Main Living Area Walls are Complete

I have started writing this entry about three times over the past three weeks but each time end up getting distracted by more pressing matters.   The first time I was going to update it was simply to let you all know that it was basically still raining. 🙂  Our concern at this point in June is to get as much of the house closed up as fast as possible.  We are now in hurricane season so we are pushing to get the roof on and the windows in the main house.

As I mentioned in the last post I spent two days pumping water from the electrical room and from under the deck. They are both full again. Two weeks ago we got completely drenched again and lost 2.5 work days. But there are definitely positives to share. Right before those additional heavy rains we were able to get the slab for the living area poured which meant we didn’t have to wait for the site to dry out to start forming the walls. Over the next two weeks the walls were formed and on Saturday we poured the walls. Of course none of this was without headaches, but that part is complete which is a major milestone. With this pour we surpassed 400 yards of concrete used thus far.

Some of the items I have dealt with since the last post include having to confront a worker over theft of materials (I caught him) and having to spend weekends trying to remove mold and mildew (lots of it) from 250 cypress planks that were delivered shrinkwrapped in pouring rain last month. Water got in and sat there a few weeks. Many boards were damaged beyond our ability to disinfect properly, but we were able to salvage most (except for those that were stolen). In regards to the stolen material, our neighbor saw this person leaving with the boards one evening and reported it to us. Then I caught him in the act. It of course was awkward, but I will leave it at that for now.

We also had/have green mold forming on all our outdoor rafters that are now covered with cypress. The rafters were painted, then the rains came, and the cypress wasn’t put on until after the first batch of rains. The mold started forming after later rains and after the cypress was put on (see photo below). I suspect that the mold we are seeing is a result of water getting into the tops of the rafters (they didn’t paint the tops and apparently should have) and slowly seeping out through the paint. It is a complete mess, so we will have to repaint those rafters. Learning process I guess.

In addition, our AC installer had an angioplasty a few days before we needed him to run his sleeves in the walls. In the end he got the job done, not as I instructed, but it should be workable.

The question for a long time was “are you going to connect the two pods”? “A walkway between the two”? “Maybe a skywalk between the two”? “What is it going to look like?” Now the question we get is “when do you think it will be finished”? I wish I knew. We have passed our contractor’s estimate for completing the shell, and he likely has two more months to go. I think we can have the main house shell completed with windows installed, plastered, and roof on by end of July. Then the finish would begin. Tiling, painting, drywall (not too much of that), cabinetry, etc. I am on the lookout for people with these skills, so if you have anybody to recommend, let me know. If the price is right I will fly you down from the states. 🙂 My original best-case-scenario finish date was October, which coincidentally is also the end of our lease. Can we hit that date? Doubtful. Emily laughed at me when I set that date 6 months ago and when I mention it now it is apparently even more comical. So, realistically we are shooting for December. I would still be content with that but am pushing for October, even though we have basically lost a month due to rain. Go, go go. It has helped that our concrete guys have worked the past two Saturdays. Hopefully they keep that up.

What else? We had dinner and drinks on Friday night with Mike and Tisha (sp?) from Grand Rapids. They have been readers of the blog and are down for vacation. They got a hold of us through their realtor Kim Lucas and we all met up for drinks that turned into dinner. Mike and Tisha, thanks again. For other readers, chime in, let us know where you are reading from.

Emily has rented out a great space in town and has started teaching a Saturday morning yoga class at the Sanctuary on Company St. You can find more info at http://www.StCroixYoga.com if interested.

Tons of pics below, sorry for the slow loading times.

 

5/31/2011 - Prepping living area for slab pour

5/31/2011 - Prepping living area for slab pour

5/31/2011 - Prepping living area for slab pour

5/31/2011 - Prepping living area for slab pour

6/1/2011 - Mold on outside rafters

6/1/2011 - Mold on outside rafters

6/1/2011 - Prepping living area for slab pour

6/1/2011 - Prepping living area for slab pour

6/1/2011 - Decking patio roof

6/1/2011 - Decking patio roof

6/2/2011 - Prepping living are for slab pour

6/2/2011 - Prepping living are for slab pour

6/2/2011 - Prepping living are for slab pour

6/2/2011 - Prepping living are for slab pour

6/3/2011 - Living area slab pour

6/3/2011 - Living area slab pour

6/3/2011 - Living area slab pour

6/3/2011 - Living area slab pour

6/3/2011 - Living area slab pour

6/3/2011 - Living area slab pour

6/3/2011 - Living area slab pour

6/3/2011 - Living area slab pour

6/3/2011 - Living area slab pour

6/3/2011 - Living area slab pour

6/5/2011 - Wall forming begins

6/5/2011 - Wall forming begins

6/6/2011 - Wall forming continues

6/6/2011 - Wall forming continues

6/6/2011 - Wall forming continues (big pocket door)

