The building of the house

We did finally get the slab poured.

Finally poured, just a bit more to do!

I used to play with toy dozers when I was a kid. Now I have one with a motor. WATCH OUT!!

Here's the start of another pond dam.

My sewer will go through the center of it. The deep hole in the middle is what is called a "keyway" in Missouri, a place under the pond dam which is cut down to clean clay. It's then packed up with clean clay, making a watertight barrier in the dam.

House Construction

We finally started on the actual house construction before we left on our second cruise. The house is built entirely of non-flamable materials. The framework is metal studs, the roof is metal, the upstairs floor is poured reinforced concrete, the exterior walls are stucco (the real stuff, not the plastic face stuff you see on stores) and the interior walls will be covered with fire-rated sheetrock.

The design is entirely by yours truely, drawn on the back of some charts while we were bobbing around in the Caribbean.

The exterior walls are 6" studs. The area that has a second floor is made of 18 gauge on 24" centers. The side walls of end that is open to the rafters is studded up with 14 gauge studs on 12" centers. That may seem a bit backwards, but if you start figuring the loading, the load from the floors is negligable, but the wind loading is huge. The higher you go without support in the middle, the heavier your framing must be. The open end was the worst, as it goes all the way to the ridge in the middle. Those two studs you see there are welded back to back, and are 8" studs, with 2" flanges and are 12 gauge.

The second story bedroom has a deck that is free standing. There are no supports below, it is supported by floor joists that go back through the house, a cantilever design. It is also part of the second floor, one piece poured reinforced concrete floor.

This is another view that shows the balcony.

You'll notice that there are no eves. The roof is made of 16 gauge, 12" studs. They could have been 20 gauge and satisfied the loading requirements, but they don't make them lighter than 16 gauge. I ran the roof rafters to the wall, then built the eves of 18 gauge 3 5/8" studs. This required more work than I anticipated, taking 2 weeks. However, you can see at the ends I have the first ones built. Then I pulled strings between them and went down the line making the rest to the strings.

Here I've got this side built and am going back over it and welding it all together. Over the balcony I extended the studs out far enough that we have a roof completely covering the balcony.

This may look flimsy, but it's all welded together, every place metal touches metal. Way out on the edge of the roof over the balcony you can easily do pullups, and even jump up and down. I really believe that you could attach your chain hoist to it and pull a car motor with no bad effects.

You may also be noticing that I use whatever is available to make scaffolding.

This is just another view as the welding goes on.

And the welding continues.

If you ever build a metal house you MUST have one of these wire welders.

On top of the roof rafters I screwed on half channel, or DWC, and later, onto that, will go rolled insulation and metal roofing.

This gives a fair idea of what it looks like from the inside.

Here the roof is going on. First, a rool of 6' wide, 2" thick vinal backed insulation is rolled from eve to eve. Then we lay the 3' wide piece of metal roofing on and screw it to the half channel.

So, what is a metal house without metal stairs? I never saw stairs made of metal studs before, but I figured it had to work. Actually, I never built a single stair before, so I figured I wouldn't be influenced by old ideas. In the end, they worked out exactly right, and the upturned studs that make the risers were filled with steel rods and concrete. They worked out quite well.

Nellie is admiring the view of her bedroom window, although the bedroom is a bit breezy yet!

And this is the view from the window in our shower. (You might notice my choice of automobiles - 2 Mercedes diesel wagons. A real cruiser's car!)