From $9.95


Total: 29,706
Visited Last 30 days: 117
Forum Messages
Total: 20,657
Last 30 days: 8
Forum Evaluations
Total: 24,145
Last 30 days: 0
Journal Entries
Total: 5,091
Last 30 days: 7
Total: 15,111
Last 30 days: 1
Total: 78,893


The-Last-Rodeo Angel Fire, NM
20,383 Visits | 191 Posts | 296 Pix | 3 Videos
MesaBarnHouse Mesa, AZ
222 Visits | 14 Posts | 6 Pix | 0 Videos
TheHoskensProject Dome-ville, FL
65,262 Visits | 175 Posts | 520 Pix | 4 Videos
My1stOB Melbourne, FL
68 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
gypsyhillfarm East Petersburg , PA
478 Visits | 3 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
Our-log-home Thomaston, GA
410 Visits | 2 Posts | 4 Pix | 0 Videos
697-Marlin Austin/McDade, TX
5,570 Visits | 63 Posts | 508 Pix | 0 Videos
skiddinginbroadside Livermore, AL
381 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
thedaniels Graham, WA
467 Visits | 5 Posts | 5 Pix | 0 Videos
Cabin-Addition--Spra... Austin, TX
453 Visits | 1 Posts | 5 Pix | 0 Videos
Tanglewood Colorado Springs, CO
109,282 Visits | 895 Posts | 2,362 Pix | 42 Videos
7th-and-last-Home-bu... Saratoga Springs, UT
828 Visits | 3 Posts | 10 Pix | 0 Videos
748 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
Bruce Fowlerville, MI
686 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Sparky New Harmony, UT
699 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
Mutton-Busting Nashville, TN
6,796 Visits | 127 Posts | 210 Pix | 0 Videos
sevenpeacksicf Clio, CA
41,740 Visits | 51 Posts | 326 Pix | 1 Videos
Gardner-Gate Price, UT
1,609 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Mahalo Logandale , AL
1,407 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
Vilano-Beach--Water-... Saint Augustine, FL
26,201 Visits | 41 Posts | 119 Pix | 0 Videos
See all journals...

Current Top-Rated Posters


I have been keeping up on reading the forum and the knowledge here has been extremely helpful. Thanks to all!
Julia in Norristown, PA

Try one of our new Construction Bargain Strategies for free. Coupon code: CBS. One strategy could save you $1,000 or $10,000 or maybe $50,000 when you build or remodel.
Owner-Builder Journal Entries

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 11/18/2017 10:34:28 AM

The past week has been spent with Sandra powerwashing the stone and decks the former having gotten seriously dirty from dirt splashing before the landscape was done and the latter from foot traffic bringing in not only dirt, but sheetrock and thinset dust, neither of which we can completely get rid of inside the house after repeated vacuumings.  But scrubbing with detergent and powerwashing has gotten the decks respectfully clean.  The manufacturer suggests we use a vinegar rinse as well to help dissolve any calcium film left.  That’ll be done next Spring.  Right now they look pretty darn good.

A week ago, we emptied the storage unit into the garage.  It might have been a mistake as now, even with all the room we had in there, it looks like many other garages in America - filled with STUFF!  And we have a LOT of things ariving over the next few weeks that I was planning on staging in the garage!  We have bathroom vanities coming Monday, one of the kitchen stoves any day, all of the cabinets and the wood floors. Hmmm, it’s going to be interesting.  One good thing was I have been able to get to a number of tools that had been packed away and will be useful going forward.  

I’ve been finishing plugs and switches on the electric, and the huge pile of them that I had bought has disappeared.  Ran short of a few specialties and will get them in as they arrive.

We installed all of the vanity lights but have had trouble trying to find bulbs that have the correct shape, color temp and brightness.  We ordered some, and they were way too yellow and dim.  I ordered some more that are much brighter and some additional that have a very cool white color, trying to see what will work best.  They should be in next week. We started setting the shower bases using a Kerdi knockoff and I’ll finish the last one today.  I can start running the wall membrane after that, but first - I’m setting tile in one of the baths so we can put in a toilet!!!!  Ordered one from HD and it’ll be in after Thanksgiving. Can’t wait!

And lastly, we finally made a trip over to Durango, CO on Monday/Tuesday to pick up the corrugated roofing for the interior ceiling in the great room.  It’s been sitting there since July, but with all the subs, with all we had going on, we just never had the time to get it.  It was a beautiful drive up over the Continental Divide and into southern Colorado.  I think we’ll repeat the drive next fall when the aspens change.  It’ll be spectacular.  Talked to our local fellow that knows how to treat the material for a rusted effect.  He’ll be here on Monday and we’ll get that done.  Then get that installed after Thanksgiving.

Speaking of which, we have a lot to be thankful for this year.  The house has proceeded well, with all of the major subs finished and the end in sight.  Our health continues to be good, something that at our age, you don’t take for granted, and we have had lots of visitors in the past year to share time with us. We hope all that read this blog have had a good year as well and continue to do so in the next.  Happy Thanksgiving to all!!


Final pic of the front with the railings installed.
Terracing of the backside
Steps heading up the terraced section to the patio. The blank wall of the end of the house will change as we add an outdoor fireplace next year
The back patio
Steps heading down, what used to be the access drive to the back, down the the front of the house
Setting a foam shower base. They are already pre-sloped, lightweight and are trimmed to size during the installation.
The decoupling membrane for a tile floor. Takes the place of Hardi backer, but better protection against movement in the supporting structure, such as pier and beam systems, or especially on direct contact with a concrete floor. Any crack that develops in concrete will directly translate into the tile above. This material prevents that. This is a flexible membrane that is attached with thinset to the subfloor. Tile is set directly on top in standard fashion with thinset.

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 11/16/2017 11:06:53 AM

So, we have had the last few weeks from hell. We have lived in our rental for 2 years now and we had all been a little sick off and on, we finally figured out it was due to mold in the house. The property management and owner were a nightmare to deal with initially it sounded like they just wanted to terminate our lease. Where would we go? We hope to have the house done in 4 months or so, so we couldn't sign a lease and we have so much junk! I have joked that we have been "homeless" for 3 years because we haven't really been in "our own" space, but we were literally about to be homeless this time. We even bought a camper thinking we were going to live in it at the property. SO STRESSFUL! But, they ended up sending someone out on Tuesday to remove and treat and we are now moving forward. The kids and I have stayed in a hotel for 3 nights, but we plan to go home tonight. So, needless to say, the house has taken a backseat. We did get out there the last few weekends and have been installing the roof. It is taking longer than I initially expected. We are about 2/3 done. Hopefully after this weekend we will be mostly done, and luckily the weather has been nice. I will try to remember to take a picture this weekend. We really need to get on the electrician about getting done and we need to get the plumber some information so he can continue. Hopefully over the long weekend we can get the roof done and I can work on painting the eaves.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 11/9/2017

The lanscaping is finally done, his equipment gone, and in its place stone patios, steps and terraces.  Some of it will take until the spring when the grass sprouts, but all of the bare dirt, bare slopes have been transformed and house looks like it has naturally grown from its surroundings. Kinda cool!

The railings are finished, T-stats are connected and operational with the furnaces, Sandra has been installing closet shelving and I’m trying to finish up setting light switches and receptacles.  The hot tub works great, just wish we were living in the house, especially after you get out!  Would be nice to just relax without having to drive home.

Fireplaces arrived Tuesday as did the rest of the tile. Did I say a ton of tile in a blog post? It was actually two tons based on the freight tickets.  Cabinets finally got ordered. They could be here around the end of the month.  In the meantime, as soon as I get the electrical finished, I’ll start setting the shower pans and the membranes starting on the fourth floor.   No wait, I need to get tile on one of the second level bathrooms so we can set a toilet - yes! A toilet! Getting rid of the port-a-can is a priority!

