Author Topic: 38x30 in Iowa  (Read 77881 times)

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Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2011, 06:38:13 PM »
Thanks. It's been fun the past few weeks getting all the framing up and seeing big changes every day. I was afraid I'd get sick of working on the place but so far I'm still enjoying it. Worked from 9:00 to 7:30 today with heat index over 100 and had a good time. More of the same in store for the next week.

Alan

Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2011, 03:44:35 PM »
Another hot and humid day. More little stuff and plenty of thinking how to do some things. Ended the day getting up 6 sheets of roof sheathing. Realized as I was climbing off the roof I forgot to stagger the seams. Oops. Oh well, it was only 2 rows on a hip.

Things are slowing down at work so hopefully I can get some work done on the house during the week.

Alan

Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2011, 04:19:16 PM »
Very hot and humid this week but we finally got a break this weekend. Worked on the house every night after work and got the roof sheathing finished up yesterday. Took a lot longer than I thought it would, just like everything else. Lots of trimming with the hip roof. It felt great to get the roof sheathing on and take the wall braces off.


20110724_001 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Figured I'd spend half the day putting up the synthetic felt today and then move onto other things. Instead it took all day. But it's done! Went through a box of 2000 plastic capped nails put in by hand. Really made me appreciate the nail gun I can use for everything else.


20110724_003 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

It's really starting to feel like a house now. The other night I felt kind of lazy so I just sat on the patio where I could watch the birds and see my backyard prairie. It's going to be a great place. It's taken 3 years but the backyard prairie is really starting to look good this year.


My backyard prairie by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

I decided to take off work next week so hopefully I can make some good progress.

Alan


Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2011, 05:43:29 PM »
Not much exciting has happened so far on my week off work. Been working solid on the house but it hardly looks like anything has happened.

Spent all afternoon yesterday cutting up scraps of OSB and plywood to make attic vent chutes


20110725_001 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

A couple 1x2s tacked to the top chord of the truss, just below the sheathing. The vent chute is then nailed to these leaving a 1 1/2" air gap. Pretty tedious work.


20110725_002 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr


20110725_003 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr


20110725_006 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Today installed the last web braces on the trusses, did some clean up, and other small stuff. Started installing the fascia at the end of the day and should get it finished up tomorrow.

I never realized how many little (and time consuming) things went into building a house.

Alan

Offline Sassy

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2011, 07:22:07 PM »
The backyard prairie looks awesome!  Good progress. 
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Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2011, 10:24:22 AM »
The backyard prairie looks awesome!  Good progress. 

It will be fun to watch it evolve over the years as the pioneer species that are predominant now hopefully give way to more variety and the slower growing, longer lived, specimens. I have 3 other areas on the property that are 1 and 2 years old that are coming in nicely. Nearly 1/2 acre total (1 acre lot). The Goldfinches are starting to nest and are making full use of it now. The birds should enjoy the seeds and cover this winter too.

Alan

Offline astidham

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2011, 01:24:40 PM »
looks good, nice to see it come together.
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Offline germanbird

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2011, 06:47:14 AM »
Not to derail your build thread, but I am curious about (and envious of) your backyard "prairie".  What all did you do to develop it?

Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2011, 05:40:08 PM »
Not to derail your build thread, but I am curious about (and envious of) your backyard "prairie".  What all did you do to develop it?

I'm more than happy to talk about the prairie!

When I started it I got a little ahead of myself. I planned all winter and as soon as the section of lawn I wanted to convert turned some shade of green in the spring I sprayed it with RoundUp and waited a week for everything to die. Then tilled and planted seed that I was fortunate enough to get for free from a local college instructor who had some extra that his class had wild collected but was a few years old.

I didn't even stop to think that many of the lawn grasses/weeds hadn't started growing yet that season so they wouldn't be killed by the RoundUp. Plus when I tilled it I probably brought about 75 years worth of seeds to the surface. The result was that in 1 1/2 months I had the greenest and most lush lawn I've ever had in my life....but it was all weeds!

