Author Topic: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage  (Read 94236 times)

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Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2012, 07:20:05 PM »


   Too cold and windy outside.  Getting the spruce up inside.  It's all this except a little in the kitchen and the bathroom.  My wife says it's all getting painted gloss white though...



   It's an easy commute---just across the street----but you gotta make your way through the wild turkey infestation
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Offline Danfish

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2012, 06:10:23 AM »
Glad to hear you followed up with Brandguard on the vent problem and impressed with the owner's willingness to do a site visit.  Would love to hear what he says.

You're build is great.  Enjoy your Flyingvan Blogspot (link on page one).  Lot's of good building info and some excellent side political commentary.

Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2012, 09:10:39 AM »
Squirl had commented awhile back about the wavy siding up in the gables.  I started the opposite wall yesterday before the snow hits again, so decided to take pics as I went.
  I couldn't find any shingles that formed the wavy pattern I wanted and have quite a few extra Hardie boards so decided to make my own.  Actually, the coverage I'm getting from each board ends up being about the same as standard 1 1/4" lap when you account for waste, so you could probably plan for between 6 and 7 square feet actual coverage from each 12' plank.  Another advantage---handling shingles way up in the gable is a lot safer than wrestling with 12' boards with pointy ends cut in.
 

   So started with making blanks----23" lengths.  Each length will yield two shingles.  I can cut 5 boards at a time, I needed 10 to make all I need.

   Next, lined up boards and snapped chalk lines at 10" and 13".  Where each board met, I made a pencil mark as sort of a target--1st one 1" up from the chalk line, next @ 2", then 3", then I'm at the other chalk line, then start back down.  That way when drawing the freehand wavy line it doesn't get TOO freehand.

   

   VERY IMPORTANT---Number each shingle.  They can get mixed up very easily.  Put the number in the same place so you know left from right, too.  When you number don't go up one side and back the other---otherwise when you add more later your numbers get screwy.  Do odd closest to you and evens away, then for the install put up all the odds first then all the evens.  (I had to use negative numbers, letters, sanskrit...)
   

  Here are two shingles freshly minted.  If you're using cementitious siding buy the shears.  They create zero dust and you can free hand curves easily.  It's not as clean a cut as a diamond blade though, and keep a utility knife nearby to smooth edges.

 

   Also about Hardie boards----there are two formulations---East Coast and West Coast.  I do not know what the difference is----if the East Coast ones are primed all sides, get those.  The backs of mine are completely bare and soak up moisture like a sponge, and every cabin in Cuyamaca that has used them is having paint failure on western exposures, and Hardie has not been responsive at all.  The paint is bubbling up under the primer.  I believe what's happening is we get driving rain and ice on the west side, and some moisture finds its way to the back side of the boards.  Next day will be 85 degrees in the afternoon, and that moisture tries to evaporate out through the primer.
   So every butt joint gets flashing paper so when the caulk fails water sheds to the outside of the next board down.  I'm priming and painting the back and cut edges of every single board.  This is a great time to re-purpose all those paint cans in the garage (I had fun when the neighbors saw me painting the boards green and purple, and telling them "Don't worry, this wall only shows from your side of the house")
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Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2012, 09:15:34 AM »
Oh and Thanks, Danfish.   The Brandguard guy is coming out Wednesday, I'll post how that goes.
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Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2012, 04:44:53 AM »
  The owner of Brandguard Vents came as promised yesterday.  Brent.  He started by telling me how his products were all tested to hurricane force winds...I brought him up into the attic and he said the first thing he noticed was a lot more airflow than he'd expect.  Then he noticed enough snow piled on the insulation to make a small snowman.
  I took him for a walk around the neighborhood so he could see all the creative ways people had plugged up their attic vents----expand-o-foam, plywood (sometimes inside sometimes out) Barometric louvers, fabricated sheet metal...I showed him the giant mountain draw formed between Middle Peak and North Peak where Cuyamaca dam is, a mile upwind of us, and how the storms blow off the ocean and hit the dry desert air coming up the eastern slopes---the weather forms at our ridge.  High pressure on one side, low on the other.
   He helped me make a temporary boot to fill the attic side of the vent for now.  He's going to custom make something to go on the inside.  He also offered to pay for any damages (there really aren't any---the insulation will dry and I didn't have the ceiling up yet)
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Offline Danfish