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 11/1/2017 6:04:31 PM

Not a whole lot of actual house progress this week. Door company came by yesterday to measure and get info to update the bid. Over the weekend we painted the fascia. Roofing was delivered Monday morning, so we will work on it this weekend. Electrician dropped items off and said he will start tomorrow. Plumber will be at the house tomorrow.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 10/31/2017 10:08:04 AM

Yeah, I know I said earlier that I was going to get the furnaces up and running, but the bad weather that was supposed to keep me indoors, never showed up and we continued to get things done outside.  But yesterday, with a front moving in I sat down, and did the final electrical connections, hooked in the thermostat wire and turned them by manually making a “heat on” connection on the Tstat wire [we just now ordered thermostats].  Everything fired up fine and we’ll get the Tstats connected when they arrive.

Went to Big Blue on Saturday to get the remainder of the redwood I needed to finish the railings and get some BX cable to make the final electrical run on the furnaces. They are considerably closer than Home Depot, but what a mistake! What they had was never kiln-dried and was soaking wet, but we bought it anyway as it saved an hour and a half over going the HD.  But now we are going to have to let it dry indoors before we can stain it and put them together.  In hindsight spending the extra time to go to HD would have allowed us to be more productive.

Landscaper is getting closer to finishing his project, but still has a few days left.  They are supposed to start snow making on the mountain tomorrow, weather permitting, so he needs to move along and finish the backside as there are 2 snow machines right there.

Sandra’s been busy, painting a few doors, cleaning the windows on the stairwell up 45 feet on the Skytrak and figuring out tile requirements and getting it ordered. It is a ton of tile - maybe literally. Closet assemblies are to arrive today.  A total of 45 boxes.  Thta UPS truck will have to be dedicated to us.  Waiting on two fireplaces.  They may arrive as well today, but not certain.  Flooring is in production, but will still take several weeks to get finished and shipped.  We got the cabinet quote back and will place the order for those in a couple days.  


Good thing Sandra’s not afraid of heights or the windows would never get clean!
Stopped by the river[Rio Grande] on the way back from Lowe’s to let the dog run. Beautiful fall day!
Landscaping now coming around the side of the house to the front

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 10/26/2017 9:47:48 PM

After a week in Texas, helping my brother in law start a house, help with a little maintenance on the “Barrel Race”house, and - oh yeah the wedding - we’re back in Angel Fire and back at work.  It was a great sight to see the landscaping coming further along with the patio reconstructed (there was an issue with proper drainage the first go-around).  The patio should be finished in another day, maybe two, but it’s just the finishing touches left on it.  Our horse statues (remember the name of the house, and blog IS the Last Rodeo) arrived while we were gone and are waiting to be set.  Herman the landscaper took it upon himself to have a hitchin’ rack made for them.  Really a cool gesture on his part.  Will be greatly appreciated. All will be set in the next couple days.

Today something we have been waiting for like years, since we sold our house in Virginia ten years ago, was set in place.  A jacuzzi, set at the edge of the patio, above the slope below, with a view of the 13,000 ft peak across the valley, something in which to soak our weary bones after a day of work, is within our grasp.  We can’t wait for the company to finish the setup in another week.  I just have to make an electrical connection at the GFCI box at the house and they’ll do the rest.

Sandra has kept working on cleaning the windows, yes there are a lot of them.  I got the railings finished today on the third level and began cutting out those on the second.  Still need to get the furnaces going, but I can wait a bit.  The house is beginning to perform in the fashion that I designed it.  With the attic insulation in, the tightening of it 98% complete, the exterior foam and the passive solar, the house warms up really well in the day and remains comfortable into the morning when the outdoor temp is in the low 20’s.  Of course the weather will get colder, so I do need to get them done, but I’m really still trying to get outdoor stuff done.  With much colder temps predicted for tomorrow and 4”of snow, maybe that’ll be a good day to spend on them.


A shot of part of the third floor railing
Sandra steps ot up to clean the windows
The patio is finally getting close
And the horses waiting to be set

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 10/26/2017 10:06:39 AM

HVAC completed phase one (of their 2 phases) Plumbing, we are using my parent’s friend’s company and have had a hard time getting ahold of him. At this point we don’t know when they are coming out and that is pretty frustrating. Electrical said he would be buying stuff this week and starting work next week. Siding – we bought some rolls of plastic and started putting it on. We are waiting for another wood sample to get here, should be today. Roofing – We are doing asphalt shingles and we are installing it ourselves. We ordered it from home depot yesterday and are waiting to hear a delivery date. We also need to decide on a trim color so we can paint the eaves before the shingles go on. Doors – we went Tuesday to look at doors, we called yesterday to have an old quote updated, but are waiting on them to get back to us. Insulation – On Tuesday we met with insulation and they will be working on updating our quote. Detached garage/workshop – we are starting the planning for a detached garage. There are some issues with setbacks, so we had to submit a form asking for approval to put the garage in line with the house (15 ft closer than the allowed garage setback). There is an initial approval, then they will notify all neighbors within 600ft and we will have a hearing. Hopefully this step goes smoothly and quickly. My dad has a lot of stuff so we want to have the garage done before/at the same time as the house. So it sounds like we will have a busy several weekends of roofing, painting, siding.

Posted to TheHoskensProject by Brian in Dome-ville, FL on 10/18/2017 2:54:31 PM

Dug a 40' trench to add a generator hook up to the main panel, also ran water to another hose bibb.


The trench
The cost of dragging a trailer around...

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 10/18/2017 2:11:23 PM

Windows, windows, windows…. What a nightmare. The original company we went with (we will call them company A), told us it was a 3 week lead time, we went to order and then they changed it to 8 weeks. We called company B and they said their time was 4 weeks, so we asked for a quote. A week later they get us a quote (with the sizes all messed up) and then tell us they are not taking any more clients for installation, even though we told them we wanted them installed. We went back to company A and they increased their labor by almost 50%. We went to get quotes from company C and D. Company C says 4-6 weeks and the price was higher, and company D was cheaper, but they took too long to get us a quote, and we had already ordered. In the end we went back to company A….. ugghhh…. They brought their time in and reduced the cost increase. Finally they are ordered and will be installed in the end of November.


On a good note, framing passed inspection on Friday. Over the weekend we cleaned up at the house and burned some of the scrap wood because our trash is overflowing. Also, we bought a bunch of redi rock (giant legos – thousands of pounds each) a year ago and we are finally starting to install. A neighbor owns a construction business and he has been nice enough to rent us his tractor for cheaper than the place we previously used.


HVAC will be in two phases, they started phase 1 on Monday and should be complete this week.


Plumbing said they can start after HVAC is complete with phase 1, and they are going to check everything out today.


Electrical said he is ready to order some materials, we need to get him a down payment soon.


Siding – we are trying to decide on the material. We are debating on a mix, the options are real wood not painted, hardy board, stucco, metal.


My husband is a stay at home dad, he does have a small business, but it is really small and he has been neglecting it lately. I am not sure how 2 full time working people could do all this work. He is on the internet or making calls for what seems like all day, or running to the property to meet contractors/answer questions. I also spend several hours a week helping making calls, dealing with the finances, scanning and emailing contracts. I feel like we are always running at 100 miles an hour! I guess just keep my eye on the prize!


Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 10/15/2017 11:51:49 PM

Another wedding to go to, this time in Texas. Will spend a few days helping my brother in law start building a small rental house outside of Austin. Spent the day setting the piers and tomorrow will begin the floor framing. 

But before we left Angel Fire, several things have progressed. The attics got insulated to R 49. More deck railing has gone up though much more yet to do. Gas is connected to the furnaces but I’ve still got to finish making the final electrical connection to each. Mechanical guy has finished his work on them. Will pick up some smart thermostats and get heat on in the house when we get back. Now that the attics are insulated, I’m less concerned about the house getting below freezing in the short term. Last week when it got to8F, it was still reasonably warm the next morning even without insulation. But before long, the temperatures will get lower and heat will be necessary. Landscaping is dragging, but they started again on Friday. Promise they’ll be done by the time we get back in a week and a half. Somehow I don’t believe that but it but wouldn’t that be nice?!


