Moon – roof

On Wednesday night the sky was clear enough for the first time in days to see the rising moon.


Leah called my lazy rear end out to get this shot. It’s only so-so. It was handheld, so it’s not really sharp enough to stand up to much enlargement. It was really pretty in person.

And the roof? That’s the new roof on our house.


The weather was pretty good for the last few weeks, but rain was expected during the early hours of Monday (October 26). The roofing material wasn’t delivered until late last week. Fortunately, the roofer came out Saturday with about an hour of daylight left and got the roofing felt up. Then he came and shingled all day Sunday, so by the time the rain started we had a roof. The framing contractor, who provided the roofer as well, said he doesn’t like to ask anyone to work on the weekend, but in this case he made an exception. We’re glad he did. At least the roofer got Monday and Tuesday off anyway, since it rained pretty much the entire two days.

Most of our siding material was delivered earlier last week, but there was still a little bit left. This came on Monday.


This is the fish scale or half-round shingle material that will go on the porch gable. It will be painted white (as of now) to contrast with the dark green (as of now) color of the siding. I think siding will probably start today (Thursday Oct. 29) or Friday, assuming no more rain.

Fall clouds

We have had nearly perfect fall weather for a long time. The temperatures were cool to warm during the days and cool to slightly cold at night. The sky was either deep blue or deep blue with puffy white clouds sailing around. Those days reminded me of an elementary school child’s sky drawing, or maybe the opening credits of The Simpsons.

These are some clouds we say Wednesday afternoon. You can see ice crystals falling out of the cloud on the right (virga).


These are some thin clouds we saw later that evening. The conditions were favorable for iridescent clouds, but, alas, there were none.


Looking the other way we could see a train of clouds dropping virga.


Despite some clouds, the skies were mostly clear and blue for the last couple of weeks. And then Saturday morning it was overcast.


The forecast was for a good chance of rain Monday through Wednesday. Fortunately, our roof is supposed to be completed by Sunday.

Looking towards the inside

We are at a sort of turning point on our house construction. Framing is essentially complete except for some last details on the front porch and stairs. The housewrap has been applied. The roofing and siding are arranged for. The windows and exterior doors have been ordered and should arrive within a week or so. The roof will go on as soon as the shingles are delivered. The siding has to wait for the windows. But once that happens, the exterior will be essentially complete, and work shifts to the interior.


Siding was delivered on Tuesday, October 20. The truck driver parked in front of our current driveway because the delivery order showed our current address.


I told him where it needed to go, but there was no way he could get that truck up our new driveway. I was pretty impressed that he got it all the way up Fouche Gap Road. Other tractor-trailer drivers have not been so skilled. He arrived at around 10 am, just as the dogs and I got back from our walk. I told him we needed to leave at around 11 so we could drive down to the framing contractor’s office about an hour and a half away to pick out shingles and balusters (or spindles or pickets, depending on who’s talking). He said there would be no problem, but there was. He used his big three-wheeled forklift to take the siding material down the street to the new house. When he finished, his truck’s battery was dead. Without a battery, he couldn’t start his truck. Without a running engine he couldn’t build up air pressure. Without air pressure, he couldn’t release his brakes and roll back to bump start and clear our driveway.

Fortunately, he was able to pick up the back of his trailer with his forklift and move it over enough for us to get out.

We picked out spindles and ordered them. When they arrive, the framer will send a crew back to the site to install the porch and stair railings. Leah wasn’t pleased with a simple, round spindle so we ended up getting some fancier spindles with what are called baskets on them. That was a good call on her part. I think the finished porch and stairs will look a lot better that way.

I got an estimate for a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system on Sunday. The plumber came out and marked installation points for the rough-in on Wednesday. Plumbing can start immediately; HVAC has to wait for a roof, as does electrical.

Things we need to do quickly: pick out paint for the siding, and get our bathtub and shower enclosures so that the plumber can locate the drains.

