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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 10/15/2013 2:10:02 PM

Just back from a weeks vacation ( working vacation that is) up in the mountains.  We managed to go for two motorcycle rides during the week, but for the most part all of my time was dedicated to finishing the stone wall project.  It was my gift to my wife for our 22 yr Anniversary and I was going to finish this project one way or another!

 

Photos

The Fall weather was beautiful - cool and crisp in the mornings and just plain nice during the days. I love this time of year up there. The colors never disappoint!
Moving right along.....
this is what takes so long - lining up at the inside corner and scribing all the stones. Measure twice.... ummm, make that three or four times, and cut somewhere between 4 and 12 times until it fits just right.
This is where I spent a good deal of time during my "vacation".
Its a pretty dusty job, so a dust mask is a must. And, let's not forget the eye protection too!
Finished ! View of the wall at the Entry.
There's a lot of stone here!
Entry looking towards Great Room
Great Room looking towards Entry



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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 9/19/2013

This is such a rewarding job, seeing the stone wall created right before your eyes, but it is ever so slow... at least for me. I'm very picky about things fitting just right, so I spend more time finding just the right piece of stone to fit at each place. The stones are not completely flat on the sides - some have small depressions and some have small bumps that protrude outwards, upwards etc. It all helps make the stone look more realistic, but when trying to fit them together you really need to pay attention how they fit and how much if any gap is shown (the same reason for painting the wall black first). Also, I use a 4' level the entire time, on every few stones placed. Having an inside corner to deal with means that they need to intersect perfectly or your eye will pick it up, even if you're not trying to. So... I just take my time and am not rushing the project. I know that I will finish it soon and if I just pay attention to what I'm doing it will come out looking great. It doesn't cost anything to pay attention!

Photos

Three pallets of stone - two flats and one corners
Finally up to the window sill (36" ht.)
View of inside corner behind wood stove
Another view of the inside corner - lots of scribing the stones and careful work with the grinder.
Moving right along...
Outside corner
Starting to get repetitive... but then again, I knew that would happen.
Finally had to start using some scaffolding, of sorts.
Up to about 7'-6" now.
Almost to the top of the windows... looks like two more weekends will reach the top of the wall on the low side.



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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 7/9/2013

We are finally getting around to installing the stone on the wall behind the wood stove in the dining room and also wrapping around the corner to the entry wing wall.

We started out by wiping down the cement board with a wet mop to clean any dust off of it. The stone that we are using is a manufactured stone veneer. It is Eldorado Mountain Ledge Stone Panels, in Silverton color. The manufacturer states that to install over cement backer board that we needed to add a latex additive to the mortar to help it stick. I followed the instructions and mixed the mortar according to the directions. After a couple rows of stone I bumped a corner and knocked it loose. Crap! I pulled it off, cleaned off the mortar and put it back up. Strange, I thought, but from then on I was a bit worried. A few hrs. later a couple other stones weren't sticking. Perhaps it was too warm inside (about 80 degrees ) so I tossed out the mortar and mixed up a new batch. This didn't help and more stones were loose. My wife pointed out what looked like a crack along the wall where the mortar had hardened... I checked it and could pull the entire row of stone off. Talk about being disappointed! The mortar either stuck to the wall or the stone, but not both.

We had to pull all of the stone down and start over, but I wasn't about to use the same product. Since several stones had already been cut for the corners, outlets and where they run into the wall, we had to label all of the stone in order to put them back where they were.

We started pulled the stone off the wall at 6 pm. By 8 pm we had it all down and all of the mortar was removed from the wall and the stones. During this process my wife asked why we couldn't use Liquid Nails? I said I didn't know - I've used it before to set the slate at the stair risers. She decided to research it on the Internet and found that a lot of people use a similar product to adhere veneer stone - it's called PL400. I was familiar with this product as a subfloor adhesive from when we built the house. It is basically the same as Liquid Nails.

Photos

Before - entry wing wall
Before - walls at wood stove in dining room
Laying out a few pieces to choose from
Seems easy enough...
This is where we found out the mortar wasn't adhering to the cement board. Before tearing it all down, we labeled the stones since some of them had already been cut to fit corners, around the outlet and at the wall. No fun :(
Painting the cement board to hide the white color where it would show thru in the joints in the stone since we now weren't using any mortar and it's a dry-stack look.
still painting...
Finished... what a mess the overspray made!
The new adhesive makes installation of the stone much faster.
Adding a bit of color to the cut edge of a stone, using some old grout. Three colors of grout mixed together matched our stone really well - Beige, Tan and Charcoal.



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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 11/16/2012 1:03:30 PM

After 1 1/2 years, we've finally finished building the Entertainment Center! Even though the shelving seems like a simple task, it was really quite involved. The shelves are made from Red Balau (a member of the ironwood species), which is a very hard wood. Gluing several pieces of the boards together with biscuits and then belt-sanding to smooth out the surface was a chore. Moreover, finishing them was frustrating because the weather this time of year is so cold and the humidity is so high that it takes a lot longer for the finish to dry. Three days each for the first two coats, and then a day each for the next two coats. That's 8 days just to finish one side! Then turn them over and do it all again. That's over two weeks just for finishing the shelves, not to mention the time it took to cut, glue and sand them down to be ready for finishing.

Since it took over two weeks to finish and we only go up to our place in Hayfork every other weekend, it was actually a month before I could install the shelves. The whole time we had the home theater equipment disassembled, so we didn't even have TV to watch out in the great room. This made for some quiet time, which we both enjoyed.

The only thing left to do is a little cable management and then building the rear access panel, but that's easy. For now, everything is back in its place and the Entertainment Center is checked off the "to-do" list. Now we need to find a nice metal sculpture to go above the TV.  Something related to home theater and music... needs to be about 18"-24" in height and about 6'-7' in length. I'll probably end up buying a few pieces and welding them together myself, then touching up with some metallic paints. Decisions, decisions...

Photos




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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 10/16/2012

The time has come to finish up the Entertainment Center. First up was to get everything done that had to be tiled around. This included installing the shelf standards, trimming out the rear access panel opening, refinishing a bad sheetrock tape job and retexturing and installing the small countertop. Seems simple enough. Well, at least one would think so. As usual, one thing leads to another. It started with the furring strips. I needed to fur out the shelf standards on the left side due to the tile thickness. The small shelf support clips wouldn't be sticking out very much to support the shelf itself if the furring strips were not installed. So, they were cut to 1/4" thickness and 3/4" in width. The mounting holes had to be pre-drilled and countersunk so that the screws would not split the wood. After that, the strips had to be painted so you wouldn't see the wood color thru the small notches in the shelf standards themselves. Once installed, the shelf standards had to be painted to match the wall.

