Well. The time has come. Steve put up the last log a few days ago. No more stacking.
It’s a bittersweet moment. When you begin, all you want is the final log to go up. But, when it’s up you miss the process. We predicted that it would take around 2.5 weeks to put up all the logs. It took 3 weeks. Not bad.
While Steve hammered in the last sticks of rebar, Reese asked if she could PLEASE drive the tractor. I told her there was a $5 bill for her if she would load up the tools and sheets of plywood laying around everywhere and take them where they belong. She jumped all over it.
Of course, it didn’t take long for her big sister to get in on a possible money-making, tractor driving operation. Before I knew it, the arguing began. Who drives, who gets the objects. Competition was ON. And, of course, big sister won.
What do I see here?? A little friendly cooperation?? (And not even forced by Ma)…
In the past couple of days, Steve and I managed to put up the first of our rafters. I LOVE this part of the process because it sends me up over the Ridge pole in the T-Rex (my nickname for our telehandler). I adore heights!!
In fact, I am trying to persuade Steve to build me a 40- foot high sky deck to sit and look over the tops of the trees, feel the breeze, and listen to the birds. So far he’s not going for it. (But! Maybe if enough of you guilt him, he’ll cave? Nothing like a little international gang-up action to sway a vote. We are being read in 9 countries now. Can you imagine the convincing power behind nudging like that?? Go team!!)
For the rafters, he takes the end of two 4 x 10’s, drills a hole in them, runs all- thread through it (like a really long screw). Then it’s time to lift it with T-Rex. The one screw acts like a hinge, allowing the boards to spread as needed. It’s easier to show you than explain. (And just admit it….you skim over my writing and just look at the pictures, anyway. You know who you are!)
The first one went on via the end of the house, and took us hours to figure out. But the second set required me riding up along with it, unhooking and moving the straps, and guiding him where to go. That’s me up in the air on T-Rex. Wave hello! I’m dragging the end of that 4 x 10 up with me, to the Ridge.
There are big brackets that keep the strap around the rafters. It is my job to unscrew them, remove them, and possibly move and reinstall them to a different spot on the 4 x 10, depending on what we are doing.
In the following pics, I am removing them because we are done with that rafter. Tomorrow I will take pics as I move them, so you can see that process in action. Steve had the camera when I went up the other day.
We can’t complete the rest of the rafters until we install our third RPSL. For those of you who think I’m speaking secret code, an RPSL is one more vertical log placed in the middle ( or near the middle) of the inside of the house that helps stabilize it even more. It will end up being a feature in the finished house.
First we had to assemble another one of those plywood pyramids. Then dig a hole in the right spot in the sand to place the pyramid mold.
Steve mixed up concrete in the bucket of the tractor. then it was my job to fill a 5-gallon bucket with that concrete….over and over again (25 times??), and draaaaaaggggged it (very heavy!) to the wall. (We haven’t cut out doors or windows yet, and it’s becoming a major pain to crawl under the wall repeatedly.)
Steve grabbed it from under the wall, and carried it (quite easily i might add) over to the pyramid and dumped it in. Hours later, we were done.
I ended our evening with a small architectural photo shoot. My last opportunity to get unobstructed pics of sky and trees over the living room before the rest of the rafters and roof go on. These aren’t spectacular pictures by any means, but i liked the contrast of the blue sky, branches, and logs. Call me crazy. Enjoy! These two horizontal logs that span the house are called the Ridge pole and the Girder. The Ridge holds up our roof. The girder is supposed to hold up our second floor, if we want it to.
See you at the next post called “Raisin’ the rafters!” Just click on the link
If you’re new to this blog and want to know what it’s about, click here: What is Cottonwood Creek? If you want to start from the beginning of our story, when we built a 130-year old Bed & Breakfast on our land, click here: Welcome to Cottonwood Creek. If you want to start at the beginning of our log home build, click here: What do Vegas and logs have in common?