Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Archive for the ‘A Roof’ Category

Freezing Chicken Fix

By Friday the temp fell to 19 degrees...brrrrr

By Friday the temp fell to 19 degrees…brrrrr

I think it is safe to say that the late, fall weather has arrived! I still find it fascinating when I leave for work and puddles are frozen…then when I return, those puddles are still frozen. Two days later, still frozen…obviously these puddles are shaded throughout most of the day, but I’m still amazed. In the Bay Area, it is a rare event when it gets cold enough to freeze a puddle, and even more rare for it to stay frozen the length of a day. I don’t think the beauty that the cold brings will ever get old for me. Since we now live at a higher elevation in the foothills surrounding our town, our temps can be 5 – 10 degrees different than what the phone weather apps, like the one above, display. Sometimes I will call down to my Mom who lives in town when it is snowing…we may be getting a bunch, while in town it is more of a slushy rain.

This puddle stayed frozen for 3 days.

This puddle stayed frozen for 3 days.

Mostly or partially frozen for 3 days.

Mostly or partially frozen for 3 days.

With the onset of the colder weather, my thoughts ran to the chickens. I know they wear their own down filled “jacket”, but I worried that their house wasn’t going to be warm enough through the night. We still had some issues with drafts, which, I have learned through my blogger friends of whom I hang on their experienced wisdom, is bad, bad, bad for chickens. That first cold/rainy/windy night about 3 weeks ago, I kept waking up thinking about my freezing birds. I apologized to them as they stepped out onto the wet ground of the morning, fluffing their feathers and cackling at me (do chickens swear, cause I’m sure they were…) Needless to say, when I got home from work, I hopped into action. I can’t have a bunch of angry hens and a rooster on my hands…not since they’re producing these….yes, that’s one day’s collection.

Seven chickens, seven eggs...life is good!

Seven chickens, seven eggs…life is good!


Everyday, we’re collecting 6 or 7 beautiful eggs…from 7 hens. It has definitely helped with my dog food bill. ūüôā

I just really love our chickens, I don’t want to think that they are cold or can’t get out of the rain. #1 – I decided that they needed a cabana that would give them cover as they stepped out of their house. I took the paneled wire fencing from around the garden, and with the help of my son, set up a three sided frame, attaching it to the chicken house for stability.

They already like it!

They already like it!


Looks like a good space.

Looks like a good space.


At this point, then, I was alone with the rest of the design and build of the cabana. We always seem to have a supply of plastic tarps, so I threw some of these over and attached them to the wood framing with a heavy duty staple hammer. This was the first level of protection against the winds that come over the mountains behind us and funnel through on their way into the valley.
First level of protection, insulating against the wind.

First level of protection, insulating against the wind.


I then found a ground tarp that we used underneath our tent for camping. I hesitated on the thought of punching holes with the staples through this tarp, but I figured our flock was more important than a piece of plastic. This tarp was large enough to provide protection from the rain. It was a great fit, then I realized that I had to pitch the roof-line or rain would just accumulate on top and cause all sorts of problems. On my hunt for a solution, I found items like a stand alone wire shelving unit, boards, and boxes that as I lifted, shoved, and somehow moved around, creating a pitch…we had a pitched roof. I stretched the tarp tightly, and tacked it down to the wooden frame. I was stoked! It really came together! As I stood back to take pictures to send to hubby who was away on business, I realized that as I created the roof pitch, the tarp had shifted…leaving the wind/weather side of the cabana shorter than the other side. UUUUGGGGHHHHH!..it was that Charlie Brown moment….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ-t4DhAfrs

It ain't purty, but it works!

It ain’t purty, but it works!

I wasn’t about to go through and remove all the staples, so I used Shoe Goo on the seams of the white tarp, and it seems to work just fine. It’s quite cozy, and the chickens really seem to like it. With the addition of a heated water bowl to keep the water from freezing, I think they’re doing pretty well! I’m glad I liked to build forts as a kid…and with my kids when they were younger…I think that helped!

Cozy and dry

Cozy and dry

Cozy and dry...that's their heated water bowl.

Cozy and dry…that’s their heated water bowl.

#2 – I needed to fix the drafts and provide some sort of “insulation” since their house had none. As you can see in the previous pictures, I tacked on some large, flattened, cardboard boxes to add a line of insulation on the outside areas corresponding to their indoor roosting branches. Then hunting around the shop, I found some cans of foam insulation….PERFECT!! Being afraid that the birds might be attracted to the yellow, hardened foam, I insulated from the outside. It’s not that pretty, but it completely cuts that draft from those areas I applied it. Basically, I just followed the gap lines between the boards, trying to keep a straight line..haha.