Then there was the task of doing the sheetrock repair. This required scraping the high mud off the tape joint where it was showing thru, then filling the void with a lightweight spackle, wait for it to dry and then it could be sanded and a texture sprayed onto it to blend in with the rest of the wall. Once that dried it could all be painted. After carefully texturing around the trim, I realized that if the trim were left smooth it would show up against the textured removable panel, so... I had to spray the trim with texture also, which of course got on the walls. Okay, more painting to be done.

Once that was all done, I installed the small countertop. The countertop had to be scribed to the wall for a perfect fit. This took several tries and included building a plywood template first. Now it fits like a glove. The tile work can now begin. We used 12" square African slate which has a lot of clefting to it. Since our slate was gauged, it was relatively all the same thickness. The tiles aren't exactly 12" sq., but more like 11-7/8"x11-13/16"... roughly. Some were an additional 1/16" smaller or larger in either direction. It doesn't sound like much, but when you're using 1/8" grout joints, every 1/16" adds up. Needless to say, there were lots of choice words spoken daily and lots of custom cuts to be made. We made five different sizes from the 12" tiles. Basic sizes were 4x4, 4x8, 4x12, 8x8 and 8x12. Now considering that the tiles are not 12" sq., and the fact that the saw blade eats up 1/16" on every cut, we had to come up with sizes that would match when two or three small tiles lined up with just one tile, and so on. Also, allowing for the grout joint along the way. Lots of head scratching went on while figuring all of this out, but in the end everything lined up perfectly.

Photos

Shelf standards and furring strips ready to install.
Standards installed and painted.
Trim installed and wall repairs made and textured (I decided to also texture the trim later).
The beginning of a lot of tiling.
A tall ladder is a must, as this wing wall is 10' tall.
Countertop installed and scribed to the wall. Notice the furring strips on the left side vs. none on the right. This is to make up for the thickness of the 1/2" thick slate tiles.
Almost finished cutting and setting the slate tiles.
This was our workstation for cutting the 12" sq. slate tiles into the five different sizes and also cutting the custom fit tiles. We both spent a lot time out here all week.
Oh, the joy of grouting! We used charcoal colored grout and is it ever black when it's wet! With all the clefting in the slate, there was a lot of clean-up that had to be done.
A tight fit around the shelf standards.
Tile cut around the countertop. Still needs color matched flexible sanded caulking between countertop and slate.
Tight fit at glue-lam beam and soffit.
Lots of tedious measuring here.
Slate on wing wall is complete!
Now I just need to build the shelves for the equipment and build the rear access panel and the Entertainment Center will be complete.



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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 7/20/2012

Now that the foundation and structure are in place, it's time to add the solid granite stones. Word of caution: Don't pull rocks directly from the creek or river and add to a fire pit as the moisture inside can heat too fast and may cause the rock to explode! Try to use rocks that have been out of the water for a long time to avoid the possible dangers. Also, try to use only smooth rocks and those that don't have crevices or cracks.

Imagine this project as a big jigsaw puzzle - there is a stone that will fit just right... somewhere in the pile! Usually there are a few that will fit, but one will be better than the others. Take your time and do it right. Keep your mortar from drying out and remember to step back once in awhile and take a look at the stonework you've already done. This will help you see if you've started making a pattern or if you need to break up the mortar lines a bit more - perhaps using larger or smaller stones. Take your time and you'll find the right stone for the right place. This will be here for many, many, years so get it right the first time.

Photos

Makes a great oven too!



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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 7/19/2012

It was finally time to get rid of the old stacked rock fire pit and build something a little bigger and nicer.

Photos

Before...
I can’t believe how much dirt comes out of a 4” deep hole ! It is just over 8’ across though.
Part 1 of the digging complete… well, almost… do you see the rock?
This is no small rock. Do I leave it there and just build on top of it? It might just be the tip of the iceberg!
No way, its coming out! Yep, its a BIG rock.
Checking for a level depth across bottom. An additional 4” have been excavated around the perimeter, 22” wide.
Nice doughnut... notice the depression where the rock was.
Laying out the concrete block to see where the rebar will go. Since we’re not laying the block while the cement is still wet (don’t have enough time) I have to do this ahead. Only way to know where the block will go is to mark it all out now.
This is the layout for two rows of block
½”x16” rebar pounded 6” into the ground. This leaves 10” sticking out. 4” in concrete and 6” about that will get embedded in the block itself. You really shouldn't put the rebar into the soil, because it will just rust out... in about 40 years! In the meantime, it won't move when the ground freezes and heaves and besides that it was easy!
Horizontal reinforcing in place. Suspended 2” above the grade so it ends up in the middle of the concrete pour.
2” Dobie Blocks
Rebar reinforcing
Mixing the concrete in batches
Here’s Lori trying to figure out if we have enough concrete to finish… I didn’t think so, so she went to town to get a couple more 80 lb. bags
Here I’m checking the depth of the concrete at the outer edge. Piece of rebar with tape at 4” show the depth I need.
All poured and just smoothing it all out… worked out perfect without the two extra bags of concrete. Oops!
The cones keep the dogs out and are good seating indicators – 14 seats available! Next time we’ll set the concrete blocks.
two weeks later...
It’s a Team effort!
Setting the inside block was the hardest since it had to be perfectly round. The outside went fairly fast.
Just how many of these blocks do we have anyway???
Here are some of the granite river rocks that we’ll be using. All washed and ready to go.
I think filling the cells was the most difficult part of the project. An 80 lb. bag of concrete only fills 7½ blocks. There are 110 blocks to fill – that takes 15 bags and doesn’t include the small “V” between the blocks either. Probably 2 or 3 more bags to fill those. Heck, no wonder our backs are killing us!
First row of block solid grouted! Time for a quick break.
Filling the little “V” with concrete. The back “V” can’t be filled until after the stone veneer goes on, or it will just spill out.
Must be getting late – it's cocktail time!
Constantly checking to make sure it’s all level.
Well look at that, all done and the sun is still up! Yee Haw!
Until we meet again….



