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hummer's hacienda

Mrs. hummer and I bought 5 acres last fall to build on. This is roughly where the house is going to go:

Our plan at this time was to put the house about 45 east of north, and this would be the view out of the living room and off the deck.

Here is a shot of the main floor plan:

I've never had a garage before, so I'm looking forward to that. No sweeping snow off in the winter, no scraping windows. I'm not looking forward to dealing with the driveway though. Here is my truck last winter in what will be the driveway:

We have a bit of a drifting problem in the entrance to the driveway. It shouldn't be too bad as long as I keep it clear whenever it snows. I have to figure out what I'm going to use for that though. I was originally thinking about putting a plow on my Jeep, but I don't see the Jeep being all that driveable by this winter. Maybe we'll buy a quad, and put a plow on it.

Anyways, that was all last fall. We finally got started on building things this fall. We went out and staked the house location. With only the stakes, the house seemed very small. Probably just the fact that we're standing in the middle of the wide open, but the house just seemed tiny.

In the end we turned the house to face more east than north. It is now about 15 north of east. The walkout fit the lay of the land a little better that way, and we'll get a little more sun in the winter.

They dug the hole last Friday. It was nice to finally get something started. It's been about nine monthes since I really started working on this. I remember driving through a nasty blizzard in January to deliver the plans to the foundation guy.

I was out there last night (sept 10) and again this morning. The footings are in, and half the foundation. The house doesn't seem so small anymore. Standing in the middle of the living room, it seems like a normal size now.

The foundation is being made using Insulating Concrete Froms or ICF. It's a pretty cool idea that is really popular around here now. It's faster than standard wood form method because you don't have to remove the forms. It's also a little more expensive, but also better insulated.

While I was out there last night, I came across a bag of the largest nylon zipties I've ever seen:

That thing is like four feet long!

Here is a sunrise from this morning. I'm actually standing in the garage for this, but the view from the living room won't be a whole lot different.
hehehe this looks like the show tv "extreme makeover" hehehe
So you have got a new home...!! Is the construction over...???
*Ocalhoun is jealous*
Where is that anyway?
nivinjoy wrote:
So you have got a new home...!! Is the construction over...???

Nope. It's a long ways from over. As of yesterday, we have walls on the basement:

It's going to be a little tight, but we're hoping to have the shell up and heated before winter.

ocalhoun wrote:
*Ocalhoun is jealous*
Where is that anyway?

Central Alberta, Canada. About 120 miles east of Edmonton.
nice to see somthing different here

im folowing you project verry verry intresting

It's amazing that your first picture seems very much like the view I have in my piece of land too. No mountains and short trees in an open field.

Seeing your pictures inspires me for building my own house.

House foundation is done. Scaffolding removed, weeping tile is in, exterior moisture barrier is up, and some backfilling is done. I can't backfill the rest until I get it inspeceted by the building inspector. They are working on the garage foundation and deck piles tomorrow, and the floor package should be delivered tomorrow or Wednesday. We may actually see some work on the framing start this week.

I've also finally got a contractor committed to installing the septic system. That was the only thing we were lacking, so that is some relief. We might not get the sub-surface septic field in place by winter, but we will have the septic tank in. If the field isn't in, we can just run as a pump out system until spring, and install the field next spring.
We've got walls! Well, we have a couple of walls at least.

The two large windows are going to be raised nine inches. The way they are currently, once the floor is in the basement, the bottom of the windows will only be about six inches above the floor. We only have room to raise them nine inches, so that's where they are going.

The garage foundation is also completed:
Some kind of crappy pictures from this morning. My camera doesn't really like low light. It won't be long before it's tough for me to get pictures. It's too dark in the morning, and on the way home from work, the sun is already right behind the house.

Yesterday was a busy day out there. The framers finished the walk-out wall and started adding floor joists. Our electric permit finally came in, so the electrician came and plowed in power. He set up a temporary power panel, so the framers are a little happier not having to run a generator all the time. The gas utility surveyed in the gas service.

Still waiting on the building inspector to okay the foundation before we can start on the backfill, and the gas guys won't install gas service until the house is backfilled.
Floor is done:

And the view from the living room:

The garage floor is filled, and the floor drain is in place:
They finished the floor last Friday - which marks the first time in this building process that a contractor actually finished something on time!