I panicked and sprayed the whole thing with RoundUp again hoping that many of the prairie seeds hadn't germinated. I kept it mowed the rest of the year. It was a very ugly first year with only a few pathetic looking Big Bluestem coming up late in the summer.

During the summer I wild collected quite a bit of seed and bought some of what I couldn't collect enough of. I sowed that in the fall. Last summer (the 2nd year) was pretty lame too. The weeds were thick again so I kept it mowed to about 8". Plenty of Black Eyed Susan's came up but they're a snap to grow so no big feat there. Late in the summer I was at least happy to get a decent crop of grasses and I recognized the leaves from a fair amount of Gray Headed Coneflower.  I was disappointed in it though.

This spring started off strong though. Early on I could see lots of leaves of Black Eyed Susan, Bergamont, Gray Headed Coneflower, and Purple Coneflower that resulted in the picture you saw. A smattering of other native flowers as well as tons of White Campion, Yarrow, and Daisy Fleabane. Canada Wild Rye is going great, some Side Oats Gramma, and the Big Blue Stem is just getting ready to flower.

And the end of the 1st summer I decided to plant another section of the yard to native prairie and decided to do it a little different. Instead of spraying and tilling I figured I'd just leave the Bluegrass and other lawn weeds alone to help keep some of the other weeds in check. I also planted in the fall. I did run the tiller very shallow over the lawn to try and break up the sod just a little so the seeds could get good soil contact. I planted it fairly heavy that fall and again last fall.

It hasn't done as well as I'd hoped but still have faith that things will start to happen next year. The weeds haven't taken over too bad but I haven't seen much for prairie plants either. Black Eyed Susan's of course and now I'm finally starting to see some leaves from Gray Headed Coneflower, a couple Purple Coneflower, and Bergamont. I'm disappointed that now that summer is coming on and the bluegrass is going dormant I'm not seeing much of anything for prairie grasses. I'm not giving up on it yet though.

Last fall I planted two more sections and went back to RoundUp and tilling, though just deep enough to tear up the top layer. Their are lots of weeds and I need to be vigilant on mowing but they're both showing a lot of promise. I can walk through them and already see more variety than the prairie that's on its second year. I have very high hopes for them. The seed for these last two was a mix of bought and wild gathered.

Everything I read when getting ready to start this said that it won't be until the 3rd year that you get anything resembling a prairie. Even though I knew this I couldn't help but think I'd be the exception and get some results that 1st year. I wasn't an exception though and now that it's the 3rd year I'm finally seeing some results. It takes patience.

Alan

Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2011, 05:37:03 PM »
Finished up the fascia the other day and just now realized I don't have a picture of it yet. Went pretty well. I didn't know how off kilter my roof sheathing got in a few places until I put up the fascia. I'm thinking the drip edge and roofing should do a good job hiding that though. I installed the fascia straight.

Started putting up the inside half of my double stud wall yesterday. Worked on it all day and got it finished except for the window openings, which I skipped over. Also did some remodeling on the house. I decided to add another window to the west wall to brighten up the entry and give me a better view. It seemed too dark along that wall.


20110730_002 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr


20110730_005 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Today I spent all day framing up those window and door openings. After a few of them I got a system figured out and it went pretty well. Decided to make one big opening for the two sets of large windows which are about 10.5' total (3 windows each). The wall isn't load bearing but I still put in a double 2x6 header so it will hopefully stay straight and true.


20110731_001 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr


20110731_002 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

It was a good day for the twisted lumber pile since I needed lots of short pieces. I was at the saw all day long and was surprised at the end of the day to see such a small pile of scraps. I've been happy with how little waste there's been so far during the build.


20110731_003 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

I have to go back to work next week so I'll just be working a few hours in the evenings again.

