Tour of the build site

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October, 2003

We are in! We secured a mortgage! But we are a loooong way from being unpacked and organized!

Mike is still installing trim, molding, and shelving. We hope to paint the exterior when Sears can get enough cans of base tint to fill our order.

We bought some new furniture but have a long way to go. Kathi is still wading through instruction manuals for the new appliances. The cats are still cowering from the deer, which is fine. (One cat managed to escape when we weren't looking on our very first night and survived the coyotes, so a healthy dose of humility toward strange critters is something we applaud.) In general, we're all still wandering around trying to figure out which light switch powers which light and where everything is.

At some point photos will be posted--soon, we promise.

September, 2003

Deepest apologies from the web staff, but we were too busy unpacking to update the site this month. And adjusting to our 26K dialup Internet connection after being spoiled by DSL was simply too painful. Sigh. Maybe we'll be more patient next month.

August, 2003

This is the big month! No matter what shape the house is in, we'll be living in it (or in a hotel) by the end of this month!!!

There is still a lot of work ahead, not the least of which will be moving our stuff. Granite countertops were installed in the kitchen on August 15, carpet will be installed (we hope) on August 19, and Mike is in the process of installing wood trim throughout the house. We ordered handles for our cabinets, and Kathi and Sierra are still hoping the plumbing fixtures appear before we move. (Though we are quite attached to our rented outhouse, we don't think it will complement any future landscaping themes.)

Mike's annual guided fishing trip in Astoria is scheduled for August 20!!! Kathi is checking hotel rates in case we aren't ready to make the big move by end of month.

week 2

The granite countertops are in the kitchen, the hardwood floors have had one round of finishing, and carpet is scheduled for next week. More granite photos will be posted as time permits, because it was quite the event to watch it being lifted and positioned--and then to watch them cut out a big hole for the cooktop in such a work of natural art. Here are a few preliminary shots.

This photo attempts to show how heavy...and how beautiful...the island slab is

It took all available (male) hands to set the island slab in place

The sun has set, and the cooktop is finally installed. Marilyn's smooth-top, electric cooktop looked real good to Kathi, because it blended so nicely with her granite countertop. Margaret, Marge, and Marilyn explained how hard it would be to clean other cooktops, but Mike insisted on gas. Kathi insisted on a really good model that would simmer grits without burning--a priority only for folks from the South. Gourmet cook Darrin explaned how hard it was to keep stainless steel clean (and he also provided excellent advice on which grill to buy for Mike). This is truly a group event and we'll have to host a group party to break it all in

The sink is in (and Mike says it was quite heavy). We need to find matching granite for a backsplash

The convection oven is in, 80 cabinet handles are on order, and other kitchen appliances are ready to install as soon as the floor is done. The Lus will appreciate the REAR logo

For reasons we cannot fathom, Sierra and Michelle will miss the outhouse

July, 2003

We had come a loooooong way, but still had a lot to do this month. For starters, Kathi finished painting, and Mike began installing oak trim and kitchen appliances, which we finally moved out of our current garage. Travertine and stone tile were installed in the master bath, and light fixtures were installed.

Special thanks to these folks, who have been a pleasure to work with...

week 4

Tilework was completed in the master bath, light fixtures and ceiling fans were installed, and we ordered carpet for the second floor and the bedrooms on the main level.

The travertine in the master bath is very elegant. Once the jetted tub is working, it may be difficult to ever get Kathi out of this room!

We used travertine as a countertop for the vanity and matching 4x4-inch stones for the backsplash

We have light but have not selected a mirror

week 3

Tilework began in the master bath, Mike installed linoleum in the laundry room, and Kathi painted her office (Mike calls it the "Tweety Bird room" because it is bright yellow).

Much of the travertine stonework has been installed this week

Dave Alveres' Tailored Tile is doing a great job and has been wonderful to work with

The shower floor uses 2x2-inch stone tiles

Sierra had to help Mike install the laundry room floor after he caught her taking this photo, since she apparently did not have enough to do!

This shows the laundry room floor and the information center (with its new countertop). You can also see a little of the powder room cabinet in the background

week 1

Cabinets were installed, along with the remainder of the central vacuum. Lorna's sister Bev drove out from Idaho for a vacation with her husband Dave, and several of their family members came out to view our progress. The last time Bev was here, she had to crawl up a narrow plank, across a deep chasm, to enter the house. This time around, we were happy to offer her some front steps!

The cherry cabinets are in! It's finally beginning to look like a real kitchen!

