Rough Framing Complete


It certainly didn't take them long at that point, although they were hanging over the edge a lot to do some of the framing work.

Rough Framing Complete
Rough Framing Complete

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Starting to Take Shape


What an exciting day it was to see at least the hole for the observatory start to take shape.

Bottom of the observatory area
Bottom of the observatory area

And quickly, within what seemed like minutes, walls started going into place for the outside of the observatory.

Walls forming
Walls forming

Yes, those are tall walls. They're 12.5' to be exact. But, soon a floor will be built to raise the height up to the dome, and a half-spiral staircase from The Iron Shop will take you from the level of the third floor "hobby room" to the floor right under the dome.

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Breaking and Entering


This day gave a whole new meaning to the phrase, "breaking and entering." Imagine seeing men ripping your roof apart, throwing bits and pieces and sheets of plywood everywhere. That was the scene on this day.

Ripping the roof off - yikes!
Ripping the roof off - yikes!

But then things started taking shape again, and we could see that a new roof was in our future.

New roof line forms
New roof line forms

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Building to the Sky


It didn't take long for the crew from R. W. Buff, Inc. to start showing progress. They quickly built the first and second floors.

First Floor Ready for a Roof
First Floor Ready for a Roof

As you can see, at this stage the former exterior wall is still intact, so no outside air is getting inside.

Second Floor Finished
Second Floor Finished

The weather is starting to get colder, and unfortunately the next step is to rip off the old roof.

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Foundation


Now that the trees are cleared, it's time for the experts at R. W. Buff, Inc. to start the project. The first task was to prepare the foundation. We were hoping that the ground would be free of the big granite boulders so common in this area. The excavator was luckily able to make quick work of the foundation.

Footer Ready for Concrete
Footer Ready for Concrete

Since we were only going to add a crawl space, it didn't have to be too deep, and fortunately avoided any large boulders to stand in his way.

Block Walls Complete
Block Walls Complete

Over the next few days the footers and floor were poured. Of course it rained like a monsoon the day after it was finished, so we had to wait a few extra days before the cement block could be laid for the foundation. Two men came and built the foundation in a single day. Not a bad day's work.

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Making Some Room


We brought in a tree surgeon that we used before to make more room around our garden. It's amazing how quickly he can bring down huge trees. I was nervous that they were too close to the house, so we definitely wanted an expert.

Timber!
Timber!

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Before it All Began


This is how the side of the house looked in October before we began construction.

West Side of House Facing North
West Side of House Facing North

This shows the back of the family room and the porch off to the side behind the sun room. We finally got the grass a deep dark green and it was thick and lush. Now we're going to just tear it up. We're wondering if there's a way we can just put it somewhere else.

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