Sunday, March 13, 2011


Last winter/spring, phase 1 of our insulation plan — the rigid part of the insulation — was completed. Since that step was completed, we next framed the interior walls of the house, installed all the plumbing, electrical, and ductwork, and got everything ready for closing up those walls.

In November, just as we were getting prepared for moving out of our condo and *gasp* into our house, and making plans to attend my brother's wedding in the Yucatan in Mexico, we FINALLY wrapped up all the tasks for making insulation possible. Unfortunately, our timing wasn't so great and Troy has to stay behind from our family vacation to Mexico (boo-hiss) and had to supervise the insulation going in in advance of a big snowstorm that was predicted.

But, of course, there was no rest for the weary, and though Troy had already made the kind and stoic sacrifice of missing our family vacation and our brother's wedding, his sacrifice wasn't done. The insulation truck got stuck in the snow — twice! — meaning the insulators didn't just need to be supervised, but rescued, and their materials and tools ferried into our building site in our pickup truck. And then there were more snowstorms, and more stuck vehicles, and the whole endeavor was just a whole lot more frustrating and chaotic and exhausting that we could have ever imagined at the outset.

While the plan had been that insulation would be complete when the Boy Builder and I returned from Mexico and drywall would be well underway, the end result of all the early winter madness was that the insulation was only about 1/3 finished by the time we got back. Whew!

The insulation we chose for the interior cavities of our walls was a blown fiberglass product.
~ The first step of installation was stapling up netting to hold all the insulation in place
~ This happened while it was snowing and at the same time all the bags of insulation were being ferried at stocked in piles outside the house
~ The ordinary insulation truck that is used to blow the insulation couldn't get in on our road, so their portable (and not so efficient) insulation blower machine was brought in and used to blow the bales of fiberglass
~ A long vacuum hose like device snaked through the house and was used to fill the walls and ceiling with insulation
~ In the end all the wall cavities got filled with cotton-candy pink insulation

Once it was done the house felt so different. It was quiet and closed in feeling. Like a big step toward the finished spaces we've been imagining all along.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

tio zach

I'm the eldest of 5 children, and my youngest brother just graduated from University with a degree in Construction Management in December. And somehow I got lucky enough that after graduation what he wanted to do was come work for me building my house and enjoy some legendary Utah powder for the winter.

Zach arrived in January and we have loved having him here. He's a fabulous worker, a good-natured personality, smart as a whip, competes with Papa Builder in corny joke-telling, entertains us with guitar playing, enjoys learning to cook new dishes in our new kitchen, and even takes the Boy Builder out to the slopes on occasion. If there's anyone who could love having him here more than I, it would be his adoring nephew, whose smothering affection Zach lovingly puts up with.

Three cheers for Tio (Uncle) Zach!
Zach eating the banana pudding he made from scratch, including his own vanilla wafers

Monday, February 28, 2011


In our household, the typical weekday/weekend schedule is kind of mixed up. Papa Builder is more easily able to participate in personal homebuilding on Saturday and Sunday when his paying clients are less demanding. My brother Zach, who is helping us with the build and enjoying some Utah powder this winter, has a Monday through Thursday ski pass, so he's typically snowboarding on Monday and at least one other weekday. James is completely unpredictable, so we don't plan around him. ;) And the Boy Builder and I work nearly every day anyway. So, there's not really such thing as typical weekends and weekdays around here.

Saturday and Sunday this week were full to the brim with work on the house, mixed in with a little fun, too:

~ We put drywall up in the ceiling and walls of the sunroom/stairwell from the scaffolding James built us to bring us 9 feet higher in the air.

~ We (and by "we", I mostly mean Zach) did more wall prep and beam sanding in the basement to prep for drywall on the basement ceiling.

~ We installed some drywall in the basement ceiling!

~ We had a taco night and a burrito night, as well as a brussel sprout and soup night

~ The Boy Builder made cookies

~ Papa Builder and James each made an apple pie

~ We shoveled a lot of snow

~ We got the snowmobile up and running (again)

~ Mama Builder cleaned the mountain of laundry that had accumulated

~ Papa Builder put some pretty Serpentine rock we collected last summer from a local abandoned mine in the cracks in our columns (post and pictures to come)

~ We watched the movie Holes, inspired by digging a big hole in the snow

~ The Boy Builder and I read some of E. Nesbit's "The Phoenix and the Carpet" and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves

Today is Monday and Zach is taking the Boy Builder to the resort to play in the snow. I'm off to do my Monday ritual of tramping around town and doing errands. Here's to another productive week!

The Boy Builder cutting out the drywall in front of the window for us

He's the perfect size for the job!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

back online

From a technical and hardware point of view, I've had a challenging couple of months. Critical things broken and missing and not cooperating. The end result is that I've been missing in action from this space for a while.

But, now I'm back. Ready to get everyone up to date on the latest happenings here.
My workspace is a work in progress, replete with Playmobil projects and lots of work to be done to make it the space I envision. So, off to get some work done!