Friday, September 28, 2007
It's been quite a while again since the last post so I thought I should put some sort of update on again. Things have been going quite well this past week, and we've seen some progress that makes it seem as though moving in is not quite so far off anymore.
This week has been comprised mostly of electrical work for me and awning work for Dale and Rina. The electrical stuff has gone well, but has of course taken more time than I had hoped. It's kind of a pain to have to do things up to code! I'm hoping that I have not missed anything, our electrician who is putting in the main box should be coming over soon to see if things are looking good. Leslie and I actually went looking for lights today so there's an indicator of progress, not that we have power to the sight as of yet, but we want to be ready!
The weather here as been unseasonably warm so far, but we're not getting fooled into thinking it will last. That means we will be looking to install our stove fairly soon as well, which will be another adventure. Luckily we have a great resource here in a local business that sells and services wood stoves.
As mention earlier Dale and Rina spent much of this week working on awnings for above our windows, and true to form they turned out really well. It will be quite nice to be able to open the windows even when it's raining.
The last few days I've been working on the siding for the mudroom, and today I had the pleasure of working with Leslie. Not something we've done a whole lot of recently since she's quite busy with school. The siding is looking great so far. We opted to go for shiplap which means that the boards are run vertically, and they have a groove on opposite sides that the next piece of siding fits over. Kind of hard to describe, but anyway we have one wall done and the front is nearly finished. Part of the reason we went for this option was that we could get the lumber locally, and I've alway found the look quite pleasing.
So tomorrow will be more siding and hopefully a look from the electrician, and then we will be very close to sheet rock time. We'll keep you posted as long as I don't fall asleep right after supper!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
We've been making lots of progress in the last few days, and we've also had a great crew working on the septic system which is now done. It's great to see that finally done, since it has, in essence, been in the works since very early on. We've had to contend with an open trench right next to the front door for a long time, but today it was finally filled in.
While they were working on that we've been working on the floor for the loft. It's been a puzzle, but I think that we have a good solution which was not quite as difficult as I had expected. I think I'll let the pictures speak for themselves on that front. The interior walls and the loft floor were certainly made more difficult by the fact that they have to been essentially free standing. A few of the floor joists are connected to the rafters, but apart from that it is all built inside the yurt with no connection to exterior walls.
As you can see from the pictures in the process of septic installation the excavator had to come very close to the building which would be quite disconcerting if I didn't know that the operator was very good. It was quite amazing to watch the whole process which basically only took a day and a half. It's great to find people who are very good at what they do.
Abrahm was very excited to see the excavator and dump trucks there as well, and it was especially exciting when he got to sit in the excavator. In general he's very into tractors and other equipment so it was a huge thrill.
Well I think I'm going to sign off for now, and head to bed soon. Ben
Sunday, September 16, 2007
We've been hard at it for a while now, and we certainly have something to show for it! We finished framing the interior walls in the yurt today, and will be moving on to the loft tomorrow. Much of this past week was devoted to installing the panels that make up the interior walls of the yurt itself. This turned out to be a painstaking process as the panels were tall enough that they had to be notched for every rafter. No small task especially since most of them had twists in them so they had to be cut at angles. They are done now except for the area around where the stove will go.The paneling had to go in prior to installation of the walls that make up the rooms within the yurt.
The other area that we have been working on is the transition area between the roof of the mudroom and the yurt. It's been difficult to get that area water tight, but we've had some good rain since the last patch job and things are finally nice and dry!
Leslie spent this afternoon in Auburn which is about 45 minutes away shopping for insulation for the mudroom, so as soon as I get a bit of wiring roughed in we will be able to insulate. We've also been in the market for some sort of siding for the mudroom, and in keeping with the buy local idea which we generally favor we will probably buy some sort of siding, be it board and batten or shiplap, from a local sawmill.
We're also expecting to have a septic system in place quite soon which will be quite nice since it will mean that the trench which is currently right next to our front door will finally be filled in. This may seem like a small thing, but for the last few months we have always had to be on the look out for it when walking around, and more importantly when we drive in with a load of supplies. It also marks on of the last things that we will have to hire out in this whole process which is nice. I'm not sure that I would ever want to be a general contractor!
Tomorrow marks another milestone in our lives with the beginning of daycare for Abrahm. Neither of us is particularly excited about this, but the provider we have found seems to be a good fit, and it will be good for Abrahm to have time to socialize with other kids. A good thing indeed as he is quite shy around strangers including older kids. Not at all surprising if you know his parents!
