About Us

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Indiana, United States
Debt free empty nesters...ready to stretch our wings. Life is good and we plan on making it even better. This blog is mostly about our trips to Vieques Puerto Rico, with a few odds and ends thrown in about our life after the mortgage.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Big Push....

Well...it's 8pm Sunday...and I'm tired.  Right now I'm  drinking a Corona and looking out the north wall of the cabin.

Rain was forecast for this Sunday and Lorrie and I were determined to get the cabin as weather-tight as possible before it hit. We've been fortunate to have not had ANY rain at all so far with the cabin build. So Friday after work the big push was on.

First order of business was to get some kind of roof over our little place, no small accomplishment. I had one of our local lumber yards drop off sixteen 16' 2x8's  plus sheeting and 30lb felt paper, Friday during the day while I was at work. The plan was to set the rafters after work and begin sheathing the roof. A little helper  was some hurricane clips that a buddy of mine had laying around. Given the 2/12 pitch on our place there was no need to cut any birds-mouths so I should be able to slam up the rafters fairly quick. Here's a shot of the clips:

So Friday evening I managed to get all the rafters set and the sheathing started. I started working early Saturday, about 7am. I was hoping to get all the sheathing on, the felt paper on and the house wrap installed. Pretty tall order for just the two of us. I had told Lorrie that it would probably be around 11am or noon before we finished with the roof. That would give me about 8 hours to finish some wall framing on the north and south ends and throw up the last of the sheathing. I told her it would be about dark Saturday when we would be putting on the house wrap. About 8am she  made her way over to the point and we both began.

Lorrie was helping me get the rest of the sheathing up onto the roof. The short wall of the cabin is about 8.5 feet tall and the tall wall is 10.5 feet. So..needless to say it was a real struggle for her to get the sheets high enough for me to grab, but we managed. It was about noon that the last of the felt paper was on the roof and it was a good thing because it was  getting damn hot out, mid 90's. We decided to break for lunch. On the walk back to the house I told Lorrie.." we can only take about 20 mins to eat then we need to get back at it, 45 mins tops." She growled at me a little. While we were eating some lunch we checked the radar. There was a big area of severe weather headed right at us. Lorrie projected it would hit around 10pm, she's pretty good at guessing that off of the radar. It ended up being more like 50mins before we were back at it.

What I  needed to get done was some of the very last sheathing on the outside walls, especially the triangular pieces on the north and south ends. I took a picture of them below:

The framing of these end walls wasn't really so bad. It was the sheathing that was difficult. You see, the back part of the cabin is about 3.5 feet off the ground, then you've got a 10.5  wall.  I have yet to get any scaffolding. So...you've got this sheathing do and these big window openings which don't leave much room to lean a ladder against. It was a struggle but the two of us got it done. I had to take measurements and drive back to the house, rip the sheathing and then drive back.

Next was the house wrap, and it went really good until the weather started moving in and Curt got into a hurry. I was up on the roof trying to staple some of the upper sections and my slap-stapler jammed. I was hot, tired and trying my best to beat the rain. It was then that I cut my index finder really bad. I was bleeding all over the place. So I climbed down back off the roof, Lorrie holding the ladder. She already had some Kleenex handy and got the bleeding stopped. Wounded, but not defeated I  climbed back up onto the roof and finish the house wrap. The only evidence I have of the mishap is the Bostich stapler still covered with my  blood:

It was about 9pm when Lorrie and I loaded up the truck and headed back to the house. This is how we left the place:

Tired, dirty and totally exhausted, we got back to the house early enough to watch the storm break up and disappear just before it hit us. Un-frigg'n -believable.  Well...at least the cabin is  protected now.

Sunday..today..I slept in. Being father's day I spent some time with Jessica. Around about 10am I couldn't stand it anymore...I was headed back to the point to try and set some windows. Within an hour I had two of them in place. I walked back to the house to try to talk Lorrie into helping me set one of the eight foot sliders. She said "There's no way I can lift that thing!". I told her I had a plan.

