20 April 2014

Has Spring Finally Arrived?

We have been tempted with a few spring-like days since the vernal equinox marked the first day of spring last month, but the warm days were soon followed by another visit of the polar vortex. The weather has been warmer in Anchorage, Alaska this spring than here on Joyce Road.

After a long cold spring the daffodils have finally managed to bloom.



The bumblebees are busy taking advantage of the first flowers of spring.

10 April 2014

Hopkins' New House

With the back-filling around Brian & Tish Hopkins' new house complete, the siding crew was busy putting the finishing touches of the exterior of the house.



Most of the siding, gutters and downspouts are complete. Still some work to complete on the front porch and entrance.

03 April 2014

Hopkins' New House

With some, but not all of the drywall hung in Brian & Tish Hopkins' new house, the spackling of the seams and joints has begun. Applying seam tape on the kitchen ceiling.



A view of the living room.

31 March 2014

Hopkins' New House

The rooms are starting to take shape as the drywall crew continued to make progress on Brian & Tish Hopkins' new house. Drywall being installed in the entrance foyer.



Another view of the entrance foyer.





The master bedroom and bath.



After a weekend of cold wet weather there was a break in the weather today and another crew was busy back-filling around the foundation.



Back-filling and rough grading on the back side of the house.

28 March 2014

Spring Migration

The calendar says it's Spring, and the days are getting longer, but the recent cold weather this week didn't make it feel like Spring. While I've spotted hundreds of robins and other migrating birds in the neighborhood, I've also noticed the local deer have moved back to the hilltops from their winter feeding areas in the valleys. This isn't a very long migration for the local deer, only a couple of miles, but the numbers of deer feeding in the fields has increased over the past weeks.Within the next couple of weeks we should see the flocks of turkeys move back to the neighborhood as they prepare to start nesting.

17 March 2014

Hopkins' New House

Brian & Tish Hopkins' new house entered another phase in construction as a truckload of drywall was delivered today.



The drywall crew didn't waste time whittling away at the stacks of drywall.  Cutting a 14 foot long sheet of 5/8 inch drywall for placement on the living room ceiling.



The first sheet of the living room ceiling going into position.



By the afternoon all to the drywall for the second floor ceilings had been hung.



13 March 2014

Hopkins' New House

Today's cold/windy weather may have stopped the siding installers from working on the outside of Brian & Tish Hopkins' new house, but the insulation crew was busy on the inside installing cellulose insulation on the exterior walls.



This type of cellulose insulation is blown through a hose onto the wall where a layer of the insulation will build up to fill the wall cavity between the studs.



Once the stud cavity is "overfilled" with cellulose insulation a special tool is used to level the insulation flush with the studs.



The excess cellulose insulation from the filling and leveling process is vacuumed up and recycled back into the system and used to fill other areas.



A view of the kitchen area after installation and clean up.



Down in the basement, the hot (red) and cold (blue) water lines have been connected to the distribution manifold.

10 March 2014

Hopkins' New House

With today's warm weather the construction crews were busy working on the inside and outside of Brian & Tish Hopkins' new house.

On the outside, siding started to be installed on the front of the garage.



On the south side of the house, another crew was busy installing siding.



Inside the house, the electrical crew was busy connecting wires to outlets and switches.



In the garage, the heating/ventilating crew was installing duct-work from the basement to the second floor. 

07 March 2014

Winter Wildlife

As this cold/snowy Winter continues to hang on into March, several of the neighborhood deer have taken up residence in our backyard. With hard, packed snow covering the area, the deer are having a hard time breaking through it to the underlying grass. The deer are now making several trips a day through our apple orchard looking for late drooping apples.



Another favorite food source for the deer is the periwinkle plants growing at the base of the retaining wall behind our house.  The deer have started using our lawn as a daytime bedding area and don't move out of sight as we come and go.

05 March 2014

Hopkins' New House

It was another cold, but dry day as a crew started to back-fill the garage area of Brian & Tish Hopkins' new house. First, the outside of the garage wall was filled with stone to form a solid base. 



Since the soil excavated for the house foundation was frozen, the back-fill material was trucked in.



Once the outside wall area was filled it was time to start filling the inside of the garage floor area.



By the afternoon the garage floor was full of stone.



A view from the outside.

27 February 2014

Hopkins' New House

The electricians and plumbers have been busy installing the wiring, drains and water lines in Brian & Tish Hopkins' new house. Here's a view of the kitchen sink area. 



Down in the basement, the hot and cold water lines all converge at a location where they will be connected to a supply manifold.



Overhead view of the water lines.



Electrical cables waiting for the installation of the breaker panel.

24 February 2014

First Sign of Spring

Its been a long, cold, snowy winter, but one of the first signs of spring appeared in the neighborhood today. I spotted this robin along Joyce Road near our barn. I'm hoping it's a sign of spring and not just a lost bird.

11 February 2014

Hopkins' New House - Day 14

After yesterday's concrete pour in the basement of Brian & Tish Hopkins' new house, the concrete was given some time to set up and cure. With the outside temperature at -5F this morning, a propane heater provides some heat to the area.



While the concrete floor cures in the basement, the plumbers were busy connecting pipes on the second floor.

10 February 2014

Hopkins' New House - Day 13

It was a cold, clear morning and a concrete mixer was parked next to Brian & Tish Hopkins' new house ready to pour the basement floor.



The small basement window was used to pour the concrete into the basement.



After preheating the basement with a propane heater for a couple of days, the floor was leveled and prepared for the concrete.

07 February 2014

Another Cold Morning

This was another cold morning in the neighborhood with a temperature of -2F. It was cold enough to form ice crystals on this wild rose bush as the moisture in the air froze on cold surfaces.



A close-up view of ice crystals on a rose hip (the fruit of the rose plant).