Some Bike Time. More Destruction. Design Changes. A Milestone.

Been awhile since the last musing. Off on a bike ride in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Meanwhile, CtC has been busy prosecuting the destruction of our shanty and planning the construction of our small but not officially tiny house.

Bike Ride

Lesson learned. Riding on packed dirt is hard. I spent 6 hours going 70 miles with about 3,500 feet of climbing. In the real world that should take 4ish hours, probably less. And, it kicked my butt. The last 2 or 3 miles were on paved trail. My speed went from working my butt off to maintain 14-15 mph to all of a sudden going 19-20 mph and having plenty of gas to push the diesel a bit more if I wanted. (I must interject here that TW brought to my attention that diesels run on fuel, not gas. He's right, but I think the musing reads better with the word gas than fuel. There are plenty of other inaccuracies anyway, so I'm going with gas. It's my musing.) Also bonked and got dehydrated with about 10 miles to go. Fortunately happened at the top of the last climb. Grabbed a bottle and thought uh oh. Not good! Looked around and there was a trail head with a pump and what I presumed was a cistern. Water taste was below my standards, but tasted WAY better than no water!

Ended up with 165 miles and about 12,000 feet of climbing for the three days. Rode the second and third days on proper pavement. Was much more productive and happier to boot. Good cycling in the Black Hills. For more about the South Dakota experience, see the transcontinental blog. Black Hills, great, rest of South Dakota, ehhhhh.

More Destruction

CTC and FtF kicked the roof right off the house. They retained the services of two day laborers who, for what I charged an hour in my retirement consulting dabbling, loaded all the stuff thrown off off the roof into the dumpster. Two more lessons learned.

  1. Don't be a day laborer in Tucson in the summer.
  2. Don't ever load the dumpster yourself.

So, roof off. Some of the timber was salvaged by a friend of Dan's that does some contracting. He can save some folks some money and we're happy the parts get a new life. Sadly, the sliding glass door gave it's life in support of the struggle put up by the roof. A gallant but eventually unadvised gesture.

Photo courtesy of CtC

Photo courtesy of CtC

Photo courtesy of CtC

Photo courtesy of CtC

Design Changes

Now, in the process of this destruction and reconstruction planning , CtC determined:

  1. The block walls were perfectly fine for early 1960's construction, but a little sketchy for 2014.
  2. We were going to add height, fill-in windows, move doors, extend a window, add gable ends, tie in a new block garage to existing block walls of questionable provenance.
  3. He got the estimate from the block guy...this was going to be premium construction.
  4. CtC has never liked what we had to do with the new roof trusses since the walls were block. Have a lot more flexibility with frame construction. And we avoid buying and placing a serious (and expensive) laminated wood beam at the ridge.
  5. FtF is a heck of a framer.

My phone rings...what if we deep six the existing walls and frame new. Jake (the Architect) is enlisted. He likes the block construction. A core value of his business is working with what is there, a big reason we hired him in the first place. We go a few friendly rounds. End-up with frame construction, keep the elevations and everything else as it, adjust the location of the bedroom windows so look a little better, stucco the exterior walls.

In researching stucco and how to make it not look like every other house in Tucson, we came across this. Now, this looks nothing at all like our house. But, we liked the colors and the fact there are no expansion joints in the stucco. So, we're using this as our color guide. Notice the blue chairs. Close enough to the blue Ann wanted for seating pads and accents. So, not-with-standing the architecture is nothing like ours and the fact the finishes on this house are probably $300-400 per square foot and ours will be closer $100 per square foot, this is kind of what the house might look like. Unless CtC finds something else!

So, we bought a slab and a lot. We're going to start cutting the slab in the next few days. We'll see how long the slab lasts! Could end-up we bought a lot. In any event, it's no longer like a new house. It IS a new house. For the record, we considered making it bigger - but decided in the end we like it small but not officially tiny.

A Milestone

While Jake and I were going a few friendly rounds, I wondered aloud what kind of Pandora's Box I was opening with what I presumed was a permitting process that was nearing completion. He said yah that apparently the plans were finally assigned on Friday. He was looking so he could show me how to tell these things when he got the approval e-mail. We have approved plans! Way to go Jake!

So CtC skedaddled on down to the City and pulled the permits. We're building.

Seems the process is for Jake to redraw the wall and roof framing, submit a change to the City permitting folks (the turn-around for changes is apparently hours or days not weeks), CtC carries on, revised permits are available when the time for framing inspections comes. Somewhere in there we send Jake some more money. The conservation of budget law (no change to save money will actually save any money) is observed.