Building Progress - January

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Various pictures for this month

Jan 2 - 4:

Jan 2 the crew did the final preparation to pour concrete and we took the day off on Jan 3. That was good because on Jan 4, we worked our butts off pouring concrete.

Now "pouring" is a figurative word. It is more of 'hauling' than 'pouring' . Pouring is easy. Hauling creates callused hands and aches in muscles you never knew you had.

The cement truck drove up to the front of the building, stuck the shute through the front door, then we would catch a wheelbarrow full of concrete and haul it about 40 feet to the back of the building. Dump it and return to get another load.

We started at 8:00 AM and two cement trucks, 16 cubic yards of concrete, 130 wheelbarrow loads and four hours later, we had filled up the back of the building known as the 'living quarters".



While Eric and I hauled wheelbarrow loads, Doug, Joe and Bryan spread the concrete.

Joe would stomp it around and level it. Doug floated and smoothed it and Bryan kept moving our plywood hauling pathway saying 'dump here'!.

Position your mouse over the picture on the left to see progress in just four minutes of work.




Recently, I received an email from one of my ex-coworkers. He asked about the building progress and asked me if I had any upcoming milestones. My reply to him was that, since I left high-tech-corporate America, I didn't do milestones any more.

However, getting the first day of concrete down is a major milestone. The picture below was taken looking toward the kitchen area. Mouse over it to see a view looking back toward the bedroom.

The crew stayed a while longer smoothing the 1280 square feet we poured today while I took my digital camera home to update this web site and nurse my aches and pains. Even though it hurts when I type this, inside, I feel great!


Jan 11:

It took three days for us to get the concrete poured over all the floor (and the weekend to recover from the aches and pains)).

After the weekend, and the concrete set up, the crew started building the walls of the systems room. The next goal is to get the radiant heat on. To do this, we need the systems room walls built, the electric panel installed and connected, the water tank installed and connected to the water line, the gas line extended to the boiler, and the boiler installed and running. We have confidence in Doug Lemmon and his crew to accomplish this set of tasks.

Here Doug is installing the plywood that the electric circuit panel will be installed on. They have already built three of the four walls. After the electric is done, he will move on to installing the water pressure tank.



Jan 17:


After getting the electric panel installed and the three of the walls up in the systems room, the crew then moved to installing the boiler and various water connections to it.








The next step is to fill the lines and boiler with a mix of antifreeze and water.



Jan 18-20:


Doug and his crew completed the work to get two of the three heating zones running.

With the heat on, the building is starting to dry out. During the cold Janurary days like the one on the left, we are easily able to keep the inside the building a toasty 60 degrees.




Jan 23-31:

Sickness decided to visit most us for a while which slowed progress (and picture taking). After getting part of the heat on, the next tasks were building interior walls and installing plumbing to the last heat zone in the bedroom area.

The last day of Janurary was my day off from my day job. Two of the Amish crew had some minor work on the roof to finish and had the day available to work on our place. I picked them up at 6:30 AM. But when we arrived at the site, rain, snow and cold stopped them from working on the roof. Instead, with my help, we installed the first exterior door. We laughed a lot and they kidded me, saying they could have installed two doors in the same amount of time if I hadn't helped.

As is common, when it came time take them home, they asked if we could make a detour so they could stop at WalMart. One of them needed to exchange some dry flowers he had purchased for his girlfriend. Apparently, she liked red roses instead of the white ones he had purchased earlier. We also had to stop at an Amish blacksmith so one of them could make an appointment to have his horse worked on. It was kind of lilke us getting the Jeep inspected last week and having to purchase new tires. These enjoyable, and eductional, side trips are common if you work with Amish. It wasn't as intense a day as pouring concrete, but it still left me feeling good and proud,

While I worked with the Amish, Doug and his helper worked on the interior walls and plumbing. Doug gets the credit for the temporary lights and outlets in the building that allowed us to work and take this picture.

It is wonderful to have contractors who care about the quality of the work they do whether it be Amish or English.


In summary, Janurary was the month for heat, the floor and interior stud walls. Next month, Feb 2006, should be rough electric and plumbing work.