I've been away at a conference for the last four days, so I didn't get to see what's been going on. On Monday, they framed the Garage. Tuesday they started on the exterior walls. Wednesday was too windy for working standing up walls (gusts to 60mph). Yesterday they finished the exterior walls.

Mother nature is making a half-assed attempt at snowing today. I just need the weather to hold for ten days, and then we'll have a roof on the place.
That is so awesome! I really want to have my own house, but in Israel it's pretty touch to get your hands on some land. You can of course, but it won't be affordable.

Anyway, really happy for you! That looks like it's going to be a great place to live at Smile
Some more pictures of the exterior walls.

Our luck with the weather seems to be holding. It snowed a bit over the weekend, but yesterday was warm enough to melt everything. The forecast is for reasonable weather all week. Roof trusses are scheduled for delivery next Monday.

Roof trusses partially done. The rest of them are up there, just not installed. The wind was howling yesterday - not a great day for putting trusses up. Today isn't much better for wind, although it's sunny and warm (for this time of year).

That's a 15 second snapshot from this morning with the camera resting on the hood of the old truck. It didn't turn out too badly. A tripod would have been better though.
They were sheeting the roof yesterday:

The wind was blowing about 40mph. I sure wouldn't have wanted to be slinging sheets of plywood around on a roof in that. The contractor putting in the septic system started yesterday as well. They installed the line from the water well into the house, and started on the septic tank. The sub-surface field won't go in until next spring. We can function just fine with just the tank until then.

The dirt work in the foreground is borrowing dirt for filling around the house. The ground at the north end (rightside in the picture) will come up about four feet. There is a slight ridge running away from the house that holds back water (in the left foreground of the picture). We are going to remove the ridge to fill around the house, and get rid of the little slough all in one.
I must say it's becoming a very nice house in a very nice environment. I'm jealouse!
What I never get is that people almost only build with wood in the America's. Very annoying in places with tornado's and stuff.
I've literally never seen a fully wooden house in the Netherlands. They are in most cases made from bricks, sometimes from concrete and rarely made from wood but within a concrete frame. Must be the law or something. The downside is that houses are very pricey here compared to almost all other countries.
That is really cool to see how the house goes from not there to a full house.

Very good pictures, I will keep checking the thread to see any updates you have.

Thanks for posting this timeline. It must be nice to be able to move into a new home once its done. Smile
Wow. You're building your house four times faster than we are having our cantina at school built (which is actually as big as your garage).
I'm looking forward to see more pictures of the progress and of course of your finished new home.
Good luck to you and your wife.
8166UY wrote:
I must say it's becoming a very nice house in a very nice environment. I'm jealouse!
What I never get is that people almost only build with wood in the America's. Very annoying in places with tornado's and stuff.
I've literally never seen a fully wooden house in the Netherlands. They are in most cases made from bricks, sometimes from concrete and rarely made from wood but within a concrete frame. Must be the law or something. The downside is that houses are very pricey here compared to almost all other countries.

We rarely get tornado's here. No hurricanes either. No earthquakes. Just cold and snow.

You hit it exactly - wood is cheap (relatively). The concrete foundation here cost about as much as the materials for the rest of the house, and the labour to build it. We actually looked at going with the full ICF walls, but it was way, way too much money.
Not much has changed. The weather has been working against us lately. We still haven't finished sheeting the roof. Just the high part remains. We had winds around 50mph for about a week, and the guys weren't willing to go up there and sheet the roof in that. I can't really blame them. Then we had a couple inches of snow. A layer of snow isn't really conducive to working on the roof either.

On Friday they started on windows:

The snow has pretty well melted, so if we can get another 24 hours snow free, the roof should be finished. It isn't looking good out there though.

We also finished the backfill on the north side, put in the last two deck pilings, and put in the septic tank:

I've been working on the yard for the dogs.

Today I did some other odd jobs before winter truly gets here. I put the canopy on the good truck:

and I put the plow on the old truck:

It's getting tougher to work. We're down to about 6.5-7 hours of workable daylight, and the temperature is pretty constant, right around freezing.
I have to say, hummer010, you are inspiring me to build my own house. I also plan to do it with wood and glasses.