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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 11/14/2011

Well, it's finally time to build the entertainment center that we've been designing for quite some time now. The area has been just a clutter of TV's (our daughter had a small TV out to play video games on because I wouldn't let her plug into the big plasma TV), game systems, CD's, DVD's, speakers on top of speakers on top of cinder blocks just to get the height right for listening, etc. It was basically a mess and we didn't even like to sit over there to watch TV because of it. It was time for a change, or should I say, it was time to finish what we'd started.

I designed the entire entertainment center on the computer using AutoCAD software, with all measurements down to the nearest 1/16th of an inch. Creating the materials list was quite a task, since I had never done this before. I had to figure out how many pieces of the cabinet I could get out of a single piece of cherry stock. This was difficult, because you don't know what sizes are available until you get to the lumberyard. Luckily our lumberyard is close by (20 minutes away) so going back for another piece isn't too difficult, but I didn't want to do that - I wanted to get it right the first time. Measure twice, shop once!

After my wife and I spent almost two hrs. at the lumber store figuring out what pieces of the cabinet come out of what pieces of lumber we were on our way back home with a small but fairly expensive load of solid cherry wood and some prefinished maple ply for the drawer boxes. Once home we began by building the drawer boxes, which went pretty smoothly. After that we began on the solid cherry stock, ripping it down to the correct widths for all the various pieces. After that, they got cut into smaller sections on the compound miter saw. From there, I moved onto the router station to put a 45-degree profile on some of the pieces that will make up the drawer fronts. These cabinets were designed to match those that we bought for the kitchen, laundry room, and wet bar.

Building the infill panels was quite a pain. First I had to rip the full 1" thick solid cherry down to 3/8" thickness, then cut to the right length and biscuit-join together to make a solid panel, but being so small it kept wanting to buckle. Additional scrap boards and clamps were required to keep it flat. You know, you can never have too many clamps! It was a bit crazy looking, but I managed to get it all clamped together and flat too. Here's a very important tip: when gluing up the frames, be sure to get as much glue out of all the inside corners as possible, because once the glue hardens it won't take a stain like the real wood does and thus you can see the glue. I used a t-shirt and the tip of a pocket knife to clean out the inside corners. Once everything is dried and hardened, you can unclamp it all and begin the tedious task of sanding. For the face frames I started with 100 gr. sandpaper on my random orbital sander, then I switched to 150 gr. and then finally to 220 gr. Be sure not to round over any edges you don't intend to. It can happen very quickly and can be difficult to fix.

The infill panels were the most difficult. I started with my belt sander and used an 80 gr. to get it all level. Then I switched to a 120 gr. belt. After that I switched to my 150 gr. random orbital followed by the 220 gr. Be sure to get yourself a decent dust mask - your lungs will thank you for it! For the drawer front frame I still had to rout out a small recess for the infill panel to rest in. This was done on the router table in a few quick passes. All that was left was to chisel out the corners by hand. A very sharp chisel will make this easy. Warning! Make sure to keep all of the small chiseled pieces out from under the piece your working on. I missed a few and the pieces made small dents in the face of the drawer fronts! Arghhhh!

At this point I looked at it and thought, hey, I started out with a long stick of lumber and have already turned it into this almost finished cabinet, a little dent can't be that difficult to fix. Although this seems like the worst thing that could happen, it is fairly easy to fix and all you need is a little hot water. First, get a glass and partially fill it with water and put in the microwave (or use a teakettle on the stove) for one minute. Be careful when removing as it will be hot, but hey, it's supposed to be! Using a teaspoon, pour a few drops of water on the dent and let it sit there. The moisture and the heat will get into the fibers of the wood and will cause it to swell, thus restoring the wood to the original condition. You will most likely have to repeat this a few times until the dent has disappeared. Let the wood dry and then sand again.

Well, here it is the week before Thanksgiving and we're trying to build the countertop for the cabinets. I've had the ironwood for a few years now, sitting on the floor in my garage, and at 14' lengths I'm glad to have the space back that it was taking up. Been working a little bit each night in preparation for the glue-up. Ideally I should have built this a month or two ago when the temperatures were warmer and the wood was more stable and the glue would set up better, but when things are busy you take what you can. So, last night Lori and I assembled the boards using #10 biscuits and plenty of Elmer's Wood Glue MAX, which is stainable. This is very important, because any small gaps where the glue may show will absorb the stain and you won't notice it as much. I'll let it dry for 48 hrs before I begin the task of sanding to a smooth finish, a process which I believe will take about two hrs. After that comes the stain and then the finish. Hopefully it will all be done by next week Wednesday so we can take it up to the ranch to install over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Well, the sanding didn't go as planned. First off, I spent about two and a half hrs. sanding the countertop down to where it was nearly finished. I wanted to flip it over and sand the bottom so it would be flat when installing. If any marks got on the underside while sanding it would be okay, since I still had the final 220 gr. sanding to do. However, when I turned it over I realized that I had been sanding the bottom, which would never be seen. Crap! Well, looks like another two hrs. of sanding is called for. Sanding the top went much faster this time, probably because I practiced on the bottom first. Once sanded smooth down to the 220 gr. on my random orbital sander, it was ready for a quick coat of Espresso stain. This is a really dark stain and I still wanted to see the grain of the wood come through, so I only left the stain on for about three minutes.

The ironwood is so dense that the stain doesn't penetrate very fast, giving you time to wipe it off before it dries. When applying the stain with a  sponge brush, once I got to the end I immediately started over by wiping off as much of the stain as I could. I let the stain dry for 24 hrs and then did a very light sanding with a 300 gr. sanding sponge and then used some tack cloth to remove any dust before applying the finish. Let each coat dry for 24 hrs, sand with 300 gr., wipe off with tack cloth, apply another coat of finish. Repeat this process until you have the desired finish you are trying to achieve. I will be putting on four coats of finish for my final product.

Well, it seems that nothing always goes as planned. The outside temps of 50 degrees aren't great for applying finish. It took 48 hrs. for the first coat to dry. The second coat just never really seemed to dry at home and I was running out of time, so I wrapped the countertop up and took it up to the other house to finish. We got a little rain on the way, so I was happy that I'd wrapped it in blankets and two separate tarps. It was nice and dry when we arrived at 7 pm. We set the countertop up on the dining table, using Rockler's Bench Cookies (basically 1" thick rubber spacers to hold your project off the work surface) - Those have been one of the best little things I've bought in a long time, as they do exactly what they are intended to do and there's no slipping at all. We built a nice fire and warmed up the house, hoping this will dry the second coat of finish so I can apply the third coat.

