We are building a house from foam core panels, which are also known as Structural Insulated Panels, or SIPs. We have done most of the work ourselves and it has been a very interesting experience with many twists and turns, and delays. For the longest time it seemed like it was just a foam core fantasy, but we have finally gotten it to the point where we can live there again at last.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
All that Remains....
But now we can finally begin to move on.
This is when they were beginning to fill in the former basement.
Our house is smaller but our front yard is bigger.
They left a big trench in front of the house so that Doug could do the parging and then apply the tar and plastic sheeting all the way down the front foundation wall. Then he added a drainage system. Thanks to all of this we should never have a wet basement.
This new, smaller version of our house does not look so good just yet. It is rather unattractive and a little sad without any windows in the front.
Maybe we should plant some grass now.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
A Few More Videos
Here's one taken from pretty close in:
Doesn't this look like a giant chicken?
Watch him pecking away at our house.
this one even has some inane dialog
Some Entertaining House Demolition Videos
THROWING CHUNKS OF CEMENT AROUND
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
VIDEOS!!! WATCH OUR HOUSE BEING DEMOLISHED
Loading Debris Into the Truck
Smashing Up the House Some More
House Demolition Photos
A small crowd gathered to watch.
Smashing up the front
Smashing up the roof
And that's all that's left of it for today
Monday, August 14, 2006
Another Sad Day....
I took some final pictures of our house in its current decrepit condition because it is our last chance to see the house we lived in for our entire marriage up until the fire. So this is it, I guess.
Goodbye Bedroom and Living Room.....
Goodbye Melted Kitchen....
Goodbye Green Bathroom.....
And this is the last bouquet that I'll
ever get from my beautiful snowball bush....
GOODBYE OLD HOUSE.........
Wednesday, August 9, 2006
Installing the Upstairs Wall
Here is the center top gable section just before it was pushed into place. This was taken on a cell phone and the lighting wasn't so great. We put in a lot of really late nights working on this - because it was cooler at night. The horizontal thing going across the middle of the picture is a collar tie.
Here I am exhibiting my Herculean strength, pushing that center panel into place. Besides the weight, there was the also the friction of the splines. But the wet glue made a nice lubricant, so pushing it up wasn't as hard as it might have been. hmmm.... Then I had to hold it in place while Doug nailed it with his big strong nail gun.
And now I am inserting the splines into the bottom piece, this time after it was installed because that was an easier way to assemble it on this piece. There is going to be a window in the middle part so we'll just leave that section open for now.
Okay, now I really need a vacation. Scotland here we come!
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
Preparing the Foam Core Panels for Installation
Somebody commented that our house smells like a crystal meth lab after we've been melting foam. So I want to know how would they even know that? Notice the happy expression accompanying the lack of gas mask.
BRAIN DAMAGE ALERT!!!
The foam is cleaned out and we are ready for insertion.
oooh, that sounds dirty....
Monday, August 7, 2006
Almost Ready to Install the Front Wall
We've put in the 2x6s around the perimeter of the 2nd floor and attic. They are now ready to receive the panels.
Here is the collar tie system that Doug came up with back in 1995 for the roof structure. It's probably overkill, but it works and more importantly, the structural engineer passed it.
This is the final shot of the exterior wall of the old house, which thankfully kept the fire from spreading into the addition. We are putting up the new wall right next to it so soon it will no longer be visible. It's weird way of doing it but it's also the only way, and we are pretty sure it will work.
Sunday, August 6, 2006
Cutting the House in Half
Doug used a variety of saws to cut the old part of the house away from the new part so that the new part would not be damaged when we tore the old part down. He cut around the entire house, through all of the walls and the roof. He had to cut from the inside and from the outside to get all the way through the walls safely. He use a couple of different circular saws and I think at least one reciprocating saw died during this process.
It took close to a week to cut through everything but we ended up with a really nice one inch gap between the two sections of the house. Here is a close up shot of the gap. It's a rather scenic gap, as gaps go, don't you think? That basketball hoop is in our neighbors' front yard! I wish we'd been able to get Maggie into the shot.
Saturday, August 5, 2006
THE BEST NEIGHBORS EVER!!!
When we lost our home because of the fire, Gerry and Larry, who live next door to us, took us in for an entire week until we found a place to rent. Now they are sharing their electricity with us while we work on our house. We are so lucky to have such kind and wonderful people as neighbors and I hope we will be able to do something really nice for them when we finally get through this mess.
They have a really nice dog too. I always enjoy visiting a little bit with Maggie whenever I go over to plug in our extension cord into the back of their house. Isn't she beautiful? I think she has such a pretty face.
Installing the Floors and Moving the Panels
After we put in the floor, we installed the new front wall panels on the main level.
Then we used a pulley to lift the panels for the 2nd floor up through the floor joists.
We stored them in "hallway" of the main section of the upstairs, which already had a floor installed.
Once we got all of the panels we needed moved upstairs we put down the subfloor in the open areas that had originally been designated for the stairwell in the former design. We left a little opening around the wooden ladder that we've been using all this time to get to the 2nd floor.
Thursday, August 3, 2006
PREPARING TO TEAR IT DOWN
After the front structure was complete, Doug used a few different types of saws to cut completely through the wall and roof of the old house at the intersection with the addition. The two sections needed to be completely separated before it would be safe to demolish the old house.
In other news, our building plans were approved by the county, but on July 13th we finally realized that we could not afford to have this builder build our house, so we bought the absolutely fantastic plans and paid the additional amount for ending the contract, and for a while we had no idea what we were going to be able to do about getting our house built. Scary times…..
Nevertheless, we took some time off and went to the International Trombone Festival in England and had a wonderful road trip afterwards through England, Wales, and Scotland. We needed the break, both physically and mentally.