Crown molding and under-cabinet lighting still need to be installed, and then the next steps will be granite countertops and kitchen appliances

The information center will provide a place to stash our keys, mail, and assorted stuff when we get home, and hang a family calendar, without creating an eyesore (we hope...at least that's the plan). It also has a handy slot for junk mail disposal!

The laundry room will also serve as a mud room when we enter the house from the garage

The powder room is ready for plumbing fixtures. Too bad you can't see the lovely shade of pale blue that Kathi worked so hard to pick out...you'll just have to visit in person

Nicole and Taylor seem to like the information center idea

Here's the upstairs bath...we're almost ready for guests (except for that plumbing fixtures detail)

With her massive girth, Sierra stress tests the benches on the south deck

Mike built a table for the northern end of the deck

Auna, Bev, Nicole, Taylor, and Dave offer suggestions for decorating the living room...

Same pow-wow, different view...

Nicole and Bev attempt to keep the girls entertained whenever the squirrels who live in our burn pile are hiding from them

Taylor and Auna say "hi" to the camera

There she goes...we can't keep Taylor still for long!

When you want to put Taylor right to sleep, just let Aunt Kathi hold her

Of course Mike has to show the potato gun to Dave. If he decides he needs to make himself one, he should have no problem finding ammunition since he lives near Boise. (It might come in handy for clearing the duck hunters off his property!)

Mike managed to lob a couple of bakers a "right smart" distance before he ran out of flint. He'll be restocking at Home Depot this week!

June, 2003

We had big plans for June, which included painting, building handrailing around the decks, installing hardwood floors, installing tile, and installing cabinets. Kathi and Sierra fervently hoped that plumbing fixtures would magically appear during July.

week 3

On the summer solstice, we began installing the white oak flooring.

Click on a photo to see a larger version.

By lunchtime on Saturday, oak flooring was done in the hallway and extended either direction into the living room and kitchen

As we eat sandwiches on the deck, a couple of brave friends join us below to dine on yellow flowers (which you won't see many of in the picture) and assorted greenery

Mike demonstrates how to use the flooring nail gun in the living room

Ron achieves a perfect fit around a door frame

By the time Kathi and Sierra bring dinner, the guys have made a few more feet of progress

They've just about finished the breakfast room and are heading into the sunroom

Mike tells Ron that he just secured a tiler who comes highly recommended

Sierra tries to hide her latest experiment with blonde hair

The tomatoes will soon outgrow their pots

Sierra, Ron, and Minnie relax for dinner on the deck

Thomas snuggles up to his dad

Benjamin and Thomas play "king of the rock pile"

By lunchtime on Sunday, the living room floor is complete

And so is the dining room

Steve and Lisa pay us a visit. While Steve helps Ron in the kitchen, Lisa sorts lumber

Kathi actually brings lunch at a decent hour for a change!

Sierra visits with Steve and Lisa

Ron knows how to dress for the occasion!

week 2

Mike and Sam finished the ceiling in the sunroom and began installing handrails and benches on the deck. White oak lumber for hardwood floors was delivered, and Kathi and Sierra spent some time painting. We welcomed the Lu family back from an extended vacation with a big cleanup party!!!

Click on a photo to see a larger version.

No need to feel left out--there's plenty of fun for everyone!

The big pile of wood in the background will soon be our hardwood floors. Lorna vacuums debris in preparation for installation (too bad she isn't offering to vacuum our floors every week after they are installed--in fact, she may be formulating her ideas for how we can help renovate her house when our house is done)

Mike finally gets a chance to use his mouse sander, even though there are no mice in sight

Don't even think about messing with the dynamic duo!!!

Sam says adios to the temporary handrails (too bad the camera didn't capture his karate kick that did them in)

Zac gets stuck pulling staples out in preparation for window trim

Sierra stretches for the high spots

Sierra also gets garbage duty--her favorite pasttime

The sunroom ceiling is complete! We can now officially retire the scaffolding

Kathi and Lorna take a break to model their new party hats

Sam and Mike begin installing the handrails

Poster child for MADD--and proud owner of a cedar ceiling!

Mike and Sam finish the handrails along the southern side of the deck on Saturday, except where a bench will be built in by the tomato plants

On Sunday they tackle the eastern side of the deck. What more relaxing way is there to enjoy Father's Day?!?

