Blog Entries For The Month of March 2018

Woohoo! Our metal roof! A different crew showed up today and they were there to install the metal roofing. We specifically wanted a metal roof and not shingles, in fact we had to pay a little extra for that. But a metal roof sounds wonderful in the rain, it looks absolutely amazing and it will outlast us. If you don't have metal roofing on your house, we would certainly recommend getting it installed. The big pieces on the main part of the roof went up very quickly. It slowed down a little when it got the fireplace overhang, the side entry door porch and the front porch. They had 4 guys on the roof measuring and screwing the sheets in place and 2 guys on the ground cutting the sheets and handing them up to the roof people. I salute them for being able to measure a odd shape, call out the numbers to the guy on the ground and then he cuts a piece that fits perfectly. We would waste 3 full sheets if we tried to do that.

Top 10 Budget Road Trips

Skilled workers? We have to give the carpenters and roofers credit for being so good at their jobs. They would arrive very early and work tirelessly until the job was completed. Lifting, measuring, sawing and installing... they got it done. Each worker knew his job and didn't need to be told what to do next. They just knew based on what was going on. I wish I had some of the carpentry skills but I guess I'll have to be satisfied at being mediocre in that field of expertise. We didn't take many pictures when they were installing the metal roofing, but we wouldn't leave you hanging. Here's a shot of the roof, still being installed but they don't have far to go. You can see a better shot of the roof in post #19. You see those ominous clouds in the sky? Yep, more rain is on the way. Grrrr... 19

Windows This post will be a short one, but we are excited to share with you our new windows. We had these special ordered because we wanted a certain type of window in the front, as well as the front door. The windows are large, unobstructed panes giving a great view of the outside. The front door has the glass panels running vertically on each side of the door... that's so people who come to the door can peek in before knocking. That's OK, we have 2 security cameras that monitor the front porch as well as a video doorbell. Even with all that, we will likely cover those panels on the inside.

Top 10 Budget Road Trips

The big front windows are awesome. They allow us to see outside easily, they are well insulated and one side of each window actually opens so we can get a breeze coming through the house. The windows in the bedrooms are the same size as the front, just a different style. They are 2 windows side by side and they open the way that most other windows do... lift up the bottom after unlocking them. Because the windows are so big and people may be tempted to break in one day, we have a security camera that looks at each windows, and we have motion activated LED floodlights on every corner. That's about all we can really say about the windows right now, so below are a couple of pictures for you...


Hardie Board Siding The crew that installs the siding showed up today and started their work. When we were considering what kind of siding to get, we looked at brick, vinyl and Hardie siding. We wanted a product that looked great, was easy to maintain, and would outlast us. We ruled out brick because we just didn't the house would have the look we intended. Brick is very durable and not terribly expensive to have installed, and we had no bad feelings about brick other than the final look. We really didn't spend much time looking at vinyl. The look is terrible, it will mold one day, and it is just a very poor quality choice in our opinion. Hardie siding costs about the same as having brick installed. Hardie siding will not burn, will not melt, will not mold, and absolutely will outlast us. We ordered the unpainted version of the siding then had it painted the color of our choice. You have to caulk every single seam of the siding... the seams between each slab, the seams around windows and doggy doors, and the seam at the corner of the house. It took 3 men more than half a day just to get the caulking done.

Once the caulking was done, they painted the house. Oddly enough, they used brushes and not sprayers. They were done in no time and the house looks fantastic. It is starting to look exactly how we envisioned it. Even though our builder is VERY slow to get crews out here, they are generally quick workers once they get here. The image above shows the siding installed and painted. The trim work still needs to be painted white. Below are a few more images of the siding.


Plumbers and electricians - The same people. Well, it turns out that the plumber is also an electrician and the electrician is also a plumber. That's convenient. Anyways, they arrived at the house... 10 days after the house was dried in. It's sad that we are 4 1/2 months into this construction project and this is the stage we are at. The whole thing should have been completed by now, but apparently I picked a bad contractor. These guys set out doing their job and thankfully asked me pertinent questions along the way. Things like 'where do you want your outlets' and 'where will your outside lights be', etc. We had marked on the studs with a Sharpie showing where we wanted electrical outlets, TV hookups, and so forth. The blueprints showed all the plumbing needed for the house.

The little above image is the hookups for the washer and dryer. We bought a Maytag front load set and they will sit on a custom stand so we can have the doors about waist high. As we get older, bending over gets more difficult. They used PEX tubing throughout and for the most part, they did a good job. They answered all of my questions, gave me advice if I wanted something impractical, and they were thorough in their job. They put in the tub and shower surrounds, ran all the electrical wire for everything, as well as the cable TV wiring. They started on March 19, 2018 but couldn't complete it all in one day. We didn't see them again until March 27, 2018. They finally got it all in except for the actual outlets and switches. They hooked up the 3 outside outlets so the other contractors would have access to power now that the temp pole has been disconnected.


The Workshop This project is one that I am in charge of. Let's see if I am any better than my general contractor (spoiler alert, I am). I wanted a new workshop so I could have a place to store my tools, lawn equipment, and my motorcycle. I wanted enough space to turn the bike around and not be crowded, so I ordered a 22' x 31' metal building. I also wanted it to have a concrete floor as I didn't want to have to deal with dirt or mud. I used an online estimator and determined I would need about 9 yards of concrete. I decided to go with 10 yards which is a full truck load for a concrete truck. I called one of the local concrete places and asked about price and delivery schedules. He quoted me a price and asked if I wanted it today! I said yes then hastily called my 2 brother-in-laws to see if they would help me pour the slab. Thank goodness they were available. Now this is my very first time to pour concrete and I only know you have to build a suitable frame and it has to be leveled. I built the frame on the previously leveled spot where I wanted the workshop, I thought I did a pretty good job but I must admit, it was 1.5" out of square when all was said and done.

This is hard work! Pouring concrete is hard, very hard. Kudos to those that do this for a living. When we first started the pour, the mix was too dry for us to work with so we had them mix in more water. This was a big help to us during the pour but it greatly extended the drying time. As it turned out, it took exactly 10 yards of concrete for this job. The online estimator wasn't wrong, I just had some areas a little thicker than 4 inches. In the image above, you can see some spillage from the frame, but we ended up scooping some of that up to level up a few areas near the edges. There was an extra roof truss left over from the house, so we cut off the top of that so we would have a long enough board to scrape the top with. It took a lot of shimmying, grunting, and pushing to level it off but we got it done. The only tools for this I had was a rented a long handled smoother and I had a hand trowel already, so I didn't end up with a shiny smooth surface but it certainly is smooth enough for a workshop. It doesn't really look that much different from the concrete that the pros installed, so I am quite happy with it.

The Metal Workshop Building As soon as the slab was completely dry, we had the crew come in and install the metal building. These guys really knew what they were doing as they only took a little over half a day to put the building up. We ordered the custom building from Carolina Carports as they were the cheapest for this size unit. It was an A frame design with a vertical roof, one 10' wide garage door on each end, and a standard walk in door on the front end. The total cost of the building installed was $5,700.00. That seems like a lot but that is what the market bears so that's what we paid. That cost does not include the concrete slab, that was $1,300.00 by itself. Below are pictures of the workshop being installed. They were able to easily compensate for the slab being 1.5" out of square by removing that much of the shop in the middle. That's fine by me! The workshop turned out great and I am thrilled to have it. Although not shown in these pictures, I have already put all my man stuff in it. I built Cynthia a 7' x 19' storage building for her stuff and she's content with that.


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