Sunday, August 24, 2008


The roof is finished and it is beautiful. Craig talked to a mason this week who has a passion for bricks and brickwork about building the chimney and if we get a chimney that looks like any of the photographs he showed us we will be very fortunate. I have a new appreciation for roof design and am now looking forward to a fabulous chimney, always something new to desire!

The basement space is turning out just great. There will be two bedrooms, one with two big windows and one slightly larger one with one big window. The windows are required by code for egress in case of emergency but I love them because of the light. There is also a large room for games, television or video games or anything else visiting children and grandchildren might enjoy, as well as a bathroom, storage space, utility area and a fine work room for me. We will have two staircases into the basement, one from the mudroom to the utility space and one from the living room to the bedrooms and sitting room.

We ended up the week with a picnic with our carpenters, in the shade of walnut trees, at the farmhouse on our adjoining property.

Jim and Jeremy (aka "Cooter") are fourth generation carpenters, their company is called American Classic Construction and it is well named. Jim has his back to the camera at the left of the table, next to him is Craig Cox, from left to right facing the camera is Dan, Cooter and Jake. Jake was an intern while he was in high school and will be starting at Northern Michigan University on Monday to study mechanical engineering. Dan has been telling me stories about his grandfather who raises longhorn cattle in Wichita County, Kansas. I love these guys.

Coming this week: finishing the two remaining porches, putting insulation around the outside of the house, the window delivery on Wednesday and the plumbers will be back.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Our carpenters are putting the shingles on the roof now. The shingles are a soft, varigated gray. There is a lot of roofline to cover.

By midweek the shingles should all be on, the windows have been delivered to the local building supply and go in after the roof is finished.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Roofing progress

All the roof surface is now covered with the plywood decking, only the ridge line now is open and by the end of this week we should be basically protected from rain. Shingles are on order.

The barn doors and window trim got a new coat of Benjamin Moore "Heritage Red". Looking good!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Roofing process begins

Our house has a complex roof line, the truss design is a 60 page document which made installing the trusses a big, challenging puzzle. It has been completed and now the plywood roof decking is going on. Making sense of the process with my camera is frustrating but here goes.

Craig says the roof will be closed in completely by the end of the week, weather permitting. We did have a midnight thunderstorm Friday night and there are a couple of days which have rain in the forecast this week. We chose a soft gray color for the shingles which Craig ordered this week. Last year's hailstorm in Marquette set off a marathon reroofing all over the city this summer so the carpenters will be putting on the shingles for us.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Views from the second floor

Going upstairs

my bedroom

view from my study (the sand dune will go away when the excavators come back to do a final leveling of the construction site)

from Pete's bedroom (before the roof trusses were installed)

Inside views from the first floor

This is the dining room, looking east

the living room looking south

looking past the temporary staircase towards the kitchen, looking north

This house has a name

Because of the apple trees which line the ridge along Cherry Creek where we are building, the new house will be known as Orchard House. Our generous and talented friend Ernest "Woody" Wood made this great bench which is down by the creek. He also made a sign for our camp on Lake Superior. The camp property is divided by a bayou which once was the Chocolay River bed before it found a new opening into Lake Superior. We use a paddle boat to get from the cabin across the bayou to the beach and that is where the name Two Waters comes from. Woody made the sign and our friend Paul Grant painted it for us.

Where we are, where we are going

Walls, window and door openings, temporary stairs to the second floor, even the tyvek wrapping, every trip to the building site has been a revelation the last two weeks. The house is completely framed, closed in with plywood and tyvek, and Friday the carpenters started on the roof trusses. Along with photographs of the north and south facing views of construction I am including images of the architect's drawings of the elevations so you can better see where we are headed.

South facing:

North facing:

Here's Craig framing the guest room porch

and here are two of the wonderful carpenters dancing around with the roof trusses