Saturday, October 10, 2015

25th Posting - Working on the Adobe

This summer I've been doing some work on the adobe, which doesn't give much to show for it in photos for the blog. However, now there are at least 2 coats of adobe on all the inside walls.
One thing I've learned is that lots of straw is good. I wish I had used more straw on the earlier coats. The adobe with lots of straw is much more stable and makes a much stronger wall. On one wall I've made my own style of stucco/adobe, using mud and a fair bit of  mortar mix, and brushed it on the north wall. On another wall, I just put a 3rd coat of adobe with lots of straw on the wall, to see if it dries smooth enough to not have to put stucco on it. As of this posting, the adobe walls weren't quite dry, but it looks encouraging.

The stucco is dry and Valeta shows the 'finished' look.

The back wall has an extra coat of straw-heavy adobe on it and seems to be drying pretty evenly without the big cracks of earlier coats.

A close-up of the adobe/stucco wall. It looks like I'll be able to even paint this.

Vaughn admires the final coat on the outside buttress.

Valeta helps fill the bird feeders. Watching the birds is a side benefit of being out at the cabin!

We plant a couple bushes to enhance the yard.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

24th Posting - Ceiling is finished

This is the first posting since last spring! My travels have kept me on the road virtually nonstop since March so I've not gotten nearly as much done on the cabin as I would have liked. People ask when the cabin will be done and I tell them the project is the destination! However, I've made some progress, particularly the past few days. My friend Rod, from Maine, came out and helped for a few days and we finished the ceiling trim, cleaned it all up, and installed a beautiful mural on the upper part of the back wall. Now I walk into the cabin and look at the Swiss Alps!

My friend Alan took this photo of me early September.

It's Fall and the cabin is snugly tucked into the hills!

The robins love my stock tank (bird bath!). There are dozens of them.

Rod wipes down trim and foam board to give it a clean look.

Rod enjoys a break in front of the cabin.

Fresh snow on the Tobacco Root Mountains

Dark brown boards trim out the ceiling on all seams and in the corners
to give it somewhat of a Swiss look.

This gives good perspective of the interior of the cabin with completed ceiling.
I still need to put another coat of adobe on the walls, and will worry about the floor after that.

Looking at Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau out the back of my cabin!!
Swiss style - Swiss scenery!

The mural as seen while sitting in chairs by the picture window.

Cleaned up and ready for winter.

Mother enjoys sitting in the sun at the front of the cabin.

A grove of cottonwood trees below my cabin puts on a last show of color.

And one more lovely sunset before heading home and concentrating on my two upcoming trips to South Africa!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

23rd Posting - Ceiling and Insulation, and Gutters on the Front!

It was a long, cold, snowy winter at my cabin. The road was impassable much of the time. In the eight years I've had the land, we have not had anything like this winter. It was hard on the roads too!
However, by March I was able to spend several days working on the cabin, mostly the interior. I insulated cracks around the windows and installed trim boards.
My brother Merrill helped for a day with the ceiling. We started by putting plastic up so there would be a 1" dead space between the insulation and the roof.
Then we put up 1 1/2" foam board, with silver foil finish, instead of sheetrock. This adds insulation value and makes a unique, shiny finish for the ceiling!
My sister Valerie, her husband Craig, and their two boys Josh & Elgin, helped a day during the big insulation process. We blew in insulation above a row of foam boards, screwed up the next row of foam board and blew that full until the main part of the ceiling was finished. That left a small gap on three sides that needed to be finished manually. But most of the ceiling is up and I like the effect. To finish it, I will get some wide lath-type boards to secure the seems.
I decided to splurge and have Gus the Gutterman come out and put gutters on the front of the cabin. It is so nice. Now, instead of making a muddy mess in front of the cabin, the water drains into a big barrel.

Putting up the plastic barrier to make the one inch of dead air space.

My brother Merrill puts up the first foam board.

Valerie captures me blowing the insulation into the ceiling above the foam boards.

Josh and Craig keep the hopper filled with insulation.

Craig, Josh, and Elgin work the hopper.

