Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dream Work (of a Different Kind): Part I

          My husband had a fairly substantial outbuilding when we were in Texas.  There was room for his power tools and lumber stash.  We had hoped that he could down-size to just the 3rd bay of our three-car garage. 
          He couldn't:  No room for him AND a project and a table saw and router.  Plus garages are impossible to heat and get too @#$%d cold for any non-Eskimo do any wood working from October to May.  That's a lot of months to not know what to do.  A lot of months to try to entertain a bored husband. 
So we chose to fore go a vacation, cruise and shopping binge or two or three and build him a REAL woodworking shop.  He spent hours dreaming in front of his computer using 3D construction programs and thinking about what we wanted/needed. Then we spent hours getting a home improvement loan.  (If you have a choice between your local bank where they KNOW you and a big national one that is still freaked out by Federal punishment for credit default swaps, use the local one!  It'll be easier.
 Anyway, we broke ground a couple of weeks ago.  Literally.

It was pretty amazing what the construction crew leader could do with the back hoe.  Sometimes it seemed as big and out of control as a giant dinosaur. 
 But eventually a rectangular sub-floor began to appear.  They have to dig deep here in New Hampshire to make sure they are below the frost line.  (I think the dirt freezes down to a four foot depth. Makes me glad that flower bulbs only have to go down 6 inches!)

 They brought in framing boards in preparation for pouring the foundation.
At the end of the day they had to get the back hoe on the trailer.  Again there were times when it was about as graceful as a hippo out of water.  Its treads didn't look guaranteed to keep the machine balanced as it lumbered up the ramp.
 The operator got some help from the trailer driver so that he didn't drive off the trailer bed!

 The operator turned the top part of the back hoe 180 degrees and used the scoop to gently, VERY gently lift up the tread extensions.  The scoop that had been pounding into stoney soil was as gentle as a child stroking a kitten.

 Then he used the scoop to fold up the tread AND the extension.  (Think of Transformers doing origami...)

 I think it was the next day that they poured the cement.  (Cement trucks in New England look backwards to me! But for the operator to face the same direction as the cement is going makes a lot of sense!)

 In short order the foundation and footing was poured.  I've heard it takes 20 years for cement to harden completely.  But it got hard enough just sitting there over night.

I had that medical stuff going on while they were framing the walls.  And I slept too late to get pictures of them putting up the gable and framing the rafters.  The crew was only three people.  Two guys and a gal.  All were hard workers, strong and full of stamina. One of them brought his American Pit Bull with him.  That was on a hot day and the dog napped in the shade by the flower bed all day.  The dog was happy to let me scratch his ears though.  At one point the crew had used all the water they brought in their cooler.  We invited them to come in and get cold water from the refrigerator.  I got to see (most of) their tattoos up close.

 When it was time to put the shingles on, it was the sane two guys and a new fellow.  I guess the gal doesn't do shingles.
They were good to watch.
It wasn't just their expertise that made them good to watch. If they hadn't been playing top 40 on their radio, and if it had been Tchaikovsky, and they were wearing tights... it would have been like a ballet.
                 They put all the shingles on in just one day.
                 I think the next step is for the Newton Fire Department to come and flood the sub-floor so that the dirt settles before the Sheetrock and siding go up.
 Besides Siding, windows and a door, I'm not sure what all is left for them to do.  When they are done, DH will do the wiring, get the electrical inspection, install the heater and start MAKING STUFF.

I told him that if he doesn't use it more than once a week, I might just move all my painting and craft supplies into it.  I bet it would be better motivation if I bought him a coffee pot and a little refrigerator of his very own. He's already said he'll move our small love seat out there so he has a comfy place to read..  Talk about a man cave!
Ain't Nobody Happy if Daddy Ain't Happy!'


e. Tobin eckian said...

:) more like man house. then you will have the upper house, the bigger one to move all your supplies up and leave them around!!...two houses or 3 or 4 is better than ONE> i think? thats what i am doing at least

x tob

e. Tobin eckian said...

my man and i are working on two houses, once he starts claiming retirement we are hoping he will be more at the farm. we were going to wait on retirement, tho we know there is no guarantee on how much time we are have on this side. so better to plan sooner than later.