Sunday, October 29, 2006

Oct 29th - Restack & Plumbing

In the last few days we have disassembled several piles of lumber to try and find a few straight long 1 x12's we can use for the fascia. Lumber is spread all over the yard and needs to be restacked. Today I start by cutting up any scrap lumber to stove size and cover the huge pile of firewood on the north side of the house. I have restacked the piles of barnwood and they are ready to cover.

I've taken Max for a walk this afternoon and then drive to the top of Silver Street to check out Cody and Anika's progress on their new log home. It's exciting to see their great progress; just the two of them working like crazy to get their roof on.

In the afternoon I return to the house and am about to begin the plumbing, when a visitor shows up. It's Pete, my cousin's friend, who I visited several weeks ago. I enjoy his company and he seems to enjoy the tour of the house. He is a talented welder and artist and we seem to have some common interests.

Afterwards, I tackle the plumbing and begin by cutting holes in the floor and wall in the 2nd floor bath. It's going well except for my breaking a fitting. Still, I've made some good progress on this beautiful warm, sunny day.

Oct 28th - Fascia Up

The roads have been clear for a couple days now & Lynn heads off to Iowa, leaving Max & me alone in the haunted hotel.

Pat has gone hunting today and so our main roof man is gone. However R.D. is just as versatile on the roof. I do my small stint on the roof, but I confess it's not my favorite thing to do. Greenbay has been cutting the fascia and now it's his turn on the roof as I am meeting with Bob who is a retired Master Electrician. He is willing to supervise my work if I pull my own electrical permit. I am willing to do the work so we make the deal.

Barbara and her help show up for the final work on the garage log cabin and the final chinking is complete at the end of the day. Some of the chinking is nearly 8" wide and she has done a superb job. The cabin finally looks like a real stucture.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Oct 27th - Fascia and Interior Walls

Greenbay and I continue on the framing on the 2nd floor and our goal is completed at the end of the day including around the masonry chimney.

Pat and R. D. have begun the fascia on the south roof, which is nearly free of snow this morning.
The eaves get a 3-piece fascia which consists of a reclaimed 1" x 6" to cover the rafter tails, then a 1" x 8" nailed to the 2" x10" rim joist holding the insulated panels. The final cap is a rough cut 1" x12" and the detail looks great. Another day of fascia and the main part of the house will be complete and ready for the steel roof.

Bill has completed the framing on the wall between the kitchen and the original cabin gable. There have been numerous areas we have had to complete small amounts of framing and application of OSB. Bill moves up to the master suite area and builds posts under the ends of the beams supporting the roof. Once completed, I remove the temporary posts that have been up for nearly a month. We are ready to frame the master suite beginning tomorrow.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Oct 26th - Windows Arrive

This morning it is snowing and blowing and really cold. Pat has gathered up several heaters and long gas hoses and attached a small regulator to the main propane tank. We now have a way to run heaters when the need arises.

Pat has completed the the diagonal braces on the west wall of the kitchen and the fit is superb. I have once again cleared the snow from the master bedroom floor. Today, just before lunch, the delivery truck arrived with all of my windows. They look fantastic and it makes us all anxious to get the windows installed, but today is not the day. We need to complete the framing, Tyvek and the fascia on the house first. We will probably put a few in as we get time in the next few weeks.

By mid-fternoon, the weather has cleared and the sky is clear blue; amazing how quickly the weather can change here. Greenbay and I work on the interior framing on the 2nd floor and are close to having all of the framing completed. Greenbay has shown me a number of ways to make the framing go quickly and has a way of staying organized and on track. Thanks Greenbay.

Oct 25th - Another Fall Day Blizzard

Tropical Storm Paul has mixed with a cold front coming down from the north and Colorado is getting dumped on today and tonight. I don’t think we will get as much as other areas of Colorado . We’ve had snow, sunshine, rain, thunder, lightning and a blizzard this evening…typical Rico weather. Lynn is waiting for the roads to clear to leave for Iowa.
Bill worked on completing the framing and applying OSB on the 1st floor today. Greenbay swept snow off the master suite floor and then proceeded to cover up window openings for the coming snow. It’s dark inside the house but at least dry; a real blessing.

