09/18/15, Cutting Down Wall and Setting Up Staging Brackets

We had a few setbacks this week.

Setback #1:  My hypersomnia has been flared up and I have no strength when this happens.  Two-by-fours seemed to triple in weight and all I wanted to do was lie down; however, I didn’t want to waste the time that dad was able to work on the house, so I kept pushing myself.  On a positive note, I’m already 2 weeks into the flare, so hopefully it won’t last much longer!

Setback #2:  I happened to mention to dad that I was worried the tall wall would exceed the height limit for road travel.  Sure enough… we were at 13′-5″ without the roof.  The maximum legal road height is 13′-6″.  Even using low-profile tires and having the weight of the fully-loaded house, it would be cutting it very close to the limit and I didn’t want to chance finishing the house and finding out I needed a permit to move it.  To be on the safe side, we cut out the 6″ blocks between the upper window headers and the top plates and then reattached the top plates.  We still need to cut down the sheathing to match.


We squared up the walls and screwed X-braces in.20150921_131015

Setback #3:  Dad thought he had staging wall brackets but we couldn’t find them.  We considered making them and even figured out the material we’d need for it but decided it would eat up precious work time, so we sent mom to Home Depot to pick up 8 brackets.  We have two HDs in a 50-mile radius and were only able to procure 7 brackets between the two stores.  *Note to self, order bracket when done updating blog.*


We ended up calling it a day earlier than usual.  I’m afraid I wasn’t much help and dad had to pick up my slack.

Hopefully I’m doing better by the end of the week.  I’ll need the strength of 10 grinches (plus 2) to get the roof up!

09/10/15, End Walls Up

We had extra help this week.  Mom was company-free and no longer sick, and was able to be an extra set of hands (just don’t ask her to use the nailgun).  And my aunt was over to help out with pictures and wherever else she was needed.  The end walls went up much easier than the sides.  Dare I say the hardest part is over?  Probably not a good idea since we still have the roof.


Bedroom end wall framed.


Framing bathroom end wall.




I thought we were all working hard… little did I know… The minute I turn my back, mom reenacts her favorite scene from Rambo.



Cutting out the bedroom window.


Safety Supervisor gripping the arms of his chair… I probably should be worried.


Mom helping staple Tyvek.

IMG_3486 IMG_3487 IMG_3488 IMG_3489

Staging is up (not a fun job).  Next work day, we will be putting the rafters up!

I’d gotten used to jumping in and out of the ends to grab tools and now it feels kind of funny all closed in, a bit disorienting.  However, it feels more spacious inside than I was expecting.  This week maybe I’ll chalk out the placement of appliances and fixtures.  I drew everything out on the driveway before I started the build but it is hard to get a true sense of space when there are no walls.

Labor Day Weekend and Two Walls Up

Friday morning dad and I fixed the window placement, and sheathed and wrapped the tall wall.


My brother, mercifully, came to help.  (His name is Mike, not mercifully, btw)  He dusted off his suspenders and put me to shame with his speed.  He said he was rusty since he hadn’t been building for a few years, but it sure didn’t show.  (Again, his name is Mike, not mercifully or rusty.)


I had google-researched what kind of screws I should be using with my new impact driver and found these miraculous beauties, GRK R4 multi-purpose framing screws.  They claim to be immune to stripping.  I figured that was just because they hadn’t met me yet…  but, their claim held up!  I didn’t strip any heads; however, I did break 2 impact bits because, well, I am me.  I used the screws to hang the hoist brackets on top of the wall and held my breath that they would work.

They held!  I’m very impressed.  Excuse my mom’s paranoid outbursts in the video. (and, I was well aware of the peril my hands were in but thank you, everyone, for caring.)  The wall raising was a harrowing experience and I think we may all have stress ulcers from it.  My dad’s fork truck, Dino, has been a huge help with his projects; however, it is very old, has no brakes, and has a hose that’s ready to blow any day now.  Thankfully, Dino pulled through for us on this occasion.


We had been wondering how we were going to brace the wall once it was up since the floor is so narrow.  Mike happened to have these adjustable wall braces that were perfect.  I didn’t know such things existed!  We were able to nail the braces on to the side of the shop to support the wall while we made the next one.


Mike discovered the beauty of the sweatband.

The short wall went much quicker and easier.  I don’t have any pics of the wall raising because we had family coming for the weekend and my “blogtographer” was busy getting ready for them and the rest of us were right out straight hurrying to finish the framing before dark.  The second wall shouldn’t have been as nerve-wracking but raising it in the dark, with only a small lamp from Dino, added a whole different element of scary.


The next morning we finally got to see our accomplishment.  …and pick up any tools we missed.

The rest of the weekend was spent with friends and family, playing games and music, eating too much, and relaxing by the pool.  It was much-needed after all that stress!


I suggested we call ourselves The Sweat Band but, apparently, it’s taken.