Saturday, December 1, 2007

Deck and Porch Footings

We dug 12 post holes total : 2 for the front porch and 10 for the deck last weekend (12" diameter by 42" deep), had our building inspector sign off on them and prepared them for the concrete footings. We used 48" deep form tubes (sono tubes, sp?) in the holes for containing and forming a cylinder of concrete. We went through 80 bags of Quickcrete ready mix and 70 gallons of hot water (since the temperature was ~25 degrees today). Dad Forbes' electric cement mixer came in really handy. When the concrete started to set, we installed 9" pieces of rebar (other wise known as the "drift pin") vertically into the form with 3-4" sticking out of the concrete. This is what our hand hewn solid white cedar log deck posts will attach into. We covered all of these freshly poured footings with a bunch of straw from bales bought at the Napolean Livestock Auction to protect them from the freezing temperatures and the early winter storm (which started just as we were leaving the property for the day). I will add more pictures later. . . I was only able to take some photo's early on in the process.

Cody inspects subfloor and Don and Steve's work

Mr. Cody likes the view from on top of the subfloor (he is too short to jump up there so we need to lift him up on to it). He can parade around on top and perch himself in one of the corners for "surveying duty". Don adn Steve were down to stack the first corner of logs so that we could mount the electrical box for our permanent service.

Garage Doors

Our garage doors came in mid-November, and I stained (UV protectant) and weather sealed them before they were installed and exposed to the winter weather. Ade and Bill installed them (some of the horizontal track work still needs to be completed as well as all of the trim work around the openings and the decorative black metal handles) on Thanksgiving day. Each "door" is really a trio of panelled sections . They are made out of solid hemlock with an extra plywood backing on the inside.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


November 6-7 ~ Our builder (rough carpenter), Steve Keysor (Keysor Builders, Harrison, MI) and a crew of 3 other men travelled down to the property to attach our subfloor system to the foundation for 2 days. They worked on placement of the sill seal, sill plates (attached with metal anchor strapping instead of anchor bolts) , LSL (laminated strand lumber) rim boards, LVL (laminated veneer lumber) support beams, engineered I joists (iLevel Trus Joist Silent Floor System) and 6 steel jackposts (3" and 4" diameter) required in our basement to support and evenly distribute the weight bearing load of the home. They attached all of the plywood sheathing the next day. Pretty exciting stuff.

Nails vs. "Nail Runs"

Going out for a "Nail Run" is a welcome respite occasionally . . . we use fancy bottle openers too . . .

Pooped Out Dogs

November 3-13th ~ "This property stuff is hard work, lots of ground to cover, scents to track, things to discover, people and trucks coming and going and running around chasing each other in the sand".
~Ms. Gretta and Mr. Cody

Septic System

Novmber 3rd ~ Our excavators (RPM Excavating) completed our septic system. They trenched the spot for our 1500 gallon septic tank and 1200 square foot drain field.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Garage Concrete Pour

Willbee Concrete arrived at our property at 10:30 this morning, ready to pour the first 9 yards of #3500 PSI concrete mix (26' x 34' x 4" deep). The second truck delivered 5 yards about an hour after we started. We had the garage divided up into 3 pouring "bays". We all took turns raking the mix and Robert and I were the designated skreeders. Brian helped Ade do most of the raking as well as "floating" of the steel mesh reinforcement. Ade removed all of the forms and then did all of the "bull floating". He and his dad also worked on all of the trowel finishing. The concrete pour work took about 2 and a half hours. The concrete sat for 2 or so hours, and then the finish work took another 2 and a half hours. Ade carved 11-3-07 into the wet concrete, using a nail, in between the 2 front center posts. The day went very smoothly and was a lot less cumbersome than anticipated (also thanks to the excellent drivers who new what they were doing). I thought that the floor looked like a giant cake being frosted. No dogs were allowed out on the property today . . . for obvious reason I suppose . . . like potential paw prints in the concrete.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Cedar Jungle!

We pulled up to our property at 7:45 am with the Rapid River Rustic truck waiting for us on Wolf Lake Road. It was loaded to the hilt with pallets of our home logs as well as half log siding for the garage and dormers for the house. We also received a ton of our cedar tongue and groove decking for the soffits, rough sawn cedar for the fascia, and other miscellaneous cedar for window and door trim. We will most likely receive one more truck load from them towards the end of the "rough in" which will include all of the cedar stairs, balcony, deck material and other fun stuff I'm sure I am missing by not looking at our materials list. The rest of our building materials (internal framing, support beams, etc.) will come from Carter lumber in Jackson whom Rapid River Rustic has contracted through for the rest of our log home package (aside from all of our windows, French patio doors and fixed glass, which will come from their local Anderson Window distributor). The unloading went beautifully thanks to our excavator (RPM excavating) Mike and his dad Ron. They were done in 2 hours flat, and made everything look like cake! Our builder, Steve Keysor will begin the subfloor this up coming Wednesday! We'll see how much he can get done before the crew heads back north for hunting season!

Further Garage Work

On Sunday 10/28 (Ade's and my 7-year wedding anniversary), Mom Chauvin and I dug 5+ yards of dirt out of the house basement to prepare for the radiant floor underlayment while Dad Forbes and Chauvin put OSB sheathing up on the garage roof with Robert and Ade (big thanks to Roberto for helping us, yet again!). The garage floor was also starting to be prepared for a concrete pour from Willbee's of Jackson.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Basement !

The forms were removed from the basement walls last Tuesday (the day after Adams poured our walls) and they were sprayed with the black rubberized foundation coating on Thursday. Pea stone was also placed around the exterior and interior at the base of the walls. It is easier to picture the view that we will have of the tree line now that the walls are in. It is also bizarre to walk down into the "basement" and hear an echo when someone talks or makes a noise. Our neices and nephew from Columbus enjoyed running up and down the dirt piles from our excavation of the basement.

"Barn Raising"

Saturday and Sunday were spent working out on the property with friends and family. We were blessed with absolutely gorgeous weather and lots of helping hands. Many thanks to Dad (s) Forbes and Chauvin, Brian, Chris, Jason, Mike and our brother-in-law Vince. We were able to place the last 2 front posts, set the 18 roof trusses and nail up a good deal of the OSB siding onto the frame.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pole Barn Progression

The Pole Barn continues to progress. The girder boards are all now up, and Ade and his dad continue to cut "bird mouth" notches out at the tops of the posts to place the header boards. We have Dad Chauvin as well as friends from church coming out on Saturday to help put up all of the trusses as well as the OSB siding, and maybe even the OSB roofing. Menards will deliver the rest of the pole barn package on Wednesday out to the property. The county Soil and Erosion department inspector stopped by the property to wave our permit, and noted that it was a pretty nice horse corral.