Une Petite Maison - Framing Begins! / by J.C. Schmeil

It's been a few weeks since I last posted, and there's been a lot of progress!  I have also quit drinking coffee in an attempt to manage my stress levels.  After months of sunny skies and drought-like conditions, the skies opened up once we had the roof off.  First the trusses went up...


It was great to see the construction progress, and by the end of the day I could stand on the second floor decking, with views of the trees and a few downtown (and neighboring) buildings.


The framing crew secured the tarp over the top of the trusses, but an epic storm hit and dumped nearly three inches of rain in the Austin area... some of which ended up in the family room.  I didn't take pictures of that, but we spent Sunday morning hauling a waterlogged rug and all of our furniture out into the yard to dry out.  Fortunately I don't think there's any long term damage, and Joe and Nick came right over on Sunday to help out.  Despite the rainy forecast, the crew managed to start the roof framing on Monday.


With the rafters framed, the tarp performed better and while there was still some rain that got in, the back of the house stayed dry.  The framers were able to work under the tarp as the rain continued.  The house still looks like a wreck from the outside but hopefully that will be remedied in the next couple of weeks...


It's been fun to see the upstairs take shape and to get a sense for how the rooms will feel.  There are two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a music room-- the music room will have a "Scooby Doo bookcase" entry, which I have been promising the boys for years.  I'm particularly happy with the view of the live oaks and bamboo out the corner window of the music room.  In this photo you can also see the roof over the family room and master bedroom.  We have relocated the furnace to the adjacent attic space, so all of the ductwork will run from there to the other rooms of the house.


I know in my head what all of this will look like, but it's hard to physically envision it right now.  Plywood covers the ground floor openings and not all of the windows are framed in.  Here you can see the old "teardrop" wood siding, which will essentially act as sheathing for the house.  We'll go over that with building paper and plywood strips, then hardi plank which will be painted a dark gray-blue color ("Ocean Floor" by Benjamin Moore).


Despite my best planning, the live oak limbs were still a bit too close to the new roof.  Whitney Rasco, local arborist and master storyteller, came over to do some minor trimming to prevent angry roofers from taking a sawz-all to any limbs.  The back bedroom has a great view of the trees-- you can see the small 2'x2' window tucked under the gable in this photo.  Beckett's old bedroom (on the ground floor) is getting new windows and will be an office.


One of the biggest challenges of the project so far has been keeping my little parkour afficionado from using scaffolding and open framing as a jungle gym...


Tomorrow should be a busy day, with exterior sheathing and some windows going in (fingers crossed)...