Saturday, September 24, 2011

OMG! The Big Trusses Are Set!

Yes! It's true!  The Truss Co. came through yesterday and set the last bundle of trusses up on the roof!  Our amazingly wonderful crew (try getting 3 busy guys together on a Saturday!) came back today for a 2 hour window in their day and that's exactly the time it took to set the last 9.  What a challenge!  The next to last one was a double truss, to allow for the stair well.  Then the last end truss couldn't be easily tied to that next to last one.  But, their up.  I had a couple videos, but they're proving to be to big a pain to load on Blogger.  So, here's some stills of the finished project.  I didn't have a chance to take intermediary ones, as I was ground crew and they kept me hopping!

Gene's got his back to the camera on the far left.  That's Chuck in the middle on the ladder.
And Fred at this end.  They're nailing in the end truss.  The LAST one!


And then it was time for some good ol' fashioned...

Redneck Roofing

The rains are coming so, it was time to cover everything up.  Gene and Mike worked for about an hour getting the garage under cover.  Then Gene and I worked for another 2 hours getting everything else covered.  No, we didn't get the shop trusses covered.  Too big.

Now seriously...can you think of a better use for a can of paint thinner!?

All set for winter!
After all this work covering everything, it sure as heck better rain!

Gene hopes to take tomorrow off...if it's raining.  It's much needed.  He's been working dawn to dusk for over a week and is exhausted.  Me?  I've been baking cookies and picking tomatoes from my garden...all to feed the guys.

Party on!

Gene and Coleen

Friday, September 23, 2011

Trusses Continued...

Ok.  We found a crane, or my brother did, on Craig's List.  And in Scio of all places.  Only $65K.  Not a problem.  So, I'm going to go to heavy equipment operator school and start a new career.  Not!

Actually, there's a crane place here in the area.  He came out yesterday and looked at the situation.  It wasn't good.  It didn't matter which end of the building he set up at, he couldn't have reached the other end of the building.  He also didn't think he'd make it up the driveway.  We thought we were sunk.  I was looking at Plan C...making these trusses firewood and getting some smaller pitch standard trusses which would weigh about 1/2 as much and be more manageable.  I was sick about it.  Thought I'd loose what little breakfast I had eaten!

But, the crane operator came through for us.  As we had the crew there waiting for the crane to show up, he walked around and around and finally said to Gene, "You know.  These aren't so heavy, really."  And proceeded to show the guys how to scoot the ones that were up there over and then using a 'pole' tilt them up.  It worked!  They proceeded to set the 8 trusses that were all ready on the building.

The crane guy left to get the crane and try to get up the drive way to set the others that were left on the ground.  But, he was right, he couldn't get up the driveway.  He had to back up (no room to turn around once he's up here) and he just couldn't make the corner.  Argh.  So, the Truss Co. will come up either today or Monday and set them up there.  The just couldn't get both bundles of them up there at the same time.

First truss in place!  A big Woo-Hoo! broke through the crowd!

Truss #2..obviously.

Looking in the door.  Killer room up there!
All 8 Set.  Ready for the next 9.
We have to thank our intrepid crew!  Mike, Chuck, Fred and Chris.  Without them and the crane guy, this wouldn't have happened.  They have all earned themselves some shop time!

Today, Chuck and Gene are madly trying to get plywood over the garage/carport to get he humungous blue tarp over it for the coming rains.  There's no way we'll get it roofed this weekend.  The breeze way trusses have to be set and plywood and inspected before roofing can start.  And those can't be set until the Truss Co. has gotten the next bundle of the shop trusses up, as they'll interfere with the process.

We also have to thank Chuck and Dee's oldest son, Mike...also Gene's nephew...for the suggestions for some of the bracing.  Namely the vertical wall bracing on the end.  Mike's a construction manager for a large commercial firm in Bend and has set many large trusses.  These are babies for his crew!

Ok, off the the races today!

Party on!

Gene and Coleen

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Trusses Are Coming!

And they arrived.  What a day.  But, we hit our first's the story...

They're here!...Barely.
Barely made the turn from the street.
Then barely made our corner.  Taking out those 5 trees made it possible.

 Breezeway trusses.
They'll be turned 90º and sit on the beam and wall in back.
Cantilevering out over the little wall in the foreground.

Existing garage trusses.

Garage trusses in place.

The big 'uns.  These are the first batch for the shop.
Attic trusses for light storage upstairs. (Not approved for habitable space!)

Mid air.
Placed....well, not quite.
Here's the snag...the boom truck has a reach of 80'.  It was out to it's maximum and the trusses were only 1/2 way back...they needed to go all the way to the back.  So...after much debate and a few deep sighs...they were laid down at the front.  The second batch was 'placed' on the ground.  The plan is that we'll need to hire a crane, have them come up the back way and place them, one at a time, from there.  That's when I added the shot(s) of tequila to my pepsi.

