Just a look at how different things look now that the roof sheeting is on, and the ceilings are more defined with coffers in the great room! We have windows, but of course it’s not dry inside … yet.
Looking from the front door through my living room windows towards the back patio
Looking through the kitchen out the Dining room windows
Looking through the kitchen into the family room
Three contractors had work to do before I could start laying the shingles; the plumber for the rough in, the gutter guy for the gutters and roof sheet metal, and the HVAC contractor for the cricket and chimney chase top sheet metal.
All the roof material is loaded at the top, so we can work from the bottom upward … time to get to work … glad I got that “How To” book.
It’s a hard month of roofing! While Jon is as work, and the kids are at school, I’m up there slaving away. Once Jon gets home, he’s up there too… Of course it’s the start of summer, and it’s getting pretty hot, but this has been the best work-out I’ve EVER had. Both of us are looking strong and svelte; although our backs and knees are getting creaky!
The backside is done!
Now the Front Roof is done! Notice the motor home? That’s where we all are living till we get our final papers … the boys SO can’t wait to sleep in real beds!
The roof system was slower than usual because it’s cut and stack rather than trusses. Cut and stack means that it is built on site, rather than trusses which are pre-built at a mill, then put into place with a crane. Trusses would have been much faster because they would’ve been built concurrently while we were building the structure, and ready for placement just as the structure is finished. But cost wise, building cut and stack is a little less expensive, allowed for larger, more open attic space, and makes it easier to install special bracing is required at all the gable ends (Because the ICF construction ends at the ceiling height, and then standard wood construction from there up, 2×4′s are required to act as bracing connecting the gable ends to the rafters). Also I’ve heard that sometimes with trusses, there is a potential to have a “wavy” look to the roof as it ages, and since we have Eddie, who has twenty years experience with cut and stack roofs, I think we’ll get a much better product. Yay!
The Ridge Beam Starting it off! And look the garage portion is already done!
It’s already sheeted! We used Tech Shield placed with the shiny side down. Tech Shield helps reflect heat out or back inward depending on the season. We originally wanted the shiny part outward so we could insulate the rafters and have a “closed” attic space, but the county wouldn’t allow that. Sigh.
Notice the Tech Shield turned outward on the gable ends. This way the interior attic wall could be insulated.
Yeah, I know, there’s still some blocking left on the house … I’ll get to it when I can!
Starting to paint the trim (Deep Earth by Valspar), and the roofing material has been delivered … I guess that means I have to get to work … yay …
What a pretty day! So now that the beams are in, the top half of the house is underway! The crew has started installing the ceiling joists. Kinda pretty seeing the beautiful blue sky through the joists – can we devise a glass ceiling, cause it really is pretty! Well, perhaps that’s a little over our budget, so it’s time for Eddie, (the wonder carpenter) to start our cut and stack roof! We went with cut and stack, because it was basically the same price as purchased trusses, and I was able to specify a wide open attic space for all the storage I unfortunately need. Yay!
Looking through the Ceiling in the Great Room!
Ceiling Joists coming in!
Here Comes the Roof
Quicker than I thought, but it’s already time to finally intall the 7 beams needed. It will be interesting to see them loaded onto the ties already in place … geez I hope I put them in the right place when we did our pour a month or so ago!
Moving an errant beam back towards it’s rightful spot
All the beams were placed, and then we couldn’t get the crane truck out of all the mud around the house… thank goodness for my huge pile of gravel for the road and the lifts off the back of the truck.
The house without it’s hat! But the beams are all in …. whew!
Another very long day but I’m continually amazed at how hard and long the framing crew works, and loving to watch this all evolve!
My wonderful framer has the interior walls up so fast! The very first day almost all the walls are up!
Yay! A Wall!
All clean again and wide open! The foundation is finally poured and the walls are clean. It kinda looks strange with walls standing straight up with nothing inside connecting them. Now the framer will start building the interior walls! Now that it’s building as usual, things should move fast!
Look at all that space!
Once again the pump and concrete trucks trudged down our steep driveway, and the foundation was finally poured in four sections. First the two flanking sections on the left and right sides of the house. Then the middle section and finally the garage. No sealer was sprayed on the home concrete as this will later be finished stained concrete.
