Tag Archives: framing

Post #23: The Frame & Window Game

Hey all! Long time and no post, huh? My apologies, as I know you’ve been holding your breath, right? But I hope all is well with all of you!!! It’s been an incredibly busy late fall and early winter, but there is lots to report on in regards to the farmhouse. We hit the huge milestone of completing framing last week (yay!) Now it’s on to less exciting, but still very critical things, like installation and HVAC. But here’s a recap of how framing went…Oh! We have windows now too (so pretty!)

 

Our framing crew started in late September. September 26th to be exact, which was exactly one month after George, Walker and David started framing in the workshop. First, they prepped the foundation with installation and support boards. Then came a layer of plywood.

Then the walls started going up…

 

Along the way, we had a crane day, where metal support beams were installed to ensure structural integrity.

Then more walls went up. As they finished them, the walls were wrapped in plywood sheathing. (In the above photo, the framed in garage bays are on the left, the great room portion of the home is in the center, and the start of the bonus room wing is on the right. Also included is David’s truck “Rosie” who has spent lots of time being a delivery truck these past few months, picking up everything from lumber to lunches and the like…)

 

By mid-October, it was time for the crew to move onward and upward and start framing the 2nd story of the farmhouse. As you may recall, the second story only runs along the east side of the house. Here will be a loft, a laundry room and the master suite.(The start of the attic space above the garage.)

(View from the master bedroom.)

 

By early November, things got all sorts of technical, as they installed the roof trusses in the great room. Our head framer, Julian, had the ingenious idea of having the crew build the trusses on the ground ahead of time, and then they were installed them with the help of a crane.

The 60 foot header beam to anchor the 2nd story roof was also installed via crane.

Once the main beam was installed the roof could be framed out.

 

Next, it was time to start structural steel work on the silo and focus efforts on framing the bonus room wing. (Do you like how Walker is wearing shorts in mid-November? It was a wonderfully and abnormally warm fall this year in Colorado, which made framing so much easier than having to do it in freezing temperatures!)

 (The rings were welded into place on site and then raised up via forklift.)

 

Next came framing work on the clear story portion of the great room (the row of windows that pop up from the top of the roof.)

Also during this time, our concrete crew came back to pour slabs for the the posts for the front and back porches, the patio off of the dog room (yes, our dogs are getting their own patio…) and the 2 fireplaces.(This is the foreman of the concrete crew, Omar. After claiming to not know what work or a wheelbarrow was, David, George, and Walker made him reluctantly pitch in one afternoon…)

 

By mid-November, we had windows going in. We went with options from the Integrity line and the Ultimate line of Marvin Windows. All of the windows are black on the outside and white on the inside, except for the ones in the bonus room. (Those are black on the outside and stained wood on the inside.) We had a tough time choosing between Marvin windows and Kolbe windows, but Marvin’s offering of 2 lines of windows to choose from that you can easily mix and match for cost savings, won out in the end. Because at the end of the day, there are certain windows you are going to spend lots of time looking out of and then there’s a window like the one below in the guest bedroom bathroom that going to give someone a view while they brush their teeth maybe 5 times a year. Sorry guest bathroom window! We still love you all the same! Also our window rep, Bobby was and continues to be exceptional to work with!

We also (finally) got our first snow of the season on November 19th.

 

By December, the crew started installing the amazingly crafted timber beams that Walker had spent weeks putting together onto the front and back porches. (Needless to say, I think Walker was excited about his handiwork!)(SOOOOO gorgeous!)

Our silo also got it’s wooden top, and our fireplace and chimney was framed out. (Our head framer, Julian, once again saved us time and money with his quick, ingenious thinking. Instead of having to rent another crane and operator to install the centerpiece [a.k.a. “the nuclear warhead,” as the guys called it,] into place, Julian decided to try hoisting it with this manual lift that we’d rented to help lift Walker’s timber frame beams into place. Success!)

Christmas came early and on December 22nd, the windows I’ve so been looking forward to were installed – the huge windows will run along the stairs leading from the first floor to the second floor and the windows on the north side of the great room.

Our plywood roof was covered in weathershield wrap to protect it from the elements and prepare it for the actual metal roof (to be installed later on,) but apparently it couldn’t hold up to the 90 mph wind gusts that we had on Christmas day, as some of it blew away! But it’s only money, right? 🙂

After Christmas, we got even more presents, as we had the huge, glass sliding doors installed in the great room.

The new year of 2017 was ushered in with some brutal cold and more winds, but we had windows installed in the clearstory. (The branch you see on the chimney is an old, Dutch building tradition. Walker placed a branch on both the workshop and the farmhouse, explaining that “A branch on top of a newly standing structure represents good fortune and fortitude for not only the building, but it’s inhabitants, as well. It’s an ancient tradition of good blessings.”) 

 

After wrapping up some lingering odds and ends for the next 2 weeks (minus several days where it was too cold or too windy to work,) the last piece of sheathing was put into place in mid-January. (Before finishing work for the day, Eric, one of our framers, paid homage to his home country on the garage roof. Unfortunately, it dumped about 10 inches of snow in the next 24 hours, so his shout out was soon buried in fresh powder.)

With the exception of having the windows in the silo, the garage doors in the garage, and a front door in the front, we’re all closed in for the winter. (The final piece goes on…)

And that ladies and gentleman, is a wrap on framing and windows!

I’ll try to keep the blog posts coming more frequently now. We’re getting to so much good stuff now, and I appreciate you all following along!

 

‘Til next time,

Kim

 

 

 

 

 

Post #22: The Workshop

As mentioned in my last post, I’ve never given you any insight into the plans for David’s workshop. So might as well do it now, huh?

As you might be able to recall, a space for a workshop in which David could pursue his love of fine woodworking was one of the main reasons we bought the property. The city of Denver was making it difficult for us to re-do the garage at our current house to turn it into a workshop, and after awhile, it became clear that space-wise, we were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole anyway. So off on a house hunt we went, and settled on our 1.5 acre property that you see me blog about every so often…

Initially David envisioned the workshop to look like your classic, red barn. Over time, that evolved into something more modern. It was so long ago, that I honestly don’t remember exactly when the classic barn idea morphed into more of a loafing shed look, but somewhere along the line it did.

Here’s some visual help, if you need it…

red-barn Red Barn

loafing-shed Loafing Shed Style of Outbuilding

When we visited the horse trainer/my 2nd mother that I grew up riding horses with back in Pennsylvania over New Year’s, David fell in love with the indoor ring renovation that they had completed at Penny’s farm. In particular, he loved the use of the almost, see-thru polygal siding on the upper third of the structure, as it let in all sorts of natural light, even on an overcast day. He quickly knew he wanted to use polygal on his workshop.

The Indoor Arena at Penny’s:hrf2 hrf1 (Penny suggested using clear polygal instead of the kind with a blue tint for less shadows from the inside. Noted…)

When we returned from Pennsylvania, David stumbled across a photo of this garage/workshop online. He was instantly in love!

workshop-inspiration1

It was the loafing shed style that he liked, it incorporated polygal into the upper third to let in natural light, and just for bonus points, this structure even featured the concrete pad that still allows grass to grow thru, which he knew I’d like anything that had this! Needless to say, he’d found his inspiration shop!

Over the next few months, plans for David’s own workshop began to develop. Here’s what his will look like…

WorkshopHere are the exterior elevations of David’s workshop from the north, south, east and west.

As you can see, the floorpan for the shop, is a simple 48′ x 24′ rectangle. On the northeast side of the shop will be a small half-bathroom with a window, as shown in the exterior. I keep joking that they better not build a shower in the bathroom, or I will literally never see David again!