They set up the framework for a built-in bench near the master bedroom

Despite the fact that Sam is our tallest friend, he needs a ladder

Kathi provides invaluable critiques (ha ha) when she needs a break from painting

Kathi and Sierra like to sing along with the radio while they paint, pretending that the brush is a microphone. Sierra got a little too enthusiastic with the water hose right before this photo

It takes a "real man" to hang over a 2-story dropoff with no railing

Sam and Mike install and level the copper pipes

Then they add the last of the wooden handrails

Missing no opportunities to pose, Sierra models the finished product

While not taking embarrassing photos for her mother to delete, Sierra pounds nails and staples into the subflooring so it will be ready for carpet

Revenge is sweet--in return for causing us to spend 2 hours reviewing and deleting photos of numerous backsides, we are posting a photo of Sierra

Don't mess with a man and his power tools

Sam and Mike install the soffit over the back deck

Another day, a few more projects completed--and so far we're still speaking to each other!

We visited a granite showroom and are thinking of buying Vyara Gold granite slab for the kitchen countertops

Here's another view of the granite

week 2

While Sierra and Kathi painted, Mike and Sam installed cedar on the ceiling of the sunroom and prepared the materials for the handrails.

Click on a photo to see a larger version.

The cultured stone and the faceplate for the fireplace are now installed

Mike spent Saturday installing half the cedar ceiling in the sunroom

Sam couldn't resist the fun on Sunday

The "garden on the deck" has thrived during our heat wave, and is conveniently located right where Mike needs to build handrails (at least Kathi hasn't hauled the rest of the garden pots out to the new house yet)

Sam prepared 225 copper tubes for building the handrails on the deck--and probably went deaf in the process

Sierra proudly painted her room pink, all by herself!

week 1

Along with selling our house, cultured stone was installed on the fireplace and on the front of the house, and we now have our weekends back so can work at the new house instead of wait for people to look at our current house!

Click on a photo to see a larger version.

May, 2003

By end of May, one of the boats had already moved in! We were in final bid negotiations for cabinets, and we were selecting river rock for the fireplace and front of the house. Kathi painted selected rooms, and planted some tomatoes on the deck (away from the voracious deer).

week 4

We had a lot of activity at the house over Memorial Day weekend. Several people visited, and Vicky in particular put in a very long day of work to help us. She planted our tomato crop and then spent several hours cleaning our house. (We post photos that attempt to convince you we all have a lot of fun, but it is usually hard manual labor and we are fortunate to have so many friends donate their time and energy--and still speak to us afterward!) Vicky has also helped fix up our current house for public viewing and taken our cats for "kitty daycamp" in her garage during our open house sessions. If you have ever met Stinker, you know exactly why he should not be here during an open house.

On Memorial Day, Sam came out to help Mike with subflooring in the second story. They worked hard to haul the particle board up the stairs, and we appreciate Sam giving up his holiday to do that. (His wife Jacquie might not ever forgive us since she had the day off from work, so we appreciate her letting him spend the day at our house.) We can't post photos because Kathi took the camera elsewhere for the day, so Sierra could not take unflattering photos of Mike and Sam bent over nailing down subflooring.

Mike installs the steel mesh where the cultured stone will be mortared in place

Just when we were becoming rather fond of the appearance of the Tyvek outerwrap...

Mike's parents call to let us know they are all moved in to their new house

Or are they gloating???

Kathi's priority is to get the tomatoes planted

Vicky wisely maintained a safe distance when Kathi powered up the drill

Kathi and Vicky get their first workout of the day hauling the dirt up onto the deck

Vicky adds the potting soil--selflessly sacrificing her white sweatshirt!

You can move a girl away from her garden, but she can find a few ways to take it with her

Kathi meticulously measures the fertilizer ("oh let's just dump about this much in")

We can already taste those fresh tomatoes--hope the deer can't

How many pots would we need to plant a corn crop???

Then the real work begins...sweeping, vacuuming, and scraping up debris so Mike can install particle board subflooring (underlayment)

The Lu family chose an excellent weekend to be on vacation!

"Dad works on houses every weekend, Mike and Mom work on houses every weekend...why don't they just want to hang out at the mall?"

