August 2008                                               Click on (most) images for a larger view.

 
August 3rd - This is the holiday weekend across Canada and for British Columbia it is extra special because BC is 150 years young!  Lots of events going on - including a great concert line up in Victoria in the Inner Harbour - Sarah McLachlan, Burton Cummings, Colin James and more (but I don't recognize them as I'm not up on today's music). Way too many people for us to cope with so we're not attending anything... besides, we've got a lot going on here!  But it was pretty special that the Snowbirds did a flyby over our neighbourhood before they ventured down to Victoria!!  Nice of them eh?!  We figured they were checking out our construction site ;-)

We are in the process of re-staining the glulams for the upper roof - which will be lifted on Tuesday!  We've hired a crane and operator to lift them, I will guide them from the ground and Thomas will receive upstairs and put them in to place.  We will spend all day tomorrow reviewing the sequence of events so that we are comfortable and safe the day of the lift.  Thomas started working out the design for the staging which will be 17ft up spanning the 36ft of the north wall.  He is amazing how he thinks through all the details of leverage, strength characteristics of lumber (compression, tension, and flex (see I'm learning!)) weight, assembly, disassembly...  I put in my ideas every once and a while as I become more confident in my learning/understanding.

 
putting up the office wall... checking that it's level... 2nd coat of stain... designing bracing for north wall...
for scaffolding  9 more to go, 5' out and under 3' overhang taping glulam positions so crane operator can see reviewing list of things to do...
 

August 5th - crane day!  We were pretty excited this morning as we reviewed both of our roles in the lift today.  We cleaned up the site so it was safe for us to move around and psyched ourselves up for the big event!

The crane operator was surprised that there was only two of us to do the job (said there is generally 3).  He was great to work with - patient and relaxed.  Soooo.... we're set and ready to go....
I was ground crew - I had the beams numbered, signaled where to lower the hook, attached the sling lines to and tag line, and positioned myself to guide the beam once air born.
 
Thomas was roof crew - he received the beams putting them in to place: first on the top (south) then directing them to location on lower (north) wall.  He then unhooked the slings and tossed them overboard for me to get hustling to ready the next beam.  
Then he hustled to put temporary brackets on each beam and  stagger 8ft bracing pieces across beams to secure them until tomorrow when we will measure and put them all in final exact positions.
2 hours and 14 beams later (12 roof and 2 wall beams)!  The house has really taken shape now; pretty awesome sight for us to see! 

Boy did we hustle!  Mike said he was sweating just watching us!  It was great to be so totally focused on our tasks at hand.  The adrenaline was pumping!  I was so elated afterwards that I could hardly contain myself!  We embraced and danced around with jubilation and I exclaimed, "we really can do anything!"  How proud we are of our accomplishments!

  
Now that the beams are out of the "inglenook" garden, we immediately took some of the platforms apart so we could move around it better.  We can see the whole garden for the first time since last October and must get to watering it!  It's so neat to see/feel this space now.  You can see the footings for the front porch and the path to it will be through this garden.  We'll have a driveway but it too will be very garden like as we will put concrete blocks on their side and fill the openings with soil and scented ground covers. 

... I can't stop grinning at what we did today!  Even though we were exhausted, I was too excited to rest or ice muscles and scrapes and bruises, so when the opportunity presented itself to borrow our neighbour's pick-up we jumped at it and went over to Slegg's to pick up some lumber and other materials to build the gable ends and wall bridging between the beams.  Then we can get to the roof-decking...

 
August 6-19th (with 2 quick weekends off to go over to the cottage and take care of a few things here...) More detail work done...: we finalized the alignment of the beams and secured them with brackets; we built the east and west gable end walls (and increased the window size for each from our original plans); we finished the wall bridging between the beams (these are just nailing surfaces for outside sheathing and inside drywall); we rented a 16ft cube truck to pick up our P2000 insulation that was shipped to Victoria.  That day we also spent time at two roofing companies to gather more information to make a decision which company/system to go with for our metal roofing.
 
final alignment/placement of beams... trimming horizontal beams... squaring ends for securing... and harvesting turnip for lunch!
beams are in final position! unloading our insulation... stacked and waiting for installation finishing detail work...

