On To Something New

As the title suggests we are focusing on something new. The garage pad has been poured for a significant length of time but now that we are living out here a garage would be particularly nice for many reasons. So this spring we started the process of building our one of a kind garage to suit our house and location.
The garage slab is a perfect place to play Tonka Trucks and splash in puddles!!
Once the wood was ordered and delivered we started the process of building the main floor walls. That was accomplished by Ron, Bernie and Spencer. Prior to this we had to agree on windows and doors. This lead to a timely discussion about house doors, screen doors and the window issue. No decisions were reached on those issues but we did order the windows and doors for the garage.
This shows the north, west and east walls ready to go. Finally a building that the wall direction doesn’t need to be disputed on!!
Then it was time to raise the walls. Big thanks to Jason Struthers (who actually donated the whole day), Doug Hillis & Stephen Stade (who’s help was invaluable with the squaring up process). It’s always good to have a carpenter/contractor friend who will give up a Sunday to help out. Some of the sheeting got done fairly soon and other parts were left for various reasons.
Ron and Lorne checking out the walls. Note the concrete base for the stone retaining wall has been formed and poured.
The next step was to put the stairs in place so that we had access to the loft (yes you read that correctly). This was accomplished by having a party and putting everyone to work after they ate!! The stairs were the first ones that came for the house that were slightly too short (but let’s not rehash that item as no one at all will admit to being wrong) but were perfect for the garage (of course it helps that we designed the garage to go with them!!).
stair work crew.jpg
This task was easily accomplished by a large work crew. Please note that Georgina isn’t wearing socks and I put her whole body in the picture!! Not how nicely weathered the stairs look – going for that rugged cottage look.
Then it was time for the beam to go into place. Unlike the house beam this one had to be lifted into the air rather than slide into place. A huge thank you to Peter Royer for his bobcat. I must admit I was quite impressed with my husband’s bobcat skills to lift the beam and maneuver it into place. There wasn’t a lot of margin for error.
This doesn’t look all that tricky but in the next picture you can see where we were inserting the beam.
Now you can see there wasn’t a lot of room for error here.
Then it was the time consuming “sport” of lifting the floor joists up into place, measuring them and securing them in place. This could be the next extreme sport on TV I think. Or maybe it was such a challenge because I am only 5’1″ and those things were long and heavy and going way over my head. Then to fasten them I was on the beam hammering down. This event seems to take the longest and the weather was the least favorable for it but eventually it was accomplished.
The structural steel beam with the floor joists secured into it. The task would have been a lot easier if today’s wood was as straight and true as wood from 1918.
Next came the tongue and groove sub-floor. Turns out neither Alyssa and Jes will go up on the floor of the garage. That’s OK as Ron and I managed this task quite handily. Possibly my skill set improved for the power driver for the screws although I never did manage to keep up to Ron. We had some decent weather for the days we were off and home doing this. My age must be catching up to me though as a day of hauling up sheets of tongue and groove had me calling Spencer to come help haul up the next day’s worth of sheets!
Day 1 early on as we just got going. Completed this job in 2 days which was a nice change from how long it often takes us to accomplish something.
At the same time our first crop of hay was cut and baled with our share of the hay came to 60 bales of hay.
More lumber and the next set of walls to build for the loft. The design of the loft mimics the attic roof line as will the interior walls. Ron spent a significant amount of time measuring up for this and the design of the rafters means a bit of a wait as they are a custom build item (so that is were we sit right now – still a couple of weeks to wait). We had time to lay out the loft design. Ron had long since designed his garage workshop space.
This picture, out of the several angles we have, shows the similarities between the two roof lines. A special thanks to VCM for our temporary garage – still works great but hopefully within the next 2 months it can go!
We are also continuing to work on the basement portion of the house (mostly Alyssa’s room but the main room and the bath room as well) as well as a bit of landscaping (not the kind with plants etc – more the moving dirt kind). We laid out the sidewalks and built the base for the first retaining wall. Ron and Spencer moved a gazillion (can’t remember the exact number) yards of top soil around and we planted a garden. It isn’t the long term location but it was something I really wanted to do this year. It got a really late start and then the weather sucked but we have had potatoes, peas, tomatoes, kohlrabi and carrots from it to date so I guess we won’t laugh too hard at it. I also did, with my friend Claire’s help, a prairie reclamation project. We identified plants and then I transplanted them. The object is too see if any survive the summer and then weather or not they return to green living plants in the spring.
Glad we have given ourselves 5 years to complete the outside as the scope of work is fairly varied and without a lot of paid help we don’t get super far ourselves when we fit it into the rest of life. The inside is starting to feel more like home every day and most of us can walk around at night without running into walls. Most of us can make a meal and do laundry but it turns out that not everyone can do all of those things! Anyway, if you would like a tour and a visit call or stop in.
Bernie and Ron

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3 Responses to On To Something New

  1. Frank Korvemaker says:

    Hi Bernie:
    Nice to hear from you again. But don’t you two ever tire of building? Good to see a steeply pitched roof on that garage, to complement the house. My, but the house does look good. And what a location. A good place to live out those retirement years, if you ever retire.
    If you want a change in scenery, take a look at the PICTURES page of the Bell Barn Society’s website, at: http://www.bellbarn.ca/ The reconstruction is well underway, and the stone wall is now up to the 10 foot level, and a full 14 feet in others. We stop at 14 feet, then add the loft, roof and lookout tower. Hope to get it enclosed before Christmas. I guess you know that feeling – to get to a certain point before winter sets in. If all goes well, we have the Grand Opening set for Saturday, July 17, 2010 – just 10 months from now.
    All the best, FRANK


  2. kagould17 says:

    Love the long views from the house. So nice on the Prairies, until those cold winter winds blow. Our house used to be very exposed when we first moved in as it was almost on the edge of town then. Our master faces North and has 5 windows. I still remember the sound from the night that first wind and rain storm hit. Allan


    • bernieLynne says:

      Oh lordie — not fond of northern winds nor southern winds. One hits the back door and one hits the master bedroom balcony door. Some day our trees will be big enough! Thanks for reading and commenting Allan.


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