The workshop is located on the northwest corner of our property. The location was strategic, as our hope is that the structure will help to block some of the occasional road noise that occurs. Also, Dave would like to sub-lease the space to other woodworkers, so it made sense to have the workshop at the front of the property for easy access and proximity to parking.

Here’s how the workshop relates to the rest of our property. As you pull into the driveway, it will immediately be on your right-hand side:

Site Plan

Here is how the workshop will look from the south, or from the farmhouse’s front door:

workshop1

In addition to the polygal to let in natural light, there will also be a window on the southwest side of the workshop. There will also be a man door on the southeast side.

The east side of the workshop will have a few small windows, as well as a large door that will make bringing wood into the shop very easy. There will be a slight overhang of the roof on this side too, to provide protection from the elements and to give David a protected space to work outside on wood pieces too.

The west wall of the shop will feature four small windows.

We plan to clad the exterior of the workshop in stained cedar siding that we also plan to use on the garage doors and the front porch.

cedar exterior Example of stained cedar siding

For the windows, David selected simple vinyl windows with a dark green exterior.

cedar-siding-and-green-windows                                                                                                                  Here’s the best example photo of cedar siding with green windows that I could find. Just imagine that it’s the stained cedar siding shown in the photo above and not un-treated cedar shingles…

Other than the small bathroom in the northeast corner, the interior of the workshop is just a blank, open space of roughly 1152 square feet. This will allow David to customize and outfit the shop with machinery and wood as he sees fit. I do know he’ll go with hardwood flooring of some sort, as no one wants to stand on concrete all day if you can avoid it.

At this point in construction, the foundation and the concrete slab base for the workshop have been poured.

seal and foundation

floor-pouring-august-9workshop-framing3

The plumbing for the bathroom has been roughed in.

plumbing1

And the framing went up in no time at all!

workshop-framing4

The roof trusses have also been installed via a crane. I love how these trusses look aesthetically. Thankfully, you will be able to view them in their rawness from the inside of the finished workshop too.

trusses4trusses2trusses11trusses10

The exterior has been sheathed in plywood.

sheathing1sheathing2

And most recently, the plywood that the roofing material will be laid on top of went into place. The windows will be installed with the windows for the house on Monday, November 7th. At that point, it will just be a lot of finishing, but the workshop will be roughly halfway done.

Here’s how things are looking from the inside:

workshop11

And here’s how things are looking from what will one day be our master bedroom (more on that progress soon…):

workshop12

Things are really moving along…all in the right direction too! 🙂

 

Thanks so much for reading!

 

-Kim

Post #21: Construction Updates or “There Is No Progress Unless You Make a Mess”

This quote by Tanya Radic pretty much sums up how things have been progressing at the farmhouse over the last month:

there-is-no-progress-unless-you-make-a-mess

After what seemed like nothing short of sluggish progress in the 2 months prior, the month of August and early September has certainly made up for lost time! Tons have happened and much of it all at the same time! Our property now often resembles a parking lot there are so many people there accomplishing different tasks on any given day. It’s a beautiful mess of dirt flying, machine engines running, nail guns firing, and it’s all so exciting! I can’t help but hope this momentum continues!

Here’s what’s been shakin’:

Concrete Work:

If you can recall from my last blog post, we’d finished with the foundation walls, but things had sat idle for long enough that weeds were now growing where our floors would one day go…

weeds2weeds1

Thankfully, that’s been addressed by our handy concrete crew. They dug out all the extra dirt from areas where needed, as well as leveled out, insulated and poured concrete floors for the garage and workshop.

concrete17floor-pouring-august1 floor-pouring-august-9 Hard at work on David’s workshop…

floor-pouring-august10floor-pouring-august7Future garage and mudroom…

Additionally they leveled out and graveled the floor of what will be the crawl space below our home. In time this will be insulated with a plastic barrier and spray foam insulation, so it will be as dry and sealed as if we did a basement down there. The crew also poured concrete pads that will support structural steel.floor-pouring-august-8

 

