Showing posts from 2007

The blessing of windows

As I mentioned previously, We were given three 4x6 picture windows. Two of these we installed in the living room, they are flanking the future fireplace/hearth for the Kuma stove we hope to purchase. The third is horizontal in the kitchen, making a nice seating area with a view.

The two front windows are Pella windows, much like the ones in my parents house, with a picture window in the middle and opening windows on each side. We bought these used three years ago. They have blinds inside the glass. The highlight of all the windows are the two sets of french doors, one for the dining room and one for the Master bedroom.

Installing a window in a log house means first cutting the proper size hole in the wall with the chain saw. this must be precise, which is difficult with a chainsaw, you must make sure the chain is sharp. Secondly, the hole must be chiseled and sanded to be exactly level and perfectly sized for the frame that must be built to go around the window itself. The third is bu…

chinking nightmares

We finally began the chinking process, using a mix of lime, water, and morter mix. The result is a consistancy of peanut butter. After several long hard days, I began chinking in my sleep, that is, dreaming I was still chinking. No wonder I woke up so sore!! Chinking is very hard work, at least for a middle aged mommy. The younger help would fill the gap with mortar, then I would come along behind them and smooth it to look, well, as pretty as cement can be. Everyone got in on the job, with such a big job, and the threat of winter over our heads, anyone who volunteered was quickly put to work. (Thanks a million Matt and Terry!) In the meantime, Brian and I are installing windows, mostly on the days that are too icky to be chinking. The two big windows in front were bought used three years ago, the two big living room windows were given to us. we have another one just like it to put in the kitchen seating area. With the windows and insulation, it is quite cozy inside. We think it is…

The flooring battle

As summer is ending, and we haven't spent much time working on the lodge, we planned a few weeks "vacation" from the ministry to devote to getting the flooring (and hopefully chinking) done before the rains and winds of fall ruin our lumber.

We bought a pine/spruce 2x6 tongue and groove to do the floors with, largely because the fir we desired was too expensive. So, in the end, we found the soft wood to look fine, but be a bear to install, as it had so many twisted boards per unit, that culling it out to #1s, 2s and 3s, left a bigger 3 pile than the 1s or 2s.

The Ross family, from SPUR HARDWOOD came out and showed us how to install the flooring with the tricks of the trade, then, the Ross's stayed and helped with their "young man" power.(Thanks Steven and Alex!)

We stained the beveled side the same "natural" stain as we used on the outside of the house and the floor joists. We also choose specific boards to go in front of the main door and down the h…

Floor Joists Going Up

It has been just about a month since we have been able to get out to our property and work on the house. Today we had John and Rose hammering chinking nails, Anna home with the little ones until lunch time, and Brian and Julianne hoisting 4x10 floor joists up to the 2nd floor girders via block and tackle. We got a pretty good system worked out here. The block and tackle hung from a perlin. The rope that wound around the joist and hooked onto the B&T would slide along the beam so we had our son John tack on some 12” boards with a gap just big enough for the rope. Next, Brian pulled and Julianne used a long board to guide the joist into the right place. This long board had a nail tacked in that helped to get the rope off the joist from the floor instead of climbing a ladder each time. Then Brian would use the board to shift the joist down the log girder until it was in the right place. We had one slip off the girder on one side and come crashing down. That was frightful, so were ext…

Gable Ends

Framing in the gable ends on the house, and installing cedar tongue and groove in the soffit took the bulk of the last two weeks. We deliberated on what material to use on the gable ends. The cedar looks so great, we were tempted to use that, but Papa Dave advised we save it for the interior. Log slab seemed like a worthy possibility, but in the end, we thought it would not be similar enough to the real logs to look good, so we went with blued pine 1x12 and 1x10 board and baton style. We are quite pleased with the results. We bought this lumber from a local guy with a mill, the same mill we got the 4x10 floor joists from.
John, who is 15, learned to use the chop saw, table saw, and measure and cut for his dad. They spent hours and hours, rain or shine, finishing this part of the project. The overhang on the roof is so great that even in blowing rain storms, they were not much affected and kept working.
Although we looked at some angled windows at Habitat for Humanity, we opted for the l…

Friends and Solar Panels

The Dole family showed up a couple of Fridays ago to help us with the house. It was a very nice surprise. Mr. Dole went right to work, the boys went right to shooting ground squirrels, the mamas went right to fixing more pizza dough for dinner, Savannah baked cookies, and the babies played in a mud puddle. The rest of the children ran from tree fort to pond to tree fort, and all had a great time. It was so encouraging to Brian to have a buddy there to help him with the project.