Pat and I tackled and completed the installation of the hand hewn screw post I assembled a few months ago. It works and we were able to jack the floor up as well as the post above which was sagging slightly under the weight of the roof. Pat also completed one of the hand-hewn diagonal braces on the west wall of the kitchen and it looks great.
Greenbay and I cut the log down over the doorway between the dining and living area. The log wasn’t straight so we cut a small portion off the bottom log above the doorway so it's nice and level. We installed a reclaimed oak doorway jamb and have the trim ready to cut and install. A hollowed out area along the west edge of the doorway, originally for the door buck on the old cabin, has become a chase to run wiring to the switch and overhead lights in the living room.
Tonight I picked up the final machined castings for my ladder invention. Lynn will take them back to Iowa . We need a few good days of weather and a dry roof to complete the fascia installation and ready the roof for steel..Looks like we'll have to hold off for another day or two.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Oct. 24th - Dried In

I've spent the day completing the north window and garage door oak frames and the garage is now ready for the garage door. I've ordered it and all the windows and doors to be delivered on Thursday.

Bill, a local carpenter, who joined us yesterday has been a big help in getting the roof panels on.
Pat has returned today and thank God he is on the roof and right at home. We work until dark completing the north side of the roof. Thanks Greenbay and Pat for staying late tonite and doing the necessary work to complete the dry in. We have used every scrap of remaining roofing felt to complete the dry in.

What a relief to know that the roof is dried in and now only the roofing steel remains. The main thing is we won't have water coming in. Possible snow coming in tomorrow night and we hope to have the fascia cut and installed by then.

Oct. 23rd - North Roof

Pat has taken the day off to chase an elk he shot on Sunday.

R. D. and Greenbay are cutting rim joists for the insulated panels we will apply to the north side of the roof. They have marked the hole in the roof that will need to be cut out for the fireplace chimney. I have helped Greenbay haul some of the panels up onto the staging area we have set up on the master bedroom floor. While not heavy, the panels are bulky and difficult to handle. We have a short scaffold set up on the north porch so I can walk the panels out on a plank and push them onto the roof. Cutting the styrofoam goes smoothly, but the melting styrofoam panels require us to wear masks to prevent inhaling the noxious burning plastic fumes.

The remainder of the day I focus on building the south garage window and door frames and by the time we finish up the day, the oak frames are completed. We are now ready for the chinking to start tomorrow.

Today I have ordered the steel and all the necessary flashings for the roof and we should have
everything in by next week.

Oct. 22nd - Errand Day

We have to go to Cortez today to do grocery and plumbing shopping. We stopped at Stoner and dropped off some nice oak kindling for Mary Jane Millard. Also dropped off some of her favorite candy bars and juice. She was happy to see us...

After we returned home, I've gone back to the house to unload the plumbing materials. I work until dark, cutting the openings in the garage log cabin. I have to have the windows and doors framed before Barbara can do the chinking. I am using oak 2 x6's to frame the openings.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Oct. 21st - Firewood

Today I spent the entire day cutting up scrap lumber that has been building in a huge pile on the south patio. I have stacked a full wall of firewood in the north cabin and hopefully soon we will have the wood stove hooked up. Once the windows and doors are in we can at least work inside, even with the cold weather coming.

I have cut a lot of the oak strips that we staightlined off the roof decking into small kindling. Tomorrow I will drop several boxes off at Stoner for Mary Jane who can certainly use it to keep warm. I have been using the chop saw and Lynn spends some time helping me cut up the remains of the huge pile. Excess wood we don't have room for is piled near the north fence and I will cover it so the snow doesn't bury it for the winter.

Barbara has returned today with her friend and they now have completed chinking on both the original spruce and the north aspen cabin. It looks superb.

Oct 20th - The Ice Man Cometh

Today is insulated panel day and a day for cutting the large styrofoam panels to deck the roof with. Greenbay has called the large panels "ice" and he is the ice man and chosen ice cutter. Our new tool, called a SIPS groover, heats up quickly and by setting the depth correctly, you can easily notch the edges of the panels with heat to fit over the 2' x 10' rim joist; it's a quick and styrofoam bead-free way to cut back the styrofoam without having the entire town of Rico covered with fake snow...

Pat and R.D. are on the roof completing the perimeter 2' x10' rim joists and the panels while Greenbay does the cutting. I have had to take a quick trip over the hill to Telluride to take care of some banking. After lunch I have taken on the task of compiling a list of roofing metal and flashings we will need to complete the roof. With all the different roofs, metal foundation covers and garage door metal facade, we have our work cut out for us. I am amazed how quickly the crew works and by end of the day, the entire south roof of the structure is covered and papered in for the little bit of snowy weather coming tonight.

Barbara has returned with a friend and is near completing the chinking on the original cabin. It is a tedious job that requires insulating blankets being applied to the outer walls once the chinking is done to keep the material from freezing. It looks absolutely great and should help keep the critters out.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Oct 19th - Chink It In

R. D. and Pat have completed the gable end of the sun room framing and the overhead barge rafter and lookouts. By noon the decking is completed in that area and the planks are up on the pump jack scaffolds. They have cut a hole in the roof for a skylight and framed above it with 2' x 10's preparing for the installation of the insulated panels. Also, the 2' x 10' framework around the perimeter of the south end of the roof has been completed and tomorrow we will be ready for panels.

