Sunday, August 31, 2008

Electrical is fun

We spent today getting some more electrical stuff from Home Depot and McLendons, and then wired up the two main circuits in the addition. One circuit has half the outlets and all ceiling lights, while the other has the closet light, crawlspace lights and the other half of the outlets. We're using 14 gauge wire throughout because each circuit is 15 amps. We'll wire a third circuit tomorrow for the outlets outside, which will be a 20 amp circuit, so we'll use 12 gauge wire and stick a GFI outlet on it.

Here's a shot of the cans we installed in the ceiling. There's currently a bare light bulb hanging where the dining room table will be.

Here's a couple shots of the alcove off the kitchen. The first shot looks toward the bathroom door. You'll have to use your imagination since we only have it framed in right now.

Here's a shot looking towards the closet in the alcove. This will be perfect storage for coats, shoes, vacuum cleaner, etc.

The plumbing, electrical and building inspectors are all coming on Tuesday, so we'll be busy tomorrow cleaning up a bunch of loose ends -- after I go diving in the morning, that is!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another day in the hole

We started the day by running up to Bellevue to get our plumbing permit. I was able to get the electrical permit online immediately, but I guess Public Health is a little behind the times.

When we got back, we turned off the water, drained the pipes and cut into the main 3/4" line. Yesterday we spent most of the day preparing the 1/2" lines to the shower and washer box, so we hoped today's plumbing efforts would be quick and painless. It was neither.

After sweating our 3/4" tees in place, we turned the water back on and noticed a little leak in one of our 1/2" 90's. Off went the water so we could fix the leak. When we turned the water back on, we noticed a leak in a 1/2" line under the shower faucet. Off went the water again. The last leak we found was a very slow one in a 3/4" tee. We fixed that, and it's been good so far, but we'll keep our eye on everything for the next couple weeks and probably continue to jokingly refer to our "crawlspace sprinkler system" indefinitely.

It's hard to get good photos down there, but here's a shot of the 3/4" tees we spliced into the main hot and cold lines:

Here's a shot of the 1/2" lines running up to the new shower:

We hope to finish framing in the bathroom and laundry room tomorrow, then start running some electrical in the addition.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back at it

I had a fantastic weekend of diving in Victoria and Nanaimo (BC), and it was wonderful sleeping in a REAL bed again! We first dived Race Rocks in Victoria, and then dived the Saskatchewan, Cape Breton, Riv Tow Lion and Jesse Island in Nanaimo with Ken and Carolyn from Diver's Choice.

Yesterday we ran some errands and picked up the bathroom tile at Home Depot. Well, HALF of the tile anyhow. It seems the other half of our order is currently lost somewhere.

Today we replaced the laundry room window, and then spent most of the day crawling around under the house. We had to fix a leak in the existing bathroom/kitchen drain, then we finished plumbing the drain for the new shower. Finally, we nearly finished plumbing the water pipes for the shower.

Now, that may not sound like much, but everything runs at a snail's pace when you're crawling around on your belly in a 2-foot crawlspace. Here's a shot of what we're dealing with:

You never know what kind of creepy-crawly things you're going to find under your house. Of course, you have the usual spiders, bees and other critters, but I also found an abandoned rat's nest in the insulation. Then I came upon something that I never expected.


It appears a cat met its demise under our house sometime in the distant past, judging by the mummy-like condition its skull is in. I'm going to leave it where it's at to scare the rats away. =)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

And now for a brief intermission

Well, we're taking a break, of sorts, until Monday. My folks have to drive to Utah for a convention, and I'm headed to Nanaimo (Canada) for some wreck diving. I think we're all wiped out from working 12-hour days for the past six weeks, and this little break is much needed.

We've been having a little rain lately, so we decided we better fill what was left of the old crawlspace access hole this morning. We bought some concrete mix yesterday, and this morning we constructed a little form using the 3/4" flooring we had leftover.