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2012, 07:13:06 AM »
Thanks for the followup on Brandguard...very interesting.  Something to think about when designing with gable end vents.  I have read a lot of reports that express the negative issues with gable end venting and that is why I went with soffit venting.  Of course with the Wildland Urban Interface requirements it cost me an arm and leg!

Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2012, 12:13:38 PM »
San Diego County wouldn't allow any soffit venting in the wildland interface, not even the pinhole soffits.  Ridgevents were allowed but they didn't go with the look I want.  What I really wanted to do was run a duct from the crawlspace to the attic to draft and exchange the air under the house but, not allowed...
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Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2012, 09:20:20 AM »


     The weather's been mostly bad so I'm getting a lot done inside----this is the ceiling that goes up both floors (18 1/2') the balloon framed wall is to the right.  The chimney chase is to the left---so far just wonderboard.  I'm thinking of covering it with mesh, doing stone veneer in clusters, and plastering the rest with colored smooth stucco.
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Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2012, 04:12:26 PM »
 

   Just a quick building update....I'm getting work done inside because all this white stuff keeps falling out of the sky.  No one in San Diego can identify it.  Neither can Al Gore.



  And the back side.  I think with two more full days I could get all the siding done.  The enclosed soffits really slow things down, especially with the curves.  If I leave the material out overnight it gets nice and flexible, but breaks really easy.
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Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #34 on: March 28, 2012, 07:52:48 PM »
  I'm a big fan of composite shingles.  They are cheap, durable, easy to install, and have a huge variety of colors and textures.  I traded a few days' free labor with a professional roofer in exchange for learning some tricks of the trade.  Specifically I wanted to learn how to lace a valley.  I've seen plenty of leaky roofs, and unless there was mechanical damage, it most likely failed in valleys where they just put down metal valley flashing and cut the shingles to it. 
  With  composite shingles, the less metal you have underneath them, the better---especially on the sunny side.  They cook and get brittle.  If you have trees, particularly pine trees, the needles can get up under the shingles at the flashing, right in the valley where all the water collects and flows down.  The vegetative debris swells up and holds moisture there.  No thanks!
 

  The first place I built I made the mistake of having dissimilar roof pitches meeting at the valley.  It makes lacing tough because the shingles don't match up one for one.  So, if you can keep the pitches at each valley identical, it helps a lot.
  My valley here meets up with the bump-out, forming a pretty good funnel for snow to get caught in so it all got lined with Liberty Cap Sheet (GREAT STUFF--if you have an old shed, mobile home, whatever just peel and stick the stuff on the roof).  I goes all the way up the wall of the bump out, just in case.  Then you follow the shingle cut-pattern starting at one edge, and work to the valley.  When you're about 5' away, figure out where the shingle's going to end.  You don' want the shingle ending right in the valley, so if you have to add a scrap well before, do it---just don't have seams line up from the course below.  Now when you get to the valley the shingle will angle itself up the other side.  Don't shoot any nails in or near the valley itself.  Kind of squish the shingle down into the valley (best to roof on a hot day!) and put one nail up near the corner that angled up.
   Next, start a course from the opposite side, and work towards the valley again.  this time when you get to the valley the shingle will overlap the first one.  Then just keep alternating ends you start each course from, and the valley shingles will lace themselves in.  Waterproof and pine needle proof!
   For extra insurance I covered the step shingles against the gable with more metal shingles going up the wall of the bump-out. 
 