Greenbay and I completed the door and window bucks in the lower cabin and the cabin is now ready for windows and doors! We will have the windows delivered next week. While Greenbay is doing the final completion on the cabin, I have moved up to the garage. I have one of the window openings framed for window installation. Hopefully tomorrow we can complete the rough openings for the garage cabin and ready it for window and door installation.

Barbara has begun the chinking on the old cabin, filling the voids between logs with specially shaped foam and scraps of the pink foam I have on hand. She is an expert and has now completed the chinking on 1/2 the south wall of the original cabin. The chinking is light colored and will help lighten up the inside rooms. For now she will just chink the outer walls and seal them up to keep the critters out.

Weather is holding for now; I hope to order the steel for the roof tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Oct 18th - Pump Jacks

The snow is piled up and this morning I spent several hours shoveling and sweeping snow off lumber piles and the master suite floor. At least 4" accumulation and more on the way, but today the sky is a crystal blue and a welcome change.

Today Pat, R.D. and I erected the scaffold jacks. I had brought 3 with me and Pat had 4. The pump jacks are terrific scaffolding that you pump with your foot while on the scaffold. The entire scaffold is supported on doubled up 2 x 4's that are stood up on the corners of the house. It makes it easy for moving the scaffolding up and down the wall. We have enough jacks installed that we can access most any area of the front portion of the house. Tommorrow we will start erecting the 2' x 10's around the perimeter of the roof and begin the installation of the insulated panels.

Greenbay and I have continued on the the aspen log structure, installing the door and window bucks which will allow us to easily install the windows and doors which isn't far off. We have had to channel the log ends to install a tight fitting vertical brace to keep the log ends around the opening in a stable position. We continue to frame and close up misc openings on the first floor. Barbara, our log chinker, starts tommorrow...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Oct. 17th - Chink it out

Snow, snow and more snow. It started this morning and is still going and will be through the night. It makes it tough to get much done, but we continue on. This will be the last day we have the material handler and material we need at the back of the house gets moved around and restacked. From here on out, we will need to move things by hand and so we want to get everything as close as possible to where we will be needing it.

Pat and R.D. try to finish the Tyvek, but with a slight wind and blowing snow, it's nearly impossible. Greenbay is tending to the lower north cabin and cutting the window openings and installing the upright stanchions that will serve as nailers for the windows and doors to be secured. Cutting the large hole in the front of the house for the new window sure makes a difference in the amount of light. Greenbay starts with my chain saw and a new chain, but after one cut he hits a screw head and now has to use the circular, beam and reciprocating saw to cut the holes. We have to install a channel in the cut surface to strengthen the short sections of wall between the front window and door. Greenbay uses his big router to make a vertical channel up the exposed log ends.

The snow is coming down hard and I am outside pulling the old chinking out of the original cabin. Some of the chinking is original while other spots have a different material that was used as patch sometime during WWII. Some of the cracks were chinked with old newspaper from 1941. Pat is helping me complete the chink removal which involves removing any loose bark from the old logs which were stacked 125 years ago. The cabin may now be the oldest surviving structure in Rico. Using a large pry bar, Pat and I pry logs up and fill in with shim material in the joints to help straighten out some of the sagging logs. Once completed the cabin logs now look straighter. With some more blocking installed Barbara Walker will be ready to start the chinking on Thursday.

Barbara has arrived today with thirteen 5- gallon buckets of chinking compound that we have to store inside the cabin with a small electrical heater going to keep it from freezing.

Cody and Anika have borrowed the forklift for moving the final logs for their new home up the steep hill on Silver Street.

Today I have ordered a special heat tool which will help us cut the styrofoam panels for the roof without having blowing styrofoam particles all over town.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Oct 16th - Closed In

Jack and Lynn left early this morning, we miss them already.

Pat has begun the process of completing the OSB installation all over the front gable and west walls. R. D. shows up at noon and between them they complete the cutting of the overhanging decking on the west gable. Using the material handler Pat lifts R.D. up near the top of the gable to complete the nailing and installation of the OSB. What a time saver the material handler is, only one day remaining on the rental. Tyvek house wrap is next and while they are up near the top they tackle tacking the Tyvek up on the gable end which will save a ton of time. The west gable end is ready for windows.

Greenbay and I have completed the framing of the bathroom and laundry walls by noon. They are up and now the 2nd floor rooms are beginning to take shape. Once finished we move up to the upper level and begin framing the west gable end. We have completed sheeting the wall laid out on the floor and with Pat and R.D.'s help, we stand the tall wall up - it fits perfectly.