Thanks for sharing your experience! It`s really inspiring.
We finally got the rest of the roof sheeted. All doors and windows are in, except for the basement door (it can't be installed until the floor is poured, which can't be done until the plumber is finished rough-in). Chimney for wood stove is installed. It will eventually be boxed in all the way down, but the important part for now was to get the top part done for the roofer.

The plumber has started doing rough-in work. All vents are now pushed through the roof. The shingles, soffits and fascia have been delivered, and we are ready for the roofer to get going. Weather forecast for this week is reasonable-ish - no snow or rain, light winds and temperatures around freezing.

I had a cat out last week to finish up the area in front of the house. There used to be a bit of a low spot that collected water, which I wanted to level off. We used the clay from the little ridge to backfill around the house, which made a real mess:

The cat work is now done. Now we have a nice smooth slope field. Mrs. hummer is planning to put her riding arena out there. As you can see, we've had some warm days, most of the snow is gone.

I was up on the roof to see how the dealt with the area between the garage roof and the house roof. I didn't want any future problems with snow/water collecting up there. I'm pretty pleased with what they did:
We have shingles ... on our roof!

They also started on the soffits and fascia:
Not much has changed.

We have a railing on the back deck.

They've attached the deck support to the front of the house, but they aren't going to build the deck until the concrete is done in the basement.

Winter is definatly here now. We don't have too much snow, maybe 6 inches, but out at the acreage it is usually windy enough that most of it blows away. Today is cold though, -33 C.
Well, no new photo's. The work done recently doesn't photograph too well. I installed all the door knobs and deadbolts on Saturday. The plumbing rough-in is as complete as it can be until we get the floor poured. I talked to the concrete contractor this morning, and we should get the floor in sometime this week. Snow has been a bit of problem, and will be for the concrete. We've had about two feet in the last couple weeks, and some high winds. Where we currently have the shed sitting near the house, it sets up a really big drift right across the driveway. I spent most of Saturday pushing snow around to clear a path for cement trucks to get around to the front of the house. I managed to get it cleaned up pretty good. Then it snowed all day yesterday. Then the wind started blowing. I was out there this morning to read the gas meter, and you can barely tell that I did anything on Saturday. Looks like I'll be pushing snow for a while on Tuesday night as well.

The one thing I learned on Saturday is that my '84 Chev is a much better deep snow truck then my '04 GM. I had tried to get the '84 going right after Christmas, it was -35C, and the truck wouldn't even turn over. Saturday was amazingly warm, only -6C. I thought I would have to boost the '84 to get it started. I got the '04 stuck trying to get it to the '84. I walked over to the '84, and it fired right up without boosting. I used it to to pull the '04 out, and then got the '04 stuck again just getting it out to the driveway. The combo of the skid plates, and the running boards just make it sit on top of the snow instead of going through it. I never got the '84 stuck once, despite taking it through much deeper snow than anything I tried with the '04. The plow worked much better than I thought it would. It aint much to look at, but it sure works well.
So you have got the home right well...huh..?? Great all the best and good wishes for you...!!!
I am exited for the finishing of the outside.

When do you get siding on? Is it after you put the deck and stuff on?

Best of luck for the rest of the progress and I hope the weather doesn't get to bad for you. Smile
Can't wait to see the finished house. It's going to be beautiful. Nice floor plans and the view from the great room is wonderful. It's a big project but it will be well worth the wait.
Wow, that looks like some very nice land. Excellent place to build a home. From what I can tell it looks like you're miles from anything with all that land to yourself. I also like the story that the pictures tell as it all comes together. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.
Great to see how you have transform an empty space into a large house.

Is it easy for you to get the water and electricity to your new house?

With temp reaching -35 degrees, I am one for sure will not be able to take it.

Very good to see such chronological display of a "House of Art".

Too those who does not know it, it may not be an art piece, but if they
know you build it, it should instantly be a "House of art".

Jealous of your HUGE HOUSE, but no so for the winter temperature out there.