Piers for the rental house. Used the existing slab from the house that was there before. Drilled holes for rebar, set block and filled with hand mixed cement. How did I ever think before that I had mixed my last bag

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 10/11/2017 9:23:36 AM

Wow, I have been so impressed with our framers. They work 6-7 days a week, and they are there every day working hard! I am actually finding it a little difficult to keep up with them on planning the next steps.


Windows – we probably put this off too long. When we finally called to place the order they said they could have them done in 2-3 weeks, but could not install until Dec 7, that was not going to work for us. We called another company that could install as soon as the windows are complete, and we are about to place the order.


Electrical – The guy we picked for electrical is a family run business and he is currently working another project and then will be on to ours, we will have to touch base with him again soon, to make sure it won’t be too far away.


Plumbing – Contacted our plumber and told him we will probably be needing him out next week.


HVAC – We have met with 3 companies so far, one guy was a total salesman, telling us we “needed” a better system that was 2x over the price of the other guy. And it included electric vents that close in one room if another room needs cooled…. Ummmm we are on a budget I don’t think we NEED that!


So, planning the design of the house has been extra difficult with 4 people involved, but we are getting there one debate at a time! Everyone has something that is extra important to them, so we are trying to accommodate while staying in the budget. One item that was a must on my husband’s list was a glass garage patio door. We finally worked something out that was in the budget for that, and got it ordered. That won’t be installed until January.


Next steps: finalize the insulation plan, cabinet selections, siding selection, and roof color. Get another drywall quote.


Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 10/10/2017 9:59:42 AM

in the form of a snowstorm that gave us 5” and 8F temps this morning. Brrrr!  Still no heat in the house, but it should have survived will find out when I get up there.  I’ve not been anxious to get out there this morning, but will don the Carharrts and brave it shortly.  Insulation guys messed up the install date and will now be here Friday.

I installed all the deck railing sections we had been able to stain.  Will pick up more stain tomorrow on our way in to Santa Fe.  Sandra is continuing to clean windows.  Takes a huge amount of time as they are really, really grimey being the first time cleaned since they were put in, and spatters pf stucco, paint etc., and there are 40 of them.  ??


First couple sections of railing
A few hours after the railing shot as the storm was beginning

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 10/7/2017

The stone guy, who also does tile, staining, painting, carpentry etc etc, put in as much of the kitchen ceiling (t&g Aspen) as he can for the moment.  We have to set the bath tubs before he can do anymore because we need access below the tubs to connect the drains.  Tubs can’t get set until the wood floors go in underneath them.  That will be a while as we are just getting ready to order the flooring, all 6000 ft of it.  Trying to get the cabinets ordered as well to get them delivered before the snow gets so bad we can’t get them up the drive.  We are running against the clock now.

Meantime, the mechanical guy hasn’t come back as he promised.  Need to get him out.  The propane tank been delivered, buried and connected to the house.  Another call to him tomorrow.

Rained tremendously while we were  out of town so landscaping has not gone anywhere. Finally drying out and should be good this coming week for him to get moving.

Sandra’s finishing the last of the painting and cleaning floor by floor.  Between the spray paint dust and the sawdust from the kitchen ceiling installation, it was pretty dirty.  But she’s doing the windows too, getting them all spruced up after painting.  Starting to look like a home in some ways!

I’ve been trying to clean up ouside before snow comes.  Got rid of the OSB we used for temporary decking.  The sheetrock hangers never took it, so the stone guy took a bunch, and I took the rest to the dump.  Guy there ended up taking it.  That’s great as even though it was pretty waterlogged, it’ll be ok for simple stuff once it dries.  Got the cinders for the drive transferred from a rusty barrel to a 90 gal plastic garbage bin so it’ll be ready for winter.  The rest of the roofing scraps, stone scraps all gone.  Just need to lift a couple of pallets of stone up to the third floor for the fireplace and the outside will be pretty cleaned up.

Today I started on making the deck railing sections.  The first one took quite a while as I tried to figure out a look.  But from then on, it’s not a difficult job.  Just will take a long time as there are nearly 1500 holes to drill for the balusters.  There are about 60 sections to make.  Oh well, just something that will get done.

Friday the installers came with the car lift!  But- they lost some anchors on the drive up and while they got it up, they didn’t finish.  Will be back sometime this coming week to finish, but it looks great! Can’t wait to get to use it.  

All of the ventilation ducts and water heater vents are finished in the attic. The blow in insulation will go in Tuesday so the house is getting buttoned up. Still need to get seals around the garage doors, but it’s coming along.  If we can just get the mechanical guy to finish the furnaces, we’ll shortly be ready for winter.


T&G aspen in the kitch ceiling
First section of deck railing. Needs to be stained, but ready to install afterwards.
With this, the first floor is finished lol!

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 10/4/2017 8:41:27 PM

framing started, woohoo! They were even a day early! We really need to get the windows ordered. Life's been crazy so this is short, but we're moving forward 


Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 9/27/2017 7:39:07 PM

Well we got a few days behind, party our fault for messing up an inspection date and partly concrete guys fault for being late. The house foundation was poured Monday and patios and the last few footers were poured today! We talked with the framer and he is scheduled to start Saturday. 

Next week action items: finalize window selection and place order, septic guys will be submitting request for permit, and figure out which contractors we need to finalize next. 


Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 9/27/2017

The exterior stone was finally finished this week, with all of the little nooks that were missing before, and most importantly, all the window sills finished and caulked.  Just in time as the weather is changing by the day.  The mountains got snow last weekend and we had a very hard freeze a couple nights ago.  I've contracted the stone guy to do the T&G on the porch as well as what can be run in the kitchen.  He's already finished the porch in a day and started on rhe kitchen area.  Nice to see things move along quickly!

The landscaper did come back, but between his equipment not working and the weather, more rain, it may be a while before he gets anything done.  The mechanical guy came and started setting the furnaces, but there is still a fair amount to do on that.  I started setting all of the gas valves in preparation for the propane.  We are going to bury the tank and the landscaper and propane rep need to get together to sort that.

Sandra has nearly finished the painting!  Some of the third floor is all that's left!  I've been taking care of a bunch of things and keeping the subs supplied.  Getting more of the electric switches and plugs in and with that comes more lighting. Trying to use the cold mornings and any inclement weather to work on that inside. 

Ordered balusters for the deck railings. Over 700 of those babies!

Received one water heater and ordered one for the second level as I found one on sale even though I don't need it for the moment. 

Taking a few well-needed days off for a wedding now. Will be at it again next week. 


Fresh air unit combining a fan with a heat exchanger
Window sills done
Sandra doing her painting. Almost done with 300 gallons!
Front stairwell windows full trimmed
Porch ceiling finished in T&G
Kitchen T&G started
A well-deserved mini vacation starting!

Posted to My1stOB by Thuy in Melbourne, FL on 9/26/2017 3:42:10 PM

Hello all! I'm so excited! We had recently purchased a 1.34 acre vacant lot to build our dream home.  We're so ecstatic to get started on doing our very first owner-builders home.  I hope this journey will be both rewarding and worthwhile because I tell ya, I am nervous to the bone after reading so many OB forums.  Anyways, both hubby and I have been doing plenty of research and just trying to get things set in motion.  Hubby spent so much valuable time and effort but has come up with a design that we both love.  We have already found our design and structural engineer that we are comfortable to work with, our design meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, 9/26/2017.  We were quoted at $2578.45 for 3 sets of drafting + $125 for all prints + $350 for entire plan w/seal.  Hopefully it'll get things moving much quicker as we really want to be able to get our permit to start building asap.   I'll post our floor plans once we have finalize on the details, but so far so good! 

