Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nick And Heidi

When Deb does her pigtail thing she looks like “Heidi” Here, Deb and Nick get ready to unload the floor joists from the high lift that Kevin is running.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Steel Worker..... Not!

Kevin and Don line up the steel beam and get ready to drop it on the bolts..... Of course it fits perfectly - Kevin and Troy make it happen!

Crane Unloads Steel Beam

Here is comes!

Nick Checks For Square

Nick and Kevin check the steel for square before we tighten the bolts.

Loft Steel Frame

OK, last of the steel is bolted in, ready to get the loft floor.

The Trio

Nick, Debbie and Don pose for a photo taken by Andy. Of course Kevin is below working while we are posing!

Here Comes The Last Of The Steel

Without question, Kevin is the most precise person I know. Unless it is perfect, it just doesn’t happen. Here, he checks out the steel plate in preparation for the delivery of the steel for the loft floor.

Here It Is!

Wow! How about this? All we have to do is have the AAC placed around the frame and we are about done with the external walls of the house.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Night Moves

ep, by the time we get it down the driveway its already dark. No worries, that is why fork lifts have headlights.

Kevin And Nick

While we are at it, here is a great pic of Kevin and his nephew Nick. This was taken just before the crane operator showed up on Sunday. These are two wonderful people that continue to help us day in and out to make our dream home project successful!

Its In!

Sure enough, thanks to Kevin and Troy our steel frame fit perfectly. Amazing!

Its Up....

.... its ready to receive the bolts - all 16 of them!


Always an interesting adventure here in Bow. Our big frame was supposed to be moved from Troy’s shop on Sunday morning. Well Saturday night Troy calls us and says, “go stop traffic on colony road, we are bringing the frame to your house site..... now!” Deb and I run to get the truck and when we get there, Troy has already parked his pick up truck across colony rd, and Tod is bringing the frame on his trailer (all 19 ft wide and 16 ft. tall) down the road and on to our street.... being followed by his sister (Troys wife) in her truck with the flashers on.... Country living at its finest... “we don’t need any flagger, we just stop the traffic ourselves.... and, if someone wants to get by my truck then I just say go ahead, but you are going to run into a 19 ft 3000 pound piece of steel in about 100 yds down the road!” Wild, this Bow living! So, here is the frame being taken off the trailer with our fork lift ready to head down our driveway!

The Picture Window Frame

This is our frame being fabricated in Troy’s (self-built) shop that is about a mile from our house. This is no small undertaking. The frame is about 16 ft X 18 ft. in size and weighs about 3000 pounds!

Troy, Levi, And Steve

Above, we just mentioned the sense of community/neighbors that has completely overwhelmed us. This morning I stopped by Troy’s shop to watch the construction of our steel picture window frame. From the minute I walked up I just about welled up and cried. There they were - Troy, his fifteen year-old son, Levi, and his friend Steve were all working on the frame. To get it done “on time” Troy is having his son, and called his friend Steve to help him “get er’ done!” This just broke me up seeing this. Kevin and his nephew came over, and Tod said he would transport the frame on Sunday morning to the house site so Tim (another friend of Tod’s) can come over with his crane to install it on Sunday afternoon. Imagine trying to get a “real business” out on a Sunday with a 2 day notice....NOT. We could go on and on about all of this but you get the picture. It is incredible what is going on.

A Sense Of Community/neighborhood

At this point in our effort to actually build our dream home, and actually for the past month or so, we have come to realize that without our “new” friends and neighbors - specifically Kevin, Tod, and Troy (the latest trio!) - Rich and Joanne, Carol and John, Wayne and Terry and Jeff, Tim and Sandy, Karin, Ardie and Larry, the Russom Family, the Cesena Family, - that our dream home project would have failed. It is that simple. It would have failed. And, more than likely we would have moved to a stick built home, and the added expenses to this would have been off the chart - literally!

Honestly, we do not know where we would be at this point in time. More than likely in tears and in a very depressed and sad state. We owe everything to these people. The fact that they have jumped in in every way imaginable is just overwhelming to us. We are very very fortunate - and clearly someone is looking out for us. We’ll be adding more about this soon so stay tuned.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Front Of House

The aac block for the east side (front) of the house is complete. But, we sitll have to grade out the fill to the front door and there will be a roof piece that goes over the front door that will extend out for about 8 ft. This will keep everyone dry when they come knocking on the front door - ho ho!

South Wall Progress

This is the south side of the house. The large opening is the guest bedroom sliding doorway, and the windows above are for the dining area. The long board is a ledger board for the deck that will extend out.

Northwest Corner

Here is the latest shot for the Northwest Corner of the house. The big event will be installing the large steel picture window frame above the west wall. Should happen sometime next week. Boy are we nervous about that!!

Dining Room Wall

The living space will be one open space that includes the kitchen, dining room area, and living room area. This is the window cluster for the dining room area. The window on the far left will light the stairwell that still needs to be constructed. The small opening you can barely see in the lower left of the photo is part of the pad for the wood heater. And, even though the tarp is still up, it has not been need the last two weeks. Not a drop of rain... The tarp will be removed once we are done with the aac block - which we hope is less than 2 weeks away?


