Sunday, October 22, 2006

All right, here comes another marathon post.... After seemingly so long with no progress on the house, things are snapping into action!

As all you faithful blog readers out there know, the little tiny house we live in now is well built and insulated, perfect for winter living. But our damn kitchen is OUTSIDE!!! Lots of fun at 7:30 in the morning when all the water is frozen and you can't make your damn coffee! So, Christina joined the "Cool Kids with Containers Club" and bought herself a 20-footer which will become our winter kitchen and auxiliary storage area. Moving this thing around was a fun challenge... my forklift could barely do it. The bottom pic shows it's final resting place... We'll cut a door and windows into the side pretty soon here.

Finally some progress on the house! The house (as you will all see in the coming weeks) will be a hybrid construction consisting of a partial quonset hut and partial traditional frame structure, with Rastra block endwalls. Rastra block is a kind of rigid block made from concrete mixed with post-consumer recycled plastic; it is hollow and is later filled with liquid concrete in much the same way that regular cinder blocks are. In the first pic, Geronimo (my trusty diesel Dodge) delivers all the Rastra needed to build the end walls. In the next pic Christina and our friend Thomas do the "Holy Shit It's Cold Out Here, But The Walls Are Starting To Go Up" dance. It's really popular here.

Thanks to a good recommendation, Christina and I have discovered a fantastic salvage and wrecking yard in Albuquerque called Coronado Wrecking. They've got acres of stuff, mostly from dismantled commercial buildings. Our hybrid house design calls for one end of the quonset hut to sit, not on the ground, but high in the air on a supporting beam. We found an 18-inch I-Beam in perfect condition at Coronado which would work. However, it was 44 feet long, and they don't deliver. So, we went back with a trailer and a torch-cutting rig, Christina cut it down to 33 feet, and we trailered it and a few other nice heavy things back to Taos. (I'll post a pic soon of a really beautiful item I scored at Coronado) Well worth the trouble considering we saved $500 over buying it new.

Preparing the I-Beam for the attachment of the quonset as well as the roof joists which will come off the other side of it will require quite a bit of metalwork. Instead of trying to bring the beam to the metal shop, we brought the metal shop to the beam. I performed a feat of funky wiring to get 240 volts out on our land for the welder. Here, Christina is drilling holes in steel brackets which will later be welded onto the beam, which is sitting behind her. The nearly completed Rastra walls of the house are also in the background.

In related news, my second loan attempt for financing the shop is looking more promising than my first. I'll find out in a few weeks if I get to build a shop or not. Also, my laptop broke, so I have to use Christina's for stuff like this very posting... great! Funny how that happened at the exact same time I had to throw $1000 at my truck! And, I'm totally obsessed with getting a dog. Unfortunately I can't really get one until the house is built; our current cabin is a little too small. All the more reason to finish building!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW ! what great progress ! the warm kitchen is certainly going to be a great addition ! I still think this whole process should be a movie ! an almost new dog, a loan almost complete, a broken laptop, trips to Albuquerque, bringing the shop to the job - you guys are certainly busy ! when this is all complete - I hope you have enough to keep you b
usy !

see you in December !


1:23 AM  

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