Monday, June 27, 2011

Doors, windows, and drywall

Windows and the front door are in, and the drywall is almost done, and it makes it look so much different! I am incredibly excited. Expect fewer updates for a while, as Alan and I have to move out of our apartment...something we've been neglecting in favor of building the conex. 

The ikea kitchen setup stations-- 5 cabinets, grouped by parts that belong to them. They missed one set of drawer fronts, that Alan went and got today. This may have been a very stupid idea...

Friday, June 24, 2011

What's silver and pink and cost $1,200?

Our insulation!

My other car is a 36 ton crane

Moving day 3 of 4.

That. was. AWESOME.

The crane comes in.

The crane settles down.

The crapshack is strapped in.

and up she goes!

Gently, now..

All done, and not a single hitch. It took less than half an hour.

As you can see, by 9:30am in the summer our front windows will be in shade. This will keep the solar heating to a minimum, but the skylight will allow in plenty of natural light.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Our home is mobile!

Moving day 2 of 4. The truck got here at 6:30am (I did mention Alan and his dad were up 'til 4:30, right? This is why we needed everything finished).

Discussing the logistics of getting a now 13' wide container out of a 16' door...gently.

The solution? Pick up the front, and...

Scootch it with a lever.

There she goes!


Alan Sr. helps load the container onto the truck.

We get lots of natural light in the morning, and were able to see how it feels in there even without insulation.... and it's
quite nice! The orientation of the container and window placement is working well.

It looks a little derelict sitting there in the bright sun, but it
will be home soon.

A porch is born

Wow, It's been a while since I've updated. It's because we had a LOT of work to do, and lot of long days. I'm going to break this up into two updates: one detailing all of the fabrication that's been done, and one for what happened today.
The big issue we were working on is the porch. For the sake of awesome, we decided to cantilever it. For the community skill set we have, this means steel. Quite a bit of it. We also needed to finish the window and door frames (fabrication and placement), the skylight, vent holes and pipes, and lay out the wiring and outlet/switch placement. Paul the contractor did the electrical and it's pretty much like magic, and it's all officially done today. The reason we needed to finish all of the welding is.... we get insulation tomorrow! And since Alan has already started a kitchen fire with a welder, we really don't want to catch our insulation on fire. It's just a smidge toxic. In addition to that, I took a bad trip and landed poorly, and have been too busy pitying myself and poking my bruises to update. Also, you'll be able to see why we ran over budget..

Without further delay...a porch. My dad was able to come down to help us with part of this, which was super exciting!

The deck of the porch consists of 50" 3"x3" square stock spaced every four feet. You can see most of them tacked on here, with part of our outdoor
storage/water heater wall being placed on the end.

Alan Sr. and my dad work on the roof supports/wall of the water heater closet



The first of the uprights, awning supports, and handrail.

The rest of the uprights, awning supports, and handrail. Alan and his dad were up until 4:30 this morning getting this welding finished.

Here's Alan welding the window frame in. Can you tell what he's doing wrong? The answer will
be at the end of this update.

Our end cap wall is in place now! It really gives the whole thing a sense of what it's really going to look like.

As for the little test...Alan is welding without a jacket, meaning this happened. Don't be stupid like Alan, it hurts. These are U.V. burns from the arc AND blisters (hard to see) from stuff popping while welding.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Quick update

Just a quick one: The swamp cooler is in, and that wall is finished with framing.

The forms are off of the stem walls, and it is BEAUTIFUL. Big big kudos to Paul the contractor and Matt from A.V. Shortload, we're all really excited about the wall. Better pictures tomorrow, there was just too much to do today.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Concrete, concrete, concrete!

One really big thing and some small things today.

Our stem walls were poured! Another late night/early morning getting the forms finished (thanks, Paul the contractor!), set up, and centered.

The forms start as 20" x 10' pieces of plywood, which are then cut to length and nailed to 2x4's. Two of these equals one wall- then, we drilled through the 2x4's, 4 times per, top and bottom (blue X's, following the pink line). This is where we inserted the spreaders that keep the walls secured whatever distance apart you want them. You then secure the spreaders. We laid the rebar on top of those, centered the forms, used yet more 2x4's to brace the forms against one another, and were ready to pour.

You may notice the cement truck looks a little weird-- that's because it's a shortload truck, which means that the cement, sand, gravel, and water are mixed on-site to your specifications-- and you only pay for what you use, not what's sent out in one of the big revolving trucks. It is a total time-saver, the whole pour for the walls took only an hour start to finish.

Beautiful! Not a lot of pictures of the process as it was an all-hands-on-deck activity, but I hope this gets the idea across.

A whole bunch else happened today, like the fabrication for the bathroom vent being completed, our skylight hole and frame being done, the studs and joists prepped for wiring (oh, and all of our ceiling joists are in), I learned how to weld, and the frame for the swamp cooler was completed. Our contractor Paul is a freakin' rockstar with how much he gets done every day, and he thinks we can be in it in a week and a half.. we'll see!

Why is the little welder on the tractor?

Because the little welder is going on the roof!

Our skylight. It's between the kitchen and living room. With all of the natural light in here, we will only have to use electric lights when it's pitch black outside.

My very first weld, circled. The person who did the other welds had no such excuse! This is our bathroom vent tube.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


We had the concrete guy come out today and pour the slab. Lots of pictures, not too much explanation needed.

This was 9:30PM last night...

And 6:30 this morning,
4.5 yards of concrete.

We have a bedroom! The back stud wall is in place, and here are some benches laid out to the outer measurements of the bed. Pretty roomy, all told... (Here, you're looking in the front door, through the bathroom, and into the bedroom.

The view at the end of the bed currently contains quite a bit of construction detritus, and the migrating swamp cooler (it was 96 today..even working indoors, that was hard...of course, I'm still sick, so I luckily didn't need to experience this firsthand).