Our daughter, Deborah and her husband Ernest bought a quarter section of land with an old farm house on it. Last year they sold their house in town. This gave them some money to build a new house on their land. In June 2015 they moved into the old farmhouse and started construction on a new house next to it. When the new building is finished they plan to knock down the old farmhouse and build a kitchen and dining room connected to the new house.
Ernest and Deborah worked unceasingly. Juanita and I mostly kibitzed and Ernie’s brothers showed up when there was heavy stuff like wheeling barrows of concrete or raising walls or when they had free time and there was something that they were skilled at to be done.
It all starts with a hole in the ground. The new building is about 27 feet by 46 feet (plus a nook) so a hole bigger than that had to be dug by machine. Into the hole went forms for footings, followed by concrete into the forms and drain rock inside and outside the footings. PVC pipes were placed in the bottom of the forms to allow water to pass from one side of the footings to the other. Any water will end up in a sump pit and be pumped out away from the house. Walls were built of 2” x 8” pressure treated lumber clad with ¾’ pressure treated plywood and raised onto the footings. A laminated beam was run down the middle of the basement. Then joists were added to the top of the walls and the beam. A concrete slab was poured in the basement.
The floor joists were covered with tongue and groove plywood. This did not handle the rain very well. A couple of sheets delaminated so another layer of plywood will be added as sub floor before any flooring is installed. Once all the joists were covered, the floor was the construction platform for the next set of walls. The walls were constructed of 2”x6” lumber with OSB sheathing and the walls were raised.
Joists were added to the top of the walls and the walls of the second storey were constructed and raised in like manner to the first floor walls.
The roof layout is a 7/12 pitch gable truss roof at each end with a cathedral roof 12/12 scissor truss roof at a right angle in the middle. The trusses for the gable roofs on each end were assembled together on the ground and then raised into place with a crane. The scissor trusses for the middle were individually hung between the two sections of gable roof. Then the front middle section of wall was assembled on the ground. The crane returned to lift the front-wall middle section into place and put the ladders in place for the ends of the scissor trusses.
In September Juanita and I went to China for a few weeks and then I took a job near Fort McKay and then took a job in Edmonton. The Ft McKay job was fourteen days in and seven days out. The Edmonton job was four on three off. Ernie carried on wiring the place. On my days off I wired one outlet and then switched to installing the main duct runs for the furnace in the basement and the furnace on the main floor. I installed the connections for the round ducts in the rectangular ducts as I hung them and Ernie took it from there. The last thing I did before giving up for the year was to enclose the rectangular ducts on the main floor with wood for attaching sheet rock. By the time we left for the South Ernest had most of the drain lines in and a good start on the water lines.