Monday, June 3, 2013

Topping It Off

Tradition: Quirky Poses
This weekend we stepped the pace back a bit. 
It was my birthday on Saturday, and we had planned to go on a hike along the coast from morning until mid-afternoon. Balance is truly key. We purposely set aside time for fun.

THEN we would go work on the house. It all sounds ambitious- and it was. After a very fun jaunt along the rocky coast- Dan and I returned, changed, and immediately set out to work on the house. We had to purchase 16 foot 2x6s and additional 8 footers- which required Dan's Dad's truck yet again; that calls for a little more running around. Nevertheless, we wanted to get the rafter framing built, a house needs a roof! 

Loft rafters in time to get those boards down,
 cut, and back up again.
I clearly overlooked what a coastal hike in the beating sun does to me. We had a blast, but we also got dehydrated. We then headed over to my Dad's without near enough fluids. First, we needed to create the loft framing- this would give us something to stand on for at least part of the roof framing job. It was more of a pain than we thought. The way the windows are framed makes it very tricky to decide on optimum height of the loft-- without interfering with the actual window. Our first oversite. :/ We'll come up with an interesting solution I'm sure. We finally decided on 6 feet 2.5 inches. TIGHT SQUEEZE for Dan! But that's still enough room for him to walk easily, and certainly enough for me- not to mention the loft has a nice amount of height to it. We can both comfortably sit up!

Dan wiping sweat and the little stoppers on the roof line.

Next we had to take off the tarp that we threw up there last weekend. NOTE TO FUTURE BUILDERS- pull the tarp TAUGHT and SECURE it - or just don't use one. lol We came back to a tarp dipping in between boards that were thrown across the top. I'm going to say one of the "dips" had a good 20 gallons of water in its bulging belly. We struggled and heaved, trying to get the water to drain OUTSIDE the house. At one point, Dan was jabbing at it with a 10 footer from below, while I stood on a make shift platform in the loft, and tried to essentially shoulder press the water up, over, and out. Well, you know that property about water? Where it changes shape? As I pushed upward, the tarp smushed down around me, at one point only my legs were visible. It was certainly a test of my claustrophobia. -But also funny...after the fact.

 FINALLY- we started framing a box around the top of the walls. We tacked little "helper stoppers" around the edges of the house to hold the 2x6s in place while we nailed the initial box together. The 2x6s stand on edge to make the box, which means there's still more room left on the top plate of each wall, the rafters that go across at 16" on center simply drop inside the box and rest on the remaining top plate space.

That sounds pretty straight forward, but when there are only two of you, 10 foot walls that seem REALLY HUGE, and only one good ladder that even reaches high enough-- you end up in a lot of precarious positions that give you the heebee-jeebees when you think back on what you accomplished and how- post blind ambition.  Might I add that it was about 98 degrees outside and quite humid. We were drenched in sweat as we climbed up and down repeatedly, ladders and wall framing alike- there was actually a point where I used my head as a lever to hoist me up. It was quite comical- wish we had the video camera on for that one! Once the box was framed and secured, the rest of the rafters went in nicely. Minus the scary positions we were in as we nailed each one in place. 

If that wasn't enough- we still had that last strip of house wrap to put up. We didn't have a ladder tall enough last time. That's when the crazy acrobatics and sheer exhaustion really kicked in. Not a good combination! We were both sweaty, crabby, and wiped.

We arrived at about 2pm. We didn't look at the time again until 8pm. I finally announced to Dan that I was done. There were delusions of applying the plywood sheathing to the roof as well, but after hours of hiking in the beating sun, 2 hour drive round trip, power squatting a huge saggy water bag, and clinging to the tops of our walls in a variety of creative non-OSHA approved positions, all in sweltering heat- I was SPENT.  It was my birthday and I wanted to go home. We were both dizzy and achey, but happy those steps were over. It was a tedious and detail ridden job this time around, but we got through it...even with several exasperating bumps along the way.

On Sunday we were two hurting units for sure. We decided if we could manage to do anything at all, we should put a temporary roof on the house. The week calls for more thunderstorms. After a slow start in the morning, stiffly shuffling around and pounding water, we made it out there. We placed plywood loosely on top of the rafters which would prevent the dips in the tarp and also allowed us to see what our additional plywood needs would be. We then took our ginormous (30'x40') tarp, yanked and dragged it across the roof and then tacked it down tightly. That was a pain in the keester!
But it's done- and we can rest easy this week. :)

Here's hoping the heat goes easy on us next weekend!
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