Alan


Offline germanbird

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2011, 11:54:04 AM »
I wasn't an exception though and now that it's the 3rd year I'm finally seeing some results. It takes patience.

Sounds like it takes a lot of patience (as many things in life seem to).  Glad to see that patience is finally paying off for you.

Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #36 on: August 01, 2011, 05:26:50 PM »
Started boxing in the windows tonight. At 10 1/2" deep they'll make great shelves during the rest of the build.


20110801_001 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Just the two big windows and both doors to go.

Alan

Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #37 on: August 07, 2011, 05:43:22 PM »
Had some other plans this week so I had to take off a few days from the house but it was still productive. The interior walls went up Saturday, much faster than I thought they would.

Taken from the living room showing the bathroom and spare bedroom doors:


20110807_002 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Main bedroom on the right. A pocket door will go in later so the short wall with the doorway hasn't been framed in yet. Utility/laundry is to the rear where the hallway widens:


20110807_001 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Next week I need to make a final decision on siding and roofing. I was originally going to go with standing seam metal roof but don't know if that's really the look I want. Leaning heavily to metal shingles now. They're both about the same price.

As for siding. I'm looking at 4x8 panels for a board and batten look. Not a big fan of the T1-11 panels. Breckenridge (http://www.all-coast.com/uploads/Breckenridge%20Plywood%20Siding%20Brochure.pdf) looks like it might be nice. Maybe I can get my supplier to order one is as a sample. Otherwise there's Hardiepanels (http://www.jameshardie.com/homeowner/products_siding_hardiepanelSiding.py?search_zipcode=retail). I'd like to stick with wood but the lack of maintenance and paint holding capabilities of Hardiepanels is tempting.

Alan


Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2011, 06:10:25 PM »
Agonized over the siding and roofing decision all week long. Finally decided yesterday to go with cedar bevel siding and barn steel roof. Maybe an odd combination but I think I can make it work well together. I really liked the looks of the steel shingles but it would have been an extra $2500 and I didn't like it that much more.

The cedar siding was about twice the cost of either Hardiplank or LP Smartside but it will still be under $2000 for the whole house. The cedar was a little under $2/square foot and the LP Smartside was a little over $1/square foot. My house has about 860 sq. ft. of wall space not counting the windows and doors.

Today the housewrap and most of the rainscreen went up. Both went very well.

Hard to tell from the picture but the screen extends a few inches below the edge of the wall. It will be folded over and stapled later to keep out the bugs:


20110813_001 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Bottom of the rainscreen installed over the screen.


20110813_002 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

I used 4mm Coroplast (the stuff they make political yard signs with). I would have liked a little thicker but it's all I could find. Should be fine since I've just got a single story with a hip roof and large overhangs. We don't get a ton of rain either.


20110813_003 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr


20110813_004 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Tomorrow I'll start putting in windows and doors.

Alan


Offline duncanshannon

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2011, 04:16:55 AM »
Hi Alan-

looking good. 

when do you need a rain screen?  and when do you need furring strips?  I'm going to start siding my house soon (hardie plank) and wasnt planning on either.   The guy who's helping me now and who did the other half of my house last year didnt use either.

thanks
Home: Minneapolis, MN area.  Land: (no cabin yet) Spooner, WI area.  Plan: 20x34 1 1/2 Story. Experience Level: n00b. 
Build Thread: http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=10784.0

Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2011, 10:47:13 AM »
Quote
when do you need a rain screen?  and when do you need furring strips? 

I don't know if anyone in our climate really needs a rainscreen but I figured since I was starting from scratch I didn't want to regret it later. I really started thinking about it when I was contemplating 4x8 sheets of siding. Those would have been pressed tight against the housewrap and sheathing, not giving water a chance to run out. The rainscreen creates a small gap between the siding and sheathing so any water that gets in there can freely run out. Mine will also be vented on the top and bottom so some air can flow through as well and help things dry out. I'm hoping this will help the stain/paint last longer on the cedar. It's probably overkill on my place (single story with 3' overhangs) but it's only another $125 in materials and is going up easy.