The doors are heavy, way too much for me to handle. My plan was to hook up a chain fall and hoist the door up high enough to push it into place. I was hoping that the head of the door would with-stand the lift.  Lorrie and I somehow managed to get the mammoth door loaded into my truck. We had a time getting the truck down the lane to the point because the door stuck out so much, the lane isn't very wide. Lorrie got out and directed me and we made it back to the point.

My first attempt at hoisting the door went fine, except I didn't have enough head room to get it high enough. When Lorrie and I tried to lift the door by hand it was so unbalanced that we couldn't handle it. The problem was that there was only one glass door in, the fixed one. The slider was not installed yet. We tried and tried but just couldn't make it happen. It was at a point when we were both getting really frustrated and exhausted that my mom came walking down the lane. She drove out to see the progress. First thing out of her mouth was "Why don't you just lift that door up with your truck jack?". Ha....why didn't I think of that? After a break to visit with her I began jacking up the door, roping it in place, adding more cribbing and repeating the process. Finally we got it high enough to push into the opening. Here's a picture of the door in place:

At least now we know how to do other other one. I'm thinking I'll be enlisting the help of some buddies to get the three 6x6 windows in place.

A few details about the cabin so far. The back eave has a 12" overhang and the front has a 36". There's no overhang on the other two walls. Here's  a pic of the front overhang:

So that's where we're at thus far. Hopefully this week I can get the rest of the windows in place. After that it'll be time for some cedar.  Tonight I left the place in kind of a mess..but I'm bushed.

Only 4 months till our next trip to Vieques...so I need to get on with it.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

We have walls....

Another cabin update...hope I'm not boring you all.

With evenings this week and a couple full days this weekend we managed to get the walls up and the bulk of the sheathing on. Lorrie put some waterproofing on the floor because we have rain in the forecast. Before we left this evening we spread a tarp over the floor. If I'm lucky my insulation under the floor won't get wet.

The hardest part of framing the walls was hefting the headers for the windows into place. The walls in our cabin are 2x6 so the headers were triple 2x8 with some 1/2 plywood.  If the weather will cooperate this week I plan on finishing the plywood sheathing and getting some house-wrap on. Next weekend I plan on setting the rafters for the roof and getting the roof decked. Hopefully I can have our little place under roof in a week.

We took some picture of the progress this week. This first picture is with most of the framing done:

Next picture is a closer shot of the bedroom and the windows on the corners:

Lorrie grabbed a shot of me standing in one of the windows to give you some scale. I'm kinda tired looking...I had been at it all day. Oh...I haven't mentioned this yet..but there's no power over at the point and I don't own a generator..so all that lumber was cut with a hand-saw. It's a really sharp one...thank gawd for that.

Next picture is me standing in one of the two side by side 8' glass sliders:

This is looking out from the bedroom, Lorrie's over there on the deck, but you can't see her:

Below is the north window view, where we see the deer all the time.

I haven't mentioned yet, but this is how the roof-line will look. I'm thinking about a 3' overhang on the front.

I received an email from a friend of ours who we see in Vieques in Feb each year. He and his family winter in Vieques for a month or two every year.  His name is David and he is also a carpenter. David sent me some pictures of a beautiful cabin he built for some clients. It's so weird because it's a lot like what I'm building and it has the same cedar siding that Lorrie and I are going to put on our place. Here's a picture of Davids cabin. As you can tell from the pictures he's a real craftsman. The place he built is beautiful. I hope you don't mind me sharing your work David.

Maybe next time we chat...I'll have a roof on our place.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Decking the floor...

Another cabin update...this is my summer project so it'll be mostly what I'm posting about. Anyway I got the floor framed this weekend. Sprayed the foundation with termite spray. Insulated the floor joists and got the floor decking on. Right now I have a big tarp over the structure because of rain in the forecast.  Here's a few pictures of the progress so far:

Above is the floor framed

Now I've got the insulation in place

and here it is with the floor decking on.

The plan is to buy the rest of the windows this week, that way I know all of my rough opening and can finally start framing the walls. So far we've bought 2 window units that are 6' x 6', one window that is 23" x 6' tall and two 8' tall sliders. Let me tell you it was all Lorrie and I could do to get them unloaded and into the garage. I have no idea how I'm going to get them over to the point, let alone get them installed.  I guess I'll just have to get creative, that or enlist some buddies to help.