Can you see what's roosting behind the windows?

Can you see what’s roosting behind the windows?


Canned Foam Insulation 2

By the time I finished, it was getting quite dark, but I couldn’t let them go one more night in the cold. The result is that the flock is happy, I’m happy, my dogs are happy because of all the eggs they get to eat…all is well, and I’m not waking up thinking about freezing chickens.

I feel good that our chickens have a dry place to go from the rain.

I feel good that our chickens have a dry place to go from the rain.

Details, Details, Details……..

First of all, from our family to yours, we hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

As the title suggests, the last two weeks were tied up in the details, the creative workmanship that ranges from mild to more significant changes due to fluctuations of materials……..okay, okay….M I S T A K E S that need to be corrected before the insulation and sheetrock can be installed.¬† We had orange pointers throughout the house painted by our foreman, Kyle, indicating corrections the framers needed to make.¬† These were items like the structure to the kitchen island not being completely verticle, studs needing to be made flush, the crawlspace opening cut too small, and things like extra supports…that sort of thing.¬† Details, details details that make a big difference in the next phase of construction.

These two walls need help with their "plumbing." HAHAHA

Crawispace opening needing to be re-sized.

Since this phase of the construction is, well…quiet…the only thing really hopping on the build is our electric meter, and boy is it having a good time!!!!¬† Besides the detail fixes, the other significant item needing to be¬†completed is¬†the thing that¬†is exciting our meter (and the power company) so much.¬† We are drying out the inside of the house………..

Construction air filters catch the debris we don't want going into the heating ducts.

Taking the warm air from the house and forcing it into the crawl space.

One of four fans that is constantly on, to help move the air that is constantly being heated.

So as the power company smiles, and our¬† bank account gets lighter because the meter is so happy, the house is drying out, and insulation is scheduled for Tuesday!!!!¬† If the rains hold off for the next few days, the outside caulking will get done, and during the next stretch of sunny days¬†(maybe¬†in June…HAHAHAHA) the outside of the house will be painted!!

Let the Rains Begin!!!!!!!!!

The past two weeks have been…..well…..WET!!¬† The rain has definitely begun!!¬† So here is our story about the rain……

If you remember back to the beginning of this blog, one of our greatest concerns was having the house in the “open” framed in type stage, and having the rains beating down on our exposed wooden framework.¬†¬† Tami (I) was having a very difficult struggle with this while we waited through most of the dry summer to get to the point that we could even knock down the old house, and¬†start excavating.¬† Tony kept reassuring me that everything would work out, everything would be fine.¬† In my mind, our struggle went something like this……(playing the part of Tami is Lucy VanPelt; playing the part of Tony is Snoopy)……….

So as¬†we watched the sunny days disappear, Tony kept the faith (and prayed like crazy), and I struggled, but tried hard to believe him.¬† He kept saying that the rains were not going to really start until it was weatherized (roof up, sideing on, windows installed.)¬† So as the days passed and we really only got a little rain here and there, I started to keep the faith too.¬†¬†I’m not saying that the Lord kept¬†most of the northwest Oregon regions¬†without rain¬†because of our need for a dry house…but I am saying that He has got awesome timing!!¬† Because one day after the roof was up, the sideing on,¬†and the windows were installed…the sky opened up and we have gotten¬†a pond full of rain (literally, our pond is now full to the brim.)

Here is what it sounded like one morning in our shop (it has a metal roof) as the rains poured down…that is not static, and it was¬†a hundred times louder in person…

So, YOU decide!!

H A P P Y Anniversary!!

Last week started with our first visitors, since construction began, to our new home.¬†¬†Our mom/grandma (Dorothy) , brothers (Steve & Bob), sister-in-law (Sheila), and niece (Christina), oh yeah we can’t forget the four legged¬†family¬†(Bella & Chique)¬†all arrived on Sunday evening for a cold, yet dry evening in front of the campfire while we ate dinner.¬† They came up to help Tami’s mom move up to the great state of Oregon!!¬† ¬†It was great to have them for a few days, and Mom/Grandma now for good!