A very long weekend of pulling down all the bracing and VIOLA! A big open space!
Now on to installing the radiant floor heating! YeHaw!
Only about 7000 linear feet of pex tubing, more rebar and four boxes of stuff that look like car parts … hummmm.
Following the directions, I placed blue styrofoam insulation sheets all along the perimeter of the foundation walls, cutting out any utility lines needed, and leaving the interior gravel to act as a “sump” for the heat that will be collected in the foundation. Measuring twice, I marked out the interior walls per the plans with bright orange spray paint. Then I laid the first layer of rebar every two feet apart in straight lines covering the entire floor.
To start placing the floor zones, I followed the directions and placed each of the four manifolds where a closet or cabinet would eventually hide them. I kept them in the box they came in as this would protect them when the foundation would be poured. Then came the monotonous task of rolling out the pex tubing back and forth, snaking through doorways, down hallways, through out each room, always careful to avoid the future walls. Once each zone was laid I’d then connect the “in” and “out” of each end to the manifold, then securing each line every so often to the rebar below with rebar ties. Finally, I placed the next allotment of rebar over all the pex to form a grid, attached the pex again to the new rebar, then positioned “dobies” sporadically under the entire grid of rebar to hold it up off the gravel. Now, it was time for the foundation pour.
A beautiful day for the pour, the coffee is hot, and everyone has shown up ready for the pour… I’m SO Excited! Actually jumping up and down excited! Now it’s time to get to work!
Triple checked everything as fast as possible while the pump truck gets set up, and before the first cement truck arrives.
Willie, my foundation contractor will handle the pump nozzle, and I and one of his crew will work the stinger. The stinger is a long vibrating “cable” that we’ll insert quickly into the poured concrete to help it all move downward to fill in the cavity completely. Jon and Eddie are in charge of watching for “blow outs” and to tell us when the cavity is filled solidly. Of course the pump operator will follow Willie to know when to start and stop the concrete flow. And the inspector will check the slump of the concrete as well as take samples to ensure that the vendor has supplied me with the required hardness rating (3000psi). Mom is needed to keep the food and drinks flowing, to take pictures, and to pick up the kids from school, because once we start, we can’t stop.
This should run like clockwork … right?! And it did … mostly! We made five passes around the entire house. The first batch of cement had plastizer added to aid the concrete in filling some tight columns in the living room as well as some corner columns in the dining room.
The dining room columns were the only hiccup, as they are flanked by large windows. The window buck started to part from the block (almost a blow-out). Jon and Eddie were quick to reinforce them with more OSB and then 2×6′s to push up against the entire wall . The next pass was to fill the cavities accessible from the window sill openings. Then from the very top to fill the first three or four feet of the walls. Then again around until we reached about six to seven feet high, then again to the very top.
As we finished the top pour, I troweled the top of the concrete and inserted the anchor bolts at my hash marks and inserted the beam ties.
We actually had just a little concrete left over, so we used that quickly to place the front and back porch beam supports.
The only person with any experience pouring an ICF home was the pump operator and he was amazed at how well our pour went. He had actually assisted in at least ten pours, and this was the first one where there was no major blow out. I was fortunate, everyone worked quickly and like a pro team. Despite it being a very long and messy day, it was one of the most exciting and rewarding days ever.
Scheduling was a bear, but everyone was so ready to get onto the next phase, especially me! People who absolutely had to be there:
- The Concrete Trucks (all 7 of them)
- The Pump Truck
- The Concrete Test/Inspector
- Jon, Eddie, myself
- I talked our foundation guy and one of his crew to help us too
- My mom
- Donuts and Coffee
The day before was a mad dash, ensuring that OSB was attached over every single corner (inside and out), at every single stack joint, and all along the top course (the top course was cut to not exceed a wall height of 10′). We also triple checked that all the walls were square and straight and making any adjustments that we could with the braces. Picking up the rushed Simpson ties that will be set into the top plate for future support beams, along with an amazing amount of anchor bolts.
Did I sleep the night before? HA, yeah …. right …. sigh.