Tomorrow we will complete the other 3 walls. One problem is the location of the door and I realize it will have to move 12" to the north because of the low head room in the vaulted area over the 2nd floor. It shouldn't be too tough, but will have to be done.

Cold and snow headed our way tomorrow night...if the weather can just hold a little longer we can have the entire house dried in within a week.

Oct 14th - West Gable

It's raining, snowing and sleeting; a wet, soggy and dreary day. Greenbay and I decide to work under the cover of our new decking which is covered with 30 pound felt. This is the first time I've seen the floor actually dry! We decide to work on the west gable and while Greenbay cuts, I install and nail the framing on the gable. We have had to move the location of the uppermost gable windows up as high as possible to have enough clearance for the insulated panels to be installed on the roof. By noon we have the west gable end completely framed including the opening for the opposing window.

Afternoon we tackle laying out the interior walls around the bathroom and laundry area. It's great working with Greenbay and while I have framed numerous walls over the years, Greenbay has a consistent and easy way to lay out and frame walls. His way is simple, accurate and straight forward. We have had to notch the bottom plates over the warm board so we can easily install the in floor tubing under the walls. We have one wall up and all the trimmers and corners pre-made by the end of the day.

Oct 15th - Stoner

The sun is breaking through the clouds this morning. It's been nearly a month since I have had any time off, but I decide to put a couple of hours in this morning adding more of the plumbing needed in the garage. I install the neccessary fittings for the laundry tub that we will install in the garage.

Jack and Lynn ask to go to lunch and take us down to Stoner to the little restaurant there. What a great brunch and some of the best homemade bread. We take a short walk around the nearly abandoned trailer park there. The owners want to sell and it's an interesting thought to think about buying it...but not for long.

Off to the side lot is an old sheepherders hut with smoke coming out of the chimney. We decide to stop in and visit an old friend, Mary Jane Millard. Mary Jane is a legend in these parts. Now 83, she is a kind, alert and very interesting woman. She lives in an amazingly small space, less than 100 sq. ft. A long time rancher and still running 20 head of cattle up on the last private land on Stoner Creek, this is her life. She is confined to a rolling office chair and can't walk any more. I promise to bring her kindling and some chocolate bars from the Conoco in Rico next time I go down the canyon.

Jack and Lynn have asked us to look at a house with them at the top of Silver Street. A nice house but probably not large enough for them. It will be interesting to see what they decide on their possible move here. Remember Jack and Lynn...we would love to have you for neighbors.

Oct 13th - Dried In

R. D. and Pat spend all day nailing decking on the north side of the roof. The boards have to each be brushed with a wire brush that was Pat's idea. This will save a ton of work since we won't have to brush the decking down between the joists. The inside exposed decking looks great and will become the actual ceiling of the upper floors. With the reclaimed beams, rafters and now decking, it truly looks like an old house.

Greenbay and I are moving lumber around to prepare for the arrival of a large delivery which should give us enough lumber to complete most of the framing. One large 6' x 8' oak beam remains and instead of moving it right away, we choose to cut it down to a size that will remove the rotten areas on two sides. The beam ends up being 1/2 the size and will work perfectly across the south and north walls of the master suite.

The east wall of the master bedroom is cantilevered 2' over the back wall of the log garage. It's time to install the large beam I've chosen for over the garage door. The beam is a 500 pounder and measures 6" x 17" x 15' and is one that came out of the old Studebaker factory in South Bend Indiana. The way I've designed it, the beam doesn't even have to be cut.

Tonight we have a small dinner party, our first, since we now have room. Jack and Lynn and Cody and Anika join us for a great evening of food, wine and good company. It's great having new and old friends over.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Oct 12th - Rip Guide

Greenbay has picked up an older commercial table saw and after cleaning up the table top with a portable grinder and fine paper, we've set the table saw up to finish ripping down the material for the roof decking. Pat has been up on the roof nailing decking down and it's coming together nicely. What a treat it will be to get dried in.

Pat, along with R.D., continues nailing the decking up on the south side and by the end of the day have reached the peak of the roof. Pat has moved more roof decking to the alley and Greenbay and I set up the saw to straightline any lumber that isn't straight. He has plenty of experience and shows me an easy way to straightline the boards by using an brad air nailer. We simply tack the straight edge on to one side of each board, run it through the table saw and then with one good edge, we now rip down the entire stack into several different widths, depending on what I had in the stack. The material from this stack is a combination of aspen and pine, that I was able to find near here over 10 years ago. I hauled it back to Iowa and now 10 years later I have hauled it back...doesn't make much sense does it, but at least I get to use it.

