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, June 18, 2010

Ready to begin the next phase of construction

It’s been hot and sweaty weather here for the last couple of weeks, and the forecast is that it will stay the same through next week. Still, there’s work to be done. So, I accept sweat as a way of life.

We’ve made some good progress this week. Except for a few small places on the walls where I want to apply a second coat of surface bonding cement, the foundation work is done. We finished installing the sill plate all the way around today.

It took longer to bolt the sill plate on than I expected. sill plateThere was a fair bit of time spent milling the boards, of course. I guess if I just went to the building supply store and bought lumber for the job, it would be quicker. It would also cost more and wouldn’t be ‘custom’ like what we have now.

After we finished bolting on the last sill board, we laid a few 4x6s on the porch piers at the front of the house. These will go all the way around the porch eventually with 6x8 beams coming out from the foundation wall to the piers which will support the floor joists for the porch.

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We’ll be framing the deck of the porch next week. I don’t know how quickly this phase of the project will take. I usually underestimate the amount of time it takes to do each part. You’d think I’d learn by now, but I’m still an optimist in terms of how much I can actually accomplish in any given day.


Friddlewood said...

I sometimes have that problem of estimating time needed to complete a project. The sawmill customer yesterday didn't think that he had a full day of work for me, so I told him not to worry, "I can stretch out the work and make it last all day." Well, when I finished about 7pm, I told him that I was joking about being able to take all day. Most of the logs were sawn in to 4/4 and some 6/4 boards, so that took longer than if half had been sawn into 2" boards.

curdy said...

Really exciting to see the house progress. Thanks for the updates!