We also scheduled our boundary, topo and tree survey for mid of next week, 10/4/2017 with GSS Surveying & Mapping. The boundary & topo survey quoted at $1475 + $4/tree survey.  We were told that tree survey was only for native trees and any larger than 4 inches.  As you all know, really can't do anything without that survey that basically tells us how and where to build our future residence.   I didn't think I would need a tree survey, but after some advice from the wonderful people of the city hall of Melbourne office, we will include it since there's a requirement of # of trees per lot.  I also had requested for a few land clearing quotes as well to get that going.

Our experience so far has been pretty decent.  We've talked to the zoning & planning folks in City Hall for details on restrictions.  We also had a long discussion with the engineers at city hall.  I am very please to know that the people at the city hall are just very helpful, informative and so willing to help any way they can for first timer OB. I would had thought it would be discourage but instead they encourage and guide us along.   

Next step:

Contact office of natural resources to determine if stormwater plan is required/needed
Get quotes on builders risk insurance
Get additional bids on land clearing

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 9/21/2017 8:46:47 AM

So the landscaper hadn't shown up for a few days.  Got in contact with him and it turns out he had emergency surgery.  Will be out of commission for 6 weeks.  Nothing on this build has gone smoothly.  Obviously, the fellow couldn't help this, but it shows just how quickly things can turn.  I'm going to have to hire someone else to clear the area for the propane tank and dig the hole for the hot tub.  I'll give the excavator a call this morning.

Meanwhile the rock guy is back this week working on the window sills.  They are coming out pretty nicely. He might be done by Friday if the weather holds.  Sandra is moving along on painting.  We've had an issue with the sprayer in that it is not putting out a uniform pattern.  There are two heavier streaks along each side.  We've thinned, gone to a larger nozzle, cleaned and recleaned everything, but we can't get it fixed.  So it's been a combination of spray the first coat, roll over it while wet, and roll the second coat.  

The trim for the garage door has been stained and sealed and I hope to begin work on getting that up soon, as well as the fascia - which due to Sandra deciding to paint, hasn't gotten up.  I can't say she shouldn't paint though as it really has a great mental effect, seeing something that makes such a big change really makes you understand things are getting a bit closer to the end.

The insulation of the attic spaces will be done by a sub.  I have always, always done my own insulation, but this will save three days of time.  One day to haul a large trailer to Santa Fe to pick up the material, one horrendously long day to blow 50 bags, and a third day to retun the equipment.  For an extra $1200 it's done and we can keep doing other things.  In prep for the insulation, I'll be finishing off the last of the ductwork in those areas.  Still waiting on a water heater I ordered weeks ago online, so I can run the intake and exhaust vent for that through the attic, but I did set the air ventilator yesterday and as soon as I pick up some more ducting, will finish that work up there.

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 9/20/2017 9:41:05 PM

Concrete company was a few days late. They got the ABC spread on Saturday. Monday-Wednesday they finished prepping for concrete. We also got termite pretreatment today. Inspection is tomorrow and hopefully we will pour on Friday. In the next few days we will make call the framer to finalize plans and order a dumpster. Coming along slowly but surely!

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 9/15/2017 9:13:53 AM

Finished running the decking but need to set the last couple of railing posts that sit against the house.  Should have that all done today.  If Sandra can climb onto the Skytrak this weekend, she can lift me in the basket and we can run the fascia, which came in this week.  

When we went to get the Fascia at HD, we picked up another 25 gal of primer (that makes 100 gal) as well as another 30 gallons of color.  Sandra had run oit of primer and the painting came to a halt.  

Storeroom floor was epoxied yesterday, we bought heavy-duty shelving and can begin setting that and doing more organization.  We also bought three base cabinets and a 10' countertop for the garage workshop.  I've already set shelving there and loaded it with the stuff from the trailer.  It is sooooo nice to be able to find things!  

The ceiling on the third floor curved porch still needs to go up, and I think I'll get someone to do that.  It'll take two people to get the T&G together, and it'll be on scaffolding.  Something that should be fairly inexpensive to get someone to do, and take that off my plate, while I take care of other stuff getting the house buttoned up.  

Landscaper is working on the patio, but it takes time to transport the stone, and then get it set.  He tore a hydraulic hose off the excavator yesterday. Looks pretty serious as to where it came off.  That may slow things.  But as long as he gets it finished before the snow flies, we'll be fine.  Speaking of which, the resort people came by yesterday, bleeding the snowmaking lines ??!  Yes winter is coming!


The patio is slowly progressing. The rocks are massive!
I love the door step!

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 9/13/2017 12:59:56 PM

Plumbing was finished and we had the inspection approval on 9/7. We spent the weekend burying the plumbing trenches. Concrete contractors are a few days behind and are now supposed to start today. They still think they will be complete this week and ready for inspection Monday 9/18. We have picked a pest control company to treat for termites and I need to make an appointment for them to come out on 9/18.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 9/10/2017 3:35:35 AM

The roofer finally finished everything this Friday.  The rest of the soffits, fascia and gutters.  So good to see it all done, no wood showing, all covered in bronze-colored steel to match the roof.  A totally finished, maintenance-free system.  One less subcontractor on the project.  There is only the landscaper, who has just started his work, and the stone guys finishing the work they started long ago.  Haven't heard from them for weeks, and haven't bothered calling them. 

I've been trying to finish off running the decking.  Close to doing so but got nothing done on them last week. Will try to wrap that up Monday and Tuesday. Then I need to begin the railings soon. 

 Winter is not far away.  Getting close to freezing some nights now, and the aspens are beginning to change color.  Which reminds me, I need to think about getting the attic spaces insulated and get the furnaces set, propane installed.  Argh! So many things!

Sold the cargo trailer we bought for storage on the Mutton Busting project in Nashville, and had to empty it into the garage.  So I'm trying to get that organized with some shelving.  (Something always gets in the way of the work at hand!).

Got the large storeroom painted and will prep the floor for epoxy.  Sandra's been out of commisssion the past 4 weeks from surgery, but late this week she began priming the walls on the second amd third floors.  She was going stir crazy at home and been itching to get on to the painting.  So a few hours each day helps her attitude greatly!

There is never a dearth of things to do! Oh so I wish!


Look closely and hou can see the new fascia on the roof. Totally blends with the roof and beams
Terraced hill and steps on the back side of the house leading up to the thord floor level
The entire back, located at the third level, will be a patio made of these massive flat stones

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 8/30/2017 6:15:46 PM

We closed on the loan! Woohooo! But since the bank had us on stop work, nothing happened at the property... booooo. Plumber is still scheduled for 9/1-2, then we will have the inspection on 9/5. The plumber told us that the concrete people will bury his trenches, but the concrete guy said they don't because they don't want to be liable. So, we decided we will be out there on the weekend of 9/9 filling trenches! Concrete guys are supposed to be back out on 9/11, ready for inspection on 9/18, and pour on 9/19. Framers are all lined up and already ordered material. They will be out 9/25. Crossing my fingers everything goes to plan.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 8/25/2017 11:49:03 AM

Leach lines were put in this week, and the area backfilled.  The only thing left is to set the pump and alarm.  Those will be done today. Finally!  We upped the size of the system by 30% to help ensure we have sufficient capacity during rental season.  Better to err on the side of caution.  Meanwhile, I've run some decking, but have spent the past couple days epoxying the garage floor.  Having to do it in sections, two coats needed so it'll take a week total.  But it is coming out nicely, with the exception of dirty dog tracks on one area.  Paint and cement - dogs seem to love both! 