The next weekend, the McKinney’s came up. Brian had asked for the wise council of Mr. McKinney in getting a fused service disconnect hooked between the generator and the invertor.
Getting power into our slightly remote location was going to cost a bundle, and we had always wanted to be off-grid, so we have solarpower with generator backup that will provide all the electricity we will need. Our set up came from Mike Slanga who owns and operates Inland Generator in Spokane, WA. Mike built us a 10KW generator powere…

Never Dull

I have found, since starting this building project that being my husband’s helpmeet is a very interesting and variable job. Training and raising our children, teaching them at home, keeping house, cooking, practicing hospitality, visiting older people and the like, in the name of our family seemed a good job description. But now, I am finding myself stretched to reach new ground in helping my husband be successful at whatever he is about.
I am overcoming my fear of machinery as I measure and cut the tongue and groove he is installing for the soffit. It is cedar, bought a few years ago at a great discount, and now it takes it’s place next to the log walls, stunningly framing in around the roof. I, with fear and trembling, climbed the ladder to the third floor to help him get the insulation started. The view from up there is wonderful, but, wow is it ever a long ways down!!!
Here I am driving the 4 wheeler. This was the very first time. With burning season over, the stumps and such that …

At Work Again

The end of April we were able to get back to work on the house. The rafters weathered the winter better than anticipated; we only had to replace a few. Extra hands were much appreciated for this job, and we prayed everyone working so high up would be safe. Next came blocking the rafters and securing them to the perlins with hurricane straps. Lastly, the leveling of each rafter was a slow and tedious process, but it’s got to be done.

Sheeting the roof, with a pitch of 8/12 at 30 some feet in the air proved difficult and dangerous. We hired a local crew to assist, and again prayed for safety. We rented a fork lift to hoist the plywood up to the eve, and a snorkel lift (also called a cherry picker) to hoist BIG ED. This lift has been really beneficial to help raise the metal up to roof level, ease getting the soffit in, as well as the gable ends framed, and the staining of the logs. The price for a month long rental was much better than that of a weeks rental. So we kept it for the mont…

Planning Ahead

Warm rains have taken all our snow away bringing on the spring breakup. Although it is only February, and we can typically expect snow until April, this weather has gotten me to thinking spring. Brian and I sat down for a thorough brain storming/organizing meeting regarding the building of our house. How on earth are we going to get everything done before next winter?!!! We plotted each task out, detailing how long it should (most likely) take. Week by week we have a schedule of events that will take us from the first week of April to our goal date of moving in the first week of November. All the dates are tentative, and we realize there will need to be some flexibility, but, ya know, if you don't have a target; you don't know where to aim.
April will open with rafters, blocking, sheeting and roof metal. Mama and the girls have jobs outlined for each month, such as staining all the flooring before it is installed, chinking and painting. Speaking of chinking, we will be…

winter blues

The rafters were in place with only a few weeks before the bad weather set in for good.
The process of bringing each rafter to a level position (each rafter touches three different logs... uneven logs, I might add) working 36 feet in the air on icy ladder rungs was daunting. 
In good weather Brian was able to level four sets of rafters (eight individual rafters). This slowed down to two sets in an 8 hour day when it got icy.

Currently, half of the 26 sets of rafters are leveled and strapped. 
Our hope of getting the roof on before winter just wasn’t meant to be. So we are trusting that come spring, work will continue, and praying for only minimal damage to the exposed rafters. 
It has been quite stressful to leave the house in this condition over the winter. Likely one or two more weeks of good weather and we would have gotten the sheeting on.
Lesson learned….work hard in the spring if at all possible (we were waiting on equipment) and leave plenty of room to finish project before fall…