So, we are now trying to find a crane that's available.  Actually, we're going to call the Truss Company tomorrow and see if they can bring up just the crane and do it.  We'll pay extra.  

On a lighter note...much lighter, seeing as those big attic trusses weigh 250 pounds each!...we heard tonight that the sky is falling...or at least an old satellite.  Therefore, we will be spending Thursday through Saturday in our new bomb shelter.  Or until it falls to earth.  

Yes, you know when a structure is over engineered when even the Building Inspector calls it a "bomb shelter".  Ooops.  Now all our neighbors will want a piece of the action!  Fine.  Call it a big ugly gray elephant and then try to duck in!  Take a number.

I'll be back tomorrow...maybe.  I may be out shopping for a large crane.  I wonder if there are any on Craig's List?  If you know of needs to have at least an 80' boom...let me know.  We'll have to call Kyle and see if Hillsboro's firefighting heli is available...we're exploring all options.

Gene and Coleen

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's Sunday...


Fred poured the last of the concrete Friday...the slab connecting the existing garage and the new shop.  I'm so ashamed of myself, I didn't get any pictures of the concrete truck.  Sigh.  Or of the process.  But here's the finished product...

The little landing on the left was done from extra concrete.
Gotta love the little extras!

Oh...and in case you haven't been able to read the red sign on the shop wall...

Gene's now calling his shop "The Dragons Lair"

Yesterday Chuck and Mike came over and helped with framing the pony walls to raise the height of the existing garage all to get the door height of the garage door up at least a foot for a taller garage door.  Well...this height was totally dependent on the finished height of the new shop.  When Gene designed the new shop there was no way he could get a final measurement.  It was pretty much an educated (crossed fingers behind his back) guess.  We thought we were doing good when he put the laser level on top of the new shop and shot over to the garage and the difference was 13.5", as all he needed was 12".  But, as we leveled all the way around, to our amazement the shop had settled...a lot.  The other back corner was 2.5" lower than this back corner.  (It was built, partially, on fill...word for the wise.)  The front came out 1.5" lower...that's 12".  He had exactly what he needed!  Another 1/2" shorter and he would have been grinding concrete!  Gene walk around going, "I planned it that way!"  Yeh, sure!

Header in place.  As you can see, there's NO extra room above it to the top plate!
Now, if they can only find their hammers!

But...before they started the pony walls....they set the beam spanning the opening from the shop to the garage which carries the trusses over the breezeway.  It's a 6x12x12' beam.  Huge, thus heavy.  It was quite the feat getting it in place.  Especially since it had to fit over a 3/4" rod to secure it.  That meant the beam not only had to be lifted to the height of the wall, but over and then slipped onto the rod.  Try drilling a 3/4" hole through 11.5"...straight.

We did it!  Time to celebrate.

Here's more pics of putting up the pony walls...

First one.

As I mentioned earlier the height differences between the front and the back and side to side...well, that meant that the little short studs between the plates all had to be different lengths.  Because one end of the wall, for example, was 15.5", the other 13.125".  The only way to do it efficiently was...AutoCAD.  I came into the house, fired it up and...the batteries in the keyboard died.  ARGH!  But that's a whole other story.  Eventually though, I drew up each one separately, got them their lengths and off they went! Actually, the front wall was the only one that was level end to end.  YAY!

All four walls up and beam set.
Time to call it a day...and put that blue tarp back over.
It's September, after all.
Now, today, Gene and I frame the back walls in the breezeway.  One is only 2' long, enough to house electrical.  The other is 9' with a 4' opening.  Should be easy...notice that's qualified with "should be"?

Tomorrow...the electricians are back to make the final connection to the shop and switch over to the house and....drum roll please....the trusses are delivered!  Oh happy day!  The next happy day will be when the roofer shows up.  We'd do the roofing, but the shop is a 10/12 pitch and we're too old for that stuff!

So, there will be more exciting pics up tomorrow eve!

And a BIG, HUGE thanks to Mike and Chuck!

Gene and Coleen

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We're Baaack!

It's been awhile, but we're back at posting...

Since the last post much has been accomplished.  The last pour of concrete in the walls was done last Friday.  Over the week, and electrical contractor came out and dug out for service to the shop.  That became more complicated than anticipated.  String a line back there...right?  We wish.  More like...move the existing meter to a new meter base, move existing overhead service to the house underground while feeding the new shop underground also.  Ugh.  But the contractor's great!  The new system will be much better in the long run...just more costly than that's been anything new!

The Final Block Fill

Gratuitous picture of concrete truck and line pump.

Fred and pump operator
All went well.  Another hot day.

The only snag was one block 'blew out'...the entire face came off, pouring concrete out.  Apparently one corner was cracked and with the weight of the concrete the structural integrity of the block gave way.  Gene scrambled to find a piece of plywood for a patch.  With screw gun, screws and the patch, the guys were quickly on their way again.

Inside shot.

