After nearly 20 years in big Tokyo I was feeling burned out in my not-so-successful "career" in the service industry, knocking on several after a chance discovery of cheap old farmhouses we set out towards the countryside - but still close enough for my wife to further pursue her working live, commuting by Shinkansen while I would take care of the house and kids and build my own little cafe at home...
Our first bump came when we realized that the bank wasn't willing to give a loan for an old rundown house on some worthless property in the "Hinterland". So, we changed plans and will be building a new house. We already bought the plot last year, with about 400 square meters size, and I have started the vegetable garden beforehand, next project will be the garden house.

22 July, 2011

Standing tall

July 14th - the day I finally put up the house
When I arrived in the morning there were still water puddles around the house from the heavy rain of the last days. It was a beautiful day though, and so I set out to finally put up the house. I had most of the small work done beforehand, finishing the nooks and dadoes etc. I started with the first half of the front wall. Putting it up all together in one piece would have made it really heavy and since I was alone I didn't want to be crushed beneath the framework, thus I had come up with this solution.

I had cut out the feet of the post and the bottom accordingly and before the lift-up, I remeasured again to save me from later trouble.

To support a freestanding wall, diagonal planks are nailed to the side, which sounds good when you have a second person to hold the wall! But I then got the idea to attach the plank first at the bottom side and hold it in place with a second nail right beneath it, which worked out really well.

The front parts in place with the diagonal support. Actually, because the bottom parts fit into the floor frame construction, the posts held up on there own quite nicely.

I than lifted the back wall up, that I already had constructed on the floor to speed up the setting-up process.

Next I put the two side walls in place and than finished the front wall by putting the middle piece into place and than setting the top post, a 2 by 6 with cut-outs to snuggly fit into the tops of the four posts. Standing high on the ladder with one foot on the wood work, hammering nails into the wood  under the bright blue sky felt really good, almost like a real carpenter, getting something done!

I than started with the roof construction, which actually took more time than thought and since it was already afternoon and getting hot and humid above the still wet ground, I took a break to finish later in the early evening...but when the OSB sheets where finally attached it was already dark, which is rather early, even in summer, at around half past seven. Not only that but there was no way I could attach the asphalt roofing sheets in a safe manner without risking to break through the rather unstable roof or fall off the ladder. So, with the help of the friendly neighbor I was able to attach the blue sheet to keep the worst of the rain away.

One week and a big Taifun with lots of rain, but luckily not too heavy winds, later I assured myself that the house is still standing safely, waiting to be finished.

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