Wednesday, November 21, 2007


We no longer have to use the ladder to get down into the basement! The stairs are finished.

The roof, however, has been rained and snowed on, but it's nearly done.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

The jig is up!

(edited to add a couple more pictures of the stair jigs)

This is how we currently "get down in the hole." It's a ladder, if you couldn't
tell. In the window well. Until last Saturday, the stair opening was covered by sheets of plywood so no one would fall down. Frugaldad framed the walls that go on either side of the stairs and took up the plywood. (For all of you worried about safety, there's still a piece of wood blocking the entrance to the stairs, and strips of wood across the stud walls to keep people from slipping between the studs) This week the main project was the stairs.

Frugaldad took a day off work this week to work on the house, and he cut the stair stringers. Here's the first one of three. He built two jigs to help him cut all the stairs the same.

One of the jigs

The jig in place to cut the next step

Saw on the jig

The other jig

Jig in place

Saw on the other jig

Three stair stringers ready to be lowered through the stairwell window.

Then today, he worked on building the landing of the stairs. There will be a long run of stairs, then a square landing, then two more steps. An aerial view of the framed landing.

The landing from downstairs.

We've been lucky to have my friend Jessica's husband Cliff helping with the roof. He has roofing experience and he's pretty fast! Frugaldad is able to do these other things while Cliff works on the roof. Unfortunately with the time change, there isn't much daylight left at the end of a workday, so work can only be done for a little while each weekday, but I'll post pictures when the roof is all done.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Sheathing and tar paper

The day the trusses went up, it rained and rained, and rained some more. Like four-tenths of an inch. Here in the desert. We put some tarps up over the roof decking and the rain stopped. Inside.

The next day was Saturday, and Frugaldad was able to get almost all the sheathing on, except the rim board and headers over the doors and windows. It was supposed to rain again so he didn't want to risk uncovering the roof and not being able to finish the tar paper if the rain started again. Of course, it ended up being clear all day long so he did the tar paper on Monday instead.
Frugalboy loves to climb on the roof, and he loves to help his dad. Probably in that order. And he's pretty good at banging nails.

Here is the sheathing and tar paper.

The progress this week hasn't been really visible. Frugaldad installed hurricane strapping on the trusses to help keep the roof from lifting off in a windstorm. We've done a lot of clean-up. Tonight (Nov. 1) he framed the first interior wall.