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Planning with Charlie

by Tara

With Tyler working full-time at Bocoup, I've taken on the role of contractor for our house-construction project. We're still going to work together on the building process, but I'm doing the vast majority of the scheduling, calculating, ordering, and decision-making myself. Today, I sat down with Charlie and spent a good three hours making a timeline for the buildout.

Tyler and I are headed to a straw bale workshop in Road Island from April 7th through the 13th, and we'd like to hit the ground running when we get back, putting what we've learned into action. In order to do this, we're shooting to have the frame raised before we leave (and before we head to Boston during the first week of April). This is extremely optimistic (it's still winter around here), but it just might be doable.

Timber Frame Raising Timeline

Over the next couple of weeks, there will be much work to do. First, we'll be moving a huge pile of Durisol blocks from where they are currently sitting on our cottage foundation. We purchased them last summer so we could use them as toe-ups (to raise the first course of straw bales off the ground), but we've since decided to go a different route.

Scott & Durisol Blocks Durisol Blocks Tyler Strapping Durisol Blocks to Truck Durisol Blocks in Truck Tyler Carrying Durisol Blocks

The blocks are now a hindrance rather than a help, and they're taking up much-needed workspace on the concrete slab. Once they're out of the way, we'll have to clear snow from the work site. Though warmer temperatures have melted plenty of it, there's still at least a foot up there. I'd rather raise our frame in snow than mud, though.

Durisol Blocks Under Tarp on Tiny Cottage Foundation

After the site is cleared, we'll prepare it with tarps and sawhorses and scaffolding, then load up our sanded and stained timbers (currently in storage at Jeremy and Hercilia's house), and bring them up to the work site. Once all of that is finished, we'll be ready to assemble the frame we cut two years ago!

Planning with Charlie was a wild success—he's almost as enthusiastic about this project as I am! Having Charlie's cheerful attitude and 30+ years of building experience was reassuring, and having our workflow hammered out on a giant paper calendar was very helpful as well. It's hard to believe, but we're actually going to start building our house in just a few weeks!

In Years Past and Future
2010 - Athens Graffiti & New Camera


Woohoo! Go guys! Looks like ur ready to come out of the long winter with guns a blazing! By the way you guys r motivating the heck out of me too get going on our seattle area homestead that we close on in a month. Keep up the great work!
Posted by Aaron Placke on March 19th, 2014 at 11:30 PM
That is so exciting!!! Can't wait to read the updates on the house!
Posted by Magalie on March 19th, 2014 at 11:38 PM
WOW! That's tremendously exciting--makes me believe that spring might actually arrive one day.... Here in Maine, on the first day of spring (yeah, right) it is, of course, snowing (the way it has been for the last 8,645 days).
Posted by Nancy Kane on March 20th, 2014 at 12:11 PM
Today is Roof Decking day two! I like seeing the calendar - I imagine you're getting up very early to work and falling into bed exhausted every night with no time to write - but we can still kinda follow along!
Posted by Jennifer on March 27th, 2014 at 2:55 PM
I wish I could say that we were on track with that plan, but the truth is much less exciting. The house site is still buried under a foot of snow and 4 inches of ice.

Tonight, we are off to Boston for a week (for my job) and the week following we'll be at a strawbale building workshop in Rhode Island. Hopefully when we return we can finally start on the house!
Posted by Tyler on March 30th, 2014 at 3:28 PM