I was driving up the road yesterday, and started to turn into our driveway.¬† When I looked up on the hill, I saw a house….not a construction site, a HOUSE!!¬† The first week of November was an incredible week……this past week, has been completely awesome!!!¬† Okay, you’re right…the Veteran’s Day holiday on Friday was a doozie, that is for sure.¬† Having that 3rd day off is like totally how it should be every weekend. Am I right or what??¬† But, all that aside, our home is to the point that from the road it really looks like a completed house (in need of a paint job) but completed none-the-less.¬† The interior is still a skeleton with a few support walls in place, so there is still ALOT of work to be done (we’re hoping we will be able to move our things into it by early February.)

So, backing up a bit….by Monday evening, the duct work for the heating and air system was installed.¬† It totally added character to the truss system of the roof.

The bathtubs and shower were put into place, including being filled with water to add weight to the curing.

There are some details that need to be addressed such as……

A bit of a misfit here.....

The little screen is to keep wasps from making nests in our attic.....I don't think this one is going to work!!

All of the siding and trim went up this week.¬† One really cool thing is that we were leaning towards painting the house yellow and white….the siding is on the yellow hue, so it gave us a good idea of what it will look like painted…..so far the jury is in favor of it!!¬† The beige area will probably be painted the same white as the trim….what do you think?¬† I kind of like the yellow/white/beigey look…..hhmmmm.

The concrete also went in for the garage floor.¬† Our contracter, Paul Nowak Construction, did a¬†wonderful job.¬† Tony had talked to him about putting in rebar into the garage floor because the specs didn’t call for the rebar reinforcement.¬† We didn’t have the rebar on hand the day of the pour, but Paul did!¬† He went ahead and laid¬†it in before the pour because he remembered his conversation with Tony.¬† It was a little extra charge, but nominal in comparison to the strength and longevity it will give the garage floor.¬† He also asked about the use of the garage.¬† Since the one-car garage side will be used primarily like a dog run, he gave us a smoother finish and more sealant to keep any doggie-doo from penetrating the cement.¬† That is just an example of his professionalism and high quality work….I highly, highly recommend Paul Nowak Construction of Lebanon, OR!¬† Great company!!

The day was cold, and the sun was giving some warmth.

Our House!!

And in honor of Tony and Tami’s 25th Wedding Anniversary on November 15th….here is a timeless classic>>>>>

What an Incredible Week!!

It’s amazing how time flies.¬† It has been almost 2 weeks since I updated this blog, and I can’t believe the progress that has been made.¬† I’m going to highlight the week that I missed, then on Sunday (my regular blogging day), I’ll catch up.

A lot¬†of work went into the house during the first week of November.¬† All of the trusses were set into place, the interior skeleton structure of our home went up, as well as sheer walls, and……..drum roll please…………….our ROOF!!¬† I’m not kidding…..we have a completed roof over the house!¬† Everyday, I came home from work and BAMM!!, there¬†was something new to see.¬† I was so happy to see our home going up so quickly, but also, if I’m being honest, a little leary.

Tony had been out of town on business most of the week, and so many things were happening so fast.¬†¬†I was wishing Tony was there to check everything and make sure things were getting done correctly.¬† I look at it and go….”wood, nails, pipes, duct work….uhhhhhhh..looks great to me!!”¬† Tony looks at it and goes, “welll, I need to talk to Kyle about this,….” “If I were here I would have asked them about this…”¬† Unless something is glaringly out of place, I don’t see the details he does.¬† I was glad when he got home and was able to see everything (well…everything is still wide open inside, as it should be at this point.)¬† He made a list…..let’s call it our DETAILS list…but that will be in my next blog¬† : p

Oh, btw, Kyle is our Managing General Contracter working for Adair Homes.¬† He comes out to inspect the work as it is being completed by the subcontracters.¬† He is our go-to guy for most things…the more contractual stuff, we still talk with Charlie.¬† This has been a really good check, double check system for us.¬† It is really nice to know that there are more than one set of eyes on our build…..there is a whole team behind us!!

Okay…enough of me………here are some picture highlights of the week (the first week of November.)

A lattice work of trusses waiting to be put into place.

Interior walls taking shape

Sunlight through the unfinished roof.

I hope they fix that!! HAHAHA

Just a really cool picture!!

The roof is taking shape!

The boards are all in place...ready for the tar paper and shinglesIt's starting to get cold at night......It's starting to get cold at night......

The roofing material has arrived!!!

The roof is complete!!!!

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