Years ago I use to hitchhike around the western and central United States. During one of my excursions I came upon Coeur D' Alene, Idaho back in the mid 1970's. At that time I was absolutely stunned and vowed to return to this area. Years later, however, I did return and in 2006 I spent a couple weeks reviewing the local Real Estate markets for just the right piece. I looked at properties from Kellogg, Saint Maries, Coeur D' Alene, Sandpoint, Samuels, Bonners Ferry and north towards the Canadian border. I was no longer interested in Coeur D' Alene because of over growth and some serious traffic congestion and purchased a 9 plus acre parcel about 15 miles north of Sandpoint. We had the property surveyed in 2007 and began placing several building pads on the lot. In 2009 we began building a new home in Idaho. Here are some pictures of the foundation work of 2009. From this period on I spend about 11 months of the year here in Idaho. Temperature changes during the years (2006 through 2014) have been as low as minus 28 and the summer highs in the upper 90's. So you learn quickly how to live in this environment with confidence and security. The 'background' image of this page is a picture of my property from Google Maps. Look carefully towards the bottom of the page and you'll see my home.
The following year (2010) I began designing the first floor walls and floor structure and rough coverings. I made drawings for every wall to help minimize mistakes. Each stud and board was carefully selected, laid out and predrilled when necessary. Various clamps were used to hold the wood stationary while I set the structures with #10 X 3" External Star Drive Screws. Here are the set of drawings for the first floor walls. No nails were used in their construction. Here are some pictures of the first floor construction. Here we have the external and internal walls of the living spaces. The forms used in the concrete foundation were reused for the wall sheeting and some windows have been added. In addition the front deck was added.
In 2011 I had a few set backs due to physical limitations. Because I have had no help in the construction of this house, my body was deteriorating. I've always had lower back problems with degenerative disk disease at S1, L5, L4 and L3. Having had two operations already I wasn't pleased to discover that I now had two bulging disks in my neck and both Rotator Cuff's had torn muscles and ligaments'. So I worked using much more care not to actually break something. So the next set of pictures show that I finished the garage framing, added the stairs, installed the large support beams for the second story floor joists, used 3/4" tongue and groove plywood for the flooring and built the second story walls. Here are the drawings for the second story walls and the flooring joist layout.
Now it's 2012. I need to get some work done. I had to make careful calculations for both the house portion and garage portion of the dormers to maintain my 16" centers across those spans. So during this year I set all the external walls, build the internal walls, added new plywood sheeting to cover the exposed areas and framed out the dormers. The pictures show both the construction layout of the dormers and the wall placement and the dormers stationed for the following years work. As I have indicated before that only construction screws are being used to build this home. While building the largest dormer over the garage, I was attempting to stage some of the internal framing. If you look closely you can see screws in the angular pieces. Anyway the segment I was working on fell on me and one of the screws penetrated my skull. As you know most head injuries are bleeders. So off I went to the local emergency room for repairs. I was lucky and only needed a little super glue to close the wound.
The pictures of 2013 indicate a massive amount of work accomplished. Actually the scaffolding I used truly helped a great deal. Made my job much easier when placing the 2" X 12" ridge board along those long spans. Then there was the 20 foot rafters to set too. Most of the placements were easy because I laid out every station on 16" centers and alternated the rafters left to right and right to left. If you study the picture you can see the top plate and the ridge board extending over the rear portion of the house. This extensions will be used to extend the roof line over the upstairs deck. The span for the collar ties above the garage are 16 feet and those in the living areas are 14 feet. The pitch of the roof over the living area is 45o (12/12), where the pitch over the garage is 41o 23' (12/11). This odd angle was necessary due to the length of the garage (25 feet) and the house (22 feet) wide. The ridge board matched the intersecting opposing ridge board perfectly. Most of the upstairs windows were installed, additional plywood facing was added to cover all areas below the rafters bird nest (notch) and sheet metal brackets were added to each station.
In 2014 many of the tarps on the roof had to be replaced. The amount of time spent mopping up water was exhausting. I had invested in couple wet/dry vacuum cleaners to quickly suck up the water to prevent water damage. My smaller Wet-Vac unit fried. I had previously covered the floor with a thick layer of varnish. Even with the added protection water will always find a way to corrupt the under laying surfaces. So spending hours on my hands and knees with the Wet-Vac truly paid off as far as the flooring was concerned, however it was not kind to my back. For every hour on my knees I spent another hour hanging upside down decompressing. So I am sure you'll appreciate the next set of pictures of my continued progress. Ignore the camera dated shown on the pictures. The front porch is now covered and shingled, the rear deck was added (temporary support members), all the dormers are now closed in with fresh plywood, all rafters, collar ties, and blocking completed, the rear deck support members of the roof have been reinforced and now extend over the back deck, I've added the fascia boards to the rafter tails and I have begun sheeting the roof (1/3 complete). Each sheet of plywood was treated with water proofing to help maintain the surface integrity. With the aid of my Ford Bronco I used my smaller winch to pull the plywood up unto the roof and used Henry's to water proof the seams.
In 2015 I must finish the roof covering, build the fire place chase and install external metal siding on the walls. Updates will be added towards the end of 2015.