Construction, Day 3: Gravel Spread, One Roof Framed

More than just a bunch of poles now.

On May 20, 2014, I began blogging about the construction of my new home in Malaga, WA. You can read all of these posts — and see the time-lapse movies that go with them — by clicking the new home construction tag.

I was away from home yesterday for most of the day — I had an interesting charter to a mountaintop in the morning and dozens of errands to run in the afternoon — and missed the action here. Fortunately, my time-lapse camera caught it all. Of course, I could see what was done when I stopped in around lunchtime for an hour and then when I got home at around 6 PM that evening and I did manage to take a few photos from different angles than the time-lapse offers.

My building site is nestled between hills on the south and west sides. The road to my home winds down the hill on the south side, so when I drive down the hill, I get a perfect bird’s eye view of my site. I often stop there on my way in or out to get a photo of the site in progress. When I drove down at lunchtime, I had to do a double-take. It looked like they’d poured a concrete pad. But then I realized that one of the three loads of gravel Jeff, the earth-moving guy, had delivered was gone; the crew had spread the gravel inside the building’s footprint.

Trusses Laid Out
By lunchtime, the horizontal supports for the posts had been removed, gravel had been spread, and the roof trusses had been laid out.

I stopped to talk to the crew before going inside. I wanted to tell them that it was okay to spread some more gravel in the area to the north of the building which would eventually be the apron for my four-car garage. Dust was a real issue. The constant driving over the area had ground the soil into a very fine powder. I knew that kind of dirt. I knew that watering it down would turn it into a snotty muck. I had two more loads of gravel in a pile and they had a bobcat. We’d use some of that gravel to keep the dust down.

Angel, as usual, was cheerful and helpful. After agreeing to do that, he complemented me on the pad. Both he and Corey, the boss, had checked it for levelness. He said it was very good. From the way he spoke, I got the feeling that they didn’t often get to work with building pads so well prepared. But Jeff had done a great job. I sent him an email this morning to let him know.

I was out all afternoon and, when I got home, the crew was gone for the day. But they had kept busy. One of my building’s two roofs were fully framed and ready to be lifted.

Roof Framed
One roof had been framed by the end of the day.

To give you a better idea of what’s going on, check out the elevation sketches below. The building will have two roofs. The low roof, which is the one they framed out that day, was built with trusses — at least I think that’s what they’re called; someone will likely correct me if I’m wrong — and will go over the RV garage on the south side of the building. I don’t care about the wood beams showing in that area since it’s all storage and shop.

Elevation Sketches
Elevation sketches for my building show the two rooflines.

The other side of the building will have my living space on the second floor. I don’t want to look at trusses with naked wood beams and hanging hardware there. Instead, I want a vaulted ceiling that will be finished with sheetrock like any other ceiling. That means they need to build the roof completely onsite. I suspect that’s what yesterday’s lumber delivery was — the third lumber delivery so far.

Roof and Wood Delivery
I noticed the new stack of wood when I got home that evening. Judging from its size, it must be for my living space roof.

After being interviewed by Chuck Joiner for an upcoming MacVoices video podcast (link to come), I wandered around “inside” my home under construction with a bottle of hard cider made by a friend. I wish I could explain the way my emotions welled up inside me. After only three days, there was an amazing amount of progress on what would be my future home.

My. Future. Home.

I was finally moving forward again.

Those who know me think that my life has been stalled for only the two years that I’ve been dealing with my extremely ugly divorce. But that’s not true. I’ve come to realize that my life has been stalled for about ten years.

But now I’m moving forward again. Working hard to achieve my goals, no longer held back by a “partner” who makes excuses instead of plans.

As I walked through the site, between posts that would soon be connected by framing and walls, I realized something else: everything around me was mine. Like like other things I’d worked hard to get — my helicopter and my vehicles and my RV — I’d earned all of the money to make this dream a reality. I was walking through the beginning of my new home designed to my specifications to meet my personal needs.

And that’s what I was thinking about as I wandered around the site, imagining how I’d use the shop space and where I’d park my vehicles and where I’d place my furniture in the rooms upstairs.

And thinking again about sipping wine on the deck overlooking the Wenatchee Valley.

Here’s the Day 3 Time-lapse:

8 thoughts on “Construction, Day 3: Gravel Spread, One Roof Framed

  1. Nice progress. I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually framed the floor for the living space above the garage before the roof on that side. Then they would be much closer to the work at hand for the roof.

    • Yes, that makes a lot of sense. They’re almost done with that first roof now and it’s only 10:30! I’m wondering what’s next? They’re off tomorrow — they work 4-day weeks — so today’s the last day of progress before Tuesday, after the holiday weekend.

  2. My heart so beats with joy reading this post. I’m so, so happy for you.

    I understand the feeling of it being all yours, too. I felt that way when I moved into my new home after my divorce. And for me, it was so huge to feel free from the past and lots more that I won’t share publicly. ;-)

    • I’m happy, too. Amazingly happy — despite the expense and huge workload still ahead of me. There’s something so incredibly rewarding about working hard to achieve goals. I think that’s what’s been driving me most of my life. Moving forward, moving ahead. Making things happen.

      I’m just amazed at the speed of their progress!

      There’s a lot that I do want to share publicly, but I’m not quite ready. Apparently, my wasband’s mommy is still reading my blog — as is his brother, who commented on a post the other day — and I need to phrase my thoughts properly using simple words that these people can understand. (They’re apparently better at reading between the lines than reading the actual words and getting meaning from them.) I’m still so full of sadness for the idiot who left me; he could have shared in my joy on this new adventure. But he’s apparently more interested money and spending his time watching TV with a bitter old woman than any adventure I could offer.

      His loss.

      Frankly, if I’d remained saddled with him, none of this would have ever happened. Leaving me was the best thing he could have done for me, no matter how sad I am about my loss.

  3. A life long dream of mine is to move to a big enough piece of land where I can keep my helicopter at my house. Is that in your plans at all?

What do you think?