Design Part I: Shapes, Volumes and Demensions

So now that im waist deep in this project, I think it might be good to take a moment to reflect on what I actually want to do with this project.

Technically I think the seeds of this prodject started when I told my realestate agent I was interested in buying this house.

After going through the “are you serious?” “Are you crazy?” “You will never get your investment back.” Routine, he sat back for a little while and then asked what were the demension? As i told him, he reached for a pad of paper and started sketching.
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Now all the load bearing walls are on the exterior of the house, so there was good bit of freedom in the interior layout, and with great input from my Uncle and others. Ideas started to go down on paper.
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I went through a lot of design ideas, in the process, all the details from roof-lines, window placement, doors room sizes, materials, storage, churned through different iterations.
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eventually the plan finally settled down with a two bedroom, two bath design.
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The master Bedroom is towards the rear, with an office/second bedroom at the front. An open kitchenand living room area in the middle, and master bath and guest bath, in the shed structure on the side.

Now trying to sqeeze two bedrooms and bathrooms into 916 sq. ft. has been an interesting challenge. a couple of times its come down to matter of inches wether or not it was possible. And with trying to intergrate the old structure into the new, these plans are still flexible and I think the finally details will most likely come together as the house is assembled.

But this is the out line of the scope of the project, and hopefully it will keep everything on tract.

Catch ya later folks,

Paul

Practical Sadism Or: How to Lay Concrete Block

So with the newly poured footings it was finally time to lay some block.

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My friend Wesley offered to help me pick up my block from home depot. We used the Home Depot truck and after the concrete block triggered the over-weight alarm on the truck (yes they have those, who knew) we suddely came to the realization, that like most of the project, this might be a bad idea.

Fortunately we were able to get all the block transported over to the house with minimal  casualties. We were, however, reminded how well T-shirts work as bandages.  (Some people were injured in the makeing of this house, primarily me, but still.)

With the block in position, there was just some measuring and marking, then we moved on to laying  block.

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That’s when this got complicated….

Now im doubt many of you are perfecional block masons, but i do think you probably have a little idea one would go about laying some block.

Lay out some mortar, set down a block, plume, level, boom bada-bing, move on to the next one.

Yeah, try explaining that to a concrete block.

About 10 block in to my foundation I had already cussed in three different languages.

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You have no idea how finicky it is to lay concrete block.

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Finally me and the block came to an understanding: I would try to lay block, they would put up a fight, we would struggle for a half an hour then they would settle down into something that looked like a wall. Not a good wall mind you, but something between an autistic monkey, and a brick mason makeing a bad artistic statement (“I call it: The Collapse of Man Kind”)

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The piers on the inside

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Finally i got the block layed. With ripping out the old foundations, i had a bunch of historic brick left over, and since i didnt like the look of the concrete block, i decided to to back the old brick as a veneer over the concrete block.

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Unlike concrete block, brick is a wonderful material, that is fantastic to work with and highly rewarding.

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Im going to do a “sealed” crawlspace,  so with a little bit of the left over brick, I closed off the access hole in my foundation.

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Thats all for now folks.

Catch ya next time.