October 17, 2013

We have Walls!

Thought at times that it would never happen, but this week we have walls! As of the end of today all of the the exterior first floor walls will be framed. Second floor joists should start tomorrow.

Looking over the roof of the pool house to the south elevation.

Looking over the roof of the pool house to the south elevation


Once the building is enclosed, the concrete slab will be poured then the interior partitions will get framed including a second exterior
2×4 wall four inches inboard from the outside one. It is this thickness that will allow us to have an R-44 rated wall.

View from our bedroom

View from our bedroom

October 6, 2013

Clearing for the Pool

I was a bit disappointed that the framing did not start this week. On the bright side, the under slab plumbing was inspected and approved. The ConComm agent came out and blessed the erosion control. We also got some shrubs transplanted and the pool site cleared. And the new water line was started.

Shrubs before

Shrubs before

Shrubs after 2

Shrubs after

Oak tree before

Big oak tree before

Oak tree after

Big oak tree after



The two stakes with the flags on either side of the rock face represent the corners of the new pool. The long edge is going to be nestled against the rock face. We are going to have to do some more blasting!



September 25, 2013

Underground plumbing and Steel!


Last week did not start out auspiciously. I noticed on Monday morning that the man hole on the old septic tank under the driveway appeared to be subsiding. I was poo pooed by a couple of the contractors but was soundly vindicated the next morning when one of same contractors drove his dump truck over it. 

Old septic tank

Hate it when that happens!

The dump tuck was carrying a load of sand to bed in all the under slab drain pipes which are now installed. Tuesday of this week the steel frame was erected. This was almost as exciting as the blasting had been. The steel workers are finishing up today with welding the steel decking over the basement and the pool house. By the beginning of next week the framing will start and it will actually start looking like a house. We have also received the permit from the Conservation Commission for the construction of the pool. After a site meeting next Monday, that work should commence as well. Hope the weather remains as beautiful as it has for the last couple of weeks.


Steel frame and roof of the pool house

September 12, 2013

Back filling & the Conservation Commission

We finally had our hearing with the Conservation Commission for the location of the swimming pool last Tuesday and we were approved. That was a huge relieve as a lot of what we are currently doing, namely the pool house, was based on the approval of the pool 

So it took a week to get the foundation coated after it was stripped. But progress has been great since then. Interior of the foundation is getting compacted in 8″ lifts.

South dampproofing

Plumbers and electricians have been installing piping and conduit that will feed the pool house, the pool, and the southern yard.

Plumbers & electrician

Everytime I get frustrated or exasperated I just turn around and remember why we are doing this little project!

Another tough day

August 31, 2013

Foundation stripped and mock-up stoned

Craig and crew finished stripping the foundation on Tuesday. All the form ties have been removed and filled. Next step is water proofing then the back filling begins.

Foundation stripped, ready for water proofing and back fill.

Foundation stripped, ready for water proofing and back fill.


 This is the mock up of the exterior wall we are constructing to understand how all the pieces fit together and to make decisions on details, colors, and materials. The area above the veneer stone on the gable ends ofthe house and garage will be cedar shingles.

Mock up of exterior wall. Stone veneer at 1st floor and shingles above.

Mock up of exterior wall. Stone veneer at 1st floor and shingles above.

August 22, 2013


Foundation was poured yesterday. Major milestone!

Pumping foundation walls

Pumping foundation walls

View looking the opposite direction

View looking the opposite direction

Our new foundation

Our new foundation


August 18, 2013

It’s starting to look like a building!

After a brief hiatus after the footings were poured, Craig and his guys came back with a vengeance. Panels went up in no time. A couple of more days forming pilasters & beam pockets, installing embedments and we should have foundation walls before the end of the week!Forms looking NE

This is view to the northeast.

Forms looking NW

And this is the view to the northwest.

July 30, 2013

Our first concrete!

This is really exciting, we’re actually starting to create something. Here is the pump truck getting set up.

Getting ready

And here is the concrete being pumped into the footing forms.

Need more hose!

July 24, 2013


Finally, after months of tearing things down, ripping things out, and blowing things up, we are starting to build something. Below is the excavation with about 60 yards of crushed stone.Finally flat!

On Monday, Craig Mello arrived with his crew and started laying out the footings after a lot of questions, dimension checking, and triangulating. I was very impressed with how thorough he was. And until someone invents a concrete eraser that is the way to go about this business. These are the types of footings with which most people are familiar.

Normal footing

And this is what we call in these parts a Cape Ann footing. Finish carpentry skills are definitely an asset here because the forms are essentially scribed to the ledge (what bedrock is called around here.)

Cape Ann footing

Last week we decided it would be a nice gesture to provide a quality lunch room for the contractors. Yes, we may use it too before the summer is out too. Hmmm, I think we may need a grill now!





July 6, 2013

Fourth of July at Tuck’s Point

Chris and Dana finished the tree well around the dogwood. It looks so nice it seems a shame to bury it, but we will still see the inside.   Finished tree well We determined another dogwood at the NW corner of the new septic field will need some protection too. Eric, the expert excavator operator, helped us with that big time with a couple of well placed rocks. Instant tree well Akerley Blasting showed up on Tuesday, July 2 and we’ve been having fireworks all week.