  I made this little work station so there'd be a level spot for stuff.  There are lines on the platform the match the shingle cut pattern (5 5/8, 11 1/4, etc) so I could just line up the shingles, match a straight edge with the lines, and cut.
 
  Yipes! 24' down.  I built a little stand off by screwing a scrap of 2x to the fascia, then some plywood stops so the ladder couldn't slide off to the side when carrying the bundles of roofing up.
   Drip edge---it goes OVER the sheathing and UNDER the roof felt at the bottom edge.  On the gable edges it goes OVER the felt and UNDER the shingles. 

 
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Offline duncanshannon

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #35 on: March 31, 2012, 08:04:47 AM »
Yikes.. that would be quite the fall!
Home: Minneapolis, MN area.  Land: (no cabin yet) Spooner, WI area.  Plan: 20x34 1 1/2 Story. Experience Level: n00b. 
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Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2012, 07:28:25 AM »




     I really didn't want to enclose the soffits but it was required under the fire resistive building codes.  The cement boards are heavy and brittle, and working upside down is a drag.  Besides, rafter tails look very cottage-y.  Now that they are in, though, I have to admit I like them.  They are easy to paint and make a lot less spider habitat, and there's nothing for woodpeckers to cling to.
     My roofline forms a sort of funnel that would have caused runoff to flow right over the siding---something worth avoiding.  So there's an extra layer of felt, then exterior Hardieboard, then shingles I cut out of slate (they are applied with mastic, but I also drilled them out and screwed them on.  The screws are hidden under the lap)  This helped visually fill in and frame the upstairs picture window that is offset so the interior chimney doesn't block the view from inside
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Offline Sassy

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2012, 10:34:58 AM »
You've done a really beautiful job on your cottage!  Lots of fine detail.  Are you living in it now?  I can't recall.  You all must be very proud  :)
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Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2012, 11:48:18 AM »
Thanks!  It's taking a long time but there's no rush.  Actually we live right across the street.  This lot became available in a probate sale and we couldn't pass it up.  My wife already calls it her vacation house---all she'll have to do is cross the street.  I'm almost done with the exterior---about half the siding on the backside still needs to go up, and veneer the chimney.  Inside still needs about 20% of the siding, I have to hang the interior doors (my very LEAST favorite job) and painting

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Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2012, 08:56:27 AM »
  I had trouble figuring out how to run the range hood vent.  The water heater enclosure's on the other side of the wall, and of course the kitchen wall is stuffed full of water lines, gas lines, sewer pipe, romex, etc.  I finally figures out how I could run 4" flex ducting through the wall, through the chimney chase of the water heater, and have the vent hidden on the back side. 
  It needed a 4 1/8" hole.  Big Hardware Store wanted $60 for the hole saw I needed, and I needed an extension.  Somebody recommended the tool store that's all cheap China imports---great for single use tools.  This adjustable mangler was $7.

  Worked great.  It snagged, wobbled, and dulled as soon as I got through the cement board, but got my holes drilled and threw it away.

   Here's my vent set up.  I really don't like having anything mounted on an exterior wall that goes over a lap joint from the siding---looks bad and will need re-caulking.  I kept a 4x8 sheet of hardieboard around that had the same woodgrain texture so I could create oversized boards when needed.  The 6" hole cuts through only one board then and the vent sits flat against it.  All these pieces are sheet metal srewd together so I could reach up in there and pull the flex vent down. 
   
  The vent is way up under the eave on the other side of this tankless water heater enclosure.  The access for the water heater had to be all fire resistive construction and the door is HEAVY.  The hinges are at the top so I had this big ugly gap that allowed the space needed for the door to open.  I ended up sandwiching a length of fire hose under the trim to cover the gap.  It almost looks just like the hardieplank.
 