All the equipment the septic installer has up there for the job. It includes a hammer as they ran into rock at one end
Leach field going in. There are five 60' lines
Garage floor getting epoxied. It'll be so much easier to clean than cement, and impervious to oils and chemicals
Aside from the single dog print, the others are bear. These was in the leach field area at the back of the house

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 8/23/2017 11:08:51 AM

The bank told us we had to stop all work at the property until we close the loan. GRRRRRR. We are supposed to sign the closing documents tomorrow and then we can turn everything back on. Plumbing came out and dug the trenches, but that is all they did before the stop work. The plumber can't come back out until 9/1, so looks like we will be on hold for another week. We met with the framer this week, and they should be able to start when we need them to. Right now we are guessing that will be 9/18.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 8/19/2017 12:23:45 PM

Although we had a great week of weather, the septic is not finished. I admit that digging oit and redoing the pump tank was not easy, but it still seems like everything is in slow motion.  The septic tank is set, the pump tank has sewer line run into it again and it has been backfilled and compacted. The leach lines need to be dug and installed, and the forecast for next week is rain.  We'll see what happens.

Meanwhile, I have been working on the garage getting it prepared to epoxy the floor. The walls are primed and the ceiling primed and painted.  I used an airless sprayer, but between the 12' ceilongs and simply the size, ot took several days.  Caulking the control joints with urethane caulk and etching the floor.  The caulk has to cure for a week before coating so hopefully next weekend I can begin the epoxy.  As the caulk cures, I'll head back to decking and a couple other things.  No shortage of jobs to do for sure.


Poly septic tsnk.
Tank set waiting for pea gravel and backfill
Area above the pump tank, graded and compacted
Equipment brought up for the job. Quite a load!

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 8/16/2017 11:58:08 AM

Stem walls have been inspected, poured, and they started taking the wood frame down. Plumbing has not started, but we are planning on it to start and be complete this week. The appraisal came back and it was where we needed it to be. The insurance company was a nightmare trying to get the correct documentation for the bank, but I think we are good now and should be closing our loan within the next week. Things feel like they are going slow, but I guess that is ok because we don't have the loan finalized, but hopefully in the next few weeks the loan will be done and we can really start moving.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 8/14/2017 9:56:48 AM

A change in the weather is beginning to occur here. While many places in the country are still sweltering fall is beginning to creep in.  While we didn't see it, friends said there was snow Friday in the higher elevations.  The sun takes longer to show up and evening comes earlier.  

Forecast shows the the rain should abate somewhat this week, which is definitely needed.  Friday we got another two inches, drenching the work that finally started on the septic.  The rain all week pushed the start to to Friday and that became a short day.  As half the roof is draining into the area that was excavated it has gotten really soggy. Hopefully it has dried out enough they can continue today.

Drywall guys should finish today. They have to sand half the garage and touch up some sanding at various spots around the house.  This weekend I got primer on the half of the garage they had finished.  I also hauled the two large cans of spray foam up the the two attic spaces and crawing through the trusses, being careful not to fall through the ceiling, got most of the areas where the drywall meets a wall, inside and outside walls, sealed.  Also sealed all of the can lights, bath fans and ceiling fan boxes.  It was shocking as to how much light from below I could see around those fixtures.  Dollars of heat wasting away if not sealed up.

Garage floor paint will arrive this week.  With the weather forecast looking pretty good and a bit warmer, I'll try to get some of that knocked out.  While that cures, I'll get back to the decking, which slowly is beginning to get done.  

Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 8/8/2017 10:34:01 AM

More like 3 years + 1 week lol, but since I am only referring to the building of the house we will call it week 1. Attached are the house elevations and floor plan. These aren’t the final copies, we actually had a few changes, but they are the only ones I have on this computer. We didn’t like the cut of the roof in the back, so that changed and we added on a walkway across the back connecting all the patios. The inspector came out and approved the footers and we had them poured on Friday. Next step is the stem walls and they are hoping to have them approved/poured by the end of this week. We also have plumbing starting this week. We have 2 electricians we are talking to, we need to officially pick one. Then, they will need to stub in for the island (I think that is the only thing they need to do before foundation is finished). We are still waiting to hear back from the bank about the appraisal. If all goes well with that, then we should be good to go with the loan.


Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 8/7/2017 12:34:00 PM

Sandra and I worked on attaching the aspen around the underside on the curved roof, perimeter only at this point.  The Skytrak forklift has been a godsend on this entire project for nearly everything and everyone, us, the framer, the roofer, the stucco guys.  With its 54' reach, and ability to tilt, it has been able to get into a lot of places I wouldn't have thought it could.  Saturday, Sandra operated while I was in the basket 40' up, nailing T&G to the underside.  A bit scary, especially as we had to tilt it somewhat as we extended further out.  Not particularly a good thing to do, but all went well and it's ready for the roofer to finish his job - whenever he comes back, which may now be a couple of weeks.

In order to finish the entire underside, we need to erect scaffolding on the porch, so we got back to decking on Sunday.  Hopefully I can get that ready by the weekend and finish off the underside.  


Where no man has gone before - well not quite. But the outside edge is what we needed the skytrack to be able to work on attaching the soffit.
View from 40'. The left side of the soffit will get covered with the fascia the will wrap around.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 8/5/2017 2:46:33 AM

The hangers have finished the living spaces and moved into the garage today.  They will finish that in another day and a half.  Tapers ran the third floor today, finished some mud and sanding on the second floor. I assume they'll start the garage after the weekend.  So by the end of next week, they should be finished!  When that's done, I've got to think about painting the garage floor and storeroom.  It may seem simply ridiculous, but it's not that long a job, and it has to be done in warm weather.  We're starting to park cars in there, a couple of which drip a bit of oil.  Would rather protect the floor now, than wait until next year.

Gotten back to running decking this week.  Been thinking that in order to get and occupancy permit, all of the safety things need to be done.  Railings to be specific.  Both on the decks and the stairs.  Inside stuff-baths, floors cabinets can be done in when the weather turns colder.  Decks and railings are better done while it's warm.  And we have the deck material. So among answering questions for the hangers and roofers, we went back to the decks.

But tomorrow, we get pulled off on another job.  In order for the roofer to get the soffit and fascia on the curved section, we need to get the T&G attached to the underside. So we'll attempt that tomorrow around the perimeter using the Skytrak in a not so simple setup.  We'll see. As soon as he finishes the curved section, he's done!

The framer's workers came back today to get the remaining knee braces underneath the exterior timber trusses on the east side.  The two have been in the garage since last fall.  Took less than half a day and really finish off that end of the house. So the framer has finished his obligations.  Slowly getting through the subs.


Great room finally with drywall and tape
Second floor kitchen and great room
Main kitchen which os on the third floor. The ceiling here will be T&G aspen. Hasn't been taped yet in this photo

Posted to TheHoskensProject by Brian in Dome-ville, FL on 8/3/2017 11:09:05 AM

We recently installed ring brand security cameras near the dome. I had fun with this unsuspecting deer 


Posted to MesaBarnHouse by Amanda in Mesa, AZ on 8/2/2017 2:37:02 PM

Well, not sure how we got here, but sometime 3 years ago my husband had a brilliant idea to sell our home and build a custom home on a decent size property with my parents. Here is what has happened in the last 3 years… July 2014 – We sold our house and moved into with my parents June 2015 – We bought our 4.4 acre property (with my parents) August 2015 – My husband and I (and our 2 small children) moved into a rental .5 a mile from the property October 2015 – My parents listed their house for sale March 2016 - My parents sold their house April 2016 – We started working with an architect to make our plans Summer 2016 – Worked with a civil engineer to plan our property (we have a decent size wash that runs through the middle of our property) August 2016 – Initial plans are complete and the plans go to structural engineering November 2016 – We submit our plans to the county to get a building permit. March 2017 – After going back and forth with the county several times we get our building permit! Also, our well is dug! Sometime along the way we borrow a tractor to clear the land and we get a lot of dirt delivered (for free! From a company doing work a few miles away). May 2017 – My husband and I buy a shed for mother’s/father’s day (what an exciting gift!) to hold the well equipment. We have the pad compacted. June 2017 – We had some financial hold ups trying to decide if we would put the loan in our name or my parents, but we finally work it out and we apply for the loan July 2017 – We get “credit approved” and are working with the bank to finalize our owner builder loan. We hire the foundation contractor and they started marking off the house and digging footers. Of course right after we broke down we got a ton of rain! So now here we are in August 2017. People have been asking me for the last 1.5 years when we think we will be done and my answer is always a year lol…. Hopefully now I can realistically say a year and it be true! The inspector is supposed to come out today to look at the footers and then if all goes well they will pour them tomorrow. Goals for this month 1. Finish the foundation 2. Hire the framer 3. Finalize the loan Picture is from when they were compacting the pad, I need to get an updated one.


Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 8/2/2017 8:02:03 AM

Been a bit since my last post as friends came to visit and we've taken time out with them.  But things have been moving along.  The hangers finally made it up and have done the 2nd and 4th floors and should finish the third floor today or tomorrow.  Tapers have been doing their thing as well.  Depending on whether they work the weekend, the drywall on all four floors should be finished by the end of next week.  That would be fantastic! The house looks totally different as the drywall goes in.  Unlike the Mutton Busting project in Nashville though, it doesn't seem as earthshaking.  Perhaps because of the size, and that thay take a couple of days for each area, the change is a bit more gradual. Obviously it is a huge change, though and it is wonderful to see the spaces better defined.

The roofers finished completely permanently drying in the place late last week.  They are currently working on soffit and fascia, which seems to be moving along well and faster.  They need to finish the backside today as the septic begins to go in tomorrow and we won't be able to bring the Skytrak back there again for fear of crushing the septic lines.

I haven't been able to find anyone to do the t&g on the porch, the perimeter of which need to be done for the soffit on that end of the house, so Sandra and I will attempt to run those edges using the Skytrak this weekend.  Going to be tricky as there isn't really much area in which to place the beast, but we'll try.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 7/22/2017

The hangers were supposed to start on Tuesday, but the owner stopped by and said they had just started another job and it would be three days out.  Yesterday I called and he said they would be here on Monday, a week late from what we had originally agreed upon.  I'd normally be pretty upset, but actually it gave us some breathing room to finish taking care of items that needed o be done.  It looked like we were going to be just one step ahead of the hangers, but this delay allowed us to finish (and find more things to finish) in a more relaxed manner.

The fellow that will spray foam the ceiling of the garage came by Thursday to look things over.  He'll do half on Monday and half on Tuesday.  We've got to cover things up from overspray and that will take some effort, moving stuff from one half to the other and covering the floor as well.
The roofers have nearly the entire roof finished and dry, just one section left.  The curve is done and it looks great as well as the soffit and fascia on the gable above it.  So, things are progressing.   I've got to quickly find someone to place the T&G aspen on the underside of the curved porch roof, so the roofers can run fascia there.  I'd do it, but it is way high off the ground and would rather not. Roofers have several days left to get to that point, but if I can't get it done, it may postpone the final date.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 7/18/2017 12:17:39 PM

Yesterday morning the sheetrock arrived on a bobtail and trailer, with five guys to unload it.  One operated the crane, while the others pulled it off onto a cart and placed it against walls in the house.  The hangers started another house and will be delayed until Thursday, but that's ok, we've got plenty to do in preparation with adding the rock wool in the ceiling for soundproofing and fiberglass in the walls for sound dampening.

The roofer showed back up as well, and actually waited through an afternoon rainstorm to then continue working until late.  I'm very glad for that as we need to get it totally in the dry. He is expecting to start the curved roof this afternoon, and finish by Thursday before they leave. Finally!

And the mechanical guys finished roughing in the ducts and vents for the furnaces.  We are slowly but surely getting set for drywall and by Thursday will be ready for them to start.


Soundproofing the second floor ceiling
Sound damping the walls between bedrooms and common areas as well as bathrooms and common areas using fiberglass insulation
Sheetrock unloading with crane

Posted to TheHoskensProject by Brian in Dome-ville, FL on 7/16/2017

 Got the damaged ceiling drywall replaced, and after having some preliminary reading testing done we found out that the Dome is very tightly constructed.   However, if we open all the windows and air out the place the radon is completely gone.  We have an electronic meter to keep track of the one day, seven day, and long-term average radon concentration.  


Close up

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 7/15/2017 12:48:06 PM

Got the final two inspections that were necessary before the drywall goes in - framing and mechanical.  Drywall comes Monday and they need to haul 64 sheets from the third to the fourth floor before they begin.  Meanwhile, the mechanical guys need to finish cutting in a return air grill the goes through a wall on the fourth floor.  So we'll play a little dance between them and the drywall crew. 

As the roof isn't fully dry as we wait on the roofer, we'll stagger where the drywall gets put up, probably moving from one floor to another and back again.  The job is large enough that we should be able to keep the crew occupied the whole time and hopefully the roofer can get everything in the dry by the end of the week.  Trouble is there is rain in the forecast for every day next week.  But normally we can get through about 3 o'clock before it moves in.

I'm still working on things that need to be finished as well, creating a new punch list and working through it.  Sandra's been insulating interior walls for abatement.  We ordered  three pallets of rock wool insulation for soundproofing the ceiling of the second floor, but after two weeks, HD still hadn't shipped it.  So I cancelled the order and we'll head to Albuquerque Sunday to pick it up. That's another thing that has to be installed before sheetrock. But again it'll be a dance with the rockers.

I can't wait to see the drywall go on.  It totally changes the look of everything and it now finally begins to look like a home inside.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 7/13/2017 8:40:41 AM

I'm getting peeved at the roofers as this thing drags out.  They worked three days the first week, didn't work the second week as they were supposed to finish the job in Artesia after the holiday, but didn't. Left yesterday afternoon for Artesia after 2 1/2 days here. And while they are here, the first sprinkles of rain and they quit for the day.  Like yesterday, ten drops of rain, they quit and it didn't start raining for real until evening.  Arggggh! The one one thing that did happen this week was the long panels got curved yesterday. Finally!  So if they can get them up early next week, the excavator can begin work on fixing the issue with the pump tank and put in the septic.  Sheetrock is to begin next week, and we are going to have to work around the roofers lack of finishing, putting in rock where he has finished (4th floor) and areas of other floors directly below.  It'll take a while for the rock so hopefully the roofer can catch up.

Meanwhile, the heating ducts are still going in.  The guys are doing a good job, especially as it is all a tight fit in the floor trusses, especially considering the framer had reversed many of them.  Same issue I had with plumbing, except the ducts are a whole lot larger.  Fortunately, slope is not an issue like it is with plumbing.

I'm having to get involved in the duct work to some extent, cutting the couple of trusses where they needed to be, and making the stands for the furnaces.  Been running the bath vent lines where they will soon be covered by drywall, which has required reopening holes that I tried to create last year in the concrete wall when they poured, but got crushed from the weight of the concrete.  Nothing is easy on this job.

Got hold of the fellow who will sprayfoam the garage ceiling.  I told him a couple weeks ago I'd be ready, but he never ordered the material.  Glad I got hold of him again yesterday.  I hope that doesn't slow us down.  And I ordered three pallets of rock wool soundproofing from Home Depot two weeks ago.  It still hasn't shipped.  I need that in order to drywall the second floor.  All of these issues with subs and suppliers not holding to their timeline is driving me absolutely crazy.  I know I could not be a GC for a living.


curving the roof panels using a forming machine
Finished panels ready for installation and I'm ready to get them off the freaking ground!

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 7/10/2017 12:54:01 PM

Sandra and I both thought that she would be able to tackle the decking job, but alas, it wasn't to be.  Takes two p[eople and a lot of patience.  First trying to lay it all out when the deck wasn't built as square as it should have been by the framer.  Second, it uses plastic clips that get screwed down and interlock with two boards.  That takes time in itself.  But we got one side mostly done yesterday.  I've got to get back to the things that need to be done before sheet rock, but we're happy with the way the deck is turning out!


