Sunday, March 25, 2012

4 weeks and a little bit.

Digger and I stayed in La Paz longer than normal this past week but we got some work done despite the rain.
We got the rafters in and the stringers on.
The rain water seems to flow in the right direction.

There is still the gable ends to close in but at least I won't be getting wet every day. The transition to the existing roof went well, it was a struggle using this wacky lumber but I have a solution for that in the future.

Slow sand water filter next week.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Still 6 weeks.

I wanted to post on the blog before I left town this week, I have a new thumb drive but I'm not sure it will work in La Paz.

In response to comments from the last blog ;
        Thanks to Bob Barber for his patronage. I am sure there is all kinds of information on the fundamentals of construction. You have the most important element already - a willingness to build. If you put your time and money into one of the most basic needs in life, you will never lose your investment. If you have specific questions e-mail me at, I'll do my best to answer them.
        To Mike Wallace, thanks for the comment and stay in touch.

What I neglected to show you in the last post was a gap at the peak of the gable end - this is to allow for a ridge board to keep the roof line straight.
Now the ridge board is installed as well as the carrying beam to carry the roof load.

Painting the roof tin is a real pain, they sell a rust resistant enamel here for $10 a gallon but the stuff is so thick it has to be thinned about 1 to 4 and the thinner is twice the price of the paint. I am tempted to buy a spray rig but the setup and cleanup time would take longer than painting by hand. I'll get over it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

6 weeks.

Another fine week with almost perfect weather in La Paz. The produce distributors have finally caught up with demand in La Paz that had left the town without a lot of the items they normally stock since the holidays.

I got our roofing materials this week at the local hardware store.
I had to let the boards air for a few days, lucky for me I had enough dried lumber stockpiled to get started on the roof framing.

I think it is worth mentioning that most of the lumber here is 1"X8"X9 foot eucalyptus, cut with a chainsaw into 3 board cants still attached on one end and packed with mud on the other end. These boards have to be cut or split apart and stacked to dry before you can use them. There is no dimensional lumber here, so if you want 2 X 6s you need to strip out two 1 X 6s and sister them together. The locals use poles to construct roofing members and there is no such thing as wood framing with cut lumber.

The roof tin looks good but it is really thin and ofcourse I'll have to change the color to :


 The first thing was to install a ledger board with a 2 inch cleat. This way I can tie into the existing building without increasing the wall load and still match the pitch of the roof for a good smooth transition.

Then the sill plates go on top of the block walls and get bolted down with the anchors embedded in cement.
On top of the sill plates the framing for the gable end goes in. This framing is a little different  from the field trusses because it's on the end of the building and will have to be closed in, in this case with clapboards.

The short list in the next couple of weeks :
      Finish the roof on this section of the addition.
      Build and install a slow sand water filter.
      Build and install arched window and door.
      Mix and pour the cement for the bedroom floor.
      Install hot water heater and related plumbing.
      Electrical hookup.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

7 weeks.

You know how sometimes the dumbest things get caught up in your head and you can't get rid of them ? This " no-reply " comment thing just will not go away. I really don't like not being able to reply to someone who has taken the time to write a comment or at least say thank you. I tried the reply in the comment section of the blog but who goes back to an old post to see if they get a reply ? I try to post a new issue every week so I think I will try something else. If you leave a comment on the blog this week I will post a reply in the next weeks blog. Like this :

        Thank you to Karen Kimbler for straightening me out on the fruit I wrote about last week, it is indeed a papaya.

        Thanks to Mike Wallace and his lovely wife Stephanie who continue to encourage me - I don't know why. They are a class act.

As the title to the this weeks issue says, I have 7 weeks to get Barb a place to sleep or I get moved into the dog house permanently.We had 5 straight days of good weather this week so progress was better than normal. I have run out of excuses for not taking pictures so here is one from when we first landed in Quito, Ecuador 15 months ago.

This is the second week I have had all the parts together for the water filtration system, maybe I'll get around to it next week. I've started putting in the sill plates for the trusses and built a ledger board for the existing brick wall to accept the rafter tails on the new roof. The gable end trusses should go up next week.

I was a little more reluctant to come back to Cuenca this week than usual but I was reminded that I need to show up once in awhile to keep my place at the dinner table.