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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 2/12/2010

Nah, I can't think of any way to really finish that--shoveling snow sucks.

With the concrete pour moved to Monday, (assuming the weather cooperates* for once!) Colleen and I headed to the site to tidy it up a bit and clear the second floor of the snowfall we received a couple of days ago. Until I got up there, I didn't really have a good feel for just how much snow that was--I had noted in Tuesday's post that I thought the lower canyon had received around 6" of snow, but clearly Tanglewood's area had been blessed with more like 8 or 9"....yowza! 

We began to scoop and shovel, but quickly realized that we were facing two big obstacles. The first was the floor itself--it was littered with ICF forms, leftover cardboard and strapping from the palettes, tools, screws, nuts, bolts, cans of foam, bits of wood--basically anything that the crew had dropped when they were done working with it over the past couple of weeks. Clearing all of this out of the way took quite a bit of time, and many of the flimsier items (such as the now water-soaked cardboard from the pallets) were frozen to the concrete. We did what we could and let the sunlight work on the rest, and that eventually did the trick--by the time we were done, we'd gotten the whole floor remarkably cleared of debris with only a few bits of cardboard still stuck to the floor.

The second problem was more troublesome. Since we're getting ready to pour concrete, the crew wisely and properly installed bracing in all of the windows--leaving us no way to dispose of the snow. Throwing it up over 8' of wall wasn't really an option either, and of course there aren't any drains in this thing--it's the second floor after all, not a basement! We finally decided to push the snow off of the edge of the library into the living room area, since we're done working in that area for the time being anyway, and it was about our only option--the only other thing might have been to push it all onto the deck and then throw it over the side there, but that would have been a lot more work. 

So the snow on the second floor got shoveled off the side where it will no doubt turn into the Living Room Iceberg in a couple of days. Most likely in a month or so I'll have to revisit this decision when somebody complains that they can't work around all the ice in the living room area, but we'll deal with that if/when it happens.  Maybe we'll get lucky and receive a few days of warmer, drier weather (especially dry air--this will cause the stuff to sublimate quickly if there's a bit of wind along with it). 

So we got a lot of work done and some good exercise, if nothing else. Walking around the house started to give us a good feel for how it was all going to "work" too, at least upstairs. There were two of the crew up there to finish up the last little bit of stacking,  install some bracing in anticipation of the Monday pour, and help out a bit with some of the snow work. We also had the snowplow guys up again to finish some of the areas they'd done on Tuesday.

We had to bail out a bit early to get another load of sand for tomorrow's work (we plan to work on the ice on the creek crossings and put down gravel and sand where things are a bit slick). I walked around and got a bunch of pictures of the house (probably the last ones I'll get before we pour the second floor) and downloaded some more weather data.

Getting closer!

Steven in Colorado Springs

* We've got our fingers crossed that the "light snow" currently predicted for Sunday evening misses us completely, because if it does come in we'll probably have to kick the pour to Tuesday or Wednesday.


Over the garages. The crew are starting to put on tarps to protect the walls from any snow. Note the huge pile of cardboard and Styrofoam on the ground--that's from our cleanup work.
More of the huge pile of (eventual) recycles. We hope to reduce this mess a notch or two tomorrow.
Looking from the kitchen area into the living room. You can see some of the snow we dumped there. The supports on either side of the picture are temporary, and will go away once the stairs are built.
Looking from the kitchen area down towards the master bathroom (at the far end).
Looking through the garage towards the apartment at the far end. That ground is frozen rock hard right now; there's no sunlight hitting it anymore, and the air isn't all that warm.
Upstairs looking down towards the guest rooms. Note the height of the walls (8') and how nicely cleared out it (mostly) is. We have hopes that the sunlight will knock down whatever snow doesn't get shoveled out.
Looking from the library off to the living room.
Looking from the library towards the deck. Note the wall that now delineates the house from the deck; that wasn't there just a couple of days ago.
Looking out (what will be) the patio door from inside to the deck. Lots of bracing here.
Shot of the deck with the walls and crenelations (those lumps under the tarps) now at the right height.
Another shot of the deck, showing the drains we installed this afternoon.
Closeup of one of the drains. The foam will help glue it into place; it's not intended to be waterproofing (that comes later).
Standing at the edge of the deck looking back towards the house. Note all of the block on top of the walls to ward off any snow.
Looking down the hillside part of the deck. If you look carefully along the bottom, you can see where Colleen marked the gaps for the crenelations. This was pretty important to avoid mistakes.
Looking down the other side of the deck ramparts.
Closeup of the 4" walls forming the transition. Not much different than the 8" stuff really, just thinner.
Standing next to the manifold looking into the library area. We couldn't quite get that cardboard off of the floor this time around.
Looking down the long run towards the north end of the house. Lots of bracing along here--blowouts would be BAD.
I thought this was a nice shot of all the covering they did of the walls.
The big mountain above Tanglewood. Very nice, clear day.
Closeup of the big mountain above Tanglewood.
The block-out for the future stairwell.
I think this little bit is just crying out for an arcade machine, don't you?
Another look at the bracing and walls on the uphill side of the floor. There will be some nice woodland views out this way.
Far shot of the house as I was on my way to download weather data.
Closeup of the living room area. Not sure when they plan to install those windows; they're the largest and heaviest ones though, so I'm sure it will need to be carefully coordinated.

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