FEBRUARY  2009                                                Click on (most) images for a larger view.

 
We are seeing real progress again, as the feeling of the rooms change as we close them in and wrap them with our external envelope. Every once in a while we stop what we are doing and look around at what has already been done. It's incredible to move from area to area and recall the times we worked there before. Just today (5th) we finished closing in the west gable end above the upstairs bathroom and remembered how afraid we were when we raised those walls and how exciting it was to lift those beams in place.

We wondered out loud if we will remember every little detail of what we are doing and then realized that much of it will fade. It's like traveling somewhere and knowing that you will never see that place again. You try to take it all in so you'll be able to remember it but then you realize that it is impossible to remember everything. So we decided just to enjoy the moments while we are in them. That is a huge part of what this project is all about. Enjoying the moments, the learning, the accomplishments every step of the way, the doing, the being together. Manifesting our love in a tangible shelter that will be a sanctuary.
  

 
4 platforms on west scaffolding... corner detail at peak... strapping and bugscreen detail... long way down from top platform...
6th - we moved around to the north side of the house and spent the day taking down the scaffolding that had been up for so long for the roof work... 
 

Bit by bit the overhang, with its decking and glulams, was revealed in its full glory!  It was quite a trapeze act to watch as Thomas maneuvered from one section to the next carefully removing fasteners, planking and guard-rails in reverse order while relying on the integrity of what remained for his safety! Finally the last few planks were lowered down to me while he stood at the top of the ladder.

 
Now we are starting to close in the first level of the north wall.  We'll  then build scaffolding to get us up to the second level... 
installing the support strip... view north from inside guestroom... details of support strip...
caulking dabs to hold P2000... custom cut P2000 to close a gap...  taping the seams to seal... full north wall view...
We have to build the scaffolding in such a way that we will be able to build the porch under it but still get up to the second level to close in and eventually put the siding on.  Therefore we realized we needed to confirm the porch design details such as the pitch of its roof and height of the peak.  Thus we installed the 4 posts that start the framework of the design.  These will also provide us with the base for the middle portion of the scaffolding...
securing OSB to support strip... finishing details to first level...
Although the cement posts will be under cover, we thought it prudent to caulk the indentations of the brackets to prevent places for water to sit and rot out the wood posts that will sit there.  We placed sill gasket as well as a layer of P2000 to raise the post up a bit so if water found its way in it would easily run off.   It was pretty exciting to see the dimensions of the front porch take shape... I can imagine sitting out there on a warm summer evening with a glass of  ice tea waving and chatting to neighbours as they go by!  We even built a temporary door  including a latch and hung a pigtail-light out!
 
And now we start on the scaffolding to get us up to finish the north wall!  We've done well using leftover lumber from the foundation wall forms as well as the crates that the roofing came in.  We have enough for scaffolding surrounding the house!
 
As if we didn't have enough to do... underground hydro and phone connections had to be made for the construction sites across the road.  Because all the utility lines are on this side, they had to install the boxes on the boulevard in front of my property ... right in the berm that we built in the very beginning to house topsoil and plants until we eventually do the finished landscaping.  So we had to get busy to save and move plants out of the way.  I had already done this once late 2007 when they dug in for my underground...
 
Oh well... it actually felt good to dig in the dirt again and to see all the signs of spring.  It also did get that berm in better shape and looking a bit more presentable from the street.  Thomas pruned the plum tree while I pruned the rose bushes and cut back many of the shrubs.  The path to the front door will eventually be through the "inglenook garden" not up the driveway... so it felt good to open up and clean up that area a bit.  After that Thomas headed over to the cottage for a couple of days to see to things there.  I carried on here doing some more yard work (kind of hard to stop once you get going) and also some inside the old house cleaning (alot gets neglected when we are working all the time on the new house).

24th - 28th... back to work on closing in the north wall.  Now we are on the 2nd level... panel by panel it gets closed in paying close attention to sealing with caulking and tape.  After installing a few insulation panels we install a few sheets of OSB then on to the next section for more of the same. 
 
panel...  by panel...  room by room... across the north wall...
And once again it is interesting to see the space inside taking on new dimensions as it gets closed in! 
it's getting closed in...
bedroom windows... staircase wall getting close to the top... both of us working on upper strip...
window detail... lining the window with plywood... more fitting of insulation... bit more trimming...
When we fasten on the OSB the insulation gets compressed somewhat... Thomas realized that the seal of the tape would be compromised unless he tucked the tape into joint between the wall and the roof.  He also measured the overlap of the tape onto the decking and glulam to ensure a good seal but also to be sure that he wasn't overlapping too much otherwise it would show when we put the siding on. 
 
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