I better get a few pictures posted and call it a night.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
We had a marathon day of building today, attempting to get all the sheathing on roof and walls of the addition to get it closed in. We didn't quite get all of it done, but we're close. It was just in time too, as it started to pour just after I covered over the ventilation spaces at the ridge. It was challenging to join a square structure to a round one. One photo shows a little bit of how the connection was made. We're hoping for dry weather tomorrow so that we can finish getting the roof waterproofed.
We thought this photo of Abrahm was fun - maybe he thinks he can join the building crew by wearing Papa's work boots. He's pretty good with a hammer and with climbing ladders. In not too much time we'll put him to work. :) That's it for tonight, as I'm so tired I can hardly put together coherent sentences anymore.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
A quick update tonight, in an effort to get to bed earlier! The framing is coming along nicely, though we're still trying to figure out how to join a square and a round structure. The pictures are a bit deceptive - it looks as though the mudroom is as big as the yurt. It's mostly perspective, as the yurt is several times bigger in floor space. It is still a big mudroom though - the most essential component of a house, in our farming/gardening/messy kid/muddy dog household. Speaking of dog - the photo of Cooper is to show what a goofy dog he's been. He has 70 acres to run around in, and he's fixated on spending as much time in the van as possible. Perhaps he's determined not to be left behind should we decide to move again. Thankfully, we're planted here with no plans to move (other than into the yurt when it's ready)!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Well we've made some great progress in the last few days. I have to admit though I'm very excited about living in a round structure it is quite nice to do a little traditional (western style) framing. Things progress quickly and there a results at the end of the day. Not to say there wasn't a bit of head scratching at various times during the initial rounds of framing, but it is something I know a bit more about.
We got started on labor day, and by the end of the day we had the main walls of the mudroom up, a couple of windows as well as the door framed in. Today was a bit more tedious figuring out how to frame up to the yurt itself, and I would be remiss not to mention all the additional time spent last evening and this morning figuring out rafter lengths and other related dimensions. I guess the trig is a little rusty, but I got it all figured out, and I cut one test rafter this afternoon which fit beautifully. So tomorrow it's on to the rafters and which should go quite well until we get to the portion of the framed roof that will actually go over part of the yurt room to form the transition between the two. I'm anticipating quite a bit of head scratching during that part, not to mention additional trips to the lumber yard!
Leslie started her nursing program today. It sounds as though it will be a good fit, and at least the first year she does not have to travel very far to get to school most of the time. It certainly will take some time to get into new patterns, but so far so good.
Abrahm is busy driving anything he can find around, and making attempts to get into any actual vehicle he can so that he can have a go a driving the real thing. He's as busy as ever, and there is constant chatter even if there are not really any words yet. I'm sure they'll come soon enough.
Well I'd better get to bed so I can get to work early tomorrow on those rafters! Ben
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Hello from the Yurtles, as my aunt as taken to calling us, as soon (relatively speaking)-to-be yurt dwellers. A quick update on the yurt and farm progress here. Overall, we're feeling pleased with progress. We have the roof on; windows installed, trimmed, and caulked; and have materials to start framing the mudroom/addition. It's amazing how getting the space enclosed makes it much easier to imagine inhabiting the space. We probably could spend the night there now, though the absence of a door might let in a few too many bugs. We were lucky to have excellent help from Dave and Justin Jenckes, who show up in the roof installation pictures. Their skills, enthusiasm, and strength were essential for getting the roof finished this past Wednesday.
A few notes about the phots, which, as usual are not in a logical order. The roof has three layers: a liner (which you see, in one photo, from inside), the insulation, and the exterior roof material. One photo shows the roof at the point of having the insulation mostly installed. Another photo shows the crew carrying the roof material to the yurt. You can see that it's weighing them down just carrying it on level ground - then we got to heave it up onto the roof! One photo shows roof on, but no center dome yet, as Ben's still sticking out the top. And a picture of the yurt with windows preliminarily installed.
The photo of the truck full of tree limbs represents my recent realization that farming in this area includes a fair amount of woodlot management. This has not been a very big part of any of my previous farm experience, so we have a lot to learn. MOFGA (Maine Organic Farm and Garden Assocation) has some great resources for low-impact forest management, and we intend to make use of them. And yes, I know that you're supposed to do most of your forestry in the cold months, so that you don't have to haul around the leaves along with the woody parts (as the last picture shows). These trees had to get cleared out for the one area on our place where there will be above-ground power lines.
Tomorrow we're starting to frame up the mudroom, so I should probably head toward bed pretty soon. Have a good Labor Day weekend!