With the concrete out of the way, the next step in our project is demo'ing 2/3 of the roof structure over the existing garage.  No small feat!  This is to allow a taller garage door so we can actually get Gene's rig in.  New trusses will be installed and the entire garage will get a new roof.  Timing is everything here...we're trying to beat the rains.  We're hoping to at least have paper on the roof shop in less than 10 days.  Trusses are due the first of next week.


Our friend Mike came over and helped with the sledge hammer and Sawsall.  This is what happens when 2 grown men get together with a license to demo.


Then came the preparation for the backfill.  We had CAD, Conveyored Aggregate Delivery, come out to place the round rock for drainage.  They shoot it out with a high speed conveyor.  Beats wheeling it!

Gene and conveyor.  The whole thing is remote controlled.
He even backed up the truck with the remote.  Cool.

Don't stand in the line of fire.  It could do some damage!

Then there was Wes's backfill system.  He brought out the heavy equipment.

Ok, that's all for now.  Friday Fred will pour the slab connecting the back of the garage to the new shop. Then over the weekend Gene and crew will do framing.  He and Mike installed the top plate on the top of the shop walls yesterday.  So, that's ready to accept trusses.  The new framing will be the new little stub walls to raise the roof of the garage and 2 small walls between the garage and shop.

Next week - trusses.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We're still here and working...

It's been a few days since my last post...I haven't forgotten, just been busy.  A lot has happened.  I'll actually make a post later today with pictures and all, so stay tuned....

Sunday, September 4, 2011

All That's Left Are Empty Pallets. And a Great Big Empty Gray Box.


We laid the last block today!  It only took around 8 hours to place the last corner of 12-14 blocks, but who's counting.  Here's the photos over the last 2 days....

Saturday, September 3

We had lots of help today.  With 3 rows left, help was needed getting the block from the ground up to Gene on the scaffold.   

Gene's sister and her husband came over early and worked all day with us.  (We had to break to watch the Ducks play!)  And my friend and her husband also came in the afternoon.  What a blessing!  Thank you! Thank you!

Gene's surveying the next move.

Where we left it at the end of Saturday.
Only a few block left.  Remember this...

An inside shot as we start this morning.

Late afternoon.  One half block left and Gene's had it.
Looks like I get to cash in on his life insurance early.
And even later in the afternoon....

DONE!  The hole is a beam pocket for Phase 2 of the project.
Yes.  It took ALL DAY to do those last few blocks!  The rebar configuration over the door because of the beam pocket was...well...a nightmare.  Gotta love those engineers who dream up these things!  Besides it took us a while to figure out how to do the beam pocket and the buck with 24" threaded rod to hold the beam.  Sigh.  Most's done.  Now, this second half of the walls will be filled with more concrete.  We should have a roof going on the end of September.

As a recap, we've gone from here on August 17th....

To this on September 4.  17 days.  Pretty cool.

And we still like each other!  Of course, it's not done yet!  Phase 2 involves tearing off the roof and roof structure of the existing garage, raising the it up about 18" and putting on new trusses and roof.  The roof HAD to be done anyway.  Oh and there will be a covered breezeway between the 2 buildings.  So, there is still much to be done.  At least there's no more 30 pound blocks to move! 

We toasted each other and our progress tonight with our favorite pink martinis.  It was a good day.

Party on!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Us, Obsessive? Only in an alternate reality!

Um, yeh, well, the alternate reality is  The problem is Gene and I both have our obsessive sides, so when the two of us join forces on a project, there's no one around to modulate our enthusiasm.

Remember in my last post I said we were going to work a couple hours on Sunday and then go wine-ing?  Not.  We decided we had enough wine and stayed home work on the shop!  Although, we did decided to build a little wine cellar under the stairs in the new shop.  See, it wasn't a total wine-loss day!  We did take it easy though...even got in a nap!

Gene made window bucks Sunday.  And then we put up a couple more rows, just 3.  We have, however, worked at a slower pace this week.  If all goes as planned, we should finish this lego building blocks portion of the project this weekend.

Status at the end of Saturday.

Status as of last evening.

View from opposite end.

Just cuz it's a cool angle.  From inside the back door.

Last but not least a couple pic's from Saturday, compliments of a friend.

Wes and Gene bending rebar.

And just to prove that Wes and I don't always have rebar sticking out of our heads....

As my friend said, "See the sunny look good hard work puts on them faces."
In reality the 'glow' is the 92º sun glistening off the sweat!
Where's my mint julep!?

I'm getting too old for this stuff.  My body hurts from new and previous issues, and to add insult to injury, I keep adding more injury by falling into the walls.  Gawd.  Our wedding vows did not read, "For better or for worse or for building stuff "!  I think the 'building stuff' is somewhere in the middle...depending on the day.  But, when it's all said and done we'll look back on these days with fond memories (especially while working in the shop!), scars and owning enough stock in Advil to retire on.  Ah, those were the days.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to run, er, I mean hobble, to town to get some giant telfa pads to dress my newest (and most lovely) wound.

I dunno, I'm thinking a nap supersedes the trip...