Thursday, October 27, 2005

Sus Ojos

Today was a much better day than yesterday. Cloudy to start, but no rain, and sun in the afternoon. I worked with Edis, and we got a lot done. I'd pre-cut the headers, jack studs, and sills for a couple of windows that we'd left out to reduce weight when raising the walls. So while I cut back more of the roof and existing siding to install the wall where the new front door will be, Edis kept busy with putting in the stuff for the window framing.

We got the front wall raised, and I put Edis to installing the header, et al, for the window in it, while I laid out and built one of the wall sections that sits atop the existing dining room and kitchen wall. We raised that, and briefly celebrated because although it sits on two levels because of the Hecka Big Beam, and it had to slide over the existing vent stack for the kitchen, it fit like a glove. (No, not like OJ's fit well.)

Then I put Edis to work installing the window framing in it while I laid out the last section of "tall" wall, which goes between the entryway and the bedroom and bathroom. And hence it contains the door to the bedroom, so it will get a big header.

Building that wall was a challenge, because it was as tall and wide as the bedroom is wide, so there wasn't much room to nail. But we managed, and got that wall raised, too.

Which leaves two more sections of exterior wall to build, the biggest one being the part that makes up the outside of the loft above the bathroom. So tomorrow we'll build the interior bathroom wall and the loft above it, so we can install the exterior wall above that.

Edis did some cutting along the way, but he's not getting how to use the Skilsaw, so I ended up doing most of the cuts. Tomorrow I may have him bring the chop saw up again, since it's much easier to make straight cuts with that, even if it is slower. But I had to remind him time and again to put his safety glasses on -- "¡Sus ojos!" ("Your eyes!")

One of the biggest framing tasks remaining (beside installing the roof trusses whenever those are ready) is making a cricket on the existing roof to meet the side of the addition. That and installing the sheathing (5/8" OSB) on the walls should keep me busy until the roof trusses are ready.

Just getting the roof trusses ordered is taking a frustratingly long time. There aren't that many companies that make trusses in the SF Bay Area, and some won't even do it for single houses -- they only make trusses en masse for developers doing multi-home developments. I've emailed, then called BayTruss, and only get sporadic responses. I just want to know how much the darn things will cost, then I'll go ahead and order them. But that's taking forever. I'm even considering getting them through Home Depot, though I'm not sure they do raised-heel trusses.

A lot of people haven't the foggiest idea what raised-heel trusses are -- even the engineer who did the calcs for the Hecka Big Beam hadn't heard of them. The concept is pretty simple, though. The heel (the part of the truss that sits on top of the walls) is, well, raised. Why is this a good thing, you ask? Because it allows putting more insulation all the way across the ceiling, instead of having it be squished at the edges of the roof because of limited space. Which makes for a better insulated house, which is more comfortable and cheaper to heat. And it makes installing aforementioned insulation much, much easier.

After I dropped off Edis, I made another trip to Home Depot for some more wood for tomorrow's building. A woman in the parking lot asked if I needed help loading, clearly looking for some money. I said no thanks, so she asked if I could help with some money for dinner. Long story short, 'Vicki' may have been lying through her teeth, but she helped me load the lumber on the car, and I gave her some money for dinner and some more for diapers for her 5 month old daughter. And she asked for prayer, which I'll definitely give. A long while back I heard a sermon on giving to people who are begging. The pastor said he used to always worry that people would just use the money for drugs, alcohol, etc. But then he realized...what if they don't? He realized the Christ-like thing to do was just give them the money, and let God sort it out. So I did, and we both went away happy. And God will sort it out.

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