Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Proof We Have a House Made of Straw

This week was definitely one of the most exciting moments in construction thus far. My dad and his good friend Kevin came down for the week to help with the house and we saw the first straw bale get stacked into place.

We are using the infill method of straw bale construction, where bales are cut and notched with a chainsaw to fit in between stud walls. The notches in the bales varied in size depending on the studs they fit into and several bales needed to be made smaller by restringing the straw with a special needle. Bales are stacked and tied into the studs with twine and will later be stuffed with loose straw to fill in any gaps or inconsistencies.

With sore fingers from tying and re-stringing bales, lots of cursing from temperamental chainsaws and lots of tiny scratches and cuts later, we were able to stack almost 100 bales onto the north and east walls. The windows and doors will have to get boxed out before we can complete the rest of the two sides, but boy are we excited about the progress.

It was a real treat to have family and friends help out with the process this week and we're thankful for everyone who stopped by to lend a hand. We look forward to continued construction and more work parties in the coming weeks.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Bales Have Arrived!

A most exciting day!! Piper and Brandon drove to New Lexington early this morning to pick up the 197 straw bales that will insulate the north and west walls. We were fortunate to have the use of Brandon and Michelle's flatbed trailer, and were able to get all the bales in one trip. We unloaded the bales onto our truck in a school parking lot nearby and shuttled loads to the job site. The straw is neatly stacked under roof and after a long hot day, made for a comfortable and much needed napping spot. Looking forward to the arrival of my dad and good family friend Kevin tomorrow afternoon and the beginning of bale walls on Tuesday.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hot Tin Roof

What amazing progress to come home to. The boys spent a scorching day atop the house putting up the metal roofing. By 5:00 they had almost completed the full front side of the house. Got to love the speed of installation of a metal roof!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ready to Roof

Perlins hung, fascias attached and we're ready to roof. Tomorrow the roof crew, (a good group of friends) will come out to start installing the metal Fabral roofing. I am off to Columbus for the night and will be most excited to return home tomorrow evening to see the progress.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lookin' Good

Well, while I have taken a brief hiatus from posting, we have certainly not taken a break from construction. Piper has been working hard to getting all the roof trusses in place and the south dormer framed out. The north dormer has proven to be a framing challenge. There was a few days I thought Piper's head might explode from figuring out how to cut the compound angles. (He decided the reason why you don't see many Gothic style houses anymore was because modern power tools can't cut at such steep angles and no one wants to cut all that by hand.) But after much patience and creative problem solving, we were able to lift the north dormer wall into place this morning. Now if it will only stop raining, we could finish framing it out before the roofing gets delivered on Monday.