Sunday, July 21, 2013


I've gotten a bit of flack recently for the lack of building updates here.  I've been keeping up somewhat with pictures on Facebook, but this always seems like it needs to be more edited, more "correct" so I always hesitate to sit down and do it.  Maybe I should just wing it in favor of keeping up.  We did start work on building the house starting in June.  Our summer was pretty late in coming this year, but once it came, it came fast and hot!  The first thing that needed to be done was to get supplies and start work on the site preparation.  Rodney started work on the North Slope (oil) so he works two weeks on, two weeks off.  I'll have him post details on that later.  It has a huge impact on the work on the house though because everything is intense for two weeks, then the project comes to a halt for two weeks.  You can probably guess where we are in that cycle right now.   

Picking up supplies:

Dan and Rodney doing additional site preparation:

The man-hole alongside the well to provide access in case there is a need to work on the line.

The water line from the well to the house.  The nice thing about digging in the spring after a winter like this is that they could see exactly where the frost line was and dig down below it.  Insulation over the pipe helps ensure that it won't freeze below that point.

The building pad after the pipes were all put in.  Moose walking through the woods as I took the picture.  

HOT!!!  This is ALASKA in the mountains, not far from the ocean, not interior Alaska or New York!

Rodney and Dan did most of the site preparation work, but when it came time to set the foundation forms, Doug Maxwell came in along with Ryan Beachy and Jesse Lee.  If Doug is in charge of the pour, he wants it done right and wants to be there to be certain that it is done right.  Sounds good to me!  This is a gifted group of men!  Might as well have good help if you're going to have help!  Doug is in the plaid shirt giving directions.

While the other guys were working on the foundation, Jared Thiessen was cutting trees for the electric line.  He's in there if you look closely.

Not sure how I feel about being able to see the road, but electricity is a good thing.  It's not right next to the house at any rate.  The shop will be over near this site eventually.  

This is how the site looked at the end of the day.  Plastic, then foam insulation, pex on top of that and wire mesh over the top to reinforce the concrete.  

Even hotter yet.  *shaking head*  This is NOT supposed to happen here!

That night strong winds blew in smoke from a forest fire a few hours away.  You could hardly see the mountains around us.  We'd been too hot and too dry for too long.  

We were supposed to pour the foundation the next morning, but we got a call around midnight that Ryan Beachy had struck a moose on his motorcycle and died.  His girlfriend, Tracy, was with him and is still recovering from the crash.  The pour was called off and we, along with the rest of the community were left in a state of complete shock.  When someone dies, people always seem to say good things about that person, like all of them were good people (how can that be?), but with Ryan it really was true.  Ryan was a builder and a fisherman, not a person you'd think would have a huge impact in the world today.  The big difference was that Ryan poured his life into the lives of others around him and that made a world of difference.  His loss has hit hard all across the state.  While a senior in high school, Ryan wrote this mission statement.  He certainly accomplished it to perfection!  

My mission, if I choose to accept it,
is to become a funnier person,
And to be more generous,
And more  outgoing,
And to be known as an overall nice person.
I will be more hardworking
And optimistic.
I will be more fun to be with,
And a good friend to everybody.

Guys being guys, sitting around can be way too much time thinking.  They decided to go ahead with the pour a few days later.  It really was a good thing, I think.  Concrete work is intense activity followed by a great deal of waiting for it to harden.  There was a lot of talking and sharing and laughing and tears shared over a slab of concrete.  It seemed a fitting way to mourn.  

L-shaped rebar were inserted into the concrete along the outside edge of the foundation to tie the foundation in to the wall.  We'll see that the next time around!

Chuck Gerwig running the machine that does the final smoothing of the concrete.

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