The next day the finish was hard, so I figured it was dry enough to apply the third coat. I did a light sanding and applied the finish. The house was nice and warm at 76 degrees. Two hrs. later I came in to check on the countertop and found a large area full of dried, hardened bubbles in the finish! I tried a light sanding, but the finish was so hard that the 320 gr. sanding sponge didn't even touch it. I tried my random orbital sander with some 220 gr. on it. That was working until it burned right through the finish and the stain. Now I had some bare wood showing. Well, that was all I needed to see before I decided to sand it all the way down to the bare wood and start all over. Talk about being disappointed. So, only being there for the weekend I knew I couldn't finish it there. I decided to fit it to the space instead and would take it home to do the final finish work. Lori helped me take it in and out of the house about six different times while I was scribing it to the walls. At 9 feet long and about 100 lbs., its a two-person job.

Back at home we brought it inside the house to finish this time, instead of trying to do it in the cold garage. I stained it again and let dry for 24 hrs., then applied a coat of finish. Let dry for 24 hrs., sand, wipe, apply second coat. I also contacted General Finishes, the manufacturer of the stain and finish, and told them about the bubbles in the finish. The lady who was helping me said it could have been an old can of finish, so she sent me a new can at no charge. Now that's customer service!

Once it was all done, I had to wrap it up and take it back to the other house again. At least this time it knew it would fit perfectly. All that was left to do was drill a small 1/4" hole for the speaker wires to come up through behind each speaker. I think that all in all it came out pretty good, for a rookie. I made a few mistakes along the way, but I learned too, so the next time will be that much easier.

Photos

Raw lumber: 4/4 solid cherry, varying widths and lengths
Ripping the boards into the correct widths.
Routing an edge profile.
Drawer fronts all cut and routed.
Building the drawer boxes.
Prefinished maple ply. Gluing up and nailing.
Assembly of the face frames and drawer fronts.
Biscuits
Use plenty of glue, just be sure to clean off the excess after assembly before it sets up.
Drawer Front Frame - there will be a solid cherry infill panel in the center.
Test Fit
Installing the drawer boxes.
Yep, they still fit... duh! Just slid into position for a different look.
Furring out the wall to beef it up for a thicker look before it gets covered with slate. It was a little too skinny before.
Turns out the wall was skewed from top to bottom. Had to shave off a good portion of the bottom and then shim the entire front face out to get it all square.
What a difference!
The slate on the wing wall will match that of the stair risers and the wet bar and wood stove hearths.
Countertop. Biscuits at 8" o.c. and plenty of glue. Here the glue is dried and ready to sand.
The 36 gr. really takes it down fast. Sand across at 45 degrees to the grain and then switch to the opposite 45 degrees. Repeat when switching sanding belts to lesser grit until you're almost ready for the random orbital sander.
Final sanding with belt sander (120 gr.) goes with the grain.
Final sanding with 220 gr. on random orbital sander. Love the tight grain of this wood.
Applying the stain.
Rubber gloves will help keep your hands clean at this point.
Closeup
I knew I added those outlets for a reason - lighted Christmas Village
So, this is Phase One of the Entertainment Center, complete. Phase Two is the cabinets and shelves for the equipment side, behind the wall that gets the slate. Coming soon!



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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 1/14/2011

Well, after two years, we finally found a backsplash tile that we liked and didn't clash with any of the existing materials. This was another quick project that took us only two days. Granted, the second day was a very long day. We used a 4 mm mosaic glass tile. The tile is pretty easy to work with, but be careful when cutting, as tiny chips of glass tend to fly off. I had to rinse my hands after every cutting session just to get the glass chips off. Luckily, I only nicked myself once. Even using a wet saw, the tile tends to chip, making a rough edge. Going slow helps, but isn't the perfect solution. Luckily the rough edge is very small and is almost always covered by a wall plate.

A word of warning... your wall must be very flat, or the imperfections of a wavy wall will telegraph through in the little 3/4" sq. tile, making it look as if you set it using varying mortar thicknesses. Larger tiles are more forgiving when trying to hide a bad wall. Luckily, my walls were very flat.

The mosaic tile is “Brown Mix Mosaic Glass Tile, 4mm” and comes in a 12” x 12” sheet. Locally it sells for $19.99 s.f. for individual sheets and $11.99 s.f. per box (a box holds 20 s.f.). We found the same tile on the Internet from a company in Florida called Floor & Décor Outlets, for $4.49 s.f. Our initial order arrived promptly, but we found it to be the wrong color. That set me back two weeks, as we only go up to that house every other weekend. They sent replacements out right away, after a few emails and phone calls to the company. The major thing that I noticed with the tile is that probably 30% of it had some sort of flaw in how it was glues to the backing sheet, meaning that there were tiles that were glued slightly crooked to the sheet, usually at one end or one corner. I believe that this tile is all “seconds”, but I can’t say for sure. Luckily I was able to cut out the bad sections and use the good. Some of what was cut out could be used for smaller sections, but you really had to pay attention to the sheets, examining them closely before choosing to use them.

flooranddecoroutlets.com/s13107036

The solid granite countertop is called “Mascarello” and is from Brazil. It was the first granite that really caught our eye. When we went to the big granite warehouse to choose our granite it was the first one we saw and was so different that we just had to have it. There were (13) granite slabs and (9) of them had already been reserved, leaving us (4) to choose from. We needed (3) slabs to do everything we had planned in the kitchen and also the wet bar, but when we looked at all the slabs (2) of them were from one area and the other (2) slabs were from another area, so the colors were quite different. We had to make a quick decision to only use the solid granite in the kitchen and I ended up building my own countertop for the wet bar from Ipe wood (a member of the Ironwood family).

Photos

Day One Before...
Before...
Lori helping with the outlets and switches.
Here I go setting the first tiles.
This was the end of day one.
Day Two Almost there...
Tile is up, just needs to dry/cure before we can grout.
It's getting late...
Time to buff the tile with cheese cloth.
What a difference!
Not bad for two days of work.
We finished up at 11:01pm on day two.