I've gone to the town hall this morning and Jack and Lynn have met with Jennifer to ask about the possibilities of putting up a ham radio tower. Jennifer is very helpful and recommends several areas for them to look. I hope they make the move and find what they are looking for.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Oct 11th - Good Weather Welcome

Finally, a day without some precipitation and we take full advantage of it. Brian, from Colorado Fasteners, has stopped by with my order for 2 new fiberglass ladders; these are the heavy duty ones and I pick out a 24’ extension and 10’ step ladder. Pat can’t resist the temptation of the tool house on wheels and decides to purchase a new Hitachi nail gun…Greenbay and I are both jealous of this most coveted new tool and we discuss that getting a new tool is even better than sex….well at least sometimes… Greenbay’s new framing hammer is also on the truck as well as my nailgun which has just been repaired. I’ve also picked up an extra 100’ hose as the higher the house goes the more line we need. I’ve spent part of the morning doing some much needed repair work and have changed numerous tool and extension cord ends, which was long overdue.
We’ve installed the last remaining portion of the mid-span beam over the sunroom and it feels great we are actually closing in on getting a roof on the structure. Greenbay has studied the plan and made a new lumber list and I’ve ordered the material for delivery tomorrow or Friday. The new lumber package will be enough to frame the entire master bedroom, which we will be starting soon. Pat has helped me attach the final sheets of warmboard on the master bedroom floor as well as laying out the lines for the exterior walls. We are ready to frame the 3rd level. Looking out where the east French doors will face up the mountain, I see Hart’s Peak which is named after Hartley Lee, my grandfather’s older brother. Greenbay is tackling the job of the two west facing gable windows and the problem of the close distance to the roof below, it will be a tight squeeze to fit them in, but we will get it done. R. D. has stopped by, back from vacation and will come back to work tomorrow. We can use an extra man.
Pat continues plugging away at the roof decking and it amazes me how fast he works and how much he accomplishes on a daily basis. By evening Pat has ½ of the south facing roof decking nailed in place. The exposed wood looks great below and the desired look of an old roof comes to life. He asks me if I am subcontracting the roof and yes is my reply. He is confident that we can order the metal ourselves and is happy to do the roof with a helper. I like the idea and it should save a boatload on labor by having him do it. It’s great having Pat around as a jack of all trades.
My very good friends, Jack and Lynn, arrived this afternoon and will be house and lot hunting in Rico. They currently live in Arizona and would love to live in Rico. We have a nice evening together and there is much discussion on Rico, building and real estate, as well as radio towers. Jack is an avid HAM radio operator and wants to construct a retractable antenna that stands 21 feet high and can extend to 60’. I suggest they meet with the town manager, Mike England, tomorrow about the possibilities. The acceptance of this could make it or break it for them moving to Rico.

Welcome to Rico Jack and Lynn and hopefully I can get your picture up soon! More pictures coming soon.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Oct. 10th - Sawing, Sawing, Sawing

It snowed about 2" of wet, heavy snow last night and the weight of the snow has collapsed our tent over the garage. I crawl up on the decking which is like walking on grease to sweep the snow off the platform.

Greenbay and I have spent most of the entire day straight lining and ripping down all the 1 x oak material I have had stacked out front. I like his system, much more efficient than my way and simple. We have a straight board that we tack with a brad nailer to the edge of each board and then run through the table saw to get one edge of the board straight. We have several hundred 1 x boards to cut both edges and with a pile of sawdust over 2' high we are glad when the job is finished.

We have made headway in organizing material around the alley. Meanwhile Pat who is nimble and quick on the roof has another large section of the roof decking nailed down and covered with tar paper. We should have 1/2 the decking on by tommorrow night as long as the weather holds.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Oct 9th - Partial Roof On

Greenbay and I have managed to install the barge rafters with Pat's help. Pat cuts the 1 x 6's of oak planks to length while Greenbay and I nail them up. We have concentrated on the short sections of the roof over the west bedroom. Up on the roof is no picnic, but I am suprisingly okay off the ground at 30' . Pat clambers up on the roof like it was no big deal and helps me get the roofing felt nailed down and the plastic tarps back in place.

This morning our shipment of roof panels has arrived from Jerome, Idaho. The light weight panels fill a full semi-trailer and Pat does a superb and quick job of getting them unloaded. Once unloaded we stack them on the north side of the garage. I've quickly arranged for the same truck driver to pick up the Power Wagon I purchased a few months ago. We've attached a chain on the front winch and using the material handler Pat lifts the front of the truck high enough that the driver can back the trailer underneath it. Once up, we pick up the back of the truck and lift it up to the same level. I start the truck and in 4wd pull forward slowly while Pat slowly pushes me forward onto the trailer.

Before we quit, we've gone down to the yard near the highway to do a final cleanup of debris left on the lot where we had the lumber stored. It's drizzling now and snow on the way tonite.

