Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend Help

Mom and Dad Chauvin came out to help at the property on Sunday. We were able to check a lot of things off of our checklist with their help. Dad C. assembled Ade's new miter saw stand. Mom C. painted service entrance doors to the garage and helped stack our cedar tongue and groove ceiling paneling. We picked up junk and scraps in and around the house (a NEVERENDING but necessary task on the job site). Mom, Dad and Dad Forbes installed our basement windows. Both Dads installed a safety railing around our first floor stairwell. We continued to work on (which we finished the next day) siding the garage and working on the garage door trim.

More Northern White Cedar Processing Pictures

Here are yet some more processing pictures taken at Town and Country Cedar Products up in Boyne Falls. I found a pile of tagged Northern White Cedar ready to be processed. I'm not sure if it was in a special location for its diameter or if it was on its way to the "hand peeling and hewing" area of production (think rustic, old-school lumber production with peeling and finishing done by hand using an adz - a scoop shaped axe) which I also took some pictures of. Using "modern" milling production at Town and Country, the harvested tree would undergo the "canting" process (log is cut into a square shape and the first layer of sapwood is removed) and then be sent to their kilns for drying before going to its final destination in the production mill.

Northern White Cedar

Here are some photos that I took of the various stages of harvesting of the Northern White Cedar species while wandering around the Town and Country lumber yard. According to the Town and Country website, they are a "green" company, adhering to environmentally conscious standards of harvesting and milling. They undertake a "selective harvesting" process which allows new growth to take place in the areas of harvesting and the special mechanical harvestors virtually eliminate any damage to the surrounding forest during this process. The mill production building is heated from undeground pipes with excess steam from the drying kilns. All of the sawdust and shavings from production are blown into a silo and collected to be used for horse and dog bedding. Bark is used for landscaping and tree limbs for railings. Nothing is wasted during the milling process. Their "end-match" tongue and groove paneling product is machined to also have the tongue and groove on the ends of the boards which eliminates the excess "squaring" waste of fitting boards together during installation.

Town and Country Cedar Products Lumber Yard

As we were having the pallets of our cedar tongue and groove ceiling paneling loaded onto the bed of the trailer, Cody and I wandered around the vast lumbar yard to check out everything. There were huge stockpiles of cedar all over the place in their various stages of processing. According to the Town and Country Cedar Products website, professional harvesters go to work each winter in northern Michigan to maintain the more than $3,000,000 in white cedar inventory stored up at the Boyne Falls sawmill and production location.

Town and Country Cedar Products Roadtrip

We left on Saturday morning to take a whirlwind road trip up to Boyne Falls, MI to the Town and Country Cedar Products mill location. We picked up all of our northern white cedar tongue and groove ceiling paneling for the entire second floor (including cathedral ceiling) of the house. We didn't mind the 4 and a half hour drive to save about $500.00 in shipping costs (when all was said and done with the expensive gas costs to travel north and trailer rental). It was a beautiful weekend to do so. We got a chance briefly to smell that clean "up north air". I took several pictures at the facility and will post a few other entries surounding this topic. Once we arrived back to our property, we unloaded 515 pieces (~4100 linear feet) of the tongue and groove paneling and are storing it inside of the master bedroom walk in closet until we begin the task of installing it. It is a beautiful product. We are really happy with the quality of the order.

Garage Siding Done!

We placed the last piece of Northern White Cedar half log siding on the garage today! The only tasks remaing on the outside of the garage are placing the decorative black metal spade handles on the garage doors, mounting/wiring the 2 mission-style garage lights on either side of the garage doors and staining the wood (which will be including in the massive undertaking of staining the house this fall after we are moved in). Ade will also need to frame-in his workshop in the back portion of the garage, but that can also be completed after we move into the house.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Our sub-contractor Aspen Heating and Cooling started supply and return air runs in the house 2 weeks ago. The system is starting to take shape. As soon as the upstairs windows and doors are in, they will install the actual geothermal furnace unit (Bard 5 ton), control board and all appropriate plumbing.

House Updates

The Northern White Cedar Soffit has been completed around the entire house. The skylights have been cut out of the ceiling of the shed dormer, and the rest of the shed dormer has been shingled. The ridge vents are the only thing remaining on the roofing portion of the job. The Anderson windows and door package arrived this past Thursday, so our building crew should be installing them shortly. We installed our five basement windows this weekend and will wait to install the sliding basement door until after the HVAC sub-contractor has the furnace delivered to the property. Dad Chauvin brought us our first American flag for Memorial Day.

Cody Cameos

Mr. Cody passes the time in a variety of ways these days out at the property while the building seems to drag on until dark. He patrols the field behind the house, lounges and naps in the sand or on the cement floor in the garage or basement (the cool surface feels good on warm days) or even collects saw dust on his coat while watching the latest task at hand.

Spring at the Forbes Homestead

Here are some miscellaneous photos taken around the property. Trees and shrubs are greening up, wildflowers are starting to bloom and weeds are growing in full force. We also seem to have some skeletal remains of what looks to be a deer that we found near the back of the property. Cody found it quite interesting.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

House Updates

Here are some photos taken today with the updates on the house. All of the shingles are on but those covering the shed dormer (the shingles can't go on until the 3 skylights arrive with the window order and are installed). The ridge vent still needs to be installed also. The second floor framing is just about complete, so we can see the loft, 3 bedrooms and bathroom taking shape. Also, you can start to see flashing being strategically placed around the house for supply and return air vents by our HVAC sub-contractor, Aspen Heating and Cooling of Jackson. I also took a "Spring" photo looking out of our Great Room windows (the last one I took had some snow on the ground and the trees were still bare) . The windows and doors order will be arriving on-site this upcoming Friday (5/16), so stay posted for more updated shots.

Garage Siding

The garage "half log" siding is coming along. We ordered Northern White Cedar siding for the garage from our log home company so that it would look the same as the full logs used for the house. I help out with a lot of the cutting and measuring of the siding while Ade and his Dad nail the siding up. The gable portion of the garage is kind of tricky for cutting siding as it needs to be mitered, so this portion is pretty much left up to Ade and his Dad. It also gets tricky when working around windows and doors as well. We have completed one side and the back as of tonight. We hope to have another side done sometime this week and then get started on the front of the garage.