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 start out this week feeling mighty cocksure and, if not on top of the WHOLE world, at least on top of our corner of it. We've got the barrel vault covered with 6 mil plastic sheeting, the vent blocks placed and just need to finish the barrel vault decking off. Yep, mighty cocksure. Experienced DIY owner/builders will be wincing right about now because they know what's coming. The rest of you, read on...|
|Okay so far but starting to feel a bit more mortal by Tuesday, we're using roofing nails to tack down the plastic to the 2x6 joists. Very little in the way of blood and sweat this week, although the heat index is a killer after 10:30 in the morning. Yeah, we got game. I'll be smilin', stylin' and profilin' by the weekend.|
|After winching up a dozen loads of blocks and getting them (and myself) adhesived in the process of finishing the parapets, the shoulders ache and the knees are a bit wobbly when the temperature gets to 95. I pull rebar up to the roof and bend it against a parapet wall to get an arch to it, then place it across the arch of the barrel vault. How many of these things have we got left?|
|I am weaving the 20 foot strands of rebar into the metal decking on each side of the arch. The only way to get this part done is bending the rebar by hand while maintaining balance and striving for some leverage. At this point, I am muttering to myself "Answer the bell, answer the bell..." whenever I climb the ladder to get back up on the roof. This photo taken while your now humble correspondent is on his knees, retching and gasping for breath in the heat. Damn bell...|
|Worth it? I'm thinking so. The decking structure is finished, although we've got work to do filling in the gaps with handfuls of cement. We can call a halt to the vault work for the moment.Another man might take this week as a lesson in humility. Me, I'm inclined to think you might as well beat your chest while you can, the rest of you will take a beating in due time anyway...|
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|Next week's installment: Field of Seams... Click HERE|
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