Friday, July 21, 2006

Log Home Update: Part 34
Stairs, Soffits and Framing Walls

We now have steps inside the house. Don and I worked at measuring and cutting out the stringers and treads for the steps going from the first floor living area up to the second floor loft and master suite and also the stringers and treads down to the basement. Each set had its own little problems to solve. Those going up stairs were constructed from very heavy 4” x 10” timbers and required borrowing a very large hand circular saw to cut. Those going to the basement were constructed from 2” material but, because of the shorter run and steeper rise (and some mental fatigue caused by the hot, humid weather), required some considerable reworking. (Just remember the “measure twice, cut once” adage that we seem to have forgotten.1) It’s always wise to check the headroom at the landing before you cut the risers. Four foot eleven inches will not pass code. 2) Count the number of steps on the riser very, very carefully before you cut the riser—especially if it’s already your second attempt.

Meanwhile, Adam, Jim and Kyle happily worked away on their assigned chores. Adam and Jim (with occasional help from Kyle) finished the soffit under the eaves. Kyle (with some help from Jim) framed out the stud walls and hung some sheets of sheetrock. Sometimes teams would share jobs or switch members as the need arose.

Kyle, the stud man, works on one of “his” walls.
(Kyle participates in biathlons—a combination of bicycle and running—in his spare time. His training includes 30 to 50 mile bike rides around the county. Maybe we’re not working him hard enough?)

Don goes electric
Don goes electric. Here he is wiring up one of the boxes that will supply power to the garage door openers.

Jim and Adam at work
Jim and Adam work on installing the soffit under the eaves. They finished the job Friday morning.
(Jim, on the left, races a Honda ATV on weekends with his twin brother, John. And really, really loves his Dodge truck! He’s available, ladies, but he requests you send pictures of your ATV if you’re interested!)

stud walls erected on the first floor
Having stud walls in place really gives you a feel for room size and layout.

living room stairs
These steps from the first to the second floor were placed temporarily as a dry fit and then taken down to put a wood plate against the sheetrock wall. While they were up, Simon, our "watch dog" tried to go up them. One of the treads slipped and went tumbling down. Simon made it safely to the top but it scared him so badly he hid in the truck for the rest of the day. He also refused to come to work the next day.

As mentioned, Don and I also installed the stairs down to the basement—twice. Or maybe I should say two-and-a-half times.

Ken, the heating maven, came back to put some more touches on his masterpiece-in-progress. He’ll return in a couple of weeks when we’re ready to put the heat into the master bath.

Kitchen and bath designer, Jessica from HEP came by to discuss her design for the kitchen and master bath with my better half on Wednesday. We also took delivery on vanities, toilets and such for the baths as wells as a cistern with attendant pump to augment the low output (only 2 gallons per minute) from the well (only 130 feet deep).

Progress! You've gotta love it!

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