6/6/2011 - Wall forming continues (big pocket door)

6/9/2011 - Wall forming & window framing

6/9/2011 - Wall forming & window framing (notice crate path due to mud)

6/9/2011 - Ah yes, the rains came again, and dirt work has not been done to alter this outcome

6/9/2011 - Ah yes, the rains came again, and dirt work has not been done to alter this outcome

6/9/2011 - Just a cool shot I liked, that rain was past us

6/10/2011 - Just a cool shot I liked, that rain was past us

6/10/2011 - Working on the other side of the deck roof

6/10/2011 - Working on the other side of the deck roof

6/10/2011 - Shortcut

6/10/2011 - Shortcut

6/10/2011 - View from above looking at the living area

6/10/2011 - View from above looking at the living area

6/13/2011 - Window and electrical and plumbing rough-in

6/13/2011 - Window and electrical and plumbing rough-in

6/13/2011 - front door and electrical rough-in

6/13/2011 - front door and electrical rough-in

6/13/2011 - cypress completed on guest side of deck roof

6/13/2011 - cypress completed on guest side of deck roof

6/13/2011 - Living area wall forms and support

6/13/2011 - Kitchen wall forms and support

6/14/2011 - Electrical

6/14/2011 - Electrical

6/14/2011 - Electrical

6/14/2011 - Electrical

6/16/2011 - Wall forming nearly complete

6/16/2011 - Wall forming nearly complete

6/18/2011 - Time to pour the walls

6/18/2011 - Time to pour the walls

6/18/2011 - Pouring walls, splattering on ceiling and rafters

6/18/2011 - Pouring walls, splattering on ceiling and rafters6/18/2011 - Pouring walls, splattering on ceiling and rafters

6/18/2011 - Pouring walls

6/18/2011 - Pouring walls

11 thoughts on “Main Living Area Walls are Complete

  1. Good progress, given the wet weather. It’s really taking shape. I remember when we finally got framed in (wood) at our home up north….a very exciting moment! Hope to see you in Sept.

    -Mike

  2. My fiance and I have been following your blog sience you began you journey and have seen the highs and lows you have been subject to in the process of building your new home and just wanted to say may there be more highs in the future, and good luck in finishing the project. It looks great, looking forward to seeing the finished product. We have recently had the closing on .68 acres of land that we purchased in the Company Quarter, we have lots of questions we would like to ask at your convience. Would like to PM, or we could give our info to your realtor, if this is something that would be ok with you of course. Good Day=) Dan & Renee’

  3. Mike, yes it is a very exciting point in the process. They are finishing removing the forms today and we can finally walk through the entire main house to get a feel for the way the rooms are laid out. I am 98% happy with the layout. 🙂

  4. Hi Dan & Renee. We appreciate the comments. Congrats on closing on your land. What realtor did you end up using? I will shoot you an email in a moment.

  5. Hey Chad, sorry I missed your last message yesterday.
    So we used REMAX, they were great handled everything for us, as we were not there for the closing. Everything went without a hitch, nice seeing as we are going to run into many issues in the process of building:) Another question…about your dogs, did you bring them from the states? If yes, what was their flight like? We also have 3 dogs and are trying to figure that all out as well.
    Hope everything going well!!
    Dan & Renee’

  6. Dan and Renee, yes, we brought two of our dogs with us from Dallas and adopted our third from the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center in October 2009. The process of traveling with the pets wasn’t without hassle. We also had three cats that we brought down. We made one trip with two cats in carry-ons. I then went back and got the two dogs and the third cat. We have labs so they had to go under the plane with the baggage. I felt awful doing this to the dogs, but short of having excess $ for a charter from Dallas this was our only option. But they managed fine. American Airlines told me that the large crates for the dogs wouldn’t fit in the smaller planes from San Juan to St. Croix. So I chartered a small Cessna to take myself, a cat and the two dogs the final 90 miles. I think the cost was around $400 or so. Because of severe weather we ended up getting stuck overnight in San Juan. Lugging around the two large crates, the cat, and luggage from airport to hotel to airport was the worst part of everything.

  7. Yeah we have 3 large dogs, so we would probably have to do the same! Yay;-)

  8. So where’s the massage therapy treatment room supposed to be? I am so excited that you are so far along considering all the bad weather! Good job!!

  9. Hi Roberta. We can always find space for a massage table. 🙂 Hope all is well with you.

  10. hi-guys picked up your blog on a search for yearly rentals as friend of mine is considering job offer there,i am retiring realtor from fla ,ex gc and developer AND YOU HAVE done simply marvelous in your project ,you have had some tough tings ;0)happen and imho you have done great ,one tip i mght offer is check out product called teflex for your mold remediation ,hope to be moving there myself ,keep the smiles on your faces and tight lines waterfrontman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *