Catching You Up

Hey.

Remember me?

I’m the lady who said she’d let you watch along while her men (a couple of them at least) built a cute little cabin. Yeah, you’re remembering her now. She’s also the one that, for no apparent reason suddenly quit writing and posting. Yep, got ‘er pegged. So. I’m back. I know, I know, you’ve heard this before. OK, this time I’m not making promises. I’m just going to do the best I can.

Last time I wrote, I told you about the interior framing being completed. I think they finished that job sometime in August. And yes, they are a bit further along now. Rather than drag this out for another who-knows-how-many-months, I’m just going to catch you up. The short story is – it’s livable and has been since mid/late-December. Whew, that was easy.

For those of you who like more details, here you go: All summer Dave and Ben put in 40 hours at the Truss Company, then came home and put in another 40 hours on the house. In September, Ben started school and he found the 80 hour work week, plus school to be a bit overwhelming. So he scaled back on the house-work until the Truss Company slowed down and he had more time during the day to do his school-work. The point is, these men worked HARD all summer and fall and early winter to get it ready for Ben and Sharon to live in.

It is absolutely amazing to me how many details go into building a house. And the time it takes to figure out, plan, assemble materials and actually complete them is astounding. (To me, anyway.) So once the walls were up inside, I thought, “Great! It’s just plumbing and electrical, insulation, vapor barrier and sheetrock. After that it’s decorating. Easy!” NOT. No. Huh, uh. It took months(!) -September, October, November and December, actually. Late December was busy with painting, installing flooring, putting in the shower and toilet – and wedding planning. By the 20th, work on the house was done and wedding preparations were occupying everyone’s attention.

We (the Rowlands and Persóns) had a grand time with all the family that was here to celebrate Christmas and the Wedding with us. Sharon’s family began arriving on the 12th of December and our family started rolling in on the 20th; every few days someone was back at the airport picking up another one or two. We had meals together, we partied, we cooked and baked, sewed, crocheted, painted, worked on puzzles and shopped. This event was truly a joint effort between our two families. Ben and Sharon designed a beautiful wedding day and their family did a great job of making sure it came together. (Their pictures can be viewed at www.wilderarts.smugmug.com . There are two sessions to look at. you can click on “Ben-Sharon Pre-Wedding Dec 21, 2013” OR the wedding day pictures can be found by clicking on “Person Wedding Dec 28, 2013”.)

While Ben and Sharon were gone on their honeymoon, the rest of us took a good break. We were again running to the airport dropping people off every few days (very sad). By mid-January, when Ben and Sharon returned, almost everyone had returned to their own homes and schools. The UAF school year started again and the kids took some time to get their schedules established. And then work on the little house commenced once again.

So what has been happening to the little house in the last few weeks? Well, the water line from the underground tank to the pump started to freeze up, so they had to do a bit of tweeking on the heating system in the basement (remember it consists of a light bulb, a wire cage and a temperature gauge.) Then the pump began rebelling at having to push the water so FAR up to the pressure tank. (It was just being a baby.) Dave cleverly fixed this issue with a few bits of hose and strategically placed piercings. A sight glass was installed to tell them how much water is in the underground tank. Dave and I upgraded the refrigerator and washer/dryer in the big house (yippy for me!) and so we put our old stuff in the little house. Ben and Sharon chose hickory cabinetry for the kitchen, so those were ordered and then installed. They found a vanity with a granite top for the bathroom and put that in. And just recently they found the lights they want and have purchased/ordered those. That’s pretty good progress.

At the same time, the living room is still full of tools. They have no seating except two tiny camp stools. The countertops are waiting on the counter guy to decide to come out and measure everything, then build and install. And there’s no door on the bathroom. Not to mention the exterior is still bare ply-wood – but that will wait for next summer. 

Now that the end is in sight on this project – sort of – I’m dreaming of what we should do next. Like maybe finish the addition on the big house. But, for now, we’ll happily watch Ben and Sharon craft their little house into a home.

How about some pictures?

The electrical panel - all neat and tidy as per usual for Dave. Every wire is carefully labelled.

The electrical panel – all neat and tidy as per usual for Dave. Every wire is carefully labelled.

This little contraption is an air way that they can blow hot air through to keep the pipes from freezing.

This little contraption is an air way that they can blow hot air through to keep the pipes from freezing.

There are three layers of insulation in the walls. This is looking south from the kitchen to the living area and front door.

There are three layers of insulation in the walls. This is looking south from the kitchen to the living area and front door. – When I choose this pic from my files, I totally thought there was insulation in the walls – whoops. Imagine pink stuff filling up the spaces between the studs.

Check out the plastic on the walls behind Ben. Every single exterior wall surface had to be carefully covered with plastic. Dave spent days doing this job, making sure there were NO holes - not even pin-pricks.

Check out the plastic on the walls behind Ben. Every single exterior wall surface had to be carefully covered with plastic. Dave spent days doing this job, making sure there were NO holes – not even pin-pricks. Note the red tape, it covers a hole.

These slanted ceilings required three guys to put up the 'rock.

These slanted ceilings required three guys to put up the ‘rock.

A view from the living area looking up to the loft.

A view from the living area looking up to the loft.

The 'rock jack is a great piece of equipment. It enabled Dave to do most of the sheet-rocking on his own.

The ‘rock jack is a great piece of equipment. It enabled Dave to do most of the sheet-rocking on his own.

After 'rocking, came the mudding and taping - a long and very nasty job.

After ‘rocking, came the mudding and taping – a long and very nasty job.

With the sheet-rock and painting complete it was time to lay the flooring.

With the sheet-rock and painting complete it was time to lay the flooring.

They choose "spalted maple" laminate and it looks amazing.

They choose “spalted maple” laminate and it looks amazing.

Hickory cabinets in the kitchen.

Hickory cabinets in the kitchen.

A hickory vanity with a granite top in the bathroom.

A hickory vanity with a granite top in the bathroom.

Laundry! (And dishes - until the kitchen gets done.)

Laundry! (And dishes – until the kitchen gets done.)

Next to the strip of blue foam in the corner is a clear sight glass. This will tell them how much water is in the tank.

Next to the strip of blue foam in the corner is a clear sight glass. This will tell them how much water is in the tank.

Dave and Ben conferring on something. I was playing with my camera and happened to also get a shot of the sconces  on the wall behind Dave. I'll get better lighting pictures as they get installed.

Dave and Ben conferring on something. I was playing with my camera and happened to also get a shot of the sconces on the wall behind Dave. I’ll get better lighting pictures as they get installed.

Still plenty to do.

Still plenty to do.

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