Oct 8th - Moving Day

We are moving today from the Rico Motel to the Rico Hotel. What a beautiful place we have now and what a relief to have 4 times the room we have had for the last few months.

Pat and I have laid out the floor joists over the garage. While Lynn and I are moving, Pat has installed all the joist hangers and TJIs over the garage. After lunch we finish nailing the joists in place and begin the installation of the warmboard over the garage. We have one row to go by the end of the day.

Pat's simple idea for stretching the reinforced tarp with weights made from milk bottles is really slick. When we want to uncover, we simply push the tarp back and then when it rains we simply stretch it back out.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Oct 7th - Last Log

I have removed the black plastic over the garage which is now in tatters and full of holes. We want to build a more durable tent over the garage area and by building a temporary ridge pole over the garage and 2 on either the south and north walls we are ready to install another piece of the reinforced plastic. Pat has the great idea to attach one gallon water jugs with bungy cords to the bottom edges of the plastic and throw them over the bottom ridges. These serve as weights for the plastic to stay taut. If you want to pull the plastic back, simply toss the jugs on the other side of bottom ridge. What a perfect way to keep things dry with a quick way to remove it if need be. Once up, we do have to move it to begin the final sections of log installation on the north and south walls.

We have determined where the top logs will be ripped down. Once drilled and fit, they have to come back down so we can rip them down with the beam saw. It takes a while to rip a 6" long down its full length especially since both sides have to be ripped down. The final top two logs are ripped down and glued in place on the corners. We then attach on the inside of the walls 4 microlam beams which are glued and screwed. These will further strengthen the upper courses of logs and provide a place to hang our TJI's and then begin another floor surface of warm board. The long micro lams are installed into two notches on the east garage wall and canitlever out over the logs. This will serve as a way to make the master suite above 2' longer than the garage. Tomorrow we will be ready to install the floor.

Oct 6th - Monsoon

It has been raining all night and water is pouring through the floors; discouraging to say the least.

I meet with Barbara Walker, who is a specialist in log chinking. She has a ton of work to do here and hopefully can start on doing the exterior chinking on all 3 cabins. She informs me that it will require 40 gallons of chink just to chink the outside of the garage cabin due to the massive size of the gaps between logs. The sheets of foam I brought from Iowa will come in handy to insulate the center of the wall between each log.

With the high winds, the plastic hasn't held up well and is flying around in the wind. Pat and I again are the only ones working...Thanks Pat for helping me out during this difficult stage...With Pat on the power planer, he straightens the edge of the 1 x 6"s. Those that are even more twisted and warped, I cut with worm drive saw and the straight edge. The tanic acid from the oak board saw dust has stained the concrete floor but not a big deal. We have created a huge pile of sawdust once we have ripped down the remainder of the stack.

After lunch I ask Pat to help me with a more permanent solution to keeping the floors dry, which is indeed a major challenge. We have a roll of reinforced plastic, which is incredibly strong. While it is pouring and blowing rain, we tackle getting a large piece of the plastic up on the roof. We have a 20' 2 x4" across the ridge holding the top of the plastic that hangs down on the north and south faces of rafters. Using ring shank nails with large plastic heads we tack the plastic down. We are soaked after several hours getting blown and rained on by the weather. Up on the high scaffolding planks and extension ladders we have to be extra careful of not slipping and with everything wet, it's treacherous. We have to take a break, go home and change into some dry clothes and then go back and complete the installation of our plastic roof. It's been a challenging day.

The Dolores River is over its banks in many places and is a raging torrent; Silver Creek is as high as I have ever seen it. With the plastic roof on, I grab the push broom and sweep out the standing water on the first floor and then vacuum up 10 gals of water with the shop vac. At least it will begin to dry out. There are flood warnings out tonite for Telluride and more and more rain on the way. Local folks around here have never seen this kind of rain this time of year and the River looks much like it does during spring run-off.

Oct 5th - Rain, Rain Go Away!!

It has started raining in the night and continues on and off all day. Pat has come by this morning to attach some plastic as there is a lot of rain coming in the next few days. I have had some business to take care of this morning and it isn't until afternoon that I bring the first stack of oak around to the alley. We have a temporary black tarp over the garage that serves as a a simple sheleter to run the table saw.

I've set up the saw on the floor so I can run 8' boards through the saw and use a large chunk of log to hold the end of the board. These boards are a combination of 1 x 6"s and 1 x 8''s and a full one inch thick of rough sawn oak. Oak has a tendency to warp and twist more than softer woods and there is a lot of work to prep the boards we need in order to get them straight and a consistent width. I start by clamping a straight edge to each board and using the worm drive saw. I cut one edge straight and then run the straightened edge along the table saw fence. It takes me the rest of the afternoon to rip down the stack of 1 x8"s and it looks like about 175 sq. ft. is ready to nail down.

