It's been a busy couple of weeks on our building site, and I've been fearfully remiss about blogging. I will now right that wrong.
After weeks and weeks of downright biblical rain, we had great weather on October 5 and 6 for the crane. It was no ordinary crane -- due to a last-minute switcheroo from the equipment company we wound up with a 165-ton crane, practically the largest in New England. This was a fortunate switcheroo, because our building site is awkwardly shaped and the pre-constructed walls would have been hard to lift and place with an ordinary little crane.
Here's what our site looked like at the beginning of the day:
The north wall is raised:
Behold our lovely 24" framing:
They braced it from behind:
The west wall:
Nothing warms a homeowner's heart like seeing a crew member wield a level.
A woolly bear caterpillar turned up, prompting a conversation with Milt the crane operator about what kind of winter its coloring foretells (answer: no clue).
Speaking of the crane operator, here's the ginormous crane:
The following day they used the crane to place the 24"-deep roof joists, shown here from the second floor.
They also placed the timber-frame awning, which will hold up the solar panels. It was definitely two dramatically productive days!
Eli's crew has been busy on-site ever since then, but the time for Ted's and my DIY phase had arrived. Last weekend Ted used a laser level to start laying out the interior walls (note autumn foliage in the background).
But our DIY plans hit a major obstacle the next day when Ted had a bicycle accident and broke his collarbone :-(
He's scheduled for surgery in a few days, and he'll be unable to swing a hammer for a solid six weeks.
But work continued, culminating yesterday with the arrival of our windows. Eli and I worked all day Tuesday preparing the rough openings with Vycor, flex-wrap, and flashing tape.
Eli overhead Patrik and Tomas from European Architectural Supply say that we had the best-prepared rough openings they'd ever seen. They even took photos, presumably to shame their other clients.
It was a marathon, but the EAS team and Eli's crew managed to fully install the windows and the front door in a single day. The first one (on the north wall) peeks out into some lovely woods:
So at last we have a weathered-in house! No insulation yet, but it's already warmer and more comfortable than our drafty apartment.
Before installing solar panels, get a home energy audit to find out where you're wasting the most energy. Your house will be more comfortable if you seal leaks and add more insulation, so don't just slap solar panels on the roof without curbing energy use.