  Yesterday was a big day---got the vent in, finished installing the last of the siding, and clad the chimney in home made slate shingles.  That was tough---up and down the scaffold making custom cuts and mixing up mastic...It turned out really nice though.  Now I just need the sheet metal top cap. 
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Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #40 on: May 16, 2012, 02:18:09 PM »
Two different people have asked me where I got my plans----they are my own.  My only reason for not sharing them was, giving away plans on a great site that also SOLD plans didn't seem right.  However I talked to John at length and he even facilitated a way to share them through dropbox.  It's a unique design that dealt with all the challenges---snow and wind loads, wildland urban interface fire zone, seismic, (second largest fault line in California) tiny 'unbuildable lot' (limited to 20x20 footprint) , picky wife, and 'green building' incentive-----so I doubt anyone else will want to build this exact same structure.  Anyway if anyone wants the plans I'll share them
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Offline smile850

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2012, 04:50:54 PM »
Hello.
Great project with a lot of insights.
I've just recently purchased an unbuildable lot in Santa Cruz county (the environmental department would not settle for any alternative septic system) and would appreciate if you can share your experience on septic issue and steps to go through to resolve it. You can email me directly at boltstudio@yahoo.com if its easier. Thank you.

Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #42 on: May 19, 2012, 06:45:57 PM »
  Well, I can tell you what my approach was---you can decide what might help in your situation.

    I started with the perk test.  I must have dug 200 holes to find the spots that absorbed the very fastest, then made those 5 holes deep enough to be the official 'test holes'.  I worked with an engineering firm that was local, and they let me dig the holes myself (saved them work anyway).
    Next,  I photocopied a whole bunch of outlines of the lot and sketched out all the setbacks.  (The county website, under Department of Environmental Health/Septic Systems, provided all that info).  There were also charts for how many feet of leach line would be required according to the perk rate.
    That's when I realized I had to move the driveway (an easement that wasn't built in the easement), move a water main (the water dept worked with me---they were glad to get a new customer) and put the two required parking spaces in the extreme rear (parking was allowed right up against the property line).  All those things bought some space.
    Then I made new photocopies with the new setbacks and made a couple of cut-out house footprints and septic tank footprints and kept moving them around until I could draw the required leach lines (here, 100% reserve field is required too so I had to draw that)
    Another thing I could have done was garage under living space.  I didn't want to unless I had to, but it can add up to a little more room.
    The whole while, I was running my ideas past the septic engineer, and making a pest of myself down at the county----I got to know everyone down there, and they threw in a few suggestions.  Really though I was getting them on my side so they'd look for reasons to approve it, not fail it.  This is where you can get them to bend on an alternative system.  Mine's conventional except for the infiltrators, which the county seems to really like, plus you don't need gravel.  Same linear feet required here as perforated pipe though.
     Remember they go by number of bedrooms, not bathrooms.  Also remember a lot with a 16x16 house on it is worth a lot more than a lot with no house at all on it....
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Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #43 on: May 19, 2012, 07:35:14 PM »
  I got to thinking about when I fired a nail through a 1/2" waterline.....I have 3 sewer/vent stacks coming up the same wall, and one of those pipes is 3"---a much bigger target!  Isn't it likely I put a nail or screw through those somewhere?  I really don't want sewage trickling in behind the kitchen wall.
  I was on the roof anyway installing the chimney cap.  I brought a CD up with me (Nora Jones.  I got tired of Nora very quickly now her CD is a tool)  CD's are great reflectors, and they have a nifty hole in the middle to peer through.  I just positioned myself opposite Mr. Sun, reflected his rays down the pipes one by one, and looked down the pipes.  They go down 18'.
   Sure enough----I got a clear view down each pipe.  There was a screw poking through the biggest one, the 3" one.  I could see it was just above where the toilet branched into the pipe, so fortunately it was in vent space.  Over time, though, I thought the pipe would wiggle as the screw stayed put and wear the hole bigger.  I went into the bathroom, spotted a drywall screw that must have been just outside the nail plate, and backed it out.  Nora and I went back on the roof, and the screw was no longer in the pipe. 
    OK, so it was just a pinhole.  I still didn't like it.  I dipped some stiff wire in ABS cement and kept poking and twisting it through the screw hole until I was reasonably sure the hole was plugged.  I think if it were not in the vent space it would have warranted removing the drywall and really patching it well.

