Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sub-Floor: Insulated Panels

This weekend I drove up to Oklahoma very early Friday so I could go pick up some scrap insulated panels that we got for cheap ($1 each) to use as the first layer of the sub-floor. The panels are ugly but will still be every bit as effective as nice, new panels. Technically they are called Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) and locally they are referred to as Davis Panels seeing as they come from Davis Buildings. We were able to insulate the entire sub-floor for less than $130 and had panels left over that we can use for dog houses.

These panels are a mixture of embossed and smooth fiberglass sheets with foam insulation sandwiched between.

The panels were different lengths and widths, so we pieced them together like a tetris.

We've been using screws in all of the building instead of nails and in this case used washers so we didn't punch down through the fiberglass.

In places where the panels didn't hit a support beam we laid a piece across that we could screw them down into.

There were some areas with gaps where the panels weren't cut straight originally, so we used Great Stuff to fill in those areas. We'll cut the excess off next time before we lay the plywood.

The completed layer of insulated panel sub-floor.

A picture for Erin. I thought this one looked like a face with eyes, nose and a mouth.

Back home in Texas, I'm having a problem with Sisko getting out of the fence (I suspect he's jumping it), so I took him with me this trip and he was very well behaved. I think I'll start taking him with me each weekend. Tony was happy to see his puppy.

Sisko tested the panels for us and had a gift for finding the ones not screwed down. Sunday he was afraid of jumping up on the panels for fear of falling through the floor again. So we coaxed him up when all the panels were screwed on and left. He was so upset.

Here's what our little campsite looks like. I'm really enjoying camping each week and we're getting a lot more work done since we can wake up and get right to work. We have a queen size air mattress that fits perfectly in the back of the Suburban.

The inverter we use to run the power tools and coffee maker.

Coffee maker that we also use for instant oatmeal in the mornings.

A friend loaned us her cook stove that ran out of fuel after one can of soup, so Tony used his blow torch to cook his two cans.

And finally, the fog that lingered over the area all weekend. It was cool and drizzled so the soup for lunch was perfect.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Floor Joists

I've been neglecting updating blog posts recently simply because I have been so busy and I am so exhausted. During the week I am still painting a 48' flat bed trailer for our Peterbilt that we want to sell, I've been trying to keep up with all the animals and housework, and I've been going twice a week to Fort Worth to help a friend who is battling cancer by taking her to appointments, running errands, getting or making dinner, etc. Then on Friday I am heading up to Oklahoma while Tony and I build on Saturday and Sunday then I head home Sunday evening.

These photos are from the weekend of November 13th & 14th.

First is a photo of the support system for the floor joists that Tony completed the weekend of November 6th & 7th while I stayed home in Texas.

Here's the box Tony built to support the boards and floor joists on the area where the posts ended up being too short because the ground drops significantly in that area.

A view of the boxes that are the floor joists. We built 8'x8' boxes with 2"x10" beams every 16 inches. All this to help support to load across the beams and help make the floor sturdy enough that we can lay a tile floor later.

A shot from underneath.

The completed floor joists.

A make-shift retaining wall I've started working on to help with washout that has started to build up around the posts.

The weather was beautiful that weekend and we had some critters show up.

A lizard (dead center in the photo).

 Some beautiful moths and butterflies, this is the only one I could catch though.

And there are a ton of Daddy Longlegs. This particular type is an arachnid but is not a spider since it only has two main body sections (abdomen and cephalothorax) instead of three. There are other Daddy Longlegs who are spiders though.

And finally some views of fall. I missed the main weekends where the trees were changing, but I did catch the tail end. The strange lights on the image are noise from my camera. I'm shooting with a film camera instead of a digital. Once the house/cabin is complete then I will be getting a digital SLR camera.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Leveling the Posts

This weekend it rained all day Saturday so Tony and I went to Fort Smith to buy some lumber and check out the town. I'm so happy it is only an hour away. It is the same drive I'm accustomed to making now when I go to Denton and a shorter drive than I make to Fort Worth and it has all the same chain stores I'm used to shopping at (Target, Hobby Lobby, etc.) but still has a lot of mom and pop stores and hole in the wall restaurants. There is also great coffee at a local chain Sweet Bay Coffee Co.

Saturday afternoon Tony and I drove back to the pad where we are building even though it was raining and there was a chance the Suburban would get stuck on the pad because of the rain. Tony bought a very nice wench for the Suburban a few years ago and he was excited about trying it out. Bad thing was the wench gave out after we were halfway back up the hill and he had to wait until Monday evening to rescue the Suburban when the ground had dried. Tony made me wait an hour in the Suburban with him while he tried to get back up the hill before he finally gave up. I'm so glad I keep a knitting project or book in my purse just for situations like this.

Sunday morning Tony and I went back to the pad and decided to start running mason line so we could mark each of the posts where they were level so we could cut them in order to start work on the floor support. Tony wanted the posts a minimum of 6 in off the ground and we didn't realize that there was such a large slope on the pad, so one corner of the pad was off by several inches.  In this photo you can see on the left hand side the posts that are too short.

We were feeling frustrated by this and decided to go to lunch and talk about the options for rectifying the situation. Rather than pulling the posts and redoing them, Tony got the idea to build a large square out of 2"x6"x8' boards, two boards thick, that he can lay along those six posts, raising it up the six inches they are short and helping spread the load across the posts. He will be building that box next weekend.

Taking the same idea of spreading the load across the posts instead of having one post take more of a load than another (like the corner of the living room where the TV will be), he is planning to lay 2"x6" boards flat across the posts, run some more boards perpendicular then build the floor joists on the support system.

About the best shot I could get of all the posts, the Suburban was stuck in the perfect place for me to stand and get a full view. Having all the posts in place I'm now able to visualize everything. The far right corner is the bedroom, near right corner is the living room which will be open to the kitchen to the left of it. The near left corner is going to be the utility room/pantry (the room I'm most excited about), and the far left corner will be a closet with the bathroom between it and the kitchen.

 Stringing the line so we could level the tops of the posts:

Tony sawing the posts:

Laying the boards:

 An idea of what they will look like when they are all done:

Finally a shot of twilight as I'm driving down the mountain Monday morning on my way back to Fort Smith to meet a friend:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fort Worth Botanical Gardens

A couple of weekends ago a couple very dear friends of mine got married and I photographed the wedding for them. Since I am still using a film camera (Canon AE-1) I borrowed the groom's digital camera to shoot the wedding and a few days before he and I spend the early part of the evening at the Forth Worth Botanical Gardens (the free part, not the Japanese Gardens) so I could get some practice using his camera. One of the things I love most about photography is when you are lucky enough to get a shot that takes your breath away. Here are some of what I got.