Kjersten Tomer, my designer stops by today and is pleased with the progress. We have been discussing the height restrictions in Rico and the possibility of adding a partial loft in the area over the south end of the north bedroom.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Oct 4th - Getting Closer

More Progress today as Greenbay and R.D. continue the roof framing over the 2nd floor. All of the rafters are up now with most of the lookouts for the barge rafters cut. If the weather holds the roof framing should be completed by the end of the week for the 2nd floor. We're not far away from decking the roof with the rough cut oak I have stacked out front. The problem with oak is that it warps fairly easily and these 1 x 5's and 1 x 7's are no exception. They will have to be straight line cut along one edge and then run thru a table saw so they will be a consistent size for decking the roof. R.D. has left early as someone he knows is willing to give us a 10" commercial table saw and he is supposed to go pick it up.

Fabian and Dylan have returned once again and delivered 2 dump truck loads of road base for my driveway and parking spaces out back. Watching Fabian at work with his huge tracked back hoe is an amazing thing. Where most guys would spread gravel with a bobcat or bucket on the front of tractor, Fabian simply uses the side of his bucket and drags it across the surface and spreads it remarkably even. Some simple raking and it's read to compact now as he drives back and forth with the track right where it needs to be to compress the gravel. It's flat enough you could lay carpet on it and the best thing is there is no mud. We are also moving the propane tank slightly because of a neighbor complaining it was too far out into the alley. It would be great if the neighbors would talk to me about it instead of complaining to the town manager. The tank is moved 12" to the west.

Down along side the retaining wall I have asked Dave to put in more rocks and steps to allow some way to get up to the garage from the outside and also to allow water to drain off the south patio slab. We find a few flat rocks up on the lot that make steps, but not enough. Fabian makes a suggestion. "I have just the thing that has your name written all over it." Minutes later he returns with the smaller backhoe and a front bucket full of large odd sized very old firebrick. "These came out of the old scale house down on River Street and they look like something you might like." He's been around me enough to know by now the kind of thing I like and they really are perfect and I am delighted to get them. Dylan and I set a couple of large flat rock steps and then he goes to work stacking the old brick into a partial retaining wall and steps. The finished product is really nice. Thanks Dylan, I really appreciate the attention to detail you take in your work! These guys are great!

Pat and I continue on the logs, getting the last few top logs peeled. It's time to pay Mike England, the town manager a visit. I find him down in a ditch down in SilverGlance, a Rico Subdivision just south of town, installing a new water line. My question is about height restrictions in Rico and I have already been to town hall to check it out. Turns out it's fairly vague in how it's figured and so Mike gives me the final word on just how high I can go. 35' from the lowest finished floor on the lot to the highest peak on the roof.

Because the house is strung up the hillside, height is an issue and as we add things up I find that we have to keep the garage log structure to just over an 8' ceiling. This will requre us ripping down the north and south oak logs which means cutting a 6" thick red oak log clear thru with a total of 36' to cut. It will take a while and we may try the chain saw. Instead of stacking the floor for the master bedroom on top of the log structure we will have to bolt the floor joists down inside the cabin against the inner surface of the outer walls. This will help us lessen the height by 16". With some figuring on this height and lowering the upstairs walls to 7'-3" in the master bedroom, we will be just under the height restriction required. At the end of the day Pat and have 1 log remaining. Hopefully tomorrow we can get the 2 logs ripped down and set in place ready for floor.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Oct 3rd - Log Jam

I woke early this morning to the sound of thunder and rain on the roof. We aren' t covered with plastic since I had chosen to ignore the 30% chance of rain. The upstairs floor is wet and leaking through the ceiling liner, but not much we can do about it at this point. It clears mid morning and Pat and I are back on the logs again.

We have all full length logs to deal with and at much higher heights now. We have moved all the logs temporarily over to Joe's other lot so that Fabian can do our final fill work behind the garage. He has brought two loads of nice fill in that will pack well and make a perfect driveway. Dylan helps set a large flat rock behind the top of the foundation wall for a walkway at the base of the 2 iron steps that climb up to the iron balcony we installed a few weeks ago.

The propane company has set the tank just over the property line next door and so we disconnect the tank, move the pipe over a foot and then flip the tank around 180 degrees so it lines up better with the property line. Starting at noon, it comes down again for a couple of hours and manages to soak everything once again. When we return, Pat and I continue working on the logs and fasten the north and south 5th course of logs in place. Now the cabin has some strength to it as the full logs on top hold the walls together. We have both strained our backs today just moving the logs around on the floor, drilling and peeling them. These suckers are heavy and weigh around 500 lbs each and are 18' long and 18" thick.

