CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVELING: You Raise Me Up (Weeks 32-35)

Even as an architect, it is difficult to appreciate the complexity and skill it takes for homebuilders and contractors. Unless you are living and breathing on the site 24-7 as we are, you are unaware of the active thinking, eye-hand coordination, and immense challenges it takes to build a structure from scratch. This giant sculptural baby is taking form and unwinding each day, with distinct progress and satisfaction gained.

The Second Story

After completing the floor joists and the subfloor for the second level, we began constructing the exterior walls. The master bedroom and bath will be located on this level.

Walls were first assembled on the floor, then tilted into place with “stoppers” to hold the wall in place. Finally, the sill plates were nailed to to floor and voila! The structure defines the edges of the rooms to be finished in the final phase of construction. Glimpses of the Pacific Ocean and Golden Gate Bridge make this monumental effort worthwhile.

Hoisting a heavy prelaminated beam in place became the next challenge. At 24 feet long and a heavy member, the beam arrived by truck from Golden State Lumber. It caused a brief sensation on the block as neighbors are not accustomed to seeing large scale deliveries for construction in such a quiet, sleepy environment.

The process was swift and completed in a matter of hours. A simple hoist raised and positioned the beam into place.

Once the prized beam was unwrapped, roof joists could now be quickly built to attach to the main spine and to enable roofing to be installed over the joists. The joists and beams formed a chorus line where the music and dance of the musical all came together!

Because the roof joists were going to be exposed, each member was hand selected and its exact position in the chorus line was determined. Additional care was taken when plywood roof sheathing was installed to avoid any exposed nails. There was no room for error here.

At the same time, scaffolding was erected along two sides of the structure for installation of windows and exterior material. When the roofing material is installed, the entire structure will be sealed and ready for the final phase–interior finishing!!

Scaffolding on the west face
At last, the roof sheathing was added and finished!
View from the Second Floor Level after roof sheathing added
The Felix Factor
Felix learns about the hard work of the hauling crew as they remove the stucco facing and old wood from the job site

Stay tuned as Felix sees the unfolding of the third and final phase of our on-site construction project! Don’t forget to write home!