Sierra gets stuck with garbage patrol

Her mother loses patience with Sierra for taking unflattering photos of people bent over vacuuming (notice that few of those photos end up on our web site)

Mike says this is why he doesn't let Kathi play with tools often

Mike installs subflooring in the master bedroom

Mike hasn't had this much fun since...last weekend

Mike gets his workout hauling the heavy particle board around

Sonny visits to lend a hand and get a lesson in construction

Nancy's sister Karen was visiting from Phoenix and got a personal tour

We cut them some slack and let them relax on the deck

Mike teaches Sonny the fine art of shooting potatoes

Someone will come looking for us when the strawberry field next door gets overrun with potato plants

week 3

Most of the week we have focused on preparing the current house for sale. We are having an Open House on Sunday, May 18. However, Kathi drove clear over to Sandy, Oregon (3/4 way to Mt. Hood) in Friday's rain and hail to take photos of the cultured stone samples we are considering using for the front of the house and the fireplace.

Morris of Sandy Rock and Stone lends some perspective to the rock samples

We're interested in the two bottom samples of rounded river rock

week 2

Nancy and Sonny came out for a visit and voted on Kathi's paint samples. In the meantime, Sierra and her friend Michelle went on a "nature walk". They found a sign on the property line for our neighbor's lot that was rather interesting.

Our new neighbors recently relocated from Montana, where this might be typical???

Uh oh--run for your lives!

Should we post a warning about our potato and paint guns?

Notice the strategically placed bullet holes

April, 2003

April showers brought a continually soggy garage floor. Other than that, the house moved right along.

week 4

Despite the rain, we finally poured a garage floor! Drywall was also completed, so Mike power-painted the house. Ron, Lorna, Kyle, Zac, Vicky, Tom, and Nancy...we are grateful for your help, advice, and support. It was not the easiest weekend we've ever spent, and we can't thank you enough for everything you did. One of these days we're going to have a party where you get to sit and relax on the deck and watch the mountains while we do all the work.

It won't be nearly as interesting to walk across the garage without the mud puddles

Now Mike can move the boats to their new home. (You didn't really think we'd get to park our cars here, did you?)

And we have real front steps! (Later in the day, they brushed away concrete to expose aggregate, for more texture)

No more wobbly ramps--yeah!

If Mike gets bored, he can always get a job as a tightrope artist in the circus

Painting the living room

Ron's power paint sprayer cut about 1000 hours off the job

Kathi and Nancy could barely bring themselves to look--and they were on the ground

Other side of the room

Maybe Mike was a Montana mountain goat in a previous life

Here's the sunroom with paint!

Looking better every week

Kathi grew up in the flatlands and has extreme fear of heights

Nancy takes a photo of Kathi's best side--and next time we get a photo of Nancy!

week 3

Drywall is installed and subcontractors are in the process of taping and texturing. These photos were taken on Easter Sunday.

Doesn't look very different than last month from the outside, except for the piles of rock for the garage floor

Front of house

The constantly changing ramps and bridges make getting into the house an adventure every weekend, but it's becoming a lot easier

Forms are in place to pour the front steps

Here is the kitchen as seen from the sunroom

In about a month we can install cabinets

Here is the sunroom as seen from the kitchen

For 9 months a year we might call it the rainroom

This shows where Mike will build display shelves on either side of the fireplace on the main floor

Mike is trying to decide whether to install the river rock himself or hire it done

Here is a view of Mike's loft from the living room floor (near the fireplace). The beam, covered in plastic for protection, will remain exposed

We can already envision a display of Dave DonTigny plates hanging here

week 2

Drywall installation has begun and is progressing quickly! We took a look around after a couple of days. (All photos of Steve and Mike are courtesy of Sierra.)

Similar view to last week's, looking right from the house entry: shows the dining room on main floor, guest room on top floor

Privacy will no longer be an issue

Similar view to last week's, looking left from the house entry: shows the fireplace area

River rock will be added between fireplace and ceiling, with built-in shelves on either side of the fireplace

A view from the loft (Mike's office), looking toward the dining room

Kathi still worries about cleaning those high windows

East wall of master bedroom

Door exits onto back deck

Mike and Steve check drywall curvature in the wall between the master closet and bath

Steve offered to bring fresh salmon, since Mike has not had time to fish, and got stuck working!

Mike works on the closet side to reposition the framework

Master closet wall (which Kathi likes to call Kathi's closet--ha!)

Steve checks for results on the other side--or tries to keep the wall from falling down

Master bath wall, where sinks and cabinets will be placed

Steve verifies that the problem is fixed

Success! Time for dinner!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...Sierra learns to powerwash

Wet Oregon winters grow an impressive crop of mildew each year

It took a while, but she did a great job

Now we wait for enough sunshine to paint the decks

week 1

The insulation is in, and we've been finishing up final details to prepare for the drywall installation.

Jacquie came out to see the house, and covered the tubs in cardboard to protect them from subcontractors

Sign me up for a jacuzzi bubble bath when your house is finished!

Sam lent a hand at covering the whirlpool tub with lumber

Good luck getting JQ out of the tub once it's working!

Looking right from the house entry: shows the dining room on main floor, guest room on top floor (even Joan is welcome to stay there instead of using "Joan's room" in the dungeon), and sunroon in background on main floor

If we were unsure before, we now know we don't want to paint the walls pink

Looking left from the house entry: shows the living room on main floor with master bedroom behind the fireplace

Except for Sierra, who wants to paint her bedroom hot pink

From the doorway to Sierra's bedroom, looking right toward her closets

Where will the rest of my clothes go???

From the doorway to Sierra's bedroom, looking left toward the windows

Good vantage point for watching forest critters, bad vantage point for sneaking out of the house!

Kyle and Zac came out to see how different things look with insulation--like this wall between the kitchen and the garage (where fridge and cabinets will be)

When the house is finished, they will have seen every phase and be ready to start their own construction company (or vow to find other career options)

March, 2003

Mike continued to work on framing and other details required before we could pass the framing inspections. Intel kept him too busy to work on the house for a while, but he managed to get back on track. The central vacuum was installed, Mike dug trenches for propane pipes, and by the end of the month we were about ready for insulation and drywall. We still have not been able to pour the garage floor due to the endless rains.

week 4

We spent this week cleaning up in preparation for the insulation and drywall installers. Robert brought his tractor out for Mike to work on the garage floor again (it was actually sunny for two days). He also brought Pearl for a visit.

Robert introduces us to Pearl, his new fishing dog

We wondered how Pearl would ever learn to sit still for a boat ride!

week 2

Since there has been nothing exciting to photograph lately, we were afriad you might think we had quit updating our photos. So we took a few shots of the basement to highlight recent developments down there. Caution: You might want to fix a strong cup of coffee or tea before viewing, as these photos can induce drowsiness.

This inlet valve for the vacuum is between the pantry and dining room doors, right where the messy bird cage will be

This will simplify Sierra's job of cleaning up around the birds!

This view shows where the wood stove will be, with the ductwork for the master bath in the background. The black box sticking down over the wood stove site is the stove venting

Looking north in the basement

Taken from the other side of the wood stove area, you can see ductwork for the rest of the main floor. Mike's future woodworking shop is in the background

Looking southeast in the basement

This is another angle of the same view, with Sierra standing by the door to Mike's shop. A door to her left leads into a bathroom, and just inside Mike's shop, a door to her left leads into the mechanical room. Our old washer and dryer, in the background, are waiting to be installed in the mechanical room

Looking southwest in the basement

The furnace is just inside the door to the mechanical room

Northeast corner of the mechanical room

Another view of the mechanical room shows the fuse box, the low-voltage wiring box, the area where the central vacuum's power unit will hang, two suspicious-looking individuals, the newly installed venting for the dryer, and the tank for well water. The old washer and dryer will end up in the foreground on the right side of the photo

South wall of mechanical room

February, 2003

In February, we got electricity and running water!!! We planted 200+ seedlings around the property to satisfy requirements for forest deferral--mostly western red cedar but also some western hemlock, Douglas fir, grand fir and balsam fir (Christmas trees), blue spruce, and flowering dogwood. Mike filled and packed the garage floor to prepare for pouring a cement floor, but it stayed too wet for inspection. He worked a lot on framing and electrical wiring. We passed our electrical inspection (except for two wallplates). The plumbing was completed. The furnace was installed and passed its inspection. We had a little break on cleanup patrol so that we could rest up for insulation and sheetrock in March, but we continued to collect lumber scraps and enjoy warm fires at our current house.

week 4

The propane fireplace is almost installed. We still need the top part of the chimney venting, and the faceplate won't be installed until after sheetrock is up

Mike worked on framing around the unit to prepare for river rock

week 3

Darin paid a visit to help with wiring and soffits

Spaghetti, anyone???

His daughter Olivia must be old enough to sleep through the nights if Darin has enough energy to volunteer for hard manual labor!