So, the rough order of work, once the roof is on, is install windows and exterior doors, install siding, paint siding, complete rough-in of plumbing, electrical and HVAC, install bath and shower enclosures, insulate the walls, install drywall, install garage doors (so that we can secure the house), insulate the attic, paint the interior, install flooring, install interior doors, install bathroom vanities and toilets, install kitchen cabinets, install countertops, complete finished plumbing, complete finished electrical (interior and exterior light fixtures, switch plates and the like), install trim (base plates and window trim). At some point, we will probably put in a wood-burning stove; that should come somewhere after the flooring is installed.

But that’s not all we have to do. We have to pick out an exterior paint color. We were going to use vinyl siding but the framing contractor said cement board is cheaper and we prefer that anyway. We have to choose wood and tile flooring, interior paint colors, and door colors (We have stained trim and doors in our current house, which I prefer, but it’s far more work than painted trim, plus painted doors and trim are cheaper.) We have to choose bathroom vanities, vanity tops, kitchen cabinets and countertops. We have to select faucets for the bathrooms and kitchen, light fixtures and ceiling fans. I’m sure I have forgotten something.

Contractors will do some of this work. We will do some.

And, oh yes, we need to visit the bank again.

Finally fall

Fall has finally come to north Georgia. We had about an inch and three quarters of rain a few days ago, and then a couple of cloudy days, but Monday morning was clear and cool. It was foggy when I took the dogs for their walk.



There was a little wind that blew the fog through the trees.

It’s prime time for funnel web spiders.


There are so many along the road, it’s a little mind-boggling to think about how many of these spiders must inhabit this little patch of forest.

A little further down Fouche Gap Road the sun made another nice shot above the trees.


It was too bright to get a good shot of the fog, but I did catch something else about 35 or 40 feet above the road, just below the treeline.


I would never have seen it if not for the dew on the web and the angle of the sun.

We walked up to the house on the way back so I could check on a material delivery. Most of the fog was gone.


As we west down on our walk I could see that the valley was pretty much filled with fog. I had been thinking that we were up in the clouds, but we were actually just sticking up above the fog.

The framers are flying

Our framing crew started work last Wednesday, Sept 30. The framing contractor showed up late in the morning with his crew and we discussed what was going to be done. Then he left his six-man crew with a supervisor and a translator and the crew got started. Here is most of the first half-day’s work


They have framed the front of the basement and are starting the interior partitions in the basement. Here is the work they finished the next day.


They have completed everything in the basement except the stairs from the main level, and they have put on the main level deck. That was Thursday. Here’s what they did on Friday.


They didn’t start work in the morning because Friday morning is payday. But they came after lunch and worked till it was too dark to work any more. They finished almost all the exterior walls, save only the rough openings for the living room and bedroom windows and the front door. That was my fault. I had to bring them the dimensions of the rough openings for all of those, which I did not have at the time. Most of the interior walls are framed as well. The exterior of the garage was almost completed except for the sheathing and the front wall, which required a long beam that had not been delivered at that time. They ran out of material Monday afternoon. Here’s what the house looked like then.


It’s hard to see what they did, but they did quite a bit on the interior.

I couldn’t get the next material load delivered until later in the day on Tuesday, so the crew worked on another job that day. They came back on Wednesday and flew some more.


What’s obvious is that they have started on the front porch. What you may not be able to tell is that they have essentially all the ceiling joists up for the main level.

Here’s the back of the house.


Both of these pictures were taken just after sunset, so they are pretty drab looking. The long, reddish brown beam over the front of the garage is laminated veneer lumber (LVL), which is sections of wood laminated (glued together) into a single beam. LVL’s are relatively thin, which means that two were required, but they are easier to handle than a single, wide beam. You can also see the garage ceiling joists here.

The lumber in front of the garage is most of what’s needed to frame the roof — we’re going with stick-built instead of roof trusses — and the front porch. Another load of lumber is supposed to be delivered on Thursday (today).

I am impressed by the work this crew has done. They are all Hispanic, Mexican I presume. One can speak English like a native, but the translator has a little more trouble. He and I have been able to communicate well enough that can understand what he’s talking about when he describes the little problems and detours that any construction project involves. From what I can tell, their work is good as well as fast.

I suspect that if the framer I originally contacted had actually shown up to work, the framing would be nowhere close to this far along. I’m glad these guys are doing the work.