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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 1/13/2011

Lori decided that we needed an observation deck, someplace away from the house that we could go to and relax, without seeing the house and thinking that we should be working instead of relaxing. She just wanted something small - enough for two chairs and a small table to set a drink on. Well, I guess that when I start a project, I figure that you might as well do it right and do a good job.

Day One
The deck is 12' wide and 16' in length. It spans across an old drainage ditch up on the mountainside and cantilevers out 4' over the mountainside. This was a quick three-day weekend project on a very limited budget. I think I only spent about $300 on materials. 18" sq. x 12" deep footings were dug out, and since the project is 100 yards away from the house, we had to haul everything in by hand from the nearest trail that I could get either my ATV or tractor to, which was still 50 yards away. This meant that we had to carry five-gal. buckets of water in by hand to mix the concrete for the footings. Not fun, but it was the only way. Then 12" piers were set into the wet concrete, leveled and then left to dry.

Day Two
Posts were added to the piers using all Simpson connectors. The posts and beams are all pressure treated, but the joists and decking are just Doug Fir. Like I said, it was a very tight budget. Once the posts and beams were set, the joists went up pretty quickly. Again, being so far from the house, there is no power up there, so all the cuts had to be made back at the house - measure twice, cut once was the norm as it was a long walk back if you made a mistake. The entire deck framing is put together using 3-1/2" coated deck screws. The decking boards themselves are installed with a 2-1/2" square-drive stainless steel head coated screws ( left over from the main house deck ). I must say, the new Hitachi 24v cordless drill driver worked like a charm, with plenty of power. Also, using a BoWrench (deck tool) made it so easy to assembly the entire deck alone, straightening curved boards with ease.  I installed the last deck board at 8:45 pm.

Day Three
This morning was just staining the deck with a waterproof stain. We headed home at 11 am. Not a bad deck for a weekend of work.

After a couple months of using the deck, we realized that it was a pain to haul things we needed regularly back and forth, i.e.; paper towels and Windex to clean the glass table, citronella candle, lighter for the candle, telescope, etc., so we decided that there should be a storage cabinet up on the deck as well. The cabinet was built to stand off the deck to allow for airflow, so things would dry quicker after a rain or snow.  The entire cabinet was built from leftover material. Since all of the buildings have a green metal roof, I went thru my building scrap pile and found some leftover roofing from when I built the bathhouse. A few hinges and a latch and some stain, and it was good to go.

Photos

Hauling the lumber up to the trail.
Come on cordless driver, don't die on me now!
Lori pruning the lucky tree that got saved.
Having the right tools makes all the difference.
Lori bringing in a single deck board and some blocking, along with her bodyguards.
Called it quits at 8:45 pm.
Applying the weatherproofing stain.
All done... for now!
One lucky tree!
Pathway from house up to the hillside deck.
Happy Hour!
This is one solid cabinet!
The back legs are longer than the front so that they could be bolted thru the rim joist of the deck. The front legs were secured from underneath the deck, screwing up into the bottom of each leg.
Heading up to the trail.
Finally got the beast up onto the deck. Next was to cut out notches for the rear legs.
A little fine tuning with my pocket knife.
Installed, but not finished.
Now it's finished.
Door opens 180 degrees for good access.
Plenty of room inside, too!



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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 2/26/2010

Things have slowed down quite a bit, but there's always little projects that keep things interesting. Our little computer/phone center needed a little attention to dress it up so we had an idea to use a bunch of the corks that we've saved over the years as a backdrop. Now, considering that the wine that these corks came from ranged in price from $8 to $80, and there are over 400 corks on the back wall alone, this little section of wall is the most expensive in the whole house! Haaaaaa

Our laundry/mud room was in need of a counter to fold clothes on and also a place to set things when we arrive. I used two layers of 5/8" plywood, with the top layer 3/8" shorter in front. This created a little bumpout for the trim piece to be nailed to. The nosing-trim piece gets a dado cut that fits over the lower 5/8" ply which helps stiffen the front of the counter. I used the same tile for the countertop as I did on the floor and added a nosing of poplar that was stained to match the maple cabinets.  No need for a backsplash - I don't like those anyway - this is much cleaner.

Now back to the cork wall... this had to be revised later when I installed my security system and had to move the top shelf down to make enough room for the security monitor. More pictures will follow...

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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 12/18/2008

Well, its been quite some time since I've written an update, so let me see if I can catch up on what's been going on. I finally finished the hardwood flooring at the entry and also completed the slate stair risers. After that was the long task of baseboards. Not the most fun part of construction, but you know you're almost finished when you're to this point, and it really makes a difference in the rooms. The summer was not fun this year, as we are in the middle of where all the big fires were in the northern part of the state. I still remember all the lightning strikes that woke us up at 6 a.m. on June 21st - the beginning of what would be one of the worst fire years in California history. We were lucky and didn't lose anything, but it was very nerve-wracking, especially being five hrs. away during the week and then going back up on the weekends to see how the fire had progressed. The air was filled with so much smoke that the state had issued hazardous health warnings about being outside up in our area. The only thing that helped was knowing that we had built the house with fires in mind, using metal roofing, cement-board siding, heavy timbers and a Class A fire-rated decking material (Red Balau, a member of the Ironwood family).

In July we mostly did painting - baseboards and door and window trim, both inside and out. August was more of the same. September was installing roller shades at all the windows and putting the gutter screens on for the fall. October was spent prepping for winter and starting a new lawn area - about one acre in size! We used our tractor to prep the ground by ripping it up about 8" deep, which brought up thousands of rocks and small boulders. After that I had to use a landscape rake, which is towed behind the tractor to collect "most" of the rocks and debris. We spread grass seed and then drug our harrows over it to cover the seed. Hopefully it will survive the winter snow.

November was more winter prep and trenching. We are installing a broadband internet connection via a radio tower. We had to install a radio receiver/transmitter on our pump house and trench over to the house. Added conduit and pulled the wire thru. Up into the house and into a cabinet where my server sits. We also dug a trench for our satellite dish's new location, which ended up being about 120' from the house. What a pain that was! December has just been cold. Built a new tractor shed and put up our tree. Haven't had time for much else. Still working on the design for the entertainment center...  Happy Holidays!

Photos

Merry Christmas!



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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 6/3/2008

Well, our week's "vacation" was all work this time, but we knew that before we even left our home in Santa Rosa. The weather was pretty bad up there and it rained just about every day, except for Friday and Sunday (end of the week). The worst part was I had to do all my cutting up on the deck, under cover, which got saw dust everywhere! Well, at least I was dry. The only good thing about the rain was that I didn't feel like I was missing being inside laying the flooring all day, every day.

We started off by first painting the last of the upper window casings, then Lori had to clean the windows. Doesn't she look thrilled to be up there ? :-)

After that I wiped down all the Glulam beams, because they still had little bits of insulation hair stuck to them from when the ceiling was insulated.

Once that was finished I had to vacuum the fan blades... not an easy task, since they are hanging at 11 feet above the floor. Good thing I have a 12-foot ladder! OSHA would love that photo. :-)

Then it was time to scrape the floor of any lumps of sheetrock mud, glue and whatever was sticking up. All the nail heads had to be checked in the plywood subfloor to be sure they were completely flat, which they weren't so I had to hammer a ton of those down. You find them while scraping - what a pain that was!

After that was to install the moisture barrier.

Then I added furring strips along the wall to keep the wood flooring away for expansion and contraction.

Finally, it was time to lay the flooring. The first two rows took forever since it had to be perfect for the rest of the room was going to be set from these two rows, one of which went back into the stairs, wet bar and entertainment center recessed areas.

Once I reached the wood stove hearths I had to sand the face of the slate to get the mortar off so it wouldn't show when the wood butted up against it. What a dusty mess that was!

We were constantly vacuuming to get any debris off the floor before the new flooring went down.

Once the floor was finished (I still have the area in front of the entry closet to do and the closet itself) I started on the steps. Those took longer than I expected, but then again everything does!

Once the wood was installed on the steps, it was on to cutting slate for the stair risers (thanks to Ray for that idea!).

Still have two more stairs to add slate to, then they all have to be grouted. After that, the baseboards can be painted and installed. Oh, the fun never ends!

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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 4/9/2008

Wow, it's been busy, busy, busy. We had our final inspection the last week of Feb. and we got everything signed off without having to do anything more or change anything. That was great news! We now have our occupancy permit and can finally breathe a little. It's just nice knowing that you don't have a deadline to meet for the next inspection. Now our big push is to get the hardwood floors installed before we have our annual Camp-N-Q Weekend!

We had a lot of snow this past winter and this time it stayed around for two months! We weren't used to that, but since we were working mostly inside, it didn't bother us and was nice to look at. I must say though that having to take off your shoes every time you come inside the house did get a little old. Guess I'd just better get used to it.

My big project for getting our permit signed off was to build the railing for the porch. Like the decking, I used mahogany (Red Balau) for the supports and top rail (Cambera). The pipe railing was made by taking 3/4" EMT (electrical conduit) and cutting it to length. Then I took it to be powder coated in black satin for a very durable finish. Powder coating is a baked-on finish which is very hard when it dries. The copper post caps really finish it off.

We worked on the railing until 10:30 pm one night, and with snow still on the ground it was only 35 degrees outside. I ended up getting overconfident and was rushing when drilling the holes for the railing on my drill press, the big forstener bit caught my glove and pulled my hand into the bit. I had to grab the drill chuck to stop it from going all the way through my hand, but the motor was still running and the belt was just slipping. Luckily, Lori was right next to me but she didn't know where the shutoff switch was. My left hand was stuck in the drill press and my right hand was holding the chuck - the shutoff is on the left side of the press. So, if I was to let go with my right hand to turn it off, the large bit would have gone completely through my hand, so I couldn't turn it off myself. Lori looked around for the plug but there were four different extension cords running around -- she found the right one and unplugged it. We unscrewed the drill from my hand and decided to call it a night. I needed stitches, but wasn't going to drive the hour and 15 minutes to get to the hospital at that time of night, so we just cleaned it up and used Super Glue to close the wounds. It stings like crazy, but does the trick. We got up at 5:30 am the next day to finish the railing before the inspection that was scheduled for that same day. The inspector loved it!

After that, we installed hardwood flooring in the bedroom. It's a hand-scraped Santos Mahogany in 5" width and random lengths. This is an engineered product, and although I don't really like those, this had a pretty thick wear layer: a fat 1/8", which is pretty good when talking about engineered flooring. Once its nailed down you don't know how thick it really is anyway, it just matters when you need to sand it down and refinish it years from now.

After that project, I did the slate behind the wet bar. I cut my leftover tiles from the fireplace hearths into five different sizes and designed a random pattern on my computer. It came out pretty much exactly as planned.

Photos




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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 11/21/2007

During this weekend warrior work period, we took an extra day off for our son Vince to visit and help with the construction of two fireplace hearths (but he didn't know he'd be working... ha ha). We got both of them completed but it was a long last day. Vince learned a lot, but knows he doesn't like laying tile. Can't say I blame him, as it's pretty hard on the knees and really dries out your hands, but I on the other hand enjoy it.

While waiting for Vince to arrive, I worked on a couple other projects like installing a puck light under the shelf at the computer/phone center, and I also installed the glass in the kitchen cabinet doors that I butchered up from their original design. They originally had clear glass with wood mullions in the middle vertically and across the top and bottom of the glass. I removed the glass, cut off the mullions, sanded and filled any holes and scrapes, added wood tape (real wood veneer) around the inside of the cabinet where I cut off the mullions, sanded again, stained and sealed to match the Cherry finish and then installed vertical Reed glass. Now the cabinet doors match the cabinet doors in the vanity I built for the bathroom and also the bathroom window... it's all starting to make sense now.

Lori painted a couple interior doors and I painted a couple of window casings. The slate tile was really easy to cut but sure is messy. We choose West Country Slate from Africa and its really dark -- a lot like graphite, and when you cut it, the water and fine grindings are almost black. The whole thing came out great I think, and Lori came up with another idea: to use the leftover slate on the wall behind the wet bar. So, I'll need to order a few more pieces and once again do yet another tile job. I think this will be the last one though.  :-)

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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 10/30/2007

Wow, what a busy 2 1/2 months! We got a lot accomplished and there's been a lot of late nights working. I owe my wife a lot of credit, as she's quite the trouper, working right there beside me on just about everything I do, not to mention all the things she does on her own. I couldn't do it without her.

The tile floors have been finished. The granite countertops have been installed; the pendant light fixtures in the kitchen have been installed. A little more painting has been done, more trim work finished, new doors and a partial wall at the water heater closet, water softener system installed, dishwasher drawer installed, some custom cabinetry done, and the decks have been cleaned and sealed. The hardwood flooring has been decided on, purchased and brought up and stacked inside to acclimate before installation and the thermostat for the propane fake log stove has been installed. A lot of the trim for the doors and windows have had the nail holes filled, sanded, caulked, and are ready for painting. The range hood venting has been completed and the entertainment center has been designed. All the plumbing fixtures are functional and what a nice thing that is! Lots of clean-up has happened along the way too.

We're getting really close to our final, but there's still lots to do. Like they say, the last 10% takes 90% of the time!

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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 8/30/2007

Our week-long vacation was anything but that, but we got a lot of work done! We planned to tile the laundry room, kitchen, and pantry and to install the steel supports in the plywood for the granite where we have overhangs, which didn't seem like too much work for one week. We arrived late Thursday night (11:30 pm) so that we'd be ready for the granite guys to come out Friday morning to create the templates for the countertops. I was up early to start work on installing the steel supports. I had to use a router to cut a trough in the plywood so the steel would sit flat and flush with the top of the plywood, but not show through on the underside. What a messy job -- I had plywood shavings everywhere in the kitchen, so another round of cleaning was next on my list before the granite guys showed up.

Its pretty interesting and very simplistic how they make the templates. They use 3" wide strips of Melamine that are cut to length and stapled to the plywood tops. They overlap the strips at the corners and use an acrylic glue to tie them together. The acrylic glue dries in just seconds, then they pull the staples and roll up the template. In the older days they used to use door skins for making the templates, but when transporting them long distances and in hot weather the skins would warp and they had a tough time flattening them out perfectly. The Melamine is unaffected by the heat, and much easier to work with. We followed them back to their shop in Redding so we could lay out the templates on the slabs and get the nice area of granite just where we wanted it.

The next day we started on the floors. First, we had to remove everything out of the rooms, which included the refrigerator, range, water heater and water softener system. Then we had to scrape the floors to make sure they were clean and had no lumps of sheetrock mud on them, or glue that oozed out through the subfloor when it was installed. After that I went around setting any of the subfloor nails that were sticking up slightly. Finally I was ready to start laying the tile backer board. We used1/4" HardiBacker for its strength and mold-resistance: jameshardie.com. Even though they say you can score it and snap it, it doesn't make a very clean cut, so if an area was tight, I used a jigsaw with a diamond blade. Word of caution: wear a dust mask! You also can't snap the board where you cut around corners or very short sections, so a jigsaw was almost a must, although you could do it with a sheetrock knife if you had lots of time on your hands.

I also have a raised kitchen and there are steps to think about and how to stop the tile and start the wood floor and stair nosings. Without having the stair nosings with me, I had to call the flooring supplier to find out what the available sizes were, but they were closed and I still had to lay the backer board. So, I went further than I needed and had to cut it out later. Speaking of cutting out, I also had to put in an underfloor vent for the hot water heater closet, which involved a trip under the house to check for joists and blocking and possible under-floor waterlines, gas lines and electrical lines. Man, seems like there's always something to slow us down!

The HardiBoard was set in mortar that I used a notched trowel to apply. Then you lay the board down and nail it off or screw it, which ever you prefer. I used a ring-shank galvanized roofing nail, 1-1/4" in length. You nail the field at 8" on center and the edges at 4" on center. Also, you must keep the sheets of HardiBoard 1/8" apart to allow for expansion and contraction. After it was all nailed down, we taped the joints with fiberglass mesh tape. This whole process took us about 20 hours to lay 21 sheets of the board and fit it around everything. The tiling was fun, at first, but just seemed to go on and on. We used an 18"x18"x3/8" porcelain tile, which is nice because you have fewer joints and it covers an area fairly quickly. I finished the pantry pretty quickly, as it is only 6'-6"x8'-6".

Then I worked my way into the kitchen.  I found that I am too picky when it comes to the tiles being perfectly level with the other tiles around them, and this caused me to have a very slow process, often pulling up a tile and scraping off all the mortar and starting over on it.  I know of an area where I took a tile up five times because it just wasn't perfect. If it were under a cabinet or behind the refrigerator I wouldn't mind so much, but when it's right in front of the range or sink, where you'll be standing all the time, I just had to have it perfect. I'd rather take five times to get it right rather than do it quickly and end up with a tile that you feel is too high or too low and wishing I'd done it right the first time. Being in architecture and the construction industry, there are a few sayings you hear and think of as you do your own work: "There's never enough time to do it right the first time, but there's always enough time to do it over." And this one: "There's two ways to do a job, the right way and the wrong way, which one do you want?"

So, by the end of the week we had the pantry tiled and grouted and the kitchen tiled, but not grouted, and the laundry room with some tile in it. The countertops had the steel supports installed and the templates for the granite have been made. We go back next weekend to finish the grout and tile work and possibly have the pendant lights in the kitchen over the island and wet bar.

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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 8/8/2007

We had yet another busy weekend. This time I finished the final assembly of the custom vanity I built, and Lori did the staining of the inside drawer supports. We also installed the large custom pendant light fixture that took three months to get, and after having to send it back because of a flaw in the finish I found yet another problem with the new fixture... they sent the wrong length support rods. So now, even though I mounted it, I'll have to take it back down and swap out the support rods for the longer ones when they send them (they were out of stock, so they have to build new ones for us). I also got all the plywood cut and mounted to the cabinet tops so we'll be ready for the granite counters. They come out to make the templates next Friday!

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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 7/18/2007

Its been a very busy few months since my last update, and things have been moving right along. We've done all the base painting. Doors and windows are currently being trimmed out and will be painted soon. The cabinets have been installed, most of the appliances have been purchased and installed, and the decks have been nearly completed. We had the sub panel all wired up and turned on back in May, and what a difference it makes being able to just plug a tool into the wall instead of an extension cord. The cedar ceiling has been installed, but still needs to have the edge trim put up. Almost all of the light fixtures have been installed and a few of the speakers have been installed also.