Darin and Mike work in the mechanical room (aka "the dungeon," near Joan's room)

Darin brought Wheeler for some fresh air

Wheeler was not lacking for attention that day

It was lots more fun to pet Wheeler than to sweep, haul lumber, and frame soffits

"Why are there four people near me and only three pairs of hands petting me???"

week 1

Mike installed the framework for the front door, which we sanded and stained in January

The actual door is propped up in our current house for safekeeping

Steve, Lisa, Kyle, and Zac helped us plant seedlings

Sierra fell in the hole moments later

January, 2003

In January, we installed and stained the exterior doors. The electricians wired the house, and we ordered major kitchen and laundry appliances. The Lu family continued to play in the mud with us on weekends for cleanup duty. Their former foreign exchange student from Moldovia, Eddie Lapteanu, visited them for 3 weeks and offered his services at the build site in return for food and a chance to play with the potato gun. (Maybe the whole reason we are moving is to be far enough from neighbors to shoot the potato gun again!) The kids were disappointed that someone took their nail magnet, which was carefully hidden in "Joan's room," so it must have been more of a novelty than we realized! We replaced it and resumed nail patrol. Mike framed ductwork and closets and installed low-voltage wiring for telephones and for satellite Internet and television. Ron and Robert helped Mike install propane pipes.

weeks 3 and 4

Photos of electrical wiring and propane lines are not very interesting, so we've spared you.

week 2

Due to rain and cold temperatures, Mike designed a makeshift barricade and tent so the varathane could dry on the deck doors

Those who weren't working on the door really missed the propane heater

While the adults worked indoors, those with more energy got to haul lumber scraps to the burn pile

Remember that wood you hauled uphill last week? Now it's time to haul it back downhill!

After his recent advanced Tae Kwon Do training, Kyle gets voted the most qualified to wrangle the wheelbarrow uphill through the mud

What goes down must come up (with a little coaxing)

We sanded and oiled the framework for the missing front door in the dark

Mike teaches Kathi why she did not select carpentry as a profession

week 1

It's beginning to look like we can move in before the end of 2003!

A whole new look for the new year!

Here's a view of the back

Kathi worries about cleaning all this glass

These photos are dark because Kathi wanted to clean up the mess outside first

We'll eventually add rock in place of Tyvek

Mike explains the finer points of potato gun etiquette

The potato comes out of the top end, so watch where you aim it

Potato gun 101: Basics of complex potato gun technology

"Potato + cheap hairspray + spark = boom"

Potato gun 102: Yes, it can really hurt someone

Eddie wonders why Americans want such strange gadgets

Passing the final exam

Oh, now I get it! It's fun!

We might have a better view of Mt. St. Helens than we thought! If you get out your magnifying glass, you can see it about a third of the way from the left side of the photo

It showed up a lot better in person

December, 2002

In December, the house passed building inspection and the plumbers installed pipes throughout the house. The jacuzzi tub was added to the master bath, and a water heater was installed in the basement. Mike kept himself busy with jobs, such as installing a door between the garage and the laundry room. The siding was installed by the end of the month (while we were taking a break in Florida for the holidays).

We should send this photo to Better Homes and Gardens! After a long, hard day of laboring, every one of us looks longingly at the jacuzzi tub and wishes it were working

The elegant master bath

The kids picked out a new toy from Home Depot--a magnet on a stick for picking up nails. Yet somehow Kyle always gets stuck with the task of pulling nails out of lumber because he's the strongest

Why does Zac get to have all the fun?

The kids decided to take a break when Lorna and Kathi weren't looking

Relaxing after a long day

November, 2002

In November, the framers finished the roof and windows were installed. Mike and friends battled the only significant rain we received all month (which was a deluge) to get the shingles on the roof. Mike built the side and back decks, installed glass blocks for a master bath window, and installed tiedowns so the house would pass earthquake inspection.

Sierra and Kathi became accustomed to spending some quality time at the site each weekend picking up debris and recyclables, sweeping up sawdust, retrieving nails, and collecting leftover lumber for firewood. Some of our friends joined us, because it's hard to keep folks away when you're having this much fun!

Special thanks to Lorna, Kyle, Zac, and Vicky for helping on weekends. Special thanks to Bill DonTigny for visiting twice from Seattle just to wear himself out! And special thanks to Ron, Robert, Lisa, and Steve for their help on the roof.

week 5

Mike took the week of Thanksgiving off work so he could "relax" at the build site. He got a lot accomplished.

Mike and Ron installed french doors at the south end of the basement where Mike's workshop will be

All the basement doors are finally in

Wonder why the shop gets fancier doors than the rest of the basement

So he can drive the lawn tractor into the shop (if we ever get a lawn)

The north side of the house where Mike installed the glass blocks

Guess we won't be able to flash the neighbors from the tub

Bill showed up after Thanksgiving to visit, and Mike put him to work nailing tiedowns that are supposed to keep the floors together during an earthquake

In case that "big one" we're overdue for happens during our lifetimes

We pretty much try to give Mike right-of-way when he's carrying power tools

Coming through!