Structural Steel:

Another crucial update to the farmhouse structure has been the installation of structural steel. As mentioned above, some of the steel has been anchored to the concrete pads poured in what will be the floor of our crawl space. Other steel beams run across the farmhouse foundation to support what will be built above it.structural-steel1structural-steel2structural-steel4

 

Plumbing:

Another important task that has now been crossed off the never ending “to do” list was to install plumbing for the farmhouse and workshop. This task was completed by Quick’s Hoe Service (not sure if the name is supposed to be a joke or not.) Quick’s dog Pinto was the crew’s supervisor for this job. He even rode on the heavy equipment used to dig the trenches, SO cute!pinto-the-hoe-service-dog Trenches were dug and pipes were laid to connect plumbing to the farmhouse and workshop to the water and sewer tap that was actually located under the pavement in the street. So of course, this meant disrupting traffic for a bit to tap into everything. Everything went well though!

plumbing4 plumbing3plumbing2 As David quite crassly, but rather hysterically, pointed out to friends when showing them this picture, “This is where my poop will go…”

plumbing1So this part got a little bit dicey. Remember how high our water table is out at the farmhouse site? (It’s dig down 3 feet and you’ll have a stream in no time high.) In order to accommodate plumbing in the workshop, and not have plumbing running underneath what will someday be the driveway to the right of this photo, the crew had to carefully dig their trenches right around the base of the workshop. Of course the trenches started filling up immediately with water, to the point that everyone started freaking out that the workshop foundation might slide in. Of course it worked out just fine, but David (who never gets stressed out) said that it was terrifyingly stressful! Good thing that Pinto was supervising the job, right?

sewer-tap  Why does everyone look so concerned?sewer-tap1sewer-tap2sewer-tap3  Success!

In addition to water, we are also happy to report that there is now temp. power at the job site! This means no more running of generators to power things! Now there are just endless tangles of extension cords running from the temp. power main to various parts of the site.

power

Framing & Workshop Supports:

Our contractor George (on the right-hand side in the photo below,) trusted right-hand man Walker (on the left-hand side in the photo below,) and David (not pictured) began the exciting process of framing the workshop 3 weeks ago. I know that I owe you a more detailed post on the plans for the workshop, so I promise to get that out soon! But in the meantime, here are how things are taking shape…workshopframe1  workshop-framing3Day one of framing. From left to right: Walker Melzer, David Harrison and George Harrisonworkshop-framing4  Walls are in place…

workshop-hardware                                                                                          To reinforce and strengthen the workshop walls, a cabling system was installed within the walls themselves. It’s too bad that all of this cool cabling will be hidden behind drywall eventually, but I guess that’s just how it goes sometimes…

 

Final Excavation & Backfill Work:

As you may or may not recall, there used to be an enormous mound of fill dirt towards the back of the property. The property’s previous owner had brought the dirt in in anticipation of building here. On top of the fill dirt that was already on the property, the crews added extensively to the mounds while digging the foundation and the plumbing trenches. A fair amount of the mound was used as backfill to even things out and bring dirt up closer to the foundation again once it was completed. The remaining dirt was then flattened and leveled out to give us a big, beautiful blank slate of a back yard. Can’t wait to fill it in with grass and all sorts of fun stuff!pic-of-mound-august Before: Part of what the mound in our future backyard looked like.

no-more-moundAfter: No more mound. David and his Dad walk the blank slate, September 4, 2016

 

Roof Trusses:

Most recently, with the framing on the workshop now complete, the roof trusses (or supports) were installed on Friday (with the help of a big, huge crane, of course.) All in all, it’s looking great!

crane1crane3trusses3trusses4 trusses1 trusses2

Thanks for reading and following along on our progress! It’s been a fun, but crazy busy summer with the farmhouse and other parts of life. Here’s hoping for a bit of a slow down this fall, so I can do a better job of keeping you all informed on the progress and up-to-date on the design.

Best,

Kim