I think the biggest thrill for us so far was when we were able to walk in and flip a switch to turn on the lights. That really makes it feel like a house, and you know that when you've gotten to that point there is light at the end of the tunnel (no pun intended!). We installed a travertine floor and walls in the bath during one of our summer vacations. It's almost done except that I had to have 6 tiles bullnosed for the end of the wing wall that divides the toilet from the tub. Anyone who is interested in doing their own tile work, I'll give you a tip as far as purchasing a wet saw. I originally started out using the PlasPlug Wet Tile Saw when I installed the travertine on the floor. This was working OK, but the motor would bog down if I pushed very hard at all on the tile. So, I purchased another tile saw from Home Depot: The WorkForce 7" Wet Tile Saw. What a difference between the 1/3 hp motor of the PlasPlug and the 1/2 hp motor of the WorkForce -- that 1/2 hp motor just cut the tile with ease. And for only $88, it's hard to go wrong with this wet saw.

This weekend we'll be installing the (three) ceiling fans in the great room and the custom dining room pendant fixture. Also the pendants over the kitchen island and wall sconces in the bathroom. We'll also be sealing the grout this weekend (except for the bullnosed tiles, which will be installed and grouted this weekend -- I'll seal those next time). In my spare time (what's that?) at home, I'm building a custom vanity for the bathroom. It's made from African Mahogany and has an espresso stain with a satin finish. A makeup area and drawer is part of the vanity, which gets a solid granite countertop and vessel sink. We picked out our granite slabs for the kitchen last Friday at a wholesale warehouse in Oakland -- quite a sight to see so many slabs in one place. We still need to get the in-wall speakers for the home theater system, which I'm piecing together with quality components. I installed the outdoor speakers last time we were up there, so now we can listen to music while we're sitting around the campfire at night!

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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 4/6/2007

Its been a busy year to say the least. Insulation was installed and the drywall has been installed, inspected and taped and textured. It really looks like a house now!

We had the drywall sprayed with "First Coat" before the texture was applied. This applies a coat of basically thinned-down drywall mud to the entire surface so that the primer and paint will adhere evenly to the surface. If you just prime over the texture you'll see the tape joints "telegraph" through since the drywall mud absorbs more than the drywall paper. It was a cheap investment (less than $200) and well worth the effort.

The primer will be sprayed next week, and then we'll be painting the rooms the following weekend. I can't wait to finally get some color on the walls!

We've been ordering our light fixtures over the last few months and have most of them. The dining room fixture is custom made by Hubbardton Forge (vtforge.com), and is just a piece of art if you ask me. Very unique. I can tell you that as an architect. I've never seen anything like it before, and the quality is unmatched.

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Posted to Beaver-Creek-Ranch by Terry in Hayfork, CA on 1/6/2007

Jan. 2001
Looking for property.

Feb. 2001
Purchase of property.

  • 20 acres with year-round access, off county-maintained road, year-round creek (60' wide) and backs up to National Forest.
  • Septic System already installed for a 3-bdrm house (1,500 gal.)
July 2001
Built a small bath house.
  • 8' x 10', complete with toilet, sink, shower and propane hot water heater.
2002
    Drilled a well.

2003
    Brought in power & phone.

2004
    New road -- All weather, emergency vehicle access.  6" crushed shale.  Emergency vehicle turn-out and hammerhead at end of road.  Paved entry for Encroachment Permit.

2005
Grading for new house, garage and rear patio.  Moved approx. 475 yards of earth.  Some of the dirt was spread out in low lying areas and the rest was stock piled for backfilling against the foundation and various landscape islands.

2006
Began construction of new house.  House is 1,408 sq. ft., single story, split-level, one bedroom 1 bath, kitchen, walk-in pantry, mud room/laundry, sitting area, dining room and living room.  Covered wrap around porch with heavy timbers. Open beam ceiling with exposed GLBs and T&G cedar ceiling.  This is only the first phase in the construction of our future retirement home.  The second phase will add on a large Master bedroom and bath, a large game room, and more decks.

Materials:
HardiPlank siding - Cedar Mill Select, 8" exposure.
Standing seam metal roof with hidden fasteners, for fire and snow protection.
Red Balau decking - (Mahogany from Indonesia).
Propane Heat (gas stove) and also a wood stove -- both are Vermont Castings stoves.

Nov. 17, 2006
We are just about ready for insulation and drywall, once we finish pulling the wiring for the surround sound, satellite TV, and phone.

Nov. 29, 2006
This last weekend we ran the wires for the surround sound in-wall speakers, speakers in the bathroom and exterior speakers in the front and back of the house.  Ran all the wire for phone and satellite TV.  Installed an attic ladder.  Moved a double switch box to make room for an in-wall ironing board.

Dec. 16, 2006
Just when you think your ready to proceed... we thought we were ready for insulation, but we still needed to provide air flow through the rafter bays for the open beam ceiling.  This is done by drilling (two) 1" dia. holes in the blocking at the outside wall and near the top of the blocking at the mid-span of the roof rafters. This will allow air flow from the outside at the eave, up to the ridge vent on top.  Having 2x12 roof rafters, the depth is only 11-1/4", and regular R-38 insulation would fill this cavity completely, so we used High Density R-38, which is only 10" thick, leaving us the needed 1" air space.  Now our problem is that the holes that I drilled in the blocking were about 2" down from the top of the block, which would be covered by the insulation... not good.  So, now we had to add insulation baffles that would hold back the insulation around the holes I drilled, but still allow for air flow over the top of the baffle.  This took quite some time, which we had not anticipated, so we began the task of running some scrap plywood through the table saw to make 6" wide strips.  Next the strips were cut to 14-1/2" lengths to fit between the rafters (our rafters are 2x12 @ 16"o.c.) and then toe nailed in place with a finish nailer.

Dec. 29, 2006
Just about ready for insulation.  We needed to install the blocking and electrical boxes for our (three) ceiling fans in vaulted ceiling of the main living area and also the blocking and electrical box for the large pendant light fixture in the dining area.

Once that was done, I did what I think every person building a new house or even just adding onto a house should do... I took a picture of every wall, in every room.  This will allow you later to go back to your photos and see just where you have electrical wiring and pipes running through the walls that you won't be able to see once the sheetrock goes on.

Well, that's it, we are ready for insulation and have it scheduled for January 11th, 2007.  It will be so nice to get a little heat inside the house.  Right now it stays colder in the house than it is outside... and believe me it's cold outside... in the upper 30's during the day and down to the low 20's or even upper teens at night.

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