The 57 acres that comprise Cedar Ridge Farm are located in the beautiful rolling hills of South Central Kentucky. My wife, our four children, and I are on a homesteading adventure as we work toward increased self-sufficiency. We grow much of our own food and enjoy being in touch with the agrarian roots of our lives.

One of the major projects we have undertaken is the building of our own home. The house we're building has three major distinguishing features: 1. we're building it without incurring any debt; 2. it is a timber frame structure; and 3. the exterior walls will be plastered straw bales. We live debt and mortgage free, and building our house with that approach makes perfect sense. Large timbers in a home possess a beauty and project a sense of strength, stability, and warmth that we want in our home. Straw bale walls provide insulation and make ecological sense. This blog is a record of our home-building project.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Update: 9 days until the raising!

The hot and humid weather has continued all month. We haven't had any rain in August and we've been over 90 degrees every day so far. Yet, we've continued our work in preparation for raising day.

We completed the assembly of the final bent on Tuesday, August 14. We then began on floor joists. For them we're cutting the dovetail tenon and decorative arc on one end. The other end will be completed after exact measurements are taken once the frame is erected. We finished all of the floor joists (59 total) and the purlins (37 total) on Thursday, August 23 (yesterday). We also built the gin pole on Wednesday of this week. It's about 16' tall with a 7' base. I still want to do a bit more with it early next week before getting it put into place.

When doing the fit-up and assembly, a tenon on one collar tie broke. So, I needed to replace that. I completed that replacement yesterday, also.

So, at this point, the frame is ready to be raised! It's kind of amazing to have all the timbers ready. It's taken a full 2.5 years to get all the joinery and fitting-up done. I'm not complaining. I really haven't worked on it continuously throughout that time. There were some weeks and months when I didn't complete any of the joinery because there were other things that needed done.

I'm looking forward to seeing the frame standing in place. I'm not sure what all I will feel when it's up, but I imagine there will be several emotions. It's gonna be great, though!

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