What a difference six weeks makes! Here we were mid-September:
First the water pipes were roughed-in and water pressure was tested. My greywater drains are in too, bringing water from bathroom sinks and shower as well as the washing machine seasonally to sub-irrigate my garden-to-be. Insulation, vapor barriers and an electric resistance radiant heat system are all in there under the slab.
The slab is covered to protect it during the build-out, since it is also my floor. We’ll simply sand and seal the cement, which will act as a thermal mass for passive solar heat.
Finally the roofline and windows come into view!
My architect Mike, contractor Hunter and I met on site last week. The interior walls aren’t up, but the posts and drains show clearly where the rooms, shower, sinks and such will be. I wanted a not-so-big house, and this is by no means a tiny house: it’s about 1600 s.f. But for decades I’ve taken for granted lots of excess room. So when I saw the structure of the bedroom, I asked to know how much room from the end of the bed to the wall: four feet. Plenty, really. Just less than I’m used to. But I take Hunter’s point when he tells me that the house looks as big now as it’s ever going to look. It will shrink as the walls start to go up, and again when the drywall goes in. My mantra: I want a not-so-big house, I want a not-so-big house…
Here’s the current status: the core house has adhesive vapor barrier (the blue stuff). Soon they will be putting up whatever is pre-roof: something that will carry us through the winter snows until the real roof is installed in the Spring. Next to the core of the house is a mudroom, which also serves as what we called an Arctic entrance in Alaska. It’s not as insulated as the main house, but will keep the mud, coats, boots, leashes, and any excessively hot or cold air out of the main house. It also houses the laundry and heat pump hot water heater, both of which need to vent to the out-of-doors. To conserve energy, we want to limit vents to the outside to a bare minimum. A heat recovery ventilation system keeps the air filtered and exchanged with great frequency, and the vapor barrier lets moisture out but not in, kind of like GoreTex. That way, we can have a super-insulated house without dying of Legionnaire’s disease or getting black mold.
The drain next to the blue-covered part of the house is for the outdoor kitchen sink, right in front of the mudroom. To the left of that is a small outdoor closet/shed, just in front of the carport. The patio is covered by 8′ of roof, which will keep most of the high summer sun out while letting the low winter sun in.
Our weather has been holding, with just light rains. I hope they get it covered so they can focus on the inside! Thanks for following along.
Betsy Twaddell said:
Wow Barbara! The house is moving along. We are so happy for you!
Thanks, Betsy! Glad we didn’t get the downpours you did!
Joan Specking said:
How wonderful dear cousin!!!
Like with diamonds, there are the Four Cs of new houses: Comfy, Cozy, Cute, and Perfect-for-Barbara. Ok, I tried. Anyway, this one will surely score high on all four! Very excited for you. ❤️
You make me laugh, Gogi! I hope it will be a jewel!
Steve Hibshman said:
It is looking good and thankfully you won’t have to dig through 6 feet of ice to get water!
Ha, you’re right about that! City water’s a breeze if they don’t run low on chlorine or put too much in, both of which have been problems!
Alida Harper Trocke said:
Oh how fun to see the progress! Can’t wait to see it in person when we next head your way! (The child is considering Oregon State as one of their art school options… We’ll see if/when an in person visit is in the cards.) Are you slowed at all by any difficulty in getting raw materials? I have friends here who are building their “retirement home” and running into the occasional challenge in that regard. How exciting to see this come to fruition. I’m with you in wanting a not-so-big house! If I keep repeating the mantra will it happen for me, too? 😉
So great to hear from you! I hope they choose OSU so you can visit often! My windows are running months late, so we will have to cover the openings so it will be dry enough for the electricians, and I will not be the least bit surprised if we run into more of that. Repeat after me….. 🙂
Lynn Raiser said:
So happy for you that it’s moving along. Can’t wait to see the finished product (hopefully in person)!!!
I’m looking forward to that! Thanks, Lynn!