Tag Archives: house building

The House- Part IV

If you missed the first three house installments, you can find them here, here, and here.

Last week the house made it to the second floor.  This week I will show you the second floor and the roof .  Lock-up stage!  Which is very exciting when you are building a house.  You can actually go in it through a door.

Here’s where we left off.

Here the second floor is going on.  Scary at this point.  Looking like a really big Spanish church.  What were we thinking?

Yes.  We had stormtroopers building our house.  I wish.  It would have gone waaaaay faster.

More supports on the second floor from the inside.

Roof on.

Starting to take shape.  Little did I know that this was the easy part.  Things are about to get much, much harder.  And a lot slower.  Stay tuned.

The House Part III

In case you have been missing out on the house building saga, you can catch up here and here.  A little bit of hitting-water-while-digging-the-basement-disaster, and then some start over and get started for real the next summer.

We are finally on our way!

After the land was prepared and the forms built and concrete poured for the foundation, it was time to start with some walls.

As you can see, we decided to build using concrete forms.  They consist of the styrofoam blocks that are stacked, joined together with rebar inside, and finally, filled with concrete to form very, very thick walls.  The styrofoam is amazing.  It sat in our yard over the summer until we were ready to start, and, even on the hottest days in full sun, it would feel cool to the touch.  When it got cold, the styrofoam felt warm.  It is an amazing insulator, and these walls give you the best insulating factor for your home.

They used the braces to keep everything together until the concrete gets poured.  The blocks go up quickly, but it is a lot of rebar to cut and bend.

Kind of like giant Lego, hey?

We then had to build the joists for the first floor after the first pour of concrete was put in for our crawlspace.

The hole is for the crawl space steps where the furnace room will be.  The back without subfloor is the golf room where, one day, we hope to put a golf simulator (my husband is crazy for golf and, let’s be honest, our season isn’t very long here) and on the right is the garage.

Here you can see the first floor up with the windows and doors.  That’s one thing with using the concrete forms- you realllllly have to be sure where your windows are going.  Ten inches of concrete is not going to be easy to get through, or fill, if you change your mind. See the snow on the ground while there are still leaves on the trees?  Welcome to September!  Another great thing about the forms is that it doesn’t matter if they get wet.

Here’s the inside view with all of the supports.

Next week, the second floor makes an appearance, as does the roof.

Our New Home- Getting Started (Finally!)

Last week, I told you about our first attempt at building a new house.  The plans were hard fought over, compromises made, paperwork filed (and filed and filed) and the equipment finally showed up one fine summer day to start digging our basement.  Remember what happened?


So…we carried on (after a little breakdown/ meltdown on my part).  Decided on a new plan without basement, had the plans drawn up by our contractor, and had the land reinforced with gravel and strengthening fabric (I know- seems weird, right?).  The next summer, we were ready to try again.

Here they are packing all of the gravel down.  Our 10 year old running the packer.  Yeah.  That’s when they start running heavy machinery in these parts.

Seriously, the thing only went 2 miles an hour, and he was buckled in!

Break time!  Probably waiting for a root beer….

After the site was fully prepped, the work began on the actual house.  Which, apparently, first involved moving out a lot of junky holiday and equipment trailers (not to mention the port a potty).  Our beautiful site went from pristine to junkyard in no time at all.

Then we built forms for the concrete footings.

And then the concrete trucks showed up to fill the forms.

Please take note of the holiday trailer on the right (which affectionately became known as “The Scamper”) and the porta potty on the left.  My dad and I are out there watching them.  So exciting!  Our poor contractors- since we already lived across the yard from the house site- we were there quite a bit.  We couldn’t help it!


Our boy helping.  His job was to bang on the edges of the forms to get air out of the concrete before the top was troweled smooth.

We used ICF to build our house (the styrofoam blocks that are filled with rebar and concrete) so the concrete trucks will most definitely be back.

Stay tuned for more house building Thursdays!


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