AAC block makes a wonderful chair and dining table....


For those of you who have not seen us in a while, and in case you forgot, this is what we look like.

Dinner On The Third Floor

Our latest self portrait

Our Monthly Break

It seems we have about a couple hours a month to take a break. So, we decided one night to make dinner at the barn and “shlep” it down to the house site, and climb up on the third floor and have dinner and a glass of wine while watching the birds and the sunset. It was wonderful. It was great to just take a second to sit and stare and imagine where we are heading with our dream project......

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Site For Sore Eyes!

Our dear friends Lisa and Dick arrived this past weekend! We were so happy to see them we just about cried - well, maybe we did - in fact i know we had a tear of two when they left!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Dark Side

It would not be complete, or honest, of us to continue painting this dream project of ours without informing everyone of some of the dark side...... Yes, there have been parts of this project that have absolutely depressed, maddened, and came so very close to breaking our spirit to the point we just about gave up on everything. Since moving in the barn on March 12, here is a short list of the things we didn’t want to mention but might as well at this point......:)

- two days before we pack and move all our stuff from our house in Portland, Don throws his back out for the first time in his life. He literally can’t move, gets a load of pain killers, and Debbie ends up unloading everything into the barn with our neigbor Wayne and his son Jeff.

- AAC block arrives only to find out it is all wrong and needs to be replaced. - Spring weather is worst weather in the area in recorded history. It snows on us three times in April! June 3 - the first day we start laying the new block, it rains 3 inches in one day causing the tarp to collapse. Rain, mud, puddles, torn tarp, broken rope, dismantled pulleys..... tarp would collapse another 3 times.

- A mini tornado hits Bow and a tree on our property comes down within 25 feet of the house, breaking a guy wire for the tarp, causing it to collapse on the house. Deb stays up and bails the tarp on the hour till 2:30 am - ALONE. Don was in Portland for a meeting at the time.

- to be continued at an appropriate time....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Floor Joists Again

When you plan to have a tall house, you have to have a couple floors - here is the bedroom ceiling joists, which are also the living room space floor joists. Great fun installing all of this! We generally work from 7 am till 8 or 9 at night - three days in a row. It seems that going to our work the next day is a blessing!


Our main hallway leading to the bedrooms and office will be made of a combination of AAC block walls and 2 x 4 walls. The section made of AAC will also serve as a support box to hold up the masonry stove that sits on it above in our living space. It will weigh 10,000 pounds!

Friday, July 18, 2008

More Steel!

Here is a shot of some more steel that goes into the house. We hand placed it! Some of the beams weighed over 500 pounds each. Thanks to Kevin and Troy, they fit like a glove!

More Steel!

Our wonderful neighbor Tod brings down another load of steel beams - designed by Kevin, fabricated by Troy, and delivered by Tod. All three of these guys are our neighbors. Simply, we would not have a house without them!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Muscle Men!

Andy and Mark strut their stuff just before they start pouring concrete into the “trough,” which is a called a bond beam.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Kevin’s nephew Nick has been hired on by us to help out with our carpentry and AAC work. Here, he poses with a load of cement!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

We’ll Stop Here For Now And Continue With The Progress And The Good Stuff

Onward we go.

Another Milestone!

As of July 7, at about 1:00 pm, we completed the “second floor!” This is huge. We have the walls to do for this level and then the smaller section for the loft. This is the level where we will be installing our LARGE picture windows that are encased in steel beams. Just wait till you see this. We are nervous as hell about it. This aside, Deb and I sat up here last night and just looked out toward the ocean. We will have some additional tree limbing to do, but what we really noticed is how absolutely beautiful our foreground/property is! Early morning or later evening, the whole area is like sitting inside a bird aviary. Magical! Thus, our excitement continues to build as we get closer to a roof and installed windows - which means being “dried- in.”

From The Inside

Water everywhere and much cleanup of wet plywood, tools, etc.


View From The East Side

Look like fun?

Need We Say More?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

First Collapse?

Not sure what collapse this is but this is what we saw at 6 am one morning after a torrential night of rain.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Doorway Deb

Standing in the master bedroom doorway, deb has a look out at the beginnings of a new sunset. There will be a small balcony off the bedroom, accessed by this door. Should be a great spot to step out on in the morning to help start the new day, or in the evening before sleep.

Waste Pile

This is the scene in front of our house! It is all AAC block trims/waste. But, fear not, you can recycle AAC - but in our case we are going to use it as road base for our driveway spur to the house. It is totally inert.

Love That Smile!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Northwest Corner Of The House

This is the latest view as of June 30. It seems that once the windows get framed in, everything looks better and more interesting. Basically the three main windows here are our bedroom windows, garage below on right and office and hallway windows above garage. We hope to install the floor within a week. This includes more steel and some detailed work to bring the interior walls up from the garage that will support our wood stove. And, best of all, our weather has been fantastic. 75 degrees, clear and no rain!