Some reading on the subject if you're interested:

http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/insights/bsi-038-mind-the-gap-eh/?searchterm=mind%20the%20gap

http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/pdf/RainScreen.pdf

Alan

Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2011, 06:08:50 PM »
Window day today! First up was prep.

When I framed the rough openings I made them an extra 1/2" tall for some sort of sloped sill. Put some sill seal down on the inside of the opening and then nailed down a piece of plywood on top of that. Seems to work fine.


20110814_001 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr


20110814_002 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Then I went around and started flashing the sill on all the openings.


20110814_008 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

The flashing tape I have isn't wide enough to go over the actual sill so over top of the tape I put down some #15 felt for some extra protection should water get in.


20110814_009 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Found an easy way to hold the windows in place while getting them plumb and level:


20110814_007 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Got 8 windows in today and was happy with that. That's just over half of them. I still need to do the flashing tape on the sides and top.


20110814_012 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Alan

Offline duncanshannon

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2011, 06:52:56 PM »
nice trick for working solo on the windows!

how important do you think the slope is on the sill? i'm just finishing my whole house (two of twenty two left) and didn't do that.

i did put the window tape / flashing on the sill (top outside edge) and then another piece that overlapped the top by 1 inche and wrapped down the outside wall about 3 inches.

Home: Minneapolis, MN area.  Land: (no cabin yet) Spooner, WI area.  Plan: 20x34 1 1/2 Story. Experience Level: n00b. 
Build Thread: http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=10784.0

Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #43 on: August 15, 2011, 07:50:20 AM »
Quote
how important do you think the slope is on the sill? i'm just finishing my whole house (two of twenty two left) and didn't do that.

I don't know just how important it is. This is all new to me so I don't have any other experience. I saw a lot of people recommended it when I was researching how to flash windows and since it wasn't much extra work and no extra expense (already had extra sill seal and plywood scraps) I figured why not.

Quote
i did put the window tape / flashing on the sill (top outside edge) and then another piece that overlapped the top by 1 inche and wrapped down the outside wall about 3 inches.

Maybe I'm reading it wrong but I think you'd want the piece that laid flat on the sill and lapped down onto the wall to go on after the piece that stuck vertically to the outside of the wall to get the overlaps right.

Alan

Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #44 on: August 15, 2011, 05:02:26 PM »
Slow day at work so I got off early this afternoon and got in about 5 hours on the house. Very productive evening.

Finished installing the last of the windows and got all the side flashings on. My dad came out to give me a hand with the 2 big picture windows. The only window left to go is the one I decided to add a couple weeks ago. It hasn't shown up yet. Also got up on the roof to put down some strips of tarpaper over the lower hip ridges where I ran out of synthetic felt.


20110815_001 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

While my dad was there we drug the wood stove into place so I could figure out where the chimney penetration will be. Hopefully I'll be putting down the roof later this week so I need to get ready for it. Starting to look like a house.


20110815_002 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Alan


Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #45 on: August 24, 2011, 05:33:24 PM »
No pictures but there is some progress to report.

The last window finally showed up so now they're all in and flashed. Got both the doors installed too. I like the look with them deeply inset (11" from sheathing to sheetrock). Fun to be able to actually close the house up.

Hoping for electrical rough in next week so I've spent a lot of time thinking about outlet and light placement. Went ahead and tacked up all the outlet and switch boxes and I think I'm happy with everything there. You can no longer do your own wiring on new construction in Iowa so I have to hire it out. A bit of a relief actually since I have enough going on without having to get up to speed on electrical.

Cut out all the exterior window trim (cedar 1x4s) and coated them with water repellant preservative. Need to make the final decision on their color (or maybe natural) so I can finish them before installation.