 I'm not sure I didn't get more insulation on me than up above the ceiling!

My shiny, new ceiling! (with Solatube in the center for additional light)

Gus the Gutterman braved the mud and roads to put up gutters for me.

Tony and Tim put on the finishing touches.

Tony attaches the downspout so the water goes into my rain barrel!

Mid-April I got more work done on the ceiling and upper walls. 
The silver foil makes it a LOT lighter in the cabin!

Friday, September 27, 2013

22nd Posting - More adobe, trim, doors, and windows

I didn't get out to my cabin nearly as often this summer as I would have liked, but now it's fairly well weatherized and sealed, so this winter I can work on the interior, even if the weather doesn't cooperate.
We were trying to figure out what to do with the exterior of the upper framed part, and as we had some of the roofing left over, we decided to put it on that portion of the wall. Good use of the leftover!
Then there was lots of 'little' adobe work to do. Decided to put adobe right up to the roof joists and seal it that way. It worked well and looked nice.
My sister Valerie started work on trimming out the windows on the inside. My brother Vance came for a day and helped finish installing the other half of the big picture window (we put in two windows together!) and got the side door installed.
This past week, 3rd week in September, my friend Phil from Illinois helped for a couple days and we did a lot of adobe work. We got the rest of the first coat on everywhere, trimming around all the doors and windows. We even got one batch of the final, smooth coat on. It looks like it's going to be really good, but I won't have another chance to do adobe work now until spring, as I'll be gone until December!
It's coming along slowly, but it's always fun to get a chance to work on the cabin!

Putting asphalt roofing on the upper back wall.

Asphalt roofing on the upper side wall.

Extending the adobe from the walls on up into the roof I-joists.

Valerie works on trimming out the south window.

The trim is looking good!

Vance works on the side door.

Vance admires our double picture window - it will provide good insulation value!

Phil throws mud to trim out the exterior of the south window.

All trimmed - it will dry the same color as the adobe around it.

Door and window on the inside after the trim adobe is on.

And Phil applies the first batch of smooth, final coat adobe. Nice!

Monday, June 10, 2013

21st Posting - Front Door and Picture Window installed

My sister Valerie helped me install the front door and we got it perfect. It just swings shut and latches as nice as can be. There is still a lot of trimming and more adobe work to do before the outside is finished, but it sure looks and feels like a cabin now!

The latest look of the cabin with door and windows installed, June 2013.

Mom and I pose (with Duke) in front of the cabin and front door.

Valerie looks in through the newly-installed front door.

View through the front picture window - the window is 6' high and 5' wide.

Wildflowers are popping up all over with abundant rainfall end of May.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

20th Posting - The Roof is done and windows are getting installed

Big progress! It's really looking like a cabin now. As I take off for another tour, I leave the cabin with a roof with the roofing finished, and three windows installed! I love walking into the cabin and looking up at the high back wall (12') and the two east windows in it. It feels much bigger than I had envisioned it while building.
In the first picture below you can see the finished roof and the installed south window. You may also notice in the photos that we have burlap stapled to the upper wood walls. That is so when we put adobe on later it will still better than just to plywood. Adobe will go right up to the roof line. Around the windows we will apply adobe up to the edges to finish them off.

The roof with rolled roofing and the installed south window.

Photo taken from half a mile away with zoom, to show how it blends into the landscape.

My sister Valerie helps install the studs on the side wall.

Ruth does a balancing act putting nails in the plywood.
Ruth came out from Indiana for a week to help finish the roof and work on the windows.

Between the I-joists we put sturdy pieces of foam board.

We solidified the foam board with expandable spray insulation.

Ruth tacks on some of the roofing.

Above the door and window frames we filled the gaps with foam board.

Then we put adobe over the foam board to finish and insulate the gaps.

The 'kitchen' window has adobe all around it now.

The south window is installed. Adobe to follow.

Looking at the newly-installed south window and west kitchen window.

My friend Kathy Aaron helped with windows and models the kitchen window and front of the cabin.
The beginning of June I hope to get the other windows and the two doors installed. Wow.