How do the Lus keep getting stuck with all the really fun jobs?

Should we change our phone number and move to a different state?

week 4

Kyle and Zac demonstrate why they have black belts in Tae Kwon Do!

Breaking up lumber for firewood

week 2

The rains finally arrived with a vengeance on the weekend of 11/9. A few brave souls challenged the elements on Saturday to add tarpaper and shingles to the roof. Many, many, many thanks to Bill, Lisa, Robert, Ron, and Steve!!!

Maybe they should be building an ark instead

Right to left: Ron and Steve stretch their sore muscles on the dining room table, Bill collapses for a quick nap, and Mike contemplates the complexities of the universe (or maybe the ceiling)

It's only marginally drier indoors at this point

Bill models the newest in raingear fashions--or is this The Jetsons?

Only the studliest roofing installers are man enough to wear this gear

By 4:00 on Saturday, the north side of the house was looking pretty good

How do they keep from sliding off?

Then they headed for the highest peak

Time for more of a challenge

Kathi was beginning to feel a little left out of the party on the roof (but not enough to set foot on it)

Mike DonTigny's school for aspiring mountain goats

Since the sun is nowhere in sight, you can finally see what the back of the house looks like

They put shingles here first because it was the scariest

Ron's wife Minnie brought Benjamin and Thomas out to see Daddy working on the roof

We can't wait to climb up there and help when we're grown up...maybe next year???

The crew was hard at work again on Sunday, 11/10. Ron and Bill were glad to finally take a break for lunch

Mike promised us chateaubriand and lobster bisque

Steve seems glad to sit and relax for a while

Like Kathi knows how to cook that stuff--get real!

Even the general contractor/slavedriver managed to climb down from the roof for a few minutes

Why is everyone sitting around--get back to work!

Mike thought he knew how to get the heavy tarpaper up to the roof without actually carrying it

Bill loads up the tractor

Kyle, Zac, and Sierra were back on lumber scrap patrol

Do any of you have a license to drive that thing?

Folks made a lot of progress on Sunday because the rains held off until late afternoon

Still practicing for the mountain goat 101 exam

The inside of the house was much drier on Sunday, thanks to all this hard work!

When this gets boring, we should sign up to install girders for skyscrapers

If the degree of filth is directly proportional to the amount of work performed, Sierra got a lot done on Sunday!

Let's see if Tide would pay to clean our laundry on tv

week 1

Everything but the garage and portico roofs were framed by 11/2

View from beginning of driveway

Walking counter-clockwise around the house, this is the southwest corner (garage in foreground)

You can almost see Sierra and friends on the new side deck

Here's a better view of Sierra, Kyle, and Zac on the side deck. Looks like Mike hadn't trimmed the ends of the lumber yet

Future safety inspectors wondering where the railings are

Heavy shadows make this hard to see, but here's the back. It looks like sunny Florida, but felt more like sunny Minnesota--in January!

Kathi needs to show up early enough to get the morning sun sometime

That pile of lumber is beginning to dwindle down in size

Northwest corner

Somehow we hoodwinked our friends Lorna, Kyle, and Zac into helping us clean up the place!

Our first lunch on the deck

The kids had lots of fun (?) loading the trailer up with lumber

Hope the Major League pitching scouts don't all show up at once

And sitting around when they got a chance, which wasn't often

Front stairway

Mike was a busy guy

Building the back deck

Here are some of the folks who framed the house for us--they have enjoyed looking at the web site, too!

Robbie on the roof over Kathi's office

Unfortunately, the shadows were rather strong that day, too

Scott on the very top of the house

A little free advertising (if you get out your magnifying glass) for Ten Penny Construction

Ted Steber on the top of the house

October, 2002

A lot happened in October! The house started out as some forms for basement walls and ended up almost completely framed. To detail the major accomplishments, the foundation was poured, the plumbing was installed in the basement, all three floors were framed, and the roof was partially framed. Mike waterproofed the basement walls, put in a french drain system, and backfilled around the house. Things moved along at an amazing speed after waiting so long to get started!

week 4

As of 10/27, Sierra doesn't have to sleep in the yard any more--she has a real bedroom!

The second floor is framed!

We've even got part of a roof

View of northeast corner

And a great big pile of lumber

View of northwest corner

Sierra actually cleaned her room!