Siding (cedar) showed up today and I got about 1/4 of them coated with WRP this evening. It's beautiful stuff. All arrow straight and no knots. Again I'm still not sure how I'm going to finish it. Either natural or a tinted semi-transparent stain. Need to decide on smooth or rough side out too. I'd like to wait until the roof and trim are up so I can (hopefully) visualize it better.

Speaking of roofing it will hopefully be here tomorrow and I'd like to be well along with installation by the end of the weekend. 

I'll update again with pictures soon.

Alan

Offline MountainDon

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #46 on: August 24, 2011, 05:40:50 PM »
Alan.
It  is generally wiser to complete the plumbing before electrical is started, especially the DWV. Wires bend easier if a pipe is in the way, rather than the other way around. Same thing for ductwork; best done before plumbing and electrical.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #47 on: August 24, 2011, 06:09:58 PM »
Alan.
It  is generally wiser to complete the plumbing before electrical is started, especially the DWV. Wires bend easier if a pipe is in the way, rather than the other way around. Same thing for ductwork; best done before plumbing and electrical.

Yes, I've been thinking about that. The plumbing and radon vent are already run through the top plates. I'll cut the roof penetrations as I'm laying down the sheets. Same for the wood stove chimney.

The pressure lines were run under the slab so most of them are already where they need to be. Figured I'll run the lines to the outside faucets this weekend.

Still need to run bath and kitchen fan ducts.

Thanks,

Alan

Offline Alan Gage

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #48 on: September 06, 2011, 06:10:58 PM »
Time for an overdue update.

Last I left off the trim was all cut out but not finished yet:


20110820_001 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

I decided to do the trim white and thought it might look good with a white tinted semi-transparent stain rather than a solid paint. I was wrong, it looks terrible! Of course I couldn't do something sensible like testing it on a couple pieces, instead I did them all. So now I need to go back and paint them all with a solid white.

I was fortunate that the guy I was going to hire to do my electrical offered to let me do the rough in and that he would come out and inspect my work, then pull a permit and have the inspector come out. I was glad to be able to do it myself and spent a few days working on it since my roof didn't show up when it was supposed do. The house ate up a lot of wire.


20110903_003 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Lots of AFCI breakers required and they really added up. Spent about $500 on breakers (Still need to add a couple, I bought out the store):


20110903_001 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

I'd been waiting for the roof for 3 weeks and had hoped to have it done by now but it finally showed up last Saturday, just before it started raining. It dried out later in the day and I was able to get the drip edge put up. I wasn't happy with how it came out and fretted about what to do all night. Went back in the morning, pulled it back off, and redid it. Much happier with it now with the steel bent around the corners and lapping under the underlayment instead of over it (which is what most seem to recommend).

Before:


20110904_006 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

After:


20110904_007 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

After lots of thinking about fastener location and amount of overhang it was finally time to get the roof up. I got my dad to come out and help and in a few hours we had half of one side done. We put them up with just enough screws to hold them in place and after he left that evening I went up to finish putting in all the screws.

We hit it again the next morning and about 2 hours into it I went to grab another bag of screws only to find out they were different than the ones I'd been using. These were shorter with a different washer. ARG! These were the correct ones. I'd been using the screws for the ridge caps. Never even thought about it, I'd just grabbed a bag out of the box. So I got to pull out all the screws I'd set and put the new ones back in place.

After that things went smooth and when my dad wussed out at 5pm we had half the house done. Happy with the progress and I think we should be able to get it finished up by mid-week working after work. Then it will be time to finish the trim and get to work on siding.


20110905_002 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr


20110905_001 copy_web by Alan  Gage, on Flickr

Fingers crossed that electrical will get dug into the house this week and that I won't have to string extension cords from the shed.

Alan

Offline dug

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Re: 38x30 in Iowa
« Reply #49 on: September 07, 2011, 08:45:08 AM »
Great job on the wiring! I am impressed at the quality and speed of your build so far, one of my favorites on this forum right now.   [cool]

 

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