An eventful few weeks

Submitted by Andrea on October 20, 2011

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.