Pretty dirty from paw prints and footprints, but should wash off just fine

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 7/9/2017 1:26:59 PM

Drywall is scheduled to be delivered a week from tomorrow with the hangers coming the following day.  The schedule is geting tight on things that need to be done before that happens - the HVAC fellow needs to run the ducts and set the plenums and run makeup/exhaust lines for the furnaces, I have to put in the bath exhaust runs, I have to finish the kitchen makeup air lines, and run the makeup/exhaust line for the second floor water heater.  Inspections have to occur as well, both mechanical as well as structural and insulation.  It reminds me of all those home shows where there is a deadline and the designers are racing at the end to get the house finished before the homeowners move back in.  Well, we are far from completion, but the timing and stress is similar.

HVAC guys were out yesterday to review the scope, and look at how they wanted to finish running the ducts, position of the furnaces and see what materials they needed and what I already had on hand.  They'll be back today to start - GOOD!  After I get Sandra started on a project, I'll work on finishing the kitchen air makeup ducts.  I set the third floor outside vent for that duct yesterday, now that the stucco is done, gluing it in place with polyurethane caulk, which works great as a rubbery glue.  That way there are no nail holes that may leak and let water into the structure.  It'll be set well enough today to attach duct to it and finish the job.  Finish attaching the low voltage electrical lines to the damper and transformer and that job will be done.

The project that Sandra is starting is the decking.  That arrived on Thursday and what an ordeal that was!  All along, we had planned on using composite decking instead of real wood.  We are trying to reduce maintenance on this house to a minimum, and real wood requires far too much, especially in this climate with the very high UV we receive.  That thought was verified this week as we visited a house with total wood decks as well as timber siding.  Although beautiful, the owners said it required a lot of work to keep it looking that way.  After a ton of research, getting prices and looking at samples - did you know how many manufacturers of non-wood decking there are? A lot! And all of the composite guys have from three to five grades.  And of course the more you pay the nicer the material is.  So it becomes a tradeoff on realism vs what you want to spend.  And with 2000 ft of deck space, with materials that range from around $4.50 sq. ft. to over $11, the difference in price is huge. 

So a week ago I ordered the decking.  The company had set it up for a flat bed so I could unload it with the Skytrak.  Since we are in the boonies, truck shipments often get delivered to a second carrier to get to us.  Well the second carrier didn't have a flatbed, didn't want to lose the job, so they had the material shoved into a standard trailer, destroying the pallets underneath in the process.  The local guys called me to come over to Taos to look at it and see if I wanted to reject the entire load.  Overall, except for perhaps possible damage to material on the bottom of each pallet, the bulk of the decking looked like it was intact, and we decided to have them restack n a smaller truck and deliver it. That happened on Friday, and I unloaded the 8000 lbs of decking by hand.  What fun!  In a testament to the durability of the material, only about a half dozen boards showed any damage, and while the company said they could immediately send out replacements, I told them to wait.  I may be able to cut the damage out as we run it.  I really don't want to go through the hassle of receiving 16' boards again, even if it is only 6 or so. So Sandra will start running it today and we'll slowly get a deck in place.  I'm so tirted o walking on the the temporary decking - 4x8 sheets of OSB that is warping, covered in thinset and stucco debris and deteriorating, that it will be wonderful to have a finished surface.


one of the pallets of decking in a trailer instead of a flatbed. It's a miracle that it wasn't detroyed
All the decking finally off the truck and stacked.

Posted to gypsyhillfarm by Michelle in East Petersburg , PA on 7/6/2017 3:00:59 PM

It's taken months to get to this point. The designer has my excel spreadsheet made floor plan and is working on a preliminary design for us to look at and place things like windows and doors. 

Let's back up though. Originally we thought we would be renovating an existing structure but every GC we talked to said it would be a better idea to tear down and start new. We are now also not sharing this house with anyone in the future it will be our forever home and that changes things a little.

So we've decided to stick with the original size of 30x60 but adding on a garage in the back and a 4' x 25' bump out in the front to make space for the living/kitchen/dining "great room" as I will call it. We're now option for a basement under the center of the house (the great room) and doing slabs on the wings of the house where the bedrooms/bathrooms will be. This will allow us to put our utility generators in the basement and run the ductwork (if we go with ductwork) from there.

We definitely want solar at this point but as for the rest of the HVAC system, we haven't made any final decisions and want to explore all options.

I'm about to start a budget spreadsheet because once the design is complete, I can finally start to get some bids and also start the permitting process. One minor sticking point that is unconfirmed at this point is that the permit office needs a license number/insurance proof of the GC, so I'm curious how that will play out. I've been reading in the book about the insurance options to use and will dig deeper into that as we get into the permitting.

Anyway, that's the update for now.. trying to be patient with our designer. It's been months since my last update and the anticipation is killing me, I want to get to work!

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 7/5/2017 9:22:29 AM

While the roofer was at the house last week, they were able to move enough of the panels on the ground so that the stucco guys could set scaffolding for the color coat on the back of the house.  Last Friday, they came and ran that.  All looked good, until we noticed there was a very visible variation in color at one point, like when they changed buckets of material.  We let it sit a day in case it was a difference in drying times, but it was still there.  Sent a picture to the owner, and yesterday morning, they showed back up.  Had to reset all of the scaffolding but went to work redoing the entire wall with new material.  It worked this time.  They said it has happened on only one other house in all the years they have been doing it, but was a variation in the color when the dealer mixed it.

Speaking of the roofer, they got part of the roof on, but were missing a large portion of the required panels, transition pieces were made wrong and have to be redone, he didn't contact the fellow in Denver soon enough for him to come down and curve the one group of panels and we have to wait for that for two more weeks, and he may have missized the soffit.  Not what I would consider to be a well organized fellow.  With the holiday this week and having to return to Artesia to finish the previous job, after needing additional materials there,. He is supposed to show back up next week to continue.  Hopefully with enough stuff to get all the peaked sections covered as I've scheduled the drywall guy to start on the 18th.

I've been working on a punch list of things that need to be finished beore the drywall starts, and with my son-in-law's help this weekend, framed out a couple of walls in the garage to close off the stairwell as is required.  It will also create a space we can use as a home gym.  This also needed to get finished before the drywall came.

I've got to contact the mechanical contractor as he needs to get started.  He was supposed to be back by late last week to finalize everything, but didn't show.  I'll give him a call this morning.  Without that in, we can't get a structural inspection, can't get the garage ceiling sprayfoamed, can't put the soundproofing insulation in the second level ceiling, all of which needs to be one before drywall.

So I'm at a point where a lot of things are in queue and if they don't go on schedule, everything gets set back.  I understand more and more what a GC does for his money.


Back of the house where there was a variation on color coat when they switched pails of color.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 6/27/2017 1:52:00 AM

So the roofer and his crew made it up to the site today, getting in around noon from Albuquerque.  They unloaded tools, soffit and the additional roof panels and then the skies opened up.  Crazy.  We have had nothing but great weather until he shows up.  They'll start in the morning and should be able to get a fair amount done, before any thunderstorms start up in the mid afternoon, which is what the forecast says.  Looks like the overall job is going to take a few weeks.

In the meantime, the plumbing inspector returned today and passed me!! So, I've got another trade finished.  I'm currently running the lines for the lower level dryer, kitchen vent and fresh air intake including a powered damper on the intake.  I still need to look at running the vents for the water heater and baths.  Then it's up to the main level to run the kitchen vent and it's air intake. Fellow who is going to install the furances and finish those ducts should start next week.  I contacted the sheetrock guy and gave him a heads up that we can begin looking at a schedule now that things are moving closer.  But - there are a lot of things to get done before we can actually start it.  I've got to get moving!!!

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 6/21/2017 9:58:08 PM

Well he was supposed to start this week, but has been hung up in Artesia in triple digit heat for another week. I can only assume that the heat is slowing them down.  But we are next and he is looking forward to getting up here where the temps are expected to be in the 60's and 70's.  The stucco guys are still waiting for the roofing panels to get moved so the can run the colr coat on the back of the house with scaffolding.  Gotta wait for the roofer to get them moved. 