I can almost see Sierra way up there

Mike just can't get enough of the tractor

Backfilling around the basement

This will make it a lot easier to enter through the back door...

Still enjoying the tractor

We met one of the locals

Neighbors appear to be friendly

week 3

As of 10/20, the main floor is framed in and Kathi can finally visualize what the rooms will look like--and the autumn foliage we'll enjoy through the windows

Main floor framework

We'll be able to wave at the neighbors from our whirlpool tub--won't they be impressed

Sierra and Mike in the master bath

Back view of the house on 10/20, complete with clouds (but still no rain)

This is looking more like Oregon

Mike finds another excuse to borrow Robert's tractor

Installing the french drain

week 2

As of 10/13, the basement framing is almost complete, and Mike has coated the walls with a tar/asphalt moisture barrier--Here, Mike and Sierra check out the view they'll have of Mt. St. Helens from what will be the sunroom when the main floor is put in

If I squint real hard I think I can see it!

Mike contemplates how to organize his lawn mowers in the southeastern corner of the basement

Will Kathi notice if I try to sneak in a new tractor?

Back view of the house on 10/13--taken right into the sun for your viewing pleasure

This can't be Oregon!

Picnic on the estate grounds, right before Kathi went on litter patrol, as Mike shows Sierra his new technique for prying off bottle caps

Hammers are versatile tools

Sierra introduces a very special guest suite in our new home

Joan's room

week 1

By 10/6, you can see how the house is situated on the property

Long-range view

Side view looking south--the garage foundation is in the background on the right

Side view

Back of the house--this will be the entry into the daylight basement

Back of the house

This shows the corner of the garage foundation (to the left) and the view along the front wall toward the north

Close-up from garage

The plumber has begun preparing to install pipes

Plumbing is started

Plumbing is completed

Pipes are in

The slab is poured for the basement on 10/9

Polishing the slab

September, 2002

During September, we finally began building. We put in a septic system, the electric company ran wiring out to the site, and the forms were built for the basement walls.

week 4

Building the cement forms for the walls as of September 25: Viewed from north end (That's our friend Dennis, visiting from Phoenix, checking out the progress!)

Cement forms looking south

Viewed from the southwestern corner (Mike is measuring in the background to see how much fill dirt he thinks we're going to need)

Cement forms looking northeast

Back of the house

Cement forms for back of house

This will be Sierra's room (two floors above where she's standing)

Welcome to my part of the house

This is how big Mike's flat-screen tv will be in the theater room—and by the time we can afford to finish the theater room, flat-screen televisions should be cheap!

Can we get one this big???

Where's our suite? Do we get our own Jacuzzi?

Nancy and Sonny inspect the progress

weeks 1-3

A very important addition to the property

Septic tank

And an accessory to the important addition

Drain field

Digging the trench for the electric cables

Hard working guy

Let there be light!

Cables in place

Until we get that septic system up and running, we have our very own porta-potty!

Driveway view

August, 2002

We broke ground on August 9 to dig a hole for the daylight basement. By the end of the month, we were the proud new owners of a big hole in the ground, and still waiting for the house plans to be approved so that we could begin building.

Looking north, with driveway at top of photo

Northern view

Looking northeast, toward the Cascades

Northeast view 1

Looking northeast, wider angle of view

Northeast view 2

Looking south (boat shed will be on the other side of the woods)

Southern view

April, 2002

During the summer of 2001, Mike had about an acre of the property logged to make room for the house and outbuildings. He also hired a Caterpillar earth mover to create a driveway and make the build site accessible. In April, the weather dried out enough that Mike could decide where to place the house. He was expecting the house plans to be done by the end of the month (which did not happen) so that we could begin building in June (which did not happen). While he was waiting for the plans, he took a photo tour of the property so we could remember what it looked like before we started on the house.

View from the beginning of the driveway, looking northeast. In the background we'll be able to see Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens on a clear day. The green patch in the background is a neighboring strawberry field.

View from driveway

View from the house site toward the northeast.

View from the house site

Looking north from the woods toward the build site and driveway. The path was cleared by the Caterpillar to help us access the south end of the property.

View from the woods

The southern end of the property, where Mike envisions building a boat shed one day. Kathi envisions some fruit trees as well. The deer probably like Kathi's idea best!

Southern end of the property

Looking south across the build site--the boat shed will be located on the other side of those woods. Mike would like to build a pond in those woods, as there is a stream running through them.

View toward the south

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