Home Building

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Building at the Ledge – Part 10 (Home Inspection & Tour)

Well, we passed our final inspection on Friday, October 6th! This means that the El Dorado County Building Department is finished with us, and that I should be expecting a tax re-assessment soon. It does not, however, mean that T.B. is finished. He is still completing the exterior trim, and has a few odds and [...]
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Building at the Ledge – Part 9 (Window Installation)

It’s been three months since my last update to this site. My sincere apologies to anyone who has been faithfully checking the site for current information! Why so long? Well, I’ve been kept pretty busy, between the house, the business, and the challenges of life in a tiny trailer. A lot has been done in [...]
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Building at the Ledge – Part 8 (Roof Installation)

The house now has a roof! Or at least part of a roof, anyway. It’s changing the feel of the project dramatically. T.B. and Don spent most of last week finishing infrastructure, installing hip rafters, and straightening walls, and then put up the first roof panel last Friday, August 20. The roof panels are supported [...]
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Building at the Ledge – Part 7 (Salvaging Building Materials)

Saturday the 14th my friend Ray and I went to the Bay Area to see what we could salvage from some homes that are being demolished. You can get some idea of how it works from the Whole House Building Supply web page. The sales that weekend were an "estate" home in Atherton and a [...]
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Building at the Ledge – Part 6 (Remaing Walls)

Two weeks after setting the first wall in place, we’ve finished all the exterior walls and the key interior walls. Next week we’ll start putting the roof panels in place. My friend Tom came over to see the house on Tuesday the 11th, and boy were we glad to see him! We needed to set [...]
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Building at the Ledge – Part 5 (The First Wall)

Thursday we just bathed the slab regularly and cleaned up all the junk on the edges. Then Friday we got to start playing with those structural panels mentioned in the July 26 notes. We started on wall J, which is the west wall. Three windows, no doors, so it should be simple. The panels are [...]
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Building at the Ledge – Part 4 (Slab Pouring)

This was a day to remember. T.B. and Don and the concrete crew arrived at 6 a.m. The pumping truck and the first concrete truck arrived at 7. The early start is imperative in the July heat, since the hotter the temperature the faster the concrete sets. Starting early gives the crew a little more [...]
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Building at the Ledge – Part 3 (Slab Preparation)

These photos were taken during the slab preparation phase of the project. This first shot is taken from the knoll to the east of the building site. It shows the entire "floor" of the house. At the top left you can see the river, which runs roughly parallel to the south wall of the house. [...]
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Building at the Ledge – Part 2 (Home Design)

The house was designed by David Wright, an architect based in Grass Valley who has specialized in passive solar design for over 30 years. The goal was to design a modest-sized house (1400-1600 square feet) that was easy to live in and very efficient to heat and cool. Though I haven’t yet lived in the [...]
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Building at the Ledge – Part 1 (Project Overview)

I started this site because my dad and a few others have asked to see photos of the house that I’m building. It’s turned into a diary of the project, with as much information as I can include. You should know that a general contractor (I’ll call him T.B. for "The Builder") is the one [...]