With best regards.
Been a while with out an update. The basement floor is poured, and the basement is framed. Plumbing is done until after drywall is finished. Electrician has started wiring upstairs. I've got some crappy cellphone pictures:

The basement floor and stairs:

The furnace and hot water heater are in:

The bedrooms in the basement are framed:

Upstairs the electrician has started wiring the kitchen:

And the master bedroom:

The ensuite is starting to look like a bathroom:

The basement is still heated, so I'm trying to keep as much heat down there as possible:

The insulation, vapour barrier, and siding has all been delivered:

My hopes for an April move in is starting to look a little optimistic, although, if everything goes smoothly, it could still happen. We ordered the kitchen cabinets, countertops and all the hardwood last week. I don't really need/want the flooring yet, but the stuff we had picked out has been discontinued, so we managed to save $1.50 per square foot by getting it now. On 2,000 square foot of wood, that's a pretty substantial savings.

Hopefully the electrician can finish up the main floor soon, and we can get insulation in there. We were hoping to start insulating on Monday, but now it 's looking like the electrician won't be done until Wednesday.

We've had a couple weeks of nice weather, but we're back in the -30's today, and for the next few days. It's supposed to warm up a bit by monday, but it's also supposed to snow a bunch. If I could change anything about this process, I'd rather not be building over the winter.
100 boxes of hardwood = one tired hummer010

We have insulation in the walls upstairs, and vapour barrier on the ceiling. Drywall has been delivered. I was thinking it was perfect timing - we got things insulated just in time for spring Rolling Eyes

Then mother nature reminded me what spring is like in Alberta:

That's mrs. hummer's sister trying her hand at plowing snow yesterday. My drywaller is a bit of a fair weather worker. I'll be surprised if he is out there working today. I'd like him to get the ceiling boarded so we can blow insulation into the attic, and actually heat the whole house - then he won't be able to complain that it's too cold. Everyone warned me that drywall would be the most difficult contractor to deal with. So far, they've been right.
Things keep plodding along.

My drywaller seems to work in half-days. Today they managed to get some poly on a couple of walls:

The framer, who generally works long days, showed up at 3:00PM and managed to start the siding around the windows and doors:

They also started on the front deck:
More deck built:

All of the vapour barrier on the main floor is done. They should start hanging drywall today.
We've finally got some good weather. Of course that brings it's own problems. The driveway is a little soft right now:

The yard is a bit of a mud pit:

As you can see from that pic - lots of siding is done:

The front deck is done, except for the railing:

The view from the deck (and yet another mud hole):

Standing on the deck, facing the door to the master bedroom:

Standing on the deck, facing the spare bedroom:

The other thing not done on the deck is the stairs to ground. They will be on the north end of the house:

My drywaller sucks. Not in his work quality, but in his work time. So far, he's worked solid half days, about three days a week. It's taken about two and half weeks, and he's half done hanging drywall on the main floor. The master bedroom is done:

The ceiling is done everywhere:

The spare bedroom is almost done (you can't see the part not done):

The electrician is done all the rough-in. Next time he shows up, he has a bit of a rat's nest to deal with at the panel:

It's getting frustratingly close. Once the drywaller is done, we take over for the finishing work. It's now at that point where I'd like to get in there and start doing some work, but I can't yet.
More updates.

The railing on the deck is finished:

All the drywall on the mainfloor is up:

My drywaller is painfully slow - but he has a sense of humour:

My fearless helper trying to figure out how he is supposed to get on the deck:

Insulation is in the attic. We finally have a fully insulated house, just in time for summer. I finished pulling network cable in the basement tonight. I still have some speaker wire to pull, so hopefully my drywaller doesn't suddenly have a burst of speed and finish the ceiling in the family room downstairs tomorrow.
hummer010 wrote:

ocalhoun wrote:
*Ocalhoun is jealous*
Where is that anyway?

Central Alberta, Canada. About 120 miles east of Edmonton.

So you live in Canada? I live in Norway, so I am alos used to sweep snow off the cars and scraping the windows Razz

Anyways, good luck with your house. It looks really good and quite big as well.
Looking good so far, keep it up with the posts please!
I can't see any pictures?
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