Friday, June 29, 2012
A little help from our hired friends
We have been trying to make a big decision. That is why we have been sadly absent from our little blog, but it is now time to fess up. We need help. We have, in fact, hired help.
For the last month and a half we have been beating our heads against walls trying to figure out how to frame this complicated roof line and how it meets walls at angles and how it connects to the log framing ( which is an entire different beast). To clarify this for those of you who have not examined our plans, the house is a double gabled vaulted ceiling. That means the roof has two peaks that intersect and from the inside it is vaulted and meets this double roof line at odd angles. Angles we cannot figure out. To add to the confusion, once the roof line becomes porch cover, it turns into log framing. Some of this log framing goes from inside the house, to outside the house. Some is structural and some of the log beams are MASSIVE. I am not trying to confuse you, just trying to give you all the details of why we have been dragging, lagging, and generally acting very confused about this part of the project.
To be fair, once the house is framed we are more than confident in our abilities to wrap, side, put on the roof, install doors and windows, put up interior walls, and do all the finish work inside. But we are learning that house framing and reading the plans to do so well is a different skill set. One we do not possess.
So, we have not gotten far in framing. Five walls up to eight feet went up and then we hit a wall. We had carpenter friends come out and look at the plans. They scratched their heads and said, "well, I am not sure how to go about this and I have been framing houses for 10 years". That made us feel better and worse. Better because it meant we aren't total morons and worse because we might be total morons for so blindly thinking that we could frame this house.
We were both feeling rather defeated when John looked at me one night and said " It's just that we are not the best people to hire for this job". I agreed and put an ad on craigslist looking for someone to help us through the process. Like a project manager. Someone with lots of experience. We asked around to our friends, at the hardware store, the lumber yard.... anywhere to get a recommendation. I answered several responses from craigslist. NEVER again. One guy called two mornings in row at 6:30 insisting that he wanted the job and would be moving here soon. I finally spoke to him at a reasonable business hour and he was quite pushy. He told me he was moving his entire family to Alaska in 7 days. I politely let him know that we were looking for someone who could see this project along further than a week and he just kept talking about his experience log framing. The rest goes like this;
Me: Wait.... where are you?
Him: Where are you?
Me: I am in Kingston Washington.
Him: I'm in Washington.
Me: Okay..... so we need someone in washington and you are moving to Alaska.
Him: NO, I am coming Alaska in 7 days.
Me: I KNOW.... and we are in washington.
Him: No, your in alaska. Why would I be applying for a job in Washington?
Me: That's what I have been trying to figure out!
Him: Your ad very clearly says that you are in kingston, Alaska.
Me: I assure you it does not.
Him: YES, it does!
Me: No one else I have spoken to has thought that. My ad says Kingston, Washington.
Him: But Kingston Alaska is so close to Anchorage. I could commute really easily.
Me: EXCEPT THAT I AM NOT IN ALASKA! I have to go, thanks for your time.
John told me I should have just said, "you start friday". Around this time we got the name of a local guy. He built his house and it very closely mirrors our house. Natural elements, log framing, vaulted ceiling. And he is super nice and available starting next week. We are stoked. I am not sure if this is really doing it justice. We feel like a 3 ton weight was lifted off of our chests and now we can go back to this being fun, knowing we have knowledge, experience and a really nice guy on our side. He thinks the house will be framed by the first week of August. We will not be there daily working along side him. He is a licensed, bonded contractor who will be bringing a small crew, but there will be times we will be helping. He is going to take us through framing inspection and and then we will be on our own again. I cannot begin to explain how happy I am about this decision. It was a hard one to make. We didn't want to feel like we "cheated", but we just aren't the best people to hire for this part of the job.
Posted by Christy