With the concrete left to dry, we finished sheathing the addition and wrapped it in weather barrier. Once that was done, we set all the windows. This actually went pretty quickly, and all the windows are set except for the existing slider, which we'll move when we remove the back wall.

Once the windows were all set, we started finishing the sheathing on the gable of the addition and shed. Here's a shot from inside the addition looking at the back wall:

Finally, it started raining a little, so we removed our concrete form and backfilled that corner with some dirt. This should ensure all water drains away from the house until we get the gutters on and tied into the main drain pipe.

I'll finish the ridge cap on the addition tomorrow using the 3-tab shingles we picked up this morning, but I probably won't post again until Monday. I'll finally be able to sleep in a real bed again (in a Canadian hotel) -- it's just sad I have to go to another country to do it!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Approaching the finish line (sort of)

Well, another very productive weekend comes to a close. Yesterday was a little slow because I went for a dive in the morning, then did a dump run. After spending a couple hours shingling the shed roof, Jen and I went to Movie Night at Holly and Cher's (we watched Hellboy).

Today, however, we got a lot done. Erik showed up at 9am, and we loaded up his pickup and my Jeep and went to the Algona transfer station. That got rid of almost all of our debris pile.

When I got home, we made a run to McLendon's for felt and roofing cement, and then spent several hours finishing the shed roof (including the skylight). The only thing left to do on both roofs is to finish the ridge cap, and we'll get the 3-tab for that tomorrow.

Once the shed roof was done, we fired up the Bobcat to do some quick razing... er, I mean landscaping. Here's the huge bush-thing that was crowding our evergreen:

Here's me firing up the Bobcat:

After a bunch of yanking on the bush-thing, it finally surrendered to the Bobcat. I drug its corpse into the cul-de-sac as a testimony of my power to the neighbors.

While we were working on the shed, Jen was experimenting with some yard work. For once in my life, I'm actually getting excited about working in the yard!

My folks leave for Utah on Wednesday, and we're headed to Vancouver Island on Thursday, so we really only have two more days to get the weather barrier and windows installed. Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, August 15, 2008


I feel like we hit a major milestone today. The windows showed up first thing this morning, so we carried them back into the addition. Then we went to Pioneer Builder's Supply to get more shingles for the shed and Dunn Lumber to get the fascia. When we got back home, the Bobcat (technically a John Deere) showed up, so we immediately fired her up and started backfilling.

It took about two hours to get completely backfilled, and that included moving some very large rocks around for our future landscaping project. I can't express what a relief it is to get rid of the trench around the house!

Everyone is getting excited about our future patio. It's going to be just the right size and will get both sun and shade throughout the day. We'll probably build a "rustic" firepit, too. I predict we'll be spending a lot of time out there.

I think the Bobcat looks good in our driveway, but Jen says it's gotta go.

We finished the day by sheathing the roof of the shed. Tomorrow I've got a dive in the morning, a couple dump runs after that, and movie night at Holly and Cher's later. There won't be too much time for more work, but we hope to get the fascia and tarpaper installed on the shed. Hopefully we'll get the weather barrier and a few windows installed on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pretty much done framing

I had a long business call this morning, so Jen and dad started working on the last bit of framing in the addition. When I was off the phone, I helped finish up.

If we had built according to plan, we would be sheetrocking right onto the 19' beam holding the peak up. However, we decided to push that wall out about a foot to make more room for the master closet and kitchen cabinets. Because of this change, we had to frame in some furring onto the beam. Here's a shot of the beam and the furring we added. You can see the glulam beam behind the furring.

Here's a shot of the outer wall with the five square windows.

I hate to go on a rant, but...

I got a voice mail from Home Depot today saying the windows were waiting at Will Call. When we called the other day to check the status, they said the windows wouldn't be in until the 22nd. I guess I'm happy they're in now, but I'm a little frustrated with Home Depot's special order process. Nobody I know has had a good experience with it.