Joe and R. D. continue on the roof framing for the 2nd floor, installing the lookouts on the west face and tying the 2 gable ends together. It's some tough framing, but it's coming together nicely. Greenbay has been working on laying out and framing the north wall of the stairway. Once complete, this wall will provide a resting place for the balance of the roof rafters.

Tonight I stay late, examining the log structure and figuring out how I will tie the floor in above for the master bedroom. It's key we keep the height down on the structure as the original cabin walls were nearly 10' high. Because of height restrictions in Rico, we have to keep this portion of the house as low down as possible without causing any problems with doorway clearance between the 2nd and 3rd levels or with window heights being too low. I am also looking at ceiling heights in the north bedroom and notice just how tall they really are. After careful examination, I come up with the idea for putting in a nice loft/balcony area over the north bedroom that can be easily entered from the upper stairwell and loft over the bathroom. It will be really nice and add another 100 sq. feet onto the house.

Cody and Anika, our neighbors at the top of the Silver Street Hill, stop by tonite to return the material handler. They are building a beautiful log structure on an incredibly steep hillside and have used the handler to transfer logs from down below up the hill to their lot. They will start stacking logs soon. What a view they have of the entire valley off their west deck.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Oct. 2nd - A Full Crew

Today was an amazingly productive day as I hope the pictures will show. Joe showed up with R.D., a great guy whom I met several weeks ago. He has agreed to give us a hand to get the roof framed and dried in. It's obvious after several minutes, that he is quick, conscientious and loves the work.

Between Joe, Greenbay and R.D. they kick butt and the progress is incredible with rafters and blocking going up much quicker than I expected. Pat and I have built a 25' high beam pocket out of some studs and have attached it to the concrete wall and west wall of the log garage. This will serve as a temporary pocket on the east end of the building to hold the end of the ridge beam. Once we get the log garage constructed and a floor overhead we can begin building the master bedroom walls. The west wall of the master bedroom will catch the the ridge beam once it has been framed.

The rafters are going up as well as the installation of the lookouts. These are the horizontal support braces that hold the barge rafters on the overhang section of roof over the gable ends. It's time to install the balance of the ridge beam and I elect to climb the extension ladder holding a rope tied around one end of the beam. Greenbay is on the other end, climbing another ladder and as he climbs the ladder, I do the same pulling on the rope and hoisting the beam to the top. My ladder is only leaning against 2 upright 2 x 4's that are nailed perpindicular to each other for strength. Near the top I look down and can see the 2 x4 bowing under my weight and the weight of the beam. I scramble to the top and Greenbay is now on top as well and we slide the ridge into place. It fits great.

The south mid span beam is next and now we have to support one end of the beam with a heavy oak post that I have picked from the pile of left over beams. It has a couple of nice curves to it and is hand-hewn on 2 sides and weathered nicely. The post will end up in the upstairs bathroom next to marble sink top.

Hagen has returned and now the masonry structure lined with flue tile for the fireplace begins to rise above the 2nd floor level. Fabian has returned for what I hope is the final backfill on the job at the back of the alley. He has brought in some nice road stone which will pack well and ultimately make a good apron up to the garage. We have had a pile of dirt sitting in the alley now for nearly a month and he makes quick work of it. He will set some more rocks to retain dirt on the steep inclines on each side of the south and north retaining walls.

My cousin Dottie stopped by today on her way back from Trout Lake to Dolores. They were amazed at the progress and can't wait to see the finished product.

Pat and I continue on the logs and have completed all the cuts except for one. We have only 7 logs left to install and a lot more holes to drill. Once the structure is up and bolted down, we will remove the upper most logs and cut them flat on the top surface to accept floor joists for the master bedroom. Pat is very talented, works hard and will tackle any job he is given. His driving and operating capabilities on the material handler are unsurpassed. He is accurate and quick and knows what the machine is capable of doing. He is also an extremely good mason by trade.

If the weather holds, we should have the roof structure for the 2nd floor completed by Wednesday. Beer's on me tonite..Great job today... all of you guys.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Oct 1st - Clean Up

I spent the morning peeling logs with the draw knife. Most of the remaining logs are full length and so heavy, they are nearly impossible to turn on edge to peel the bark. We have two more logs to cut and then the balance of the logs will go up in one piece without cuts. I do what I can with the logs and then attend to cleaning up the entire lot and floor area.

Numerous piles of plastic tarps are strewn around the yard and Pat shows up just in time to help me cover lumber with tarps and put the remaining tarps inside. We finish cleaning up lumber scraps and straightening up for a full week ahead.