 
Then we built and erected the scaffolding to work on while we are putting up the roof decking and insulation sandwich and final roof layer.  As I said earlier, Thomas is remarkable when it comes to designing jigs and scaffolds; he utilizes his understanding of  the stresses, weight, and strength involved in designing the structures we need to be safe and comfortable to work on while building.  While we construct these structures, he has pretty well been the one to be up there putting it together while I cut and get other materials and tools we need.  So he gets used to the heights as he is working on it.  I then have to get used to it while we are doing the job it is intended for (and I'm not very good with heights, but it is amazing what you can get used to when you realize that it is safe when you are careful and keep focused on what you are doing).  However, while putting up the decking we decided it was safer and more efficient for him to be up there installing the decking while I'm below cutting, staining, passing him decking up (via pulley system) and getting him tools etc.  The structure is 5-1/2' wide but 3' of it are under the beams leaving a 2-1/2' "cat-walk" which would not be comfortable for two people to maneuver on while wearing harnesses on attached to lines to the top of the roof - we'd spend our time tangled up with each other!  So, I will have to get my height legs and stomach used to it when we get to the installation on top of the decking.
 

securing the ladder... it's a long way up there.... helmet and harness! safety railing almost finished...

 
August 20th .... The starter strip
is critical to get accurate as it "starts" the squaring of the whole roof.  This is what determines the distance the fascia board sits out from the beams (the beams do not line up exactly across the bottom or top of the roof, so we have to average them and create a spacing with the starter strip for the fascia to attach to. 



 Then every few rows we measure up from the starter strip to make sure we are parallel to the bottom so the roof doesn't become askew
.  

 
21st - So, with that in place, we are ready to start installing our courses.  Thomas figured out a pattern of board sizes and placement based on what we thought we had most of in the pile of decking we had sitting on the patio under wraps.  We got alot cut and stained and then I got a little antsy wondering if in fact we had enough to finish the roof!  23rd - So we sorted through the whole pile to count the numbers of what all we had.  We needed 1000sqft and we had ~1060sqft! soooo... and not the sizes to continue on with the pattern we had come up with.  So, back to the drawing board to see how we can use what we have left over.  It is Sunday 24th and pouring rain... so we have a fire on and are at the computer figuring it out!  We've had a lot of rain the last two weeks... the buckets are filling quickly today and we have the stained decking standing in strategic places not to get soaked.  The decking ready to be cut is out of the downpour but it is getting a little wet but it shouldn't be a problem as the stain we are using can be used on wet wood.  Hopefully summer will return soon and give us some more good weather to get closed in!...
 
cutting, staining, ready to lift... patio cleared of decking... checking measurements... north overhang done...
ground crew prepares lift... and up it goes... to be put in to place! Laura makes it up on to roof!
platform ready for material delivery contemplating how far we've come delivery of roofing materials... side wild garden-view from above
OSB boards set on roof... lift of strapping to upper roof... lower roof materials set on ground upstairs is looking beautiful! 
coming over the south overhang... trick #401... running a line up the side...  to square the end of each board...
a cleat for our harness lines... finishing the south overhang... almost done! working on last row...


Finally we had some good weather and have finished the decking of the upper roof! The careful measuring on each course, keeping the distance to the eve uniform within 1/16th of an inch, has paid off. The top edge or peak is perfectly straight and parallel to the eve and the south wall over which it extends. That means the fascia board will be straight as well.

Laura's diligence on the chop saw and careful planning of decking layout to keep scrap to a minimum also paid off. Half way through the process she was concerned that we may not have enough of our precious FSC certified roof decking to finish the job.

Painfully she sorted all the remaining sticks by size and determined that to finish the job we would have to change our pattern. Our original intention was to center all the joints under the standoff strapping to be installed later. Now we discovered that many of the pieces were  9' 7" and 10' 7" long which meant that to make them conform to our 12 inch centers we would be wasting 7" for every stick.

Since it was my job to draw the pattern, Laura sent me back to the computer to figure out a way to incorporate these off-lengths. The challenge was to insure that gaps were properly staggered and there would never be two gaps between beams in adjacent courses.

By the time we got to the last course we had just 42' of decking to make a 40' strip. This last strip proved to be as thin as trim. It was actually made of pieces of decking ripped to about 1-1/2 inches wide with a 27 degree bevel to match the relief of the glulam beams. 

Once we had made all the calculations and cut a little sample to make sure the angles were right I thought we were ready to rip the five pieces and install them. Now way, Laura cautioned me. First we take that sample piece up on the roof and actually fit it in place to make sure it is the right size. Good thing we did, for I had miscalculated and the piece as too narrow. We would have wasted our last bit of wood if it were not for Laura's diligence.

There we were, well into dusk, squinting in the last bit of daylight, hanging of the edge of the peak, gluing and screwing the last strip into place.

Next to do - the roof sandwich (insulation etc.) before the metal roof goes on...

applying glue to decking trim...

and screwing it into place!  DONE!

       
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