The Project: A 2,163 square foot house utilizing dry stack concrete block construction with a central courtyard and based on the Spanish colonial-era missions in San Antonio.The Challenge: Can a forty-something married couple design and build an attractive, efficient and mostly paid-for house while remaining sane, solvent and married? With no actual prior construction experience? Hmmmmm - let's check in on our Contestants and see how they're doing...
|We're going to focus this week on something you won't find in any "how to" books, websites or manufacturers' brochures: You are going to take a beating if you do the work. I picked up this nifty gash in my hand during construction without realizing it. I'd had my hands in and out of wet cement all morning and didn't notice the blood for awhile. This happened during a morning that included dropping a 5 gallon bucket of cement from the top of a wall onto my rolls of chicken wire and the slab...|
|Especially during the summer, you'll need to keep a hat, SPF 50 sunblock and plenty of drinking water handy. The Wife and I have already driven the route to the nearest hospital emergency room as a precaution. I've managed to collect an assortment of ligament tears, fractures and aching joints in addition to the daily pummeling. If you're going to build a house, make sure you're able to answer the bell every day or make allowances for hiring a crew to help get the work done.|
|Having gotten in touch with my inner tough guy, I show up bloodied but unbowed (a familiar posture for me) the following day and find a curious onlooker, who says "I skink, therefore I am." Yeah, it's a lousy pun - whaddaya gonna do about it?We like these curious guys since they eat huge amounts of insect life while they inhabit the masonry block stacks.|
|Our work this week - aside from testing our patience, vocabulary and healing capacities - is all about setting J-bolts into the walls to secure the roofing joists for the ferrocement roof.|
|Last stop on our DIY itinerary is the top of one of our grout columns inside the wall. The object in the red circle is the top of a section of rebar poking up next to an embedded J-bolt. The reinforced columns every 4 feet or so are tied to rebar embedded in the foundation. This not only provides structural strength, it spreads the loading from the roof through the walls to the foundation.|
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|Next week's installment: Crazy Click HERE|
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