In the meantime, I've been putting up outdoor lighting across the front as well as some security lights, all of which have been sitting in the garage after buying them on sale.

Also started running ducts for heating system.  Contacted a mechanical contractor as I can't pull a permit for that.  Nice guy, been around for ever and has reviewed my plans I had put together.  We've had some disagreements about the heating loads and how air flow works, though.  He thinks I should be putting in furnaces that'll put out 5 times what I have calculated I need.  And he has an issue with the size of ductwork I sized.  Thinks some needs to be smaller diameter to increase velocity.  These ideas are very common among HVAC contractors.  Used to working with typical, non-efficient, leaky homes that goble energy.  And the old idea of pushing air through as fast as you can is old, when ducts leaked much of went through them.  Now, with careful sealing, if you push air in one end, it'll make it to the other end if you balance the lines.  If it didn't, systems with variable speed blowers wouldn't work.  One thing you need to do however, is to insulate the supply lines.  With air possibly moving at low velocities, the heat can be lost through the ductwork as metal makes a great heat exchanger.  Even though we have some technical disagreements, I'll hire him to provide the rest of the system, according to how I wish it to basically be.  While I am certainly open to others ideas, HVAC contractors are generally far behind what can be done in today's world of highly efficient construction, (when it is actually used).  He wants me to sign a statement that it is my design, to relieve him of any future liability.  I have no issue with that.  I've got plenty of things to keep working on besides the ducts and the furnaces.  The help on the HVAC will be most welcome even though it's not free.


House with stucco finished on the front and stone done
Trying to get a shot of the stairwell all the way up

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 6/13/2017

The electrical inspector came out yesterday, and together we went through the entire house, room by room. It was the most complete inspection I've had on any of my projects. In the end, he wanted an additional receptacle in the garage, and for me to move one smoke detector to the curved ceiling in the main living room.  With those comments he passed my rough in.  Yea! After months of work, something to show for it.

I'll call today for the plumbing inspection.  I have to finish installing three shower sets into the walls and make the final water connection, but it takes several days to the inspectors to arrive after calling in, so I should be finished well in advance.  The sewer lines all check out and he can begin witnessing those.  It'll take him two trips as the different elevations will be tested separately so as not to put undo hydrostatic pressure on the lower sections.

Stucco guys are coming along with the finish coat.  Wind is causing them some trouble.  And they informed me yesterday that they needed the metal roofing moved from where it has been sitting on the backside, so they can set up scaffolding.  Apparently they can't do the final on the back from the forklift or it'll look very bad.  But I won't move the metal as it is subject to kinking without a whole crew of people picking up the 43' pieces.  So they'll have to wait until the roofer comes back and installs it all.  But the rest of the house can be finished.

I'm starting to think about the duct work and will actually begin installing sometime later this week.  There's a lot to do there, including all the stuff for water heaters, kitchen vents, furnace venting, dryer vents etc, in addition to the regular ducts.  Sandra and I are both tired of looking at stud walls in which nothing seems to be happening when actually a lot is.  Waiting to see everything in sheetrock, but that'll be a way out yet.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 6/6/2017 10:53:16 PM

Tested the next two levels this morning. Found one more leak, and again it was an unglued joint.  And again, it will be easy to fix, thank goodness.  Just needed to let it dry out, before gluing.  Went through the entire house, double-checking nail plates and stapling for the electrical.  Now that we again have access to the 4th floor, I called this afternoon for the full rough-in inspection. 

Will get back to the water lines tomorrow.  Quite a bit of things to do to there.  While all the lines are in place, they need to be fastened down and capped. The pressure reducing valves need to be set in place as well.  Once all of the that is done, I can go ahead and get water pressured up and test them.  As it is PEX tubing, and I'm using an expansion type of connectors, leaks are generally very rare, so testing should be simple.  Hopefully wrap this part up by the end of the weekend if not sooner.  Then call for plumbing inspection. Can there be a light at the end of the tunnel?!

The stone guys worked on the pillars and got them finished.  Stucco guys are waiting for better weather.  Its been raining again, these days at the house instead of just around us.  Weird Spring.


Stone guys working on the pillars

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 6/5/2017

The framers finished the last part of the stairs today.  We still have railings to install once we figure how we want to do them, but they are fully functional to the 4th floor.  Over the weekend I  worked on finishing running PEX water lines.  They are all in for each fixture, but I still need to fasten them and create the stub outs.  And I need to set the PRVs at the second and third level to drop the pressure.  I spent the day Friday installing the last of the outdoor freeze-proof spigots.  These were tricky as they were in the living section walls and not the garage. I had to get the length correct so that I could bury the water line within the foam, using soldered copper fittings.  Tight, but all 5 went well without any leaks.

Speaking of leaks, after a day of prepping shower and bath drain stubouts throughout the house, and finishing the vent connections in the attics, I finally did a test of one floor's drains.  All went well with the exception of one side of one fitting where I had forgotten to glue the joint. So after emptying the water into a 32 gallon trash can, I repaired it and will go on to test the other two floors. And oh by the way, the volume of 90 feet of 4" line is way over 32 gallons.  Ask me how I know.  At least the garage floor is much cleaner now.


Just a slope side shot of the house from an angle I hadn't taken from before. Stone and brown coat are on. Waiting for the color coat.
A shot of the stairs. No real good way to shoot and capture the true essence of the height and massiveness.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 6/1/2017 10:42:49 PM

It's been a strange year weather-wise.  Heavy, late snows, and the moisture continues in a manner that is typical of mid summer, rather than mid Spring.  Afternoon showers and thunderstorms after bright sunny mornings.  And the trend continues into the next couple weeks.  So far though, the project has been spared from anything significant.  While I can look around and see massive downpours happening all around, we've been lucky.  And with the stucco and stone going on, that's important!  I don't need to see the cement wash down over the stones and ruin the stone job! 

 The stone guys ( I guess shouldn't call them stoners ;-). ) finished their first contract on Tuesday.  I've got the pillars to do next and they may start those today.  Stucco guys will wrap up the brown coat today.  Should be a fairly short day for them.  Framer nearly finished the stairs, but we are waiting on another couple 8 x 8's to come in this afternoon for him to finish.  He pulled his tool trailer out, so it may be next week when he comes back.  But, we now have access again all the way to the 4th floor!

The elevator is in and working.  Those guys were quick in getting it set up.  And there would have been no way I could have done it.  Some very specialized stuff going on there.  It operates so smoothly, you can't even tell it's moving when youy are in the cab.

I'm trying to keep working on the plumbing and as there will be less crews working that always seem to need my help, I may be able to make some progress on that front.

Posted to The-Last-Rodeo by Larry in Angel Fire, NM on 5/29/2017

Things continue to move forward with the brown coat finished on about half the house - and more importantly above the roof lines so it can cure over the next couple weeks and then get the color coat.  Once that's on, the roofers can come in.  I've already contacted them and let them know that June 16 we are go.  

The stone on the house proper should be finished tomorrow with only the pillars and window sills to do.  Waiting on more corner sections and the sill material to arrive for that.

The framer should finish the stairs by Wednesday.  It's so slow going.  But they are a work of art.  We are really happy with them.

The elevator installers arrived in town late this afternoon.  Stopped by to look over the site and will start in the morning.  I hope all goes well!  

I've been continuing towards completion on the plumbing.  All the vent lines from the second floor have been brought into the third floor attic and connect to the third floor vents.  The fourth floor vents will be run together once I again have access up there when the stairs are finished this week.  I am hoping to begin water testing the sewer lines later this week.  With any luck - they'll hold.  Fingers crossed!  Still need to finish running the water lines but that should go pretty smoothly.

Will get the electrical inspector out next week for the rough in since he'll be able to access the fourth floor.  Thinking it should go ok since he was out earlier for the stair section and didn't call out anything.  

So - things are moving along and in the right direction.

Top Previous Next End


Copyright 1997-2017 Consensus Group Inc.