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Posted by Bob in LaPorte, IN on 11/3/2011

It's been a very busy two weeks. Under the direction of our builder Jim Weiler and his uncle, Glen, and with the help of Dad, and Uncle Joe, the exterior and interior walls have been framed and sheathed. Rain slowed us down a few days. But we had a couple of days when the forecast was for rain and it held off until the end of the workday.

My employer has been very accommodating. Working a second shift as a newspaper photographer (LaPorte Herald Argus), they've allowed me to use half vacation days to work with our builder, Jim during the afternoon and then come in to work a little later and work four hours in the night. It make for very long days (and short nights) but the satisfaction is indescribable.  

Everybody is excited now that each room is defined by the walls. The little ones have fun walking through the walls and spending time in their bedrooms looking out their windows. The two boys will have a 11x15 bedroom while Rebecca will have a 12x12 bedroom. In our prior house, all three younger children were in an 11x12 bedroom (very cozy). The total living area in the new house will be 1,760 sq ft (44x40) with a 24x40 ft garage. Our prior house was 1,030 square feet with 6 children ages 3-19 years old.

Our roof truss package arrived Tuesday Nov 1 from the Big C Lumber truss plant in Michigan. The driver did a wonderful job maneuvering the 40-foot trusses through the narrow road in our subdivision and dropped them off at literally our front door with door and precision. Being the curious type (and in the journalism field) I tend to ask questions. Big C Lumber truss designer Dan Parker has been great to work with. He's always taken the time to answer any question and the couple of "speed bumps" we've had with the trusses, they corrected them the same day. The crane will be here Friday morning to help set the trusses. Originally scheduled today (Thursday) but the forecast was calling for rain... at least it's not snow. Pavey Excavating came in last week to backfill and grade the area around the house. Mike, Tom and their dad, Gene Pavey, have been a wealth of information, and not just in the excavation aspect. The time they spent hanging around and chatting is greatly appreciated.

After months of seeing our new home on paper, now that the walls are up we think it's turning out, for the most part, better than we planned. Glen's valuable suggestions during the framing helped to "perfect" a couple areas that will help maximize wall space for furniture. Two areas that are still giving us trouble are: 1) the laundry room. A 9' wide 3'6" deep "closet". Room enough for a washer, dryer and work station. Trying to come up with a creative way to close it off from the hallway. Trying to stay away from bi-fold doors and sliders. 2) The kitchen. Wendy, Big C Lumber kitchen designer has given us two great layouts for our 13x15 kitchen. We know that the kitchen is a long way off, but one of the designs involves bumping out a section of kitchen wall into the garage for a large pantry. And since we are at the framing stage, now is the time we need to think about that. There have been a few areas (decisions about the kitchen, basement, siding) where I've been told I was jumping the gun, but our future plans are simplified by decisions made now during the framing stage. Or as in the siding, the color of the shingles we decide on is influenced by the color of siding (which is still being debated)... I think we are going to let the neighbors decide, since they have to look at it.

We did manage to get a section of the hip trusses up today. We managed to get one of the girder trusses up along with the hip and jacks on one end of the house. The crane is scheduled tomorrow morning to finish (hopefully) the roof. I knew for the most part I wanted a hip roof, but debated going gable because of the cost factor. After a little debate decided hip was the way to go and the cost wasn't much more when looking at all things considered.

Time to sign off and get home to get some sleep for a busy (but exciting) day tomorrow.

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