    Now I'm just worried about any wires I may have nailed through.
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Offline ColchesterCabin

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #44 on: May 20, 2012, 03:48:37 AM »
     It's very important to vibrate all the bubbles out so you don't end up with any honeycomb voids.  This form was propped up off the floor on some scrap lumber.  I took the blade off the sawzall and pushed it against the form.   (the rebar rack was set in place and screwed down to make the form stronger to withstand the vibrations.  The rebar sunk until the wires held it in place, just from the vibrating)

I just wanted to say thanks for the idea regarding the sawzall trick. I used it when we poured the peirs foro our foundation. I just ran it around the tubes up and down to virate. It even impressed the concrete guy who had never seen that done before in 20 years driving the concrete truck. Often we don't hear thanks for our ideas so kudos on this one.
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Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #45 on: May 20, 2012, 05:06:36 AM »
You're welcome, but as a side note---now I can't get the blade out of the sawzall.  I wonder if running it for a long time with no blade in there messed something up.  I'm going to cut an old blade just long enough to sit in the receiver part so next time I use it to vibrate concrete there's something in there
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Offline ColchesterCabin

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #46 on: May 20, 2012, 05:26:11 AM »
Yeah I thought the same way which is why after a couple of pillars I used the hose on the concrete truckk to rinse it off. Mine seems to working at least for now..... :)
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Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #47 on: May 21, 2012, 07:22:10 AM »
Exterior's all done with the exception of the stone bridge to the entrance and some touch up painting




   I used an old firehose section to cover the gap where the hinges are for the water heater access door.  The raingutter was a must since water sheds off to a downward slope, splashing muck and yuck onto the house.  You can see the range hood vent tucked up under the eave.  THAT duct was a real pain to run....



  I wanted the chimney parts to be black so they got a few coats of high temp primer and high temp black...still needs some touch up after the install


    Here's the finish on the chimney---I cut slate to random widths and cut the corners.  They're on with mastic, but I drilled screw holes to hold them in place until it set up.  The corners are all caulked with a mix of black and gray silicone
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Offline flyingvan

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #48 on: May 27, 2012, 07:04:14 PM »


    With the exterior done it's time to finish the inside.  I've timed every step horribly---I was siding outside in the snow, now I'm siding inside when it's beautiful out.  These are 20' boards going in a 20' house so getting them in place is a little tricky.  The top of the wall is 18' up.



    Finished the bench seat in the bay window.  The top lifts off for storage.  I've been saving all the t&g cut-offs just for this stage.  The inside of the bay takes a lot of little planks with angles cut.  For the most part I'm putting them up with the pin nailer so the won't crack.



    First attempt to paint the foundation I wanted to match the hearth inside--brown with black and gray streaks.  I finished, and my wife looked a it and said "The black looks like tire streaks.  It looks like a truck ran over my cottage".  So I lightened up the brown concrete stain and re-did the whole thing.  Someday I want to do a veneer of slate over it instead but that's many dollars from now.  Also got up on the roof and touched up the chimney with flat black and painted all the metal vents and flashing with the same high temp paint. 
    Only thing left to do outside is the stone bridge to the front door.  I'm really looking forward to that so it will be my reward for getting the interior painted.  NOT looking forward to that. 
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Offline Danfish

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Re: 716 sq. ft. Cuyamaca Cottage
« Reply #49 on: May 28, 2012, 10:46:48 AM »
Looking real good!!!  Interesting how the other half of the decision team can always make sure we never run out of work.

Did the local building department make you use the new fire-proof foundation vents?  I was shocked when after making such a big thing on WUI (fire) requirements for everything else I was told to just install standard foundation vents with 1/4 inch or less openings...kinda goes along with issues raised in your thread on building codes!