Up it goes!

Leelanau County, Michigan – Saturday, May 29 – Written by Jim

Our cabin has begun rising from the foundation!

©️2009 Disney/Pixar

Well, not quite like that, but we do have progress to report! Our framers showed up this week and went at it in earnest. Prior to their arrival, I took the opportunity to insulate the lower four feet of the crawl space.

Getting this much done while standing straight up made life a lot easier. The insulation is two pieces of 1-1/2” thick polyiso board. Putting it up was a fairly simple process:

Drill a hole with a 5” long masonry bit.
Insert the 4-1/2” masonry fastener.
Tap it with a rubber mallet until it is tight.

The top part of the insulation will be finished once the floor joists are mounted to the top of the crawl space wall. I will also use aluminum tape to seal the joints in the foam board. Time for me to stand back and watch the framers build!

Ryan, Paul and Richard dove right into it. First thing they did was to assemble the center beam and support it with posts. Then came the treated wood sill plate on top of the foundation walls, along with a foam strip of sill sealer between them. The sill plate is attached to the block wall below with anchor bolts that the mason set into concrete. Follow that with the I-joists that span the entire width of the cabin and the rim joist around the outside.

It was then time for me to get back in the action. With us getting our material weeks earlier, I stored all of that high-priced OSB flooring in the barn. We purchased pallet forks for the front of our tractor last year and I was able to bring out several sheets at a time. They mentioned how it really helped them speed things up. Speaking of high priced lumber: This time last year, a sheet of 3/4” subfloor like this was in the $17 range. We purchased it in March at Menard’s for less that $30 a sheet. We thought that was crazy. Well, it is a good thing we bought it when we did, as we had to purchase two additional sheets to finish the floor. The price? A whopping $72 a sheet!

The crawl space is getting dark down there. Other than whatever comes through the hatch in the center of the cabin, that space hopefully won’t see daylight for a long time! By noon the next day, the floor was complete.

As the framers started building the walls, Adam from Peninsula Excavating started backfilling. He worked all afternoon and an hour the next morning to level things out. We had some steep areas below the cabin that were difficult to mow, so he used the extra dirt to soften them. It really came out nice.

By the end of the day, we had a wall!

The next day, they assembled the opposite wall in two sections. Here is a video of one of those going up. They use an electric wall jack to raise it. You can also see these clamp-on forks on my tractor bucket.

They had me push the button on the second half, as Ryan had to be by the wall joint to finesse the two together. That was fun!

Once they completed that, they framed an end wall until the end of the day and called it a week. They will be back on Tuesday.

Even the beams for our covered entry are in place! They can be seen extending out from the wall on the left side of the photo.

This morning, we had to go to Lowe’s to pick up our flooring. As we were getting in the truck, we heard a roar through the trees:

A hot air balloon! Looks like our cabin isn’t the only thing going up in Leelanau County. 😊

That’s our update for now. Stay tuned to see how much the framers get done next week. Until then, safe and happy travels to all!

21 thoughts on “Up it goes!”

  1. Great progress! It is amazing how quickly things go up while framing. The cost of lumber is just stupid right now, builders around here are starting out at $300/sf and it goes up from there right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true that luck plays into it, and we are fortunate in that regard, Bob…but the most important thing in a project is to start out with a strong plan. Having been a planner during my career, I was always thinking two weeks ahead of the rest of our manufacturing facility. Measure twice, cut once…or measure once, cuss twice!


    1. Once the pros leave and it is the two of us finishing up, things will slow down, Gaelyn. We should easily have the exterior buttoned up (siding and the decks), but the interior trim (cabinets, countertops, tile, doors, finish plumbing & electrical, flooring, paint and window trim) will take a while. No hurry…we’re retired!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim and Diana That’s great news about your house project. Things are moving along fast. That’s good news. Keep the project info coming. It’s great to follow your progress. Be well. Fred

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jonell! Once they get the roof on and the windows and doors in, I can start siding it. Prior to that, I want to get the yard reseeded. As you said, it is going to be a busy summer!


  3. Great progress…so much fun to watch!!! Enjoy the journey, collect the memories which are usually as much fun as the final destination:o))

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! Such fun watching your build. Price of lumber is up 250% yet new homes keep popping up in our area. So glad you plannned ahead. Enjoy the adventure! Anxious to see your next post.

    Liked by 1 person

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