At any rate, tomorrow we'll pick up what should be the last shingles. We'll finish the cap on the addition, then return to the shed roof. Tonight we finished a third of the blocking, and tomorrow we hope to have the roof sheathed. Friday we'll shingle the shed roof and move the junk out to the front yard in preparation for the Bobcat being delivered Friday afternoon. Saturday we'll backfill so it's easier to do the siding. Can't wait to start on the interior!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The roof is finally done

Wow, the roof was brutal. It's painfully slow to creep up the roof at 5" per row of shingles, then there's a lot of extra time measuring and cutting shingles around the skylights and vents. We finally finished this morning, except for a few cap shingles. This picture was taken the other day before we set the skylights.

We finished up just when it was getting dark. This picture doesn't show the zinc strips or cap shingles we laid this morning.

After working on the roof, we framed the gable and master closet. Tomorrow, we'll frame the last part of the interior, and then go back to working on the bathroom. We set the shower and started plumbing it the other day.

We have our cabinets and wood flooring, but we're waiting on windows and tile.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Another day of laying shingles

We had a reprieve from the hot weather today and made some great progress on the roof. Of course, we started out by running around to get more shingles and the skylights. After that, though, things went pretty smoothly.

The west side of the roof is complete, including the plumbing vents and bathroom fan vent.

The east side is about 1/3 complete, but we've got the skylight curbs installed already.

The skylights should help fill the addition, and partly the kitchen, with more natural light.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Roofing is no fun

We started the day by dashing over to Pioneer Building Supply in Kent to buy shingles. Then I had to make a couple business calls before heading up on the roof to start installing our galvanized valleys.

Installing those buggers took about half the day because it's pretty darn hard to cut through the existing shingles and remove enough staples to slide the new tarpaper and valleys underneath. To make things worse, one of the valleys is only about 4" from our dome light in the bathroom. After much grunt work in the burning sun, we did a pretty good job.

The shingles showed up around noon. The truck had a conveyor belt thingie that lifted the shingle packs up to the roof, then we walked them over to the peak of the addition.

It threatened to sprinkle this afternoon, so we took a break to move a bunch of crap from the garage to the shed, and move the kitchen cabinets into the garage.

Tomorrow, we'll finish papering the roof and probably get all the shingles installed. Then we'll probably go back to work on the bathroom until the windows show up.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Soon we'll be dried in

I got bogged down in some work stuff this morning, so Jen jumped on the roof and helped my dad finish up the last few pieces of sheathing. Then we went to McLendons to get some galvanized valley flashing, tarpaper and other odds and ends. Apparently they get shingles from some other local company, so we're going there in the morning to buy direct.

After a second trip to another McLendons to get the remaining flashing, we started putting up the trim over the fascia. It's a pain no matter how you slice it because we haven't back-filled yet, and it's hard to get ladders where you need them. Leaning over the roof to nail is the other option, but the plywood over the eaves is pretty slick, and, well, I'm not so young and stupid anymore.

We don't have a roofing stapler, so we'll be back to nailing tomorrow when we put the shingles down. Here's a shot looking down onto what will be our private patio in a couple months.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Lots of busy work

I had hoped to start sheathing the roof yesterday, but it turned out we had lots of little odds and ends to finish up. Specifically, we had to block between the rafters and trusses, install the 2x4's that support the gable end of the roof and trim the tails.

Working on the tails is a little tricky. It tends to bring out the monkey in all of us.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The roof is almost done

We set the final beam yesterday. It's a 15' glulam that carries the load of the 2x12 rafters over the outer portion of the addition. It was a little tricky, but not nearly as bad as the girder truss or 19' beam. Here's a shot of the south side:

And here's a shot of the north side:

Today we finished setting the rafters, as well as the 2x4 tails.

Here's a shot looking over into our neighbor's yucky yard:

We should be moving on to the roof sheathing tomorrow. YAY!