharge the camera batt'ries just to be safe!

OK. I'm back. But not for long. The king is home and we'll be off shortly to watch the roof raising. This, in spite of the general gloom of the day and plummeting stocks. . . .

Meanwhile, here are some final pictures of the house sans roof, with the sun streaming in.
It was sunny this weekend - but don't let it fool you - it was freezing!!!This evening, I trust we will have pictures of roof trusses on top of walls. . . . beginning to shut out the weather. Which, today, is a bit gloomy. Like I said.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

after the snow day

comes the mud.But you can see the trees in the mud puddle!

In the woods, some of the snow remains. Pretty, huh?

But the sun was out in force. I love these fuzzy red raspberry arms. . .Meanwhile, the moon is in prison - behind branch bars - for another few hours.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

snow day - proof

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday - actually, I guess that was day before yesterday. . . . sun out. no trusses.

Today, snow & trusses.

We couldn't believe that Julio and Gilberto were there! Apparently some of the trusses have to be doubled up before they're hoisted into place.

Yesterday, we couldn't figure out what this was, assembled and laying in the entrance hall.

Today, it appears that it's the tower walls, which will also be hoisted into place when the crane arrives to truss the roof. . . . wow!

The trusses have arrived. As you see.
They've been stacked everywhere.

In the front.

In the courtyard.

Gilberto thinks it's funny we're here in this weather. Crazy owners!

But you don't get a chance to see your kitchen in snow everyday.

Or walk through walls.
Or see the bedroom blanketed in snow. No, all that will change very, very soon so I have to grab the chance while I can.

Meanwhile, "the woods are lovely, dark, and deep. . . ." *

*Robert Frost's Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

snow day!

Or so they're calling for. . . .

Nothing here yet, but the sullen, white-leaden sky that presages snow. Oh, and the "snow day" feeling of hunkering down and waiting.

We're going to go to the greenwood later today in hopes of seeing the roof trusses. I dreamed of them last night. They were very beautiful.

Like bones. The king said.


I'd never thought of bones as beautiful, but he's right. They are. It's just that - with humans - you don't usually get to see bones outside of the context of injury or death. Building houses, it's a different story.

Meanwhile, I thought of something else I could post a picture of, even though there's not much notably changed at the property these last few days. We ordered the roof finials, and a fleur de lis for the tower. They arrived. Now, for the roof to put them on!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

more concrete

We were hoping for roof trusses, but instead we got this.More concrete! A concrete slab for the tower. This ought to start looking interesting soon! Here's the back porch concrete slab.Meanwhile, the roof sheathing arrived.The king discovered that it's the wrong stuff. It's supposed to be 19/32" plywood [we're working in 32nds?!!]. What arrived was composite particle board in 7/16". . . . [another nice, round number. . . .] which, of course, translates to only 14/32". Or so the king tells me. I'm so glad he's so good with numbers!

Not much else going on as of yesterday, except for this, the roof over the little kitchen box window.

Inside, the kitchen is still giving me a really hard way to go. . . . I'm at my wit's end.

Maybe we'll figure it out tomorrow. Maybe after the trusses arrive.

Monday, January 14, 2008

hold up

Not really. . . .

But I haven't been posting many new building pictures because they all start looking alike when you're looking at a bunch of two by fours. . . . (or two by sixes or whatever size they are).

Here's one problem area in the kitchen. This is a little pantry that was drawn in in the house plans. We'd decided not to have a separate pantry but instead to just do the regular kitchen counter and cabinets in that corner.

No one told Joe, the carpenter, and he roughed this in. The problem? I think I like it. But the king rightly points out that it will reduce countertop space and potentially crowd the stovetop, which is to the right of the pantry. . . . I'm torn. And I have to decide this week.


Meanwhile, we have an important new development: the roof rafters - or trusses, I guess they're called - arrive probably tomorrow. This is a very good thing - because that means we should be under roof in 2 weeks, and then the interior work can continue pretty much without regard to the exterior weather. Yay!

But it also means that I'll no longer be able to see the sky and the trees overhead from inside the house.
Somehow, that makes me feel sad. I'm going to miss that. I keep taking pictures so I'll remember how wonderful it was. (And yes - I know - it's also wonderful to have a nice warm, dry house! But I'm still gonna miss the blue sky directly overhead. . . .)